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Author Topic: What is the ideal contest food?  (Read 8272 times)

Posts: 4

« on: June 17, 2000, 02:59:19 PM »

I wonder what everyone considers the ideal food to eat while operating a serious contest effort?  Do you stick to a known diet that you feel helps your performance or ability to stay awake?  Or do you just eat whatever you can find in the refrigerator?

Posts: 2

« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2000, 02:08:12 PM »

Well, I usually begin on Thursday by cooking a meatloaf that I will slice for sandwiches during the contest. I make sure that I have several types of fruit available and slice and dice them ahead of time also. I make sure that I have plenty of cold drinks available and ice to go along with them. I've even made potato salad or cole slaw ahead of time.  The trick, as far as I am concerned, is to have everything prepared ahead of time, so that it only takes a couple of minutes to get something to eat.

Posts: 21

« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2000, 04:26:10 PM »

Best food? Must be : Non-crumbling, easy to chew, easy to swallow, long table exposure  life (so when you are running stations and have to leave it sit on the table/plate/paper towel it will not go bad until you can get back to it), non dripping, somewhat moist - so phone ops can talk while chewing and not get dry mouth! ;-). Must be something that can be grabbed quickly between Q's. For CW ops, something the op can hold in their mouth while their hands are flying on the keyboard or the key making Q's.  

Drinks - best in nonspillable containers that won't douse the rig/logs/computer when it gets knocked over in the heat of battle.  Those non-spillable 'children's cups' style are the best. They look silly, but hey.. silliness is irrelevant when you have just spilled hot coffee or cold soda all over your operationg position during a  hot run. The spill proof ones can hit the floor, the keyboard or the logs and all they do is bounce off. No muss.. no fuss. You can get large sized one which hold lots of ice for sodas or whatever and have latchable caps that will withstand a 3 foot drop to the hard floor OR won't pop off when they get tipped over by an elbow or errant finger fumble.

Assume that Murphy will cause the most disasterous accident to occur at the most untimely moment in the most hectic period of the contest.

Posts: 20

« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2000, 03:00:07 PM »

<<Assume that Murphy will cause the most disasterous accident to occur at the most untimely moment in the most hectic period of the contest. >>

This is why I have a few cheap keyboards as spares - the soda ALWAYS ends up spilling on them.  Of course, now it'll spill into the radio...

Posts: 17

« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2000, 07:35:00 PM »

Anything intravenously so nothing interferes with your ability to talk, key the mircophone or make log entries.

Posts: 13

« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2000, 12:59:15 AM »

Sushi, lobster, escargot...the basics!

No..seriously.. simple food..non greasy, microwavable foods are a good idea. Plenty of bottled water, green tea for the nerves, small, easy to get to snacks..stuff like that.

Avoid turkey at all extremes! Think about every Thanksgiving.. Do you really want L-Tryptophan-syndrome?? You know..the sleepy, cozy feeling you get after eating all that turkey and thing you know you're sitting in front of the TV with a big blanket over you watching "Sound of Music" for the um-teenth time with a crackling fire and the family and relatives all huddled around..

Um..maybe that's just my family..

Anyway..I digress..
No'll put you to sleep!

Lasagna's good (homemade of course..what else?), Baked ziti, hot pipping New England clam chowder (not that red Manhattan stuff..PLEASE!!) get the picture.

Things to avoid: Peanut butter and jelly (sticks to your mouth. "59 North Carolina" never sounded so muffled!
                 Spicy foods..for obvious reasons.
                 NO Mexican foods..for even more obvious reasons..
                 No seafood..stinks up the shack.
                 No beef jerky..the good kind I mean; Slim Jims might be OK but they're kinda of greasy..don't want those silk screened numbers on that fancy radio fading away do you now? The kind I like (you see them in the grocery stores in those big bags and with names like "Big Sky Country Hungry Man's Teriyaki Beef") don't mesh so well while talking.

Liquids are crucial. Colas for those late nights, Gatorade® for replenishing those electrolytes sucked out by the RF, tea and honey (good for the throat), Lemonade, etc..
But by all means..NO alcohol! It dulls the senses and also causes fatigue and headaches.. Plus you don't want to wake up the next morning atop the tower after celebrating all night from your fantastic score! Neighbors probably wouldn't be too keen on that.

So, bottom sensibly, regularly and responsibly. Sounds like a PSA.

« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2000, 02:13:33 PM »

I think baked HAM is the ideal food.
You can make sandwiches or jerky it for a fast chew.

Posts: 4

« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2000, 12:21:13 PM »

Best idea comes form W1YL...sandwiches should be packaged in zip lock can grab the baggie and not get food on your great!  A pre-contest ritual for me has been to go to the deli and buy high qulaity cold cuts for the fabrication of sandicwhes just the way I like up a bunch and store them in a cooler alongside the operating a cooler next to it store beverages...that only leaves one reason to leave the rig!

Fruits like grapes work well in zip locks, too...


Posts: 1


« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2000, 05:44:22 AM »


This year for CQWW SSB I prepared eight medium sized
sandwiches. They were made with four different ingredients, so I had two of each type. In order to avoid getting sick of the same food QSO after QSO. This turned out to be a good idea. Also some cucumber and some milk products. Plus about 5 liters of bottled water. That should do for the 48 hours.

Hm, I made a mistake with milk products. I bought 5 same yoghurts and I got so sick of them (they weren't good) that even now, almost a month after contest I can't even think of eating them again in the CW part.

Simon, S53ZO

Posts: 3

« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2000, 12:25:12 PM »

Watts and watts of snacks?  Good DX.


 Matt / AA1JD

Posts: 22

« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2000, 10:17:08 AM »

Warm Beer, Cold Pizza and Little Chocolate Donuts!!
The Breakfast of Champions!!

Seriously, I let my bride handle the food end. She
knows what I am NOT supposed to eat and I usually
come out a winner in the food department.
73 de Carl

Posts: 317

« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2001, 06:28:09 PM »

Many years ago, I operated multi-op at W4ETO. We all feasted on chili. A new Q signal was coined... QRF.

Posts: 65


« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2001, 10:09:08 PM »

If portability and convenience is desired, I recommend Heater Meals.  
The company website is
This firm is a military contractor that branched out to consumer markets.
Their meals (NOT to be confused with soldier MRE's)  require no external heat source such as a stove or microwave oven, rather they are heated to steaming hot in 14 minutes by a safe chemical reactive added to water.  The meal pouch is placed over the water to heat up and does it ever get hot!
I use Heater Meals as part of my job as a railroad conductor between Los Angeles and points east, where there is no place to stop and eat in the desert!  I put a couple in my grip as they require no refrigeration.
There is no reason why a contester, especially a mobile or portable operator couldn't utilize these, especially if you want to avoid fast food joints.
7 3 de Jim K7LA website

« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2001, 06:59:26 PM »

Aaaah. Come on!  We all know contesters live on SPEED.
An IV of saline, with glucose, and meth, coupled with a catheter to collect the excess fluid.

Plug me in and wire me up, 'cause I'm WIRED to rock and roll!!!

« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2001, 03:56:19 AM »

Don't forget the catheter so bathroom trips will be unnecessary...

Anon--I sure as heck ain't puttin' my name on this!
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