Staying Healthy at the ‘Fest

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It is that time of year in Milwaukee…
11 Days
11 Stages
Over 900,000 People
How do can you stay healthy???

We all love Summerfest: hundreds of musicians, amazing food, flowing drinks and some of the best people-watching around. Most of us just assume that we have no option but to eat poorly, drink too much and generally feel crummy the whole week after the festivities end. In reality, it isn’t that hard to indulge without repercussions. A few simple steps will help you to make good choices, while still enjoying all that Summerfest has to offer.

Make sure you are fully hydrated before you hit the grounds. If you are going in the morning, make sure to have a full, 8 ounce glass of water when you first wake up. If you are a coffee drinker, remember that for every cup of coffee you drink, you should be having an additional 8 ounces of water. If you aren’t sure that are hydrated, look at your urine- if you are hydrated it should be clear!

Wear Good Footwear (Ditch the Flip Flops)
You are going to be walking and standing for a long time, so don’t wear silly shoes! If you haven’t worn sandals in 8 months because of the never-ending winter in Wisconsin, now is not the time to bust them out! To avoid the risk of day-after back and foot pain, the shoes you choose should support at the arch of your foot, not have heels and fit well to avoid any blisters or irritation at your heel or toes.

Eat Something Before You Go
Have a full, balanced meal before you leave. A balanced meal will help keep your blood sugar stable, which will help you deal better with the stress of getting to the festival, and also help you make better food choices when you are there. Ideally, your meal will include a palm-size serving of protein, along with a fist-size serving of vegetables, a small cupped handful of starch, and a thumb-size serving of fat.  So what does that actually look like? Some ideas include:

  • An omelet made with two whole eggs, a handful of spinach, a few diced tomatoes and cooked in a small amount of coconut oil or butter. Add a piece of toast or some sautéed potatoes and you are good to go!
  • A salad made with two handfuls of greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and olives, topped with a palm-size serving of grilled chicken and a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in a piece of fruit for some additional carbohydrates if you are still hungry!
  • A meatless option could be two tablespoons of hummus with carrots, broccoli and cauliflower paired with a handful of dry-roasted almonds and a cup of cooked quinoa.

Choose Wisely
Once at the festival, take a few minutes to scope out the vendors that are there to make an informed decision about your food choices. After evaluating all of your options, choose only one or two items that are too good to pass up; after all, Summerfest is only here once a year! By keeping your choices to just one or two items, you won’t totally overwhelm your diet or your stomach, but yet you still feel like you have had an indulgence.

Find a Buddy
Ideally, you will attend the ‘Fest with friends or family who may be willing to share a few items with you.  If you and your mother-in-law decide to share a hot dog, that means you can sample more foods while keeping portions smaller.

Drinking Your Dinner?
It is never a good idea to replace food calories with those from alcohol. If you are planning on imbibing while at Summerfest, make sure to have some food in your system (as mentioned above) and that you have been hydrated prior to drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes your body expel liquid faster than it can absorb it, leading quickly to dehydration. Between each alcoholic beverage, have a glass or bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated and avoid a horrible day-after hangover.

Hopefully these ideas have helped you make a good plan of attack for rocking Summerfest! And, if you do totally go “off the wagon” and feel like you need help getting back in shape afterward, Vita Fitness and Physical Therapy is here for you!


By Colleen Baughn

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