By Louise Brown
As the weather continues to cool, a weekend in the great outdoors is an excellent opportunity to release stress and reconnect with nature during this busy time. It will also keep you fit and healthy without having to hit the gym. In fact, hiking is equivalent to walking on a treadmill. Research studies also suggest that camping outdoors helps reduce stress.
But while you spend time outdoors to enhance your health, it may be harder to choose healthy meals. When you camp out, you do not just need to bring camping essentials like proper clothes and shelter, but you also need to bring food. However, packing healthy camping food takes some additional planning. Read on for tips to prepare healthy meals while having fun with your camping adventures:
Healthy, Easy Breakfast
For your breakfast, you may choose to alternate light and balanced meals. This should depend on your physical activity for the day. Your healthy breakfast may include rolled oats or instant oatmeal. Instead of putting brown sugar on top, add honey or dried fruits for extra sweetness. If you are planning on a lot of activities for the day, you may add some nuts to extend your calories. Nuts and oats are excellent sources of fiber. For other breakfast options, cook a whole wheat pancake. Garnish with extra nutritional toppings rather than commercial sweeteners. A veggie omelette is another great option for a heartier meal.
If you are planning strenuous activity during the day, you may get hungry in between meals, especially when swimming or hiking. Pack some fruits and veggies, such as apples, celery sticks and carrots. Not only do these make a healthy snack, but they will also last for a couple of days. It is also an ideal option for campers to bring a bag of trail mix. Make your own with nuts, seeds and fruit, or buy some. Granola and protein bars are other great choices when it comes to healthy and easy snacking on the go. Be sure to select foods that have fewer preservatives and little sugar.
For your lunch, you may want to bring meals that you can quickly prepare without heat. That way, you can always keep track of your schedule for your next activities. Pack more veggies and fruits. Pair with other easy-to-pack items like whole grain pita wraps or bread. These are also an excellent source of fiber, keeping you fuller and healthier. All you need to do is to prepare the pita bread or wraps with hummus, veggies, nut butter or tuna. These foods are excellent sources of protein.
Before you settle into your camping hammock or tent, you must consume a healthy meal. During the night, you have plenty of time to cook your food, start a campfire and prepare different foods. Pack some spices from home to create a flavorful and healthy meal with added nutrients and antioxidants.
Cook something hearty with corn, beans, and brown rice. You may also pack some salsa with whole grain tortillas or pita wraps. Another option is to make an easy pizza with whole wheat pita bread, cheese, sauce, and veggies. Toast it in a pan over a camping stove until the bread becomes crispy.
For a light dessert, roast some fruits and marshmallows over the campfire to make a healthier version of s’mores.
Choosing your healthy camping meals while enjoying the great outdoors will help you retain enough energy for the day. This way you will not only fulfill all of your adventures, but you are also keeping up with your healthy diet. And since everything is unexpected during a camping trip, well-planned camping meals will never let you down!
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associates blog about outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of a travel company, where she learns many things about the wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”