The following content is comprised of personal opinions, and in no way reflects the opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Food List: Light and Fast (delicious, too!)

Traditionally, you think of backpackers with these gaudy freeze-dried meals of things like lasagna and beef stew. However, these meal are not only expensive, but heavy and inefficient. The taste is all right, but still more on the side of cardboard...

A method that I adopted from one Andrew Skurka is much more efficient. Referred to as the 'calorie drip' method, it is designed to keep food in your stomach and give you calories throughout the day, instead of just all at once. While food is something personal that all backpackers need to determine for themselves, I feel that this system would work very very well for just about anyone!

From the chart above, you can see the full breakdown. Here's a brief explanation:

I start out in the morning with hot cocoa, two oatmeal packets, and a Snickers bar. The hot cocoa is main just because hot liquids after a cold night feel amazing. The Snickers give me a real quick shot of sugar and fat, just long enough to keep me energized until the more complex energy stored in the oatmeal can kick in.

About every two hours, I take a 5-minute break and have a snack. Every meal, save breakfast, is designed to be eaten on the move, minimizing the time I am forced to stop. First comes an Attain bar fro Melaleuca, which gives me an all-around nutritional input. At the same time is a serving of GORP(peanuts, M&M's, and raisins), which gives me an extra boost of energy for the day. Twice a day I have 3 ounces of Pringles, which equates to a can a day. Some of you may be going "wait, Pringles? Why on Earth?" Pringles have an extremely high calorie-to-ounce ratio, making them extremely efficient. In addition, the contain a good amount of both sodium and fat.

You may notice that I have no dinner. I find dinner time is a pretty poor time to be eating food. When you eat large amounts of food juts before you fall asleep, you body cannot fully metabolize the nutrition. While eating before bed may help keep you warmer, it also produces a great deal more body fat, effectively wasting those nutrients.

While I will be consuming nearly 4,000 calories a day, this food will not be enough to maintain by body weight. In fact, I anticipate that I will lose somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds in these 14 days. However, I've analyzed every piece of this list, and am confident that this layout is exactly what I need to get me across Scotland.

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