No one talks about the challenges of hiking—how you not only have to be mentally in shape, but physically too.
Being plus size, I want to share my experiences as an outdoor enthusiast who struggles with my weight. My name is Danielle, also known as Dani, and I started hiking about a year ago. The first time I hiked 10 miles on the Appalachian trail and by the end of the hike, I felt like I was going to die. I have struggled with my weight all of my life; when I was 12 I got diagnosed with PCOS syndrome. If you’re unfamiliar, PCOS makes losing weight much more difficult.
After being diagnosed, the first hike I went on I fell in love! I loved being out in the woods and losing myself where nothing matters but putting one foot in front of the other—finding my way down the trail. From that day on, I knew I needed to get my mind and body in shape, and that’s what started my weight-loss journey. I wanted to make my dream come true—to one day to start in Springer mountain at the south end of the a.t., making the trek north to the mountain of all mountains; Mount. Katahdin. I wanted to prove to myself and others, no matter your size, you can do anything you put your mind to. All you need is a dream and to believe in yourself!
But it’s not all snickers and M&Ms. When I’m packing food for the trail, it is a struggle sometimes. With being gluten-free and dairy-free, it can be a challenge.
However, planning food for the trail is one of my favorite parts of the experience. One of my favorite recipes for dinner is chicken curry with veggies and rice. It’s filling and healthy and so yummy! (I’ll include the recipe to share for you all to enjoy.) For anyone who is gluten-free and dairy-free, this meal is for you!
Another meal that is very easy and also on the healthier side is spaghetti with sauce, no meat. When I’m making this meal I don’t use normal pasta noodles. Instead I use red lentil pasta, they’re gluten-free and have a low glycemic index. The sauce I use is a cauliflower alfredo… yum! It’s dairy free and has amazing flavor.
When I make these types of meals, I cook them and then I dehydrate them for 12 hours. By doing this, I get yummy food for the trail but it also guarantees that I am staying with the meal plan.
Most of the time for breakfast, I’ll pack oatmeal with dry fruit. But not your normal oats—I replace the oats with steel cut oats. For some sweetness, I’ll add dark chocolate chips.
Lunch… I keep that really simple and healthy too. I make an almond butter wrap, with dried fruit that I’ve dehydrated prior. I try to stay away from store bought or pre-packaged fruits because of the high amount of sugars.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek into what I pack for hiking when trying to be health conscious! I’d like to give a shout-out to Trail Industries for giving me the opportunity to share this post.
Remember to get out there, hike, and follow your dreams.
Recipe for the Chicken Curry mentioned in this post below.
½ pound of chicken tenders
1 cup of zucchini blend
1 cup of peppers and onions
1 cup of cal. blend of carrots,broccoli and cauliflower
2 tsp. Of curry powder
1 can of coconut milk*
1 cup of instant brown rice (cooked)
- Cook all the veggies in a pan on medium heat until tender.
- Add the chicken tenders.
- Take the curry powder and milk, add to the veggie mixture and cook until thick.
- Sever over rice
Note- If you’re making this for the trail you can make the recipe above and add it to the dehydrator for 12 hours.
*Coconut milk you can get the powder form for the trail if you didn’t want to make it up with the can coconut milk.
Danielle is an outdoor enthusiast passionate about the Appalachian Trail. She shares her adventures on her personal social media accounts and is driven by remaining health-conscious while chasing her goal of one day hiking the A.T.