10 Food Tips to Sustain Protesters Heading to Austin for the New Session

Monday is the start of another special legislative session at the Capitol in Austin. There are a few items on the agenda: transportation, capital murder sentencing guidelines and that whole restricting access to abortions (and women's health care) thing. Perhaps that last one has upset you a little. Perhaps you are thinking about going down to Austin and letting the Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst know you don't appreciate them getting all up in your uterus. (You should also call your state representative and senator and let them know you how you feel on the issue. Like, right now.)

If you fit the above description, then you need a plan of action because once the bill gets introduced, things are going to move quickly. How are you getting down there? Where are you staying? And most important, what are you going to eat? I could attempt to suggest restaurants in Austin, but all the places I used to visit in college don't exist anymore or are Kerbey Lane. So I'm going to pass. Plus if you have the flexibility to travel to Austin on a moment's notice you are probably a student, (semi)unemployed or retired and should focus your monetary resources on things like gasoline and lodging.

For this trip to Austin, pack your own food, because who knows how long you'll be stuck inside the Capitol. Some factors to consider:

Portability. Take premade foods. No cooking oatmeal with your camp stove in the Capitol. There are better ways to get arrested.

Durability. Your food needs to fit in your bag along with a change of clothes (recommended), a small pillow, a few toiletries (please) and a book, so it better hold its own. Avoid bananas at all costs for this reason and the fact that everything you bring with you will smell like bananas.

Non-perishability. If it needs a cooler, skip it. This is protesting, not a vacation.

Nutrient density. Get the most out of the foods you bring with you. Eat a bunch of junk, and you could be in a sugar coma when your voice is needed the most.

Finally, here are some specific food and drinks ideas. Good luck and give 'em hell out there. (Also don't forget to vote next cycle. That's important too.)

1. Peanut butter and jelly. This is the staple that is going to get you through. Use pita bread or tortillas to minimize smushing.

2. Trail mix. Make it yourself to customize ingredients and save money. Good for sharing with new neighbors.

3. Roasted chickpeas. These are easy to make, full of protein, and really good. Don't share them with anyone unless you really like them. Make sure they understand the food gift you are giving them.

4. Apples. Fiber is your friend (unless of course filibuster rules require that you remain standing in one place for hours on end).

5. Oranges. For solidarity.

6. Granola bars. You can bet Senator Wendy Davis eats breakfast before spending all day not leaning on things and answering pedantic questions from Republican colleagues. Probably a good idea for you to eat it too.

7. Homemade cookies. Cookies keep spirits high, especially when they contain chocolate. And you can barter them to move up in the bathroom line.

8. Water bottle. Hydration is key when yelling boo a lot.

9. Coffee. In a thermos if possible. It's important to stay alert, plus it goes well with granola bars and cookies.

10. Flask of whiskey. Because when it's all over, you'll either be celebrating or commiserating. And whiskey will be there for you no matter what. (It's also useful for chucking onto the Senate floor to create legislative dog piles to disrupt unpleasant votes.)

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Liz Goulding
Contact: Liz Goulding