Welcome to Music Festival Tuesdays, good groupies! Last year I wrote this post about why I’m not much of a music festival gal and decided to opt out of summer festivals all together. (Er, except for Gentlemen of the Road…) They’re expensive, it’s hot (I wilt) and generally? I just don’t have that much fun. I’d rather wait for the bands I love to come back through town on tour than sweat it out with 70,000 of my closest friends at a park in the dead of summer.
But with the Center of the Universe Festival on my concert calendar and an okay experience at GOTR last summer, I decided maybe it’s not that I don’t do music festivals…maybe I just need to be smarter about how I do them.
So let’s take a pledge for the summer of 2014: let’s promise to do music festivals smarter. Let’s do more than grab a ticket, show up and hope for the best. Let’s plan to make it awesome.
How? I asked a few blogging pals to help me share some tips over the next four Tuesdays for how we can all do music festivals smarter this year. Eating better, beauty, fashion & packing in as much music as possible…over the next month, you’ll get tips on all these and more when you visit The Good Groupie on Tuesdays. To kick things off, I’ve invited my new blogging gal pal Claire to share her tips for fueling your body for the maximum music enjoyment.
By Claire Suellentrop
Eat Well. Party Hard.
First things first: no one attends a music festival with the purpose of getting in shape.
“Time for Bonnaroo! I can’t wait to start each day with a four-mile run at the crack of dawn!” said none of us, ever.
Music festivals are the notoriously perfect place to permanently damage our eardrums, eat wacky food and probably drink too much—and love every minute of it. And there’s nothing wrong with indulging in those pursuits from time to time! After all, what’s life without a little recklessness?
But if you’re gearing up for a summer of festival-hopping (power to ya!), then a three-month span of nutrient-free food + beverages, coupled with the intensity of festival life (sweltering heat, endless walking and standing, minimal kitchen time) will wreak serious havoc on your health—in some minor ways like weight gain or exhaustion, and potentially in some major ones—like dehydration or alcohol poisoning.
I once heard someone say she approaches festivals like a warrior—if her aim is to stay strong, awake and dancing from 11 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. for 3-4 days in a row, she’d better fuel her body the best she can to make sure that happens. After all, who wants to miss music because they’re too tired or hungry to enjoy it?
Here’s how to conquer your next music festival like a warrior while still having a blast and not fretting about calorie-counting. Because no one has time for that when there are four straight days of jammin’ to get through.
1. Survey the battlefield.
As soon as you’ve set up camp or checked into your hotel room, get to the festival grounds for a quick tour of the food offerings. Though they’ll probably all be wildly overpriced and mostly full of empty calories, choose one or two that look amazing—money and nutrition be damned. Make it a point to guiltlessly enjoy something from these places once during the fest. Eating “perfectly” over the next few days won’t feel like a positive, healthy choice if you’re militant about it; what’s far more important (and fun!) is balance.
Once you’ve identified what treats you’ll get to enjoy, establishing a healthy pattern for the rest of your meals will be way less stressful.
2. If you can bring a cooler, start each morning with a (frozen) smoothie.
I could sing the praises of smoothies for daaays. Basically the garbage disposal of healthy eating, it’s tough to come up with an easier way to ensure that you get all the produce you need without having to pack a ton of cooking equipment.
Here’s the best smoothie formula I’ve ever found. A few days before the fest, make one smoothie for each morning you’ll be there, then freeze it in a BPA-free bottle or a Lock n’ Lock container (don’t fill them up all the way, as the smoothies will expand). Pack them up in a cooler with those blue freeze packs, and you’re good to go. Keep the cooler closed at all other times, and you should only have to buy ice once, about midway through the festival. Bonus points if you take a multivitamin each morning, as well!
3. Sneak in as many seeds + nuts + fruits as possible.
You’re gonna be walking, standing, dancing and generally trying to survive in extreme temperatures for hours at a time—dude, you’re gonna need some nutrient-dense calories. And refined flours and/or sugars won’t give ‘em to you. Small, non-liquid snacks like raw nuts + seeds, dried fruit (no sugar added, please) or energy bars are relatively easy to get past security, and they’ll keep you going way longer than a funnel cake will. I’m a big fan of LARABARS and have heard good things about Moms in the Raw snack mix, too.
4. Go crazy with canned goods.
Though higher in sodium* than fresh alternatives, canned foods will pack a ton of nutrients without requiring refrigeration. My survival trick? Mix a can of beans with a jar of salsa, then toss in a few chopped raw veggies (kept fresh in the cooler with your smoothies)—instantly filling soup! Enjoy with sprouted tortillas or with quick-cooking brown rice if you have access to a stove or campfire.
*Be sure to read ingredient lists before making any purchases, and opt for “no salt added” options wherever possible.
5. Finally: HAVE FUN.
This is an adventure, and adventures get crazy. You’ll be making memories and probably doing things you’d never do at home and, at some point, you may just break down and order the $15 cactus tacos because hey, they smell delicious.
Don’t sweat it. Just as one salad won’t make you healthy, one indulgence won’t wreck you. Keep your water bottle filled, wear your sunscreen and relax. You’ve been waiting all winter for this.
Claire Suellentrop helps professionals in music (and other creative industries) reclaim their health + sanity at Eat Well. Party Hard. As a health coach who’s passionate about creating opportunities for people to grow and thrive, she believes eating well + having a really good time need not be mutually exclusive. Her ebook, Killer Confidence: Anywhere + At Any Weight, is available (for free!) right here.
More posts in this series:
How to do beauty smarter at music festivals
How to good groupie it up smarter at music festivals
How to dress smarter at music festivals
How to travel smarter to music festivals