Hallelujah, it’s that time of year again! I am not talking about cherry season, or bikini season (or, in case of Dutch residency, rain-only-4-days-a-week-hurray-season), or the season your favorite TV show starts up again. I am talking about Festival Season.
Whatever festival(s) you go to this year, be it Coachella, Rock Werchter, Sziget, Enchanted Forest, Burning Man, Ozora, Wanderlust, it’s always a challenge to maintain feeling (eh, and looking) hot until the very last day. Scorching temps, dehydration, poor food options/choices, severe sleep deprivation, dust everywhere, the occasional intoxication…. it’s not a pretty sight (thankfully our amazeballs outfits make up for a whole lot… see Exhibits A, B, C, D).
Now, while I am nowhere near pro when it comes to the technical, practical and actually useful stuff that one should consider when going to festivals (unless glitter counts), I did manage to provide myself, my festival tribe, and the odd stranger with plenty of smart nutrition back-up last year, which really helped not feeling like the walking dead after 10 continuous days of partying it up Vladnik style (bonus points for reference). So, without further ado, here is my ultimate…
Health Foodie Festival Season Survival Guide
1. Le Basics
Because you never know what you’re gonna get (and because undereating can be just as harmful -at times like this- than overeating/eating crap) : bring rations! Last year I made about a kilo (if not more) of trailmix (a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit & cacao nibs) in a big ziplock back (and I brought small baggies so I could bring some with me during the day). I also brought; dried crackers, tea, my own blend of superfood powders (all mixed in one big jar and with cacao added for taste so I could mix it with just water), dried fruit, raw energy bars, electrolyte gel, vega one nutritional shake packages, even zeolite (ok I might have gone a tad overboard with this one). Basically; have caloric back-up in case the food on offer is really terrible.
2. Immune System Boosters
Now another issue at hand is to keep feeling vibrant and sexy throughout the week, and runny noses, cold sores or coughing up blood are just not very sexy.
Ideally, you’ll want to invest in your immune system more than the actual food stuffs, and you’ll want to start boosting your immunity (way) before festival season. But, it’s never too late!
My top picks; Goji berries, bee pollen, (stabilized) probiotics, enchinacea, spirulina/chlorella (powder or tablets) and ample Vitamin C (again; bring lemons. No artificial Vit C please), and RAW multivitamins.
3. Extra Energy & Vitality
Festivals are non-stop and can be seriously draining. Follow my top tips below, and support your body with some natural whole foods supplementation for extra zing.
My top picks; Ypadu (green energy powder made from coca leafs (we were quite popular at BOOM festival last year for carrying around this amazing stuff), Merlins ‘Herbal Magic Root Elixer’ (a blend of, like, 20 different herbs), any and all FRUIT (bring dates!), maca, green tea. Steer clear from caffeine; it is dehydrating and over-stimulating (which, trust me, you don’t need/want at a festival).
Raw Food Cafe & Permaculture Garden at BOOM 2012:
Tips n Tricks
1. DRINK. For God’s sake, DRINK. Hydration is key. But here’s the real Golden Nugget; bring lemons (or electrolyte packages, Vega’s brand carries them) for real proper hydration and mineral replenishment.
2. Bring disinfecting hand gel
3. Festivals are NOT the time to work on your tan. Heat stroke, nausea, sun burn and general aggravation are no fun kids.
4. Next to hydration, sleep is crucial (tip: sleeping naked in the sun doesn’t count. Trust me). Know that you won’t be able to sleep in past 9-10 AM because of the Sun ‘gently’ forcing you to up and move. Make sure you go to bed at a decent hour every other night. This prevents you wanting to kill the rest of the hippies by day 5.6
5. Check out if the festival site has health(ish) food options, a permaculture garden, raw food bar/cafe, and/or a supermarket. Device a plan of attack. Mine included going to the supermarket every day at the crack of dawn and carry back a humongous watermelon, and picking fresh greens and zucchini some of the nights to make a salad (dressed up with my nuts, homemade salad dressing and raw crackers).
6. Don’t do drugs. Stay in school. (But if you must, choose your drugs wisely. Amphetamines are bad for you long and short term. Coming down whilst at a festival? Not cool. Psychelics are way more fun, less harmful, no comedowns. Just sayin.
Now if all of the above fails, just rely on your outfits <3
Exhibits A, B, C, D:
What festivals are you attending? Me: Nowhere (Spain), the Rainbow Gathering (Greece. Not technically a ‘festival’ but hippies + sun equals festival to me) and Ozora (Hungary).