Going to a festival doesn’t mean that the diet you have been sticking to has to go down the drain! There are lots of ways that you can still eat healthily at a festival…
I have whittled it down to my Top 5 Tips on how you too can eat healthily at all of your favourite festivals this summer!
1 – Preparation is everything!!
Anyone that knows me knows that planning and organisation are my middle names. But for festivals preparation really is everything! I never go to a festival without taking my own food. Not only does it mean that I can take ready-to-eat, healthy snacks rather than hunting out the first chip van I can when I arrive, it also means I make healthier choices on the snacks I eat, which are kinder on the bank balance too!
There are certain foods I always take with me to a festival…
1 – Homemade Energy Balls. These are fantastic to take to a festival. Packed with protein and yummy goodness I never go without these. I make them the night before I leave and will last 2-3 days in a plastic container. For the recipe click here.
2 – Nuts. They are a great source of protein and if placed into little bags, are a pocket-sized snack ready to eat around the campsite or in the arena.
3 – Homemade granola bars. I make these a couple of days before the festival and keep them in a tin lined with baking paper in my tent at the festival. They are delicious and filling, perfect for snacking on when you’re spending a lot of time walking or dancing at a festival.
4 – Dried Fruit. Dried fruit is perfect at beating that sugar craving; however be aware that dried fruit does contain a lot of sugar so a small handful of dried apricots, dates or prunes are just right for on-the-go snacking.
5 – Popcorn. Popcorn is a fantastic way to snack on something which isn’t packed full of fats and excess calories. Air-popped popcorn is the perfect alternative to crisps to have when you are craving something salty or sweet.
2 – Cook for yourself…
This isn’t always possible at all festivals, due to restrictions on bringing barbecues or gas cookers. However, whenever possible I always take a little gas powered camping stove so that I can boil water, heat milk for porridge, or cook things like pasta and eggs. You will be surprised how much you appreciate this little piece of camping kit! Waking up in the morning and being able to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, without standing for ages in a queue, is bliss! Being able to cook is not only much much cheaper, it also ensures I make healthy choices in the mornings rather than running off to find a bacon butty.
3 – Make sensible choices…
With great choice comes great responsibility!
With so many food vendors to choose from at a festival it is very easy to make all the wrong choices (especially when your slightly hungover!) With so much choice it means that with a little bit of searching you can find incredible, delicious and healthy food vendors that will not leave you reaching for the crisps. Falafel, sushi, scrummy salads, grilled chicken, pittas, and wraps are just some of the things I have picked up at festivals.
The morning after a long day at a festival, having probably drank a bit too much, your body is craving vitamins. Choose a smoothie, or fresh veg to be sure to fight that hangover and to increase your electrolyte levels ensuring you’re ready to take on the day.
4 – Don’t confuse dehydration with hunger!
This is a big one. If you have spent most of the day on the vino, dancing away to your favourite bands, it’s more than likely you have not drunk enough water throughout the day and can easily dehydrate. Dehydration can sometimes cause you to feel hungry and people make the common mistake of reaching for a snack rather than a bottle of water. Keeping hydrated will not only keep your healthier, as you are less likely to have a snack you don’t need, you are also more likely to wake up in the morning without a terrible hangover!
5 – Don’t drink your calories…
Of course, everyone at a festival loves a drink or two (or three), but drinking your calories isn’t healthy either. Have a drink and enjoy yourself but be aware of hidden extra calories in your choice of drinks and mixer! Juices, full sugar fizzy drinks, energy drinks and syrups are a sure way to pile on the sugar and calories without you realising.
My rule is to stick to clear spirits, like gin or vodka and pair them with a lower calorie mixer. Slimline tonic, sparkling water, low sugar fruit squash or juices, or even diet fizzy drinks are a much easier way of keeping added sugar under control.
Having said all that… enjoy yourself! If you have a burger, or a bacon butty or a plate of chips enjoy them but don’t overindulge, make your next choice a healthy one!
All of my nutritional advice is given to me by a professional. Ben Foulis from LDN Performance, provides me with diet and exercise plans tailored to my specific needs. If you’re interested in getting your own plan or if you need nutritional advise contact Ben here.