Food is a complete nightmare for the Jungle. We have to carry our own food for the full 5 days – a minimum of 2000 calories a day with a recommendation of 3000 calories a day. But trying to find enough food for all those calories that my body can actually carry in my 30l pack is proving a challenge. Not helped by the fact I like nice food, not rehydrated powder! So, this week I have been working my way through a selection of dehydrated food to see what I am likely to eat. The first two days were not good at all. Thai Red Curry was my first lunchtime test. The smell was awful before I even got to taste it but I persevered through quite a bit of the hydrated pack before I came to a stop – a definite NO for the Jungle. The next day I went for Macaroni Cheese as I thought this should be fairly straight forwards but another disastrous lunch – how could such an easy dish, albeit rehydrated be so totally tasteless.
A meal of pasta in a pool of water in a pouch with no flavour was really not going to do it for me. I was now seriously starting to get worried. Whilst I have no problems with eating endless sweets on long runs, a single day is one thing, but for 5 continuous days I need something more substantial and maybe the odd vitamin, mineral or mg of protein to give my body a chance of survival. On Thursday I decided that I would go for a meal with meat, so out came the pack of dehydrated beef stew with potatoes. And finally, the food crisis was over. I had found something that actually tasted good and would give me something to look forward to eating. On Friday I went for Chicken Fried Rice and another tasty meal.
With some additional suggestions and advice from other jungle competitors, my food supplies are coming together nicely. Instant porridge is always my go to for race days, so that is easy. Sweets, nut bars and other nibbles will keep me going during the day plus Tailwind in my water to keep my caffeine levels up as well as my energy levels. Instant noodles are always a hit with me, so one pack a day plus some instant cup-a-soups should keep me going together with the dehydrated meals. I am getting close to the required 2000 calories a day. It is so depressing that normal life is always about watching what you eat, and when I get the chance to binge on calories, I can’t find enough practical calories to carry with me. Think about all the jam doughnuts I could have been eating!