Overall I was pretty happy with the food I took to KAEM. I lost 4.5kg during the week, but put that all back on pretty much straight away. Obviously there is copious amounts of water consumed which I won’t list. Each day I started with my 2x 750ml bottles full, one of which had either Elete water or Nuun added for the electrolytes. On the long day I did the Nuun again about halfway through. I took Elete salt tablets on the hour every hour whilst running. This worked for me. I will stick with the Elete salt tablets, but change to Nuun (lemon flavour) for my drinks for Marathon Des Sables as I really enjoyed the zing it gave me, it was like getting a soft drink en route! Tip for keeping your water bottles cool, and keeping the water more palatable, is to wet a buff and warp around the bottles, keep wetting them at each checkpoint, the wind keeps the bottles slightly cooler.

Filling up the water bottles
Filling up the water bottles

This is the food I took:
Day 1
Breakfast wasn’t provided but we got supplies at the little shop and I had 3 fried eggs and 3 pieces of brown toast and a cup of black coffee
Snacks-100g mixed dried fruit & nuts
Clif bar
Evening- finished off my clif bar & nuts, had about 50g biltong and a Mountain House Macaroni cheese (extra large pack) for dinner with a cup of red bush tea

The South Africans show us how it's done with a Braai on Day 1!
The South Africans show us how it’s done with a Braai on Day 1!

Day 2
Breakfast – flapjack (from Aldi) 398 cals & black coffee
Snacks-100g mixed dried fruit & nuts
Clif bar
Evening-finished off my clif bar & nuts, another 50g biltong, For Goodness Shakes recovery shake (chocolate flavour powder form)
Mountain House Pasta with lasagne sauce (extra large pack) for dinner and a cup of red bush tea
Day 3
Breakfast-flapjack & black coffee
Snacks-100g mixed dried fruit & nuts
Clif bar
Pepperami stick
Evening-finished off my snacks and had another recovery shake, 4 small chocolate chip biscuits, cup of red bush tea
Mountain house salmon and potato in dill sauce (extra large pack) for dinner

Hot water is all you need
Hot water is all you need

Day 4
Breakfast-Expedition Foods Porridge with strawberries and a cup of black coffee
Snacks-100g mixed dried fruit & nuts
Clif bar
Pepperami stick
M&S pork crackling (yum!)
John West tuna pack lemon pepper flavour (I ate this too late with only 20km to go, should have eaten it earlier, and had a top up at 20km to go. Fuel fail!)
Evening-recovery shake and Mountain House chilli con carne with rice
Day 5 (rest day)
Breakfast-flapjack & black coffee
Snacks-leftover nuts & fruit from long day, half a clif bar from the long day, leftover pork crackling, scrounged cup of chicken instant soup, 50g biltong & a droewors.
Mug shot pasta for lunch tomato flavoured
Cup of red bush tea
One Nuun infused drink
4 x oatcakes
Evening – Mountain house Macaroni cheese (extra large pack)
Day 6
Breakfast- flapjack & black coffee
Snacks-100g mixed dried fruit & nuts
Clif bar
Pepperami stick
M&S pork crackling (still yum)
Evening-finished off leftover nuts, clif bar and crackling
Mountain House chicken tikka with rice (extra large pack) for dinner
Cup of red bush tea
Day 7
Breakfast-flapjack (still going down alright to be fair) & black coffee
Snacks-clif bar (which I only ate half of)
Finish-sandwiches, boiled eggs with salt & beer!

I had a handful of Werther’s sweets and a handful of salted liquorice as the odd treat. I didn’t feel hungry at all, especially while running. I had to force myself to eat very hour on the run which worked for most days except Day 4, the long day, where I wasn’t taking on enough calories and leaving it too late. A couple of fellow runners fed me at 12km to the finish with a couple of mouthfuls of mug shot pasta and a couple of mouthfuls of instant mashed potato and once this hit me 6km later I was running again. A testament to fuelling!
The mountain House dehydrated meals were tasty and something to look forward to each night, I am probably going to take a couple to Marathon Des Sables in April next year, but have a mixture of couscous and olive oil on some nights as well, having learnt this from some of the other runners. I need to swap out the clif bars to something savoury as these were not working for me, and definitely sticking to Pepperami sticks and pork crackling, they kept on tasting good. Need a bit more fuel for the long day, or rather less fruit and clif bars and more of something else. My fruit and nut mix was ok, but too much fruit which was making me feel nausea, so more nuts, less fruit.

Considering I’d never done this type of thing before, I think I had worked it out pretty well, eating everything I took except half a Clif bar overall. I had loads more food packed originally but kept stripping it out to bring my pack weight down. I had things like puddings each night (I am a massive dessert lover, but even I didn’t miss this over the week), and more snacks and cup of soup sachets. I’m glad I stripped it all out though. The flapjacks were slightly monotonous each morning but certainly saved any facing with cooking breakfast in the morning and you aren’t really hungry so I would just nibble on the flapjack over about an hour in the morning.

My advice is to keep it as simple as possible, and don’t go overboard!

Quiet cup of red bush tea
Quiet cup of red bush tea
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