Jul 25, 2011 at 5:29 am #1277160
I'm new to the light weight meal planning philosophy… but I want IN! I've been living in the summer sausage, cheese and crackers world for the past 15 years. I know that there is a full article written on this topic by Mike C (which I will be checking out shortly) but I thought I'd put up my progress and see what kind of concrete feedback any might have.
I'm taking a crack at planning meals for 4 guys for our upcoming trip to Glacier National Park, and I have to say, I'm struggling.
I'm shooting for a target of 1.5lbs PPPPD at around 3000 cal.
Here's the spreadsheet of my first meal attempt: http://draggerseats.com/random_images/1 Day Menu.xls
As you can see I had to add a 2 oz shot of olive oil just to reach 2844 cal. Can any of those of you who are experienced at this give me some idea of where I'm going wrong?
Thanks in advance!
[runs off to buy Mike's article]Jul 25, 2011 at 6:09 am #1762764
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
That article was used as the foundation in my new book!
There is a lot of info in the book, I'm really proud of the food planning chapter.
I would focus on snacks and less on meals. If you can shave an ounce off a meal and add it to the snack column, do it!
Mike C!Jul 25, 2011 at 8:09 am #1762784
@ktimmLocale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
They provide almost 3200 calories per pound, mix in some Jerky and dried blue berries, perhaps get carbs from a mix in with your drink (powdered gatorade). I use walnuts and jerky as a staple of any short trip.Jul 25, 2011 at 8:27 am #1762795
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
A variety of nuts might be better than just walnuts, which might get monotonous. I take a mixture of roasted almonds, walnuts, peanuts, filberts, peanuts, cashews. All contain healthy (monounsaturated) fat, protein, lots of different vitamins and minerals. Just make sure they haven't been roasted in saturated fat (such as coconut oil). They and dried fruit (freeze-dried for longer trips to save weight) are the basis of my snacks/lunch during the day. I also add a couple tablespoons of sliced almonds or chopped walnuts in my breakfast cereal.
Seeds are also good, but get them (and pistachio nuts) with the shells removed. The shells add unneeded weight and contribute to litter. A certain wilderness ranger well-known to most Northwesterners is infamous for writing tickets for a single sunflower seed shell left on the trail!Jul 25, 2011 at 8:40 am #1762800
Yes and seeds get the short end too often. For example I love hulled hemp seeds. Nutty, warm tasting and really good for you – high in Omega-3's.
When it comes to food don't over think it though – it has to taste good (well at least for the majority of people out there). Just because it is high in calories doesn't mean it will taste good ;-)
And I gotta say…so many nuts/seeds taste better than walnuts. Walnuts are on the bitter side, even when raw. And I eat a LOT of raw nuts!Jul 25, 2011 at 8:44 am #1762801
If I can give any insight….you have a lot of cheese and meat for that lunch. That meal at altitude could get very hard to digest, YMMV.
Don't underestimate dried fruit, kettle potato chips and cookies to add – think easier to digest. And drink mixes for lunch time to help you stay hydrated.
On the breakfast? Diced nuts, powdered milk, etc added to the oatmeal to bulk it up. Even butter powder will add more flavor and calories.Jul 25, 2011 at 9:11 am #1762810
@ktimmLocale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
I love the taste of Walnuts, so to each their own. In fact I'm eating some now.
But, yes other nuts are good as well. The Almond butters and the like work well as well, but leave you with a bit messy garbage. If you want something like Oatmeal, add in Almond butter to it to get more calories.Jul 25, 2011 at 9:57 am #1762825
all nuts are good
Macadamia nuts have the highest calorie per gram ratio at 7.50 cal/gram
Walnuts are 6.16 cal/gramJul 25, 2011 at 9:57 am #1762826
On the nut butters….peanut flour works well added to oatmeal I might add. And no mess either…..so does almond flour.Jul 25, 2011 at 10:38 am #1762834
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
I like Mike C!'s PPPD system a lot, as it really simplifies the careful calorie-counting I was doing before.
3000 cal. in 1.5# isn't too hard, in my experience. That's 125 cal/oz average-less than the calorie density of ramen cup noodles or Snickers bars (not that you'd want to just eat those). I like jerky, summer sausage, dried fruit and gummi bears, but these are lower calorie density (80-100 cal/oz) so I balance that with some higher density foods like potato or corn chips (150 cal/oz), asiago cheese (130 cal/oz), nut and seeds (peanuts, cashews, pecans, hulled sunflower and pumpkin seeds), etc. Dark chocolate is great (about 180 cal/oz for 85% cocoa varieties), if you have a taste for it. I'm not a fan of most Clif bars–calorie density is relatively low, and the not-so-sweet flavors I prefer off the trail taste like cardboard after a day or two of hard hiking. For me, Larabars work better (esp. Cherry Pie).
For meals, I usually think of dry carbs (100 cal/oz) as the base, and then add higher calorie density ingredients to get to ~125 cal/oz. A breakfast example would be: to regular rolled oats, I add plenty of pecans and toasted coconut, plus sugar to taste and a pinch of salt (I'm sure butter powder would be great too, and I need to look for that). Then boiling water and cozy for a few minutes–much better than packaged instant.Jul 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm #1762866
On butter powder – you can buy it in small amounts from Packitgourmet or buy it from the source:
Frontier is who supplies most bulk bins at natural grocery stores. They carry a lot – sundried tomatoes, carrots, yogurt powder, etc. Very high quality.Jul 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm #1762936
"A breakfast example would be: to regular rolled oats, I add plenty of pecans and toasted coconut, plus sugar to taste and a pinch of salt"
If you use plain, unsweetened coconut, you will add ~190 calories/ounce to your granola/oatmeal. The sweetened stuff has a considerably lower calorie count due to the lower calorie content of sugar.Jul 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm #1762966
Sweetened has about 140 calories/10 grams fat per ounce. Still isn't bad calorie wise. While unsweetened natural coconut is higher in calories it can also taste like sawdust to those not used to its ummmm….natural texture. The commercial sweetened stuff is plumped up with propylene glycol to keep it moist, even during extended use.Jul 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm #1762985
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Some people go overboard trying to raise the calorie per ounce number or the calorie per cubic inch number higher and higher. Sometimes they end up with food that they don't like or can't eat for a long time, so some of what they carry is wasted.
Instead, I concentrate on taking the food items that I know that I can utilize fully. That means foods that are my favorites. Zero goes to waste.
–B.G.–Jul 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm #1762996
"While unsweetened natural coconut is higher in calories it can also taste like sawdust to those not used to its ummmm….natural texture."
??? Not to me. Maybe look for high quality product sealed in a bag, as opposed to out of a bin where it can dry out?Jul 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm #1763001
"Some people go overboard trying to raise the calorie per ounce number or the calorie per cubic inch number higher and higher."
OP was asking for ways to increase his calories/oz. Where do you draw the line at what is overboard? Maybe that's a personal taste choice that should be left to OP rather than rejecting the approach by insinuation.
"Sometimes they end up with food that they don't like or can't eat for a long time, so some of what they carry is wasted."
That can and does happen. I am a prime example of having had that happen as I worked on refining the approach. But that is not to say it is not a valid approach that can provide palatble food that supplies adequate calories in a very compact package, weight and volume wise. After several years of trial and error I have gotten my food down to 20 oz/day at 135-138 calories/oz and am shooting for 19.25 this year. This is for trips in the 9-10 day range. You can also go to the other extreme and end up with food that tastes good but takes up a lot of space and is deficient in calories or not properly balanced between carbs, protein, and fat. I believe there is a middle ground that meets the calorie, nutrient balance, and palatability requirements efficiently. It is up to each individual to determine where they fall on that continuum and how they get there in terms of the foods they choose.Jul 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm #1763014
I eat natural coconut. And I'll be blunt….it tastes nowhere as good as a bag of good ol' highly sugared Prop. Gly coated blue bag coconut. It doesn't matter what brand either. I dream of cruddy for me coconut ;-) It is like wishing one could eat Velvetta instead of say natural cheddar cheese…lol!
Now if one were carrying fresh coconut…but that wouldn't very UL ;-)Jul 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm #1763058
@erikdtzLocale: Los Angeles
I've been using this for the last few months on all my 2-5 day trips.
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
2 T. water
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
4 cups of rolled oats (not steel cut or instant)
3/4 cup chopped almonds (any nuts will do)
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 chocolate chips
Mix wet ingredients (first 5) in one bowl. All the dry ingredients (not including raisins and chocolate chips) in a separate bowl. In large bowl combine wet with dry. Use large pan and cover with oil or parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 mins depending on how brown you want it. Stir every 10 mins. Take out and let it cool, then add raisins and chocolate chips.
It makes about 4-1.5 cup servings. Each serving weighs app 7 ounces. If you add one ounce of dried milk the calories are just over 1200 for the whole deal. And it's delicious!
Hope this helps some.Jul 26, 2011 at 6:39 am #1763092
Thanks Mike and all for your suggestions thus far. Today is a work day for me so I plan on sitting down with these suggestions (and Mike's article) in the next coming days to see what I can do. I'll let you know how things proceed.Jul 26, 2011 at 9:11 am #1763141
This sounds fantastic! Quick question: when you say "the calories are just over 1200 for the whole deal", does "the whole deal" refer to the entire batch + milk, or does it refer to a single 1.5 cup serving + milk?Jul 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm #1763256
@erikdtzLocale: Los Angeles
I meant that it was 1200 calories per 1.5 cup serving with milk.Jul 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm #1763418
"I eat natural coconut. And I'll be blunt….it tastes nowhere as good as a bag of good ol' highly sugared Prop. Gly coated blue bag coconut. It doesn't matter what brand either."
Blechhhh! That oversweetened stuff turns my stomach. I'll take the natural variety anytime and the extra 50 or so calories/oz bonus. :)Jul 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm #1763422
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Just so y'know, the recipe and food chapters in my book turned out really well.
Below is a very simple spreadsheet (from the book) for a 10 day solo-trip.Jul 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm #1763428
Totally true Tom…..different tastes! :-D About the only time I buy the sweetened stuff is for birthday cakes. Otherwise it is the natural stuff. OTOH there is nothing like organic raw coconut butter. OMG, that stuff is freaky good! (It is considerably different than coconut oil)Jul 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm #1763437
Alright, soft-sell Mike, I'll go buy the book. lol!
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