Weight loss surgery experts Sue and Nic from BandBoozled tell us that, over the summer holidays or on a leisurely weekend we should pack up a picnic and get the family outside in the fresh air!
You could also combine it with a long walk or a bike ride to increase your activity levels too. Remember, picnics don’t have to be boring and they can be much more than just a sandwich, a few crisps and an apple. There is a whole range of foods you can eat on the go that are healthy, tasty and easy to prepare.
To help make sure your picnic is balanced try and pack foods from the main food groups as recommended by our partners at BandBoozled:
1. Fruit and Vegetables
- Fresh fruit is one of the easiest things to add to your picnic basket or lunchbox without any preparation. Apples, oranges, peaches, pears, blueberries.
- Prepare a fresh fruit salad in a Tupperware container to give you a bigger variety of fruits
- Make a salad to take with you either lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red peppers for a simple salad or be more adventurous and try something new like Waldorf salad, Caesar salad or whatever you have in the fridge!
- Don’t forget fruit can be added to salads too, for instance, watermelon, pineapple, pear and apple slices can all be incorporated well within salads.
- Chop up veggie sticks like celery, cucumber or carrot into sticks and pack a salsa dip to have with it – yum!
- Buy small tins of tinned fruit in natural juice with a ring pull for convenience.
- Bring along some little packets of dried fruit as they are a healthier alternative than crisps or chocolate to have as a snack.
- An ordinary sandwich is fine, but you could also shake things up to keep things interesting! Try pitta bread, bagels, baguettes, muffins or ciabattas and where possible choose the wholemeal option to increase the fibre content.
- Try making a pasta salad and add lots of chopped veggies and avoid the mayonnaise.
- Make some curried rice and just add some peppers, onions and curry powder to cooked rice and serve cold. Use brown rice for extra fibre where possible.
- Pack a low-fat yoghurt – you could freeze them overnight and they will help keep your picnic or lunchbox cool (saves you packing an ice pack!)
- Bring some individual tubs of low-fat cream cheese and have with the vegetable sticks
- Add some low-fat cheese to your sandwich or bagel.
- Throw in a yoghurt drink or try a pot of low-fat fromage frais.
- Pack a low-fat milkshake for your drink or a cold carton of milk – but be sure to watch the sugar content of your shake!
Add a filling to your bread of choice:
- Ham and tomato
- Tuna and sweetcorn
- Roast beef and onion
- Chicken and peppers
- Egg and low-fat mayonnaise with cucumber
- Mashed pilchards and salad
- Smoked salmon and spring onion
A little reduced-fat olive oil spread to your sandwich choice will add some essential fats but remember, just a touch to keep the calories down!
- Pack some mixed nuts or add pulses to your salads
- Pack some hard-boiled eggs as snacks
- Have a few cocktail sausages (but go easy on them as the calories soon add up!)
Why not use up the leftovers by making up a packed lunch to take to work the next day. You could even use the ideas here to take a lunchbox with you every day. This can save you money, give you a better variety of healthy foods at lunchtime and it also means that you know exactly what you are eating.
But remember! This is especially important whilst you are watching your weight as you can pick up a pre-prepared sandwich when you are out and about, but it could be loaded with full-fat mayonnaise, for example, making it very high in calories.
What drinks should I bring to my picnic?
- Remember to add plenty of drinks, especially in the hot weather. Try flavoured water, cartons of fresh fruit juice and low-sugar squashes to keep you hydrated in the warm weather. Icy cold sparkling water can also be a refreshing alternative to ordinary water.
- You could fill ¼ of a water bottle and pop it in the freezer overnight. Fill it up the rest of the way just before you leave for your picnic and you will have cold water for longer throughout the day.
Keep your picnic basket cool with an ice pack – this will keep your food fresher as well as keeping your drinks colder and place on top for best results!
There are many ways you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle…
Here at The Hospital Group, specialist advice and guidance from our weight loss support team is a great resource which you will benefit from as part of your package with us.
Gastric band patients have the additional support of BandBoozled, an online club for band patients run by Sue and Nic with 12 month’s free membership for our new gastric band customers.
By being a member of BandBoozled, you will have access to many gastric band friendly recipes, meal plans and weekly updates which can help you on your journey. There is also a weight login area where you can track your weight and measurements and a Forum where you can talk to others with a gastric band and ask questions.
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