Taking healthy eating into the backcountry
After 20 years with the same pack, I finally treated myself to the latest and greatest in backpacking technology. It has been a total game changer! My comfort and the way I move through the backcountry has reached new levels.
This addition to my quiver has gotten me out quite a bit more. And with this upgrade in equipment, I decided it was time to uplevel and streamline my backcountry meals.
Freeze dried camping meals are not my choice for a multitude of reasons.
I knew I would want to stay low carb, and yet include a little more carb than I usually take in to sustain long days on the trail.
Superfoods and adaptogens were a must for this backcountry meal plan.
Keep in mind, I have no problem adapting to eating the same thing for 4/5 days at a time or longer if I had to, so this is how I was able to simplify, but still have really delicious, satiating and nutrient dense meals.
For this most recent adventure into the Wind River backcountry in Wyoming, the following is the meal plan I created. I will likely stick with this as my go to for the time being because it was so easy to put together ( less than 30 minutes of prep time) and it gave me everything I needed nutritionally. And it was so yummy!
This is a dry mix of ground pumpkin seeds, ground oats, cacao powder, chia seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cayenne and pink himalayan salt.
I mixed in about a cup of coconut oil and put it in the fridge. Because it was cooler weather in the Winds, there was no problem with it getting too mushy in its plastic bag.
In the mornings I would heat it with some water and then add a honey stick.
Cacao (minerals, superfood energy, happy maker neurotransmitter stimulation), ground pumpkin seeds, ground oats, chia seeds (endurance, antioxidants, protein, more Omega-3s!) turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, himalaya pink salt (electrolytes) and coconut oil (fat & MCTs--medium chain triglycerides for easily accessible energy that is not sourced from carbs).
Pumpkin seeds and dates.
Pumpkin seeds (550mg/100g magnesium, omega-3s)
Dates (15 minerals, 23 amino acids)
I don't have a pic for this, but I just took in an organic salami stick made from humanely raised wild boar and a block of raw milk aged organic cheddar.
This gave me a good boost of protein and fat that kept me going until dinner.
Machaca (best meat choice for weight..I am blessed to get local beef machaca in Baja and I stock up), red lentils, rice, wildcrafted nettles (phytonutrients for days!), turmeric (anti-inflammatory) oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, wildcrafted epazote (digestive, anti-parasitic) .
I choose to put in nettles knowing that I wouldn't get much in the form of veggies for many days, so this gave me a potent dose of green power.
I did however, find wild dandelion greens and cook those into my meal on a couple nights.
This was ready to go. I just added water and butter and cooked for about 20 minutes.
Nettles ( more green power), holy basil ( adaptogen) and jamaica/hibiscus for it's powerful punch of vitamin C.
I also took a small bottle of Rise Elixir on the trail and one of my other hacks for mitigating muscle soreness is apple cider vinegar. It aids in dispelling lactic acid.
So I filled one of my water bottles about a 1/3 of the way full of ACV and the rest with water and then had that to sip on throughout the trip.
Not one sore/aching muscle and a great source of B vitamins.
I am no purist, so in all transparency, my adventure buddy and I sipped whiskey and nibbled dark chocolate for dessert and it was divine!
Getting into nature is one of the most healing and nourishing things we can do for ourselves and doing it with a host of supportive, nutritious and delicious food makes it even better.