Healthy Eating at the Horse Show & On the Road

Earlier this year I started a Healthy Horse Show Living series in conjunction with to continue my print article that was published in March. Within this series we talked about eating healthy throughout the day at the horse shows and in celebration, and we’ve been adding workouts you can do anywhere–the barn, by the horse trailer, in the hotel room, etc.

In case you missed it, here were tips on healthy snacking at the shows: Snacking the Day Away

Here are some tips for the entire day at the horse show on how to eat healthy. Come back later and I’ll share some equestrian exercises with fitness champion, and wife of horse trainer Brad Jewett, Monica Brant.

Breakfast Basics

  • Start your day with the right fuel to get you moving. Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast–even if it’s something quick and easy, it’s fuel for your day.
  • Not all muffins are created equal–most of those muffins at the concession stand are packed with high fat, calories, and sugar.
  • Go for a mix of protein and carbohydrates to feed your body.
    • Multigrain toast with peanut butter is a quick grab-and-go
    • Egg sandwiches with an English muffin or multigrain bread
    • Make-ahead breakfasts like frittatas, pancakes, and overnight oats.

Loving Lunch

  • Don’t just use the lunch break to work horses, use this as an opportunity to prepare your body for the long afternoon with nutrients.
  • Battle the mid-day slump with more protein and carbohydrates in your lunch.
  • Preplan your mid-day meals to help make the grab quicker, that way you’re more prone to eat lunch.
    • Pre-made salads allow you the ability to get your veggies and eat fresh, even during hot days.
    • Use multigrain wraps and sandwich bread to make lean sandwiches such as chicken and turkey packed with loads of veggies
    • Be careful with extras like condiments and dressings–a little is enough.

Dinner is Served

  • You might be tempted to celebrate the big win with a big dinner, but be careful with overindulging late at night.
  • If you’re going out to eat, look into splitting your meal with a friend, or order half already packaged to go so you have something for tomorrow (if you have the ability to use a refrigerator), that way you’re not tempting to finish the rather large serving.
  • Choose healthier cooking methods such as grilled, baked, or steamed; avoid breaded and fried

Click on each article for more tips to help stay healthier while on the road. Whether attending a horse show, dog agility trial, or just traveling, these are great tips for everyone!

Thank you Lindsay Livingston, RD, and The Lean Green Bean Blog, for all the great nutrition advice provided for this article series!


Article Series: Healthy Living at Horse Shows

After working on the print article for the Equine Chronicle on “Healthy Living at Horse Shows” I proposed an idea of doing an article series about how to be healthy while on the road for horse shows (or, rather, any event). In doing so, I contacted a favorite health blogger of mine–Lindsay Livingston, who manages The Lean Green Bean Blog. She’s a registered dietician based in Columbus, Ohio, and is also an avid CrossFitter. I love her blog and I love her message–healthy eating and healthy living, while living life.

Growing up going to horse shows I remember mornings supplemented with donuts and orange juice. Not the most balanced meal, lots of sugar, but it was a weekly occurrence. Lunches were whatever we could get at the concession stand, or maybe if someone made a quick trip to a fast food joint. It was because of this that I came up with this article series and I love working with Lindsay.

The first article in the series was on breakfast, and her ideas are much more nutritious than sugary yeast donuts and sugary fruit juices.

The old saying is “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” For some horsemen and women, it’s often the most forgotten part of the day. We’re more concerned with getting our own horses fed and chores done and maybe squeezing in a few rides before the heat of the day. Soon, it’s after noon and your stomach’s grumbling. You realized the last thing you ate was dinner the night before.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, in my opinion,” says Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio, and blogger at The Lean Green Bean. “It kick-starts your metabolism, improves your concentration, gives you energy, and sets the tone for the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but getting some nutritious foods into your body when you wake up is one of the best things you can do for your health.”

The best breakfast is one that has a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to jump-start your day with energy and keep you satisfied until lunch time.

Read the yummy breakfast ideas from Lindsay on the Healthy Horse Show Living: Breakfast Basics

After breakfast comes lunch, which in the horse show world might be greasy burgers and french fries or whatever you could grab to munch real quick before warming up your horse. But Lindsay has helped come up with some nutritious, quick eats that can help give you the energy to compete in the afternoon.

Now, it’s time to focus on the lunch break, and we’re not just talking about using that hour to tack up and ride your horse. It’s also important to take a hint from the show schedule and actually break to eat lunch. This could come in the form of a sandwich you can grab and eat in the saddle or something from the slow cooker at the stalls.

You might think that eating breakfast and skipping lunch will hold you over until the horse show is done for the day and you can pig out on dinner, but that’s not the best practice. “If you skip meals, it’s more likely that you’ll overeat at some point later on,” explains Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio, and blogger at The Lean Green Bean. “If you let yourself get too hungry, you will likely eat too quickly when you do eat, which often leads to overeating because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to your brain that you’re full.”

Again, you want to look for lunches packed with protein and carbohydrates to give you a boost through the mid-day slump.

Try the quick and easy recipes suggested by Lindsay in the rest of the article on Healthy Horse Show Living: Loving the Lunch Break

Photo courtesy Lindsay Livingston, The Lean Green Bean.

Photo courtesy Lindsay Livingston, The Lean Green Bean.

We have a few more to go for the series, but I’m always open to more ideas. What else would you like to see about staying healthy on the road?


Healthy Living at Horse Shows

I love horses. And I love fitness. In case you didn’t know, I’ve run in two half marathons (training for my third now) and am an avid CrossFitter. I’ve always been active, but I’ve gotten more so as I’ve gotten older, and I’m obsessed with following healthy living blogs. So when the opportunity to combine my equine passion with my fitness passion came up for the Equine Chronicle, I jump at the chance to interview two competitors on the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse circuits and see how they attempt to live a healthy lifestyle in a world where fried foods usually reign.

If you’ve ever wondered, can you be a healthy athlete on the road, Melissa Sachs and Erin Shapiro Boatwright have your answer: YES!

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Read the full article on the Equine Chronicle.