This is one of the most popular questions asked about my adventure, next to ‘Where do you go to the toilet?’ (more on that in another post). Throughout my 56-day adventure, I will be living on a diet of dehydrated food. Think astronaut food and you’re almost there.
Each packet weighs about 500g and contains around 500-700 calories. They include meals like chicken tikka masala, beef stroganoff, penne bolognese, salmon and potatoes with a dill sauce, and for those brave enough, scrambled eggs and sausage.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally not a diva and consider myself very adaptable in endurance situations, but on this occasion, I have ordered my own food.
The company that has arranged the GB rowing challenge are providing the food for us, but having tried that particular brand before, I decided to go with a company that I love.
In everyday life, I am extremely healthy in what I eat; whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, minimal meat (I was a strict vegetarian for 5 years until I signed up to this challenge) and almost no sugar and gluten. As a result, I want to remain as healthy as I could on the boat.
The food being provided is alright, except to looks like cat vomit. All the meals are the same colour and texture and it’s basically mush in a packet. Burning 8,000 calories a day meant eating wasn’t going to be the highlight of my day. Therefore, I decided to go with a brand I have tried before called Lyo Food. It’s from Germany. It doesn’t contain artificial additives, extra sugars or preservatives. There’s no palm oil (those poor gorillas) and is made from all natural ingredients, some of which are grown in the Lyo fields.
The one issue is…… it has a price tag to match these fabulous facts.
I spent 6 hours on Sunday night weighing up the pros and cons of 5 dehydrated food brands; weight versus size versus taste versus calories versus price.
I ultimately sucked it up and went with Lyo Food (the 1,000 calorie Coconut Porridge was the decider.) Most other dehydrated food brands are crammed full of sugar in order to get the calorie count up. Some even have monosodium glutamate in! As if! NOT ideal when doing endurance events.
I’ll be eating 4 dehydrated packet foods per day which total around 2,500-3,000, but I’ll still need an additional 3,000 calories minimum. ••scratches head**
Most people say “take lots of Snickers and Mars Bars. Take jelly babies. What about energy gels and Jaffa Cakes?” I’d rather eat my own hands than do that.
My ‘snack packs’ are going to be made up of healthy foods like nuts, dried fruits, seeds, coconut oil, whole food energy bars, peanut butter sachets and vegan protein powder. And then once a week when we stop at the coast, I’ll annihilate fish, chips, mushy peas and a pickled gherkin with a bottle of cider to keep my energy levels topped up. (Join the project here).
With most food purchased and on its way, all I need to do now is find another 75,000 calories of healthy snacks for the trip and then that’s food sorted.
Thank you for reading. There will be more to come about boat life, the toilet situation, what I will wear (or not wear) coming soon!
I still have £2,000 to raise in order to reach my target to make to last minute purchases of safety equipment. If you would like to donate, please visit my GoFundMe page. Big thanks to Emoov for supporting my challenge!
Read more from the Great British Row 2017