Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 11 - Eating

Dad asked me about food. I'm burning around 6000 calories a day, so besides pedalling, food is my main preoccupation. Pre-trip, food meant picking a restaurant. Now it is a complicated subject requiring endless planning and deliberation.

First thing to think about is the procurement of food. The factors to be considered are the distance to be traveled that day (which depends on weather, terrain, and morale), the location of food sellers within that distance, the type of seller (gas station, mini- mart, grocery store), and the type cooking facilities available when I need to eat (camp stove, microwave, kitchenette).

Then, there's the selecting of food, which must be lightweight, not take up too much room in the bag, have high calories, decent nutrition, and not require refridgeration or elaborate preparation.

Early on, I found that I missed fresh vegetables terribly, so now I eat either a bag of salad mix or a thawed bag of frozen veggies every day.

I also found that going without protein for very long sucks. Lots of grocery stores sell cooked chicken, which is great, or I can usually find burger joints.

One metric I use for selecting food: calories per ounce. Higher is better, and adding some kind of super high-calorie food like chocolate, to the mix is really helpful.

Things that work well as food:

- sugary kids cereal (this supplements everything, everyday)
- cottage cheese and berries
- frozen burritos (they're everywhere)
- cookies

Stuff that failed as food:

- canned goods (too heavy, not enough calories)
- tortillas
- fast food milkshakes (they don't actually seem to be food)

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