Top Food Prep Struggles Being A Vegetarian.
Who knew that trying to plan my meals would be so exhausting. My kitchen literally looks like a grocery store threw up in it. I love feedback but at the same time that too can get really overwhelming and make you second guess decisions. But as of this morning I am pretty confident in my choices. I knew I was going to need a lot of calories per day (suggested: 4-5,000 calories daily) but when it came down to trying to pack those 7 days worth of calories into my meals as a vegetarian while keeping my pack under 30 lbs with all my gear/water, it was challenging. I don’t like cooking at home let alone cooking on the trail. I just really dislike cooking. I think that is what made this more challenging for me vs. someone else. I wanted to try and keep my meals as simple, healthy, and “cook free” as possible.
We did a lot of the southern end of the Appalachian Trail this summer. But we stopped in town A LOT and pigged out (anything to avoid cooking). That is going to be different this time around. I won’t be stopping in town nearly as much. My typical daily meal this past summer was pretty similar to this:
Blue Container is coconut oil: 1 tsp is 120 calories and provides saturated fats. About 50% is lauric acid and can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Straw Spice is Turmeric: I will be using this as an anti-inflammatory (concerned with my knees). Turmeric also will provide iron and manganese, vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. *Tip: These are awesome for carrying any spices, creamers or whatever. Just take a straw. Cut it in half. Then use a lighter to seal one end. Add your spice and seal the other end. Done.
Steel cut oatmeal: This contains protein, flax, carbs, sugars, omega 3’s, and fats.
Go Macro Bars: These will provide protein, healthy fats and carbs. I have a few different variations of these bars. Some have dried fruits in them. Some have chocolate and peanut butter. This way I get variety weekly and can switch it up. *Side note: Huge thank you to Go Macro for sponsoring me with these meals.
Dry roasted edamame: These pack 14g of protein per serving. As well as 8 amino acids, sodium, and carbs.
Cheddar broccoli pasta: I can get two dinners out of one package. They pack a lot of calories and are super filling.
Trail Mix: To start I have some store purchased ones that contain protein, fats and carbs. After these run out I have my homemade mixes.
Emergency C: Powder I can dump into my water daily for 1,000 mg vitamin c, b vitamins, electrolytes, carbs, folic acid, and lots more.
Peppermint tea: Delicious and is nice at the end of the day to warm your cold bones up in the winter. Peppermint is also great to settle the stomach.
Coffee: I love coffee. I am sad I will only be drinking it once in the morning.
M&M’S mega peanut (Added this and is not pictured above): Crazy amounts of calories and carbs.
This was around 1,785 calories. I added peanut M&M’s and brought this total up to 2,300 calories. This will be my week 1- 7 days worth of food. Yes, I know it’s not 5,000 calories. Each week I plan on going up in my calorie intake. I am going to pay attention to my body the first week and feed it accordingly. At least with this base I can then ask my husband to add X Y Z to my next drop box depending on how I am feeling. Or grab more food in town at neels gap need be.
Some of the items I will add to up my calories weekly are:
Roasted & Salted Sunflower Seeds
Homemade Granola Mix- These I made myself and they contain: Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate, dried cranberries, & premium organic granola with chia seeds.
M&M’s peanut mega
Homemade Trail Mix- These contains pretzels, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips.
Chia Plus Coconut Chia Granola
Almond Butter Packets
Roasted Salted Almonds
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Bear Creek Dinners: Cheddar broccoli rice, mac & cheese, soups and so on. These will give me variety for dinners.
I am sure this will be forever growing as I move along on the trail. But for now this is what I have purchased and have on hand for my husband to ship me. If you are also a vegetarian please comment below any other foods you can think of to add to this list (high protein and simple). It would be much appreciated.
My total pack weight with gear, 2 liters of water, and 7 days worth of food is 26.5 lbs as of right now to start with.
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Thanks so much for taking the time with this post – most helpful 1 I’ve seen!!