DePauw Health Registered Dietitian Brenda Moeckly is a firm believer in having fun with food, and says you can treat yourself this summer without sacrificing good nutrition. In this blog, she shares her tips for enjoying summer activities and delicious fare while keeping healthy eating a priority. Brenda works with the wellness team at Hendricks Regional Health and is among the team of experts providing wellness coaching support to the DePauw community.
On-the-Go Healthy Eating Tips
- Preparation is key to eating on the road. Fruits and vegetables are best bets to pack for healthy and portable options. Most will last several days unless they’ve been peeled or cut (they need to be refrigerated once they’ve been cut).
- Whole grains, like Triscuits and popcorn, are other healthy options for eating on the go. Another good choice is a trail mix made with dried fruit and protein-filled nuts (and maybe even a little chocolate).
- Protein and dairy are the toughest foods to find healthy, travel-friendly options, but they do exist. Try nuts for their healthy fats, as well as beef jerky. If you are watching your salt intake, be sure to look for reduced or low sodium alternatives.
- Don’t forget beverages! Keep plenty of water available. Also, some grocery stores now carry shelf-stable milk, which is milk that has been heat treated so it doesn’t spoil.
Keep It Cool
- Packing a cooler can help expand your healthy eating options by keeping perishables safe for several extra days. Also, you can freeze water bottles ahead of time to help keep food cold, then as they thaw, you have drinking water.
- If you will be camping or traveling on the road for a long time, cook meat products ahead of time, then freeze them so they will last longer in a cooler. Once they defrost, you want to use them within a day or two assuming they still have good cooling.
- Don’t let perishable foods sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours, or more than one hour in weather 90 degrees or above (use a meat thermometer to check).
- Eating well should not dampen your summer fun. Try portioning snacks ahead of time so you can still enjoy splurges without mindless overeating.
- You can avoid food traps by looking for sugar on food labels. Healthy options don’t list sugar in the first few ingredients. Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, and brown rice syrup are all forms of sugar.
Now, Go Have Some Fun!
So take a drive to the beach! Ride your bike through the park! Take an impromptu road trip! And remember these tips so you can enjoy the treats summer has to offer without sacrificing your health.
Wellness coaching is available at the campus Wellness Center for students and faculty and staff participating on the DePauw University Health Plan, as well as their dependents. There is no out-of-pocket cost for this service. Call (317) 718.8160 to schedule