AT Meal Plan: Week 5

3690 calories, 29.1 ounces, $14.25

The meal plan for box 5 looks light, but it has some of my high-caloric favorites to hopefully make up it. The entire day’s eats still come in at nearly 3700 calories and at only 1.8 pounds it’s a good example of quality over quantity.  Looking at the picture, this feels like the stereotypical hiker grocery list, so I’ve included a few favorite gems to break the monotony of this typical “jerky and granola bar” meal plan. This maildrop box will be repeated 3 times throughout the hike.  Ok, let’s dig into the menu and break down the Meal Plan for Week 5.

390 calories, 3.6 ounces, $1.53

Breakfast 5: Breakfast Bars. Another cold breakfast, made to be flexible where it is eaten. Perhaps this is for an early morning start, or a cold morning where you just don’t want to get out of bed.  Either way, the only effort is to cook up the day’s cup of joe, namely Taster’s Choice Vanilla. I love vanilla flavored coffee, so saved it specifically for this dull breakfast of 2 Cereal Bars (Trader Joe’s, Nutri-Grain). The PB&J Cereal Bar is a nice treat to go with the typical berry flavor, both from Trader Joe’s in this pic.  Added is a packet of Emerald Nut and Berry mix. This used to be called Breakfast on the Go, but that may have been discontinued because this is all I can find now. Basically just fancy raw trail mix, but good.

1130 calories, 8.4 ounces, $2.48

Elevensies 5: Nut Roll, Fruit Bar, Trail Mix.  On my Meal Plan tracker, this technically has a Pearson’s Nut Roll, but I can’t find those at my Target, CVS or 7-11.  Maybe it’s a regional thing from Minnesota, but I always thought these were more mainstream.  So we’ve subbed in a Snickers Peanut Butter Bar to go with the fantastically delicious Archer Farms Cashew Caramel trail mix. I could eat this every day, it’s damn good.  Finished up with a couple Simply Balanced Fruit Strips for a refreshing treat.

970 calories, 7.8 ounces, $5.28

Lunch 5: Beef Jerky Snack. For the Week 1 menu, we had beef jerky sticks. Not to be outdone by its more shapely brother, this week we feature the more traditional bag of Beef Jerky scraps. Sure, it looks like dog food, but we break up the monotony of this meal with some fancy flavors.  Pink Peppercorn, for example.  Peanut Butter crackers are the savory treat, and this lunch’s fruit is … not pictured.  I planned for Trader Joe’s dried persimmons, but they are not in season right now. And if they still aren’t in season by March, the replacement shown here will become permanent.  Instead, we have 3 of “Fruit & Nuts” pucks that just came back in stock at TJs. Three of these little pucks make for a great treat, this flavor being Date-Hazelnut-Cacao.

220 calories, 1.0 ounces, $0.80

Snack 5: Fig Bar.  Hopefully the world has come to realize how great these Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars are by now, but if not, let me be the first to introduce you to the Fig Newton’s fancier and tastier big brother. These bars are deliciously dense, coming in many flavors like Raspberry, Apple Cinnamon, Mango, Blueberry, Apricot, and more. They also come in a nice bulk box purchase from Costco.

980 calories, 8.3 ounces, $4.16

Dinner 5 / Treat 5: Veggie Beef Rice.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, this is a boring dinner. But it packs all the necessary components for a bland yet calorie-rich dinner.  Boil 1.5 cups water, add mix in 1 cup instant brown rice, 1/4 cup freeze dried ground beef, and 1/4 cup dehydrated veggies.  For seasoning, add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 bouillon cube and 1 packet of olive oil.

Mixed in with dinner in the photo is a pair of Grandma’s Cookies for dessert. They aren’t as popular as the “Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie”, but they are significantly cheaper and lighter for the same weight and calories.

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