PCT Breakfast Fuel
Our friends Beat & Michelle arrived from Switzerland a week ago and this morning started to head south. On Sunday morning they will arrive into the town of Campo near the Mexico border, and will begin a nearly 6 month journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. 2600 baseline miles. On their plane ride over the trip map displayed 2600 miles to destination at one point, with a reported flight time left of 5 hours. I read Wild. I saw Reese Witherspoon portray Cheryl Strayed but I cannot fathom hiking for nearly 6 months and hitting nearly every weather condition possible. I would love to do something like this one day. Other friends of ours hiked the John Muir Trail last year for 22 days with their 6 year old daughter. So awesome.
Anyway - for the past 5 days Beat (pronounced Bae-ought) & Michelle have been using our living room as ground zero. Preparing their boxes that we will send to them along the way. There's a tremendous amount of prep work that goes into something like this. How many calories do you need per day? How much weight can you actually carry? What situations should you be prepared for, no matter what? What will the weather conditions be like? Will you have to go off the trail and if so will you have enough water to see you through. Tons of planning. Weight vs necessesity vs. nutrition. It's a very fine balance and one that undoubtedly changes as you progress along your journey, due to a host of factors.
As silly as it may sound when you're contemplating doing something as epic as this, but my mind keep thinking "but really.... no fresh food for nearly 6 months??" I watched as they packed up their dehydrated foods, their pasta and Trader Joe's sun-dried tomatoes, their endless supply of nuts, Clif Bars and (yikes) Beef Jerky. Has anyone done a study on before and after health profiles following a journey such as this? On one hand you're likely achieving a level of fitness to be reckoned with and on the other you're surviving on a 100% processed food diet. Makes you wonder! The photos my husband pulled up did not help clarify as all shots showed the subject far thinner with a certain twinge of crazy in their eyes!!!
I decided I would offer to make a superfood breakfast blend - something that could be eaten as is with a 1/2 cup of cold or warm water added. On days when they needed extra power and/or warmth, it could also be added to their morning oatmeal. They needed something that was high in calories, good fats, protein and carbohydrates and I really felt it necessary to provide as much fiber as possible. With 11, unrefined, whole food ingredients - this mixture provides approx. 450 Calories, 27g of Healthy Fats, 40g of Healthy Carbohydrates, 11g of Protein and 13g of Fiber.
BIG's PCT Breakfast Fuel (amounts are per single serving)
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Coconut Chips
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Hazelnuts
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Teff
- 1 Tablespoon Hemps Seeds
- 1.5 teaspoon Cacao Powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Date Suger (Ground Dehydrated Dates)
- 1 teaspoon Maca
- 1 teaspoon Baobab
- 1/4 teaspoon Chlorella
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
I first ground the Teff (an Ancient Ethiopian Grain packed with minerals, protein, iron and is praised by runners for its slow but constant release of energy) in my coffee grinder. Next I grind up the Hazelnuts (they stick more, so do them last). Add all other ingredients in their common state. Chia Seeds have long been touted by ultra-marathon runners, specifically by the Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico. The mixture has a great blend of powerful Omega-3's, rich in antioxidants, long lasting energy, magnesium, fiber, potassium, good fats, vitamin C and a boatload more and tastes pretty darn good.
Of course the ingredients can be tweaked / altered for you preferred flavor profile and/or doubled / tripled if you'd like it to pack more of a punch. As with everything in life - moderation is advised - and if any ingredient is a negative trigger for you, skip it!
Add all of the ingredients together and add approx. 1/2 cup of water - store it up and let is sit for a few minutes to allow the chia seeds and teff to thicken up a bit. As I mentioned earlier, this could also be easily added to morning oats for a serious power packed breakfast of champions!!
More ingredient info:
Maca - Whilst Macs is known in some circles as an aphrodisiac and performance enhancer - that is easily translatable to embracing a journey and walking hard for 20-30 miles a day. It is mostly known as an all round energy and immune booster and for helping stamina, memory, mental health and focus.
Hemp Seeds - a perfect protein - contains all 20 amino acids plus the 9 essential amino acids the body cannot produce. Balance hormones. Healthy Omegas for Cardiovascular Health. natural colon cleanser. High in anti-cancer GLA, vitamins and minerals.
Baobab - Another great African Superfood. Baobab is extremely high in Vitamin C, Calcium, essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. It is considered a "general cure-all tonic" and has been known to treat fevers, malaria and many GI issues. It has a lovely tart taste and can even just be mixed alone with water for a refreshing, nutrient packed beverage. I'm a huge fan of Kaibae and am pleased that these guys also brought along their own pack of Baobab Fruit Powder as well as their Baobab Oil.
Chlorella - an algae with loads of nutritional qualities is primarily used as a detoxifier to help eliminate toxins and heavy metals from the body. When you're asking this much of your body, it's important to give it the tools it needs to do it's job properly.