Optimal nutrition while tree planting?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I am about to embark on my 3rd year of treeplanting and have relied on MANY sandwiches and treats to sustain my energy levels throughout the day. I am wanting to keep my nutrition in check this time around and am wondering what you might recommend as a GREAT source of energy (other than coconut water which will be my main source of electrolyte boost) for food throughout the day other than the convenience of making about 10 sandwiches to eat. Tree planting is a highly physically demanding job and requires endless energy. Any insight would help. Thanks!



on June 09, 2012
at 12:16 PM

I don't do treeplanting, but I do do landscaping(mulching, lifting heaving, sometimes just weeding and planting flowers), but I bring a lunchbox with steak, bacon from the morning, and a lunchmeat. Coffee with coconut oil sometimes as well.


on January 20, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Also a good idea, Karen!

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5 Answers


on August 18, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Hey, Whitter. I used to work at a country club as a golf caddy and a landscaper during late middle school and throughout high school, so I had to perfect the art of nutrition on the move as well. Here are some things I found useful. I was mostly a caddy, but landscaped during one summer out of the six that I worked there:

  1. Eat breakfast- very important to do because snacking throughout work makes you less productive and efficient. I usually started with eggs and a pile of berries or my favorite, fresh figs.

  2. *pack a *big, cold lunch in a single container*- I used a glass tupperware thing that was probably like 8x8 wide and 3 inches deep. I would cook the night before and then put it in the fridge so it stays cold. When I went to work, I'd toss it in my backpack with an ice pack. Typical contents were chicken with boiled and then mashed sweet potatoes on top of a bed of green salad. I would also very often throw in some fruit. I was not yet aware of anything wrong with fructose in whole fresh fruit, so I ate a a fair amount of the stuff. Also was not aware of the omega-6 thing, so chicken and a salad with 1 or a combination of nuts/olive oil/avocado was standard.

  3. liquid nutrition- In the morning, I'd fill 2 16oz bottles with honey and lemon juice. A big spoon of honey and 1/2 lemon into each. This was my homemade gatorade. Had i known about coconut water at the time, I might have done that, but I didn't and this tasted really good. Can't take credit for the idea, it came from a book I had on Steeve Reeves, and he swore by the stuff and would drink it during training sessions. Might be good to add in a pinch of salt too, though I didn't think of it at the time.

  4. last resort- Caddying is kind of unpredictable, and sometimes you're out much longer than expected or go on another unanticipated loop, so it's good to be prepared. I always kept a stick or two of beef and ostrich jerky (Ostrim) in my side pocket. You could also eat Tanka bar if you can find them, but jerky you can get anywhere and Ostrim should be available at your local GNC. 'd eat the jerky, and if not,

Hope that helps you out. It worked very well for me.


on January 20, 2012
at 03:29 PM

If I'm well fed at breakfast (and the night before) I tend to be less hungry if anything if I'm highly active during the day. But then I've got over 50000 calories readily available which while not endless, certainly would last a while. Dried fruit, nuts, beef would be good things to chew on. Maybe some chia seeds if the Tarahumara know anything. If you're actually in the market for energy rather than the feeling of being energetic, maybe just get some glucose to add to some water.


on January 20, 2012
at 03:14 PM

From Participating in several 15+ Hour adventure races, some things i fuel with are:

Nuts and Raisins - I use peanuts, cause I have no prob with them, and it tastes like PBJ

Cooked Bacon - there is no better mood enhancer.


Baked Sweet Potato


Coconut water



on January 20, 2012
at 02:11 PM

You can probably cut some of the need for snacking with a large high protein, high fat breakfast. Baked, wrapped sweet potatoes with butter and salt pre-loaded would be good for slower release carbs if you need between meals. They can be carried as easily as the sandwiches. Lots of water, extra salt.


on January 20, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Also a good idea, Karen!


on January 20, 2012
at 01:54 PM

There is great cocoa paste stuff I've heard recommended for energy, you can get it at places like whole Foods. I want to try it, as I've heard a lot of good things. It's what indigenous Brazilians used for food. They also used coconut water, that's a good idea for electrolytes like you said.

Nuts, if you eat them, are a good source or are at least in my experience. Along with beef jerky, avocado, and scottish eggs,* they're a go-to food when I'm in the go. Any of the above might be a good place to start.

(*scottish eggs are hard boiled eggs wrapped in ground beef/sausage and baked. Let them cool and they're a great snack food)

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