Here's HG's new survival guide for summer outings. Weeeeee!
The #1 Rule of Vacationing
ALWAYS eat a good meal or a filling snack before you head out for the day. If you don't, you're likely to get cranky and make silly food choices when hunger and heat hit you. If it's early, you're not hungry, and/or you're just eager to hit the road, at least grab something on the way out the door.
The Best 3-Snack Stash
Sneak these in anywhere you can get away with it. Just do it!
Fresh Fruit - Go for something with an edible or easy-to-peel skin that's not too delicate -- apples and bananas are popular for a reason. Pears are OK, but be careful if they're really ripe. (No one likes pear mush in their backpack!) If you take your fruit-toting seriously and want to avoid bruising, consider investing in a Banana Guard or Froot Guard. Good stuff!
Jerky - There's a whole world of jerkys out there. We're NOT fans of the really random stuff (like alligator and ostrich... GROSS!), but we LOVE jerky made from beef, chicken, turkey, and soy. It tastes good, fares well in any temperature, and won't get crushed in your bag. And an emergency snack that's protein-packed is ALWAYS a good thing. BTW, Jack Link's Premium Cuts Chicken Nuggets are a new favorite.
Crunchy Bars - We love chewy bars, but when it's hot outside, those things MELT and become a sticky mess. Sad times! You're WAY better off with a crispy granola bar. Avoid anything chocolatey, drizzled, or with a coating -- it'll get messy fast. Go for something heat-friendly (and, duh, delicious!) like Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars.
Chill Out! - Whether it's big and old-school or cute and fancy, BRING A COOLER! If you're gonna be out and about all day long, this is the best way for you and your travel pals to avoid junk food. So load it up with light string cheese, sandwiches (toasted light bread = non-soggy stuff), salads (dressing packets on the side), and cut-up veggies. Make sure you have plenty of ice or some good quality cool-packs, too.
Be Water-Wise - This one's a given, yet it's easy to forget. PACK LOTS OF WATER. Sometimes, we think we're hungry when we're actually dehydrated, which leads us to mindlessly munch when we don't need to. No cooler? No problem. The night before your day out, stick a couple of bottles in the freezer and one in the fridge. Your frozen bottles will be defrosted by the time you finish the fridge bottle. And if water bores you at times, have a few packets of sugar-free powdered drink mix on hand to zazzle up that H20!
Summer Reading Material - You've got to feed your brain, too... even if you're feeding it the nutritional equivalent of potato chips (a.k.a. fun gossip mags!). Plus, if you give yourself an activity, you won't be sitting around thinking, "I'm bored. Maybe I should have a snack." So hit up your local bookstore or library before you head out on a trip.
Clean Up Your Act - Make sure you pack some napkins or even a whole roll of paper towels if you've got room. (No one ever said, "I wish I hadn't brought those paper towels.") HG Tip: Stash a few wet-naps in case of an emergency mess. And don't forget about a sealable bag for garbage.
Quick Tips for Daytrips
At a Ball Game...
* If you NEED a beer, stick to the light kind and save about 50 calories per pint.
* Roam the entire stadium to find the best concession options. (The exercise you'll get is an added bonus!) Soft pretzels are better than nachos, veggie dogs are better than regular ones, and a grilled chicken salad w/ salsa is one of the best finds ever.
* Ignore those annoying vendors yelling about peanuts, hot dogs and popcorn. Not only are their snacks fat-fests, but relying on them encourages laziness!
At an Amusement Park...
* Don't take the tram. WALK.
* Avoid corn dogs, funnel cakes, and anything fried. If you've got a sweet tooth, stick to Dippin' Dots or cotton candy. (Sure they have sugar, but they're better than Churros!)
* Save cash and calories by getting your hand stamped for re-entry and then hitting up eateries just outside the park gates. No one needs a $16 greasy personal pizza.
CHEW ON THIS: Friday, June 5th, is National Gingerbread Day. Ummm... whose idea was it to celebrate this classic Christmastime cookie in June!?! Regardless, why not whip up our too-good Thin-gerbread Men? Those guys ROCK!
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