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food plan - thoughts?
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Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
food plan - thoughts? on 03/27/2013 14:33:07 MDT Print View

I've been tweaking my food plan for trips in the 7-10 day range. I am generally happy eating pretty much the same thing each day for that much time. I am a thin, athletic male (5'8", 140lbs) and tend to hike all day. My skin-out (summer) base with bear can is in the 14 lb range. We did 25mpd on the JMT last year w/ 1 resupply and that was very comfortable. I don't think my digestion is very efficient, so I've tried to work in more easily digestible foods, though I acknowledge I still have quite a few nuts. I am lactose intolerant, unfortunately. I tend to eat more calories than most, but that seems to be what I need. Appreciate feedback on the meal plan. Should I reduce weight by eating a higher % fat? I'm coming in at 4100cal/day, 1000g. Another Q is: Does anyone carry flax seed oil, and does it survive OK for a week+ w/o refrigeration?

Here's the detailed plan:

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: food plan - thoughts? on 03/27/2013 14:35:28 MDT Print View

Carry coconut does fine even in heat.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: coconut oil on 03/27/2013 15:11:02 MDT Print View

I've thought about that. Coconut oil is solid at "room" temp, liquid at Sierras summer daytime temp. How would you use it? In place of olive oil in the dinner? I only cook at dinner time. Thx.

Anna T

Locale: Victoria, Australia
Coconut oil on 03/27/2013 15:54:13 MDT Print View

I definitely second coconut oil. It goes with me on every trip, without fail!

It is a soft solid at room temperature. It deals well with melting and returning to solid. It handles high temperatures well.

You can use it in a multitude of ways - basically any way you use olive oil (plus a few more). I add it to food (stir through hot oats for creaminess, add to nighttime meal, dip jerky in it, dip bread in it, etc), but I also love eating it straight! I sometimes even make a trail version of 'Bulletproof Coffee' (google for recipe) by adding it to coffee.

In addition, it can be used as a face and body moisturiser, hair conditioner, a deoderant (in conjunction with baking soda)... and there are a bunch of other applications besides. A number of websites list the more obscure ones!

(No, I don't sell it, but I can see why you think I might haha. Just love the stuff! Last tip: organic cold-pressed is the way to go to get it in its healthiest form.)

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: food plan - thoughts? on 03/27/2013 18:44:08 MDT Print View

Realistically, I don't think you're going to do much better than that unless you can push the fat up a bit more without affecting your digestion. My rec is to do some tests to see what fat sources work best for *you*. (For me, it's cashews, which I seem to digest better on the trail than almonds or peanuts, and whole milk, accompanied with a lactase tablet. Yours may be different.) Once you know that, you can see how far you can push the fat. By my thumbnail calculation, you're only at ~ 30% calories from fat. For some, that's high enough. Others can go to 40% of 45% without problems.


Bill S.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
A counterpoint on 03/27/2013 19:06:56 MDT Print View

When I did the JMT years ago I was in the "max calories per ounce mode". It was a joke compared to the my current approach. For a trip like the JMT I believe you are much better off decreasing the fat and increasing the carbs. What? This goes against all the gram weenie theories. I had a Sierra snowshoe trip that changed my thinking. My food plan was severely limiting my performance. It was suggested by a couple of posters here that I look at a higher carb food plan. I started testing a lot of different plans all on high mile, 30+ days. What I found is that my peak performance comes when I feed my body 250-300 calories of carbs per hour continuously throughout the day. I have evolved this into hourly feedings and have become very disciplined in this approach. It has been tested on 50+ mile days and on a thru hike that averaged 32mpd on full hiking days. What are the best carbs? I found it doesn't matter. I have trialled everything from chocolate covered donuts, maltodextrin mix, Pringles, Stehekin Cinnamon Rolls, Koolaid and every know candy and junk food known to man. What I have found is that it doesn't matter as long as the calories are metered in.

Lately I have taken this further and purposely use body fat as a fuel source on short duration, multi day hikes. I will still fuel at 300 calories per hour, mostly carbs but I only eat about 500 calories of carbs plus some protein at days end to get me ready for the next day. This strategy has worked wonders allow me to both maintain energy even beyond 40 mile back to back days with 10k+ elevation gain each day. (I believe the true test of a system is day 2 not day 1) I also found that I lose about a lb a day on these hikes. Obviously this isn't sustainable for a thru hike and possibly not even a JMT length hike, I don't have enough body fat to spare for that duration. So in these cases, total caloric intake increases by the addition of fat at lunch time and the consumption of about 1500 calories additional for dinner, heavy in fat that can be digested overnight.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: A counterpoint on 03/27/2013 19:59:43 MDT Print View

What kinds of candy have you tested? Chocolate works?

Bill S.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Chocolate on 03/27/2013 20:10:53 MDT Print View

Since I work for a chocolate company I eat massive quantities of chocolate in all forms. Current favorites are Mounds, Hershey Special Dark and Reese's. I had serious cravings for coconut on my thru hike, mounds and almond joy were the answer. Generally I do about 2000 calories a day in Malto mix. That's my fuel of choice.