We love spending time on the beach just relaxing and enjoying the beauty, the sun, and each other’s company. It’s hard to go wrong with a beach trip, but we’ve found that poor planning and throwing our good eating habits out the window can rather put a damper on things. Today I have a couple of tips for a smoother, healthier day trip – and a wonderful, valuable giveaway that will help your next beach trip (or trip to the lake, river, or park).
If you are anything like me, vacations and day trips feel like they should be days of freedom, including freedom from healthy eating and food intolerances and allergies. The first ice cream cone that my oldest had was on vacation when we didn’t want to be “mean” parents, and also wanted her to enjoy some of the fun things we enjoyed on vacation as children – like ice cream cones. While not severe, she definitely had a reaction to it, and we were reminded why we bring food with us everywhere.
It means more planning, and a bit more work, but it has the advantage of saving us money and helping us feel our best. I hate the vacation blues brought on by eating poorly! Enjoying vacation or day trips for us means some standards slipping, yes, but we won’t enjoy vacation unless we feel well, so we try to maintain a certain standard.
If you are in the same boat, here are some tips for a healthy and fun beach trip! Food on trips doesn’t have to be sickly sweet, but can be FRESH and invigorating! And don’t forget to check out the WONDERFUL giveaway at the end of this post too (the pictured products throughout this post are being given away!).
This post is sponsored by Mighty Nest, and Amazon links are affiliate.
Bring your own ice cream. Seriously.
Maybe this is just an Oregon coast thing, but getting ice cream at the coast is pretty much an unbreakable tradition. Between being in the open air and having the sun bear down on you, ice cream fills a sudden void you find in the pit of your stomach perfectly. Bringing your own means healthier, cheaper, allergy-friendly, and delicious ice cream! Plus, I love that you can scoop it out and enjoy it right on the beach, instead of needing to walk to a nearby ice cream shop.
We tried this out for the first time, and it was really easy. We used the above insulated stainless steel container from Mighty Nest. I love that you can use it for keeping both hot and cold things! During the winter, it’s perfect for stews and soups, and during the summer, it’s lovely for bringing along ice cream and sorbets. Before I filled it with ice cream, I put in a bunch of ice cubes and cold water to chill the inside, to get it chilled and ready for the ice cream. It worked great!
And because we do believe in making some small compromises, we also brought along these gluten free ice cream cones . They are super fun, and gave no tummy-aches. The girls ate with the cones, and I just ate right out of the container using the awesome and cool bamboo cutlery. Here is a fun list of allergy-friendly ice cream recipes: Mounds Candy Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (made with coconut milk), Mint Chocolate Chip.
Bring hydrating snacks
Being in the sun can be really depleting, so I try to bring along snacks that are hydrating. Think melons, berries (like strawberries), cucumbers, celery, and juicy peaches. For this last trip, we brought along a very delicious honeydew melon, cucumber slices and mini sweet peppers. I love, love, LOVE this large stainless steel container from Mighty Nest, and this sweet snack bag. Perfect for a day trip.
Bring along plenty of liquids
An aunt suffered from heat stroke while out on a boat a couple years back. You don’t want this. Bringing along plenty of drinks can help everyone stay comfortable and healthy. I brought along my favorite new combination of ¾ coconut water, and ¼ flavored kombucha. It’s really refreshing and delicious. You can also try out this hydration drink, or bring along water kefir, or lemon water.
Consider your sun exposure
I’m not a huge fan of most sunscreen. First of all, getting some sun in is important of your vitamin D levels. Many of us get way too little. Plus, most sunscreen is also quite toxic. My preference is to not stay in the sun too long, or to cover skin with light clothing. But if there was ever a day to wear sunscreen, it would be beach day. Burning your skin is damaging and incredibly painful. I know because I fell asleep last year on the beach and woke up severely burnt. Not good. To prevent this, either covering up or wearing mineral based sunscreen has been my solution. (Mighty Nest carries several great brands, including the pictured spray nozzle version that is very convenient).
Make it as easy as possible
- The hardest part of our last trip was packing up all our snacks, BUT that really didn’t take very long. My ice cream was very easy to make, and I made it the day before, and we kept the snacks simple with simple prep. Above all, the food rule I attempt to keep is bringing along nothing that needs any attention once there. Beach trips should be relaxing!
- We brought along our new blanket from Mighty Nest that is PERFECT for picnics, day trips in general, and beach trips. We’ve been lugging around before a thick wool blanket, which is very old fashioned of us, and completely heavy, hot and impractical. I loved that this blanket was so light, was waterproof, and so easy to bringing along.
- We brought along some sand toys, but didn’t over do it, which made clean up so much easier. I find that the kids are just as happy with a couple of buckets, shovels and boats, then a huge bag of them.
Enjoy the health benefits of being in nature
Did you know that there are proven benefits to spending time in nature? This is true whether you are enjoying time in the forest, at a lake, river, beach, or park. For example, spending time in nature can boost your immune system, and fight depression! The very act of choosing to spend time outside is a healthy choice, giving your body time to de-stress, relax and restore itself.
Other items to remember:
- Light jackets or sweaters if staying into the evening.
- Bathing suits and towels
- Cash for farmers stands selling fruit on the drive in
- A book to read
- Sun hats
Ready to try a fresh new approach with me?
Pledge to make one small step for a healthier (beach) trip this year with me and take a small but mighty step in a healthier direction! You’ll automatically be entered to win the above beach package from MightyNest. And because MightyNest is all about inspiring and rewarding simple changes for mighty living, you’ll also earn points to help your local school win up to $1000 this month in the Get Fresh Challenge!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Pledge to make one small step for a healthier (beach) trip this year.
2. Support your local school by choosing them to win up to $1000 in the MightyNest for Schools Get Fresh Challenge. All you have to do is select a school (based on zip code) when you pledge. MightyNest will accept pledges until the 30th. The school with the most points on May 31st will win $1000… The other top ten schools will share another $3000! This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. Thanks for understanding.
Extra: Plus every pledge gets you entered into a giveaway for $500 gift card for Mighty Nest!
Special thanks to MightyNest for being the sponsor of this very fun post!
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Nancy in Alberta
Looks like great stuff! I’m sad we can’t get this in Canada. Not only that, but I can’t indicate that we home school… Not to worry – I really value your blog. The research and life experience is something I’m very thankful you can pass on to the rest of us. I love the transparency, and the fact that, no matter how imperfect, you’re trying to make this work! God bless, and enjoy your family!
First, thanks so much for the sweet note. It is much appreciated.
And I’m so sorry this giveaway isn’t open more widely! It’s up to the sponsors of the giveaways to decide who to ship too, and generally shipping costs deters them, understandably. Thanks so much for reading!
Kimi, when you made the ice cream the day before did you immediately put it in the Kleen kanteen? Did you keep in freezer or fridge if so?
I kept it in my deep freezer in a separate container (you can’t freeze the Kleen Kanteen) until right before I packed for our trip. 🙂
We have decided to pack our lunch the next time we go to the beach!
Thank you for the ideas. We will pack a lunch next time we go to the beach.
Everything looked so yummy and nourishing. What wonderful items to help with our planet and ourselves!