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    Food tips for hikers

    10 Tips to Eat Right

    By Lynn WAdventure Health

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    People talk about diets all the time, focussing on how they can eat more to bulk up, eat less to slim down, or alter their eating habits in a myriad of other ways in order to feel better and improve their health. Needless to say, there are hundreds of different diets out there, all of which seem complex, difficult to maintain, and tend to have a short-term impact on our overall health.

    With that in mind, we at 10Adventures thought we'd share 10 tips that we have used and loved, not necessarily to lose weight, but to help bring stability, diversity, and balance to our eating habits.

    In addition to offering a bit of helpful advice to our readers, this is a bit of a personal article as well. Our Founder (Richard) had a health scare in 2016 and spent almost 12 months in bed. As a result of this, his doctor recommended that he take a more active approach to his health and fitness, and suggested a variety of ideas, some of which are listed below:

    These nutrition changes had tangible benefits, such as:

    1. Weight drop of almost 20lbs
    2. Incredible increase in energy
    3. Chronically high cholesterol dropped to within the normal range without medication. This saved $20,000 in long-term drug costs.

    Most of these ideas aren’t new secrets or tricks. They've been floating around for years. Michael Pollan and his book Ominore’s Dilema (2006) first started taking apart the western diet, and what we’ve done is distilled the common sense that people like Pollan have been preaching into a system that works for us.

    Here are our secrets and we hope you find that they work for you. At the end we even share some super simple, healthy recipes. If we can make them, then we know you’ll do just fine!

    Tip #1: Cut out all that extra, refined sugar

    Pollan suggests the simple trick that if sugar is in the top 3 items on the ingredient list then you shouldn’t eat it. We took it further and try to cut sugar out entirely.

    You’d be surprised how easy this is. You’ll need to go through and purge the fridge and pantry and be prepared for sugar cravings, in just 14 days you can make the switch and never look back. Well, ok you might look back... but there's nothing wrong with indulging in the odd piece of candy or sweet treat now and again!

    Tip #2: Reduce or eliminate grain-based carbs

    Richard had to reduce his intake of grains (think pasta, toast, or waffles…mmm, waffles) as part of his recovery, as big portions of grain-based carbs left him feeling exhausted.

    At first, cutting grains completely out of his diet was tough. He had cravings for some cereal and toast at breakfast, while dinner felt strange without pasta 3-4 times a week.

    However, cutting out grains brought about a real positive change. Not only did it help him drop almost 20 pounds over 12 months, but also led to the discovery of tips 3, 4, and 5!

    For many people, the hardest meal to give up grains is breakfast, as food items such as cereal or toast are so ingrained (pun intended!) in the western diet. For Richard, this was no different. To ditch the carbs he now has 2 glasses of water and a lot of scrambled eggs for breakfast (he’s becoming a connoisseur of scrambled egg recipes!)

    Tip #3: Eat more Vegetables

    This one is easy. Eat. More. Vegetables. But there is a secret. Eat more vegetables that are cooked with healthy oils. Oh my, how good are green beans sauteed with garlic and olive oil? Or farmers market carrots roasted with some maple syrup, pepper and more olive oil? Or learn to make your own vinaigrette and unlock healthy salads? Or roasted tomatoes with Oregano and Parmesan cheese.

    Once you learn a few tricks to make your veggies delicious (each of which takes 1-2 minutes of prep) having vegetables at each meal is something you look forward to.

    Tip #4: Flip up your snacks

    We used to snack on cereal, toast, cheese, crackers, yogurt and bananas. Anytime we were hungry, we would simply grab one of the above and chow down.

    We made a change to different snacks, specifically more natural food that is better for our body. We now grab a handful of mixed nuts or else an apple when hungry.

    You could also try adding a protein shake to your day, especially if you’re having a particularly active day. Now, we’ve found a lot protein powders cause stomach and other gastrointestinal issues, which sucks because when we bike to work we like having a shake. Having a half scoop of Vega Protein Powder doesn’t seem to give any discomfort and so far it is the best brand we’ve encountered.

    Tip #5: Simplify Your Lunch

    As humans we are adding more and more complexity to our meals. We make the process of eating healthy tough. How many times have you said: “I can’t be bothered to make a meal” and instead you eat something terrible for you? If you’re like us, it probably happens all too often!

    We stumbled upon simplification as part of cutting out carbs and sugar. This got rid of most pre-packaged food. Lunch was the hardest hit, as we lost our sandwich, yogurt and health bar.

    Instead, we found a solution in making every lunch the same: an apple, veggies, nuts, a chunk of dried meat and a piece of cheese. Whether in the city or on the trail, our lunches are the same. This is such an easy lunch to make, and it’s a great mix of flavours and textures.

    What about snacks? Nobody’s perfect, right? One of our favourite snacks are Kind Bars, which you can get from Costco at a great price.

    Tip #6: Drink More Water

    We all know we aren’t drinking enough water, and this is SO simple to fix.

    Our first trick is to add some electrolytes! We love the Vega Sport Electrolytes, especially the Lemon Lime. Have one of these in the morning when you wake up and another before bed. It really helps to keep us feeling energized and at the top of our game, which, for those of us with a house full of young kids, know how hard of a challenge that can be!

    During the day, we also work to drink water a lot more often. Take a water bottle and fill it up throughout the day. Don’t get another coffee or tea unless you drink and refill your water bottle at the same time.

    The benefit of drinking more water is that we found a lot of fatigue was actually related to being dehydrated. Next time you’re tuckered out have some water with electrolytes and notice how you feel better in 45 minutes.

    Tip #7: Fat is your friend

    Richard ended up taking a lot out of his diet as part of his recovery. But one area that he really added was fat. Especially olive oil and avocado oil. These two oils have lots of health attributes, are delicious and great for cooking.

    The biggest difference that he noticed from adding a lot more fat to his diet is that he began to feel more full after smaller meals. Sometimes he’ll simply have a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil as a snack and it will kill his hunger.

    His secret tip is to start the day off right and add avocado oil or Coconut oil to your coffee each morning. Yummm!

    Tip #8: Intermittent Fasting

    Can you imagine a day without food? For those who feel like they are dominated by what they eat, fasting can be a great way to take control of your hunger and help manage your metabolism.

    Not eating for a whole day is something to try, but not a suitable option for most of us who are outdoors so much. Instead, we discovered intermittent fasting, which is shorter fasting that has linked to longevity in research. It’s a big trend in Silicon Valley these days, associated with health improvement and weight loss.

    For us, we work to do three 16-hour fasts a week. We start right after dinner and then don’t eat until mid-morning the next day.

    Make sure to drink lots of water during this time. You also get to savour your coffee each morning.

    We’ve found intermittent fasting helps to clear the mind, increase our energy and improve our overall mood.

    Fasting also has a real simple benefit - it cuts down snacking at night. This helps if you are trying to lose weight.

    Finally, fasting is a great psychological boost, allowing you to prove that you have control over your hunger and that you are in control of your diet!

    Tip #9: Cut down on alcohol

    Who doesn’t love a glass of wine after a hard day or a beer after a great hike? Having a drink can be a great way to unwind or connect in social settings, but drinking alcohol conflicts with a lot of the other tips. It’s got lots of carbs, it dehydrates you, it makes you a bit groggy and you can’t drink if you are fasting.

    If you follow the other tips above, your alcohol consumption will end up being greatly reduced. You can still have a drink 1-2 times a week; however, cutting down on booze helps control your weight and your mood.

    A side benefit is that avoiding alcohol after dinner means you can fit in an evening workout. Double win!

    Tip #10: Roll with failures

    We look at our diet as something that is imperfect. There are days where we will fail and eat entire bag of ketchup chips, but knowing upfront that mistakes will happen can stop eating a bad lunch from turning into an entire week's worth of bad eating. I know a bad meal is built into my plan, so I just start trying to eat healthy the next opportunity.

    Psychologically this really works for us.

    Finally, here are our favorite, easy vegetable recipes

    My easy secret to enjoying all the extra fruits and veggies is to cook them.

    Roasted Veggies

    This easy recipe allows you to have delicious vegetables for dinner any night. Take one tray and fill it with vegetables (ideally fresh and in-season) and let them bake and brown. That’s the maillard reaction; the carmalizing of the natural sugars.

    1. Cut up some bell peppers, trim some asparagus, broccoli, and cut some Brussel sprouts in half too.
    2. Take that veg, toss it in olive oil add a good amount of salt and pepper and bake them on a cookie tray at 425 for 30-40 minutes.
    3. Add some more oil when you plate and you’re in heaven!
    4. You can also add some favourite herbs if you want, but if you have good produce you don’t need it.

    Maple Syrup Roasted Carrots

    Another dish we make the even the kids love is roasted carrots.

    1. Cut up some fresh carrots in ¼” slices
    2. Add a lot of olive oil, a little salt and pepper, and tossing with a small amount of maple syrup.
    3. Cover the tray you’re baking them in with tin foil and cook at 425 until the carrots are softened to your liking (usually 30-45 minutes).
    4. Enjoy! Even the kids will love this one!

    Italian-style Garlic Sauteed Beans

    This is another great one and so easy. We first had it in Italy and it seemed so fresh and delicious we made our own version.

    1. Take some fresh beans, put then in a frying pan with some avocado oil.
    2. Let the beans get nice and tender (3-5 minutes) and once they are tender turn the temperature down (or off)
    3. Then toss on some minced garlic, salt, pepper and a big wallop of good olive oil. Toss for 15 seconds and then take them out of the pan onto a plate. Yumm.
    4. Kick it up a knotch with some chili flakes with the garlic.

    Italian-style Tomatoes

    These are like mini-pizzas, only all tomato. A real taste sensation.

    1. Take fresh tomatoes and cut them in half.
    2. Place them on a baking tray and top with plenty of salt, pepper, oregano, and grated parmesan cheese.
    3. Bake those until they are soft and delicious and there is a crust on top.
    4. Eat these, however make sure you have left-overs. Tomorrow you can chop these up and add them to some eggs with some cheese and sausage. Whoa, that’s a wonderful breakfast.

    Guilt Free Crumble

    For dessert we will make a guilt free fruit crumble. How you do you make it guilt free? Hold the crumble!

    1. Slice up some apples (toss in a pear if you want) and toss with a lot of cinnamon and a handful of raisins
    2. Place is a ceramic bowl that has been oiled and cover (with tinfoil) and bake at 425 until it’s soft enough for you (we usually bake between 30-45 minute). Whoa, this is tasty, and it’s just fruit. This is great cold as well, especially in some yogurt. Try other fruits, berries and nuts for a taste sensation.


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