View Full Version : Deployed Nutrition

Courtney Barnett
08-09-2011, 01:48 AM
Hey all,
I am currently deployed and am in need of A LOT of help trying to eat "right" out here. I am stuck with DFAC-produced meals, which seems to always contain some sort of gluten or dairy. I've been following the Paleo lifestyle as closely as possible (I probably cheat more than I should, but hey Im tryin) for about 9 monhts now, but since I've deployed I am have a REALLY hard time following it. Breakfast is the easiest meal for me because I just get 3 eggs over hard with peppers, tomatoes and alittle bacon...1 piece of fruit and usually 2 Tbsp peanut butter (not a great option, but I need fat). Lunch and Dinner are nearly impossible unless I want to eat an iceburg lettuce salad and chopped chicken EVERY day...which I don't. There are some meals that I can make work, but the lack of any nutritional vegetables is amazing! Everything is steamed within a second of being mush or mixed with some gluten product (noodles usually). My go-to veggie lately has been the fried cabbage. I could use any advice/help on things to eat, substitutes for meals, etc. :thanx:Thanks!!


Steve Liberati
08-09-2011, 05:11 AM
It is a real shame that the dietary options of the folks protecting our country are so unhealthy.

You'll need to come up with creative ways on your own to take matters in your own hands.

Pat Sherwood recently did a piece in the CrossFit Journal here: http://journal.crossfit.com/2011/08/zonechroniclesairport.tpl (work family safe) keeping Paleo Zone in the airport while on the run.

William Hoke
08-09-2011, 05:41 AM
Well first, be safe and come back home soon. I know exactly what you mean about the DFAC, not exactly the type of food healthy people want to eat. I would say chicken, chicken, and more chicken. The DFAC always has grilled chicken, and on the days where they have some sort of fish or beef take advantage just to mix it up. You may have to get creative, or just talk to the cook/s and see if they could hook you up.

Jay Lalik
08-10-2011, 03:11 PM
I feel you. Navy food is for fat pieces of crap who consume it like it is manna from the gods. You should see the fat asses in my TAP class. It is shameful....:shrug:

I got through deployment with lots of eggs, as much veggies as I could get (usually slim pickins) the non fried meat options, ect. I would eat some rice on occasion. I avoid the pasta and bread obviously.

I would avoid milk and all other dairy because who knows what is in the milk they serve.

I would suggest having someone send you some nut butters (that PB with hydrognated oil is crap), some kind of protein powder (hard to get real food on your own whim after a workout), and any other vitamins or fish oil you use.

Steven Nedorolik
08-10-2011, 10:17 PM
Ah yes the awesome crap shoot of the DFAC...

Are there any options for other DFACs? my base has a few and based on which one you go to, you can have better luck with "healthy" meals. All of them, however, has some sort of sandwich bar where I load up on meats and some veggies in a tortilla and grill it.

ours also has little beef jerkey packs which makes for easy snacking and hardboiled eggs from breakfast work well too.

Eric J Leon
08-10-2011, 10:53 PM
Realizing you asked for paleo advice I'm going to recommend easing your rules for the short term.

The hardest things I have finding in an austere DFAC are protein and nutrient rich foods. Usually they have milk coolers to the side of the chow line. If you can tolerate it drinks tons of milk. Even given the box milk is ultra-pasteurized it beats the Sara Lee crap or white rice next to it. Google GOMAD, for proof that drinking lots of milk works.

If your chow lines aren't ridiculous run yourself through the line twice. Two pieces of nasty mystery meat are better than one piece. Breakfast is usually a good time to do this since powdered eggs and frozen bacon are something worthwhile stocking up on.

MREs are probably about as far from natural as you can get but...

If you have access to lots of them then rat-**** them to your heart's content. The entrees have decent amounts of protein and are vitamin fortified.

Andrew N. Casey
08-11-2011, 08:15 AM
often a good option is to buy fresh produce from the locals. usually very cheap.

if you must eat in the DFAC, speak with the people in charge, many times they were willing to go back to the storage and grab me a few pieces of fresh veggies or fruit. if they won't help then you simply have to do the best you can.

get family members to send you some good snacks and supplements. greens food powder, mulitvitamins, protien powder, nuts, trail mixes, and the like ship well, last for a while, and are fairly inexpensive for loved ones to buy and ship. many sites on the web that ship to APO so you can order it for yourself too.

Kayla Wilson
08-25-2011, 09:08 AM
Hi! I am currently deployed also... and trying so hard to follow Paleo for the one reason- because I know it's GOOD for you and eating all this processed crap is NOT good for you. I stick to an egg white omelet filled with vegetables- no cheese- EVERY morning, some mornings will have a couple pieces of bacon. Lunch- I usually go through the sandwich bar and get all the vegetables and lots of lunch meat.. no bread though. Dinner I usually eat a grilled chicken salad with olive oil. I know it gets old eating the same thing.. I get so excited on days they have fish, or fried cabbage! It would make it easier if I knew someone here that also has the same mindset about food that I do- but in the mean time I am stuck with my buddies who are convinced a Subway sandwich is "healthy" lol

John McCord
08-25-2011, 05:02 PM
The KBR DFACs in Iraq were soo much better before I guess, there were always good pickings for any diet, HUGE veggie/salad bars, all kinds of options....and then you get to a FOB...oh well.

Steves Original Paleo Kits are available to APO through Rogueapo.com (wfs-the APO shipping site for Rogue Fitness) Have a family member grab some Almond butter(packs or jars) and ship them to you, IMO a better option than the peanut butter cups they have in every DFAC.

You couldn't really live off Paleo Kits...or could you?...anyway, learn to love Chicken breast, meatloaf, and baked "white" fish...avoid the turkey swimming in the gravy looking stuff.

John Hoffner
08-30-2011, 07:32 AM
I wrote this up while deployed for a year to Afghanistan (W/F/S)


And I also loved the hell out of Steve's Paleo kits, which I reviewed for my wife's blog:


Stay safe over there.

Jared Gomez
08-30-2011, 08:23 AM
im deployed as well and its tough to eat good out here as well. my breakfast consist of 4 eggs scrambled with a scoop of oatmeal and some fruit once in a while

after that lunch and dinner are almost impossible to eat paleo.
luckily we do get the litte beef jerky and trail mix packets so i snack on those through the day

Steve Liberati
08-31-2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the plugs guys. We're very proud to serve our country's freedom fighters.

Liz Wolfe
09-03-2011, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the plugs guys. We're very proud to serve our country's freedom fighters.


I'm not familiar with all the branches and their protocols for feeding people and whether the following is even possible in all scenarios, but my husband deploys with tons of coconut oil, canned squash, macadamias (best O3:O6 ratio in nuts), Paleo Kits/Jerky, sardines in a tin, and supplements with as many WHOLE eggs (yolk. yolk. yolk.) as possible. I also think white rice is one of the safest starches possible, for most people (not all, but MOST) it's as digestible as a sweet potato. Not nutrient-dense, but sometimes you just need to fill out the calories.

Kristi Folowell
09-25-2011, 05:30 AM
Glad to know I am not the only one suffering through this. So that you know you can live off of Steve's Paleo Kits. I have been doing it for the last couple of months for the most part. God bless my buddy that keeps me stocked. Anyway, breakfast is my money maker for Paleo. Eggs, bacon, fruit and some type of nut butter. Depending on what is on the lunch/dinner menu I have a Paleo Kit. If I do hit dinner I eat whatever meat substance is not swimming in gravy, sauce, butter, salt or the like. I get the steamed within an inch of their lives veggies, some tomatoes from the "salad" bar, olives (god bless them for their green olives as one can only eat so much almond butter), and some times they have chopped up mixed peppers so I get those. Usually I don't get very much to eat at dinner or breakfast because of bad choices. I will supplement after workouts with SFH Whey and the occassional protein drink or Paleo Kit in between meals to make up the calorie deficit. I am really active over here so getting enough quality fuel has been difficult.