What To Pack In Your Picnic Basket: Appetizing Ideas For Summer Fun!

Instead of stopping at the local drive-thru and grabbing a hot-dog or burger that the event's BBQ is grilling up, consider packing your own picnic basket... Here are some appetizing ideas for healthy summer fun!
Article Summary:
  • Skimping out on protein will decrease your lean muscle mass.
  • The biggest drink you will want to avoid is regular soda.
  • Be aware of the symptoms from dehydration while you are out.
  • As the summer months draw closer, many of you are going to be planning afternoons out and about taking in the beach, walking trails, summertime sporting activities, and many other activities that are of interest to you. If you want to maintain the body you worked so hard to achieve during the winter months though, it's going to be important that you're feeding it good food.

    Instead of stopping at the local drive-thru and grabbing a hot-dog or burger that the event's BBQ is grilling up, consider packing your own picnic basket full of nutritious food that will keep you feeling satisfied and your energy levels up throughout the day.

    Consider Packing Your Own Picnic Basket Full Of Nutritious Food.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Consider Packing Your Own Picnic
    Basket Full Of Nutritious Food.

    By doing so you'll not only feel better throughout the day, but when you step onto the beach, you won't feel like you want to hide behind T-shirts or a bathing-suit wrap. Here are some food ideas that will fit nicely in your picnic basket.

    dot 1. Top Protein Picks: dot

      Skimping out on protein is the fastest way to decrease your lean muscle mass while slowing your metabolism, so it's a mistake you simply don't want to make. You need to be careful with your protein choices however; depending on how long you're going to be out and about for, you might need to take foods that don't need refrigeration.

    RELATED VIDEO: PROTEIN INTAKE


    Video Tip Of The Week:
    Tip #17: Dr. Willey's Protein Intake Tip!

    This week, Dr. Warren Willey is back to explain the importance of taking in enough protein to keep your muscles fed..

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
    Or Download Here:
    Windows Media (2.83 MB) - Video iPod (4.57 MB)
    [ Video Tip Of The Week Main Page ]
    [ Learn More About Dr. Warren Willey ]

      Good non-cold selections include canned tuna and salmon, beef jerky, protein bars, and protein powder that you can then add to water or juice for a quick shake.

    Protein Powders Are Perfect For Their Ease Of Use While You're Out.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Protein Powders Are Perfect For
    Their Ease Of Use While You're Out.

      If you can place an ice pack in the picnic basket to take with you, then you can expand your options to hard boiled eggs (if placed in an ice pack), canned chicken breast meat mixed with mayonnaise and celery, pre-cooked chicken breasts, low-sodium deli meat slices, or shrimp with a container of cocktail sauce.

    Protein Powders Sorted By Top Sellers Protein Powders:
    Sorted By Top Sellers.

    Protein powders are formulated to be the perfect meal in a quick and easy shake. It is easy to take them with you to work or school or anywhere that you need.

    [ Protein Powders Sorted By Top Sellers ]

    dot 2. Choosing Carbohydrates Wisely: dot

      Moving on, balancing your protein intake with a solid source of carbohydrates is important to keep energy levels up for all the activities you decide to do during the day. What you want to avoid is the classic fare of chips, candy, and 'white carbs' such as regular white buns.

      Instead, along with your ice pack, throw in some sliced melons, strawberries, and apples or bananas, and some chopped up vegetables with a low-fat dip created out of sour cream, mayonnaise, and cottage cheese.

    Fresh Fruits Are A Great Source Of Carbohydrates To Provide You With The Energy You Need.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Fresh Fruits Are A Great Source Of Carbohydrates
    To Provide You With The Energy You Need.

      For starchy carbohydrate options, cold pasta salad works great which can be made with your protein source of eggs or canned tuna listed above along with salad dressing or low-fat mayonnaise. Whole grain bagels are another possibility if your energy requirements are going to be quite high and you aren't looking to lose body fat at the moment.

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    10 Sweet Summer Foods!
    These new summer foods will benefit your taste buds and help you look your best. Here are the top ten foods to focus on this summer.
    Author:
    Shannon Clark

      You may also want to pack some type of high-fiber, low-sugar cereal to snack on during the day along with some pretzels and dried fruit if a trail mix is desired.

    Healthy Snacks Sorted By Top Seller Healthy Snacks:
    Sorted By Top Seller.

    Healthy snacking can be beneficial. Not only will it help you reach your goals, but it can give you that energy to help keep you performing at your best.

    [ Healthy Snacks Sorted By Top Seller ]

    dot 3. Fast Fats For Fuel: dot

      To provide you with the third macronutrient you need to get in a good source of dietary fat. If you're packing canned salmon along for protein you'll be getting some healthy fats through this selection.

      Other good choices include any variety of nuts, chopped avocado, or you can choose to use an olive-oil based dressing to place in your pasta salad or mixed into a vegetable dip.

    RELATED VIDEO: DON'T NEGLECT HEALTHY FATS


    Jamie Eason's Tips:
    The Benefits Of Healthy Fats!

    Jamie Eason is here to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Check out this video where Jamie Eason teaches you the benefits of healthy fats.

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
    [ Jamie Eason's Tips Main Page ]

    dot 4. Beverage Selection: dot

      Choosing your drinks wisely will help save hundreds of calories over the summer, so this is an important factor to make sure you don't overlook.

      The biggest drink you will want to avoid is regular soda, as it's loaded with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Diet colas are slightly better if you're not concerned with the artificial content, but you should still keep these limited to one or two a day.

    The Biggest Drink You Will Want To Avoid Is Regular Soda.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Biggest Drink You Will
    Want To Avoid Is Regular Soda.

      Fruit juices mixed with a sugar-free sparkling water will work well and will not contain as many calories as if you would have just had the juice straight up by itself. You might choose to bring along some Gatorade powder to mix with water if you are going to be doing a lot of exercise and could potentially risk an electrolyte imbalance.

      For most leisure activities though, water will work just fine provided you're eating plenty of fruit throughout the day to keep potassium levels where they need to be.

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    The Importance Of Water! In the diet, water is the most important component in losing fat and keeping it off. You heard that right... the most important.
    Author:
    Jen Heath

      If you are going to consume alcohol beverages while out in the sun, make sure you're alternating this with some form on non-alcohol drink that does not contain caffeine to prevent dehydration. Also be aware that the alcohol will act faster in the body than if you weren't in a hot environment.

      Alcohol calories also add up quite quickly so again be sure you're keeping this in mind, especially if you're concerned with weight gain over the summer months.

    Symptoms Of Dehydration:
    Symptoms may include headaches similar to what is experienced during a hangover, muscle cramps, a sudden episode of visual snow, decreased blood pressure (hypotension), and dizziness or fainting when standing up due to orthostatic hypotension. Untreated dehydration generally results in delirium, unconsciousness, swelling of the tongue and in extreme cases death.

    Dehydration symptoms generally become noticeable after 2% of one's normal water volume has been lost. Initially, one experiences thirst and discomfort, possibly along with loss of appetite and dry skin.

    This can be followed by constipation. Athletes may suffer a loss of performance of up to 30%, and experience flushing, low endurance, rapid heart rates, elevated body temperatures, and rapid onset of fatigue.

    dot
    Conclusion
    dot

    So, as you head out for the day, be sure you're picnic basket is packed with the right types of foods. It is fine to throw in the odd treat from time to time, but the healthier you can keep your selections, the better you're likely to feel throughout the day as well.