WW blog: Hannah’s top healthy eating tips for summer festivals
Hi everyone, I’m Hannah (you might know me as @spangledstar on Instagram), I’m 35 years old - though sometimes I think I’m 25! - and even though I’m a Northern girl at heart, I’m now living in the beautiful Devon countryside.
I’ve been on my WW journey since January 2016, having lost about 3 stone, and now I’m just trying to find my happy weight.
A festival veteran
As a huge music fan - you can find me listening to everything from Blur and The Beatles, to Friendly Fires and The Cure - nothing makes me happier than camping out for the better part of a week at a music festival.
Of course my favourite festival will always be Glastonbury. And that's not just because it’s by far the best, it's because it holds a special place in my heart; it’s where I met my boyfriend Matthew 11 years ago.
This year I was lucky enough to attend Glastonbury for the fourth time, and even though I didn’t stay 100% on track, festivals have evolved so much that it was easier than ever to fit a bit of healthy eating and exercise into the weekend - whilst still having a blast!
I’m not advocating trying to be the perfect WW member, but I just wanted to show how many opportunities there are at festivals to make healthy choices, so that you don’t go completely off the rails whilst you’re away. So without further ado, here are my top tips for eating and drinking healthy whilst at a music festival…
1. Don’t take too much with you
Yes, it could save you a bit of money in the long run, but there’s so much food choice you’ll either end up missing out, or having to carry half of the stuff back with you. That being said…
2. Do take something for an early morning breakfast
There’s nothing worse than waking up in your tent at 7am, hungover and hungry, with the only option for some healthy food being halfway across the campsite. Unless of course you give in to the less-than-healthy bacon butty...
This year I made sure I bought food with me that I knew I would eat. My choice for breakfast was a bag of nutty granola, and some tins of light coconut milk - this made a great alternative to granola and yoghurt without the need of a fridge. Ok, so neither of those items are particularly low in points... but they were tasty, filling, and good for keeping me fueled until I came across a proper food stall later on.
3. Do take a few snacks
I would also recommend taking some small snacks to keep tucked away in your bum bag - these come in handy when you’ve been walking around for hours and need to top up your energy levels! I love the Nakd bars, as they’re full of natural ingredients and are fairly low in SmartPoints®.
4. Take note
It must have been nearly 20 years ago that I went to my first festival, and back then the choices were limited to burgers or hog roasts. Nowadays the choices are limitless - for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Dare I say, there may be too much choice?!
I spent most of the festival drooling over the delicious looking food, so I would recommend taking note of which stalls you like look of so that you don’t have to miss out.
There are so many healthy choices that staying on plan doesn’t have to be boring. Authentic curries... falafel wraps... buddha bowls filled with zero heroes. There are even beautiful fruit stalls with an array of fresh fruit salads - perfect for when you feel like you’ve over-indulged.
5. Drink. Drink. Drink… water!
We all know that drinking lots of water is great for keeping hydrated and feeling fresh faced after a big night, so always aim to drink as much as you can. Make sure to take a reusable bottle with you, and then you can top up at the water points throughout the day. You’ll feel much better for it, and it’ll help combat the effects of daytime drinking.
6. Look for the diet mixers
Most of us like an alcohol beverage or two whilst watching our favourite bands, and luckily for WW members, gone are the days where festival choices are limited to points-laden cider or beer. Now you’ll be able to find every type of spirit under the sun, and pair it with a diet mixer. Of course, there’s nothing nicer than having a beer in the sun - so don’t forget to treat yourself to that too if you wish.
7. Earn some accidental FitPoints®
Probably the last thing anyone wants to think about whilst they’re having fun at a festival is exercise - but chances are you’ll be doing it without knowing!
Even just walking around between stages can rack up a serious amount of steps. For the 5 days I was at Glastonbury I averaged 30,000 steps a day, which worked out as a total of 74 miles! Add on all the dancing that I did, and I earned a whopping 208 FitPoints without even trying.
8. Dance like nobody’s watching
Did you know fifteen minutes of dancing earns 4 FitPoints? So my top exercise tip is just to dance dance dance! And don’t worry about anyone watching, because chances are they’re too busy dancing themselves!
9. Keep an eye out for what else is on
As festivals aren’t solely music-orientated anymore, all you need to do is take a look at the smaller stages during the daytime, and you’ll likely find an array of activities that offer some fun exercise.This year I had the option of doing various yoga classes, or even trying my hand at aerial acrobatics, skateboarding and Tango!
So you’ve probably got the gist, but these are just a few of the ways that going to a festival can easily fit into the the WW way of life. Whether you plan to stay on track the whole time, for just a bit of it, or live in the moment and suffer the consequences on the scales afterwards, my main tip is this: to just enjoy yourself.
Eat the food that entices you, drink a cold beer when the sun is out, and at the end of the day, if you come home having gained a few pounds but a hundred memories - that's what festivals are all about!