Review of Paleo Meals To Go

Paleo Meals To Go Review

At last, quality ingredients and freeze dried convenience combine to create delicious, healthy, and paleo-friendly backpacking meals. For quite some time now I’ve wondered how long it would be before paleo diet eating options would hit the outdoor industry. Well now they’re here and thanks to Paleo Meals To Go I couldn’t be happier.

Eating Paleo for three years and counting

I’ve been eating a paleo diet (and doing Crossfit) for close to three years now and it works for me. If you don’t know what the paleo diet is all about and the benefits it provides I’m not about to explain it here. In a nutshell the paleo diet is “a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.” Check out Robb Wolf’s site if you want to read more about the paleo diet.

Paleo Meals To Go Review

The key thing to understand here is that it’s clean eating. Real food, real ingredients, and as unprocessed as possible. Like I said, it works for me and I’m happy with it – YMMV as they say.

Paleo on the trail

Eating clean (paleo diet) on the trail has always been a bit of a challenge though. I wouldn’t consider any of the off-the-shelf freeze dried packaged foods options to be clean eating, at least not until very recently. Heck some of them list ingredients I can barely pronounce or they have insanely high amounts of sodium. So why put that junk in my body when I’m hiking if I wouldn’t eat that at home? Oh and don’t tell me it’s okay because it’s all about calories. I’m not eating handfuls of Fritos just because they’re calorically high for their weight.

Paleo Meals To Go

To address the lack of clean eating options I’ve taken to dehydrating all my own ingredients and packaging my own meals, I know that’s nothing new to many of you. The real challenge has been finding recipe ideas that dehydrate well and rehydrate in a reasonable time and still taste good. Common meal fillers like pasta and rice aren’t an option when you’re eating paleo. For the most part I’ve been pretty successful with chicken and vegetables, but I’ve resorted to a non-cook diet for many trips just so that I didn’t have to deal with this.

Developed by a Crossfit athlete

A relatively new company based out of Denver, Colorado called Paleo Meals to Go has launched a line of dehydrated dinners, lunches, and breakfast options that are completely paleo. They were developed by a Crossfit athlete that struggled with clean eating when outdoors and so decided to create their own. Gott love that.

The prices may seem a little high to some of you, $13 a packet, but you get what you pay for when it comes to food. Pay now or pay the doctor later as they say. Or just skip a Starbucks coffee one day a week.

Quick preparation times

Paleo Meals To Go

I recently took a packet of the Paleo Meals to Go Savory Chicken & Vegetables with me on a routine practice hike with my kids. Side note: they don’t eat paleo despite my attempts to encourage them to do so. The Savory Chicken is categorized as a “lunch” meal and that’s exactly what we used it for.

I fired up my Jetboil Sol Ti stove and brought 2 cups of water to rolling boil. The packet only requires 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups of water to be rehydrated, but I always make a little extra just in case I need it. Better to have some. I opened the packet, removed the small oxygen absorber pack and followed the directions.

One of the benefits of not having any pasta or rice as part of the meal is that the rehydration time is significantly faster. The Savory Chicken only requires 4-6 minutes to be ready. Got to love that. As it turned out I must not have been very accurate when I poured the boiling water into the pouch because I had quite a lot of water left after the time was up. Not a problem, I just partly closed the ziploc style top and used it to drain out the unwanted liquid. My dog loved that!

The taste test

Paleo Meals To Go

Once the ingredients were rehydrated and ready to eat I looked inside to see chunks of chicken and vegetables, all easily recognizable. The directions suggest that your stir thoroughly (again) and then eat, which I did. However I noticed that the end result was a little less presentable than before I stirred it. Much of the chicken had broken up (think of canned tuna) and mixed into the vegetables.

Paleo Meals To Go Review

That didn’t stop it from tasting delicious though. My kids both tried some of the Savory Chicken & Vegetables and gave it a thumbs up. That’s pretty amazing for many reasons and I attribute it to the smell and look of the food. Nom nom nom…

Conclusion

Despite the extra cost I’m excited to have some quality, clean eating options for my hiking trips. I love making my own, but these taste far superior to anything I’ve made yet and are super convenient. I’m going to snap up a bunch of these for my Crossfit hiking buddies and see what they think. Do you eat a paleo diet or have you tried it?

Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of this product for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and feedback. He was under no obligation to publish a review. His thoughts are his own.
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  • Snctool

    I am very interested in the Paleo diet Brian. I just recently bought a Paleo diet cookbook at a consignment shop for $1. I have been looking at the recipes but a lot of them contain ingredients I never heard of. I will check out the meals you speak of…thanks…

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      What types of ingredients are you referencing? I had to do some studying myself when I first started, maybe I can help clarify. BTW – a cook book for $1 – bargain!

  • Snctool

    I live in a small town Brian but we do have a Kroger. I cook all the time but not yet the paleo way. I just bought the “Paleo” “The real food diet to reset your life” recipe book by Elizabeth Marsh. Some of the ingredients for the recipes I never heard of like Moroccan seasoning,cauliflower rice, raw almond meal, macadamia nut oil,Himalayan rock salt, and cashew cream. There are plenty other exotic ingredients too. On another note do you feel much different since switching to this diet as far as energy and alertness?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I noticed a distinct difference in my endurance, alertness and energy with two weeks of making the switch. Three year later and I’ve noticed that I’ve only been sick (enough to take time off work) once or twice in that entire time. I’m convinced that are current eating habits and FDA food pyramid is causing more harm than good. The trouble is it takes will power to stick to a change in diet and not think of it as a fad or temporary diet – it’s a new way of eating.

      Don’t get too tangled up in fancy ingredients, you don’t need all those things to cook tasty clean food. Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been broken up, place on a tray in the over and roasted (with garlic is great), then placed in a food processor and pulsed a few times until it resembles a rice like texture. If you keep pulsing/blending you end up with mashed cauliflower – equally delicious!

      Almond meal or almond flour is simply almonds ground into a flour/powder. Gluten free. I make my own in a food processor using plain roasted almonds, I also make my own almond butter ( just keep blending for 10-15mins). Cashew cream can be made by soaking cashews in water overnight, draining the next day and blending until creamy in a food processor. This turns out similar to half and half only dairy free and better for you – great with coffee!

      Salt is salt just stay away from iodized as much as you can, but no need to go nuts with it. We buy virgin pressed coconut oil in bulk at Costco and use it for everything. Another benefit of eating paleo has been a reduction in overall joint pain and inflammation. I also take fish oil capsules daily to help with inflammation.

      I think I have your email so let me send you some links that I have to digital versions of some popular paleo cook books.

      • alysdexia

        I’d expect the nutrients in cashews and half-and-half/milk to complement each other; but no, saturated fat is not unhealthy unless it’s palmitin.

  • Heath

    Not a Paleo fan but all the food you review on here always looks healthy and tasty.Thanks for reviewing things outside of the mainstream

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      :) You don’t have to eat paleo to want to eat clean “real” ingredients. Stay tuned for a giveaway of another fantastic food brand coming soon…

  • John Pavoncello

    Great review Brian. One thing to be aware of, as “paleo” as they are called, they are not truly. I contacted the manufacturer about the meats they use. They are not “clean” meats. They said they couldn’t find a reliable source for dehydrated hormone/antibiotic free meats so they were just using what is available. That means you’re still getting processed food products, possible GMO (due to the food source for the meat animals), hormones, antibiotics, etc.
    Saying that, the fact that they don’t add any extra crap is a plus and I’m sure that overall, the Paleo Meals are far better than eating a over-processed Mountain House meal.

  • MG Rice

    At over $4.00 per 100 calories, a week’s worth of Paleo Meals to Go on the trail would cost well over $1,000. That price is not a “little high,” it’s downright exorbitant.