It’s getting down to the wire and I have about a million and one things to do before Tuesday. The most important thing on the list is to pack all my food for the mail drops. When I hiked the entire trail a few years ago, I simply stopped along the way and bought whatever I could find. It was usually full of sugar and starch, just anything to fill that empty spot in the pit of my stomach. In Monson, I actually ate an entire box of Klondike bars in about 30 minutes. At that point the ½ gallon challenge (mid trail challenge at Pine Furnace State Park) would have been the appetizer before an AYCE buffet.
Now I try to eat a little healthier and consume less refined sugars. So my diet on this trip will loosely follow the Paleo plan. It will be high in protein that will help rebuild the muscle tissue I work each day as well as healthy fats. Oh, you want to know what’s a healthy fat? My preference is coconut oil . Most all of the food in the picture was prepared in at least some coconut oil. It’s a great anti-inflammatory. In the fore ground of the picture there are packages of “brownies”. They are actually packets of chocolate coconut butter. I found the recipe at Good Girl Gone Green. Refrigerated they are solid but on the trail I’ll be able to squeeze the contents out like a nut butter. My wife tried one and I had to make a batch to leave at home with her.
Okay my favorite fat is really bacon from pasture raised pork. I like the Vermont Smoke and Cure brand the best but any nitrate free bacon will do. Since uncured bacon is a little hard to carry in a backpack I’m carrying Vermont Smoke and Cure Real Sticks. They come in a variety of flavors in single serving sizes. I ran across them in a Whole Foods Super Market and decided to place an order directly with the company. I’ve packed two sticks a day for snacking.
One of the staple items in most backpacks is peanut butter. I love peanut butter but this trip I’m eating almond butter. I like it even more. I have a big selection including one that has hazelnuts and chocolate. The majority of what I’m packing is Justin’s. It contains cane sugar but a little sugar with all the walking I’m doing will be okay. I also have a couple other brands. From Nuttzo To-Go I ordered the Seven Nut and Seed Butter. I also have discovered Wild Friends Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter. Good stuff! The Justin’s and the Wild Friends came from Vitacost. Check out this link for a $10.00 discount on your first order of $30.00 or more.
Also from Vitacost I ordered a few Go Raw snacks. There are chips of several varieties but what I really like are the sprouted seeds. Believe it or not watermelon seeds are off the chart delicious. I had not thought about anything like this until a couple of weeks ago I met a young lady that ate just raw food. She had one exception and that was bacon. I tried a couple of her snacks I placed an order the next day. The seeds I repackaged in food saver vacuum packs. I have 2 ounce packet for every day on the trail.
From Steve’s Paleo I have jerky. Sure I could of made my own but the dehydrator was in the overtime mode for most of the last month. He also sets aside a portion of his profits to help kids at risk. I don’t mind spending a little to help a good cause. One of the items I got is Berky. Its jerky packed with berries. The jerky picks up a sweet taste from the added fruit. I also got some grass-fed beef jerky to be added to supper to give my dehydrated meals a little something extra to look forward to.
In addition to my dehydrated suppers and breakfast bars I have nuts and dried bananas. I roasted my own nuts in coconut oil and seasoned them with salt and cayenne pepper. The results were outstanding. I packaged them up with the Food Saver ith 4 ounces in each packet. Vacuum packed they should stay nice and fresh. Yep, Susan had to have a few of those left for her to snack on too. The bananas were sliced thin and salted, then dried and packaged. I have about an ounce a day packed.
There is about a pound and a half of food packed for each day. While by some standards that is not a lot, keep in mind that most hikers are depending on carbs. My main source of calories is fat. Fat grams contain more calories than carbs or protein. I’m also on the Appalachian Trail and town visits will pretty regular. And while I have controlled the sugar on the trail, there will be some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream here and there.