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MND home cooked food on a budget

What is this post about?

- Eating the MND way on a budget

- Cooking ‘real food’ when away from home with restricted resources

- Managing with only the most basic cooking facilities

- Travelling and still eating healthily - and affordably

- Eating to fuel lots of exercise

MND on holiday!!

‘Team MND’ recently took a holiday - a week hiking in the French Alps. We rented a small and very basic apartment and went hiking every day,  which was great fun. I’ve not got time to write an extensive trip review, and I don’t suppose you want to read it anyway! So I’ll stick to the relevant and interesting stuff.

We hiked for 5 days, covering between 11 and 17 miles per day, and climbing an average of 4500 to 7000 feet per day. On average, we spent about 10 hours out on the hills each day, and our average daily mileage was 14 miles, and 6000 feet of ascent, 6000 feet of descent.

In our apartment, we had a rather small ‘kitchen’!!! IMG_5572

The kitchen area consisted of 2 heat rings, a sink and a draining board.

There was no light in the kitchen, just a dormer window in the roof - so we had light for cooking if it was light outside, but cooking in the dark (all evenings bar one!) meant cooking in the dark, so I had to wear Stuart’s headtorch just to see what I was cooking!

head torch cooking

Our entire kitchen included just one reasonably sharp knife, but no chopping board! I fail to understand how anyone can cook anything without a chopping board. I was cooking fresh meat and vegetables every evening, so had to do all my chopping on the stainless steel draining board! Suffice to say that the one reasonably sharp knife is now one reasonably blunt knife!

Meal time

Despite the lack of some kitchen essentials - light, knives, chopping board, oven, kettle, work surface and space! (there was a microwave, but there is no way I am using that - not MND at all!!) - we still produced some excellent MND-approved meals. While I chopped meat and onions on the draining board, Stu chopped up salad on out little dining table.

We managed - turkey stir-fry! IMG_5567

The next night we mustered up a chilli.


The next evening we created a steak dinner - yes, OK, admittedly these pretty much all look the same, but given that all we had was 1 frying pan, and no space on the rings to cook veggies, we figured salad was the best option! IMG_5899

Then we had a pork stir fry which again, kinda looks like all the others!


Energy expenditure

Stu and I are both averagely muscular, very active 6 foot men in our 40s. We both have a BMR - base metabolic rate - in the order of 2000 calories. Given that we had to get up, shower, cook, shop, move, etc., this means we both need about 2500 calories per day before exercise, and we were hiking for 10 hours per day, including climbing up some pretty sizeable mountain sides, ramping up our daily calorie burn by another 6000 per day each.

Eating this way completely sustained us both, we had loads of energy every day and felt great. Most days started with eggs for breakfast - I did eggs with greens some days, bacon and eggs on others, banana and egg scramble one day.

Lunch was boxed salad with chicken (we made it at home and took it with us each day), plus lots of mixed nuts, fresh fruit and some dried fruit.

I’m certain we were burning more calories than we were eating, but we both felt great and never went to bed hungry!


Now the interesting bit. We shopped once, on our first day, and carried it all back to our apartment in our rucksacks.

We bought all our food for approx. £120 pounds Sterling. Admittedly, we had to buy “supermarket” meat, which is not ideal, but we had no supply of free range eggs or pasture raised meat, so we exercised MND Core Principle 12, and did the best we could.

Broadly speaking, that breaks out thus:

  • £120 pounds - 4 days - 2 very active men
    • £60 per-man
    • £15 per-day per-man
      • £3 per breakfast
      • £3 per lunch
      • £9 per dinner

Now, think about that in perspective. How much does it cost to buy ‘breakfast’ in McDonalds? Or in Costa or Starbucks?

How much is lunch in Pret A Manger? How much is a Burger King lunch? Pizza Hut?

How about restaurant dinners? We ate out 2 nights, the night we arrived (we had no food) and the night we were too late to cook - each night cost us about 50 quid for a ‘meat and veg’ meal for two, with (obviously) no alcohol and no dessert. Where can you eat out for £9 pounds per head and go to bed full, and nourished after an 8000-to-9000 calorie day out on the mountains?

Eating the MND way is best for your body, best for your wallet, best for your health.

I appreciate this post is only ‘scraping the surface’ - these meals won’t suit every person in every occasion, but I’m simply trying to help you see that the MND way, eating fresh natural food - plants and animals - is achievable, with just a little effort, you can make it work, any time and any place. Travel does not need to be an excuse to gain weight and come home with the excuse “There were no healthy food options”

Stay healthy, stay happy, MotherNaturesDiet.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Paul Acorn #

    Start writing them books Karl - put many of the articles/posts together - a series of booklets published for busy travellers?

    December 12, 2021
    • I am working on it Palle, honestly i am mate, as fast as i can!!

      December 12, 2021

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