So last weekend we took a quick 24 hour getaway to the lake, but I wanted to make sure I balanced my physique and fitness goals while still feeling like I got to enjoy the full “lake experience!”
I actually came back from the lake LIGHTER than when I left- which I say not to put focus on the scale, but to prove that it’s totally possible to have your s’mores & eat them too, while still making progress- balance baby!
I wanted to make sure I got to enjoy some camping classics that brought back the nostalgia of camping and satisfied my cravings, for me this included:
- -baked beans (who doesn’t love a can of beans over the fire?)
- -fire roasted hot dogs (I wanted to cook all my meals on the fire!)
- -s’mores (duh)
- -bacon & eggs! (what’s camping without an amazing breakfast in the a.m?)
I know what you’re thinking- how do you eat all of the above & still have a “healthy” weekend away? It’s EASY! Stop taking an “all or none” approach- make adjustments where you can, & indulge where you can’t!
I searched high and low but couldn’t find any sugar-free baked beans (read the label, you will be shocked at the sugar content!)- so I made my own and I have to say, I think they were actually BETTER than the store bought options and my brother and boyfriend both agreed!
- 1 can cooked white beans
- Sugar-free BBQ sauce of choice (I like “Guy’s” from lowcarbgrocery.com)
- Sugar-free ketchup (I like the President’s Choice brand)
- Brown sugar-twin
- *really, the ketchup/sugar-twin/vinegar are optional and this is doable with JUST sugar-free BBQ sauce, but these extras allow you to tweak the flavor profile to your liking!*
- Optional (but recommended): turkey bacon
Cook the turkey bacon until it’s crisp, add to a pot with drained white beans, smother in BBQ sauce, and reduce down. Add water/sauce continuously and keep stirring to avoid burning at the bottom- keep adjusting until you get the consistency of beans/thickness of sauce/flavor profile you like- it couldn’t be easier and the result was perfect!
If you’ve ever read the ingredient list on a hot dog (I don’t recommend it if you ever plan on eating them again)- it can be scary, but I really wanted to roast my own over the fire and have that camping feel, so I found some all natural chicken sausages from Wal-Mart that were the closest thing to being “100% clean” while still allowing me to roast them over the fire!
Ideally I would have made my own with lean chicken & spices, but time was of the essence 🙂
To save unwanted calories I used fat-free cheese slices and opted for no bun, & topped it with the sugar-free version of all the classic condiments: sugar-free relish, sugar-free ketchup, & yellow mustard!
It might seem like over kill, but why not save the added calories if you can?
I tried my best to make sugar-free marshmallows to roast (I do have a sugar-free marshmallow recipe that you can see here: https://kywellness.ca/2015/06/calorie-free-marshmallow/ but they need to be dried out to properly roast without falling off of your stick!
I also tried to find some good sugar-free graham wafer recipes, but it was a trade off between trying a new recipe and not being satisfied, or having a couple of the real thing and having it totally hit the spot- I opted for the later!
Where I DID save on unnecessary extras was with the chocolate. There are so many great sugar-free chocolate options and you will never know the difference- check Wal-Mart by the Pharmacy in the diabetic section and check Safeway in the chocolate section (Russell Stover) or make your own with cacao butter, coconut oil/butter, and cocoa powder with 0 calorie sweetener!
I had planned to have just 1 and even tracked it to fit my daily macros- not something I usually do as I follow a fairly structured meal plan by preference, but to minimize the potential for negatively impacting my physique and going overboard!
I decided #YOLO a bit and had 3, but on the second 2 ditched the top cracker and this cut the calories in half (obviously) and didn’t take away from it at all – still the same satisfying S’more taste!
I did my full cardio workout, an hour yoga class, an hour of paddle boarding, and some swimming this day so I was okay with going over my calorie intake slightly as I knew how much added activity I did in the day & I ate all of my meals on plan aside from the pre-planned healthy hot dog/baked bean supper!
For breakfast I planned whole eggs, turkey bacon, and my sugar-free chocolate pancakes- I packed sugar-free syrup & natural peanut butter and it was AMAZING. Fully satisfying and I felt like I was indulging, but everything was totally “on plan” and didn’t derail me for the entire day!
The chocolate pancake recipe is amazing as it feels like you’re getting a hearty carb-heavy pancake, but in reality it’s almost carb-free- this is a great breakfast option for a group as you can cater the quantities to each individuals dietary needs & appetite!
Cocoa Powder Pancakes
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 0 calorie sweetener to taste (I use Splenda)
- Optional: sugar-free chocolate chips (I use Krisda)
It’s that simple- so low calorie and DELICIOUS!
-with supper we had grilled shrimp & veggies which are both perfect for the BBQ and diet friendly
-for drinks we packed lots of water, Mio, sparkling diet waters, & tea!
-I made sure I had planned out the rest of my meals and packed accordingly so that I could still stay on track and didn’t end up hungry and more likely to over-indulge with the BBQ meals and S’mores- I even brought some sugar-free Jell-O along in case I had sweets cravings
Part of what I love most about camping and spending time at the lake is it’s SO easy to get extra activity in without feeling like you’re working out!
I had planned to go to the lake on a “rest day” from lifting, but made sure to get my cardio and yoga in before I left so I felt good about having a bit more freedom in my diet later in the day.
Once we got to the lake it was gorgeous and we spent an hour paddle boarding before heading to the pool and the next morning we got up and went for a gorgeous hike before breakfast!
It took a little pre-planning, but it was SUCH a great day & I love that I felt like I was able to have the full lake experience, enjoy some of my favorites, all while balancing a few indulgences but without throwing off my progress!
I’m not saying this is the approach YOU should take in heading to the lake for the weekend, but I do hope that if you feel you can’t enjoy weekends away or time away from home while sticking to a structured program that this gives you ideas on how to give & take and find a balance that works for you!
Even if you don’t “have” to, why not make healthier decisions where you can like swapping out your regular chocolate for sugar-free, I promise you won’t know the difference and the small changes add up in the long run! <3