Fact: running makes you hungry. Sweating up the spiky hills of Mt Buller National Park, we’ve already had a few pit stops to refuel. Inhaling Clif Bar after Clif Bar, we look at the empty packets, bewildered, not quite comprehending why there is no sticky blueberry oaty goodness left.
On our return, two hours from camp, we finally allow conversation to turn to the one topic that’s been taboo for the past few hours:
What will we eat post-run?
We love food. All food. Carbs, fructose, gluten, lactose – we devour them all day, every day. Sometimes I wonder if the only reason we run is so we can eat without guilt. Often, during those sweet-jesus-why-do-i-do-this-to-myself runs, I’ve pondered over how much faster I’d be if I didn’t indulge in quite so many cruffins between training runs.
Then we travelled around Australia in the Old Girl, and cruffins were off the menu. Unless the definition of cruffin is “Crap Muffins”, in which case we sampled plenty of them along the way.
WARNING: If a bakehouse sign announces they have Australia’s best vanilla slice / meat pie / pastie, don’t get excited. Either a) they’re lying to your pretty little face b) the sign is circa 1962 c) some backpacker once told the baker it was the best they’ve ever had and the baker decided to make a sign.
The challenge is that the best places to run (mountains, gorges, national parks) are often at least a hundred kilometres from a decent-sized supermarket. So, as well as stocking up on the usual stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we always need to make sure we have extra yums that will satisfy us post-run.
Let’s just focus for moment on that post-run hunger…
Any endurance athlete knows there’s nothing like that hunger when you’ve finished a run. For about 30 minutes, it’s like you could devour anything put in front of you. For those ravenous minutes, you’re a Labrador. I say this because my sister’s Labrador puppy, Rufus, once chewed his way through the kitchen door. These days, I feel like we were a little harsh on him – what’s so wrong with chewing through doors when you’re hungry?
So, what can we possibly eat that will satisfy door-munching hunger after a run, while camping in the middle of nowhere?
The answer is EGGS.
Okay, eggs might not sound exciting, but there are a few egg-cellent facts (sorry) that make them perfect for travel running.
FACT: Eggs are packed with protein
For runners, this is a big win. According to Fitness Republic, one egg provides 6 grams of protein, 78 calories, and 5 grams of fat.
FACT: Eggs can be cooked in tons of different ways
After a few months on the road, we quickly exhausted the usual scrambled, fried, omelette methods. So we started adding eggs to everything to see what happened. Eggs and beef jerky is a real winner (especially the Habanero Chilli Kooee for some tongue-tingly super yum), and Kooee is also really high in protein. Bonus!
FACT: You don’t need to keep eggs in a fridge
We ripped the energy-guzzling fridge out of our kombi early on, deciding that an esky was the way to go. Eggs don’t need a fridge – you can just pop them in a dark place away from the window and they’ll be fine. However, you cannot squish them into an already full esky, slam on the lid and expect them to be fine. Just saying.
FACT: Eggs stay fresh for days.
Handy if you are exploring the bush for a week without the chance to restock.
FACT: Eggs take less than 5 minutes to cook
No time to start eating the door, then.
It didn’t take long for eggs to become our regular travel running meal. Mat will quickly stretch, then get all the ingredients ready while I have a bucket bath (tip: you can’t live without a bucket on the road).
Over to Mat in the kitchen.
Here’s how to make the yummiest post-run eggs while camping:
EGGS IN A WRAP
Okay, the name isn’t fancy but trust us on the Yum Factor. These eggs are sort of scrambled, sort of an omelette, drizzled with homemade tomato chutney (shhh it’s easy). and all wrapped up into a wholemeal tortilla.
First, the eggs.
4 eggs (5 if it’s been a really long run)
Kooee beef jerky snacks (they’re all delicious but Habanero Chilli give it a kick)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil to grease up the pan
Use a fork to whisk up your eggs in a bowl. Meanwhile heat a non stick fry pan over your campstove and drizzle a tablespoon of oil to coat the pan. Pour your whisked eggs in and let them sizzle.
After a few minutes, see if you can lift up the edge of the egg to have a peek underneath. If it’s golden with a hint of brown, sprinkle Kooee snacks all over the eggs (it’s alright to sample a couple of pieces as you do this, but be warned the Habanero Chilli and Mountain Pepper flavours are very addictive).
With your fork, turn the outer edges of the omelette-scrambled-eggs into the centre. Rest your fork on top of the egg for a couple of seconds to make it stick, then when you feel confident, use the fork to flip it over and cook it through.
Next, the homemade tomato chutney…
Tin of diced tomatoes
One clove of garlic, squashed and diced
One onion, diced
Salt/pepper to taste
In a pot, heat up a tablespoon of oil, add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down and sauté until the onion has that yummy clear caramelisey feel about it (you know the one I’m talking about).
Open up your tin of economy diced tomatoes and pour it in. When the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 mins. It reduces down a little bit and tastes so good you’ll never by a bottle of dead ‘orse ever again.
Now for the tricky bit
Lay out your wholemeal wrap and place the egg down the centre of said wrap. Drizzle your homemade sauce over the top . Using the not-at-all-famous Sengalli method (you won’t find this on Googs), fold over the right side of the wrap first. Then – this is important – fold the bottom of the wrap up. Then and only then can you fold over the left side of the wrap. You have created an almost leak free wrap.
The only thing left to do now is EAT!