LORI NEdescu,




Board certified sports dietitian, pro athlete, freelance nutrition writer, published author, social content developer & personal chef.

Van Diet

Van Diet

As you can probably imagine, eating on the road, during race season, in a van, is a little different than eating in at home in my own kitchen.  

At home it is easy to stock a plethora of ingredients; pantry, fresh and frozen, to use. On the road, I have a few bins of sport food, a small cupboard for my pantry, and a cooler for perishables. Ingredients must be chosen carefully based on space, portability, perishability, and versatility. On the road I stick to a pretty set list of ingredients (see list below). Prep space is also a limiting factor. In the van I have a small cutting board, knife, whisk, can opener, frother, few tupperware, zip locks, a camp stove, rice cooker, french press, and kettle. I'm in the van to travel and race my bike, so fueling is largely dependent on timing for sport needs. This means meals need to be simple, easy to prep, portable, and nutritionally adjusted to my sport performance needs (lower fiber, easy digestibility, high protein, higher simple carbs). I eat more sport food while on the road partially due to ease but mostly due to meeting my athletic nutrition demands. I try to have a little fun with my food on the road and occasionally stop at a local cafe or coffee shop to experience something new. If I'm in a new place, I try to buy a local ingredient to try like maple syrup, salsa, coffee, or a protein. To increase my options (and save $), I utilize my host housing stays to do some serious meal prep. I might cook up a batch of chicken or salmon, make several sandwiches, roast my own beets/squash, etc... and stash them into bags so I can pull from fresher ingredients for a couple days on the road. Beyond how to store & prep food in the van, there is also the consideration of how to keep things clean. The van has some upgrades, but a dishwasher is not one of them!!  So I have to be ready to wipe out dishes immediately to keep them from getting grimy. A sponge, dish soap, & the sink come in handy. I also have a more concentrated camping soap that I can use for more intense clean up. Trash and waste also need to be kept to a minimum so I try to keep reusable bags, containers, utensils, and cups on hand. 

Fav Van Ingredients:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Wild Planet Canned Tuna
  • Elmhurst Milked Nut cartons
  • Canyon GF Bread & Bagels
  • Organic Girl Power Greens
  • Love Beets
  • Carrots
  • Mustard
  • Hummus
  • Peanut Sauce
  • Sprouted Brown Rice
  • Go Raw Granola & Sprouted Seeds
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Cereal
  • Bananas
  • Overnight Oat containers
  • Fawen Drinkable Soup cartons
  • Trader Joes Everything Bagel Seasoning
  • Power Bars
  • Gummies
  • Klean Athlete Whey Protein
  • Almond Butter 
  • Ranch dressing

Typical 'What I Eat in a Day' Van style:

  • Cup of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
  • Overnight Oats w/ Elmhurst almond milk, 1 packet Vital Protein collagen, & 1/2 banana
  • Vanwich: 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Hummus, & Everything seasoning on Canyon GF Heritage Bread
  • Instant White Mocha Starbucks Latte & 1/2 banana pre ride
  • Plant Protein Power Bar & gummies during ride 
  • Klean Athlete Protein shake post ride
  • Salad greens, carrots, love beets, tuna, Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds & ranch (rice if I have some cooked!) 
  • Glass of wine and popcorn/trail mix/chocolate or casein protein shake (depending on the day!)

***This varies with the amount of riding I'm doing or if its a race day, but generally....

Questions on eating in the van or what I eat in general? Ask them! And check out these related posts as well :) 

What the Kraut?!

What the Kraut?!

Race Season 2018

Race Season 2018