I love Primal Pacs. These shelf stable packs are vacuum sealed containers of jerky, nuts, and fruit that make for a very good snack, or even a good meal on the run. I have had some of these in my pantry for some time, and had taken one to work a few weeks back. I happened to have a crazy day that day and saw this thing sitting on my desk. I looked at the back of the package to the macronutrient numbers and thought, “This could actually make for a good meal since I can’t leave my desk.” So, guess what I had for lunch that day? And ended up being quite satisfied. So, I took another one to have in case I needed it down the line and had it a few days later.
When you can’t take a sandwich, this may be one of the easiest things to have on hand to eat without much trouble. The problem is the price, and it’s not to say that the price is outlandish, because it’s not, but for a regular person who just wants to try and stay close to the paleo line, it is a bit more than I want to spend on a meal. At around $7 each, it isn’t crazy, and I used to spend more than that at Taco Bell without blinking, but when you are at your desk, you want something quick, and cheap.
So, I started looking into the best way to recreate this since all that it contains is jerky, dried nuts, dried berries, and some mango. I thought, “I can make some of these, and make them fit me a bit more.”
Below is the result.
My wife had bought this Reynold’s Handi-Vac system sometime ago for like $3 at a yard sale and we didn’t really have a specific use for it. It came with 3 bags, so I put it to use. I used the bags, some dried mango and blueberries from costco, some Macadamia Nuts, and some unsweetened coconut to create my bag. Now, you may have noticed I didn’t say anything about the jerky. The first time I did this, I actually used some pork strips from Costco as well, and had great results, but this time I used the actual Primal Pac jerky with the same result, just different ratios. Since not all of us can afford to buy jerky from a steer that was raised on arugula in the Andes mountains on a regular basis, I am going to show you the ratios I used for creating my bags with the Costco jerky instead. And the Costco Beef Strips are really good too, a better fat/carb/protein ratio for sure as the pork has more sugar and less of the good stuff. But both are gluten free.
Here is my DIY primal pack. I used the Handi-Vac to suck the air out and they keep in my desk for weeks without me even thinking about them, and then I’ll have a week where I can’t get away from my desk, and will devour these things in no time.
So, here are the things I was looking at when I ate the real Primal Pac that first day.
Not a bad for a total of close to 500 calories. There are no veggies in it for obvious reasons, but other than that, it is a good, solid meal.
So, here is how my pack came out.
While not as good as the real deal because of the added sugar in the jerky and dried fruit, it is still not too bad, and comes out to over 600 calories with all of those carbs.
And, here is the coolest part, when I do the packs myself, the first time would include the price of the bags and the sealer, but after that, if you take those out of the equation, since I plan to use them over and over again, the cost of all of the food is only $4.38 per bag. I end up saving a couple of bucks each time I do this. Not a bad deal, and it is so super convenient for me.
I know it is just a couple of bucks, but over time, it can add up, and you have to cut costs and make decisions based on your own personal stances on things. I won’t do gluten, so that’s easy. I am okay with a little bit of added sugar here or there, especially in such small amounts, and I need to save money where I can while not completely defeating my goals, so this is one way I can handle this without much work. If I had a super high paying job, I would love to just get the Primal Pacs every few weeks and have them on hand whenever I needed them, but this is reality, and reality means you make cuts where you can in order to keep moving forward. I’m sure I’m not the only one, so Paleo Police, sorry.