Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cook it, peel it or leave it

Cook it, peel it or leave it; is a pretty well know slogan among world travelers and it holds equally true for how you should approach food served during rallies. Most often desert rallies take place in countries where the type of bacterias that are found in food can be quite different to what your body is used to. And it is not unusual that the handling of food is done under conditions that are far from ideal when it comes to hygiene. Thats why I always bring my own food and if I am to eat any of the local food it has to be really hot and newly cooked. If its luke warm or has been kept warm for a long time I wont touch it. Same goes for salads and stuff.

Lunch break in a canyon in Morocco
The food I bring is mostly dehydrated food that come in ration packs. All you need to do in order to cook them is to fill the bag they come in with boiling water and wait a couple of minutes and then they are ready to be eaten. During the day when I'm riding I will eat various energy bars and I always try to throw in some canned food to mix it up since only eating energy bars can be quite tough on your stomach.

This is how my typical food intake would look like, and will look like this year too.

  • Breakfast: Dehydrated breakfast ration pack (cold)
  • During the day when racing: Various bars (Flapjacks/protein bars), canned tuna or similar
  • Dinner 1: Dehydrated dinner ration pack (hot)
  • Dinner 2: Dehydrated dinner ration pack (hot), and some small pieces of what I find eatable from what is served by the rally organization.

Apart from that, I just try to constantly eat while I am at base camp in order to get as much energy back into my body as possible. A friend of mine wore one of those heart monitors during a race and it showed he had burned 7,000 calories during one race day so you really need to eat as much as you possibly can.

Dehydrated breakfast
Bringing your own food and being really picky with what you eat of the local stuff is an easy way to avoid getting ill during a rally. Getting the shits during rallies in Africa is so common it's not even funny. Just ask anyone who's been to a rally and they'll tell you.

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