Beyond Mtn. Dew and Cheetos (LARP food that doesn't suck)
DISCLAIMER: This is based on my experience running a tavern and sometimes having to cook for myself at events/cons on a budget. If you are lucky enough to play in a game has a meal plan I strongly recommend working with that team - it will always be cheaper to buy into those plans.
Eating at a weekend long larp can introduce some wild things into your diet. Man of us start out our lapping and gaming carers subsisting on pizza, Mountain Dew, Cheetos, and adrenaline.
It doesn’t have to be that way, in fact - you can eat very healthily with a reasonable budget! This post is to help you get past the junk food and into meals that support your body while it supports you fighting the bad guys!
This post will focus on meals that are keto-friendly as a heads up.
Personal note - I’ve been on the keto diet for the last 6 months or so. While I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you should look at that diet, I will tell you that I’ve lost 15 lbs on it (10% of my weight), and have done zero exercise. Ray has lost 45 lbs.
I strongly recommend this diet, but I also strongly recommend that you do your research first and consult your doctor first before making any dietary changes. I’m not a nutritionist and this post is based on my personal experience. I’m hopeful it’s helpful to you!
The first and most important thing is hydration.
Assume that you’re going to be hiking 10-14 miles over the weekend. Drinking water is by far the most important thing. It will stop you from that Sunday afternoon-post-larp headache. One of the BEST ways to combat dehydration is a little thing I like to call “the cocktail” because frankly it tastes like a day at the beach.
Coconut water and Pineapple Juice.
This is not keto-friendly but is so effective that it’s worth mentioning. I’ve pulled a dozen people out of the dehydration hell with this. It’s the most magical thing I’ve found in recent years. If you are like me and are easily distracted while at game and forget to bring water, pack this combo in your bag. It’s just a 50/50 mixture over ice and in 10-20 minted you’ll feel a world of better. These things don’t even need to be refrigerated. (Just buy the pineapple cans)
Get to drinking that water. The cocktail is for when you’ve already stepped over the line, or you just want a yummy drink to enjoy. Also good with booze while NOT at a LARP.
Now lets talk about food. This post assumes you have minimal access to a kitchen, but still want to eat well!
Nothing says good morning like coffee and creamer, I’ve even dragged my Keurig to LARPS to support my caffeine habit, but lets assume you’re not an addict like I am for the moment.
Eggs and Bacon are always a staple, but I also strongly recommend pre-made egg cups filled with various things like ham, spinach and various cheeses. Those lite egg cups can be made in muffin tins head of time and can be eaten cold on the go! Here’s a link to one of the recipes, you can customize these little guys to fit your flavor profile (egg whites and white cheese with spinach for instance).
Breakfast is essential to fueling your day. Make sure you get that meal in!
Lunch can take so many forms! Charcuterie boards, mason jar salads, pasta salads (no-keto), or pre-made sushi if you’re uber-fancy (non-keno of course). Personally I love a good asian cucumber salad! All of these things travel well and only need minimal refrigeration if you don’t have access to a kitchen.
Lets assume you’re missing access to kitchen or access to a fire pit. What do you have access to? A single outlet! This means your trusty slow cooker and/or air fryer are there to rescue you!
Air fryers if you're unfamiliar with them are about the best thing since sliced bread. They will fry things without hot oil and make them healthy, crispy and fabulously delicious.
For the main course, you can cook anything from ribs, a roast, chicken breasts in a sauce. Just toss everything in there and let it cook while you go out and thug the bad guys. I’ve provided a few recipes above that I have enjoyed, but Google will get you things more to your taste. Allrecipes is a favorite place to get tried and true recipes.
If you’re feeling fancy, grab that air fryer and consider fries (non-keto) or my favorite brussels sprouts in a balsamic sauce. Salad bags also make a great side!
I personally feel that hot meals make the best dinners, they really help you prep for that final battle with the undead or the invading orc tribe!
I have a dehydrator to make beef jerky, apple chips, or anything else that can be carried in your pocket/satchel.
5 minute microwave mac n cheese is also a great way to go, but that requires some additional equipment! Here’s a link for that.
Remember that little bags of cheese and meats make for great options!
All you need is some planning to make your meals out in the wilderness comfortable, healthy and delicious! I will sometimes browse the Tasty site to find new things to try.
Happy eating and lapping!