Fed & Fit

Paleo Glamping

A new trend in outdoor fun is sweeping the globe. It’s called glamping.

Glamping is camping …with a glamorous twist.

My girlfriends and I usually go on one fabulous girls’ trip each year. We’ve cruised, Vegas-ed, and have shamelessly enjoyed countless pitchers of mimosas and piles of macarons along the way. We love gel manicures, hairspray, and fabulous meals.

In 2013, I hit the ground running with an ambitious agenda:

  1. Find a way to wear my hair wet that doesn’t make me look a soggy golden retriever.
  2. Convince my girlfriends that camping is a worthy girls’ trip.

I’m still working on the wet hair bit {currently opting for the lazy librarian bun …no shame} but made great progress on my camping mission.

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I grew up LOVING to camp. Oh how I love it. I love it like I love mesquite-smoked steaks and anything with the words “molten chocolate cake.”

The camping I’m used to involves sleeping on the ground, cooking by fire, and making sure the trash bag is out of reach so the crafty little raccoons don’t go for a midnight garbage dive.

While all those things are great, I’m also blessed with two girlfriends who’d prefer running water, a roof, and a bed.

Knowing that tent camping was out of the question, I started hunting for a park with air-conditioned cabins.

My quest lead me to Bastrop State Park.

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Remember the massive Lost Pines Forest fire? I’ll fill you in.

In September of 2011, over 90% of the 13-mile stretch of the central Texas loblolly pine forest was destroyed in a horrific fire. The fire consumed over 32,000 acres of forest, destroyed over 1600 homes, and claimed two lives.

The fire was sparked by damaged power lines on September 4th and was finally pronounced 100% contained on October 10th. It is the largest, most damaging fire in Texas history.

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If you’d driven through the Lost Pines prior to the fire, the evergreen forest probably struck you as odd, beautiful, and enchanting. The forest is believed to be living footprint of an ancient pine forest from the Pleistocene era {aka Ice Age}, which was magically preserved and nuzzled in the middle of Texas.

I’ve made the drive through Bastrop, TX countless times. It’s the halfway point between San Antonio and Texas A&M University, my alma mater. I sobbed to myself in the car the first time I drove through after the fire. The smoking black hills broke my heart.

While Bastrop State Park, located at the heart of the Lost Pines Forest, was mostly destroyed, the fire fighters managed to save their historic 1930’s cabins.

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I reserved a weekend with cooler temperatures 3 months out and started planning the trip.

I wanted to make sure that my friends had fun, felt comfortable, and enjoyed the most delicious Paleo food.

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While a thorough packing list and well thought-out menu helped make our weekend a success, I owe all the glory to unbelievably beautiful park and ancient trees.

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There she is! Our home, sweet home. Cabin #6. She had two bedrooms, three beds {mine was in the living room}, a kitchen with a stove, a mini refrigerator, sink, shower, porch, indoor fireplace, and the new Bastille album on repeat.

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I was so excited to cook all weekend. I’d show you my obsessive grocery list and meal-prep schedule, but I’m not that brave. It’s so detailed, it’s embarrassing. I loved the view from the kitchen. I especially loved that the windows opened. Sometimes I burn things. Those little nectarines became the star of my homemade Paleo nectarine jam.

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Despite my very careful planning and preparation, I still managed to forget a spatula. So, we MacGyver’d one out of foil! We’re crafty girls.

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Breakfast on day one. We ate so much sweet potato sausage breakfast hash that we weren’t hungry again until 2:00 p.m.

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After our massive breakfast, we went for a nice, long hike through the forest.

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The crispy remnants of the fire from two years ago made for an eerie, but totally beautiful setting.

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Even though small by comparison, the new growth was everywhere.

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Oh, say hello to Merle, the creature of my nightmares. Don’t get me wrong, I really love bugs and I know this guy is totally harmless. Did you know I got my bachelors degree in Entomology? I think Ento people are some of the best people ever. Anyways, I don’t do 8 legs. They give me the heebiegeebies. {…is that how you spell that?}

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We marched on! Even through the itchy flower forest. Which was probably crawling with Merles. I did my best to think of other things.

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Morgan & Julie …happy, beautiful campers full of insight about love, God, and encounters with almost 30 year-old mean girls.

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When hunger finally struck, we rolled some leftover Mocha Steak in a collard green leaf and smothered it in my homemade spinach artichoke dip and mustard. Nom.

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Our fireplace looked like something out of the Hobbit. Thanks for the reminder, ancient fireplace. We’ll try to keep that in mind.

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Hm …speaking of “Nothing to Excess,” it’s time for some wine! And chocolate. And Jenga. When was the last time you played Jenga?

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While my girls took advantage of an internet-free afternoon to read and relax, I flexed my fire-building muscles.

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Then, because I have an inability to sit down, I made cast-iron skillet Paleo biscuits and slathered them with the apricot jam I’d prepped that morning. Totally delicious but the recipe needs some tweaking. I’ll share as soon as it’s perfect. Promise.

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Sometimes the best remedy for “life is going too fast” is the easiest and most fun. Nature, good food, laughs with good friends, hikes through almost certainly biting-insect-ridden flower patches, lots of good wine, and double lots of dark chocolate.

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Our weekend served as a reminder that while we work hard to take care of our physical bodies with quality foods and fun activities, it’s still very important {if not most important} that we nurture our souls. Whether you do that by going on long hikes, sitting in your car with your phone off for 30 minutes, or a daily meditation, it’s all very important. Keep it up.

If you’d like to plan your own Paleo Glampout, below is our essentials packing list. I hope you find it helpful and that you make some time to play in nature.

Paleo Glamping Essentials

1 gallon of water, for each person, for each day

prosseco, champaign, or our favorite, Sofia

red wine

bottle opener

bug spray

iHome or other portable speaker

wine glasses

French press

coffee mugs

lululemon wunder unders

big, thick, fuzzy socks

Fitbit or other pedometer

board games

plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables

extra blankets and pillows

iPad or book

foldable chairs

pots, pans, and a spatula

dark chocolate

flashlight or headlamp

beef jerky

other fabulous, fresh foods

Paleo Glamping Menu

{a quick summary of our meals}

Friday Welcoming Snack: dark chocolate-covered cherries, Sofia

Friday Dinner: mocha steaks, homemade mayo, mashed bacon cauliflower, garlic asparagus, red wine

Friday Dessert: almond brittle

Saturday Breakfast: Paleo sweet potato sausage breakfast hash, fried eggs, fresh berries, French-press coffee w/full-fat whipping cream

Saturday Lunch: sliced cucumbers, collard wraps w/leftover steak, spinach artichoke mayo, mustard, and purple onion, red wine

Saturday Snack 1: beef jerky, oranges, dark chocolate, red wine

Saturday Snack 2: Paleo cast-iron biscuits with a homemade nectarine jam

Saturday Dinner: browned butter chicken thighs with lemon caper zoodles, red wine

Saturday Dessert: gluten-free s’mores, spiked Paleo Mexican hot chocolate

Sunday Breakfast: bacon, eggs, fresh fruit, French-press coffee w/full-fat whipping cream

Now, get out there and hug a tree.

With love,

Team Glampout

PS. Click here if you’d like to donate to and/or follow the Lost Pines Forest Recovery Campaign.

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14 Responses to “Paleo Glamping”

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    1
    jaykay97@aol.composted October 15, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Can you give a recipe for the cauliflower? Also what are zoodles? Thanks Joan Krystal

    Paleo Glamping

    • fedandfit replied: — October 15th, 2013 @ 7:38 am

      Great questions! The cauliflower was a version of my Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes but I opted for full-fat coconut milk {I don’t use the light stuff anymore}, some grass-fed butter, and browned pancetta in the pan before I added the rest of the ingredients. I also just let the cauliflower steam in the covered pot until it became really soft, and finished mashing with a wooden spoon. Zoodles are so much fun! They’re noodles made from zucchini. You can make them with a spiral slicer, peeler, or food processor. They’re a great substitute for the pasta in any pasta dish!

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    2
    Michelleposted October 15, 2013 at 8:17 am

    looks like you had a great time. as you said, the forest burning was a tragedy but the new growth looks amazing and hopeful. I had to look hard at your photo of Merle. I love bugs too. I had a hard time seeing his legs. you’ve opened my horizons for food while camping, it all looks delicious.

    • fedandfit replied: — October 15th, 2013 @ 8:26 am

      Thanks, Michelle! Merle sure was well hidden. 🙂

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    3
    Corrie Anneposted October 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

    That looks SO fun. Mmm almond brittle. And I wouldn’t dream of going without my Fitbit!! Haha.

    • fedandfit replied: — October 15th, 2013 @ 9:08 am

      Haha right? I totally overlooked going on the trip with a full Fitbit battery, so I only got credit for the 1st day. My total steps for the weekend was still over 20k !

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    4
    Amy Powell (@amyrenepowell)posted October 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

    we’re actually heading out to Bastrop next weekend for some camping… I love it there & definitely still tear up a bit every time we drive through. I haven’t been to the park since the fire, so it’ll be a weird experience for sure.

    • fedandfit replied: — October 17th, 2013 @ 7:38 am

      I hope y’all have a great trip! The weather is gorgeous right now. Hope you avoid all 8-legged friends 🙂

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    5
    Morganposted October 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

    This was one of the BEST weekends I’ve ever had, and I don’t say that lightly. It was the perfect reminder–as you so perfectly stated above–that it is so important to nurture the soul. And that is, in fact, what took place. There’s nothing like some time away with God and my girls, nature, the most delicious Paleo food {prepped by my favorite and most talented Paleo chef}, good wine, long hikes, and good, full conversation. I am so incredibly blessed. I highly recommend unplugging and venturing off to this beautiful park. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you, I promise.

    What a perfect recap of the weekend! And I have to say, my husband and I have made zoodles twice since the visit. The sweet potato hash is a regualr staple at our house, too. 🙂

    • fedandfit replied: — October 17th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

      Woo!! Power to the zoodles!! Love you lots.

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    6
    Vanessa Barajasposted October 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Um, I need to be invited next year! It looks and sounds amazing! Excited for the biscuits recipe, it looks divine.

    • fedandfit replied: — October 17th, 2013 @ 7:40 am

      Consider yourself invited! It’ll be September/Octoberish 🙂 …oh my goodness. What if we organized a giant destination Paleo campout. Wheels spinning!

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    7
    Julieposted October 15, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Great recap, Cassy! What a fun weekend. I cried all the way there because work sucks and then all the way back because I know I’m so lucky to have a rejuvenated soul (and tummy) thanks to my besties. Don’t know what I would do without you two, Sofia, Revelry, paleo nums, book clubbing, and great convos. Love you to the max!

    • fedandfit replied: — October 17th, 2013 @ 7:41 am

      Thanks Jewls 🙂 XO

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