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International Cross-Country Hiking - Diet Issues



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I am tentatively planning a trip to do a 5 day hike across Peru next Summer. The trip includes all meals, which is all local cuisine with local families or in small villages. I am concerned because I know I will need a good amount of Protein and calories to do this hike (it's pretty intense), BUT, most foods make me very ill. I can't eat anything with flour, I am highly sensitive to anything with much sugar, I can't eat any fish, ground beef, most chicken. I can't eat MOST dairy (with the odd exception of cottage cheese and yogurt?? - cream-based anything makes me sick). I can't eat any fruit except berries without feeling sick. And all starchy veggies make me sick. I don't think I can carry 9 days (the hike is 5 days, the whole trip is 9) worth of my own food on my back with me (or through all the airports). Does anyone know what I can do??? I really want to be able to travel and do this! I think like "regular" trips I could probably get accommodation to have a basic salad or something, but this is a bit different since we will be in like.... the jungle and mountains. Do I just eat turkey Jerky for 9 days?? lol.

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Posted (edited)

Go on a hiking board and ask someone that has taken this hike what they were fed - I don't think there are large numbers of wls patients on this board that have had this experience.

A year may change all of your food capabilities, I think you will have to wait 6 months to see what you can eat then and make decisions. I do find it odd that you can eat turkey jerk but not chicken. Good luck.

Edited by Sosewsue61

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1 minute ago, Sosewsue61 said:

Go on a hiking board and ask someone that has taken this hike what they were fed - I don't think there are large numbers of wls patients on this board that have had this experience.

A year may change all of your food capabilities, I think you will have to wait 6 months to see what you can eat then and make decisions. I do find it odd that you can eat turkey jerk but not chicken. Good luck.

I can eat chicken Jerky, just not chicken breast. UNLESS it is smothereddd in low-sugar ketchup. Same with turkey patties. Must be smothered in ketchup. I reached out to the company to see what they think.

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Is it a texture thing?

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6 minutes ago, FluffyChix said:

Is it a texture thing?

I don't know... no matter how small of a bites I take or how much I chew it, I start sweating and shaking and get really nauseous. But if it's all goo'd up with some kind of sauce I can tolerate, I am fine. Bizzaro.

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But I can eat steak just fine? I have no idea anymore. I just roll with it at this point, lol.

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Posted (edited)

Why not just take some Protein Powder and Meal Replacement powder (that you like ofc)? I know that this is something that I will always have with me when travelling on long trips (besides my Vitamins of course). It shouldnt weigh that much and as long as you have access to clean Water, you have your "meal" with you. Besides that, since it is powdered and isnt liquid, you can get through airport security with it in your hand luggage.

I have a Protein powder with no sugar added and no sweetener that I mix with various things like PB2 and instant coffee. That also is a good idea to bring with you. The rest of the group will love you if you bring coffee!

Edited by Krestel

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When I went on a mission trip to Kenya I had the same situation. I ended up packing a bunch of Protein Bars and almonds and subsisted on them for the week and I was there.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Krestel said:

Why not just take some Protein Powder and Meal Replacement powder (that you like ofc)? I know that this is something that I will always have with me when travelling on long trips (besides my Vitamins of course). It shouldnt weigh that much and as long as you have access to clean Water, you have your "meal" with you. Besides that, since it is powdered and isnt liquid, you can get through airport security with it in your hand luggage.

I have a Protein powder with no sugar added and no sweetener that I mix with various things like PB2 and instant coffee. That also is a good idea to bring with you. The rest of the group will love you if you bring coffee!

We are only allowed to bring camelbacks with our drinking supply of Water in it - there's weight limits for our packs. No showers or water or anything; we are told to bring wet wipes to bathe ourselves for 5 days. I'm going to bring some powder. Just not sure if it'll be enough to sustain me. I think I'm just going to go for it and if I am hungry, I am hungry. LOL. It's not like I eat *that* much anyways. I don't think I can bring meal packets because there's no microwave?

Edited by mousecat88

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2 minutes ago, GradyCat said:

When I went on a mission trip to Kenya I had the same situation. I ended up packing a bunch of Protein Bars and almonds and subsisted on them for the week and I was there.

unf. Yeah, I think this will be the same scenario. We have 11 hour hikes some days so I hope it is enough.

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That sounds like tons of fun! I was considering doing something like that next year as well. Considering your dietary issues (and hopefully they will loosen up by then), I’d look at investing in a dehydrator and making your own backpacking food. I’ve done it, it’s not difficult. That way you can control portions and not have waste issues.

For my last backpacking trip, I did actually just eat Jerky (turkey, salmon, etc.) and it was fine. But I was just over 2 months out, which is different. I’m going to start fiddling around with my dehydrator so that I can have more options when I go out again. The standard dehydrated food pouches sold for backpacking would have way too much food for me, and be too carb heavy and Protein light.

Of course test everything with your stomach first. Being out there with something new could be no fun. There are lots of recipes online.

I’m way more than a little jealous of you.

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12 hours ago, mousecat88 said:

We are only allowed to bring camelbacks with our drinking supply of Water in it - there's weight limits for our packs. No showers or Water or anything; we are told to bring wet wipes to bathe ourselves for 5 days. I'm going to bring some powder. Just not sure if it'll be enough to sustain me. I think I'm just going to go for it and if I am hungry, I am hungry. LOL. It's not like I eat *that* much anyways. I don't think I can bring meal packets because there's no microwave?

There are portable water filters that you can bring as well. In fact some are built into water bottles. Check out the SurviMate Filtered Water Bottle for instance. I had to use something like that when I was in Russia a long time ago because the water wasnt potable at the time. (The bath part isnt so important at all.)

Keep in mind also that you will need carbs and calories on this trip because of your energy expenditure. If you dont get enough of these, you will be really slow and may keep the other back.

As for meal packets, if you are outside, there will most likely be a fire or portable backpacking stove. Im guessing that is how the group will both keep warm and eat some meals. The whole idea of making your own rations sounds really good though.

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I did the Inca Trail for 4 days. You will need carbs, even straight sugar, to deal with the altitude. You'll be offered coca leaf tea and it must have honey or real sugar in it to work. And it really does help.

Every morning they boiled big pots of Water to purify it for our daily drinking supply. Carbs were the focus because of the altitude (9200-14000 feet), but you'll get plenty of Protein at lunch and dinner. My favorite dish was pumpkin and quinoa soup...about 2 years before quinoa got popularized here. It's a grain with a bit of protein. The Soup wasn't the whole meal, lol.

If I were to do this now, I'd swing a Protein Shake in the morning and wing it with a few protein bars or Jerky just in case there was a meal or 2 you really couldn't work with at all.

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