Monday, October 6, 2014

Paleo-powered AT section hike

From the freezing peak of Big Bald.
I headed out for the weekend to Sam's Gap along the Appalachian Trail down to Nohlichucky River.  This is a beautiful section of the AT following the border or TN and NC with 360 degree views from Big Bald (even of Mt Mitchell in the distance which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi) along with a moderate to strenuous trail that bumps along ridges and ends near the quaint town of Erwin, TN.  I only wish I could've stayed on top of Big Bald for a while longer but the weather (even though it looks inviting in the picture) was absolutely brutal.  Our hike in Friday night included driving winds and cold rain.  By the time we got to Big Bald the next morning the grass was blown over with a thick layer of ice and 40mph winds on top.  My hands were numb so it took numerous tries to get the phone to even recognize my fingers.  I snagged a couple shots and moved on.  Later we spoke with some thru-hikers mentioning that this was the coldest day they had experienced since beginning.

Soooo...what did I eat on my trip?

Saturday Breakfast

I didn't really change up my formula for breakfast.  I am content with pickled eggs and bacon.  I tried a different formula with my coconutter squares that included cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and some almonds.  It didn't turn out quite like I expected so I am going to tweak it a bit before publishing the full recipe.  I wanted a chocolate taste as a breakfast "dessert" but between it being hard as a rock from the weather and the cocoa taking over, it was more bitter than I was expecting.  I didn't have time to make another batch before leaving so I just went with it and kind of just chewed and swallowed.

Saturday Lunch

I was kind of proud of my lunch.  I'll call it faux-carribean as that was the flavor I was shooting for.  I made a batch of turkey jerky that utilized salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a local hot sauce.  I managed to screw this up as well since I over-dryed my turkey and it was less of a jerky and more of a crunchy.  So be it.  I then dehydrated a pineapple and tossed in some coconut flakes.  So I had a tangy hot, fruity, coconut mix.  The flavor profile worked wonderfully.  The texture was the only issue.  I have to say that dehydrated pineapple is pretty darn close to candy, so much so that it could be dangerous.  I also ate some more of my choco-coconutter mishap and some more bacon.

Oh and yes if someone wants the recipe/instructions for this I will certainly put it together sans the over-drying part.  Just let me know in the comments section.

Saturday Dinner

I was looking forward to FINALLY eating my Beef Stew from PaleoMealsToGo. I read through the instructions and fired up the JetBoil to heat some water.  The JetBoil dutifully complied with my request for quick boiling water while I opened the package and hunted down the moisture pack hidden within my meal and then shook the ingredients as described by the instruction.  I tossed in the water and let it sit while I made another batch of hot water for some tea.  While my friend was making his own meal he turned and said "That smells wonderful!".  I had to agree.  I was ready to chow down on this thing and once I got everything stirred up it definitely beat the look of what I normally prep for myself.  There are visible chunks of beef, mushrooms, and veggies.  Other freeze dried meals I have eaten in the past are usually just little nubs of colored things that sort of resemble food.  This looked like it came right from the stove top.  So presentation itself is a plus.  I dumped in my packets of Celtic Sea Salt that it came with and I should've mixed that better as I think I ate all the salt in a few bites.  I am a salt fiend, and after having sweated out most of my salt reserves, I wanted more than what was allotted (a minor complaint).  I have to say though this was definitely a very tasty meal.  I could taste all of the ingredients distinctly.  The proportion given was also solid.  I didn't think I was going to be able to eat it all myself but I gobbled it all down and enjoyed every bite.  I was only disappointed when I got to the bottom.  I do think I will definitely try more of these in the future and if you're not into DIY for meals then definitely consider these.  I am considering grabbing some to keep on hand for an emergency supply as well during winter blackouts or if I need to make a quick out of town trip without time to prep meals.  I think the only thing I would want is more fat added (which I know is difficult for meals like this) but I am more low-carb/high fat and the carb count is nearly equal to the fat content.  I'm ready to try their other meals along with their Paleo Bars.  This company definitely gets it right!

Sunday Breakfast

It was mop up time.  I plowed through my eggs, bacon crumbs, and whatever else I had to shuck some weight on the pack.

I'm only about 130 lbs but when moving through the mountains I blast through calories and always need fuel.  I can become a bottomless pit so it is sometimes difficult to gauge what I need, hence the need for higher fat meals.  I still need to conjure up better high fat meals or ingenious ways to add it to my current meals.  I'm all ears for any suggestions.