Would you be surprised if I told you THIS is the food our students are eating this week?
The traditional backpacker’s diet is known for dried meat, pasta, beans, and grains. Not exactly a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies! At Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness our pursuit of the best possible nutrition for our students is constantly evolving. We work alongside a nutritionist to identify the optimal combination of calorie density, nutrients, protein, and carbohydrates to support the activity of backpacking without loading up on sugar and processed foods. This is challenging, because we also have the concern of weight as well as traditional foodie favorites of our staff and students.
Twice a week, “resupply” bins head to our groups in the field loaded up with food for the next three to four days. These bins are packed with perennial favorites like beans and rice, summer sausage, and torts, but they are also loaded with seasonal produce. We greatly minimize our use of big box food suppliers or grocery stores, because our produce is grown locally and delivered by August Produce, a local farm-to-table purveyor. For meat and cheese, we head to Andy’s Market in town. If we need to restock our oats or custom blended trail mix, we head about fifteen minutes up the road to our friends at Room Full of Nuts, where they have been providing granola, oats, and both regular and nut-free “GORP.”