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Light Diet While Touring

Old 05-06-24, 03:47 PM
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Light Diet While Touring

I am curious if anyone has experience or knowledge of bikepacking while eating a low fat, heart healthy diet. I am not concerned about sufficient calories, I think I can address that, but how to carry foods that are low fat, do not require refrigeration and can be prepared on a single burner camp stove. I just took a look at freeze dried backpacking meals and did not scrutinize them in depth but the few I looked at closely that sounded low fat were not all that low fat and were high cholesterol.
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Old 05-06-24, 05:20 PM
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When I do bike touring, I am looking at a duration quantified in weeks, but when I think of bikepacking, I think of a duration quantified in days. So, big difference here. And bikepacking where you have minimalist luggage, you are more likely to be eating backpacking type fare.

I am not saying this is low fat, but several years ago someone was asking me to elaborate in more detail about how I could carry weeks of food on my bike. My response is here;
will bike weight make a difference to an old guy like me?

This is not much different than I eat on a backpacking trip or canoe trip, this could certainly work for bikepacking.

But I have made some modifications, Mountain House is no longer on my shopping list when they boosted the price and made the meals much smaller, I lost all interest in that. So, I am now having more hot cereal and dried fruit breakfasts.

My lunches have changed too, sometimes I buy packets of Starkist Chicken or Tuna Creations, I have that on tortillas. But for a long tour, it is hard to beat summer sausage and cheese.

Suppers are largely unchanged to what I wrote up at that above link. Some of the Bear Creek soup mixes are low in fats, some high. But for backpacking, I do not make pasta meals, takes too long and too much fuel to boil that much water, etc. So, the pasta meals are for trips where I am not that minimalist.

When I think of someone on a low fat diet, I think of low sodium also being part of the equation, is that the case? If so, the meals I am describing above are not low sodium.

How many days is your trip?
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Old 05-06-24, 05:56 PM
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Thank you, that is a lot of very helpful information and I need to go over it more carefully again.

There is no trip planned as yet. I am trying to determine if I can make one and it will be my first. I have experience with long duration backpacking, including at high elevation, but that was before I had dietary concerns, other than keeping some weight on in cold weather in high mountains. Finding a suitable plan for food is the first issue I need to resolve, or I will not go any further with the plan. If not, I will consider doing a credit card tour with restaurants as my food source.

Sodium does not concern me, just fat, sugar and cholesterol. I prefer to use a Jetboil stove and just heat water and add it to freeze dried meals so I will study your earlier post and take a more detailed look at the freeze dried meals available. Thanks again.
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Old 05-06-24, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
When I do bike touring, I am looking at a duration quantified in weeks, but when I think of bikepacking, I think of a duration quantified in days. So, big difference here. And bikepacking where you have minimalist luggage, you are more likely to be eating backpacking type fare.

I am not saying this is low fat, but several years ago someone was asking me to elaborate in more detail about how I could carry weeks of food on my bike. My response is here;
will bike weight make a difference to an old guy like me?

This is not much different than I eat on a backpacking trip or canoe trip, this could certainly work for bikepacking.

But I have made some modifications, Mountain House is no longer on my shopping list when they boosted the price and made the meals much smaller, I lost all interest in that. So, I am now having more hot cereal and dried fruit breakfasts.

My lunches have changed too, sometimes I buy packets of Starkist Chicken or Tuna Creations, I have that on tortillas. But for a long tour, it is hard to beat summer sausage and cheese.

Suppers are largely unchanged to what I wrote up at that above link. Some of the Bear Creek soup mixes are low in fats, some high. But for backpacking, I do not make pasta meals, takes too long and too much fuel to boil that much water, etc. So, the pasta meals are for trips where I am not that minimalist.

When I think of someone on a low fat diet, I think of low sodium also being part of the equation, is that the case? If so, the meals I am describing above are not low sodium.

How many days is your trip?
since this isn’t a Wisconsin forum, you may have to define “Suppers” lol I knew you were from God’s country and then confirmed via the name. 😂
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Old 05-06-24, 06:57 PM
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spinconn: To much sodium isen't a real concern for me while pedaling over 50 to 100 miles in a day either. I carry Tang and extra salt and when water know longer tastes good on a hot day I no I need electrolytes. I like to munch on Esekual cerial for carbs. I like refried beans with instant brown rice. I wonder how the grocery pickup will react to me on a bicycle. If that dosent go well there is also instacart.

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Old 05-06-24, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bogey Speedwell
since this isn’t a Wisconsin forum, you may have to define “Suppers” lol I knew you were from God’s country and then confirmed via the name. 😂
I consider myself to be a Minnesotan, temporarily in Wisconsin. So far temporary is thirty some years, and counting.
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Old 05-06-24, 07:24 PM
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Don't forget something to wash down your supper. Photo from Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minnesota and Canada border region.

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Old 05-06-24, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I consider myself to be a Minnesotan, temporarily in Wisconsin. So far temporary is thirty some years, and counting.
sooo what you’re saying is we’ve adopted you, lol.

all good and BTW thanks for the link of carrying food for a week
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Old 05-07-24, 06:28 AM
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My stoveless touring style is pretty close to bikepacking, and I'm vegan. I think there are healthy fats in nature, in nuts and seeds. Peanut butter is easy to carry. My staple meals are muesli (rolled oats, walnuts and raisins), and peanut butter on whole wheat bread or tortillas. I carry as much fresh fruit and veg as I can, and try to convince myself I'm eating healthy while traveling. I pig out on large cooked meals in towns, usually pasta, pizza, Mexican, soup/salad bars. I've been on months-long endurance trips (e.g. Appalachian Trail) and haven't lost weight with that diet, and returned to work (firefighter) without noticeable loss of muscle.
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Old 05-07-24, 07:06 AM
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I, myself, try to pack in as much fat and protein as I can while on tour. Just had a big burger and fries for dinner.
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Old 05-07-24, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by spinconn
... I prefer to use a Jetboil stove and just heat water and add it to freeze dried meals so I will study your earlier post and take a more detailed look at the freeze dried meals available. Thanks again.
Those bear creek soup mixes I often use for supper are not freeze dried, just dehydrated. Many larger grocery stores sell them but you won't find them in a backpacking store. I mentioned in a previous post I usually use one third of a package, mix with about 75 percent of the water that they call for so that they are less watery. I often just bring the water to a boil, add some meat for protein, once it gets to a boil again shut off the stove and cover. Occasionally stir. After 10 or 15 min, it has cooled enough to eat and has rehydrated. Their instructions are to simmer which I do not do, instead I save my stove fuel and let it start cooling.

I have had a protein deficiency after some past long trips, thus now I try to remember to have a 20 gram protein bar daily, either before or after I get my tent up.

I bought a dehydrator a few years ago. In the winter when I do not mind the extra heat in the kitchen, I will buy several pounds of frozen mixed vegies on sale and dehydrate them. Store them in the freezer which is probably not necessary, but I suspect it might maintain flavor longer that way. Then I can add a handful of vegies to each of my one pot meals on trips.

Bike touring, I always have a safe water supply. But backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, etc., where I am filtering water, I usually do not bother to filter the water that gets boiled. Thus I am used to boiling the water instead of just getting it hot for my hot meals. I will often got through 3 to 4 quarts (or liters) per day, but only filter 2.
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Old 05-07-24, 08:38 AM
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Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches work well for me. Make them the night before and put them in the freezer. The next day on the ride they are great by lunch time.
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Old 05-07-24, 09:13 AM
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What makes you think low fat is heart healthy? Look into it, it's an urban myth that many doctors still preach. Sugar is what causes irritation in artery walls. You would be better off eating bacon and eggs than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
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Old 05-07-24, 11:17 AM
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I opened this thread as I sat down to my standard evening meal at a campsite in Greece.
Beans and rice… I could, and do, live on them for months on end. Not for the gourmet folk maybe 🤔

edited for side note: The blue round thing in the Trangia frying pan is cut out of a thin floppy IKEA cutting board. Protects the frying pan, and can even be used as a… cutting board!!
Two for $1.79 😍 I don’t even work for IKEA


Beans and rice

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Old 05-07-24, 01:32 PM
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If you want to eat healthy, eat foods as natural as possible with the least processing and the least added ingredients. You can have a healthy low fat high carb diet or a healthy high fat and low carb diet.

I eat high fat low carb because when I am cycling fats carry me farther than carbs. I don't want to have to continually consume carbs since the easiest form of carbs on the road is usually junk food.
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Old 05-07-24, 02:28 PM
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Couscous is pasta, essentially spaghetti, but it cooks very quickly, thus conserving fuel. That doesn't really make difference until you conserve enough to reduce the amount you carry since I use gas canisters. If you use white gas, or alcohol, you could reduce by less than a full container.
Back to the couscous, you can start by boiling carrots or other veggies before you put in the couscous. I also carry some dried pork shoulder, think a big chunk of jerky, and boil that for a few minutes to make a little broth before putting in the couscous.
All that being said, I eat a lot of meals in diners etc. I like to sample the local cuisine as a way of being where I am, not just getting through it.
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Old 05-07-24, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
...

I eat high fat low carb because when I am cycling fats carry me farther than carbs...
Bingo!
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Old 05-07-24, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches work well for me. Make them the night before and put them in the freezer. The next day on the ride they are great by lunch time.
Do you carry a freezer on tour?
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Old 05-07-24, 11:57 PM
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This is a very timely subject matter as I am now fighting with the type of caloric intake and the energy it produces in my body. Thanks for starting this discussion!
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Old 05-08-24, 02:10 AM
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One of the things I like about riding is that I can eat more without increasing my weight, or causing other issues with my health. I used to eat more of what was considered a “heart healthy” diet. Unfortunately, what were formerly widely considered “facts” about diet, salt, and certain kinds of foods are now somewhat disputable, to say the least.

After my jabs I had some scary side effects, which included tachycardia, shortness of breath, and frequent bouts of arrhythmia. I was made to wear a portable EKG and prescribed statins. I got back on my bike and began increasing my fitness, and I made a substantial change in my diet. I greatly increased my intake of meat, fish, and fat, while greatly reducing carbs and sugar. The result has been a weight loss of about 3kg per month (I still eat a lot, just different foods), I feel better, my heart issues have disappeared, and the doctor took me off the meds.

I do find that a higher fat, lower carb diet has some effect on my endurance. I don’t load up on rice or pasta before long rides, just meat, fish, and some vegetables. I can’t ride as fast as I did (though the speed is coming up), but I can ride farther, and I feel better, that is, less tired, after a long ride.
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Old 05-08-24, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
This is a very timely subject matter as I am now fighting with the type of caloric intake and the energy it produces in my body. Thanks for starting this discussion!
In what way are you fighting calorie intake and the energy it produces?

Know that as a general rule when switching from carb burning to fat burning, it takes the body time to adapt to the new energy source. Anyone will feel lethargic for several days but if you stay low carb enough you will switch into Ketosis, burning fat for fuel, which can be measured by breath test or urine test. If anyone stays low carb enough for about 3 months every cell in the human body will change its mitochondria to be optimized to burn fat. If you reach this stage, you will have much better longer sustained energy without eating by burning your own store of body fat.

I used this exact process to cycle away 180lbs of excess body fat in 20 months.
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Old 05-08-24, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
This is a very timely subject matter as I am now fighting with the type of caloric intake and the energy it produces in my body. Thanks for starting this discussion!
This may be pertinent to your research. Intensity level is a key to the equation.
https://www.roadbikerider.com/energy...e-intensities/
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Old 05-08-24, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
This may be pertinent to your research. Intensity level is a key to the equation.
https://www.roadbikerider.com/energy...e-intensities/

It's an interesting topic. To add to your article, I would point out that there is a lot of information pointing to ketosis preserving muscle loss. It's also true that exercise preserves muscle even in a fasted state. The body will not choose to burn its own muscle prioritizing it over burning the fat it stored for a fuel source unless some processes have broken down.

My own opinion is that possibly fat cannot be metabolized properly in the presence of high insulin.

My own experience is that when cycling on ketones short bursts of intense energy are fine but if you try to go all out for long periods, you risk bonking. It's not an issue for me touring because my objective is to enjoy the trip rather than get to the destination in record time.
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Old 05-08-24, 06:33 PM
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RH Clark, if I eat a protein concentrated diet I am able to go longer on the bike before needing to refuel. If I introduce sugar in the form of soda's or candy into the diet I run out of energy on the bike after about 10 miles and the bonk is pretty deep. It is as if my body is rejecting simple sugar as a source of fuel. It is hard to explain because I don't understand what is taking place and I do not have the vernacular to go with it.
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Old 05-08-24, 06:38 PM
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A recent camp meal. Penne with shallot, fresh garlic, zucchini, foil packed tuna and olive oil.

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