Showing horses isn’t always glamorous and it’s especially not glamorous when it comes to some of the food choices that are offered at shows. Of course though, it’s amazing on the taste buds. The greasy burgers, chili dogs, the cheese nachos that scream your name as the cheese graces across the chips and any other greasy goodness that you are craving now. Instead of always reaching for something unhealthy, this blog is going to share some healthy alternatives to help get you through your show day from start to finish with the least amount of stress possible.
Everyone always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it just might be true with recent research. According to an article written by Amanda Macmillan in the TIME Health magazine, the American Heart Association reported that people who eat breakfast have a pattern of lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, breakfast is pretty important I’d say.
The early morning of a horse show always makes it hard to get in a good breakfast. I know I was always figuring out how late I could sleep in and unfortunately, breakfast always got nixed to get in just a few more minutes of sleep. Well, sleep is important as well but here are a few
recipes you can put together the night before and have ready to go bright and early in the morning.
Overnight oats: This great little recipe is perfect for all the oatmeal lovers out there. Put them in the refrigerator the night before and they will be ready to eat in the morning. Plus, the cute mason jars that you make them in will have you feeling stylish all morning. It takes about five minutes tops to make them the night before. Follow the link below to find my go to recipe from London - the author of the Evolving Table blog – a healthy recipe that I use as my go to overnight oats recipe. I love the classic maple brown sugar and cinnamon recipe that London gives us, but there are plenty of variations of these great, easy, overnight oats.
Smoothies: Nothing can beat a classic strawberry banana smoothie to fill you up in the morning. Add a touch of protein by throwing in a scoop of peanut butter to zest it up some and get you to our afternoon lunch. See the link below from Ali, the author of Gimme Some Oven, for my go-to smoothie recipe.
We all know that horse shows are an all-day endeavor and sometimes lunch isn’t when your brain wants it to be lunch, so an afternoon snack is a must. I have found that the best snacks to use are road trip ready snacks. Packaging some little things together in one container seems to be the best way that I have found to keep things compact and quickly accessible. My favorite container to use is the Tupperware Lunch-It Containers that have separate compartments to keep your snacks organized. They’re also a great size to put in coolers or lunch boxes.
Some of the snacks that I suggest are the classics of cheese and crackers, pretzels, celery and peanut butter, some fruit, and of course you can’t forget the trail mix. If you are feeling ambitious and want to try to make something the night before to take with you I suggest these Oatmeal Energy Bites from Hip2Save blog (see link below). These are not only quick and easy to make, but also super yummy. Plus, you won’t feel guilty eating them!
The tastiest meal of any horse show day is lunch because it’s always the time of day that your mouth is watering for some good food to fill you up before the home stretch of finishing the day. These should be easy and ready to go so you can hop off and use every second of that 30-minute lunch you have. My recommendation is always the go-to crock pot meals. Pulled pork in crock pots are my favorite horse show lunch. The mini crock pots are easy to travel with and can still hold a lot food in them. There is always the problem of finding an outlet, so here are a few recipes that you can do without an outlet.
Sandwiches: These are the quickest lunch time eats on the market, but sometimes they can get a little boring. Spice them up by bringing a table and doing a lunch meat sandwich bar. Have everything laid out to make it a fun way to create your masterpiece. You will feel like a true artist. Bringing avocado, a variety of cheeses and other healthy sandwich choices will add some flare. This can be especially fun if you are with a group of friends at the horse show. Ask everyone to bring their favorite sandwich topping and you will have the variety that you have always wanted in a sandwich.
Pasta: You can’t go wrong with a good pasta lunch. Pasta salads can be prepared ahead of time and don’t require any outlets to keep hot; in fact, just keep it in the cooler and pull it out when you are ready to eat it. This is also a great meal to eat a little bit of throughout the day if you are in need of a lift-me-up. The best pasta salad that I have come across is from Kelly, the author of the Mostly Homemade Mom Blog. This pasta salad takes a twist on the original Italian dressing version. Kelly’s recipe is called the Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad. This recipe is quick to make and easy to store. See the link below to try this recipe.
I hope that these recipes will help you stay full and healthy during your next horse show day. Below are a few more tips and tricks I have to share about eating during horse shows:
Freeze water bottles the night before to use in your coolers as ice instead of having to continuously buy ice. The water bottles will stay frozen longer throughout the day and as they defrost you can stay hydrated.
Get things prepared the night before so you are ready to go bright and early in the morning. When I get ready for shows I make a list of everything to bring and this can be utilized when you are preparing food as well. Having some sort of a menu for the day will prevent over packing your food.
If you are attending a show with a group of friends coordinate food together. Potlucks are a great thing. It’s saving everyone money by not having to buy every part of a meal.
Drink lots of water. If you think you have not drank enough water, drink at least one more bottle.
Bringing a dish that you can eat multiple times a day will save you room when packing the trailer and truck. The pasta recipe would be perfect for this tip.
Have fun! Food is a great way to relax during a long day. Horse shows are meant to be fun, so make your food fun too.
Links to full recipes:
Strawberry banana smoothie: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/strawberry-banana-smoothie-recipe/
Oatmeal Energy Bites: https://hip2save.com/2015/07/11/oatmeal-energy-bites-easy-no-bake-snack/
Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad: https://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/pepperoni-pizza-pasta-salad/
Tupperware Lunch-It Containers: http://www.tupperware.com/lunch-ittm-containers-3.html
Photos courtesy of pexels.com