Breakfast of (Hiking) Champions

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.

Meandering on,


**Note: I contacted the hemp seed company, Manitoba Harvest, and they generously offered me the following:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Enough hemp seed for my trek!  Thank you so much to Manitoba Harvest for sponsoring my breakfast of champions. : )

27 thoughts on “Breakfast of (Hiking) Champions

  1. FYI… There has been a lot in the news lately about the arsenic levels in rice. Chemical fertilizers contain arsenic, which runs off into the water supply. Rice is grown sitting in water, and it has been found that rice contains disturbing amounts of arsenic. The worst? brown rice, because the hull has not been removed and its the most exposed part of the rice.
    Knowing you so well, you do tend to eat the same foods over and over again. Rice is ok, in small amounts, as in 2 servings per week. To be mixing with your breakfast everyday for an entire AT trail hike? Perhaps not the best plan if you don’t want to poison yourself.

  2. Thanks for the like on my blog! I loved reading your about & latest post! I remember visiting the Appalachian trail when I was a teenager, I told myself I’d conquer it someday. I look forward to reading about your journey!

  3. Funnily enough, I’ve just been reading an article about how diet and food availability was a driving force in the evolution of humans. The author asserts that there really isn’t what you call a ‘caveman diet’, but that humans are specifically adapted to be able to eat a very wide variety of foods. 🙂

  4. I am a big fan of the Manitoba Hemp Hearts and use them in greek yogurt and cereal. I even sneak them into muffins sometimes. It’s awesome that you’re bringing them on your trek. Happy trails!

  5. Pingback: Age is only a number. Kinda. « My Meandering Trail

    • I’ve had a gluten free diet for almost 6 years now. I spent 2006-7 feeling pretty cruddy, but it wasn’t until I moved up to DC and settled in that I decided to do something about it. We have inflammation issues in my family, so when my mom and aunt recommended cutting out gluten (as well as a few other well-known “trigger” foods), I did. I felt so much better that I’ve never looked back. I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.

  6. I do this too! I discovered brussels sprouts earlier this year and had them twice a day for weeks. Wait… months, now that I think about it. If someone asks “what did you do in 2012?” I will be able to say “basically just ate brussels sprouts”.

  7. Awesome stuff, I never knew that Hemp was so nutritious 🙂
    BTW, is hemp derived from cannabis- or the other way around?

  8. Pingback: Fun contest and GIVEAWAY! Help me think of songs for my playlist! « My Meandering Trail

  9. Pingback: Seventh Official Product Review EVER: HEMP PRO 70 « My Meandering Trail

  10. Pingback: Hemp Hearts Attack! « My Meandering Trail

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