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Military Training with Whole30

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Does anyone know the best ways to stay whole30 compliant while going through military training?  I am going to be going through a combat school for about a month and was wondering if anyone knew anything about what foods I should try to take with me.  I'm going to be buying some beef jerky and whole30 compliant bars but I'm hoping that I could do better than just that.  I hope that's not all that can be done.

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In my experience, training conditions and living environments vary widely based on the type of training you undergo.  For myself, I have done everything from escape & evasion training in Texas (they deprived us of food and searched our bags before we got off the bus) to professional training schools (living in dorms or barracks and eating in the galley) to living overseas in my own apartment with full control over my own shopping and cooking.

 

My advice? Consider postponing your Whole30 until your combat school is completed, especially if you will be spending considerable time in the field at the mercy of MREs and the like. If your energy levels and attention to detail falter because you're not eating enough, you may bomb your course and negatively impact your career. If you will be living on base and able to come and go as you please to hit the commissary and cook your own meals, or at least eat at the mess hall everyday, you will have more success. You could probably do a fair Whole30 subsisting on galley/DFAC/chow hall food alone, but it's way more difficult when you didn't source the food yourself and you can't read the labels. I completed a Whole30 after coming home from my latest deployment, and doubt I would have been very successful trying one in any of my previous training environments.

 

Best of luck on your training and your Whole30, whenever you decide to do it!

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I actually just finished my whole30 yesterday and am going to try and experiment with introducing foods before my combat school starts. For me the bigger issue is continuing to eat well while in training. The training I'll be going through isn't too intense. We go out everyday and come back every night with the exception of maybe one or two days. I don't know how much time I'll have to be a me to make my own food let alone have any supplies to actually do that. Would the galley be my best bet? Are there any foods you would recommend buying that I could eat during training that would still be whole30/9 compliant and portable enough to take I to the field? Btw, I am also in the Navy (CEC).

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OH YEAH NAVY!!  Beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit are all good and highly portable. I haven't done field training in a few years but I do bring them for hiking & camping trips.  There are some good leads to Whole30 friendly products (beef jerky and protein bars, esp) on the 9 Blog page here.

 

Are you expected/allowed to bring your own lunch while in the field? If you can bring a small cooler or insulated lunch bag in your ruck, your options are unlimited. For busy days, I like to pre-cut food into strips or cubes (works great with beef, chicken and veggies) and bring my own dipping sauce (homemade salad dressing with paleo mayo) for a faster, less messy way to eat especially if you're out in the field or under a time crunch.

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I'll have to look up more whole9/30 approved foods.  Unfortunately I'll be in the BOQ for my time during training so the galley may be my only option.  Unfortunately there is no kitchenette that I will have access to at the lodge.

 

I'm not sure about bringing my own lunch to the field, but I'll be bringing a cooler with me either way,  Not sure how I'd be able to prepare foods without access to a kitchen though.

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You can eat close-ish at a DFAC/galley/whatever (I'm Army, not Navy). You might have to pick corn out of a veggie mixture, or overlook if there's sugar in the salsa/bacon. With my dining halls, what I usually do is:

 

Hard boiled or fried eggs (to be sure it isn't rehydrated dried powdery nastiness). If you can get fresh ones as an omelet, get every veggie you can. You won't be able to dictate type of cooking oil, so don't worry about it. No use in worrying over what you can't control. 

 

Bacon instead of sausage. Mystery sausage ingredients? No thanks. This also helps you get enough protein as most of the dining places I've been to limit how many eggs you can have.

 

Fresh fruit and whatever veggies they *might* have on the line. If I'm not Whole 30ing I'll get whatever potato is available too. I need carbs. And so do you if you're in the military. Lately my DFAC (I only eat there for breakfast so I don't have to go home between PT and work) has had fresh blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Mmm. Blueberries.

 

Lunch/dinner will be whatever plain non-sauced meat I can get (chicken usually, or roasted beef/pork). I get whatever veggies are most compliant on the hot line plus a salad with oil and vinegar (I'd rather get non-compliant oils/maybe a little MSG in an Italian or vinaigrette instead of dairy and mondo MSG in ranch). Fresh fruit for later. 

 

It might be boring-ish, but it'll be close, and that's what counts. 

 

If you can bring your own tuna pouches (they don't usually have soy if they're pouched) you can use that to help up your emergency protein stash in case the most compliant meat choice is a rock/cardboard/brick. 

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You are a CE? I'm a BU :) Hoo Rah Navy! When I go on field exercises I pack tuna pouches and scan the MREs for the tuna ones, too. They travel great in your cargo pockets and are pretty durable. I stash away hard boiled eggs from the galley into my pack whenever I can and eat them later on if I need. I have to go through SERE school this year and am pretty sure I'll be eating whatever I can get, but till then I'm trying to get a handle on just 30 days of a W30. 

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Are you doing SERE with the Navy or Army? I did the Army one a few years back. Got me very close to the source of my food (killed, prepped, ate a chicken). Non-field times you use the usual dining hall food, and field times...whatever you find. Good news is you won't be finding any twinkies out there to eat...

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I think it's the Army one, but they won't tell us till we get closer. It's part of a series of trainings I have to go through for my next deployment early next year. I also heard they pretty much trash whatever you thought to bring with you so maybe I won't spend so much on tuna pouches this time. I'll probably have more questions for you (and what to eat) when it gets closer. 

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If it's Army SERE...well...don't expect to eat much in the field portion. You will not be allowed to bring anything with you to those. It's about survival, and learning those skills. Expect to have the ability to kill and butcher animals, but no outside food allowed. When you aren't in the field, you can eat close to compliantly at the dining facility as usual.

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Best you're going to be able to do is Whole30ish.  Be okay with that and recognize you're still going to be much better off than if you weren't considering any W30 principles at all.  When you're in a place where you can exercise greater control over your food, you can do a by-the-book Whole30.

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