My Plan for Staying Healthy so I Can Make It to Canada

Getting ready to set out on a 2,650 mile hike would be a little intimidating to anyone. Add in my mature status, my seven leg surgeries, and my Hashimoto’s (thyroid condition), and it’s a bit overwhelming. Regardless, I’m still doing this!

Eating Healthy

I know that one giant challenge is going to be eating healthy. You can plan all you want, but then you get out there and everything changes. I’ve made a pretty extensive resupply list and I know every few hundred miles I’ll have healthy options. My goal is try for at least 50% of the time. Maybe. I think I can do better than that; we’ll see. My thyroid condition requires that I do not overindulge in wheat products. It causes inflammation in my joints and also restricts my breathing. It has also been known to puff up my face a little if eating it every day. I can (and will) occasionally splurge on a cheeseburger or macaroni and cheese.

My staples for this trip will be oats, rice, lentils, mashed potatoes, nuts, and dried fruit. I also love yogurt-covered raisins, although those might go in the sugary junk food category. I’ll stick them in the “staples” category for now.

Protein sources will be lots of tuna, spam, beef jerky, nuts, peanut butter, chicken (in cans), and other random fish.

For quick energy and yummy flavors, I’ll be adding in all the good stuff. Candy bars, Nutella, peanut butter, oils, spices, and, of course, coffee and energy drinks.


At home I do a lot of juicing, so on the trail I’m going to be drinking some Amazing Grass Green Superfood Antioxidant Organic Powder. They have tons of nutrients and help you get some veggies in your diet. They come in individual packets so you can just mix them in a water bottle. I usually buy them online, but you can also find them in health food stores.

Physical Fitness

My pre-trail regimen is unfortunately going to be a lot of indoor activities. I live in Missouri and it can be freezing here for a good portion of the winter. I really don’t love hiking in freezing conditions. OK, I hate it. I dream of California weather every day. Despite my apprehension, I’m still planning on hiking a little bit (weather permitting). The great news is that my gym has wonderful equipment that is practically the same as hiking outside (lol).

I’m hitting the elliptical for an hour and then the treadmill for an hour (eventually two hours).  I also do yoga every day. I have to do yoga every day to keep my old bones from getting stiff. My plan is to do yoga on trail to help with staying limber and help increase circulation. It is also is a good way to meditate and stay mentally connected to your entire body. Flexibility and stretching in general helps in preventing injuries, so I have to if I want to make it to Canada. Which I do.


Daily medication is required for treatment of a hypothyroid. I’ve talked to my doctor about prescribing a 90-day prescription and will only have to fill it once during my journey. Hopefully, my TSH levels don’t change due to the physical demand of hiking every day. It can leave me super tired and achey. Sluggish even. And, it makes my joints pop (which is how I got the name Poppy).

So, that’s my plan, guys. I’ve got this!






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