I have finally completed the most daunting and draining part of the planning process for me…FOOD BOXES! I looked back on my PCT posts and noticed, I called this post “Tantrum Time.” Seeing as I feel pretty much the same way as I did two years ago, I thought I’d quote myself from that post.
 “I have to say that this part of the planning has, by far, been the most unenjoyable part of this whole process. I just can’t stand it! Every time I sit down to plan my food, I feel like a three year old that didn’t get her afternoon nap. I can’t even begin to tell you how annoying this process is for me. It’s like packing a never ending suitcase!” ~Wired during PCT (and CDT!) planning 

Stocking up at WinCo grocery store.

Stress in any form seems to go directly to my stomach. If I’m worried, tired, cold, hot, just too busy,
or some kind of stress, the first thing to go is my desire to eat or ingest anything. My stomach and my throat tighten up and swallowing becomes a chore. It’s even happening right now just writing about it. This was an unexpected hurdle for me on the PCT where I ended up losing 18lbs by the time I hit Canada. Yes, I will lose weight during the hike, but 18lbs was 15% of my weight and that’s too much. It was a vicious cycle where I was stressed, couldn’t/wouldn’t eat what I should, started to lose weight, then stressed even more about eating, which made the actual process of eating more difficult. I would literally gag in the morning trying to get a small bar down when I knew I was hungry.

I’ve really tried to work on the mental aspect of this over the past year and half and I to should do better. I am definitely more relaxed having been through all this before so that is huge. PCT 2011 was an intense and difficult year to hike and was especially so for a first time thru. I also didn’t expect the blog to have the following that it did. Now I know what I’m walking (or hiking) into on this trip and I’m definitely more experienced and relaxed, so that is key. I also plan to really try to self enforce a schedule on my eating along the trail to be more aware of my intake. Rather than just eating when I’m hungry, I am going eat on a schedule to be aware of what I really must consume each day to stay strong. I know the schedule might seem more stressful to some, but if I went off my gut and natural hunger, I just wouldn’t eat enough. Here’s what I’ve come up with….seriously, I know many of you may cringe at this list, but I’m a picky eater and this is what I can eat…I know many of you have suggestions and I’ve read plenty of research…I’m doing the best I can.

While packing up camp: Eat 1/2C of Almonds or granola. (replaced my Pop Tarts!)
1hr later: 1 Odwalla Bar
Before Lunch: Get down one more Energy Bar*(maybe two) and other “snacks.” ie: Granola Bars*, Pop Tarts (1 per leg), Candy Bars, etc.
Lunch: Changes per leg but includes…Flour Tortillas, dried refried beans, Gatorade, pastrami, cheese, bagels, peanut butter, cream cheese*, candy bars, chips.
Between Lunch/Dinner: One Energy Bar* (maybe two) and then “snacks*”, chips, or candy bar…
Dinner: Mac & Cheese, Mountain House Freeze Dried Dinner, Lipton sides with either tuna, salmon, or chicken, spaghetti w/chicken or TVP and parmesan cheese. I will add plenty of olive oil to all dinners for the fat. A Carnation Instant Breakfast drink. A candy bar or Little Debbie Brownie or candy bar if still hungry.
    *Snacks include whatever I’m craving an pick up…Cheetos, String Cheese, Nila Wafers, Wheat Thins, Luna Bars, Pringles, etc.
    *Energy Bars are Cliff Bars, Promax Bars, and ProBars.
    *Granola Bars are Nature Valley Bars
    *Cream cheese is the Laughing Cow Cream Cheese Spread Wedges

So that’s pretty much it. I’m also going to make an effort to eat more in town. Last time I tried not to eat much in town to be conservative with my money. Now I know better and will definitely indulge more. Let the eating begin!

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