Or rather, quick food when you are starving and have no time to pack much.
On this peace walk photographer job, I made a mistake.
I am, in fact, not the one to consult on “quick meals on the go”. Because I really never made any meals.
Majority of the time, I actually just packed my two favorite foods: fruit, nuts, and nut butter.
Note to self and others: fruit and nuts are not suitable to live on when you are walking all day (albeit walking very slowly).
I took days off to edit and process pictures every two or three days, but on some of the days I was walking, I should have been fueling better. I know for a fact I wasn’t eating enough in numerous days of walking (not sure why– it’s like I was in survival mode and didn’t have as much of an appetite!).
But people: rest assured that the body is honed in restoring unbalance. My poor tummy (which hates being overfull) has been paying for the lack of sufficient fuel with demanding I eat lots of high-energy pancakes, nut butter, and big portions in the days since I have been home!
On the walk, everyone ate in diners, which was rather difficult for me, because despite the fact that I could have gotten bread and other wheat products as I am experimenting with gluten, the residual fear of eating something I thought I was allergic to was lingering and I didn’t want to risk getting some unknown reaction (even though previous tests on myself showed nothing big happening). Only in the last couple days of the peace walk (when we were finishing up with the walking and marching to the capitol) did I finally eat wheat. I seemed to be fine so I continued to eat it since then up until now and have been perfectly fine!
I like smaller amounts of food very couple of hours, and being with a group of people who go with the “three-square meals” philosophy, having only fruit and such to snack on didn’t fill me up calorie-wise (even though it felt like I was full tummy-wise).
So obviously I am no expert at this whole “eating when out of the house” thing, as produce, nuts, and nut butter didn’t provide everything I needed, but I have a couple of recommendations to those who do want to become experts!
Don’t bring certain perishable foods: I finally figured out my food mistake in the last couple days of walking, and made some wraps to eat as snacks… which spoiled in the support car before I had a chance to eat them. HOWEVER: most fruits, carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini seem to hold up well. Don’t use soft or mushy produce though, as it will explode all over the bag that you have it in and rot in the heat (trust me on this one…)
So, continuing on the above paragraph, bring non-perishable food! Dry oats, nuts, nut butter, dried fruit, and the like are good for that. I have used bars in the past but found the packaging much too wasteful and the servings too pitiful to be worth spending all that money! For me, a little plastic jar of peanut butter (or almond butter, cashew butter, etc.) is great for spooning straight up for pure energy!
Bring food that will make you feel well— for me that is veggies, fruit, and nuts, and then next time I do something where I’m forced to be out of the house for a day, grains (such as pancakes!). I wouldn’t want to be left with only cookies and an appetite in the middle of nowhere, and have to get a sugar tummy-ache! I choose my sugar indulgences wisely, as if I eat it too regularly my digestion pays big time. Once in a while though, I love to treat myself, such as the vegan ginger-cookie creme Oreos I had at a potluck (and at breakfast the next morning ;)).
I love exercising, and bike touring is a dream of mine, so being armed with the knowledge that it is easy for me to even slightly undereat while doing a day full of low-intensity exercise is valuable– and I hope it will allow me to fuel better in all my athletic endeavors!
Are you athletic? If so, how do you fuel well? Only in past months have I started to get serious about biking and other forms of exercise– and I am still figuring out the whole food thing!