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  1. #21

    Default Yerba Mate

    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    I guess I am going to have to try some of this Yerba stuff. So I don't need the special gourd, but I do need a special straw?
    Definately need the special straw (bombilla). The special gourd would be most helpful (mine weighs 1.5 oz) as it will allow you to extract more of the nutrients from the tea because of its shape. However, one could use a small cup or other item. It would still work, just require a little extra manual working of the tea in order to insure that you extract all the nutrients.

    My wife and I do not hike with a cup. We use stove and stove lid as our bowls. The 1.5oz for us is dual use because we use it to put a little water into for brushing our teeth. Cup is 2" diamater and 2.5" tall; it slightly bows out at bottom and is narrower in the middle. Your current small bowl/cup could work; would possibly need to just switch the straw from one side to the other since bowl/cup does not narrow in the middle.

    It is cool that you are thinking about trying it; I can't believe it is not more popular as a trail food. Still, I have crossed a few hikers and campers wielding the special straw. My nickname is YerbaJon because of my passion for this tea; a tea I first learned of while working for a non-profit that worked with farmers from Latin America. There is a law in Argentina that every mother must give their child yerba mate before sending them to school. Why? Because it relaxes their muscles, alerts their minds, and most importantly it provides them with a complete nutrition. I look forward to hearing your experience with it.

  2. #22
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    It looks like the straw simply has a screen or something over it to keep out the yerba leaves, is this true?
    SGT Rock
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    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
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    NO SNIVELING

  3. #23

    Default Yerba Mate Straw (Bombilla)

    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    It looks like the straw simply has a screen or something over it to keep out the yerba leaves, is this true?
    You are mostly correct. There are 2 types: One is like two spoons put together with small holes drilled in them. The other type is a straight hollow tube that has larger holes drilled in the side of it that are covered with a spring which acts like a screen. The straw creates a reverse french press. After adding water, the tea compacts tightly around the end (bottom/screen part) of the spoon One has to suck the nutrients out, so the straw surrounded by the packed tea allows one to suck out the nutrients (which includes protein!).

  4. #24
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    have you ever heard of or tried MORNING THUNDER from Celestial Seasoning...it is a mixture of black tea and mate'...

    I have used that along with the other herb in the morning some real get up and go stuff
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  5. #25

    Default Drinking Tea vs. Mateando (serving mate)

    Quote Originally Posted by smokymtnsteve
    have you ever heard of or tried MORNING THUNDER from Celestial Seasoning...it is a mixture of black tea and mate'...

    I have used that along with the other herb in the morning some real get up and go stuff
    Black tea's caffeine is not bound like mate's, so it will work well for you as a "get up and go" drink because the black tea's caffeine is easily diluted into the water. The difference is that a tea bag, like the one you are using, is generally 3grams of tea. Yerba Mate would be taken in doses of 25-50 grams. Additionally, yerba mate would use around 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water, while a 3gram tea bag is diluted usually in one or more cups of water. You could get 3gram tea bags of 100% yerba mate and enjoy its special stimulant properties without the jitters and without the muscle tension that the black tea is giving you, but you would not extract all of the nutrients. Additionally, any of the nutrients that one could get out of 3grams of tea is not sufficient compared to 25-50 grams of tea. It is the difference between eating one leaf and eating a salad. Still, I am glad to hear that you have introduced some of the benefits of the tea into your routine. Every bit of nutrition helps on the trail.

    I was originally very resistant to the straw and gourd and looked for any other alternative method. In the end, it was just impossible to improve on a 300+ year old indigenous method. Plastics have changed this slightly (see http://www.yerbacup.com), but in the end the gourd and straw are easier than brewing coffee.The tea is so goodthat it is simply worth sucking out all of its benefits; no culture has yet to improve on it. ; from ma-tea.com: "It is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Mate in nutritional value".-Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society.

  6. #26

    Default added information

    Following from the Dr was too good not to add:
    1. Snack, Snack, SNACK! Throughout long treks, Munch. Because BOTH fat and carbohydrates are being burned in active muscle, the ideal way to maximize relative fuel consumption is to keep eating a mixture, but carbohydrates are especially critical during exercise. The body has an ample supply of fat stored up, so even if you don't eat any fat, there's plenty available in the bloodstream, being delivered from storage. Not so with carbohydrates. Storage is limited. See Table 2 below for Snacks ranked by carbohydrate content.

    2. REST!

    Give muscles a chance to replenish their carbohydrate stores. It takes several days to fully replete stores after they are exhausted/depleted. On a long trek, you may find your energy level flagging earlier and earlier with each passing day. Feeling tired, weak, anemic. You don't have the same stamina. It's likely not because you are suddenly iron deficient, but rather because you are running out of stored carbohydrate. Plan a day of rest following a particularly long grueling day and eat plenty of complex carbohydrates (i.e., whole grains, starchy vegetables). [Notice how many through-hikers do just the opposite. They eat high carbohydrate meals on the trail, then bee-line to town to gorge on a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a dozen donuts after single-handedly inhaling a large pizza with everything on it. Where does all that fat go? It's NOT replenishing depleted glycogen stores (humans can't convert fat to carbohydrate effectively). If it doesn't go straight through you (diarrhea), some of the fat goes to replete the fat stores in the heart and muscle, but most of the excess goes right back into storage to be lugged around a few more miles.]

    3. TIMING

    Eat frequent carbohydrate snacks, especially during and immediately after a hard workout (15 minutes to 1 hour after quitting for the day, so keep your dinner menu simple). During the day, about 20-30 grams of carbohydrate per hour is a reasonable goal. 20 grams for easy hiking; 30 grams for more challenging terrain. And the sugar can come from complex carbohydrates (="starch"/ "whole grains"/"high fiber" foods), which are better nutrients all around. Complex carbohydrates release sugar over a longer period of time, rather than getting one big dose all at once. A second benefit of complex carbohydrates is that they are more likely to supply the B vitamins and minerals you need. (Refer to Table 2, Trail Snacks, below.)

    4. Never eat a high sugar snack just before exercising.

    Insulin, a hormone released when sugar is eaten, stimulates cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream, thus causing blood glucose levels to fall. If you then begin to exercise, glucose levels will further plummet, thus decreasing your endurance. A drink of water or milk would be better than drinking a sugar-laden soda just before you exercise, since the sugar will cause you to run out of energy faster. If you must mainline sugar, eat it in small doses during or after exercise, but not before!

    Hypoglycemics/diabetics: A special alert: a high carbohydrate diet (70:15:15) can work against you. If you're trying to preserve your glycogen stores for the long day ahead, insulin says, " Burn carbohydrate, not fat", but you really want to preserve that glycogen as long as you can. What to do? Avoid eating excessive amounts of simple sugars, so insulin won't be released. Spare glycogen by eating complex carbohydrates (starches) or small quantities of combination foods--foods that contain protein, sugar and fat (i.e., cheese and crackers or a Pop Tart), so that absorption is delayed and insulin response is lower.

  7. #27
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    YerbaJon, make sure you put all the final stuff into one post so when it is an article, it is all there for the reader.
    SGT Rock
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    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
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  8. #28
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    Default additional information

    One thing I’ve found is that often people who push certain “health foods” are either ignorant of the side effects or are just not telling you the whole story because they have a vested interest in the products. A lot of these substances can have serious side effects or interact with prescribed medications, often with fatal results. Medicinenet.com has this to say about Yerba Mate and I think you really ought to read it before you start drinking this stuff. Pay particular attention to the section on drug interaction. As with any medicine you should check with your doctor or pharmacist to check for possible dangers or interactions.
    GENERIC NAME: YERBA MATE (Ilex paraguayensis) - ORAL

    USES: Yerba mate has been used as a stimulant, an antidepressant, and as a "water pill" (a diuretic to increase urination). Some herbal/diet supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful impurities/additives. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use. The FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

    HOW TO USE: Take this product by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Limit both the daily intake and length of yerba mate use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

    SIDE EFFECTS: Flushing, nausea, vomiting, irritability, nervousness, increased urination and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious side effects: stomach pain, yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, fever, muscle twitching, unusually fast/slow/irregular heartbeat. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

    PRECAUTIONS: If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor before using this product: liver disease, high blood pressure. Liquid preparations of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this product. Caution is advised when using this product in children, as they may experience more side effects. Yerba mate is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this product. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this product is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

    DRUG INTERACTIONS: Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription medications you may use, especially of: theophylline, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide), cimetidine, certain quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, enoxacin), verapamil, stimulants (e.g., adrenaline-like drugs such as methylphenidate, pseudoephedrine). Check all medicine labels carefully, especially "diet pills" (appetite suppressants) as well as cough-and-cold preparations since many contain stimulants (e.g., phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine). Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of these products. Avoid drinking large amounts of beverages containing caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea, cola).

    OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.

  9. #29
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    Default

    The Thru-hiker article has a chart/discussion on Vitamin C degredation in dried veg. Worth addressing.

  10. #30

    Default Greens Dangerous?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Fhart
    Pay particular attention to the section on drug interaction. As with any medicine you should check with your doctor or pharmacist to check for possible dangers or interactions.


    First: Thank you Old Fhart for your criticisms. Your insight into possible risks has caused me to be more clear in my post about criticisms of Yerba Mate and other notes about food interactions. You helped to remind me that the foods we may be eating on the trail are likely different than our normal food: one would be wise to see how their body reacts to new foods before becoming too dependent..


    The Old Fhart is correct that one needs to know their medicines. This is not a unique problem to yerba mate, it applies to everything:


    Natural does not mean it is completely safe. Everything you put in your mouth has the potential to interact with something else. The medication that is taken by mouth travels through the digestive system in much the same way as food and herbs taken orally do. So, when a drug is mixed with food or another herb, each can alter the way the body metabolizes the other. Some drugs interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Similarly, some herbs and foods can lessen or increase the impact of a drug:

    Alcohol is a drug that interacts with almost every medication, especially antidepressants and other drugs that affect the brain and nervous system.

    Some dietary components increase the risk of side effects. Theophylline, a medication administered to treat asthma, contains xanthines, which are also found in tea, yerba mate, coffee, chocolate, and other sources of caffeine. Consuming large amounts of these substances while taking theophylline increases the risk of drug toxicity.

    Certain vitamins and minerals impact on medications too. Large amounts of broccoli, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables high in vitamin K, which promotes the formation of blood clots, can counteract the effects of heparin, warfarin, and other drugs given to prevent clotting.

    Dietary fiber also affects drug absorption. Pectin and other soluble fibers slow down the absorption of acetaminophen, a popular painkiller. Bran and other insoluble fibers have a similar effect on digoxin, a major heart medication.



    There are no known contraindications to Yerba Mate. Unfortunately, the FDA does not look at herbs, but the German FDA does and they note no contra-indications. Still, the Old Fhart is correct that one should be careful with anything they introduce into their body.




    I am talking about a plant here folks. My interest is only in spreading the vibe. It is worth noting that I do not suggest taking it orally as a pill. The Old Fhart's information appears to talk about a pill form, which in my opinion is another silly American attempt to change a good thing. Just like wheatgrass: one does not eat it, they extract the nutrients from it. A yerba mate pill sounds like a bad idea to me.

    As far as the dangers of yerba mate: the only danger I have ever heard of is

    1) people drink it too hot thus causing throat damage.

    2) some people do not react well to the caffeine that is bound with the tea, such that they do not enjoy the "feeling". These people can become sick from it if they drink too much: but they are few and far between: some people just react funny to any food, but this is not unique to yerba mate.

    I would agree with the Old Fhart that caution should be taken when consuming any stimulant; but I think the Old Fhart has allowed himself to by unnecessarily frightened.

    First, the warnings given by medline do not note any contraindication: they merely warn that if you are taking any other stimulant, be carefull, because yerba mate is also a stimulant and 1+1=2. Second, look up any warnings about any caffeine and you will be frightened. The Germans docotors, who prescribe herbs and pharmaceuticals, actually prescribe yerba mate as a "caffeine substitute"; not that yerba mate does not have caffeine, just that it is bound in such a way so as to avoid the side effect of muscle tension that normal caffeines provide. Those that are ignorant will tell you that it is not Caffeine in yerba mate, those that know will lead you to articles that talk about the special way it is bound. Caffeine is an addictive product, yerba mate's caffeine is not addictive. Folks, I am suggesting drinking/extracting nutrients from a plant here, I am not talking about bringing some special crazy scientifically produced genetic hybrid ‘power drink’.

    To be absolutely clear, there are better plants; they are called fresh greens and have the most beneficially nutrients of any. Yet, if you like to worry: All natural plants can effect the body, especially herbs: Pleurisy Root (expectorant), Plantain (astringent), Sorrel (large doses of sorrel can damage the kidneys: avoid if you suffer from kidney disease, arthritis, or rheumatism), Solomon's Seal Root (astringent), and Chicory (diuretic). Any web search will find plenty of medication warnings about expectorants, diuretcs, astringents, etc. Don’t get me started on peanuts. Peanuts can kill! No joke: they are terribly dangerous to many. They don’t note that “this product may contain traces of peanut” just for fun; peanuts can kill. Fortunately, most green teas like yerba mate are not so risky.

    As you wisely already know, there is value in many things we do not understand. You make me think of a mentor of mine who suggested I not go on the trail because of the danger: he sent me a nice frightening list of all the bad things that could happen. He argued strongly for bringing a Gun. I could not get him to understand that his concerns were technically warranted, but when compared to other choices/activities in life, it is always worth walking in the woods. Also, you say that someone who is suggesting X ("health food"), is either Y (ignorant) or Z (vested interest). This is not logical, Old Fhart. You commit a common form of fuzzy logic called "either-of fallacy". An example: anyone who walks the trail is either ignorant of what matters in life or has nothing better to do with their time. A statement that is not true and unfair; there are ALWAYS more than two reasons for doing something. As an example: maybe I posted the idea to share the knowledge about a method I learned for consuming greens while out in the woods? You are unfair to me when you call me ignorant or assume that I have only a personal vested interest. I am merely sharing knowledge that I got from people much older than you. Don't assume you know why I live. Yerba Mate is a perfectly legitimate trail recommendation.

    Your concerns you post; I am glad that you found them. But, it does not change the reality of what I am suggesting:

    I am merely suggesting a to use a plant that is 1) 1/2 of the combat rations that are given to the Argentine Military (other half is bread), 2) required by Argentine' law that it be given to children before they go to school, 3) prescribed by doctors in Germany for mild depression and as a caffeine substitute, 4) prescribed by doctors in Argentina after heart surgery, 5) encouraged that pregnant woman increase their normal use of the tea (nutrient rich purposes), 6) and discovered by European missionaries from an indigenous tribe that survived a multi-year draught by drinking copious amounts of the stuff.

    I am suggesting the plant because I have found it to be a great trail green. Personally, I drink less to none of it when I am not on the trail. But, on the trail I can think of no better, as you call it, "health food" to recommend. Off the trail: I would suggest spinach (but be careful, too much of it prevents the uptake of calcium). [img]images/smilies/think.gif[/img] Yikes! Still, I am glad that you noted that Yerba Mate might not be for all. I would like to ask you, "how do you get your greens on the trail?". I am always open to new ways of doing things; learning from Old Fharts like you is how I learned to live. (I am Counselor for Geriatric Patients; I get to learn wisdom while working.)

    I actually bring Yerba Mate into the office for the patients to use who are on medications that prevent them from being able to have caffeine. Of course, I got permission from the doctor, but he noted no problems from his own research. Still, they are only 3gram bags, I do not bring in a gourd for my clients. Most of them like it as an alternative to regular coffee or tea, but none of them like it as much as they like coffee: they all miss the caffeine jolt. They are all also warned to keep an eye out for any problems: anytime we introduce something new into our bodies we are wise to take it slowly and see how the body reacts.

  11. #31

    Default additons

    Quote Originally Posted by plodder
    The Thru-hiker article has a chart/discussion on Vitamin C degredation in dried veg. Worth addressing.
    Thank you plodder. Good point. I will add it in.

    Sgt. Rock: already added in the above part that you suggested.

  12. #32

    Default confusion with multiple posts

    I have now modified the first post in this forum to be the updated article with all comments and additions in it. Thank you everyone. All the ideas (except the yerba mate), came from the hiking community. I learned a lot in doing the research for the article; but learned the most from people contributions directly about the article.
    Peace,
    Jon

  13. #33

    Default Modified AGain

    I have integrated some of The Old Fharts ideas into the post; I don't want to kill anyone out there! Thanks Old Fhart.

  14. #34
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by YerbaJon
    Food choice is personal, and the personal is often political. Telling someone how to eat comes across with the same arrogance of someone telling you how to live. For this reason the following article is intended to supplement your current long distance trail diet (vegetarian or meat based), not force you to completely rethink it. The idea is to share food concerns and solutions that other trail hikers have used to help maintain their body while on the trail, in other words, how to eat healthy on the trail. Unlike other guides available on the internet (linked to at the end of this article), this primer specifically focuses on eating healthy food during a long distance hike like the Appalachian Trail.










    • Many hikers fail to eat enough calories on the trail.
    • Many hikers fail to eat enough protein on the trail.
    • Most hikers fail to eat enough vegetables on the trail.
    • Most hikers fail to get enough calcium on the trail.
    The goal of this primer and others along the same topic are to raise and consider these issues beforehand. A hiker who fails #1 (calories) will lose weight, those that fail #2 (protein) will be sore most mornings and will not gain as much strength as they might hope, those that fail #3 will not be getting many nutrients important to maintain optimal health, and those that fail #4 (Calcium) will weaken their bones and risk injury. Those that fail 2-3 of the above issues are the ones we all see pulling off the trail before they ever wanted to.







    The Quick Basics




    • Your body will burn more calories than normal.
    • You can replace the calories with food, or you can replace the calories with your own body (i.e., eat more or lose weight). Eating more is not as easy as it sounds.
    • Your body will build more protein than normal (i.e., repair muscles).
    • You can replace the protein with food, or you can replace the protein from your own body (i.e., eat complete proteins or become sore all over as your body uses the muscles/protein in your arms and upper back to repair your torn leg muscles.). A ‘complete protein’ is the important factor here.
    • Your body will continue to need fruits for optimum health. Fruit is not difficult to bring on the trail.
    • Your body will continue to need non-starchy vegetables (green vegetables) for optimum health. Eating greens on the trail can be accomplished, yet tends to be missing in most peoples trail diets.
    • Calcium is often missing in trail diets. (Dietary Adequacy and Changes in the Nutritional Status of Appalachian Trail Through-Hikers; Karen Lutz, 1982) So is Vitamin C.
    • Supplements and highly processed foods (e.g., instant foods) should be a last resort; best to get nutrients from whole foods (unprocessed grains)
    • The order in which we consume food effects our bodies ability to use it.
    Your Body Will Burn More Calories than Normal







    Estimates abound about the number of calories burned while hiking. Generally 4,000 – 5,000 calories per day for Males who are carrying 20-40% of their body weight, (3,500-4,500 for Females).







    Replace the Calories with Food







    Men will discover the need to generally carry about 2 – 2.5 lbs of dehydrated food per hiking day. (more detailed explanation available at http://www-db.stanford.edu/~crespo/outing/backpackfood.html). A hiker going 5 days between re-supply points would need an average of 10-12.5 pounds. These amounts can be lowered by choosing foods that have a higher calorie to oz (cal/oz ration). Discussed in more detail in this forum: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6035







    Replace the Calories with Your Body







    Many hikers report weight loss. Men lose an average of 17 pounds, while women tend to lose less weight. Weight loss is a bigger problem for men. It is not uncommon to hear reports of 45+ lbs. lost during a thru-hike. Many do not have this kind of weight to spare.







    Eat Complete Proteins







    Protein is complete in meat. Vegetarians must make a complete protein by combining foods. Complete Proteins are formed when amino acids combine with protein to make a complete protein. When eaten in combination at the same meal (or separately throughout the day), your body receives all nine essential amino acids.



    You can combine (combine 2 foods from 2 of different categories to make a complete protein) the following vegetable proteins to make complete proteins.





    Example sources of complementary Proteins:





    GRAINS: Barley, Cornmeal, Oats, Buckwheat, Rice, Pasta, Rye, Wheat, Quinoa*



    LEGUMES: Beans, Dried peas, Peanuts, Chickpeas, Soy products**



    NUTS/SEEDS: Sesame seeds, Walnuts, Cashews, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, other Nuts







    (adapted from http://www.bodyforlife2.com/incompletprotein.htm)







    Quinoa, it is worth noting, is called the "mother-grain" as almonds are the "mother-nut". Most hikers have almonds on their menu, but the Quinoa has been skipped. (see university of minnissota for good over-view: http://www.wholegrain.umn.edu/grains/quinoa.cfm). Quinoa makes great trail food. Quinoa would be a grain. In some forms Quinoa is a complete protein (the only grain that is a complete protein); unfortunately most Quinoa available in the US has had the outer shell removed, thus it is missing a few of the amino-acids. Therefore, treat most Quinoa as just a super healthy, easy to prepare on the trail, highly adaptable to different flavors, vegetarians dream grain.







    BRAGG’s amino-acids. Bragg’s Soy Sauce (http://www.bragg.com/products/liquidaminos.html; not difficult to find locally at any health food store and many larger chains) extracts the essential amino acids in soy necessary for protein formation.. It does not require refrigeration and can be put onto proteins to help make more of the protein usable by adding amino-acids onto them.







    A note about soy:







    Soy is a hot topic. I have come down definitively against most forms of soy. Still, there is evidence on both sides of the argument. You can read both sides of the argument here: http://creativehealth.netfirms.com/soy_health.shtml. Some soy is still ok: miso, tempeh, and soy sauce. The tempeh is not a viable trail form because it requires refrigeration, but miso is available dried and soy sauce by Bragg’s with the amino-acids is a viable form of soy that requires no refrigeration.



    The general attacks on all other types of soy (oils, nuts, tofu, etc.) are as follows:



    Soy not only lacks complete protein, zinc and iron, it contains compounds that block the absorption of protein, zinc and iron from other sources. Soy foods increase the body's requirements for vitamin D and B12-both essential for normal growth and development.



    Antithyroid substances found plentifully in soy foods inhibit thyroid function, leading to fatigue and mental problems. Phytoestrogens in soy can inhibit normal development and can cause reproductive and fertility problems later in life. Recent research implicates these phytoestrogens in the development of Alzheimers' and dementia-they are "brain aging" substances. Modern soy products contain carcinogens and toxins formed during processing and all modern soy foods contain MSG, which causes neurological problems, including violent behavior.



    The best evidence is this: our own government does not recommend the use of soy as a babies formula because it is not good for growth. But you will be growing on the trail if you feed your body well. You will need to repair a lot of muscles (protein). Best to avoid soy when you are stressing your body.







    (Adapted from articles linked at The Weston A. Price Foundation: http://www.westonaprice.org/cgi-scr...ase=Insensitive)







    Fruit







    Dried. Eat it often and eat many varieties. Ensure the inclusion of “tangy” fruits, as they are high in vitamin C.

    NOTE: Dr. Brenda L. Braaten points out that "... because Vitamin C is NOT stable to heat, light and air, dried fruits and dried vegetables have lost over 90% of their natural Vitamin C." Find some in-town oranges or other citrus fruit. This makes the choice of “tangy” fruits all the more important. If 90% of the vitamin C is gone when dried, the more vitamin C in the fruit to begin with, then the better.







    Vegetables







    1) For almost all humans, optimum digestion of nutrients occurs when we eat 80% vegetables (not starchy vegetables) and 20% protein sources with each meal. For section and thru-hikers, this is not viable. Still, to help your body help you, one should try to eat as many greens as possible. There is solid evidence that vegetables are the most important part of the digestive process. The USDA recommended 3-5 serving a day in their 2000 food guidelines. Will you eat that many vegetables on the trail? Would one be wise to try and eat more vegetables? All scientific evidence suggests vegetables are important, yet they are practically non-existent on the trail (http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-104.pdf). And for good reason: it is not easy to dehydrate 3-5 servings a day for a 200 day trip. The preperation itself would be an adventure.







    Solutions:



    a)Greens can be picked on the trail. Newb has a great post about this: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7119



    b)Dehydrated greens are difficult and not very long lasting (they can continue to oxidize slowly and can go bad easily). Recall Dr. Brenda L. Braaten "... because Vitamin C is NOT stable to heat, light and air, dried fruits and dried vegetables have lost over 90% of their natural Vitamin C." This is a major nutrient loss. Additionally, If one is thru-hiking, they will be hard to find affordable dried greens along the trail. If one is sending themselves food at drop-offs then they can not count on dehydrated vegetables remaining fresh at the end of the trail, not to mention the long difficulty in preparing so-many vegetables. As Minnasottasmith rightly notes, one must think about "preservation method for foods which you are going to eat in quantity (such as every day for ~5 months on a thru-hike). Preparing this many vegetables would be a difficult task. Still, it is worth doing as a way of contributing to your vegetable intake. PKH makes a great suggestion: "An easy way to take greens (or any vegetables for that matter) on the trail is in the form of a dried thick vegetable soup or potage. Use a blender or food processor to achieve the desired consistency, then dry. This lasts a long time, is tasty (season according to your personal preferences) and is very nutritious. I always start with a good stock (beef, chicken or pork) to add flavour."



    C) Canned greens are not a viable choice for anyone serious about cal/oz ratios. The best way for long term storage of greens that is affordable and not time-consuming is to buy smoked greens; smoked greens stop oxidizing and maintain almost all their nutrients. I do not know if smoked greens maintain their vitamin C. Since C is NOT stable when given heat, light or air. What I do know is that one smokes greens without putting them close to heat (smoking is not roasting), they give them no light, and the smoking prevents air from reaching the greens: I fill a cup with 50 grams of crushed, dried, smoked greens that are from arguably the worlds most nutritious plant, Yerba Maté. It is worth noting that Argentina military rations are Yerba maté and bread: a complete diet. Drinking 50grams of yerba mate is like drinking a salad! This stuff is no joke: Vitamins b-1, b-2, a, riboflavin, carotene, colin, pantothenic acis, inositol, and 15 types of amino acids. 50grams contains 160% daily iron requirements, 53% daily potassium requirements, and 127% daily magnesium requirements. (4% vitamin C according to the label in front of me). It has over 196 chemicals that your body uses (50 more than green tea). It even has 183 calories/50grams. This stuff rocks:. Did I mention it was cheap (4$-6$ per pound: www.ma-tea.com or find it locally if you are lucky at www.yerbatea.com. Another good source for information is www.guayaki.com as they are the biggest)? Did I mention that it has caffeine in it that is bound differently than other caffeine such that it does not tense your muscles, yet it still awakens your mind. There is much research about this on the internet. This stuff is no joke: since I am not a doctor, I will give you some conservative advice: insure that you are not taking any medications or have any serious medical conditions that could counteract with a stimulant.

    If you do decide to try it in a the “time-proven” method that Latin Americans have used for centuries to extract the maximum nutrients with the least amount of water: You need a special tool to extract the tea, which is a special metal straw that weighs under an ounce. The sight ma-tea.com lists the actual weights in grams of their straws. There are other companies too: Just my favorite choice is ma-tea.com because they are information based.



    An experienced hiker, The Old Fhart, was wise to remind those seeking to introduce something new that they should test how their body first reacts to a new plant before relying heavily on it; brocalli reduces iodine absorption, spinach can be prevent calcium intake, peanuts can be very bad for some people, and too much of most anything would not be recommended either. In Latin America, they drink the Yerba Mate 3-5 times every day. The argentine world soccer champs drink the yerba mate before each game. Personally, I don’t drink it that much. When I am on the trail I drink it once a day; my wife prefers to drink it twice a day, sometimes I will join her on that second time. The most critical thing to be concerned about with Yerba Mate that I know of is that it is a diuretic, so it will dehydrate. This is why they drink very little water with the tea; I know this seems counter-intuitive but it is explained well at the yerbatea.com site; they state, “NOTE: Yerba Mate is about the tea, not the water. Traditionally, one uses as little water as possible to extract the maximum nutrients. One traditional use of Yerba Mate is as a tonic and diuretic; the water consumed with yerba mate should not count as part of your daily water intake. The gourd and straw combine to create a "reverse french press" in which a large amount of nutrients can be extracted with very little water.”The straw is needed to suck/extract the maximum amount of nutrients with the least amount of water. I also use a small metal cup that is specially designed to allow less tea to be used while extracting all the nutrients. Cup weighs less than 1/2 ounce. It is without a doubt the best source of greens for those on the trail. Anyone else tried this stuff on the trail? Experiences? Smoked greens are perhaps the most cheapest, high nutrient density, trail greens that I know of. I like Yerba Maté since it is already dried for you and the most nutritious, affordable, easy option that has ever been discussed at WhiteBlaze.net.



    So in terms of hiking: drink the yerba mate, but be sure you drink plenty of fluids (water!) thru-out the day.



    d)Buy dried vegetables. But recall: According to Dr. Brenda L. Braaten "... because Vitamin C is NOT stable to heat, light and air, dried fruits and dried vegetables have lost over 90% of their natural Vitamin C."



    Sgt. Rock suggests vegetable bullion cubes, and lipton dried soups that are high in vegetable content (spring vegetable & minestroni).

    Minnasottasmith provided the following links which includes seaweed, spinach, and other healthy additions:





    http://www.waltonfeed.com/self/deh-veg.html



    http://www.suttonsbaytrading.com/Fl...ach_Powder.html



    http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=FN%20B100#





    Generally, combine/add as many of the above options as you can into your diet. Simply put, the more the better. Your best option is to pick raw greens and do not cook them. Your next best option is Yerba Mate or seaweed, followed by most other dried vegetables. Focus on greens, but carrots are beyond smart.



    If you are relying solely on dehydrated vegetables or fruits, then you would be wise to find another source of Vitamin C. Some of your other foods may have vitamin C in them, if not, this may be one of the times when a vitamin-c suppliment is in order if you are relying on dehydrated vegetables. When you get into town, seek out a fresh orange or other citris fruit!



    Calcium





    Good Sources:



    Most foods in the dairy group.



    Milk and dishes made with milk, such as potato soup, puddings (e.g., dried milk)



    Cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan



    Yogurt (which can be dehydrated)



    Canned fish with soft bones such as sardines, anchovies and salmon or the tips of chicken leg bones (canned goods on the trail not recommended by author, but remain an option).



    Leafy green of the cabbage family, such as kale, mustard greens and turnip tops and pak choi.



    Tortillas made from lime-processed corn. (must be lime-processed for preservation)



    (adapted from http://www.mariapoulos.com/clients/...es.html#calcium)







    Supplements and Whole Foods







    There is unlimited evidence whole grains and vegetables are significantly more valuable than supplements. Eat well to get usable nutrients, don’t assume that a vitamin tablet is a healthy substitute for vitamins from food.







    Eating processed foods, like instant white rice, is not a good choice for optimum nutrition. This is especially important for vegetarians, yet applies to everyone.







    … many hikers, in the interest of cooking convenience, choose inferior-quality foods, or filler—foods like ramen noodles, instant potatoes, instant white rice, and instant oatmeal—essentially any processed or refined food that's been stripped of key vitamins and minerals. Although it is okay to supplement or mix filler items and the like into your dietary regimen, do not solely rely on them as a main course. It's better to pack out fresh foods and carry more weight than starve your body of the nutrients it needs and deserves. You'll get more energy from unprocessed foods and whole grains. (http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/...od/hik_veg2.htm)







    Whole grains do not consume much more cooking fuel when they are allowed to sit in water/soak for a short period of time before cooking them. Some grains may take longer. Quinoa, for example, can be soaked for 30 minutes before cooking, then cooking time is under 5 minutes. It is worth taking the time to cook whole foods: all you have is time, time is what you do, and one would be wise to use their time to treat their body well.







    Order in which We Consume Food



    The way we eat is important. Eating vegetables (or drinking yerba mate) with, or immediately after each meal, will aid in digestion and your bodies ability to maximize the nutrient intake of the food. You will be unlikely to intake 80% non-starchy vegetables, but you would be wise to find a viable daily green.



    Another factor is best described by a nutritionist/doctor; Brenda L. Braaten, Ph.D., R.D.. She discusses how to feed the body while hiking in order to avoid having your body run out of energy.



    "Hitting the wall" is due to depletion of muscle glycogen/carbohydrate. You feel like someone has put lead in your boots and it is major anguish to move. You've just run out of carbohydrate stores and the muscle has to rely solely on fat for energy. Fat requires oxygen, so you can only move as fast as oxygen gets supplied to your muscles, and there's no backup from carbohydrates. CURE: eat/drink carbohydrates. But better yet, PREVENT it from happening by feeding your body small frequent doses (25-50 grams every few hours) of carbohydrates throughout the day, thus conserving your stored carbohydrates.



    To maintain energy levels over the long haul, snack on carbohydrate AND fat. Like M&M peanuts, GORP, PopTarts, crackers or granola bars. AVOID excessive amounts of the high sugar snacks, especially just before beginning your day--they may cause insulin levels to rise, which will work against you, locking your fat in storage, rather than making it available to your muscles. Proper training will make your muscles more efficient fat burners, thereby sparing glycogen. Dr. Brenda L. Braaten continues:





    1. Snack, Snack, SNACK! Throughout long treks, Munch. Because BOTH fat and carbohydrates are being burned in active muscle, the ideal way to maximize relative fuel consumption is to keep eating a mixture, but carbohydrates are especially critical during exercise. The body has an ample supply of fat stored up, so even if you don't eat any fat, there's plenty available in the bloodstream, being delivered from storage. Not so with carbohydrates. Storage is limited. See Table 2 below for Snacks ranked by carbohydrate content.



    2. REST!



    Give muscles a chance to replenish their carbohydrate stores. It takes several days to fully replete stores after they are exhausted/depleted. On a long trek, you may find your energy level flagging earlier and earlier with each passing day. Feeling tired, weak, anemic. You don't have the same stamina. It's likely not because you are suddenly iron deficient, but rather because you are running out of stored carbohydrate. Plan a day of rest following a particularly long grueling day and eat plenty of complex carbohydrates (i.e., whole grains, starchy vegetables). [Notice how many through-hikers do just the opposite. They eat high carbohydrate meals on the trail, then bee-line to town to gorge on a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a dozen donuts after single-handedly inhaling a large pizza with everything on it. Where does all that fat go? It's NOT replenishing depleted glycogen stores (humans can't convert fat to carbohydrate effectively). If it doesn't go straight through you (diarrhea), some of the fat goes to replete the fat stores in the heart and muscle, but most of the excess goes right back into storage to be lugged around a few more miles.]



    3. TIMING



    Eat frequent carbohydrate snacks, especially during and immediately after a hard workout (15 minutes to 1 hour after quitting for the day, so keep your dinner menu simple). During the day, about 20-30 grams of carbohydrate per hour is a reasonable goal. 20 grams for easy hiking; 30 grams for more challenging terrain. And the sugar can come from complex carbohydrates (="starch"/ "whole grains"/"high fiber" foods), which are better nutrients all around. Complex carbohydrates release sugar over a longer period of time, rather than getting one big dose all at once. A second benefit of complex carbohydrates is that they are more likely to supply the B vitamins and minerals you need. (Refer to Table 2, Trail Snacks, below.)



    4. Never eat a high sugar snack just before exercising.



    Insulin, a hormone released when sugar is eaten, stimulates cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream, thus causing blood glucose levels to fall. If you then begin to exercise, glucose levels will further plummet, thus decreasing your endurance. A drink of water or milk would be better than drinking a sugar-laden soda just before you exercise, since the sugar will cause you to run out of energy faster. If you must mainline sugar, eat it in small doses during or after exercise, but not before!



    Hypoglycemics/diabetics: A special alert: a high carbohydrate diet (70:15:15) can work against you. If you're trying to preserve your glycogen stores for the long day ahead, insulin says, " Burn carbohydrate, not fat", but you really want to preserve that glycogen as long as you can. What to do? Avoid eating excessive amounts of simple sugars, so insulin won't be released. Spare glycogen by eating complex carbohydrates (starches) or small quantities of combination foods--foods that contain protein, sugar and fat (i.e., cheese and crackers or a Pop Tart), so that absorption is delayed and insulin response is lower.

    (adapted from http://www.thru-hiker.com/articles.asp?subcat=12&cid=39)







    Discussion



    This primer will hopefully spark some new ideas about the way you view trail food. Please follow all the above links for more detailed information. Still, no primer is complete; your future contributions would be appreciated. Please post any additions, corrections, or suggested changes to the following forum: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=8142
    It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings

    Thanks for the great info. I (ME") am not versed on the science of nutrtion but here are a few thoughts. Both "U" and "ME" set out to gain 20lbs. before even setting foot on the A.T.. We spent the winter fattening up and training, which was a waste of time because nothing we did prapared us for the riggers of the hike. We spent numerous months planning nutritious meals and even grew our own veggies. We supplemented by drinking whey protien drinks before bed for muscle repair. Even with all our preparation, we both lost weight, "U" more so than "ME". So pack on a few and enjoy!

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by ME & U
    It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings

    Thanks for the great info. I (ME") am not versed on the science of nutrtion but here are a few thoughts. Both "U" and "ME" set out to gain 20lbs. before even setting foot on the A.T.. We spent the winter fattening up and training, which was a waste of time because nothing we did prapared us for the riggers of the hike. We spent numerous months planning nutritious meals and even grew our own veggies. We supplemented by drinking whey protien drinks before bed for muscle repair. Even with all our preparation, we both lost weight, "U" more so than "ME". So pack on a few and enjoy!
    I posted this in the article. Great summary of the overall "riggers of the hike" on the body. Thank you!

  16. #36
    Rocket GA->ME '04
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    I'd just like to make a comment that has nothing technical about it. The truth is, there is controversy about everything and authoritative sources that "prove" their points quite well on both sides. How do you know who's right? Maybe nobody's right... There are way too many articles being written and preaching being done by people who set their ways and don't bother trying something else. And they're all convincing. The best way to find what's optimal is to try different methods and see how you feel. Pick one and give it a chance. Try it for a month. If you pay close attention to how your body responds, you'll be able to figure out if you're better off or worse or the same. Then you can decide if you're satisfied or if you want to try something else. Because you sure can't rely on all the studies out there, they can prove anything nowadays. Just my 2 cents.

  17. #37
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    Default Mate'

    I've been drinking yerba mate' for a couple of years. It's ok, not bad, the taste is nothing to write home about. Kind of like green tea with a hint of alfalfa. Sort of. It's never bitter. The package does note that it's high in Vitamin C.

    At work I ocassionally do stuff under a microscope that requires steady hands and when I know I'll be doing something intricate I'll skip sodas, coffee, or tea that morning and switch to mate'. I was introduced to mate' by a hobby group (ok, jugglers) who have found that mate' doesn't screw up their eye-hand coordination or cause caffeine jitters. Without caffeine I'd be dangerous with sharp objects, but with too much I'd never get my micro-samples prepared for analysis. Mate' works well when I need to be alert but have steady hands.

    I usually drink espresso, a chickory coffee, or strong black tea, just to let you know my tastes.

    About the special straw and all - it's not necessary. I just use a french press. The nice thing about mate' is that you can do several extractions from one infusion of leaves. IOW, after I've loaded the press and brewed one cup, I just add more hot water and brew another cup with the same leaves. I can get easily get 2 or 3 brews from each loading without the tea losing taste or strength. In that sense, it makes a nice backpacking drink because you get more drink from a measure of dry leaves than tea or coffee.

    At the juggling festivals we just use a drip coffee maker. There's no need to make a big deal out of it.

    In Atlanta we buy it by the kilo at an Argentinian specialty food store. Costs around $5 a kilo, really cheap stuff. A kilo lasts me about a year, including sharing at festivals.

    I'm sensitive to caffeine, btw. I can't drink anything caffeinated after 2PM or I will have trouble sleeping and might stay up past 12:30AM typing nonsense on the computer.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dances with Mice
    About the special straw and all - it's not necessary. I just use a french press. . . At the juggling festivals we just use a drip coffee maker. There's no need to make a big deal out of it."
    Only concern to a hiker is that the french press might not be a part of their supplies and a french press weighs more than the straw. And a french press does not extract as many nutrients as sucking it. It takes suction to pull the nutrients out of the tea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dances with Mice
    In Atlanta we buy it by the kilo at an Argentinian specialty food store. Costs around $5 a kilo, really cheap stuff. A kilo lasts me about a year, including sharing at festivals.
    I currently buy locally at Return To Eden in Atlanta; I buy an organic half kilo for around the same price. Let me know where you are getting it from so I can check it out; what is the name of the specialty store? I want a kilo for 5$ without paying shipping!
    Glad to hear someone else shouting out for the drink. I just get nervous about the water in-take, since what I learned from the natives in Argentina is that it is a big deal because the more water you drink with the tea, then the more water you have to drink to replenish your water level. Basically, they don't recommend more than one tea bag per cup of water. They say it becomes too powerful a diuretic and pulls the water out of your body. On the trail I guess I spend too much time worrying about my water to mess with taking the tea in a form that will dehydrate me. For these reasons I chose not to recommend any new non-traditional methods; considering the sacred value the Latin Americans put on the drink I thought it best to heed their warnings when recommending it to others.
    Plus, the goal is to take in greens and the nutrients from the greens; the side of your bag probably talkes about 50 gram quantities. You want to extract the nutrients from the 50 grams with the least amount of water. 3 grams or 20 grams or any small amount is not much of a contribution to a trail diet. A 1 kilo bag would be about 20 servings of 50 grams each. If using it as a source of nutrients on the trail, then a thru hiker would need 5+ kilo bags. My wife and I, in our gourd, actually use less: we split what must be about 40 grams between us as we share the gourd. Still, it serves as one of our bigger contributors to our green intake. I may consider joining my wife for the second yerba mate she usually prepares; in retrospect even I may not be using enough of the tea to get enough nutrients. Thanks Dances with Mice. Any other users out there with experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YerbaJon
    It takes suction to pull the nutrients out of the tea.
    Yeh right. So we're rewriting the laws of physics now? It's just an infusion, it ain't magic. If you add water it'll extract nutrients, absolutely guaranteed. The sacred straws or whatever are cute gizmos, I'm sure, but like my favorite beer mug it's personal preference not a necessity.

    I use 3 or 4 heaping teaspoons per 16 oz water, and get several pressings out of that. It's not a particularly strong diuretic, no more than coffee or tea.
    Drink it, relax, it's no big deal. I've put away quarts of it during festivals, no where near as strenuous an activity as hiking but we manage to work up a sweat after 16 hours of throwing stuff at each other.

    I'll find the name of the store for you, I have someone else buy it for me when I need it. Our next club meeting is Tuesday so I'll ask. The store is (no surprise) off Buford Hiway. Probably not organic, it's just everyday, average, normal Argentinian mate'. "Mananita" brand. $2.39 per 1000g, according to the price sticker from when I bought it last year.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  20. #40
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    well I do carry a titanium french press.. don't leave home without it..

    ialso do not do buisiness with."RETURN TO EDEN"

    because

    a few years ago I was working on signing up BONE MARROW donors ..a friend of mine needed a transplant,,,many businesses allowed me put a poster up asking folks to come donate..RETURN TO EDEN flaty REFUSED telling me if my friend had come there and purchased thier health food items then they wouldn't need a transplant,,that TRANSPLANTS were agaisnt what RETURN TO EDEN stood for,,,but hey I BELIEVE in SCIENCE..I'm a BELIEVER!
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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