Healthy Food and Backpacking

Have some serious time off this summer and searching for ways to have fun with some intense exercise and good food? Try backpacking through some of the 800 hiking trails in Yosemite National Park. Established around 1890 as one of the first national parks of our nation, the park’s captured beauty and grandeur make it difficult to stay for just a couple of days. Granite peaks and lyrical streams provide the perfect background for the serious backpacker. Fee free weekends are happening July 18-19, as well as August 15-16 this summer. What a great time to take advantage of this scenic wonder!

Before going, preparation is essential. Amassing the right amount of food and also the right quality of food will mark backpacking a breeze. Keep in mind that practicing nutrition on the trail is just as easy as staying healthy at home. For novice backpackers, it is good to know that backpacking requires about 500 calories per hour and the high performance exercise will, without effort, use up most of the daily sodium requirement. Exerting over 2500 calories per day, it is necessary to eat plenty of protein to feed the muscles along with the right amount of carbohydrates and the right kind of fat. It is also crucial to keep the blood sugar balanced.

Also, hydration while hiking on the trails is vital, so it is important to plan how much filtered water will be necessary. Most dehydrated or freeze dried food will require water, so it is important to plan that amount into the total amount of water needed to be filtered for the entire trip.

Here are some different food items available for the healthy backpacker:  
Dried soups and dried hummus – provide plenty of fiber and good carbohydrates.
Vacuum packed tofu – does not require refrigeration and an excellent quality protein.
Justin Nut Butters- conveniently packaged in one serving packets. Nut butters are perfect to spread on pita bread, whole wheat lavash bread or whole wheat crackers.
Packets of wild salmon - Sea Bear alaskan wild salmon packets require no refrigeration. They are fully cooked and very moist and flaky. This is a terrific way to obtain those essential fatty acids.
Mary Janes Farm outpost pouches – organic pouches of oatmeal, pancakes and other main entrees fit nicely into any backpack. The pouches are 7″by 8 5/8″and made without any foil. They have expandable bottoms so food can actually stand on its own while cooking. Other brands carrying organic food are Mountain House and Backpackers Pantry. Backpacker’s Pantry will provide a portion of every sale toward organizations dedicated to preserving the planet for future generations.
Trail mix – there are plenty of good brands of trail mix available. A quality trail mix will provide plenty of protein, carbohydrates and quality fats. Trail mix will stabilize the blood sugar between meals and it is very satisfying.

Don’t forget filtered water. Sipping every hour on water will keep hydration flowing through the body. Coffee or caffeinated beverages are not thirst quenching and also work as a diuretic, so it might be a good idea to leave the java behind for a few days.

Yosemite National Park has much to offer and is the perfect summer get away. The best part about backpacking is to allow letting go, breathe the fresh mountain air and realizing the beauty of nature should never be under estimated.

Cheryl Murphy, Bauman Certified Nutrition Educator and Lifestyle coach, nutrition blogger and a Flight Attendant for the past 15 years focuses on holistic nutrition outlines for flight crew, frequent flyers and people under stress. Get in touch with Cheryl and fly healthy on Cheryl’s website, http://www.flyingwithhealthysolutions.com

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