I am finally back with another post, I know I didn’t get a post up last week, but things are crazy right now with golf, pursuing my Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition, work, the blog, and everything else life wants to throw my way. At the end of the day, I welcome it all and do what I can.
My golf posts seem to be very popular right now on the blog, and that’s probably due to the fact that golf season is ramping up all over the place. The weather is nice, the mini tours are fully up and running and people just can’t escape golf fever. I know I can’t. On that note I thought I would put a quick post together on staying properly fuelled with healthy snacks during your rounds of golf.
For those of you that follow the blog, you know I am a big proponent of an ancestral style diet such as Weston A. Price, Paleo, caveman, primal, whole 30, bulletproof, etc. All the listed approaches really just hold a different part of the spectrum of an ancestral diet. This post will not be a post providing evidence as to why an ancestral approach is arguably ideal as I and many others have done this before (Gluten, Gluten, Saturated Fat, Neurodegeneration), it will simply provide some great ideas for healthy snacks for your round of golf…So here we go
Healthy Snacks – The Ugly
Normally when you ask someone what snacks they have during a round of golf, their responses will be littered with processed foods like sugary chocolate bars, protein bars, hot dogs, muffins, chips, candy, soda, etc. Unfortunately, the majority of these processed foods are all very high glycemic index foods, meaning they cause a quick increase in blood sugar followed by a blood sugar crash. This leads to rising and falling energy levels through your round of golf, not what you need. You need sustained, consistent, focused energy to perform at your peak for the whole round, not too mention the havoc this type of food plays on your metabolism…diabetes, obesity, or Alzheimer’s anyone?
Regarding general health, all those processed foods also contain bunches of chemical foods additives for colour, flavour, and shelf life. Therefore, the very first step in moving towards eating healthy snacks during your round is avoiding processed high sugar foods at all costs, they will sabotage your round and destroy your health all at once.
Healthy Snacks – Preparation
At the end of the day, I can suggest all of the healthy options in the world for your round, but if you do not prepare ahead of time you will not be successful. So, the second step to eating healthy snacks for your round of golf is coming to terms with the fact that you will have to think about what you will bring with you prior to the time you have to leave the house. This means you might actually have to prepare something the night before you play. That’s right everyone, no more rolling out of bed 10 minutes before you have to leave 🙁 (well unless you prepared your snacks the night before). Trust me, the simple fact that you will feel better on the course will be worth the prep time.
Healthy Snacks – Food
Bacon – I love bacon, but I am very picky with it and I suggest you are also. If you cannot source high quality organic, hormone free, and free range bacon I would not suggest this as a healthy snack. Otherwise, here is how I do it. I either cook a batch of bacon the night before my round or go to whole foods and buy the bacon from their breakfast buffet. Put it in a ziplock bag or container of your choice and through it in the cooler pocket of your golf bag…eat it cold on the course when you get the urge. This is also a good conversation starter on the course.
Jerky of all Kinds – Beef, pork, salmon, chicken, etc. Be my guest and choose your favourite. However, the caveat here is that the product needs to be at least gluten free (so no soya sauce), and as with bacon, it would be best to get grass-fed, organic beef; organic, pastured chicken and pork; and wild salmon, otherwise it will not be as healthy for you.
Raw Veggies – Can’t go wrong here. Carrots, broccoli, cucumber, jicama, take your pick. I would advise against using a dip unless you make your own, the only problem is that it can get messy and a bit difficult to eat out on the course with dip.
Fruit – Another great option for a safe dose of carbs during your round. Although don’t go too crazy on fruit, one or two pieces should do you just fine without providing too much of a sugar rush/crash.
Hard Boiled Eggs – This is definitely a nutrient packed healthy snack full of protein, healthy fat, and vitamins. Source free range/pastured organic eggs and don’t overcook the yolks, if they are still slightly soft that is best. Over cooking can damage some of the sensitive nutrients in the yolk.
Baked Sweet Potato – Getting the craving for some same carbohydrates, why not cook up a baked potato the night before your round. Just put it in the container of your choice and eat it with your bare hands or a disposable fork. To reduce the overall glycemic index of the sweet potato, eat it along with some of your bacon, or put some butter or olive oil on it when you pack it up.
Nuts – Another great nutrient dense snack here. However, don’t go too crazy on them as some people can have a difficult time digesting them. Remember stick with raw to lightly roasted and stay away from flavoured brands as they always contain crap like canola oil :-(. On that note, do not eat nuts if they have added oil in them as the oil is almost always industrial seed oil that is high in unstable omega 6 fats.
Dark chocolate – A great option to provide some mental stimulation and healthy fat. Just make sure you stick to a high quality brand with very minimal ingredients and no less than 70% cocoa, otherwise it will contain too much sugar.
Plantain chips – I love plantain chips! They are definitely a processed food and I would not suggest having them all the time, but for a nice treat every now and then they are great. Try and find a brand that only contains plantains, salt, and palm oil so you won’t be eating rancid/oxidized fats and chemical additives in seasoning mixes.
Healthy Snacks – Drinks
Water – By far the most important drink to consume. Drink plenty of it especially when it is a hot sunny day.
**DO NOT DRINK SPORT DRINKS** – They contain too much sugar and other chemical additives!
Coffee – Iced or hot, this is a great option to provide a bit of an energy boost, just make sure you aren’t dosing the coffee with any sugar or you fully negate any energy benefit it may have.
Yerba Mate – Don’t like coffee but want a similar energy boost, or maybe an even better one as it is said to be more of a sustained buzz? Yerba Mate is your choice. This drink is great iced or hot, just make sure you aren’t dosing it with sugar
Guayusa Tea – Same here as it is Mate and Coffee, great sustained energy boost but do not add sugar. This guy also contains 2x’s the antioxidants as green tea!
Unsweetened Iced Tea – same as with the above, drink away.
MCT Oil – If you want an even greater sustained energy boost than what you can experience with coffee, yerba mate and guayusa alone, just add a tablespoon or 2 of a high quality MCT oil to your hot drink. It can even be added to a drink that is just below room temperature and it will stay liquid. MCT oil is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly and is used for energy by all our cells. Interestingly, it also produces ketone bodies which our brain uses very efficiently for fuel. This means that the combination of the nervous system stimulants in the above drinks and the the efficient brain fuel of MCT should give you a solid level of sustained energy and mental focus. Personally I find this works for me, but you can be the judge for yourself.
I hope this post has provided you with some great ideas to stay fuelled and healthy out there on the course…Play well!
The Barefoot Golfer