Your surfboards are strapped to the roof, your best friend’s riding shotgun, and there’s only one more sleep until you hit the road. So what might have you forgotten for your surf road trip? A towel? Packed. Wetsuits? All over it. Your tent? Sorted. Healthy meals and snacks? Errr…
“Food is often overlooked when road trips come around. But, when you’re surfing two to three times a day, you need all the energy you can get. The food you eat is your most important energy source because one way or another, you get out what you put in,” says Sydney-based nutritionist Samantha Truswell. She has founded her career on natural medicine, aka the healing power of nature, and stands by the fact that “health starts with the food we eat and the lifestyle we choose”.
Choosing the best, easiest and most nutritious food for your next surfing road trip might sound time-consuming and even expensive. But, it doesn’t have to be – scout’s honour. With a bit of preparation, an esky and a decent knife, healthy eating on the road is a piece of nutritious cake.
Healthy eating lies in balance and moderation
Samantha is a big fan of getting out of the city to catch a few waves, hanging out with her favourite people in nature and cooking simple nutritious meals. “My philosophy centres around traditional methods of cooking and preparing seasonal, sustainable and local whole foods. Balance, variety and moderation are important too. This is where I believe the foundation of health lies,” explains Samantha.
When you’re on a surf trip, following a balanced diet that properly fuels your body is especially crucial. “Not eating enough or eating mostly simple carbohydrates (bread, cereals, refined food) when you’re surfing for long periods of time can play havoc with your blood sugar levels. This, in turn, affects your energy, mood and performance,” adds Samantha.
“A meal that contains a source of protein, good fats and plant-based carbohydrates (vegetables) is your best option. The combination of protein and fat provides you with a steady supply of energy and keeps you satisfied for longer”.
Top 5 tips for nailing the menu on surf road trips
1. A little preparation goes a long way
With the right tools, cooking on the go is a breeze. Pack some basic cooking equipment (think fry pan, tongs, a decent knife, cutlery, light-weight bowls, mugs, a lidded cast-iron dish, small chopping board, esky), plus a few essential cooking ingredients and condiments (think olive or coconut oil, butter, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper). Always remember to have plenty of drinking water handy too.
2. Enjoy the extra time on your hands
Make the most of the chilled-out pace of camping. Spend time preparing substantial and healthy meals with your mates. Plan ahead and cook up a feast.
3. Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers
Think of meals you can use and repurpose in a variety of ways. For example, tonight’s bolognese can be tomorrow’s nachos.
4. Cook in cast iron
If your campsite allows fires, invest in a cast-iron dish. It’s great for cooking hearty and nutritious meals over an open fire.
5. Don’t forget the car trip
Surf road trip also means spending a fair bit of time in the car (especially if you’re the kind of person who always thinks that the waves might be better somewhere else). Prepare some tasty snacks for the route so that you’re not tempted to indulge in fast food chains and petrol station snacks along the way.
Next time you’re planning a surf road trip along the coast, take ten minutes to think about a few meals and snack options. The right food will keep you alert, strong and shredding all weekend long.