How do I Handle Summer Activities?

When it comes to nutrition, have you ever asked yourself, “How do I handle that situation?” From eating strategies while watching sports with friends to how to be mindful while eating out, our team of nutritionists will share some of the obstacles we encounter in our own lives and the tools we use to overcome them.


Preparing Nutritious Food for Camping

Many of my clients have been enjoying time in the mountains with family and friends—it is Canada’s 150th, after all, with free park entrance all summer long! When heading out for a weekend of camping, balanced eating can accompany you more easily than you may think. The key is meal preparation and planning (nothing new here). To start, do yourself a favour by investing in a good quality cooler. Ensuring it’s well insulated will not only keep your food cold for longer, but it will also help to keep wildlife away from your campsite.

Breakfast Meal Planning

For easy camping breakfast options, layer ½ cup rolled oats with Greek yogurt, berries, hemp hearts and flaxseed in a mason jar for easy over-night oats. Alternatively, prepare oatmeal baggies complete with rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts/seeds and a scoop of chocolate protein powder. This is a lightweight option that only needs hot water added (and a spoonful of peanut butter if you’re anything like me) to fuel you for the days activities.

Lunch and Dinner Meal Planning

Lunches and dinners can look similar, depending on what your activities are for the day. Bring along pre-made whole grain wraps with sliced chicken breast, vegetables, and your favourite dressing on the side to prevent sogginess. Another great strategy is to prepare tinfoil dinners ahead of time to ensure you are getting your veggies, protein and starch in for the day. My favourite combination is wrapping cubed chicken or beef with 1 cup of sweet potatoes and 1-2 cups of veggies (peppers, snap peas, mushrooms) with a drizzle of oil and dash of salt and pepper. Cook over the fire for 20-30 minutes and voila—a hot, healthy meal awaits!

Keep in mind that there is always room for a s’more or two, but make sure you also bring along plenty of other snacks. Great options are corn kernels to pop over the fire, pre-cut veggies and fruits and pita chips with hummus are all great options to enjoy around the campfire. Happy adventuring! ?

Barbara Winzeler, Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian


Day Hiking Snacks and Meals

There is no better time than the summer months to escape to the mountains for a day of hiking. Regardless of whether you are new to hiking or have been doing it for years, it’s important to ensure that you are fuelling and hydrating your body properly, so that you can fully enjoy yourself! Given that you have to carry everything with you, it can make it hard to want to pack what you truly need- so let’s figure out the essentials!

Breakfast Meal Planning

Do yourself a favour and start your day off right with a balanced breakfast. The perfect combination is a high protein, high fibre breakfast to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. As Barbara suggested, my favourite breakfast while I’m travelling is overnight oats. You can prepare the mixture at home ahead of time and bring it with you. Pair it with a transportable fruit, like apples, bananas or oranges. That way, you have a nutrient dense breakfast that requires little time!

Snack Planning

While you’re hiking, you may find it’s better to focus on packing small, nutrient dense snacks that you can eat easily, as opposed to packing a whole meal (of course this is dependent on the length and difficulty of your hike, and how much room you have to carry food). Some of my favourites to bring are energy bites, trail mix with nuts and dried fruit, homemade granola bars or Elevate Me Bars, and dried black beans/chickpeas. If you have the room and you are planning on a longer hike, you can bring a sandwich or wrap with a bag of veggies to have at the top of the mountain to refuel for the way down!

Hydrating on Your Trek

Hydration is super important while hiking, especially during the hot summer months. Have a few glasses of water before heading out, and ensure you bring a full water bottle or two with you. I would recommend packing your water in something other than glass to reduce the weight you have to carry. Pull out your water bottle every time you stop for a rest to ensure you are getting enough.

Planning Post-Climb Meals

You have finally made it down to the bottom of the mountain and you still cannot believe those views. I’m sure the thought of a cold beer sounds refreshing, but make sure you get in a balanced meal to help you refuel! If it’s going to be a while before you reach your supper destination, plan to have a snack along the way that contains protein with a fruit or veggie. If you are going to be eating out, still focus on hitting a balance—include protein, carbohydrates, veggies and a few healthy fats. It’s truly amazing how proper nutrition can make you feel after a long day!

Kalin Herbach, Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian


Healthy Food for Summer Road Trips

Summer road trips can add a lot to your wallet and your waistline if you are not mindful. Keep your actions in line with your goals and your budget on track. Being mindful about your eating habits while driving will let you get to your destination feeling excited about the trip ahead, instead of needing a nap.

Before Your Road Trip

Plan to hit the farmers market or fresh produce stand before you leave—this time of year it is so easy to pick up mini cucumber, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas…anything to make a quick, no-cut veggie tray or easy-to-assemble sandwich fillers. This also a great place to get fresh fruit, nitrate-free jerky, fresh bread or pitas, and roasted beans, nuts or dips.

Take Breaks to Eat

Don’t eat in the car! Make a point of stopping to eat on a road side nature walk. This is important for a few reasons: it gets you out of the car, allows you to focus on your meal, and helps you get a few extra steps in. This also makes eating less work because you can make fresh meals and snacks on the road instead of at home. Recently our go-to has been crackers, cheese, turkey sausage and raw vegetables. For snacks, we’ve been doing fresh fruit with jerky or roasted  beans.

Bring Your Own Drinks

Fill half of a freezable water bottle with water the night before, and add some water in the morning to keep it cold all day long. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, brew coffee or tea to keep in a thermos or pack some ice in the cooler to have homemade iced coffee or tea. The less stopping you do, the less likely you will be temped with gas station treats.

Kelsey Hagen, Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian