Fuel for Winter Fun on the Mountain
Winter Mountain Sports: Food Ideas to Keep You Energized for the Day
February may be one of the coldest months of the year here in Washington, but on the positive side, it often brings lots of snow for skiing and snowboarding! If you’re into winter mountain sports of any kind, I hope you enjoy this blog about some of my top tips and favorite ideas to prepare for a fun day in the snow.
Some key factors to consider for a day on the mountain are ease of prepping the food, likelihood of the food getting crushed in a pocket, and of course, nutrition. Nutritious choices for these conditions include high energy foods that contain salt. Hydration is a must as well. Activity in the cold requires a higher energy intake than an average temperature day to help keep our bodies warm. We also wear more clothes for warmth, which leads to more sweating, and therefore more water and salt loss. If you are like me, you’re super excited to get out but you also want healthy, satisfying foods that will provide the energy you need to enjoy the day.
Breakfast is often a challenging one for the above reason. The food should be hardy, but fast. You can probably guess my first idea is a warming breakfast burrito made with a whole wheat tortilla. But, are you going to prep this first thing in the morning? Maybe if you are a 5 am style person. If not, try making a batch (extras for the next adventure!) and freeze them so they are ready to pop in the microwave or oven for warming first thing in the morning. Ingredient ideas include:
- Tofu, potatoes, pinto beans, spinach, and hot sauce
- Eggs, black beans, sweet potatoes, onions, red peppers, and salsa
- Turkey bacon, eggs, spinach, peppers, onions, and sweet potatoes seasoned with chile powder
Lunch can be made morning of or the night before. Sandwiches, tortillas wraps, and even leftover pizza can wait in the car, a backpack, or your pocket. The key is finding ways to make ingredients stick well to tortillas or bread. This may sound like an odd combo, but I personally have really taken to the idea of smashing avocado as a spread and sticking chickpeas into it. I’ll admit, greens don’t always stick, but it’s pretty easy to add a handful of arugula or other green for extra nutrition. Other ideas that provide good energy include:
- Cheese and tomato sandwich with hummus or avocado, or both!
- Smoked salmon wrap mixed with cream cheese, capers and onions
- Leftover homemade pizza (or MOD pizza) - both are great options because you can add lots of veggies and still be well fueled for the day
And of course, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is never a bad idea as it is packed with energy for the day, easy to make, rides well in a pocket, and tastes great whether smashed or unsmashed. Don’t forget snacks for your pocket! Good options include Lara bars, peanut butter and jelly, trail mix, and dried fruit. Just remember to keep them in a pocket close to your core so they are more likely to stay soft on a very cold day.
Last but definitely not least, be sure to drink water. Again, being active in the cold uses more water than one may think. A collapsible reusable water bottle holds a small amount of water and fits in a pocket if you prefer not to carry a backpack. Keep an insulated water bottle in your car and refill as needed throughout the day.
I hope this inspires some ideas to help you make food fun and nutritious for a day on the mountain. Enjoy your adventure!
By: Laura Johnson, RD, CD, Sensibly Sprouted