Eat Healthy and Stay Strong on the Trail
Planning meals often is left at the bottom of the checklist when we gear up to hit the trail. Probably because most of us have that habit of just grabbing a sandwich or two, adding some chocolate and ensuring the water bottle is full. That is OK. But if we want to make the most of our trip into the wild and enjoy true benefits for our health, then we need to invest some time in preparing the right type of food for backpacking. Below are our suggestions on how to eat healthy and stay strong on the trail. Check them out!
Kick off the day
You may want to consider replacing the good old pastry breakfast with an alternative that will boost your energy. An option is the well-known cereal breakfast that stocks your body with fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. Mix your favorite dried fruits and nuts with oats, granola, some coconut chips and natural cacao powder and pack it all in a freezing bag (those that are used to store fruits and veggies in the freezer). This way it takes a tiny space in your backpack. It is easy to prepare - just mix with some hot water and enjoy. You can always take some small packets of honey with you, such as the honey sticks for tea and use them to add flavor and taste. Another option is to hard boil few eggs and enjoy them with a piece of hard white cheese and cucumber. At 6 grams of protein per egg, you're doing yourself a big favor. If you are going for a one-day hiking trip, save 10 minutes of your time in the morning to prepare a smoothie. You only need some fresh fruits or veggies. Add some seeds (chia, linseed etc.), whole grains or nuts and flavor by your choice. In only few minutes you get a nutritional bomb that will make you feel great on the trail.
Lunch & Dinner
We are big fans of sandwiches. However, relying only on that kind of food while hiking is not a good option. We always pack a sandwich when we go out there. There are many options to enjoy it - with wholegrain bread, with grilled veggies, humus, with meat - whatever makes your stomach feel happy. But it is recommendable that you don't eat only sandwiches during your hiking trip. Why? Because your body needs much more nutrients. The best way to provide them is to have variety of meals during the day. Vegetables are crucial, but many people don't consider them suitable to take on a hiking trip. It is quite easy to pack a cucumber and few carrots in your backpack. They stay fresh for extended period and don't take too much space. Another way to add some options in your menu while in the mountains is to get canned food such as fish, beans, lentils. This is high fiber and protein food that boosts energy, stabilizes blood sugar and stocks you with essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and iron. Whenever you have the possibility, enjoy the food offered by the mountain huts. It usually is delicious and in many cases is prepared with mountain spices.
Snacks are probably the easiest part in the hiker's menu. There is a wide variety of healthy options. Let's start with coconut. You can have it dried, in the form of chips or raw - just cut it into bites and enjoy the juicy flavor. Raw bars are also a good treat during hiking. You can prepare your own or buy such from any supermarket. Nuts - raw or baked, whatever you prefer. Mix your favorite with some cacao nibs to add a chocolate aftertaste. Hard fruits like apples can be considered a must. Interesting idea is to have some rice cakes with you. You can enjoy them plain, but you can also spread some mixture of tahini and honey or peanut butter and jam and prepare a sweet sandwich for an afternoon treat. The list is endless. You just need to use your imagination and may be do some quick research and hundreds of ideas will start popping up.
Ready for the trail? Adventures are out there - enjoy them and stay healthy and strong!