5 secrets to eating (reasonably) well at CCMF

Woman eating hot dog

The temptations are everywhere. From corn dogs to deep-fried Oreos, eating healthy at events like the Carolina Country Music Fest can seem nearly impossible.
But you can have a great time without completely sacrificing your diet, says Jamie Kandora, clinical nutrition manager for Tidelands Health. With a little forethought, it’s not as difficult as you might think.
Here are Kandora’s recommendations:

Stay hydrated

Be sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated throughout the duration the day. Listen to your body’s signals and sip water throughout the day. By staying properly hydrated, you’ll help keep up your energy levels, and water can also help make you feel more full and reduce the amount of food you eat at the event.

Eat beforehand

Although you can’t take food or snacks with you inside the venue, festivalgoers are allowed to leave and return when wearing an official festival wristband. That means you can leave and grab food from your car if it’s nearby. Consider bringing a cooler of nutritious food to fuel your fun.

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It’s also important to eat a healthful and balanced meal before you arrive. Good options include lean proteins, whole-grain carbohydrates, leafy greens and healthy fats in the form of nuts and avocados.
There are practical reasons to fill up on these foods. First, it takes your body longer to break down whole grains. That means you will have energy for much longer than if you only consume simple carbs like pasta, cereals and white bread. Lean proteins are low in fat, which can help you avoid stomach discomfort once you start dancing, and also help maintain a feeling of fullness.

Snack, Don't Gorge

In all likelihood, you’ll be spending between eight and 10 hours at the festival. Try to pace your eating. Instead of gulping down one large meal, eat snacks every three to four hours. Be sure to include a good variety of foods, including proteins, carbs and veggies and fruits that give your body the nutrients it needs to keep going.

Seek Better Options Early

When you arrive at the venue, scope out the food vendors before you become hungry. That way, when you need a snack or meal, you’ll know where to go to find the healthiest options.

Have fun

Your primary goal at Carolina Country Music Fest is fun. So don’t get so wrapped up in watching what you eat that you forget to enjoy yourself.
It’s perfectly OK if you give in to temptation every once a while and eat a few more calories than you should. As long as you’re eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly in your day-to-day life, a few indiscretions during a day of fun won’t have a lasting impact on your health.

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