So let me start by saying that I am terrible at going to the beach. Here are a few reasons why:

1.) I am one of those scaredy cats who does not like to go in the water above my ankles. I don’t care how devilishly handsome or persuasive or clever you think are—this is not ever going to change. I do not respond well to being picked up and dangled.

2.) I am ghost-white and just don’t give a f*** about cultivating a tan.  Getting suspicious moles cut out of my body sucks way more than being pale.

3.) I always seem to bring the wrong reading material. I get ambitious and bring, say, a copy of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics instead of a novel. Note to self: the beach is not a place to catch up on your to-do list.

DSC02913 300x225 - What to throw in your beach bag

Doing it right back it 2010

That said, I do like the beach. I just don’t like dealing with other people’s Jess at the Beach expectations. One thing I’m good at, though, is snacks.

If you’ve got a cooler in tow, go nuts and throw in all the water, sandwiches, salads, and whatever the edible f*** you want. For those of you tossing your stuff in a canvas bag and catching the LIRR out to Long Beach or wherever, here are some heat-proof things to pack:

  • Dry-roasted edamame, nuts and/or seeds. Add a tbsp of dried fruit and call it trail mix.
  • Fruit—bananas and oranges, (anything with a peel) travel especially well.
  • Turkey jerky (or vegetarian versions like Primal Strips)
  • Bars that do not involve chocolate. Look for low-sugar varieties with a short ingredients list that have at least 4 grams of fiber and protein. Larabars and KIND bars tend to be pretty safe. You can even make your own at home in a food processor using nuts and dried fruit.
  • High-fiber crackers.

Before you go, scope out nearby grocery stores or restaurants to see if there are real-food lunch and/or dinner options available—or how many miles you have to walk to get a lobster. Not that I’ve ever walked a great distance for lobster before or anything…

IMG 3025 300x300 - What to throw in your beach bagWe all make rookie mistakes.

Do you like the beach? What are some of your favorite beach eats?