Carbohydrates - replacing the glycogen reserves - 4cal/gram
Lets start with Couscous, it packs easy, is more nutritious then
pasta and prepares instantly making it a corner stone carbohydrate for
replacing glycogen reserves in the muscles. When on longer trips
where variety is important or with people who are gluten
intolerant/celiac steamed quinoa and millet also work but are more
expensive and not as readily available. Western couscous variety's
are pre steamed so you just need to add hot water and wait 5 min.
Casbah sells flavored variety's in 7 oz (200g) bags/box's with flavors
like, Lemon Spinach, Wild Forest Mushroom, Roasted Garlic and Olive
Oil or Nuts, Currants and Spice. These are organic, simple but
healthy meals that you can purchase for under 5 dollars and all that
is lacking when compared to freeze dried packaged dinners is a bunch
of ingredients that you cant pronounce plus the extra dollars. Its no
wonder Conrad Ankor said couscous, couscous, cousous and more couscous
when asked what he was eating for dinner on there 12 day assault of
the sharks fin on Meru Central's (6310m) massive east face wall. Put
simply it works.... Add organic freeze dried packages of mashed
potatoes for variety and difference in consistency.
Now your probably wondering... right just eat couscous with some
potatoes and you will be prancing up the mountain. Well to be honest
you have 1/3 of what you need and are missing complete proteins,
certain fats and vital minerals and vitamins. Like an orchestra you
need all your members in order to realize the magic.
Proteins - rebuilding and sustained energy 4cal/gram
All the food mentioned in this blog post will contain a certain amount
of protein but to ensure complete proteins and enough to aid in
recovery I like to fix up a special bag. Garden of life makes an
exceptional organic Raw sprouted protein that with its natural
enzymes makes its very easy to digest. Also added are sprouts, cereal
grass juices, fruits, spirulina, chlorella along with probiotics,
fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. This makes it a very special bag
that supports your nutrition in many ways while remaining extremely
light. To bulk it up a little I sometimes add hemp seeds which
are also high in complete proteins.
Fat is vital to our survival and is the highest calorie to weight food
component so its definitely a key part of the package. During a bout
of low intensity exercise of long duration fatty acid oxidation can
contribute 50per cent of the energy expenditure. The rest of the
energy must come from carbs and the higher the intensity the more
carbs are needed. Luckily a large part of mountaineering is low
intensity and high fat foods can be readily utilized.
My go to fat is nuts and I like to take a variety of organic nuts
to take advantage of each unique nutrient profile. Filling a ziplock
bag with brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, and
filberts you have a quick and easy fat source. Because most nuts
are high in omega 6 fatty acids (inflammatory) I like to balance it
out with chia seeds which are in turn very high in omega 3 ( anti
inflammatory). Chia seeds are normally added to my " special bag".
Another fat that I take along is coconut oil to add to my soups and
dinners improving the taste and aroma while adding a few extra
I love making hot soup and taking a pack of 6 organic veggie bouillon
cubs it supplies you with a tone of minerals. Add some spinach
couscous and coconut oil improving texture and more flavor. I also
like to take rock salt to add to food and water for improved hydration
Testing many brands I find it very important to find a multi vitamin
that is raw with enzymes to allow maximum absorption. GOL seems to
put the most emphasis on maximum absorption and has a couple products
that meet up to the test, Living Multi along with the perfect food
greens formula. I also like to take Wobenzum to help ensure joint
health especially for those long descents with big packs.
Additional well balanced foods 60-70% carb, 15-20% fat, 15-20%
For breakfast I turn to Oatmeal and to avoid starting the stove up in
the morning I prepare it the night before and let it soak over night
in a sealed container inside the bivi. Containing 70% carbs 15% fat
15% protein it is well balanced but I like to add some special bag mix
to it and let it all soak together for improved taste and nutrition.
Raisins and nuts are also a great addition.
Lunch time doesn't really exist while on the mountain as it's
important to fuel the body consistently through out the day. I fill
my chest pockets with GOL living food bars I like to eat about 1/2
a bar per hour. Sweetened with honey they contain powerful
antioxidants with antiseptic and antibacterial properties and along
with many other organic wholesome ingredients (including Fiber)
they make for a perfect go to bar that sits well in the stomach and
keeps you regular. When the opportunity arises to put the pack down I
will eat some nuts and even whip up a quick batch of soup if there is
enough time. I always keep a couple emergency gels in my waist pocket
on my pack.
Finally for further hydration and immunity boost I like to brew up
some echinacea tea with rock salt.