My Life on a Plate: Nabil Al Busaidi

Omani explorer and experimental eater Nabil Al Busaidi tells Gourmet about his diverse day in food
Friday , 07 September 2012
Nabil Al Busaidi
Nabil Al Busaidi

It is surprising to discover that someone who pushes his body to the limit climbing some of the world’s highest peaks has not always fuelled it with the quality it deserves. “For most of the last 20 years, I have eaten a bowl of cereal with half a pint of milk for breakfast, and then whatever fast food or sandwiches I can get for lunch and dinner, along with several cans of Coke. I absolutely did not care what I ate, and hardly ate anything healthy or unprocessed. Mostly it was fast food, drive-through or deliveries. I never cooked,” explains Nabs. Finally – thanks to movies such as Super Size Me and Food Inc – he realised he couldn’t continue to abuse his system. With the help of friends involved in the health food industry, the first Omani to summit Mt Vinson (the highest mountain in the Antarctic) changed his bad eating habits for good. “Apart from chocolate,” he’s quick to add! As the first Arab to row across an ocean, Nabs is obviously not afraid of a challenge, but giving up his two Galaxy bars a day is not one he’s prepared to take on. And we certainly don’t blame him!

I start the morning with 150ml of aloe vera. This gelatinous plant food moves through the intestine absorbing toxins, cleaning and supporting the digestive system. It also soothes and promotes skin renewal, hydrates the skin and helps the immune system.

I have a green smoothie, consisting of parsley, coriander, celery, cucumber, apples, pears and oranges. Most of the time it tastes awful, but the parsley cleans the blood supply and coriander binds with heavy metals and eliminates them from the body. This is part of my whole body detox.

Lunch is usually grilled chicken and vegetables, but today I have treated myself to some pasta with white sauce, chicken and pine nuts at MBCo, a French-style deli in Doha.

The orange packet pictured here is what I would normally eat on an expedition. These are freeze dried, dehydrated meals, that are designed for calories, not taste. I went to a dinner with friends, who decided it would be funny to serve me expedition food, instead of normal human food! In addition to the chicken and veggies, we had edamame beans with sea salt and fresh spring rolls (not fried or cooked) stuffed with veg and prawns. Also, throughout the day, I drink three litres of water.