“Healthy” and “Mardi Gras” are not often found in the same sentence. However, it CAN be done. The key is packing the appropriate snacks, hydration, and taking these few health tips when preparing to go to parades. Here is my best advice:
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Parades are LONG, people. It’s not just the parade itself, it’s the tailgating and walking you do hours before the parade even starts.
Tip 1: Comfortable walking shoes.
Tip 2: A rolling cooler. Unless you are going to some awesome parade-watching spot that is roped off and serving food, you are providing your own food. Once you get to your parade-watching spot, you won’t want to leave to go search for a food cart or food truck. You will need to hang onto your spot and your cooler is how you are going to eat and drink.
Tip 3: Plenty of water. It may weigh your cooler down at first, but hey, all the incentive to drink it faster! Just have a spot mapped out to use the restroom. People often pay a buck or two to use porta-potties, visit a friend’s house, use restaurants or shops when they allow it.
Tip 4: Plenty of healthy snacks. You want food that is going to keep your energy up so you can scream and shout and jump all parade long. Think portable things like, fruits, veggies, greek yogurts with plastic spoons, low sugar protein bars, and nuts. Having healthy snacks until your next solid meal will help you not walk into a restaurant completely ravenous and grabbing at the nearest beignet in sight.
Tip 5: Plan out your meals. If you know you are hitting a great restaurant on the way there or back from the parade, make it your “treat meal” of the week and enjoy yourself. Use the snacks to hold you over when necessary.
Tip 6: Obviously a huge part of the Mardi Gras culture is having a beverage here and there. Daiquiris are a HUGE must-have drink to take to parades. You can get a whole gallon from a drive-thru daquiri spot or food truck and keep it in your cooler or just get an XL cup and it should last you for awhile. These are not healthy whatsoever, so it would be a total treat. If you are looking for something lighter, stick to light beer or even wine on the parade route. Nothing says a party like wine in a plastic cup. They make cute travel cups for that now.
These tips just breach the surface – stay tuned for more!
About the Blogger:
Shannon Gagnon is the healthy recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer behind Crawfish & Crunches. She often shares health tips and southern recipes that she turns slightly healthier. On her blog you can find just what the tagline says, “Realistic recipes, rich southern culture, and health conscious habits.”
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