There’s a healthy eating movement that you may know about called the Paleo Diet. The idea behind it is that humans only began cultivating food through agriculture about 10,000 years ago, so our bodies (and digestive tracts) are still genetically better suited to food that the “cavemen” ate. Adherents to the so-called Caveman Diet focus on grass-fed meats, fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, etc.
I have a couple of friends that maintain the diet; they feel healthier for it, so who am I to judge? And what I eat sometimes resembles a Paleo Diet since my gluten sensitivity limits the processed foods and grains I eat anyway. However, no offense intended to my Paleo compadres out there, but I must say that my diet may be way closer to the way cavemen actually ate.
Let me explain.
If I try a food and like it, I tend to eat it continuously for many weeks on end. For example, when I’m in the mood, carrot juice and sweet potatoes can become a daily staple. I contend that it doesn’t take much beta carotene to affect my sullen winter pallor, but sometimes friends take one look at the skin on my hands and ask if I’ve been buying carrot juice en masse (again). Well, what can I say, it’s way healthier than baking at a tanning salon. And I’m not talking Oompa Loompa dark or anything (geez!).
If you look in my fridge and cupboard, you’ll see that I have many foods that fit into the “sometimes daily staple” category such as almond butter, (gluten free) oatmeal, dried and fresh fruits, eggs, quinoa, canned salmon, tuna, and greek yogurt. Just by looking, how would you know that they fit into that category? Well, they’re in a quantity only purchase-able at my friendly neighborhood Costco or from Amazon.
So back to our honored ancestors, the cavemen. Most of the time, cavemen picked fruits, nuts, and wild grasses for their staple diets (don’t quote me. I’m in no way educated on this topic, nor did I have the decency to at least check out Wikipedia. I mean, if the Flintstones taught us anything, it’s that cavemen went to drive-thru restaurants and got dinosaur ribs, but I don’t think that’s accurate.). But every once in awhile, they’d successfully band together and kill a mastodon. And, when they did, for awhile they were eating a lot of mastodon…steaks, burgers, kabobs, stew – you name it.
Do you see the similarity yet?
So to finally focus on the title of this post: the breakfast of (hiking) champions, i.e. the staple foods that I intend to eat for breakfast while I’m on the trail…
I recently found hemp seed at Costco. The product is – hang on, let me go get the bag. OK, I’m back. What was I saying? Right, OK. The product – Hemp Hearts – is raw shelled hemp seeds. Three tablespoons have 170 calories, 10 grams of protein, and lots of Omega 3s and 6s. Since I’ve already shared the parameters I require for buying any product on impulse (see previous post), you already know that I tossed the bag in my cart as soon as I saw it.
Upon sampling, I liked the nutty earthy flavor and softer texture (as opposed to crunchy) so much so that I brought a bag with me on my month-long road trip this past summer (visiting national parks – camping, hiking, etc.). And I ended up eating them every day for breakfast, paired with another food that I discovered (or, more accurately, introduced by my friend Melissa).
Now, I don’t want to lose you here like I did with the talk of toe shoes, so maybe you should have a seat and take a deep breath. Hemp seeds go really well when added to (duh duh DUH) baby cereal. Baby cereal is really awesome: easily accessible (at grocery stores), fairly inexpensive, and easy to prepare. It’s made of oats or brown rice (I eat the rice variety because oats have gluten) that have been pulverized into powder. All you have to do is add water and stir. Its texture will be between mushy and soupy depending on how much water you add; think rehydrated mashed potatoes. And pouring in the hemp seeds provides a breakfast with protein, fiber, carbs, and a pleasant nutty flavor.
Tada! Genius, I know. Maybe not a perfect solution since it’ll likely require me to plan more mail drops and to fend off jokes about gumming my food like an old fart, but it sure beats Snickers for breakfast.
**Note: I contacted the hemp seed company, Manitoba Harvest, and they generously offered me the following:
- Trial size bags of their Hemp Hearts. I plan to announce a contest and giveaway within the next couple of weeks, so look for it and please participate! It should be fun.
- Samples of another product, their HEMP PRO 70 (hemp protein powder), to try. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for my review of that product.
- Enough hemp seed for my trek! Thank you so much to Manitoba Harvest for sponsoring my breakfast of champions. : )