We were curious as to the actual breakdown of calories, carbohydrate, protein and fat in our thru-hiker version of a whole food plant-based diet, so we went to the computer lab on campus and entered a typical day of food (for Ross) into the nutrient analysis software. It's hard to know exactly how many calories we need to replace what we burn while hiking, but we do know that the more calories we can eat, the better. Coming in at around 4,000 calories, we figure Ross did pretty well. Adding in some coconut oil or more nuts could even boost it up to near 5,000. In terms of protein, all these plant foods add up to 151 grams of protein, 15% of total calories. Not bad.
Total Calories: 4022
Total Protein: 151 grams (604 kcal, 15% of total calories)
Total Carbs: 675 grams (2700 kcal, 67% of total calories)
Total Fat: 83 grams (747 kcal, 18% of total calories)
Some things to note: portion sizes here were pretty big, one of the advantages of having a hiker's appetite. For the most part, this is what contributed to the high calorie count of this day - the sheer volume of food eaten. Secondly, a shout out to dates. The 6 dates Ross ate totaled 330 calories, according to our analysis program. Pretty impressive!
In addition, all the important micronutrients - vitamins and minerals, were over 100% of the recommended daily value. Even B12 was accounted for, in part due to the Vega Meal Replacement as well as environmental exposure; being closer to dirt means being closer to the bacteria that make B12.
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