Food tips

Burning Man Food Tips: Nutritious Snacks for the Playa

You’re likely to find yourself sweating at a daytime disco dance party, so seaweed can help you replenish minerals that have been lost in sweat. Sea vegetables are rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, B vitamins and folate.

How to eat them:
Bring sheets of nori seaweed and use them as tortillas for the wraps. Sprinkle salt and olive oil on cut-out nori sheets as an alternative to “chips”.

Get some dulse flakes and sprinkle them on all your meals. Try adding chlorella or spirulina powder and lemon juice to your coconut water for a refreshing, nutrient-dense drink.


Sardines are a powerful food for playa. These fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids which can help support the nervous system, brain function and mood. Sardines can also help reduce inflammation and nourish desert dry eyes and skin.

How to eat them:
Take 1 can of sardines, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and a little salt and pepper and mash them all together. Enjoy it with green vegetables in a nori wrap, a tortilla or on a cracker.

Chia seeds

These tiny seeds expand in liquid and are another great source of plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acids. Chia seeds are also packed with fabulous fiber that helps keep your bowel movements healthy and regular. Making sure you support your elimination pathways in Burning Man is super important! (especially when you might be putting not-so-great stuff in your body) Get that shit out of there with fiber and hydration.

How to eat them:
Add a teaspoon of chia seeds to your coconut water, wait 15 minutes for them to expand, and enjoy a hydrating drink.

Make easy chia pudding in a jar by combining 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup nut milk, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla . Shake the jar vigorously and store it in your cooler overnight for an easy delicious breakfast in the morning.

DIY electrolyte drink

Your body has plenty to worry about in the desert without the artificial coloring and high fructose syrup of Gatorade. Brew your own healthy electrolyte drink to replenish those lost minerals.

How to do it:
1 liter of water, 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the juice of 1/2 lemon. You can also try doing this with herbal tea.

Other foods that require a little more effort before reading

DIY green powder

Leafy greens are the holy grail of nutrition. We may be tired of hearing about the mega-hyped vegetable of millennials, kale. But the rumors are true, this cruciferous queen is rich in vitamins K, A and C and will deeply nourish your cells to prepare you for more dancing. Making your own green powder is not only cheaper, but it’s also a great way to avoid ingredients that you might be sensitive to.

How to do it in a dehydrator:
Dehydrate your choice of leafy greens such as chard, kale, collard greens and beet greens, for 10 hours at 125F or until crisp. I also like to include a quarter cup of dried nettles for their mineral boost. Pack the dried greens into your high-speed blender (in a Vitamix, if you have one) and blend on high speed for 3 minutes until they turn into a powder. If the powder is still a bit thick, transfer the contents to a coffee grinder and blend until it reaches the desired texture.

How to eat it:
Sprinkle 1 tsp-2 tbsp on any dish you eat on the playa, from cup noodles to lentils. Mix one teaspoon with your can of coconut water and lemon. (Note: this tastes quite green.)

DIY Dehydrated Jerky

I always make my own jerk because I can’t eat black pepper (I know, right, how can I eat anything?!) that is found in most jerkies ( and basically everything else). Organic, pasture-raised meat jerky is a great on-the-go protein to fuel you on your bike until dawn. This is a link to a more elaborate recipe.

raw balls

A mix of dried fruits and any kind of nuts or seeds is my alternative to a granola bar or dessert. I love this recipe using nuts and seeds or if you are nut/seed free (like me!) see recipe below:

Yield: 20 balls of 1 inch

  • 1 cup tiger nut flour
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until dough forms. Roll into small balls and store in a container.