Owen's Eating and Nutrition
In case you missed it, per the race organizers, Owen is required to take a certain amount of food (meals and snacks) calorie content based on body weight and # of days depending on # of people on boat. Owen is required to take over 6,000 calories for 85 days. 17 days of that is required to be wet rations in case he has water or stove issues. So back in September, we packed 68 meal bags consisting of a sandwich bag with several bags of oatmeal mixed with muesli and 4 varied freeze dried meals. During his training rows and sometime while doing a long session on the ERG, Owen tested different types and brands to make sure he liked it and it agreed with him. He also then packed 19 US government issued MREs --- Thanks Luisa and Bill for donating! On top of that, we packed 85 snack packs which consisted of calorie dense ready to eat product.
In the photo below, you can see all the food prior to Owen packing it in the boat for shipping to La Gomera. There is also a quick video where you can see the food and snack items before packing and the list on the wall of snack items, so Marianne packed them correctly.
The night before the row, Owen headed to SPAR (local grocery store in La Gomera) and stocked up on random treats. Lemon cookies, Cadbury fruit and nut bars, hard candies, some cured meats, cheese and bread for sandwiches during the first days. Basically he walked through store grabbing anything he might want or crave.
So that was the prep. What does reality look like? Here is what Owen told me:
--- His morning meal is his only hot meal. Everyday breakfast is the same; it consists of oatmeal, muesli and sometimes he will throw in nuts from the snack pack.
---- Other freeze dried meals he puts water on and it takes 1-2 hours to reconstitute at warm outdoor temps makes prep easier and no need to mess with boiling water on a moving rowboat. The exception is the Pad Thai which needs hot water to reconstitute.
---- Owen eats while on the oars and during breaks. It’s too hard to eat one of the meals at one sitting, so he eats the meals throughout breaks and row sessions. He is eating 2 to 3 of the freeze dried meals per day, but generally cannot finish the whole package. Each of these packages is 600 to 700 calories, if I recall correctly. Sometimes he will add the tuna from the snack packs to the freeze dried meal to get additional protein, but tuna only goes with certain meals.
---- Snacks ---He eats mostly snacks at night. Generally has 1-2 protein shakes during the night row sessions. The protein shakes are easy to fix and good way to hydrate and get calories and protein quickly.
---When asked what was his favorite snack, he answered immediately—the chocolate croissants--- yummy and easy to get 200 calories in 3 bites. He also eats his Snickers and Payday bars everyday! Owen said he hasn’t gotten tired of anything and still eats a good mix of snacks daily.
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