With so much of our time spent indoors, being outdoors can be beneficial for concentration, stress levels and boost your creativity.
There are many benefits to being outdoors, with lots of research undertaken to prove the point, including reducing your heart rate, blood pressure, lowering stress hormones and relaxing muscle tension.
Spending quality time outdoors can also boost your attention, memory and concentration as you are distracted by what naturally surrounds you, not 100 app notifications all pinging at once.
With so much time spent indoors and lots of appeal brought by things like social media, computer games which can all be linked to increased anxiety and depressions, its fairly obvious why time spent outside is good food for the mind, body and soul.
Think of eating say your lunch or dinner, not just purely having lunch or dinner. Think of the whole experience (and then rewards!) that making it an activity can bring to you or your family. It can be an event. It could be an adventure. Make it more than just meal-time and you will benefit from a change in daily routine and the joys that mother nature has to offer including a boost of your Vitamin D levels.
Eating outdoors offers a chance to slow down. To not feel rushed into normal routine of cook, eat, sleep. Instead, enjoy a walk to your favourite location, chat with your mates as you set up your eating area and maybe, just maybe, enjoy a tipple of your favourite drink as you prepare the meal.
Eating out in winter and early spring can bring its own challenges with the changeable weather, but if you’re dressed for it, it doesn’t have to be an overly cumbersome task. We recently invested in a warm and waterproof ground sheet, a tarp to be strung overhead and used our old tent pegs to string up a dry canopy in the forest to enjoy some winter lunches with the kids.
If you have children, involve them in the planning of your alfresco meal. Talk about the weather and what clothing or cover you may need to consider packing to make it more enjoyable. And ask them what their favourite meal to eat outside might be.
The easiest meals outside are ones that you’ve preprepared.
If you’re eating outdoors for the first time, preparing something you can put in your favourite Tupper wear and dish out easily makes for a quick win or making something you can heat up really easily over a pan for a quick win. Think about things like hearty vegetable soups (minestrone is a winner in our family) or even pizza cooked earlier that day can offer enough fuel to keep your adventure going but if you’re a bit more experienced and happy to spend the time cooking up a mini feast, there are a plethora of YouTube instructions on what to cook.
Fell foodie is one of our go to Youtube channels for inspiration on what to cook outside. Have a look at some of his amazing creations including Biryani outdoors or even a full English breakfast.
Watch his channel here
Cooking pancakes in the outside
Have you been enjoying eating outside? Share your favourite meals, recipes or locations by tagging us on Instagram @beoutsidebeactive
Want more inspiration like this? Then come along to the National Outdoors Expo on the 19-20 March at the NEC Birmingham.
Free ticket code - use the word OUTSIDE at checkout here