Weening off calories in preparation...

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby kiss-o-matic » Mon May 28, 2012 10:03 pm

I'm not a muscle head or anything, but I do a fair amount of exercise. (No spring chicken... gotta keep those love handles under control). Last I measured, the days I jogged, I was clocking about 3500 calories. The other 4 days I did non-aerobic exercise I was at about 3000. The day off, even, is usually about 3000 due to park life shenanigans and other goings on.

Been reading around that the appetite is generally supressed on the playa, but unless I cut down drastically, it sounds like it's shaping up to be a logistics nightmare, in terms of packing in calories. I don't eat meat other than fish, so I can't just take a bunch of bacon. Thinking the best thing to stock up on is peanuts.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Mon May 28, 2012 10:14 pm

Nuts of all kinds are great for calories. Cashew nuts and pistachios (pre-shelled, of course, for the playa!) are high in protein and beneficial fats. I don't know if you're planning on bringing a cooler, but creamy Mediterranean-style yogurt is very healthy and can have 10% (or more, even) fat, as well as lots of protein, so it's calorific as well. Canned chick peas and/or things made from chick-pea flour (e.g. papadums) are good (papadums have the added advantage of being light and low-moop). Oh, and avocados and coconuts! Again, lots and lots of healthy fats in both. Avocados can usually be bought pretty firm/underripe, and with their thick skin, they should make it a few days on the playa before needing to be eaten. Coconuts are, of course, very easy to keep fresh -- just don't crack 'em open before you need 'em. When you do, they provide water AND calories (just be careful with the moopy husk).
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby trilobyte » Mon May 28, 2012 10:19 pm

I've found that the trick (for me, anyways) is portion control. If I'm not feeling that hungry, I'll turn down a big meal effort because I wouldn't want things to go to waste or won't feel like going to all that effort. Of course regardless of what I'm feeling my body needs fuel, so I need to get protein and carbs and all that good stuff. I've found smaller portions and where possible pre-cooked (then we use a vac-sealer to keep it fresh) to minimize prep time works best.

Perhaps some smoked fish or tinned goodies, whatever you think might work within your diet and tastebuds. Depending on your plans and cooler scheme and pre-event shopping, you might even be able to hook up some salmon or tuna from a grocer in Reno that you can pack on ice in your cooler then grill up once you get there.

Good luck & eat well!
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby Savannah » Mon May 28, 2012 10:51 pm

Yep, you might not want to eat a lot out there. (Some appetites aren't affected). I lose a few lbs out there every time, because of all the walking and biking, and the typical disinterest in food. I make sure to get protein & complex carbs (if possible) at every meal. A typical day:

Breakfast: Shredded wheat & milk (Horizon Farms shelf-stable real milk, chilled). Shredded wheat is whole grain & complex carbs, so it's filling for a while. And the milk has protein. Canned chilled coffee. (Maybe a juice box, maybe a chilled fruit cup, but I probably wont have room and might have that in the afternoon.)

Lunch: Underwood devilled chicken (canned) or PB&J or a spiced tuna packet on whole grain bread. Bread and tortillas can keep if you open and air them maybe 20-30 minutes per day, and keep them out of the sun. Otherwise, bread sweats & goes bad quickly. Point the bags down-wind. :lol: Eat bread early in the week, just in case it doesn't work out.

Dinner: Vacuum-sealed stuff: salmon filet & a vegetable . . . or rice pilaf . . . or Indian food from Trader Joe's (sometimes this is nice in a tortilla. Naan is hard to keep unless you have an RV fridge). Or canned ravioli. Fish is a traditional dinner component though, because it has about the highest protein possible and I will probably hike for miles all over the city later in the evening.

Portable snacks: Luna bars. Jerky. Those little "Seafood Salad & Crackers" kits. Trail mix. Nuts. Sardines or kippers. String cheese would probably keep really well, it's hardy and well-sealed on its own, and could be kept in a Tupperware on ice.

I bring other foods and snacks; I just do certain things on purpose, per meal, so that if I can't bring myself to eat much, the calories consumed are useful.

Hmm . . . if I liked baked beans more, I would definitely bring those. Lots of protein in beans.

I don't really wean myself off food pre-playa, but I do taper my caffeine way down weeks in advance so that it works better.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue May 29, 2012 5:04 am

Great info, guys. I'm planning on spending the weekend before in SF, but it will be quite nomadic. I spend time in the South Bay for work, and the office I work in there is more like a gigantic man cave, so I can probably get some "better than canned goods" meals sorted out. Sounds like nuts are going to be the primary snack though. Handn't even thought of coconuts. Awesome. Just gotta relearn how to eat those things.

Fun Fact: Santa put a coconut in my stocking every year until I left home. Never figured out why, but never complained. Maybe he was getting me ready.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby AntiM » Tue May 29, 2012 5:32 am

I don't know how many nuts you eat per day now, but we've found too many raw almonds, or raw nut butters, really move the bowels. So try it out before you hit the playa. Coconut water can be moving too.

MyLarry burns calories like mad (the nutritionist has him on 9K a day once and he gained no weight). We feed him a lot of tuna and turkey jerky on the playa. He likes hard boiled eggs too, but I don't like the way they make the cooler smell. The new tuna pack steaks are very good. We have a vac-sealer this year, so are looking at a lot of beans and rice, pre-cooked and ready to heat.

We are trying bulk hummus too, we can get it ready to mix up. Great protein, and yummy with crackers.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby Bob » Tue May 29, 2012 7:39 am

I've been told Reno gets tons of seafood shipped in every day to supply the casinos, which get a lot of Asian gamblers up from the Bay Area, and that some of the local supermarkets get good deals as a result. Got a bunch of king crab for about five bucks a pound at the Raley's, but that was years ago. Haven't shopped the Asian supermarkets up there. If you're stocking up in the Bay Area, obviously you'd have a wider selection.

http://www.yellowpages.com/reno-nv/supermarkets
http://www.yelp.com/biz/168-asian-market-reno
http://www.yelp.com/biz/reno-asian-supermarket-reno
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby shroom » Tue May 29, 2012 9:16 am

I didn't have less of an appetite, but when I got hungry it didn't take as much to fill me up. Hydrate!
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed May 30, 2012 5:20 pm

I'm big on hydration so that will likely not be an issue. It looks like I'll be in a pretty large group so I'm sure someone will be short, and someone will be taking the shuttle to gear up about midway through, so I'm not too bothered.

The only thing I'm a bit bummed about is bananas which will probably only make it 4 days max, and bread. My favorite food is sandwiches. :(

MyLarry burns calories like mad (the nutritionist has him on 9K a day once and he gained no weight).

Yikes. That's crazy!

The new tuna pack steaks are very good. We have a vac-sealer this year, so are looking at a lot of beans and rice, pre-cooked and ready to heat.


Vac-sealing really does seem to be the way to go. As per before, most of the group is abroad (myself included) but I go back to the states regularly so I'd probably be the one picking up the unit if we went that route.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby oneeyeddick » Wed May 30, 2012 6:57 pm

BTW, Kiss-o-matic, if you have something against bacon, you are not welcome at BRC!
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed May 30, 2012 9:01 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:BTW, Kiss-o-matic, if you have something against bacon, you are not welcome at BRC!


I got nothing against bacon. I just don't eat it. Plenty of carnivores in my group.
I got nothing against all-guy group sex either, but I certainly don't participate in it. ;)
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby AntiM » Thu May 31, 2012 4:17 am

kiss-o-matic wrote:
Vac-sealing really does seem to be the way to go. As per before, most of the group is abroad (myself included) but I go back to the states regularly so I'd probably be the one picking up the unit if we went that route.


I'm raffling off a vacsealer for art (not money). Mail me a small piece of art, I put your name in the drawing. Just have a stateside address where I can send it in July ... any chance of that at all? Look in the Art and Performance forum. You can always donate or freecycle it when you are done if you don't want to keep it.

Of course, I don't know how long you have in the states beforehand.

(I used to live in Yokosuka, yes, Navy, but offbase in the same little funky house for nine years)
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby CaffeineGirl » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:40 am

Dave's Killer Bread will last all week kept in a dry cooler in the shade. It is full of seeds/grains, has lots of calories and makes great sandwiches. Winco in Reno carries it.

And AntiM nailed it, ever so politely, about eating a lot of nuts. Really bad plan unless you want to spend lots of time in the JOTS.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:33 am

Oh, you mean you want to join the Eplaya Fitness Club?
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby StevenGoodman » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:36 am

kiss-o-matic wrote:It looks like I'll be in a pretty large group so I'm sure someone will be short, and someone will be taking the shuttle to gear up about midway through,


Taking the shuttle into Gerlach to resupply is not an option. There is no store in Gerlach! The closest to Gerlach is in Empire (three miles from Gerlach). Yes, people setup temporary stalls on the side of the road, but not real stores.

If you need stuff later in the week, have later arrivals bring it. Like fresh vegies, bananas, etc. if you are low on water, make sure to bring some clean plastic bags (or big zip tops). Put your cooler ice in the bag, and then use it later after it melts.

Expect to eat about half what you normally do.

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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby Canoe » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:10 am

kiss-o-matic wrote:... The only thing I'm a bit bummed about is bananas which will probably only make it 4 days max...

If your body is used to lots of K (potassium), you can get it from the electrolyte drinks (you need the water, but also the electrolytes, and more so if your appetite is down or you're not eating your usual things so you don't know if you're getting your usual electrolytes through your food). Also, oranges are even higher in K than Bananas, and will last the week (also available canned, if necessary).

Do a search for "playa condition", to ensure you don't lose valuable burn time to it.

...looking at a lot of beans and rice, pre-cooked and ready to heat.

Indian food, with lentils for protein, from the stores presealed heat-in-a-bag (or pot, if you don't mind the playa dust). You can even leave the bags to heat in the sun for later.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby MyDearFriend » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:02 pm

Canoe wrote: Indian food, with lentils for protein, from the stores presealed heat-in-a-bag (or pot, if you don't mind the playa dust). You can even leave the bags to heat in the sun for later.


Tastee Bites etc are the Haute Cuisine of dashboard cookery. 8) You can get jasmine rice precooked in a microwave pouch too.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby moonrise » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:32 am

trilobyte wrote:I've found that the trick (for me, anyways) is portion control. If I'm not feeling that hungry, I'll turn down a big meal effort because I wouldn't want things to go to waste or won't feel like going to all that effort. Of course regardless of what I'm feeling my body needs fuel, so I need to get protein and carbs and all that good stuff. I've found smaller portions and where possible pre-cooked (then we use a vac-sealer to keep it fresh) to minimize prep time works best.

Perhaps some smoked fish or tinned goodies, whatever you think might work within your diet and tastebuds. Depending on your plans and cooler scheme and pre-event shopping, you might even be able to hook up some salmon or tuna from a grocer in Reno that you can pack on ice in your cooler then grill up once you get there.

Good luck & eat well!


Agreed...indeed.

I bought two cases of food at Raleys in Reno and the manager told anyone buying for the burn should mention it and they'll give a 10% (or more maybe?) discount.
Also, Raley's is a big contributor to the region. The big chain is local and family owned. I think the managers would offer to have the best fresh fish for the burn.
They charge more for everything but it's quality and good service.

Winco 24/7 is also great, but the cons are, cash only and the service sucks.

I haven't weighed in, but I went back on track last week. We'll see..
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby Foxfur » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:30 pm

This thread brought back fond memories of last year. I brought 30 Hormel ready meals (roast beef & gravy, turkey with stuffing, beef stew, chicken and dumplings, etc>) which I eat cold all the time on hikes and offroading.
Espressodude and Helga ended up stuffing me with steak fajitas, lasagna, cheese casserole, taco salad. Where it would have slowed me down to horizontal in defaultia, out there I was bouncing around like a Bolivian on Ritalin.
I don't feel there's any reason to cut calories.
Of course, I served in the desert for a spell (a million years ago) and ate two MRE's a day (7,500 calories) along with handfuls of nuts and candies. And water, lots and lots of water.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby maryanimal » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:55 pm

Winco accepts cash and debit cards moonie, but NOT credit cards. Don't even ask! And they accept EBT cards too.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby Foxfur » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:14 pm

Coincidentally, the Hormel Compleats are typically 200 - 250 calories.
They have craploads of different types:
Varieties Include:

Creamy Chicken Carbonara
Chicken Chipotle Pasta
Spicy Ginger Chicken
Cheese Manicotti
Teriyaki Chicken with rice
Spicy Italian Sausage and Pasta
Grilled Chicken and Pasta
Cheese & Spinach Ravioli
Pasta Primavera with Chicken
Chicken Marinara
Beef Steak & Peppers with noodles
Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
Steak Tips & Mashed Potatoes
Dinty Moore® beef stew
Chicken Alfredo
Chicken & Dumplings
Chicken & Noodles
Chicken & Rice
Chicken Breast & Dressing
Chicken Breast & Gravy with mashed potatoes
Chili with Beans
Beef Pot Roast with potatoes & carrots in gravy
Beef Tips & Mashed Potatoes
Meatloaf with potatoes & gravy
Roast Beef & Gravy with mashed potatoes
Salisbury Steak with sliced potatoes & gravy
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Swedish Meatballs
Turkey & Dressing with gravy
http://www.hormelfoods.com/brands/hormel/hormelcompleats.aspx#

I get 'em for $1.79 at Grocery Outlet. They're about $3 in supermarkets.
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Re: Weening off calories in preparation...

Postby yumyumms » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:02 pm

I work out a bit, and also have quite a fast metabolism aside from that. It can be rather difficult for me to hold onto muscle mass unless Im loading up on creatine and such.

Out there, every year no matter what, I drop weight. Then again, Im dancing all day, all night.

I suppliment with creatine while Im out there not so much to hold the muscle, but because it helps hold the water in my system.

I can eat like nobodies business, and I usually eat really heavy, sloppy food in the real world. Out there, since I dont really cook, and the heat... I loose weight. And its predominantly water weight.

Whatever it takes to keep you hydrating, do it! You will be surprised how your diet and cravings change while you are out there. I loose interest in eating except for when a meal is put in front of me. Just remember that ions in your water keep the water in your system. I like getting powdered gatoraide and mixing that into my gallon jugs for drinking water (use twice as much water as what the label calls for, your body will absorb the water better).

I drop a good 15 lbs on average over the course of 8 days, and thats with me TRYING to hold my weight up. Its a loosing battle out there. F*k it!
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