Food for Stay Away Shows
It's the time of year where many of us find ourselves away at shows, camps or clinics every weekend or end of the week. It can seem like a military operation getting your food & meals sorted for a few days away as well as all your own kit sorted, your horse tidied up & packing his gear! Lot's to do but your own food & meals should most definitely be a consideration & if you've followed me for a while & read some previous blogs you know how important your food is for your energy levels & to allow you to ride at your best.
Spin it on its head. You wouldn't not pack your horse's hard feed if you were going away would you?
So apply the same principles to your food. Obviously, we need to think about cooking facilities that you have access to depending on your lorry or accommodation, so what you can do whilst away will be different for everyone.
Think outside the box; maybe you have a camping stove or would it be worth taking a BBQ to give yourself the ability to cook? If you have a hob or an oven you've got plenty of options. Equally, if you're staying overnight at a hotel or B &B a little more organisation & thought would be required.
One big thing that will go a long way & help you to have a stress-free & enjoyable time away is preparing your food & meals ahead of time where you can. A couple of days before you go away sit down & plan out your meals. Decide what you're going to have for breakfast, lunch & dinner on the days you're away & make a shopping list accordingly.
I'd always do this for the morning of going away as well just to make life easier & stop you from running around like a blue fly & then not having time for breakfast! You don't want to be arriving with the shakes feeling awful at the start of the time away. This will help you to get organised as well as stopping you from buying a load of rubbish in the supermarket as you're planned & know what you are eating so won't just be aimlessly picking things off the shelves!
Just like you construct your meals at home think about basing meals on your main macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates & fats. Go for meats or protein options that are safe to cook & then reheat & then think about the cooking facilities you have. For example, a spaghetti bolognese is a super simple going away recipe you could make up ahead of time then reheat at the show. If you have access to a hob then you could easily cook up some spaghetti but if you maybe only have a microwave then you could turn it into a chili & do some microwave in the bag rice. This will still give you a balanced meal providing your body with all the goodness, energy & your muscles the repair they need.
Stir fries are another super easy option & if you do end up eating out most restaurants or pubs will offer something similar to a stir fry. It keeps calories down whilst giving you plenty of vegetables, a good source of proteins & getting your carbohydrates in. They are such an easy, quick cook & you could always pre-cook the stir fry then just add some either egg noodles or rice on the day using a hob or microwave.
Whilst you're at a show you're going to be busy busy, so prepping up some simple quick lunch ideas & snacks may be a good shout too. Think of easy snackable foods that you could cook ahad of time at home that will give you plenty of goodness & make for a great on-the-go snack if you've not got time to stop. These muffins are a super simple recipe & again you can cook them at home ahead of time & take a batch to eat as you fancy. You could swap out the ham & add in whatever fillings you fancy!
Protein flapjacks & oat balls are a great snack that again are super easy & quick to make; they'll last for a good few days & are a perfect energy pick me up snack. As they contain oats which are a complex carbohydrate they will give your body all the energy it needs throughout the day by slowly releasing glucose into your muscles & bloodstream as opposed to having a processed, high sugar chocolate bar & your body suddenly getting a high rush & overconsumption of sugar then having an energy crash later on. They also have plenty of good fats in them which will help your energy levels too. Having a good source of protein in them means you'll get all the amino acids you need to repair any damage or tears caused to the muscle fibres which will happen when you're training or competing! This another easy recipe that can be taken in the lorry & shared around!
For lots of us eating on show days can be a struggle so I would also consider that ahead of time if you know you're going to struggle to eat. Prepping up some overnight oats or smoothies at home would be a good idea. If you've got a fridge to keep them cool then you know you've got an easily digestable, liquid option for that competition morning so you have some substance if you're going to struggle to take solids on board. Overnight oats are quick & easy to make & you could prep up at home for 3-4 days in advance & then take with you. Granola with greek yogurt is another great option but if you know you struggle a bit with nerves then oats are nice & tummy-friendly & a time saver. Again you can add in whatever flavours you fancy or add in some protein powder of your choice!
You can still get some energy & food into you through liquid calories so think about the options such as fruit or protein smoothies! If you have a freezer section in your lorry then it may be easier & tastier to make this up on the day otherwise prep at home & leave in the fridge. If neither of those are options then you could buy from a supermarket just be sure to check the label as often shop-bought smoothies are packed full of added sugars! Remember fruit is a simple sugar carbohydrate & a great way to get some goodness into you so you're not running around all day on an empty tummy.
Quick lunch ideas like salads, wraps & egg-based dishes are all also super quick, easy to make meal ideas that will keep you eating well whilst away. If you've got some refrigeration facilities you could make up some bean dishes at home or take some cold cooked meats with you. Then grab some wraps & a few salad or veg bits & you'll have a delcious meal. Wraps are a great lunch option to provide your body with plenty of fuel but also easy to eat whilst running around so perfect for a show day! These hummus fillings could easily be made up at home then add your wrap in once you're there. Salads are another super easy option & perfect if you're limited on cooking facilites.
If you've got access to a hob then things like scrambled eggs are super easy to make up on the day too. This recipe is a winner & contains so much goodness;
There is no reason whilst you're away at stay away shows that you can't eat well you just need to put a little more time & thought into your food and get yourself organised before you go.
Think about the cooking facilities you have & what is easy to do-the last thing you want to be doing the night before a big day is trying to convince yourself your Gordon Ramsay. Keep it simple & quick. Find recipes that are based on your 3 main macronutrients & pack your plates out with plenty of colour to give your body the extra minerals & vitamins it needs. If you then find that say Sunday morning you fancy a bacon roll or a Nutella crepe then you should feel confident to go for it & have that flexbility within your diet as you have the confidence you've fuelled yourself well over the past few days. The 80/20 approach still applies whilst at shows; no restriction either way.
I hope this gives you a few ideas on foods & recipes to try on show days & stay aways & helps to keep things simple & interesting for you. If you give any of the recipes a go feel free to tag me on Instagram as I'd love to see them!