Nutrition away from home

8 messages
07/09/2012 at 09:45


I've just started training for a duathlon which is in a few months time. The main problem is that I work offshore down in Africa, one month on, one month off. There's a decent gym on the ship and so training isn't a problem, but getting my diet right is more difficult.

The food isn't the best - mainly fried food, with very limited availability of fresh fruit or veg. I've noticed that I'm feeling really tired and struggling to recover between training sessions, and the most likely thing seems to be that I'm not eating enough of the right things.

Does anyone have any suggestions of food or food supplements that might help? Obviously, it would have to be fairly long lasting (fruit wouldn't even last the journey here) and need little or no preparation.

Initially I was thinking along the lines of dried fruit and instant porridge, but would it help to take things like fish oil tables, protein supplements and other similar things?

Any suggestions would be welcome!


07/09/2012 at 11:14

I have a similar problem in that I travel with work a lot. I generally find I can't run when I'm away, and so I'm restricted to skipping, circuits in my room etc, so burn fewer calories. As the food is generally fried and comes in big portions, I find I put on weight.

I take multivitamins and fish oil with me, but I do generally take then at home as well. I also take a range of healthy snacks, such as dried fruit and rice cakes. As you don't have the weight issues, seeds and nuts would be a good thing to consider too.

07/09/2012 at 11:18

I was just going to suggest instant porridge but you got there first!

Difficult problem you've got if you don't have a way of getting veggies and/or fruit. Dried fruit is good in porridge but tends to be rather sugary. Vegetables would be better but I don't think there is such a thing available as dried vegetables, is there?

I'd be thinking about instant porridge and tinned fish - sardines, salmon, tuna. Obviously not to be consumed together though

07/09/2012 at 11:38

Tinned beans are brilliant:

Napolina do a whole range of stuff like this which is well tasty and goes really well with tinned mackerel. I eat it for lunch

Dried fruits are readily available and you can get some fab combos these days from supermarkets, but holland & barrat are really good as they have massive bags. I love the squishy bananas (sun dried rather than fried).

07/09/2012 at 11:47

If Nelson could manage to give his sailors fresh fruit and veg how comes your employers cant get the same to you?

You  need fresh fruit and veg or else you get scruvy. We learnt that at school.

Is it a case of too expensive to ship it out to you?

07/09/2012 at 12:16

Thanks for all the suggestions.  The beans, seeds and nuts suggestions all sound good, likewise H&B for the dried fruit.  Tinned fish is a good idea too, but like you say, definitely seperate from the porridge!  Yuk!

Its not that we don't have any fruit or veg at all, its just a bit hit and miss depending on supplies.  I'm told that sourcing local supplies is difficult, but judging by the quantities of fresh produce I saw in the markets in Mombasa that seems unlikely, so I'm not sure where the problem is.

07/09/2012 at 12:45

If you are down Africa way - surely you could eat ugali.

Ugali Recipe

4 cups water
3 to 4 cups maize meal

Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add the maize meal and stir to prevent lumps. Add more maize meal to make a thick porridge. Keep stirring until the maize meal is well cooked. Tip out onto a plate - the ugali should hold its shape.
Reading running with the Kenyan's - it is all the top athletes eat a lot of the time - doesn't seem to do them any harm.


03/12/2012 at 17:09

I was eating plenty of fruit and veg but I was still very tired, stiff and slow in recovery. A friend of mine gave me nutritional advice, I'm now taking multivitamins, anti-oxidant and Omega3, all of the in gel (

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