One of the best summer activities out there is a good old fashioned picnic. Picnics combine a bit of exercise, healthy nutrition and the relaxing ambience of nature to create the perfect summer vibe for people of all ages and ability levels. And while we sometimes see picnics and other outdoor adventures as an opportunity to scarf down potato chips and beer, it can also be a great chance to stretch, cleanse, and nourish the body.
Summer brings heat and heat makes the human body sweat out essential fluids that keep you moving. Remember that even if you aren’t walking or hiking very far to your picnic spot, the summer heat pulls sweat even out of stationary pores to regulate your body temperature, and as you lose that fluid, it’s extremely important to replenish it. While water should always be the go-to hydrator, juicy fruits like tomatoes or watermelon can be excellent, and iced tea can be a nice, refreshing alternative to water, giving you a solid boost of antioxidants from flavonoids. These are not only tasty treats for your picnic, but they will keep your fluids flowing and your head clear in the summer heat.
Picnics usually come with other outdoor activities planned, right? Well, you probably don’t want to fill up on heavy foods that are going to leave you lethargic and ready for a nap. A little bag of nuts or turkey jerky can go a long way in keeping your family and friends protein-packed for your outing. Protein gives your body the building blocks for healthy tissue and general upkeep of your bodily functions. Chicken salad and other white meat dishes are another popular picnic protein to consider!
Carbs fuel us up with energy that powers most of our bodily functions, keeps you feeling full and helps regulate blood cholesterol levels. Clean carbs can be hard to come by, especially when it comes to what to bring on a picnic. We recommend quinoa salad for starters! It’s light, summer taste is perfect for a picnic, and it fits well in a variety of dishes. You can also consider rice and beans or chickpeas as another healthy carb alternative.