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Hello 2017!

This is my first blog post for 2017 because its been a bit of a "tools down" affair here at Chez Pollak over the summer. Last year was a massive year after submitting my Masters thesis looking at diet and postnatal depression. And my family were incredibly patient with me while I was overtired, stressed and had very little 'free time'.

So I decided that over the summer we'd spend lots of time together, have lots of adventures and really reconnect as a family. So far so good. This is the first moment I've had to spend any real time in front of my computer, just before we head off on our annual adventure.

Two years ago, after losing my daughter in my second trimester we, and by we I mean I, desperately needed to get away. So we packed our life into the back of my husband's car for our very first proper road trip. We did it again last summer holidays and now it has become an institution. Every summer holidays our Taj Mahal of a tent and everything else we can fit into the car gets packed up for a two week trip. The kids are literally counting hours and minutes til we go. We really find it to be such a freeing experience for us all, getting back to basics, no technology, no phone reception, the simplest of meals and really being able to be present in each moment.

Last week I made a big batch of spaghetti bolognese for dinner and put aside extra for our camping trip, and I also dehydrated many kilos of veggies. I was proudly showing these photos to some close friends and colleagues who suggested I tell you all about my camping prep. And here I am. It's dead easy, and literally the easiest way to enjoy plenty of whole foods without the fuss.

Firstly, I own a dehydrator, but you could do this in your oven on a really low setting. Sometime the week before we are planning to go away I cook bolognese for dinner and make an extra big batch. I fill it with tonnes of veggies and then I dehydrate it. Similarly, I buy big 2kg bags of frozen veggies - this time I bought broccoli, peas, corn, carrot, cauliflower and green beans and put them in the dehydrator as well. Why do I do this? When we go camping, we really GO CAMPING and head as far as is realistic into the middle of nowhere as possible (safely). So even though we may have simple things like drop toilets, the nearest shop-like thing may be up to four hours away. Therefore, we need to travel smart. Carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes travel reasonably well, but they take up space and I get bored eating the same thing. I've found this to be a really effective way to make sure that even while we are away we are still eating nutritious meals most of the time. And the smaller we make our veggies, the more space there is for marshmallows to toast over the fire, which makes everyone happy!

And on that note - I have an esky to wipe down in preparation for our offline adventure!

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