Fireline Meal ideas!!!
I am brand new to this site but not new to the paleo/crossfit lifestyle I live. I am hoping for help, guidence, and opionions from anyone and everyone willing to help!
My name is Dustin; I am a 27 year old firefighter for Cal Fire here in California and I am very motivated to address a health and nutrition issue that I see in our department.
I will try to get straight to the point. Cal Fire travels the state fighting campaign wildfires yearly and we are commonly put in the position to work 24 and sometimes 48 hours straight on the fireline with no sleep. We are given "fireline lunches" to pack in our gear and eat throughout our shifts. A common lunch consists of a bag of M&M's, two hoagie sandwiches (white bread), cheap trailmix usually with candy in it, box juice, an occasional piece of fruit, cookies, and whatever else random they can think to throw in. Fact is, they just have a "calorie number" they must reach, so they throw all this junk in. I know that these lunches they provide for us are not nutritionally sound and I constantly hear complaints from all the firefighters about them, and at least half the lunch gets thrown out. We get the quick sugar high, followed by a hard crash. I have now recently started packing paleo kits so that I don't need to eat all that garbage; but the reality is that when we are stuck out there burning that much fuel, I often don't get a choice.
I have met with my captains recently on this issue, and with their support, I am hoping to get the opportunity to create some sort of resolution to this and bring it to the attention at the next Cal Fire State Board meeting. This would be a big deal as Cal Fire is the largest fire dept. in the U.S. and at the end of the day, I am just another firefighter. But when I get this opportunity, I need some solid bullet points to address to them followed by some possible alternatives. I have even tossed around the idea of creating something similar to the paleo kits, putting a firefighter name to it, and providing them statewide to all firefighters! I am passionate about making this change for all of us in the line of work; this boils down to firefighter safety and while we are expected to have fuel to be out their, hours upon hours, they need to be feeding us as such.
If anyone has a quick moment to throw in your two cents, I would greatly appreciate it! I have a tentative meeting set up for next week with the Vice President of our department and he is willng to hear me out on this issue. If you can think of any good questions that I should ask him, please include that as well. Thankyou so much! I keep spreading the good word, and changing people's nutrional views; one person at a time!
First of all, as a resident of California, thank you SO much for what you do. We were having a blackout yesterday down here in the southland or I would have answered you.
Two products I can recommend highly are Lara Bars (pure fruit and nuts, no grains or added sugar) and Tanka Bites (bison mixed with cranberries also unsweetened with no chemicals etc.) I took a bunch of those with me when I climbed Kilimangaro recently and they are some of the best compact yet Primal energy sources around. I think it is very important that you firefighters are given nutrition that will stay with you not leave you with a sugar crash after eating.
Again, thank you.
Instead of the crappy trail mis you could make your own, make a huge batch and baggie it out into smaller portions!!!
My first thought is beef jerky. I know its obvious. I don't know of anything that provides me sustaining power in a portable package like beef jerkey and almonds or walnuts. I could easily live off those and do heavy work for a couple of days if need be. Oooh, another thought and I had to edit. Tuna or salmon pouches would be excellent as well. Throw in jalepenos to perk things up too.
Sounds like what you need is pemmican. Lots of it.
Was there any resolution to this, D_Virgil?