You know what’s great? Taking a long, strenuous hike up the side of a mountain, pausing every few moments to turn and look at the incredible landscape that stretches for miles and miles.
You know what’s not great? Getting to the top and sitting down for a well-deserved rest, only to discover you didn’t bring enough food.
Ugh. Trust me when I say: I’ve been there. Very rarely though, because after you make that mistake once, you have a lot more foresight. Over the past five years, I’ve hiked in a number of stunning destinations– Canada, Colorado, the Caribbean, and Indiana (to name a few). Each trip took place during a different stage in my life, a different spot on the pendulum of Hurt vs. Healing from an eating disorder.
Some of those hikes are forever etched fondly in my memory. Some are foggy, blurred by an empty stomach and an anxious heart. I regret that I can’t change those trips, but I do know that I can enjoy the adventures I have now. And one thing’s for sure: Getting adequate fuel for my running and hiking is a high priority.
So what do I recommend? Shelf-stable, nutrient-dense, and delicious foods!
My favorite foods for fueling up and recovering from runs are: oatmeal, peanut butter, fresh fruit, and greek yogurt. I typically run in the morning, so breakfast food is my jam (so punny, I know)! These foods are also easy to take on the go.
For Hiking (and running!)
Fresh fruit doesn’t take too well to the trail– although sliced-up apples are the bomb! For most of my hiking, I rely on dried fruit, jerky, and protein bars. Over the years, I’ve become quite a connoisseur when it comes to bars (and a picky one, at that). Recently, I received a sample of the new Nature Valley XL Protein Bars. Friends, these bars are made for us active, go-getters! They have a great balance of nutrients (I’m looking at you, 15g of protein) and the peanut butter flavor is sinfully delicious.
Here’s what I’m thinking: If you’re going for a short walkabout, grab one of the Nature Valley biscuits equally good, but not as filling. If love hiking (me!) or frequently get lost on long runs and return home with ravenous hunger and no time to make food (also me), stock up on the protein bars.
There are many protein and granola bars that I take on the trail (and take in my bag on a busy days), but Nature Valley* and Pure Protein bars are my favorite. What else do I pack? Well, no hiking trip is complete without turkey jerky, dried fruit, and peanut butter packets. You can’t go wrong with any of those– unless you put them together, that is.
Those are just some of my many recommendations. Every food, and every adventurer, is a little different. Just remember: Shelf-stable, nutrient-dense, and delicious. Don’t forget that last one. I wholeheartedly assure you: The view from the mountain top is much more breathtaking when you’re snacking on something you actually enjoy. 🙂
*I was provided with a Nature Valley sample free of charge, but all these thoughts are mine. The Nature Valley bars are really that good. You have my word!