Climbing Trail Mix – Angela’s Concoctions
Lately, I have been reading a lot about high altitude nutrition. This was certainly not part of my formal nutrition education required as a registered dietitian. After all, it is a very specialized area of nutrition that only applies to a relatively small subset of people that climb at high altitudes; so it is not required as part of our core curriculum. But it’s been interesting. I was not surprised to learn that our bodies utilize even more energy from carbohydrates at higher altitude. Endurance activities usually prefer that macronutrient, but at high altitude, carbs are even more important. Digestion really slows down the higher up you go, so the carbs need to be easy to digest – more simple and low in fiber. On the climbing forums, I read that most seasoned climbers just recommend that you eat what tastes good. The higher you get, the more it affects your appetite. So you need to eat what tastes good. Eat what you can get down for much needed energy.
So the question is what should I include in our trail mix? I guess I will include the food that we enjoy at sea level in the right carb-fat-protein combinations. I’ll be honest. I went to the health food store and did not like the granola in the bins. There were primarily made up of only rolled oats and I have been enjoying mixes that are pre-packaged without preservatives or additives. The one I like the most is KIND brand’s Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia & Quinoa. The granola mix is actually a combination of gluten free oats, brown rice amaranth, millet, quinoa and buckwheat. It’s got a very nice flavor. The other packaged granola I enjoy is the Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch. I thought about making my own granola, but with so much to do before departure next week I decided to save time and just use these two that I already like.
I decided to put 2 different trail mix formulations together. One that includes a bit more nuts/seeds and whole grains for the lower altitudes (up to 14,000 feet) and one that is primarily a combination of simpler carbohydrate for the higher altitudes (14,000+ feet).
Trail Mix up to 14,000 Feet
4 cups granola
1 ½ cups dried fruit (combination of dried apricots, mixed berries, raisins and cranberries)
1 cup mixed nuts (combination of roasted/salted almonds and cashews)
1 cup salted edamame
Trail Mix >14,000 Feet
2 cups pretzel sticks, broken
1 cup granola
1 cup dried pineapple
½ cup dried berries
½ cup raisins
We are in the last push to leave town. One week until departure! Please pray for us as we prepare for our parents to care for our children and home while we are gone, and that we remember to pack everything we will need for 19 days. And that we keep excitement our primary emotion – not fear!
We plan on blogging during travel over and while we are there, God willing that the technology we set-up in advance cooperates. Hope you’ll join us virtually on this adventure. After the Kilimanjaro climb, we hope you also are interested in our posts afterward on our 6-day safari. We hope to post some awesome pictures for you to enjoy in the Serengeti-Mara of the Great Migration.
By the way, there is still time to donate to our fundraising efforts to raise money for the people of Africa! Be a blessing to a family in need. By donating to the food and agriculture fund through World Vision, you will provide tangible contributions to help families make cultivate food on their own. Now that’s sustainable. God Bless you in advance for partnering with us in these efforts. Go to our fundraising page here.