We can't escape the fact that we have to adapt our diet to the chaos of a music festival. You don't see hungover festival fans rustling up a protein-filled breakfast for the entire camp.
But equally, the spontaneous, survival-mode diet of instant food, crisps and chocolate bars isn't necessary, and could actually affect your festival on the same weekend.
These fatty foods have the potential to irritate the stomach on a hangover - so eating them when you get up is not a good idea, if at all. In fact, eating high-fat foods before the drinking takes place is actually a better bet.
The best overall option on the weekend, though, is to avoid them altogether, and instead consume foods beneficial for your energy levels and perhaps your hungover state.
So we've put together a guide showing you how this can easily be done, and all it requires is a little pre-planning.
There are three pretty essential ingredients for a great breakfast. They are protein, whole grains and fruit/vegetables. Here's a quick recipe that combine all three, on a vegetarian diet.
Muesli is maybe the healthiest, easiest festival breakfast you can have. Most of the typical ingredients are long life and don't need refrigerating, meaning if you take enough, it'll last you the whole weekend. You could go ahead and buy a pre-mixed supermarket version, but if we want to control the content, then we have to make it ourselves. Try this recipe:
4 parts Rolled Oats - £0.75 (link: https://goo.gl/YgBbNz)
2 parts Almonds - £2.00 (link: https://goo.gl/RdfZWP)
2 parts dried, mixed fruit - £1.54 (link: https://goo.gl/zAjCfH)
For oats, it's good to make sure the package says '100% whole rolled oats' or similar, instead of the word 'instant', which usually means highly processed. Feel free to replace almonds with cashews or pistachios for a similar protein content, but of course don't buy salted or roasted in any oil.
Our inclusion of dried fruit is for two reasons: its longevity, and its nutritious content which includes fiber and antioxidants. However, when fruit is dried its Vitamin C content tends to reduce, and you should always check the sugar content before buying. On the whole, dried fruit is sometimes even beneficial to non-dried and you should definitely include it in your festival diet.
For storage, try reusable/recyclable sandwich bags, and of course, tupper ware. Scale up the ratios above to make as much as you need for your weekend!
Lunch & Dinner
The aim with your main meals is longevity. There are plenty of breakfasts you can make using non-refrigerated ingredients, but less so for lunch and dinner. We have to sacrifice fresh vegetables - cucumber, lettuce, spring onions and so on - as well as anything that requires cooking. It's possible however, that caterers at the festival will provide you with boiling water, but to make it difficult, let's assume that isn't the case.
Of course, we can still incorporate the likes of garlic and ginger into our festival meals - just bring it in powder form, as supermarkets sell in their big herb and spice sections. We can also take dressings such as balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Black beans - £0.65 (link: https://goo.gl/q2hZSk)
Chickpeas - £0.33 (link: https://goo.gl/F2SeH5)
Kidney beans - £0.50 (link: https://goo.gl/N7LjLd)
Some other bean - try cannellini, butter beans etc.
Drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar - £0.65 (link: https://goo.gl/RoNA7e)
Drizzle of Olive Oil (steal from your kitchen)
Salt & Pepper (steal from your kitchen)
Garlic - £0.59 (link: https://goo.gl/3VmGKo)
Parsley - £0.69 (link: https://goo.gl/zRkyKf)
Combine all the beans equally - one can of each should make you several portions for a few lunches over the weekend. Grab 2 of each if you fancy bean salads every afternoon. Beans are high in fiber and protein.
Pre-mix this at home and make several tupper wares full - that way you won't be carrying all the ingredients with you. All of these ingredients are typically kept at room temperature, so no problems for longevity.
The main foods that provide protein are meat, fish, eggs, beans and peas, soy-based foods such as tofu, nuts and seeds. Ruling out eggs due to their lack of longevity, we can pretty much incorporate any of these into a festival diet.
The below protein flapjack recipe should be baked at home, and popped into tupper ware for you to take to the festival. We looked for a recipe that was easy, quick and had a minimum amount of ingredients, most of which you might already have. We found such a recipe at CoachMag, here: https://goo.gl/H5HJvK
The reason we included this is that you only five ingredients, and they are:
120g rolled oats
100g Meridian peanut butter
60g whey protein powder
125-150g skimmed milk - almond/soya/rice/coconut etc milk can be used, but weights may vary for different types.
15g acacia honey
Prepare the ingredients and measures, and pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius, or gas mark 5.
To make these for your festival, combine the whey powder and oats in a large bowl and mix well. Add the milk and peanut butter to the bowl, and mix this until it's an even mixture everywhere. Finally, add honey and stir once again.
Next, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread a little coconut oil on there. Spread the contents of the bowl evenly onto the baking tray, and refrigerate for 30 mins.
When the 30 minutes is up, place in the pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius, and bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven. Then it's all done!
Store into a festival-friendly container, such as tupper-ware, a cool bag or foil.
Lunch & Dinner
We're just gonna invent something here, and we reckon it would be great for festival campsites, purely due to the high protein content and the fact that no cooking is required. This makes canned fish, and cured meats such as chorizo perfect for the protein content in a salad.
Other ingredients can consist of:
- Beans - kidney beans, cannellini, chickpeas
- Canned Sweetcorn
- Tilda cooked rice - or some mixture involving quinoa etc. See all the options here: https://goo.gl/gxucvW
- Salt & Pepper - steal from your kitchen!
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
If you go for chorizo, you can easily tear bits off and throw them in the salad if you want to prep on the go. We've designed this so absolutely no chopping or other typical kitchen activities are needed - allowing you to easily prep in the campsite.
You really don't need a fry-up on a hangover, and in fact, the fatty foods can potentially upset the stomach further. It's much better to be tactical about it - look at the things that an excessive night on the lash can deplete, and have foods that replenish those things. There exists some foods that are perfect hangover cures.
Bananas and Dates
Here's two festival-friendly fruits. Alcohol often depletes the body's supply of potassium, and these two worldies are full of it. Dates are simple enough - grab a large pack or two of them from your supermarket (link: https://goo.gl/gNMBYV). They're also incredibly tasty and help raise the blood sugar!
Bananas are a little trickier, the only issue being their tendency to get battered and bruised on a journey. If you're that concerned, try keeping them in large tupperware, or even go as far as grabbing some special banana cases (link: https://goo.gl/W6mVNx). Again, they're an excellent source of potassium and are definitely worth having when you're hanging.
Crackers & Honey
Here's another foodie that'll keep well in the festival field. Crackers are a bland carbohydrate that raise low blood sugar, and paired with fructose-filled honey makes a perfect hangover combination. Just remember to grab some crackers preferably without preservatives (such as: https://goo.gl/cPoNr6), and drizzle honey over each of them to make a deliciously sweet, yet hangover-killing breakfast.
If hunger strikes during the day, then we'd recommend the following to keep your energy levels topped up.
- More bananas! As we said, they're essential for festival hangovers, replenishing potassium that is depleted. They also keeps your blood sugar up. Add honey and flaxseed, nuts and seeds, to balance that out with plenty of protein. Dates are also a great shout here.
- For vitamins, oranges and apples should last for the duration, similarly transported in tupper ware.
- Ainsley Harriott's cous cous - okay, we know that sounds incredibly middle-class and maybe not the staple of a festival diet, but this is a truly underrated festival food. Hopefully one of the festival caterers has access to boiling water - remember to ask the festival before filling your bag full of these https://goo.gl/k6W9YF
- Bounce Energy Balls - full of protein, provides energy for the weekend. https://goo.gl/PHi5FP
For drinks, the elixir of life is far and away the best bet... no, not vodka, but water. If blood sugar levels are needed, don't go for fizzy soft drinks which could upset the stomach - try Vimto Squeezys instead.
That completes our brief guide of the festival diet so far - but we want to stick your ideas here!
What's your go-to festival food? Contribute to our blog by sharing in the comments section below, or on social media!