Choosing Foods That Give You Energy

When it comes to camping and RVing, there will likely be activities that you will want to take advantage of.  Some of these activities might include things such as hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, skiing, snow shoeing, fishing or even geocaching, just to name a few.  Along with these activities comes a need for the right fuel so that you can enjoy them to the fullest.  Without the right fuel, you might end up feeling low in energy, sluggish and just not completely ready to make the most of your adventure.  Thinking that you will get through a day where you only have a bowl of cereal, a handful of trail mix and a couple of sips of water, will quickly show you that a plan for what you eat is even more important. 

Planning Is Key

When it comes to choosing your activity, planning will be key. Not only the planning of your daily activities but also the types of foods you will need to give you enough energy for your day. This includes what you drink.  It is important to choose the right combination of slow digesting carbohydrates, healthy fats and some proteins to keep your blood sugar in check so that you will have the energy to take full advantage of your day.  Think of the energy/calories that you will burn while you are doing your activity of choice! 

If you only consume 500 calories (kcal) of food in a day where you might burn 1800kcal or more, you probably won’t enjoy yourself at all.  Also, how you start your day will be key in what you choose for the hours ahead so, even though that bowl of cereal or that sugary pile of French toast might look good for the moment, you will more than likely be hungry within an hour or so.  Instead, you will want to choose foods like oatmeal packed with fruit and nuts, eggs with veggies packed in, a protein smoothie, or oat pancakes.

You can even choose unconventional breakfast items like brown rice with chicken and veggies or even a quesadilla packed with lean proteins and cheese.  Bottom line, what you eat when you start your day will give you the energy you need to take you through the first few hours, before you will need another energy packed snack or lunch.  

Hydration is also key!

What you drink will also make a difference!  Now, I will not tell you to ditch your morning coffee (if you are a coffee lover) because well, I’m no coffee quitter!  My first cup of coffee in the mornings is not only what wakes me up but it’s my morning warm and fuzzy feeling, packed into one big cup.  I will however tell you that man (or woman) cannot live on coffee alone, no matter what it whispers to you in the mornings.  One or two (8 ounce cups) are ok in the mornings but, just like the earth, our bodies are made up of about 80% water and we need water to survive. 

How much water?  Well, the standard is usually eight 8oz cups a day but, my recommendation is always to consume half your bodyweight in ounces of water.  So, for example, if you weigh 150lbs then you will want to drink 75oz of water (which is a little over ½ a gallon).  It might sound like a lot but, it is even more important to consume this amount when you are highly active (no matter if it’s hot or cold out). Having even more water on hand will be helpful in the long run.  

There are other great options if you are not a big fan of JUST water.  Teas without sugar or caffeine are great options (caffeine is a diuretic which can cause fluid loss) and low to no sugar juice (try to opt for the natural, no artificial flavors added in).  Other great options to add in (ESPECIALLY in hot weather where you will perspire more) are drinks with electrolytes like coconut water, pedialyte and even milk (make sure you are storing your milk properly in the warmer months).  There are foods that offer you electrolyte replenishing too like watermelon, avocados, almonds, strawberries, tomatoes and yogurt, just to name a few.  

What Else Can I Eat?

Below is a list of foods that you can choose from when looking to pack in the energy for your adventure plus a few easy recipes! 

  • Spicy Tuna in Avocado
  • Oatmeal with Banana and Walnuts
  • Chia Pudding
  • Salmon with Edamame
  • Brown Rice and Asparagus
  • Yogurt with Dark Chocolate Chips

Oat Walnut Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ C Walnuts
  • ½ C Pecans
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 ½ C Old Fashioned Oats
  • ⅛ tsp Nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp Allspice
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • ⅓ C Coconut Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ Brown Sugar
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp maple if you want that flavor)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  • In a pan, toast the walnuts and pecans for 2-3 minutes, tossing them every 30 seconds.  Set aside and let cool. 
  • In a blender or food processor blend oats, pecans and walnuts until a powder is formed.  Add in the baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, blend well.  Scoop out into a bowl
  • In the same blender or processor, add in the sugar and coconut oil and blend.  Add in vanilla (or maple) and egg, blend well.  Scoop out into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Next add in the sesame seeds and stir well. 
  • Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture into your hand and form a ball.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  With your thumb, press down and slightly flatten the cookie. 
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bottoms are golden brown.  

Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 C Old Fashioned Oats
  • ½ C Walnuts
  • ¼ C Chia Seeds
  • ¼ C Raisins
  • ½ C Brown Sugar
  • ¼ C Honey
  • ½-¾ C Butter (Softened)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ⅛ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Apple pie spice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray
  • In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Press the mixture into the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly brown.  Cool and cut into squares. 

Final Takeaway

Our bodies need energy, no matter what our adventure for the day is.  Whether you are hiking, biking, kayaking, or even taking a walk around your campground, choosing the best foods will help make a difference so, be sure to avoid the following:  fried foods, added sugar, pre-packaged snacks that have too much saturated fat, candy, cakes, chips, etc.  

Healthier choices will always be the best choice!  Safe travels and Happy eating! 

Yvette Rodriguez is a US Air Force Veteran, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who found her love for the outdoors after her first camping trip.  Since then, she has found ways to combine all of these passions and brings them together on her blog Sunset Fare.  She recently self-published a cookbook geared towards RVers and campers.  Yvette enjoys camping and RV trips with her husband, cat and dog, always with a camera and spatula in hand!

 

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