Eat Healthy This Summer- Even On Holidays
For those of us with a short summer(Canadians and anyone else up north), we want to make the best of it. We head to the patios for a cold beer, we have BBQ's, we celebrate Friday by being outside in the evening summer sun and best of all, we take road trips.
Because of all those fun things, it's easy to snack on chips, eat ice cream, have slurpees and eat easy, fast food (most of which isn't really even food). This can lead to energy highs and lows, feeling tired, bloated or grumpy- not the best way to start off on your holiday!
Let's talk about road trips- I bet at some point this summer, you pack the car full of coolers, camp chairs and books, and sit for hours on end headed for your summer/ lake/ beach holiday? So, what should you pack?
I have some suggestions that will help keep your shorts from getting snug, energy levels- well, level and you won't feel bad when you do indulge because you have been generally eating healthy.
Start by packing a nice picnic blanket- some plates, cups and make it fun. Sitting in line at a drive thru window at a fast food restaurant isn't fun, and you will probably not feel great afterwards anyways. Sitting in a park, in the fresh air eating GOOD foods can be a highlight of your trip!
Next step- plan ahead. Being prepared is the best way to stick to your plan.
Okay, time to shop and prep the food. So, print this list, stick it on your fridge, and get ready to pack your cooler full of yummies.
- Fruit. Fruit like bananas, peaches and plums squish easy. Still pack them, but pack them on top and eat them the first day. Pack apples, grapes (in a container), and other harder fruits for the next days.
- Veggies- In advance of your trip, cut up celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and pour a little container of hummus or ranch for dipping. If you are on the road, this is also easy to buy in any supermarket and takes no work.
- Seaweed snacks- for when you crave chips, and salty, eat seaweed! Its yummy, hits the craving, and is good for you. Check your health food store for different flavors. If you haven't tried it, it is honestly very good, and can be addicting (I seriously love it).
- Trail Mix- it's easy to make your own by picking out your favorite dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Add in a variety for the most health benefits. Often store bought trail mixes are heavily sweetened, so if you do buy, just read the ingredients first.
- Popcorn- easy to make a big batch, put in smaller bags, add a bit of salt or some seasoning, and its handy for adults and kids for a quick snack in the car.
- Make a pitcher of iced tea. Brew a flavored iced tea, pour into a jug, and you can have healthy herbal iced tea on the go.
- Toss some pre-cut lemons into a container, and have on hand to add to water. You know you need to stay hydrated, but if you don't enjoy plain water, then lemons (or mint, or cucumbers) could be just the right touch to help you drink more.
- Pack a refillable water bottle, stainless steel or glass is the way to go. Take a big jug, and refill your bottle whenever you make a stop.
- Salads- This is a little bit harder when you are on the go, but there are still lots of options. One of my favorite is mason jar salads. Very easy to make, and customize however you like. Start with the dressing on the bottom, and add beans, veggies, quinoa, sprouts, lettuce, spinach or whatever YOU like. By adding the dressing to the bottom, your lettuce doesn't get soggy and you can give it a good shake and eat! Close the lid again when you are done, and you don't have to worry about washing dishes (until later)
- Wraps- I like to go easy on the bread, so prefer wraps, but your choice. Fill with hummus, sprouts, spinach, and some grilled chicken, and enjoy! Easy to pack and doesn't take a lot of space.
- Peanut butter/ almond butter and banana sandwiches. Easy, fast, and don't have to be premade- as you can make them quick on any picnic table (or out of the trunk).
- Hard boiled eggs- by boiling a couple of eggs in advance, it can be added as a side dish, to your sandwich or salads. Easy to pack, and adds some protein to your meals.
- home made desserts are the best kind. I would prefer a chocolate chip cookie to a chocolate bar any day. If you made it at home, then you know what the ingredients are. Of course, the trail mix can double as dessert, as can the fruit. Again, planning here can be helpful in avoiding cravings when you do stop to fill up with gas- maybe you can keep your hands off the chocolate bar if you already have a satisfied tummy.
Have a great summer - and happy travels!
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.
What's in your cooler? Share your ideas for healthy travel in the comments below!
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