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Non refrigerated meals


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#1 pira114

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:42 AM

Ok. I need help. What I'm asking for may not be possible. But I'm hoping someone here may have a good idea.

I work 4 on and 4 off, 12 to 16 hour shifts. Several hours from home so I stay in our agency's barracks during those 4 days. I have access to a refrigerator at the barracks, but not while at work and they're not near each other. I can use a small cooler, but may not always be able to access it and that's become a pain.

So, like many others, I've started putting on pounds due to eating the easy food. Not much fast food, but deli sandwiches aren't much better. And almost all snacks suck.

What I want is clean eating. I really want to stay away from meal replacement bars, powdered shakes, etc.. Ideally, I'd like to eat eggs, lean meat, fish, and veggies. For the most part. But my lifestyle is not helping.

How the hell am I gonna do this? If I had constant access to my cooler, it'd be easy. But I don't. I can keep a medium sized backpack with me (which I already do and I believe I only use about half it's capacity on average).

So what are my options for keeping good quality food with me that needs no refrigeration?

So far, I've got tuna and chicken in a can. Open, drain, eat. But is canned fish/chicken as healthy as I think? And how do I get veggies? I prefer them cold anyway, but they wouldn't be fresh sitting un-refrigerated in a pack.

I looked at self heating soups, but they have more sodium than your average salt lick. Am I right in avoiding them?

Any and all suggestions appreciated

#2 pira114

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:44 AM

Oh, and I should add that while I have a refrigerator at my barracks, cooking is out of the question. That's the hard part. I need to bring 4 days worth with me.

#3 SwatDawg335

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 06:40 AM

If you've got a backpack, you've got a cooler...  Just get a soft and flexible bag cooler to keep inside you're backpack.  Start getting into smoking meats and fish.  Even if you don't smoke meat all the way to the point of dehydrating it into jerky, you'll still be able to make it work.  Then just add some fresh veggies and a ranch dip (if you're into that sort of thing), and you're good to go.  I would say that working on warmer days, it may be best to start with the meat frozen.  It would likely thaw to the point where it can be eaten.  Otherwise, if you're working on cooler days, just pull the meat from the fridge and throw it in the cooler.  When I know that I've got similar circumstances on the horizon, I'll often smoke up a brisket or pork shoulder and vacuum pack the meat into individual portions in advance.  This makes life, much, much easier.


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#4 pira114

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 06:59 AM

I had never thought of smoking it. Thanks. That's a very viable option

#5 Corbs

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:53 AM

You don't need a full blown yeti cooler, you can get small lunch box sized insulated lunch bags. I find my stuff stays cold for longer when I wrap the lunch bag in my fleece too.

My vote is for things like carrots and celery that'll keep well over a shift and if you have wet components like dressing, keep them separate until you're ready to eat.

Good luck to you.
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#6 Corbs

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:54 AM

http://www.amazon.co...lated lunch bag

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#7 OldYeoman

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:01 PM

My personal preference for stuff like this is to prepare in bulk. My general go-to is roasting up a bunch of vegetables (peppers, onions, courgette, sweet potato), grill/fry up some protein (chicken and bacon works well), and throw it all in with some cous cous/bulgur wheat/quinoa/rice. Can add a bit of chilli powder to spice it up too. Keeps in tupperware or zip-loc bags, can eat it cold, or re-heat if you've got the facilities.



#8 pira114

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:58 PM

Thanks fellas.

My main concern was meats and eggs not being refrigerated. I'm still a tad concerned about veggies just sitting in Tupperware. Mostly for taste and texture. I know it won't kill me.

I really don't have room for a cooler in my backpack. But I might just make room somehow. That'll make this all moot really.

#9 NLYE

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:25 PM

http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B009ZYI8FQ

 

 

I have the smaller version, but this larger version may work better. 

 

Also, it comes with multiple containers 


Edited by NLYE, 08 January 2015 - 09:25 PM.

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#10 Billbo

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 08:14 AM

I always take a small tupperware with 2x cooked eggs and some nuts in my duty bag + some fruit = healthy snack/meal. 

Only for backup I carry 1 or 2 quest bars with me.

 

Also I am a fan of smoked salmon. In our supermarket you can buy it in little packages. 

 

Maybe a selfmade smoothie is something for you? With vegetables, fruits, nuts, curd, oatmeal etc...

Put in 2 or 3 ice cubes to cool it during the summer month. 


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#11 pira114

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 08:19 AM

I like the smoked salmon idea. In fact, it's something I thought of and started doing.

Smoothies are out because I have no way to prepare them each day.

For now, it seams a double portion sized container with a ton of spinach and kale seems to be the ticket. I throw either the salmon, canned shrimp, or tuna on it with vinegar and olive oil dressing. Two large salads like that a day plus an apple and orange sometime between. This seems to be working so far.

I had thought the salad stuff would get wilted and disgusting, but it hasn't. So my fears were for not.

ETA: Breakfast is one hardboiled egg and small bowl of oatmeal. That's about as fast and easy as it gets

Edited by pira114, 14 January 2015 - 08:21 AM.


#12 Hidyn

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 11:27 PM

I've got an out-to-lunch idea. Lacto fermentation.

I make carrots with this recipe: http://www.foodreneg...-carrot-sticks/

I believe it lends itself well to just about any vegetable, and I find them crunchy and tasty unrefrigerated.

If you don't write the idea off immediately and choose to attempt it, my only suggestion is to only have a couple sticks a day for the first few days.

...after you're used to it you can eat a whole jar in one shot if you feel like it. :)




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