Saturday, October 16, 2010

Even more raw

My body was accustomed to mostly raw foods...or so I thought.  When we were camping in parks with full hookups, not much had changed from living in a home-without-wheels.  We were just living in a significantly smaller space, that's all.  Now that we are out, remote, everything is different.  First, who wants to wash dishes when you have to pack in all your water?  Hint: not me.  I'd rather use it to drink or rinse off our bodies.  I've given in to paper plates and plastic flatware...only because trees can be planted and plastic can be recycled easier than creating new sources of water.  Plus, I can cut out the middle man and just burn the dang stuff AND create heat energy for my family.  So our daily water consumption has plummetted to around 5 gallons per day for the entire family.  That includes teeth-brushing and hand-washing.  In this area, we rock.  Our energy consumption is more difficult to measure.  If we use the generator, we burn through 2-3 gallons per day.  At around $2.70 per gallon, that's $8.10 per day.  Yikes.  Relying on 12v means letting the diesel truck idle for several hours.  As of this writing, "Daisy" (our truck) has been running for about 5 hrs and does not seem to have consumed even one gallon.  Diesel here runs around $2.80 per gallon, maybe $2.90.  Either way, that's a HUGE savings over using the generator.

Running the truck has other benefits, as well.  The deep cycle battery inside the camper is connected to the truck's battery and is constantly being recharged.  That means, when we turn off the truck, we have stored energy in the deep cycle to power lights and the 12v outlet inside the camper.  One caveat: the outlet does not seem to be capable of handling the power load of one, much less two, laptops.  So while we work, at least for now, both computers will need to be connected via extension cord to the power source outlets (also 12v) inside the cab of the truck.  And until we replace our laptop batteries (they are fried from using the generator as their power least we think that's the problem...) the truck will also need to be running.  The laptop batteries will charge but will not HOLD the charge. 

We could rely on solar energy but have not yet settled on the brand or configuration that best suits our needs.

So our diet has changed due to our limited access to energy.  The first couple of days we made smoothies by connecting to the generator.  Power surges concerned us and we decided to explore raw foods that require little to no preparation.  Avocadoes, bananas, tomatoes and more are excellent sources of portable nutrition.  But we overestimated our rate of consumption, and we found ourselves eating to the point of discomfort to avoid wasting produce.  My next grocery shopping trip will be Monday.  I am paring down our list is our list for one 3-day block.  There will be approximately three variations to this list to avoid monotony and spoilage.  Other non-raw items might fall into my buggy...:)

1 large watermelon -- that will be our only food for an entire day.
6 small avocadoes -- two per person for one day.
1 pint grape tomatoes -- to be shared among three people in one day, preferably with avocadoes.
6 bananas -- one per person for two days.  Breakfast on "avocado/tomato day", and the next.
2 cucumbers -- to be shared among three people in one day, preferably the day after avocado/tomato day.
2 red bell peppers -- to be shared among three people in one day, preferably with cucumbers.
1 lb. raw cashews -- snack between meals.

My body was adjusting slowly (and clumsily) the first few days here on the beach.  I spent a lot of time "in the dunes."  Today my digestive system seems to have adapted and is functioning normally again.

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