Nothing tastes better than a cold beverage after a long day in the saddle, on the boat, atop the mountain, or in the yard. Summer barbeques with enough food to feed an army entice our alligator eyes on a weekly basis. That's the great part about summer-we know we're likely to burn off whatever we eat during the following day's plethora of activities to choose from.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not as easy in the winter. Many of us are good enough skiers/riders that we don't burn as many calories as we'd like to think we do because we've become more efficient on the slopes.
That being said, we need to learn how to eat not as much during the winter months, just with more pack to the punch. Start planning for a long session on the slopes the day before.
Prepare a wholesome dinner with a lean protein of chicken, fish, or tofu and beans, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa or whole-wheat pasta, and an ample serving of fruits and/or veggies. Complete the meal with a "healthy" fat such as avocado, olive oil (to sauté veggies with) or nuts.
A lean protein will ensure energy provided to your muscles. Whole grains provide our body with long-term energy and stave off hunger. Fruits and veggies are our quick go-to energy for the blood, and healthy fats comprised of mono and polyunsaturated fats, rather than saturated animal fats, keep us full longer.
They also lubricate our joints and polish our brain cells. Finish your meal by 8:30 p.m. at the very latest in order to give your body time to digest your food and turn it into fuel for the next morning and day ahead.
Energy bars can be fine for a snack, but they never can replace a meal. Eating right makes all the difference in the world when you're putting your body to the test during your first days of skiing/riding.
Click here for an in-depth explanation of healthy eating from a Ph.D. nutritionist.