Food time: Meal Pattern Repetition

This is Part 1 of a series of posts about food for the trip.

Enjoying your favorite foods is amazing. Eating your favorite foods for every meal, every 2 hours, over the course of 7 weeks, is a surefire way to change favorite to repulsive.

So that's where we start with meal planning. Freeze dried foods (what I'm bringing) aren't anyone's favorite foods to begin with so it's an uphill battle.  In addition to just flavor, there's so many different challenges to overcome from ensuring nutritional requirements, keeping a healthy stomach, to enjoying the meal. 

Let's start with a few assumptions:

  • Variety of meals is essential
  • Simplicity is king
  • Build in resiliency for spoilage, packaging issues, etc.
  • 5 meals per day
  • 45 day schedule for meals

My first iteration of a meal plan only had one vendor and 6 meal options.  Knowing i'll eat 5 meals per day and that I only like 5 of the options, 5 flavors only gives me variety within the day (Turkey for breakfast one day; for lunch the next). But it doesn't give me any variety across days or weeks. 

Example 1: (Variety within the day but not across days) 

Day 1 : ABCDE

Day 2: EDCBA

So I investigated adding in another vendor to the mix. Adding in just a few more meal types, increases the variety over multiple days while still staying simple. 

Example 2: (Variety added in with the inclusion of just 1 more meal flavor) (Meal F)

Day 1: ABCDE

Day 2: FABCD

Day 3: EFABC

Noticing that the second vendor has more than 1 flavor, means with little extra work here on land, I can greatly increase the variety with zero increase in complexity while on the water. Also this strategy lends itself to hedging against failed packaging and spoilage by adding in a second vendor's packaging process. 

Let's say at this point, I took the idea of adding in the second vendor's food to increase my variety to heart. I went wild with adding in additional meals and ended up with the picture below. 


I continue with this idea of adding in variety within each vendor and layering additional variety using both together. Keep reading about meal planning in Part 2.