Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Survival food for fifty cents a serving

     You don't have to be exerting yourself to the max when bicycling, paddling or hiking to really turn up the calorie burn.  Just an hour of bicycling at 13-miles per hour can burn 600 calories.  So no matter how long you plan your trip to be, always carry a snack, you know, for just in case.
     But what?  I like Little Debbie snack cakes.  And my favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cream Pie.  The three ounce cookie, a delicious sandwich of two soft chocolate chip cookies with a white icing filling is a whopping 360 calories.  This breaks down to 16 grams of fat, five of those saturated and 58 grams of carbohydrates.  That's a lot of food for just fifty cents.
    Food, you ask?  Yeah, its food.  I recommend people stay away from high calorie, high fat, and highly processed snacky cakes pies and cookies most of the time.  This example has more calories and fat than some of the smaller hamburger offerings at McDonalds.  But it is because of that high sugar and fat content that it makes sense to pack one or two when leaving civilization for a long bike ride, paddle or hike. 
     Running low on sugar can cause problems.  Of the three nutrients your body uses for energy--carbohydrates, fat or protein, the brain can only use carbohydrate (sugar).  So when the brain detects sugar supplies are getting skimpy it moves to protect its supply by restricting sugar's distribution to other parts of the body such as heavily exercising arms and legs.  It IS good to be king!  Without the fuel they need, muscles in the body don't fire and you feel very tired.   If the body continues to try to burn sugar at an exhilarated rate the brain's sugar supply might become so low that decision making is impaired, bad news if you are alone or miles from anywhere.
     Preventing these bad outcomes is easy.  Just carry with you enough calories of carbohydrate to keep your body fueled.  And with 360 calories in just three ounces, the Little Debbie Chocolate Creme Pie is just the thing.  Doesn't take up much room in your pack or pocket and they stay fresh enough to eat for two weeks.

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