What to Pack When You’re About to Get Deserted on an Island
I want to take you through a scenario of the top 10 foods I would choose if I were ever stranded on a desert island. It’s a long shot that would ever happen, I know, but let’s just pretend for a moment. I get asked quite frequently what the “best” foods are and there simply is no easy answer to that. There are so many amazing foods to choose from! When considering what to put on my list I would need to not only survive on these foods, but actually flourish for many years on end. I would want to make sure that I covered all of my nutritional needs of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and phyto-nutrients. It’s also important to make sure I’m able to eat foods that are delicious tasting. Here’s the list:
When I was growing up my dad’s big hobby was deep sea fishing. He would be gone weekend after weekend salmon fishing. He would come home after a day out by the Farralon Islands with fresh Salmon. We had salmon for dinner night after night and I grew to despise the stuff. Salmon Teriyaki, baked Salmon, Salmon salad, smoked Salmon…For years I shied away from salmon and thought I would never actually crave the stuff. That has since changed and I love salmon now, especially when I tried fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon. All types of Salmon are good sources of those coveted Omega 3’s (These fatty acids can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as reduce tissue inflammation and may even help with depression), protein, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, niacin, riboflavin, calcium and selenium, which is a trace mineral that helps detoxify mercury. Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, found naturally in very few foods. Wild sockeye salmon has very low negligible levels of mercury. It is best to choose only wild Salmon.
I love blackberry picking with my family during the calm end of summer days in Marin County. We always have the best intentions to bring the buckets of berries we pick each year home to make yummy grainless berry cobblers/crisps and jams to prolong our blackberry feast into the future…But without fail we all walk away with our tummies full of blackberries and we’re lucky if we get enough to make one small “paleo crumble” by the time we get home. Blackberries are a great source of anti-oxidants, a good source of soluble fiber and vitamin C. Same goes for all other berries.
Poached, fried, baked, scrambled, hard-boiled. I love eggs just about any way they’re served. Eggs also provide notable amounts of selenium, iodine, phosphorus, molybdenum, choline, lutein, vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, E, D and K. Add to this 6 grams of protein per egg and essential fatty acids, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, versatile and nutritious food. If you are looking for an easy make-ahead source of protein for an on the go snack – boil up an egg.
Spinach provides calcium and magnesium in abundance and provides a great fiber source. It works well into many dishes, can be cooked up by itself in many ways, thrown into soups, or eaten raw. Spinach is high in iron and a rich source of Omega-3’s. It also has anti-inflammatory components. While frozen spinach is a solid choice, try to buy spinach fresh to get the highest nutritional benefit.
Great for cooking and making foods that taste good turn into foods that taste downright decadent. Grass-fed ghee makes my list as well because it serves as a catalyst to get the fat-soluble vitamins absorbed from other food sources. It’s additionally a fantastic source of conjugated linoleic acid, vitamin A, vitamin K2, and omega-3s.
One of the best carbohydrate sources, sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene and are great metabolism boosters! They are also a good fiber source.
Beef is a great source of quality animal fat (including a modest amount of omega-3s), protein, B-vitamins, and an excellent source of minerals. I have had a hankering for beef as long as I can remember and don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
I love the versatility of kale. It goes great blended into a morning smoothie, added to an egg scramble or frittata, chopped up raw as a base for a delicious salad, and also can be baked up with olive oil and seasonings as a great chip alternative. Kale has beta-carotene, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, C and K – in far larger quantities than you’ll find in most other vegetables. In fact, kale delivers 4 times more magnesium and calcium than Brussels sprouts; more Vitamin C than carrots or spinach and more folate than broccoli, according to McCance and Widdowson’s ‘The Composition of Foods’. Kale has nearly the largest single source of vitamin K of all veggies, with an astonishing 1,376% RDA of vitamin K per cup. Vitamin K is very important as it helps strengthen bones, reduces cardiovascular disease and stroke risk and drives down inflammation throughout the body. Kale has over 45 different antioxidants – great news for our bodies and bad news for certain cancers. With a nice dose of phytochemicals leutin and zeanathin in every cup, kale is also thought to offer protection against sight-stealers such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
OK, if I’m getting stuck on a tropical island you would think that I would want to import all the things that wouldn’t possibly be on the island. But I’m going to play it safe here and go with Coconuts. With that I would get the benefits of having coconut oil for cooking, which is high in medium chain triglycerides and all its other amazing properties. (I would also be able to keep up on moisturizing my skin.) I could harvest the water from the coconut which would give me a great enzyme and electrolyte source. I could also make coconut milk. One cup of coconut milk contains protein, good fats, fiber, vitamins B, C and E and is a rich source of potassium, selenium, calcium and iron. Consuming the milk of the coconut palm fruit will help maintain blood sugar levels, help build strong bones, prevent heart disease, ease any joint inflammation you might have and boost your immune system. I could also make coconut milk yogurt to take care of the need for fermented foods and the health promoting good bacteria that would provide. And also don’t forget about making coconut flour from the pulp.
This choice is for pure pleasure because I could absolutely thrive by eating the above mentioned foods exclusively.