The importance of food on a successful expedition

March 17, 2017 | Posted in: JHMG

grand-teton_00422Yeah, yeah, you are what you eat and all that stuff….. This post is not about that.

It is about attitude and performance and the role your stomach plays in determining if your attitude or performance is great or not-so-great.

Do know anyone who got cranky when they didn’t eat for a while? I do,  my wife.  Her metabolism rivals that of a hampster and if she does not eat for 4 hours she got what was known as “HANGRY.”  Have you ever gotten foggy and weak or “Bonked” because you didn’t eat enough?  Both of these low-blood sugar conditions are things that we see a lot when climbing big mountains.  So the question is why and what do we do to try to prevent it?

One misconception is the idea that if your body needs food that it tells you that you are hungry.  This is simply not true for everyone.  Things like altitude, and exertion levels can play a role in a person’s appetite, and getting folks to choke something down because they need to keep energy levels up can often be very difficult.

One thing is for sure, delicious food makes it  a LOT easier.  Having fresh, wholesome, comfort food is one way in which you can encourage your teammates to eat.

Last year, JHMG made the decision to change our menu.  We hired Chef Sarah Mansfield of Okano’s Kitchen to develop a menu, execute that menu in a certified commercial kitchen, and vacuum seal and freeze these meals for use on our Grand Teton Trips.

Sarah designed a menu that took into consideration, nutrition, possible food sensitivities/ allergies, transportation, and of course taste. At the end of the season, we reviewed all of the feedback.  What we found was that whether folks reached the summit or not, people felt well-fed.  The quality of the food had a direct impact on their experience.   Guides also commented on the food provided, saying that it improved spirits on the mountain and made it more enjoyable to do a great job.  Needless to say, this has become integrated into our offering.

So, when you decide to go off on your own expedition, or decide to  participate in a guided trip.  Do yourself a favor and make good decisions for your stomach.  Because it can have a huge effect on your experience.


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