I am currently on a weekend drill in the field, and I saw in advance what our meal plan was going to be and it includes nothing beyond eggs, fruit, and some meat that I’m willing to eat which means I needed to pack for myself. I brought my own food with me to my two-week annual training last year, and it actually worked out quite well. I was never hungry and my nutrition levels were good. I never felt worn-out or malnourished, and every meal was actually decent.
For this current drill (as I did on my last annual training), I am relying on Epic bars, RXBars, and some almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. There are a few other bars I have purchased that I will test, and if they work out, I will post their information as well.
These foods take up little space and don’t weigh too much, so carrying it with me in my assault pack isn’t difficult. Since it’s just a five-day event, I’m easily able to carry all the food I’ll need. It’s funny to me; MRE’s are big and supposed to feed a person for an entire day, yet if I were told I had to carry five MRE’s with me, it’d take up a lot of room. The food I have with me takes a fraction of the space, is a fraction of the weight, and is completely healthy for me whereas MRE’s are full of carbs, grains, dairy, chemicals, and preservatives. The one area the MRE’s have me beat is cost: I’m certain that one MRE costs less than a day’s worth of Epic bars, RXBars, and nuts. It’s got to be cheaper, because if it’s not, then there’s no excuse for the military feeding us with such poor nutrition.
Considering the state of nutrition science in the US and how the military lags behind when it comes to adopting new foods for its troops, I expect to continue to have to bring my own foods to drills for the remaining 9 years of my National Guard service. Which is fine, because I can. It will only become a problem if I get deployed and the foods become unavailable, at which time I will have to go to Plan B. What that plan is, I don’t know, but I’ll develop it in a hurry. Kind of like Archer. Something, something, healthy.