First of all I would like to thank Caleb Summers, the Chef and owner of Evolve Paleo Chef for providing my entire meal plan for my recent adventure trip to Moab, Utah.  This trip was a star photography, climbing, mountain biking and reflection trip for me. My accommodations were the Colorado River, a small tent,  and peace and quite.  I knew my days would be long, starting at 5am and ending typically after 1-2 am the following morning.  Preparing meals was not going to be practical because I had to be back in the Arches National Park and hour before the sun came up and  then back again for sunset on into the night for the night sky photography. I did not make it back to my campsite most nights until 2 am.

Big Bend Campsite: Colorado River outside of Moab, Utah

Big Bend Campsite: Colorado River outside of Moab, Utah

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I had previously researched and personally  followed a paleo diet about 10 years ago.  As a Physician Assistant I had started a cardiovascular risk management program within my family practice clinic. One of the things I was aggressively looking at was a diet or eating style that was conducive to reducing cardiovascular and diabetic risk.  Amongst the popular low carb diets that existed there  was another “diet” that stood out to me.  It was a “way” of eating that intrigued me the most.  Not another trend or fad diet that would predictably fail, but one that had a common sense approach to it.  This is what was difficult for patients to comprehend initially because most have never had to forage or hunt for their food and nutrition. It has always been easily accessed and purchased around the corner.  This convenience in large part makes it easy to eat poorly.  My quick down and dirty  5 second message to my patients was this.  “Eat foods that are already in their natural state. If it has been changed or processed and packaged avoid them. Then for humor I added that there is no spaghetti tree, bread bush, or potato chip plant.  Eat leaner meats.  And, look thru the eyes of a farmer or a caveman and prepare your meals in a similar fashion.  Don’t let fast food and food manufacturers dictate your nutrition and subsequent health…..”The book I referenced was by Loren Cordain, PhD, who literally wrote the book on The Paleo Diet.   I didn’t preach it. I simply referenced it.  I monitored Lipid Profiles, Hemoglobin A1C, fasting blood sugars, and BMI’s of my patients and can simply say this eating style does work.  My personal experiment took me from 180-155 lbs. This occurred by strict adherence though. This was not my intention to lose this much weight but it occurred rather quickly.  My western diet has since then been drastically changed, improved, and forever influenced.


Petroglyphs along Wall Street and near Wolf Ranch

Petroglyphs along Wall Street and near Wolf Ranch

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So……during my 5 days of living on the banks of the Colorado River my menu consisted of the following:

  • Fiesta Pork ChopsPork, Green Beans, Onions, Garlic, Cilantro, Green Chiles, Lime Juice, Chicken Stock, Oregano, Cumin, Chili Powder, Arrowroot Powder, Black Pepper
  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin w/ Apricot Avocado Salsa & Bacon Brussels Sprouts
  • Pasta Primavera: A classic pasta dish that is bright and cheery, after all, Primavera means springs in Italian. This dish is an olive-oil-based dish with lots of firm, crisp vegetables, such as broccoli, peas, onions, roasted red bell peppers, with tomatoes and topped with herbs and parmesan cheese. Ours will forgo the cheese, but will be topped with roasted pine nuts, and will be WAY better than the original.
  • Salmon Roulade: A roulade is a a French term that means “to roll.” Typically you will see meat rolled around cheese, vegetable or in this case herbs. Our salmon roulade is cuddling with parsley, garlic, thyme and roasted red peppers served with a side of cauliflower tabbouleh.
  • Chicken Tenders
  • Spicy Jerky:Grass Fed Beef, Orange Juice, Paleo “Tamari” (Chicken Stock, Fish Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Molasses, Ginger, Garlic, Salt), Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Peppers
  • Taco Bake

For breakfast and snack throughout the day I would eat my homemade Presto Bars, (patent pending):-) that I pre-made before the trip.

Before the trip I froze each meal and then placed them on dry ice in my cooler which kept them frozen the duration of the trip. With the heat I didn’t want to risk using ice and it melting  too soon. The packaging is air/water tight. When I got back to my campsite around 2 am I would light my stove, pour out the contents into a skillet and rewarm for about 10 minutes and I had a meal ready to eat. By 2:30 am I was in my tent asleep.  One of things I noticed is that the food tasted fresh and flavorful.  It did not lose any flavor in the freezing process.  I felt like I was eating a gourmet meal each night, honestly.  I wondered if  the  incredible aroma would attract wild animals to my campsite, but I made sure there was nothing left:-)  My two favorites were the Pasta Primavera and the Salmon Roulade.  The others were great too and never did I feel like I was still hungry for more.  As a climber who camps out regularly this is a great way to have a healthy, convenient, and tasty meals at the campsite.

Thanks Evolve Paleo Chef!



The Turret Arch, Arches National Park Utah