Updated: Jul 23, 2019
I remember when I was a kid, our family used to love going for picnics in the park. But today in the age of smart phones and Netflix, picnics have largely fallen out of fashion.
This is particularly unfortunate given the many benefits of picnics beyond a full stomach. Picnics can make you happier, healthier, fitter, more centred and better focused. Best of all, they cost almost nothing!
But to get all these benefits I recommend a modern take on the picnic. Combine it with a walk, a hike or a bike ride. It doesn’t have to be long, a half hour will do. And make sure your food choices are healthy.
Research suggests that half an hour of exercise, 3 times a week decreases depression, improves your physical and mental health and cognitive performance. Eating healthy and being close to nature will also help you be more mindful. Research also suggests that experiences will bring you more happiness than stuff, so don’t picnic alone! Bring your partner, family, kids or friends.
Start by choosing a park. For Montrealers there are so many great choices. Here are a few ideas:
· Mont Royal Park
· Angrignon Park (LaSalle)
· Along the St-Lawrence River (LaSalle/ Verdun)
· Banks of Lac St-Louis (Lachine)
· Nun’s Island
· Ile Bizarre
· Rene Levesque Park (Lachine)
· Mont St-Hilaire
· Mont St-Bruno
· Iles de Boucherville
· Eastern Townships
Before you pack your lunch, why not start by visiting your local market to buy fresh produce. If you have kids, involve them in the process. Try using Mason style jars to pack your salads in. Share the load between you and your kids, partner…. Or start with your walk and leave your picnic in the car until you’re done. Many of the places mentioned above can be combined with a BBQ. Here are some ideas of what to pack:
Overnight oat jars
Nuts and seeds
Meat or fish for the BBQ or vegan equivalent
Sandwich on whole grain bread (avoid cold cuts and opt for hummus, chicken breast or get creative)
Bring water/flavoured water/ juice (avoid sugary drinks)
For another fresh twist on the traditional picnic, try a picnic breakfast or dinner. Enjoy your experience and let me know how it went!
Check back for picnic recipes.
For all your picnic accessories, visit LeShop