Staying Healthy Outdoors

Thank goodness summer has arrived in full force and just as many of the restrictions to our social lives have been reduced! Now that we are able to relax and enjoy the summer weather we can get outside and get our daily dose of Vitamin D with our friends and families.

Nothing beats a day on the beach, a boat trip, a picnic or a BBQ, although it can be easy to go off track with your diet and health goals. Sometimes we may be influenced by friends, family and social pressures, and it is important that we maintain our healthy lifestyle for both our physical and mental health.

When you are ready to pack up and head out into the sunshine make sure you pack a few of these healthy choices (along with your sunscreen of course!).

FRESH FRUIT – wedges of watermelon, slices of orange or frozen grapes can be a refreshing, light snack, or try cooking peaches or pineapple over the grill for a mouthwatering treat!

RAW VEGGIES OR MULTIGRAIN CRACKERS AND DIP – Sliced veggies like cucumber, celery, carrots or peppers are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These can all be sliced and packed away beforehand. Combine with some humus, salsa, guacamole or a low-fat dressing/dip. Apple and peanut butter is a delicious way to enjoy a good balance of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

POPCORN – popping your own plain kernels at home and packing these with your own choice of sodium free seasoning such as cinnamon, chili or cocoa can be a low-calorie snack that can be filling as well as tasty.

BEVERAGES – it is important to make sure we are well hydrated when out in the hot sun. Adding citrus fruit, cucumber or mint to water (still or sparkling) helps to give it a refreshing twist. Try to keep sugary drinks, juices or sodas to a minimum by choosing sugar free alternatives. If making iced tea try to stick to things like lemon, ginger or stevia leaves to customize the taste rather than lots of added sugar or honey.

SANDWICHES/WRAPS – Choosing wholegrain/whole-wheat bread over white bread can keep us fuller for longer as well as providing us with plenty of fibre. Choose a lean protein such as egg, beans, sliced turkey or chicken along with some lettuce, tomato or cucumber. Wrap in tin foil or pack in Tupperware to keep safe from the sand and sea!

BBQs – When BBQing make sure you marinate all meats before cooking and remove any badly burnt bits before eating to reduce the risk caused by cancer causing chemicals by up to 95%. Homemade marinades are usually the healthiest. Choose leaner cuts of meat whenever possible e.g. chicken cubes, fish or steak, rather than fatty or processed foods such as hotdogs, burgers, sausages and chicken wings, to further minimize the health risks. Don’t forget to take a side salad and BBQ some veggies too for an antioxidant boost!

TRAIL MIX – Trail mix is a great snack if you are having an active outside adventure, such as a long walk on the railway trail or a day of swimming. It can be high in calories so please limit your portion to no more than ¼ cup and make sure you’re active. Making your own trail mix with unsalted nuts, seeds and small amounts of dried fruit can provide you with a good source of protein as well as essential healthy fats. The best thing about trail mix is that it’s customizable so you can add what you have available in the cupboard.

If you feel you would benefit from support from a Registered Dietitian please contact Island Nutrition on 295-4082 or at

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