It’s that time of year again. Calgary restaurants and shops have hay bales in their doorways, locals have swapped their business attire for plaid and the smell of pancakes fills the air!

Yes, it’s the Calgary Stampede: 10 days of country music, cowboy boots and endless pancake breakfasts. And most of them are free!

Your Health-Conscious Eating Guide to the Stampede

We all love Stampede season in Calgary, but it’s important not to forget about your health as you throw yourself into the festivities. Here are some tips for staying health-conscious through your Stampede Breakfasts, whether you’re taking the kids out for a quick bite or are part of a workplace pancake eating challenge!

(1) Plan ahead and consider your dietary requirements

A Stampede Breakfast doesn’t have to be laden with sugar and a threat to your arteries. There are plenty of delicious, healthy options available. When choosing the best breakfast, look for:

  • whole fruit to boost your fibre
  • whole-grain barley pancakes, as whole grains support better heart health and have blood-pressure-friendly potassium and fibre
  • smoothies as a healthier alternative to a plate of pancakes

Keep in mind that ‘free’ often doesn’t equal healthy (at least during Stampede) and shouldn’t be the only reason to indulge in cheap, processed, fat and sugar-laden foods.

TIP: Check out the official Stampede Breakfast Guide to help you plan your ‘pancake hopping’ around your health, dietary requirements (there are options if you’re vegan or gluten-free) as well as the entertainment you want with your morning feast. 

(2) Eat slowly and don’t fill up your plate

When conquering your Stampede Breakfast, our team of INLIV fitness trainers recommends eating slowly and not filling up your entire plate. It takes a while for your brain to catch up with your stomach, so eating slowly and sipping water between bites will help you stop before you overdo it. Also, limit your unhealthy choices. Drizzle your maple syrup rather than slather it, and if you’ve had a few pancakes already, then skip the fried potatoes!

(3) Get some exercise

From the suburbs to Stephen Ave, a sizzling griddle is never far away. That doesn’t mean you should attend whatever’s closest. Take a ten-minute walk with your coworkers or hit the bike paths with your kids to burn off some energy before eating at a gathering a little further away.

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Jamie graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics and was student athletic therapist for two years with the women’s basketball team. She grew up playing a wide range of sports, with hockey being the most prominent and a sport she still plays…

Jamie Guislain, INLIV’s Fitness Manager