I love a picnic! Sunshine, fresh air, laughter and food – all the ingredients to create wholesome and delightful nourishment – are abundant even through autumn. But are you sabotaging your health with the lunch you pack?
Here’s a typical American picnic:
- Cake or cookies
It’s appealing fare for all ages, but it’s a great mis-adventure for your physiology! Without realizing it, you and your loved ones are becoming so imbalanced in your nutritional needs, you are likely to be blind-sided by energy deficits that can someday become chronic health challenges, such as food sensitivities, chronic fatigue, weight gain, mood disorders, hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and even auto-immunity.
Let’s dissect this picnic. Given that the sandwiches are either made with 2 ounces of thin-sliced deli meat, or peanut butter and jelly, the meal stacks up at approximately 66% carbohydrate (with all but the fruit as simple, refined carbs), 32% fat (none of which is natural, nourishing fat), and 2% protein. I’m sorry, Beautiful, but 2% protein is NOT ENOUGH to make your hormones and hemoglobin, your enzymes and anti-bodies, your skin and your tissues. And if you keep putting soybean, cottonseed, corn and canola oil through your gall bladder, it will be as congested as a CD player with a pancake in it!
I’m not anti-carb. I just believe in real foods, properly balanced! So what can you do?
Try out any of these ideas:
- Fill a whole grain wrap or pita with meat and veggies, allowing you to get more filling and less fluff. Or pick up some dolmathes from a nearby Greek restaurant.
- Substitute real whole milk, herbal tea, or flavored water for your soda. You might even try a homemade electrolyte drink, such as these or these.
- Need some crunch and some flavor? Try nuts and seeds instead of chips. Just make sure they are raw so the fats are not oxidzed. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are cheap and satisfying.
- How about some cheese with your fruit instead of cookies? I’m partial to herbed chevre spread on apple slices.
- Cut veggies with hummus make a great filler. Cherry tomatoes and petite bell peppers might be more add interest to celery and carrot sticks. Throw some olives in, too!
- No time? Grab a container of ceviche from the market along with an avocado, and don’t forget to pack a knife. At your picnic site, slice the avocado in half, fill with your seafood salad and serve. If you don’t like crab and shrimp, you might try this Mexican-themed chicken filling instead.
- Hard-boiled eggs and jerky both travel well and add extra protein. By the time you eat them, along with the other ideas here, you won’t even want cake!
- Proscuttio goes well with melon. You could even put some on a skewer with cantaloupe balls before you leave home to moderate the insulin surge you get from eating carbs without fats and proteins.
- Use jars to transport non-finger foods. For example, you could layer toasted oats and almonds with plain coconut yogurt.
- Make a cookie that uses coconut or almond flour, rich in natural fats, instead of grain flour. If you use honey in place of sugar, you can cut the amount of sweetener in half.
- Try a dessert recipe from our cookbook that uses only unrefined ingredients and has balanced carb-fat ratios.