By: Blonde Two
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that an army marches on its stomach. In my case, the army would be able to march quite a long way because I have quite a big stomach.
The Two Blondes and their team have been facing the issue of expedition nutrition over the last few of weeks as our youngsters have been doing their final training for Ten Tors. Some have eaten the right things and marched well, others have eaten the wrong things and – well, stopped marching altogether. There have been cramps and vomit and lots of long faces (including ours).
Our particular and very modern bugbear this year has been energy drinks. We have a epidemic in this country of young people who are coming to rely on these nasty concoctions just to wake up in the morning. One of our lads kept experiencing terrible leg cramps when the going got tough – his team mates narrowed it down to his high energy drink consumption. After some persuasion he agreed to avoid them for a while and walked a tough route last weekend with no cramps whatsoever.
We have spent a lot of time talking to our kids about nutrition and what to eat during an expedition (flapjack being my longstanding favourite) but still had drop-outs last weekend due to the wrong food or not enough calories. I decided that there was no more time for Mrs Nice Blonde and wrote each of our team members a diet sheet. This has a “two weeks to go” and a “three days to go” section.
I think they took it seriously when I handed the sheets out. There were groans that crisps, take away and pizza were in the “no” section. Energy drinks are now completely banned (in my dreams) as is alcohol. One poor lad has his 18th birthday a couple of days before Ten Tors but was quite accepting of my instruction to “not even go to the party”. Hopefully, in two weeks time, we will have three teams who have eaten plenty of carbs, protein and fresh fruit and veg. and who will be glowing with good health and physically up for the challenge that is ahead of them.
We shall have to see if they manage to stick to it (or even try to stick to it). We will do our best – pasta and brownies the night before (the cake not the small people), bacon rolls, hot chocolate and flapjack for breakfast. But then it will be up to them – the whole Ten Tors ethos is about independence. They walk alone, make decisions alone, sleep alone and they eat alone. We have done our best – the food thing is up to them now.