Written by Tess DiNapoli, Guest & Freelance Writer
Sunny, warm summer days are in the forecast and it’s time to hit up your favorite surf destination! You grab your gear to catch some waves and soak up some rays. You throw some drinks in a cooler and pack some snacks to munch on. But halfway through your day, you reach for your chocolate candy bar and it’s a melted mess! Your bag of chips got crushed and your sandwich got waterlogged in the cooler. Packing the right snacks can make the difference between having a blast and dealing with the HANGRY mood. Here are five healthy snacks for surf days that will keep you fueled!
1. Granola Bars
Granola bars are an easy to pack snack that gives you the carbs you need to keep moving. You can grab some at the store or make your own ahead of time. Check out this homemade Almond Butter Granola Bar recipe for a simple snack that’s easy to make. When you’re headed to the beach on a hot day, you’ll want to steer clear of granola bars that include chocolate or a lot of sugary syrup because you’ll end up with a mess on your hands. Opt instead for ones with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a healthy, pre-portioned snack.
2. Nuts and More Nuts
Nuts are full of healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also have a lot of calories in a small package, so you can snack on a handful and feel energized. “When you’re out for a day of fun family activities, it’s important to pack snacks that are healthy and satisfying,” said Chris Toal, President & CEO of Wildly Organic, a company that specializes in minimally processed foods and organic ingredients. “Nuts are the perfect little snack that’s easy to store and full of health benefits.” There are many kinds of nuts, and they all have different benefits. Mixing your nuts is the best way to get a full range of health benefits. They also contain antioxidants and can help you lose weight.
Whether dried or fresh, fruit is a delicious snack that’s naturally sweet without added sugars. Dried fruits are easy to take with you anywhere since they don’t need any refrigeration. But there are plenty of fresh fruits that come in their own natural packaging that are perfect for beach days and other on-the-go activities like oranges, plums, avocados, apples, and bananas. There are also several fruits with high water content—like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and pineapples —which can be a great option for really warm days when staying hydrated is of utmost importance. Everyone should eat fruit every day, and many people take the stance that you can never have too much fruit in your diet.
“Easy to pack and go, smoothies are a great way to stay well fueled while burning calories out in the surf,” said Kristine Chaussard, certified pilates teacher and owner of Gone Adventuring. “Throw your favorite protein powder in there, some nut butter, chia and hemp seed for healthy fats and proteins, and you’ve got something that’ll keep you fueled and powered up for a while. This way you won’t starve your body of important nutrients so you can keep playing all day.”
You can choose to make your own smoothies and pack them with your favorite tastes, or you can buy pre-made smoothies. Ingredients like yogurt, fruit, and even leafy greens make smoothies delicious and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s the perfect combo of energy-providing foods that can replace a meal, or tide you over. If you’re going to the beach for a surf day, just premake one, put it in a watertight bottle, and chuck it in the cooler for later. Chaussard recommends the “Blueberry Pie Smoothie” or “Cookie Dough Protein Smoothie” because their protein powders are delicious, clean and well-sourced.
5. Beef Jerky
Dried beef jerky is almost all protein, but you’ve got to be careful when buying it from a store. Many companies use a lot of sugar and preservatives to make their jerky tender. Beef jerky is actually very easy to make yourself using a dehydrator or the lowest setting on your oven to dry out the meat. Whether you make it yourself or buy it, look for jerky made from grass-fed beef because it contains more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. And stick with jerky that has minimal ingredients.
These five snacks for surf days are packed full of the good stuff your body needs to function to its fullest. They’re a wholesome and delicious alternative to unhealthy snacks so many of us fall prey to like chips, candy bars, and other empty-calorie sweet treats. Anytime in your life is a good time to start making healthier choices in your diet. Getting into these habits early can mean a lifetime of difference for a healthier future!
About the Author
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.