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Alex, I'll take "Foods that don't have to be cooked"

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Alex, I'll take "Foods that don't have to be cooked"

Old 03-20-21, 10:25 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
For me, they are like the protein bars I said I carried, for a short time, on a tour. They take up too much space, and weight. I would hate to carry enough to use on a tour. It isn't like you can simply stop in a store, and buy a day's supply. Couple that with the fact I don't know any military friend who actually likes eating them.
Freeze-dried or MRE-like camp foods can be found at Walmart or just about any 'outdoors' store like Cabelas, Bass Pro, REI or Sportsman Warehouse from coast to coast.

MREs have come a long way from when they were introduced 30 years ago. Better selection, better taste. Still, at ~1500 calories/meal, it'd be hard to find something comparable.

That said, on my only extended 'tour' 40 years ago, I stopped daily to get what I needed. Whether it was at a roadside produce stand or small town store (this was before every gas station was a 'convenience store'...)

Then again, when the Old Man took off on a sailing trip across the Atlantic in the mid-'80s, he took the first generation of then-new MREs and other non-perishable freeze-dried foodstuffs because there was nowhere to stop for daily re-supply. Three weeks to cross the ocean in a 38' sailboat, in pre-GPS times.
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Old 03-21-21, 01:55 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
That looks like a very hearty breakfast. Plenty of energy packed in that. Nice.
I was pretty happy with that mix of freeze dried and a packet of instant oatmeal, tasted good and you only needed to add boiling water, plus a few minutes to re-hydrate. Nutrition was good with a good amount of calories, good mix of carbs, fats and protein.

I am bummed that Mountain House changed their packaging, I refuse to pay over $50 a pound for the freeze dried stuff.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:14 AM
  #103  
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This blog posting is oriented more towards cooking, but there are a lot of ideas for non-cooking too.
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/backpac...grocery-store/
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Old 03-21-21, 06:52 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
Cold Soak Oatmeal: (about 550 calories)
8oz Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup oatmeal (not the instant)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup dehydrated blueberries

Shake it all up the night before and eat it with a spoon the next morning. It is delicious and has the consistency of tapioca pudding. Honestly, I've done this and put it in the frig the night before, but I've never left it out at room temperature all night. I wouldn't worry about it spoiling in 6-8 hours, but I think I would still like it not cold.
Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

This is sort of what I do with my prepacked oatmeal for the road (instant though).
1/2 Cup oatmeal
1/2 Scoop Protein powder
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 Cup raisins or dried cranberries.
Add hot water and pack up camp while it expands.

Bonus points for biting a hole in the bag and eating it like piping icing out of a pastry bag. No dish or spoon to wash up!
This is a great lightweight combo for breakfast. I have been adding hemp seeds into the mix along with walnuts. Easy and packed full of protein. I often make smoothies at home full of all of this plus yogurt, flax milk, and fresh berries.

It is funny to read all of the posts here. You have the meat/grease cyclists and veggie/granola cyclists. Personally I eat meat but never pack it. Sometimes ill eat it in a freeze dried pack.
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Old 03-21-21, 10:17 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Freeze-dried or MRE-like camp foods can be found at Walmart or just about any 'outdoors' store like Cabelas, Bass Pro, REI or Sportsman Warehouse from coast to coast.

MREs have come a long way from when they were introduced 30 years ago. Better selection, better taste. Still, at ~1500 calories/meal, it'd be hard to find something comparable.

That said, on my only extended 'tour' 40 years ago, I stopped daily to get what I needed. Whether it was at a roadside produce stand or small town store (this was before every gas station was a 'convenience store'...)

Then again, when the Old Man took off on a sailing trip across the Atlantic in the mid-'80s, he took the first generation of then-new MREs and other non-perishable freeze-dried foodstuffs because there was nowhere to stop for daily re-supply. Three weeks to cross the ocean in a 38' sailboat, in pre-GPS times.
Yes, they are much improved. I would still not like to carry them. IN some situations though, they might be the right choice.
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Old 03-21-21, 12:26 PM
  #106  
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Successful shopping excursion. I passed on the Vienna Sausage.


BTW...The Spam ingredient list includes “mechanically separated chicken.”


Last edited by indyfabz; 03-21-21 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 03-22-21, 11:39 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Successful shopping excursion. I passed on the Vienna Sausage.


BTW...The Spam ingredient list includes “mechanically separated chicken.”

Oh man, I forgot about Vienna sausages. Now I man need to take a trip to the store.
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Old 03-22-21, 11:45 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Oh man, I forgot about Vienna sausages. Now I man need to take a trip to the store.
Against my better judgement, I had the Deviled Ham on an whole wheat bagel this morning. I need to exercise better judgment.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:59 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Against my better judgement, I had the Deviled Ham on an whole wheat bagel this morning. I need to exercise better judgment.
no worries dude, you can justifiably fall back on the "The devil made me do it" excuse.
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Old 03-22-21, 02:34 PM
  #110  
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Anyone would have a link to a resource that provides guidance wrt (1) "dietary inputs" (i.e. calories, proteins, and if I knew the first thing about this I'd add other considerations; how much? And not something about weight control (diet)) and (2) best food sources (I read that nuts, dried fruits, olive oil, peanut butter (aka nuts) are great. What about oat? Eggs? Where could I find a cheat sheet to help design food plan (boiled water or right out of the bag).
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Old 03-23-21, 04:43 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Anyone would have a link to a resource that provides guidance ....
You always hear roadies and racers talking about carbohydrates to the point that you think that is all you need. But, touring, we are at lower wattage levels, pretty much any calorie source (carbs, fats, protein) will do.
https://www.roadbikerider.com/energy...e-intensities/

That said, it does not hurt to have some quick source of carbs if you have a long day or some serious hill climbing or headwinds. I always have some granola bars or power bars in my handlebar bag.

I do not have a good source on this, there are rules of thumb on how much protein you need per day. I have seen lots of numbers out there, but I think a good bare minimum would be 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight, but if you are doing a lot of exertion, upping that to at least a gram protein per kg body weight might be a good idea.

When I came back from my Iceland bike tour, I did not have a lot of protein on that trip. And my doctor did some blood tests when i got home and told me I needed more protein. Since then I have gone out of my way to increase my protein on camping trips, usually by adding some meat, like 5 oz (140 to 150 grams) canned chicken or a 2 oz (55 to 60 grams) Spam packet or something like that as part of my supper.

A lot of trainers will tell you that the best time for protein is within 45 minutes after hard exercise. I have tried to keep some protein bars to have one after I get my tent setup when on a bike tour, sometimes I forget but I try to work at remembering to get some protein then, it aids muscle recovery.

And I do not have a good source on this, but one gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories, one gram protein is 4 calories, one gram of fats is 9 calories. So, that bottle of olive oil gives you more energy for its weight and volume than anything else in your pack. Note that these numbers are one significant digit, so I would not try to get too complicated in the calculations.

This will tell you that you might need salt at some time or another. Last summer I badly bonked on an exercise ride, after thinking about it I concluded that I might have run out of salt that day. Since then I added some salty snack food as a backup plan to my handlebar bag.
https://www.roadbikerider.com/sweat-...nts-bicycling/

I once heard someone comment that Tums can prevent cramps or something like that, so I have a Tums tablet added to my salty snack mix in my handlebar bag. Tums is calcium carbonate, thus a source of calcium.

You might get some ideas here:
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/cutting...ance-backpack/

How long is your trip? If a week or two, you likely have enough fat reserves (everybody has fat reserves) to not have to worry about inadequate calorie input.

A longer trip, you might worry about that if you do not have a lot of fat reserves. You might have read or heard that one pound of body fat is 3,500 calories, but I do not have a good source on that. My last bike tour was about five weeks and five days counting travel time and I had spare body fat that I could lose so I did not try to make sure I got enough calories each day. Over that time, when I got home I was lighter by about ten pounds. Assuming that I was actually on my bike for five weeks, thus I lost about two pounds per week, thus my calorie deficit was about 1,000 calories a day. But I had adequate fat to lose, so that was not a problem for me. And in the past year and a half since that trip I have gained back about half of that, so I need another two to three week trip to lose it.

In USA it is easy to buy meat that does not need to be refrigerated until opened, often called summer sausage. I have had trouble finding that in foreign countries. My last trip was in Canada, and I found this and bought it on that trip:



After opening, I usually cut off a couple mm from the freshly cut end and discard that because I can't store it in a fridge. That is great for sandwiches at lunch time with some cheese. Or hard salami is very similar. And do not rule out peanut butter, that is a good source of protein.

And do not turn down an unplanned opportunity like this:




It never hurts to do the type of planning you are talking about but it is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. Good luck on your trip.

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Old 03-23-21, 05:29 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Against my better judgement, I had the Deviled Ham on an whole wheat bagel this morning. I need to exercise better judgment.
That's kinda what I thought. Regardless of what the label says, anything with that texture will only be made of the most vile scraps off the production line. The next step down in scrap-quality would probably end up as pet food.
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Old 03-23-21, 07:49 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
That's kinda what I thought. Regardless of what the label says, anything with that texture will only be made of the most vile scraps off the production line. The next step down in scrap-quality would probably end up as pet food.
The way some folks treat their pets, their food may be a step or two above the deviled ham!
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Old 03-23-21, 07:53 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by aRoudy1 View Post
The way some folks treat their pets, their food may be a step or two above the deviled ham!
Having had to feed a couple dogs prescription food due to allergies..and others "just" the premium grain-free foods..I don't doubt for a second you're wrong.
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Old 03-23-21, 09:01 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Anyone would have a link to a resource that provides guidance wrt (1) "dietary inputs" (i.e. calories, proteins, and if I knew the first thing about this I'd add other considerations; how much? And not something about weight control (diet)) and (2) best food sources (I read that nuts, dried fruits, olive oil, peanut butter (aka nuts) are great. What about oat? Eggs? Where could I find a cheat sheet to help design food plan (boiled water or right out of the bag).
One thing I have read about is testing foods on yourself to see how you react, both from a taste/continued edabilty standpoint and from how you feel. That's one reason I do my yearly food challenges where I isolate food groups to see their effects.

In my case the overall theme revolves around my interest in developing a sustainable, low cost but nutritious food schedule that can be expanded or contracted depending. Something you could schedule for X amount of days, buy in bulk, and provide for emergency relief, food caches or long transits. Also one that provides sustained energy without blood sugar spikes which I think long term is very bad for a person. Something calculable, measurable, affordable and practical. In that way I avoid considering fad elements such as supplements or expensive, hard to get ingredients.

So far I think a basic diet of oatmeal, hard tack biscuits, eggs (powdered for long term), black beans, brown Basmati rice, various spices fills a large part of the bill. The combinations provides a good mix of slow release complex carbs, proteins and fats and when combined with an electrolyte and vitamin supplement could keep me going long term. I could calculate exactly how much I need for a year, buy it, plan the shipping/hauling weight/volume etc... And I could eat it everyday too. The only fly in the ointment is eggs, which need to be stored cold for best results. Powdered eggs are the natural replacement but are expensive, relative to the rest of the menu. I would prefer to find a substitute for those but so far they work very well with me.

But.. that's just me. It's an interesting thought exercise to try to map out a menu, pare it down to the minimum, and total it out in terms of cost, volume, calories, nutritional value, weight etc...

This is what people on limited budgets need to do but sadly the default is for quick, cheap refined carbohydrates like French fries or Mac and cheese etc... convenience foods. Some nutritionists work to educate about more healthy choices but often slip into the organic/clean trap where foods then cost 2x or more.

I'm kinda nerdy and find a simple, inexpensive nutritional diet to be a challenge to keep developing and implement.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-23-21 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:14 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
How long is your trip?
Contemplating a summer long trip, with a couple of sparsely inhabited sections such that I'll have to carry up to a week of food, including a segment in bear country. (and later on meetup with wife and kid in an area where supplies are plentiful). IIRC, the longest interval I had to go without resupply opportunities was 72hrs, i.e. no reason to think about food. Seven days+ is a different story.

I'll probably go for oatmeal for breakfast, GORP during the day (several snacks) and couscous/ramen dinners (not found of commercial dehydrated meals. I'd rather build my own packages). I am was looking for resource in order to put some numbers on this. Found this BMR calculator (which supports the idea that a target of 3500 calories/day is reasonable). I was looking for something like a spreadsheet listing food items with their caloric/protein value. Oh, well.... Google is our friend

Thanks for your links. Will take a look.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:43 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
One thing I have read about is testing foods on yourself to see how you react, both from a taste/continued edabilty standpoint and from how you feel. That's one reason I do my yearly food challenges where I isolate food groups to see their effects.

In my case the overall theme revolves around my interest in developing a sustainable, low cost but nutritious food schedule that can be expanded or contracted depending. Something you could schedule for X amount of days, buy in bulk, and provide for emergency relief, food caches or long transits. Also one that provides sustained energy without blood sugar spikes which I think long term is very bad for a person. Something calculable, measurable, affordable and practical. In that way I avoid considering fad elements such as supplements or expensive, hard to get ingredients.

So far I think a basic diet of oatmeal, hard tack biscuits, eggs (powdered for long term), black beans, brown Basmati rice, various spices fills a large part of the bill. The combinations provides a good mix of slow release complex carbs, proteins and fats and when combined with an electrolyte and vitamin supplement could keep me going long term. I could calculate exactly how much I need for a year, buy it, plan the shipping/hauling weight/volume etc... And I could eat it everyday too. The only fly in the ointment is eggs, which need to be stored cold for best results. Powdered eggs are the natural replacement but are expensive, relative to the rest of the menu. I would prefer to find a substitute for those but so far they work very well with me.

But.. that's just me. It's an interesting thought exercise to try to map out a menu, pare it down to the minimum, and total it out in terms of cost, volume, calories, nutritional value, weight etc...

This is what people on limited budgets need to do but sadly the default is for quick, cheap refined carbohydrates like French fries or Mac and cheese etc... convenience foods. Some nutritionists work to educate about more healthy choices but often slip into the organic/clean trap where foods then cost 2x or more.

I'm kinda nerdy and find a simple, inexpensive nutritional diet to be a challenge to keep developing and implement.
Several interesting things in what you say.
  1. I can't agree more on the idea that it is preferable to try at home, first.
  2. Oatmeal for sure. Beans -- in what form? Dried beans take forever to cook, don't they? Canned beans are heavy.
  3. Rice is an interesting option, but I have to figure out which type is easy to cook -- i.e. pour boiling water over rice in an insulated cup and wait until it is ready). Couscous and Ramen are easier to prepare.
  4. Eggs are great, but do not travel that well (fairly heavy, so-so shelf life, must be purchased by the dozen).
  5. Yes, splices are an important component. A most convenient option is the seasoning cube (eg: Maggi). We also have a couple of variants (eg: Pho) that I'll have to try.
I'll eventually post what I've settled on
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Old 03-23-21, 04:12 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post

I'll probably go for oatmeal for breakfast, GORP during the day (several snacks) and couscous/ramen dinners (not found of commercial dehydrated meals. I'd rather build my own packages). I am was looking for resource in order to put some numbers on this. Found this BMR calculator (which supports the idea that a target of 3500 calories/day is reasonable). I was looking for something like a spreadsheet listing food items with their caloric/protein value. Oh, well.... Google is our friend

Thanks for your links. Will take a look.
Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
  1. Oatmeal for sure. Beans -- in what form? Dried beans take forever to cook, don't they? Canned beans are heavy.
  2. Rice is an interesting option, but I have to figure out which type is easy to cook -- i.e. pour boiling water over rice in an insulated cup and wait until it is ready). Couscous and Ramen are easier to prepare.
First: cook refried dried beans not whole beans. Ready immediately. Some folks just add water and eat them. I like them warm. I buy these by the case. One bag makes many meals.
https://smile.amazon.com/Santa-Fe-Be...-no-redirect=1

Great recipe from Andrew Skurka, one of the legends in lightweight back-country travel. He breaks down his meals to calories and they are easy to make. Here is one of my favorite touring meals from his recipes (beans). Look at his site as he has many others
https://andrewskurka.com/backpacking...fritos-cheese/

second: Many recipes on Sarah Kirkconnell Trail Cooking site that one make at home. Sarah Kirkconnell, the author, has many many recipes. I use her freezer bag cooking recipes but don't use freezer bags. I use a my Jetboil or a titanium cup with foam insulation to prepare. Boil water, add packet, wait 5-10 minutes then munch out.
https://trailcooking.com/

Preparing the meals at home is not hard and much cheaper, plus better tasting and much healthier.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:48 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
... I was looking for something like a spreadsheet listing food items with their caloric/protein value. Oh, well.... Google is our friend
....
I think you will end up punching numbers from the nutrition labels on packages you buy at the store into a spreadsheet.

Foods in bulk or foods that have no labels (bananas, etc.), I have used these links:

https://nutritiondata.self.com/

For example at the link above, I typed in banana, got a very long list of things that included banana in the name, one of which was raw banana, clicked on that:
https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...-juices/1846/2

And that gave me all kinds of information, much more than I ever wanted and I suspect more than you want too.

Oops, the other link that I have used in the past has gone dysfunctional in favor of an Android or Apple App instead. Thus, the source above is the only source that I have used that I would recommend.

3500 calories per day sounds quite reasonable, but that also sounds like a lot of food, both in weight and volume. If you run a calorie deficit for a week, it won't hurt you much. So, do not rule out something more like 3000 if your pack starts to look too big and heavy.

Do not be surprised if you are in between 3.5 and 4.5 calories per gram of weight for your food. That would mean roughly 0.8 to 1.0 kg per day dry weight for food. When I made that guess, I am assuming that you got rid of some of the packaging but you included some zip lock bags too. Maybe a few 5 oz cans of chicken or ham but otherwise no bigger cans. And you would probably be between 2 and 3 liters of volume per kg of weight depending on how careful you are picking foods, nuts are more dense than ramen noodles, etc. Dried banana chips are a lot better for this than raw bananas.

You might be tempted to bring some hard boiled eggs, but if you run the numbers you are only getting 1.5 calories per gram of weight, suddenly that does not look so good any more if you are trying to stay light weight.

Beyond that, since I cook and you are trying to not cook, I can't offer any more advice. I had about 2.5 weeks of food on my bike in the photo below. The big duffle on top of the rear panniers is a 31 liter Ortlieb Rack Pack, that is almost all food. And I needed the blue dry back between that bag and my seatpost for overflow. Thus I probably have 35 liters of food on that bike.




Have a great trip.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:56 PM
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One more thought came to mind, a gal I used to work with would put a brick of ramen and water in a water tight jar in the morning, and by lunch time it was re-hydrated. I never tried that but that is what she did when she was mountain climbing or backpacking for some of her lunches.

Exotic meals like that, you might want to try at home first before you try them in the bush.
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Old 03-23-21, 08:05 PM
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Here is a graphic of a puzzle I contemplated during one of my food challenges. It has to do with food caching and was similar to the challenge faced by the 1914 Trans Antarctic Expedition led by Shackleton.

As noted, it requires 100lbs of food and fuel to travel between depots each way, or 200lbs for a round trip between depots. The sled holds 300lbs of food and fuel. How many pre-supply cache trips do you need to make and where do you cache in order to get across?

I'll post the answer tomorrow.


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Old 03-23-21, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
One more thought came to mind, a gal I used to work with would put a brick of ramen and water in a water tight jar in the morning, and by lunch time it was re-hydrated. I never tried that but that is what she did when she was mountain climbing or backpacking for some of her lunches.

Exotic meals like that, you might want to try at home first before you try them in the bush.
Speaking of Ramen, they're already cooked and can be eaten as a big, 380 Calorie cracker. Some will sprinkle the seasoning on it dry (yuck). My opinion, the oil they're fried in is pretty nasty and I only eat them as a last choice. Sometimes it's what's available.
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Old 03-24-21, 02:47 AM
  #123  
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I tried Ramen cold soaked and it was okay after 1 hour. I tried refried beans cold soaked and it was nasty.
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Old 03-24-21, 09:23 AM
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I've spent a few minutes getting basic data on some food items. Turned out to be an interesting exercise. (1) Nutritional values (calories/proteins per 100g) vary quite a bit across sources. I'll double check before making conclusions as to what's best in my case; (2) Quite a few surprises. In particular, instant noodles look like the best starch, despite lots of negative comments about ramen on the www, wrt their high caloric and sodium content, which could be seen as a plus for tourers. Other revelations include banana chips (I was found of them, but didn't realise how caloric they are) and coconut powder (great on ramens). Disappointed by the relatively low score for raisins. I'll explore alternative dried fruits, hoping to come up with a GRxP where x beats raisins

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Old 03-24-21, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
I've spent a few minutes getting basic data on some food items. Turned out to be an interesting exercise. (1) Nutritional values (calories/proteins per 100g) vary quite a bit across sources. I'll double check before making conclusions as to what's best in my case; (2) Quite a few surprises. In particular, instant noodles look like the best starch, despite lots of negative comments about ramen on the www, wrt their high caloric and sodium content, which could be seen as a plus for tourers. Other revelations include banana chips (I was found of them, but didn't realise how caloric they are) and coconut powder (great on ramens). Disappointed by the relatively low score for raisins. I'll explore alternative dried fruits, hoping to come up with a GRxP where x beats raisins

Is your graph suggesting nearly 400cal for 100grams of oatmeal? If so, it's really a little less than 100cal.

In designing a menu you also have to define for yourself what constitutes a good meal profile. A lot of modern general ideas revolve around weight loss and not athletic output.

One can go for max calories for athletic output, like sugars/refined carbs but will develop a seesaw bloodsugar profile. These are good for "race day" eating.

Max proteins will give a slower release of energy which may not match larger daily athletic outputs and can be a strain on kidneys long term. Keto, for example, is wasteful in the sense that a large portion of food energy is used in metabolism instead of work output. That's why it's a popular diet diet. You can eat more but gain less. However, that also means less available energy.

Personally I look to a mix of protein for muscle maintenance and slow release complex carbs for energy in a daily diet. The complex carbs create a slow blood sugar profile.

The last meal of the day should be higher in those to allow the body the entire night to process and replenish the muscle glycogen stores. In exercise the body first uses those stores for output and then plays a balancing game of digesting and replenishing on the run. That's why keto is not so good for sustained output. Your body is spending too much energy digesting and has less to top up the tank. Refined carbs/sugars create instant energy dumps for the muscles but also accompanying insulin dumps which over time makes for a yo yo effect of energy/bonk eat repeat.

Ymmv of course.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-24-21 at 10:02 AM.
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