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Healthy Day At The Beach


By Tina Pretsch

Summer is quickly approaching and going to the beach is an amazing summer pastime. If you're not careful, the beach could easily be a very unhealthy outing and a time of weight gain. How quickly the pounds can come on when lounging back in your chair reading a book, mindlessly eating chips, burgers, fries, ice cream and sugary sodas and juices.

Here are a few general tips and snack suggestions so you and your family can enjoy a healthy day at the beach!

  • First, pack your own cooler with plenty of healthy snacks and beverages. Make sure to drink plenty of water. When you get dehydrated, your energy level drops and you're more likely to eat when you're just thirsty. I love adding the different flavored stevia sweeteners to bottled water. Or swap in some raspberry sun tea sweetened with stevia instead of soda.
  • Pack plenty of kid friendly snacks/treats. Fun cut outs of sandwiches are always a big hit with younger kids. Cut sandwiches in fours, this way, if your kid drops one in the sand, they still have three more. They're easy to prepare, healthy and kids love them.
  • Avoid the snack bars, unless they offer water and fresh fruits.
  • Prepare for the sun. Wear sunscreen if you'll be exposed to direct sunlight for more than 20 minutes. Vitamin D is great in doses of 20 minutes. Choose an "all-natural sunscreen" from a health food store that has a ton less chemicals than your average commercial sunscreen.
  • Get active! You'll have fun and also burn some calories. Is there a game of volleyball going on or someone throwing a frisbee around? Whatever it is, get in on it! Play in the water, take a long walk on the beach or build a sand castle with the kids. Swim in the ocean, surf, body surf or boogie board, throw a football, play paddle ball or jog in the soft sand.

Beach Snack Ideas

  • Grilled fruit kebobs with dip
  • Quinoa tabbouleh salad
  • Veggie sticks and hummus (red, green bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, celery)
  • Frozen grapes (instead of a sugar-loaded popsicle)
  • Sandwiches made with whole grain bread and organic-nitrate free deli meat
  • Fresh fruit (cut up watermelon and cantaloupe)
  • Baked corn tortilla chips with black bean dip or salsa
  • Fruit salad parfait (plain greek yogurt, chopped nuts and fresh fruit)
  • Frozen banana chunks dipped in almond butter
  • Almond butter and jelly (fruit sweetened) sandwiches
  • Left-over grilled chicken or salmon from the night before
  • A rotisserie chicken
  • Tuna salad (made with Vegenaise-grapeseed oil mayo)
  • Ezekiel tortilla grilled chicken wrap with avocado, tomato and pesto – Yum!
  • Trail mix