Camping is great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, as it is good to get in touch with nature and get away from it all. No phones, computers, TV’s or notepads, at least hopefully for the most part, helps us slow down and ground us. Reading, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, time with family…whatever it may be, are all part of the experience. Although this “get away from it all,” attitude can reflect into the foods we choose to eat. Snacking and meals can go the wayside with lots of chips, cookies, hot dogs, hamburgers and other highly saturated fatty, salty, and sugary foods as well as drinks. To enjoy camping and still eat half decent, here are a few tips.
Plan out meal and snack before you go, aim for a balance between meals that require cooking and no-cook meals. No-cook lunches and snacks are great and can save camp stove fuel and prep time.
- Whole wheat crackers topped with low fat cheese or any natural nut butter and sliced banana.
- Nuts, seeds and dried fruit mixes.
- Homemade popcorn.
- Fresh fruit whole like peaches, apples or chopped fruit like melons.
- Chopped veggies with low calorie ranch dip, hummus or tzatziki
- Whole grain granola bars or fruit and nut bars.
- Snap peas
- Plan for some one-pot meals like chili or rice pilaf, easy to prep and serve along with little clean up.
- Store and label foods in container pre-measured so all will be used and stops from overeating.
- Bake high fiber muffins, energy balls, homemade granola prior too.
- If not baking then source out healthy granola like “Natures Path” high fiber muffins or bars.
- Buy pre-cut vegetables, fruit, eggs & meats and other meal ingredients you’ll use in cooking to save effort while at camp.
- Prepare and freeze a few frozen meals ahead of time and these will help keep foods in your cooler cold too!
- When thinking hot dogs over the fire, think turkey dogs or low-fat beef dogs these can have up to 40% less fat
- Bring frozen berries and add water, by mashing them in a cup with release juice then eat berries after.
- Herbal teas like rooibos, chamomile and hibiscus add flavour without caffeine or sugar
- Shelf stable milk or fortified soy beverage can help balance out meals/snacks
By balancing out most of your meals and snacks to be healthy, you can still have room for a camp favourite, the Smore. There are even ways to make this favourite a little healthier with still including the main ingredient, the marshmallow. Substitute milk chocolate for 70% or higher dark chocolate and forego the graham cracker by inserting the dark chocolate into the marshmallow. Still tastes great and is a fun favourite over the fire snack.
Hopefully as mentioned in the beginning there will be some form of exercise. But if just going to relax by fishing or reading, it is still great to try get in some form of exercise. Just simply going for an early morning brisk walk or afternoon stroll, can further help ground us, reduce stress from regular life, improve sleep and change mindset as you take in the peace and tranquility of nature around you. It is like a reset for your body.
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