Meal Pattern Repetition: Part 2

This is Part 2 of Meal Pattern Repitition. See Part 1 for the beginning.

   This is a two part process as I am working with 2 vendors. We'll first go through how I added in variety within the first vendor (5 options) then how I layered the second vendor's options on top of the initial strategy. 

FYI, An alphabetical letter has been designated to each meal type. Similar to the examples in Part 1 but in grid format. 

Image: 1st Vendor Food Options with Grid

Image: 1st Vendor Food Options with Grid

In Image 1, notice only 4 meals are entered for each day. I decided to include one meal from the second vendor each day. This was done because with 5 options as shown in Part 1, Example 1, meal variety over days didn't exist. This is also true over weeks with adding in only 1 meal from the second vendor. 

However, moving to 4 meal from vendor 1, gives me more variety within the day and week. Adding in the second vendor gives variety over weeks. 

Next, seeing the patterns, represented by the blue and red brackets, shows that similar meal patterns exist every 6 days. Knowing that we'll be out there for weeks, I wanted to improve upon this. 

In the Image, day 4, 8, 12, 16, N+4  will be populated by the second vendor's food entirely. This will give a break to the red/blue cycle and allow me to use even more variety.

This next image is what I call, the Nested Diagram, it shows the meals provided by both vendors. As this was a template for my own planning, I switched to using '1's to note a meal without regard to vendor. As a side note the 45th day's second to last meal breaks the pattern. This was a product of ordering a even number from the second vendor.

For meal planning patterns this is where i'm at currently. Look for a future post on further food selection including snacks. I'll also post up on how we're going to bag each day's rations once the food arrives. 

Image: Nested Diagram

Image: Nested Diagram

In the end i believe the meal plan as shown above provides:

  • a simple meal plan each day (grab a meal and eat from the daily bag)
  • a simple plan over the course of weeks (build it while you're well rested and on land)
  • a hedge against one vendor having a spoiled meal (packaging issue, placement in boat, etc.)
  • variety of meals for nutrition and flavor
  • Not a requirement but there's a modicum of cost optimization by using meals of different prices

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.