I can’t eat this garbage, I thought.
I gazed down into my mug filled with a homemade concoction of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, protein powder, and powdered coconut milk. Three days into the Tahoe Rim Trail and the first 165 miles of my 529-mile Sierra journey, and already I couldn’t stomach the paleo breakfasts I had allotted myself.
I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it was the way the protein powder and powdered coconut milk did’t dissolve in water but clumped at the bottom, or maybe the goji berries struck my taste buds as too exotic. I considered how I might alter my morning meal plan at my next resupply, and poured the remaining mixture into a hole in the ground.
Popularized by Loren Codain’s “The Paleo Diet,” the Paleolithic diet is a lifestyle nutrition regime that is centered around the foods humans (presumably) consumed before the dawn of agriculture. The idea is that most of the food we eat now has been introduced in the last 12,000 years, and our guts haven’t had time to adapt to it.
For a modern caveman, this means sticking to the items on the periphery of the grocery store—hitting the produce and deli sections while avoiding pretty much everything else. It means yes to meat, vegetables, roots, nuts, and fruit. No to dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, and highly processed foods.
Before leaving for my month long backpacking trip, I had mostly been maintaining a paleo diet. I say mostly, because while cavemen might not have had access to coffee, they also probably didn’t have to wake up at 6 A.M. to teach freshman Composition.
In the semester before my hike, I noticed less bloating after eating, more regular bowel movements, better focus, and higher energy levels. I liked it. So I set out in search for dehydrated meals that met the criteria.