As summer nears, the camping season is again upon us. There are few things more revitalizing than a weekend (or week) in the woods with family or friends. And while camping comes with varying degrees of exercise, whether through backpacking into the wilderness or spending a few hours paddling a canoe, it's important not to sabotage a piece of your health for the peace of the outdoors. To stay on top of your goals, spend some extra time planning a healthy menu of great camp foods. Here are some ideas:
Fruits and Vegetables - Many fruits and vegetables can last up to three days unrefrigerated, if left uncut until you are ready to eat them. Some good choices are peppers, onions, carrots, bananas and apples. Sweet potatoes and various squashes will also stay fresh and yet are easy to prepare, either on a grill or in some boiling water.
Nuts and Dried Fruits - If you're active while camping, it's important to maintain your energy while on-the-go. Keeping small bags of nuts and dried foods nearby will stave off hunger and provide a healthful, lasting snack. There a few high-quality energy bars out there as well.
Frozen Foods - If you have the luxury of bringing a cooler, you can pack boxes or bags of frozen veggies that double as ice packs, keeping other foods cool. Save these for the final day or days of your camping trip and you save a lot of room in your ice chest.
A 'Heart'y Breakfast - Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, even outdoors. But you don't have to cook up the kitchen sink to get full. Eggs with peppers and onions make great omelets, and turkey bacon is a sensible substitute for regular, more fatty bacon. Of course, whole grain breads and oatmeal have deserved places on your morning plate.
The Open Fire - Nothing describes camping more than a campfire. There are several brands and styles of low-calorie hotdogs on the market (Hebrew National makes a 40-calorie hotdog), and you don't always need a bun with those. If you have some fisher-people camping with you, fresh fish is always a good choice for dinner. And you don't have to forgo the classic S'more - just budget it in your food journal like you would any other dessert (but you can opt for the low-fat version of graham crackers!).
Odds and Ends - Other great foods to have on hand include cans of beans, popcorn, cheese, honey, ears of fresh corn and fruit salad. You don't have to go for the over-processed, boxed stuff or pre-made frozen meals to eat healthy while camping. Just think fresh and refreshing - which is exactly like the outdoors, right?
What other ideas and recipes do you have to share for healthful camping options? Share with us on the MyNetDiary Facebook page or in our Community Forum. We'd love to hear from you!