Busy Family Life, Summer Days, and Packing Paleo for Sports Tournaments!

*Note from Sarah: This latest post comes from Dana; our Director of Operations who is also a Baseball Mom Extraordinaire!  Dana has food prep for her family down to a science and this summer she’s been traveling on the weekends to  baseball tournaments for her two boys; which means preparing and planning ahead! In this post Dana explains how her quick and easy food prep is not only setting her family up for healthy meals while away on the weekends, but also saves big money while they travel.  May this post help and inspire your family!

Busy Family Life, Summer Days, and Packing Paleo for Sports Tournaments!

Here I am, sipping coffee while grilling burgers and flank steak at 9am on a Saturday morning, as well as packing the cooler as we head out to yet another baseball tournament! While it’s possible to eat out successfully as a Paleo family, it’s certainly not something we want to do 2-3 times a day while traveling. Why? Not only is restaurant food inundated with unhealthy oils and hidden, unwanted ingredients; it’s just plain expensive.  So here are some ways we feed our busy family daily and also how we pack our cooler for baseball tournaments.  

It’s all about the grill in the summertime!  When grilling dinner the night before an event it’s easy to just slap a few extra cuts of your favorite grass-fed meat to the grill!  Pictured here is flank steak and burgers. (In a food processor I grind up some garlic, onion, a little kale and some roasted bell peppers and add it to my grass fed burgers with a little sea salt and pepper).

Here’s the finished flank steak, cut into strips, ready to be packed into a container for tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch, or just snacks!

I’m also a huge fan of saving money!  By bringing these burgers and flank steak strips we will save hundreds of dollars spent otherwise on trips to restaurants.  Not to mention how much better my son will feel and perform during his tournament filled with our food as opposed to restaurant food!

The next step is quick and easy.  Grab big containers and fill with any fruits and veggies you have on-hand.  I love this Environee fruit wash.

I can’t always buy organic so I follow the directions on the back and remove all waxes, pesticides, and chemicals from our veggies and fruits before packing it. We also like being adventurous when we travel, and we will stop at local produce stands along the way and let the boys pick out their favorites; usually carrots and peppers!

We happen to be a HUGE seed-loving family! Our favorite brand is Bigs.  Salty? Yes, but we drink tons of water all day, too, so we’re okay with it.  Nothing’s better to chew on during nerve-wracking baseball games and Garrett’s bacon seeds are a big hit with his friends in the dugout!

I’m a big fan of saving time!  When getting gas to head out of town, we run into the mini-mart for our sunflower seeds and ice. Our family also finds that it’s just as fast to zip into a Trader Joes’ and buy grab and go snacks, like dried unsweetened apricots, organic raisins, bags of organic apple slices, pistachios, cashews, etc.

And, of course, we can’t forget our beloved “Ants on A Log.”  You can add coconut flakes for extra flavor and delicious fat, if you wish, and our boys love these snacks!

Honestly; grilling the meat and preparing the ants on a log were the only things that really took any time.  All I had to do with rest was put it in containers or a big bag, stack it in the cooler and go! It took me about an hour to do the above mentioned food prep and taking that little bit of extra time is always well worth the effort for both our health and our pocketbooks!

I also make sure to grab our camping plates, utensils, dish towels/cloth napkins and toss those in a bag as well.  Our hotel room has a microwave, so we are all set! We love having a “blanket picnic” in our room before jumping in the pool!

And I don’t know about you, but my house has a revolving door for the boys’ friends during the summer! So I put these same kinds of snacks out every single day and just have it out for the kids to graze on all day long.  One big protein tray plus this snack tray filled with fruits and veggies keeps them full, fueled and happy.

It has been a learning curve, knowing how to do this “Family Paleo Thing” successfully, but it feels so great to have a conquered that learning curve, never mind the money saving bonus as well!  I hope this helps your busy family too! Have a Fabulous Summer!


    • Sarra Donathan says

      I don’t have a grill either plus it is getting cold and I would hate to stand out there. We have a little george foreman thing that can hold two burgers or one steak at a time. We had pork steaks last night grilled on it – awesome. Plus I can multitask and did sweet potatoes in the oven and bacon wrapped asparagus in a skillet.

  1. Margaret says

    Love this! This year for vacation, we’re staying at an extended stay so that I can cook most of our meals. There is a Trader Joe’s around the corner from where we’re staying too. We’re from Dallas and TJ’s hasn’t made it here yet, so I am thrilled to check it out in a different state!
    Where do you get the BIG’s? Those sound great!
    Thanks for this post. Glad to see someone else packing and preparing for the family when they travel.

  2. Debi Olson says

    I also always make up a big bag of trail mix.( paleo nuts and fruit). I also make a large jar of our favorit sweet tea(herbleand stevea), so we can refill our reuseable bottles. I need to start putting in the tray things thow. That is a good idea.

  3. edith lozano says

    Just bought your Everyday Paleo Cookbook from Costco. I am new to Paleo myself and have been eating strictly Paleo for about 40 days, now I’m going to switch the whole family. Thank you for all the great tips and more importantly for putting this book out. I am so thankful I found my way to your book! I am looking forward to your next book as well!

  4. Erin D. says

    Great ideas! I think I read somewhere that white vinegar, mixed with water (maybe half and half) works well as a veggie/fruit wash.

    Trying to stay on task with healthy eating can be daunting on the road. Your ideas look more delicious than what can be found in many restaurants!

  5. Kim H. says

    Thank you! We are a big baseball family and I started a Whole30 yesterday with a tourney coming up this weekend. Looks like I will be doing some shopping and prep work tomorrow night! And maybe I need to learn to love seeds…the rest of my boys love them!

  6. Becky S says

    As school has started and all of their athletic, band, choir, theatre events have started. I would love to make the meals ahead, however we don’t really care for cold hamburgers. Do you keep them warm somehow, or just eat them cold. Just curious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *