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During the summer months we tend to spend a lot of time away from home and packing a cooler is a great affordable way to continue eating healthy, and best of all it can go with you anywhere, even to the most remote beach locations!
Today, I’ve prepared a list of my favorite things to pack in my cooler. And, trust me these are not your ordinary beach snacks.
Packing the perfect combo
For me, the most important thing when packing up food to take on-the-go is to choose something that is simple, and quick to prepare. The last thing any of us want to do in the summer is spend hours in the kitchen, am I right? Also,side note- I try to stay away from plastic tupperware and opt for glass instead.
Which is why another essential requirement is that the food I prepare should be easy to eat and able to withstand high temperatures for a few hours.
Lastly, to achieve the perfect combo, I make sure that all of the foods are high in nutrients and vitamins that will provide me with lasting energy the whole day and which aren’t overly filling. This is my go-to menu combo for lunch:
- Animal Protein: Meat contains 20-25% protein, of which 40% is essential amino acids. For me,this is key to my energy levels, muscle repair and strengthening my immune system.
- Vegetables: their high antioxidant content is perfect for preventing fatigue caused by the sun and excessive physical activity. In addition, they are full of vitamins and nutrients. My personal summer favorites: carrot, eggplant and tomato. If you choose green sprouts, place them at the top of the tupperware so that they hold better.
- Fat: I always make room on my lunch plate for a piece of cheese or half an avocado. Fats are delicious and the best way to stay feeling full between meals, which helps keep you from snacking.
- A healthy sweet: Who doesn’t want something sweet to bite into at the beach? This summer my go-to choice has been these Cacao & Nuts,giant cocoa-covered peanuts . I like them because they are made with natural cocoa, an ingredient that I eat every day because of its anti-aging benefits. They also come in the perfect family-size bag making them easy to pack and share.
What to avoid packing
- Sauces: avoid oils, sauces and mayonnaise, which can make the food go bad, especially in higher temperatures.
- Fried foods: they are too heavy, slow to digest and will leave you feeling drowsy all afternoon.
- Fruit with a high glycemic index: a clear example is watermelon. This is a delicious summer favorite but we should be careful to watch how much of it we eat because it causes an increase in blood sugar levels causing the pancreas to secrete insulin. As a result foods like this favor fat storage and increase the sensation of hunger.
- Traditional Ice Cream: most of them are full of saturated fats, sugar, sweeteners in the form of syrups, flavors, preservatives…
- Alcoholic Beverages and Sugary Drinks: alcohol is toxic, but it also dehydrates the body, which is especially worrisome if we drink in the sun. Energy drinks, bottled juices and soft drinks are not recommended either because of their high sugar content and their relationship with excessive overeating and obesity, according to many studies.
An Example of The Perfect Fresh Packed Lunch Combo
Which of these recipes can you imagine eating while overlooking the sea?