Fall is here, and so far it's been a beautiful one. I know many of my clients and readers are still enjoying their hikes and putting in more rounds of golf. Skiing season is ahead of us and I thought this would be a perfect time to cover healthy snacks for all of your outdoor activities.
Before we go over specific foods to bring, here are three tips to keep in mind when planning & packing for outdoor activities:
1. ALWAYS READ FOOD LABELS
Whole, unprocessed foods are always the first choice, but if you are going to go for something packaged, the less ingredients, the better.
Always check for added sugar, it's hidden everywhere these days, even in things that may not taste sweet.
Try to get your energy from naturally occurring sugars first such as those found in fruits, vegetables, nuts or plain dairy before you reach for other snacks.
For packaged foods & snacks, a good rule is to keep the sugar content below 5 g per serving.
Watch for fat content - too much fat will leave you feeling slow, heavy and sleepy, and may severely affect your performance and overall experience.
2. ENJOY BALANCED SNACKS
You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by putting together snacks that balance out carbs with high quality protein, vegetables and natural fat.
Natural fats in moderate amounts, such as avocado, walnuts and almond butter, are especially helpful for providing sustainable energy, reducing sugar cravings, and increasing satiation.
3. BRING PLENTY OF ZERO CALORIE LIQUIDS
For 0-2 hour outdoor activities water should be sufficient. Adding cut up fruit such as limes, lemons, oranges can add a ton of flavor without the extra calories.
If it's really hot or humid, and you will be sweating for an extended amount of time, adding electrolytes to your water is always a good idea.
If you are trying to lose weight Smart Water is your go-to for electrolytes without the calories. But, if you want something with flavor, yet still low calorie, these Nuun tables will do the trick.
WHAT TO PACK FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
fresh fruit, raw or slightly salted (if sweating a lot) nuts;
trail mix (avoid ones with cranberries and added oils);
greek yogurt with frozen or fresh berries and cinnamon;
shelf-stable protein shake such as Orgain Grass Fed Protein;
nitrate-free turkey, mustard, greens, tomato, cucumber sandwich on sprouted or whole grain bread such as Ezekiel;
peanut/almond butter sandwich with a sliced banana and cinnamon on sprouted or whole grain bread such as Ezekiel;
low sugar, high protein bars such as Garden of Life Fit Bar ;
hard boiled eggs with sliced veggies and/or fruit;
low sugar jerky or meat-based bars such as EPIC bar ;
fresh fruit with low-fat cheese sticks or low-sugar jerky;
Turkey & Quinoa mini quiches - recipe HERE
homemade no bake Larabar copycat energy bars - recipe HERE
homemade Flourless Protein Shake Cookies - recipe HERE
WHAT TO AVOID
On the golf course: hotdogs, chips, most granola, snack bars and energy bars, candy bars, sodas, cookies, muffins, other baked goods, alcohol.
While skiing: waffles, donuts, hot dogs, burgers, fries, cakes, pastries, chips, most granola bars, ice cream, candy bars, alcohol.
While hiking: anything high in fat such as pastries, donuts, fries, chips.
What are your favorites snacks and foods to bring when you are active outdoors?
Share them with me and my readers by email or Facebook.