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Healthy Horse Show Living: Loving the Lunch Break

Filed under: Featured,Health & Training |     
EquineChronicle.com image

EquineChronicle.com image

By: Megan Arszman

Last month, we gave you a kick-start to your new healthy horse show living lifestyle with easy breakfast bites. You learned that it’s important to start each day with something nutritious, even if you’re running late to the barn. Now, it’s time to focus on the lunch break, and we’re not just talking about using that hour to tack up and ride your horse. It’s also important to take a hint from the show schedule and actually break to eat lunch. This could come in the form of a sandwich you can grab and eat in the saddle or something from the slow cooker at the stalls.

Although it might be hard to get through an entire horse show without coffee or a Big Gulp, keeping bottled water handy in a tack room fridge will make you more likely to choose a healthy option. EquineChronicle.com photo

Although it might be hard to get through an entire horse show without coffee or a Big Gulp, keeping bottled water handy in a tack room fridge will make you more likely to choose a healthy option. EquineChronicle.com photo

Skipping Meals Doesn’t Make You Skinny

You might think that eating breakfast and skipping lunch will hold you over until the horse show is done for the day and you can pig out on dinner, but that’s not the best practice. “If you skip meals, it’s more likely that you’ll overeat at some point later on,” explains Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio, and blogger at The Lean Green Bean. “If you let yourself get too hungry, you will likely eat too quickly when you do eat, which often leads to overeating because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to your brain that you’re full.”

Again, you want to look for lunches packed with protein and carbohydrates to give you a boost through the mid-day slump.

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston, The Lean Green Bean Blog.

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston, The Lean Green Bean Blog.

Livingston provides some easy lunches you can make at home or take on the road with you for the horse shows:

  • Wraps and sandwiches are great options because they can be assembled quickly and eaten on the go. Always aim to include a lean protein, a healthy fat, and some veggies. For the wrap or bread, look for 100% whole wheat or something made with sprouted grains. Hint: Just because the label on the front says wheat, that doesn’t mean it’s whole wheat or whole grain. Always check the nutrition label. Also, you can use lettuce leaves or collard greens to make wraps.
    • Some sandwich combos to try include:
      • Grilled chicken, avocado, and red peppers
      • Pulled chicken, black beans, avocado, salsa, and a little cheese
      • Hummus, carrots, onions, peppers, and edamame

  • Large batch salads are also a good option. They can be made ahead of time and pre-portioned for several meals:
    • Quinoa, wheat berries, and brown rice all make a good base. Add your favorite veggies, some beans, and a dressing of choice. There are lots of options for homemade dressings that don’t take long to make.
    • If you want to skip the grains, go for a base of roasted potatoes. Add some ground meat and veggies. Eat alone or serve over lettuce for a taco-salad type option.
    • Salads-in-a-jar are another option for pre-portioned, grab and go lunches. Put the dressing on the bottom of the jar and the lettuce or greens on the top to keep them from getting soggy.

  • If you’re looking for a snack-plate type option, pair a couple of hard boiled eggs or some grilled chicken with a sweet potato topped with nut butter, carrots and hummus, and an apple.

Take a cue from your horse and eat some veggies! Photo Credit: Brittany Bevis

Take a cue from your horse and eat something green! Photo Credit: Brittany Bevis

Again, there are plenty of different ways to make sure you’re eating right from the beginning to the end of the show circuit. Taking the time to preplan your meals and do some prep before you hit the road will save you time, not to mention money and calories at the concession stand. Also, some of our favorite show vendors are incorporating healthy items into their menus including The Sweet Shop’s chicken and strawberry balsamic vinaigrette salad and wraps and the new crepe station at the Ohio Expo Fairgrounds that sources locally grown ingredients from area farms.

If you have any particular questions about healthy living, or you’re looking for specific tips, please feel free to email b.bevis@equinechronicle.com. Look for more healthy living tips on EquineChronicle.com.

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