The big game is upon us. That means it’s party time! But, you don’t have to totally ditch your diet this year. Why? We give you some healthy options to get you through the game.
Are you ready for some football?
If you’ve ever had a game day party, then you know how important it is to have snacks and good food around the coffee table. Watching the Super Bowl and eating goes hand in hand, that’s for sure. There is nothing quite like having a big plate of wings or nachos to enjoy as you cheer on your favorite team.
Most of the time, our food choices on game day are not quite the healthiest. The USDA reported that the amount of calories consumed during the Super Bowl is second place only to Thanksgiving. But, there are definitely plenty of ways to work around that and save yourself and your guests from calorie overload.
Sure everybody has a cheat meal here and there.
But, the average Super Bowl snack can account for too much of your daily intake of sugar, calories and unhealthy fats. If you don’t watch what you eat, it can quickly get you over your limit. Don’t let the Super Bowl ruin your healthy eating habits.
We have a game plan.
Helpful Hints On How To Eat Health For The Super Bowl
Sometimes it can be hard to control yourself around so much amazing food, especially when you are surrounded by friends and family who like to indulge in all of the yummy things at parties and gatherings. The good news is that there are ways to ensure you do not fall into those traps.
Do not lose sight of your goals – One day of bad eating is definitely not going to ruin everything, but going overboard with it can lead to bigger problems. Focus on your goal. Allow yourself a certain amount of food, beer or whatever else is there and then cut it off.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast – You can make yourself a big veggie omelet, some whole grain toast, add a piece of fruit and maybe a protein shake. This will start your day off healthy, provide you with energy and help you to carry on with a healthy eating day.
Eat another meal just before the game – If you are being invited to a friend’s house and have no control over the snacks, eat something before you go. This will keep you from getting super hungry during the game and prevent you from grabbing anything that’s around you.
Drink more water than beer – Beer is a widely consumed beverage on game day and it’s easy to drink one after another. Reach for water instead, or at least make an effort to alternate between the two to keep your beer drinking to a minimum.
Get in a good workout, even if it is a rest day – Go for a run, bike ride or climb on the elliptical for 45 minutes. It will rev up your metabolism and give you a little wiggle room for such a special day. Doing cardio will still allow you to recover from strength training throughout the week, and it gives you the opportunity to burn off some calories for the day.
Buffalo’s Not Going To The Super Bowl, But Their Wings Are
Yeah, that was a little harsh, but these wings are not going to be harsh on your healthy lifestyle.
With this recipe, you will eliminate most of the added fat calories simply by baking these super delicious buffalo wings.
Boiled And Baked Buffalo Wings
1 lb of chicken wings
1 Tbsp of cayenne pepper
1 Tsp of crushed rep pepper flakes
1 Tbsp of sea salt
½ cup of your favorite hot sauce
Fill a large pot half way with water then add the chicken wings, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for 15 minutes.
Transfer your wings to a large non-stick baking sheet, spread them out evenly and turn the oven to broil. Broil for 15 minutes, then turn the wings and broil another 15 minutes, or to desired crispiness.
Remove the wings from the oven, place them in a large bowl and toss them around in the hot sauce. That’s it!
Now you’re ready to enjoy them.
Nacho Everyday Snack!
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love a good plate of nachos, but just like any other delicious Super Bowl snack, most nachos can pile on the calories quick.
We have a solution to your need for nachos.
Multi-Grain Turkey Nachos With Pico De Gallo
1 bag of your favorite multi-grain tortilla chips
1 cup of shredded cheese (taco blend)
1 lb of ground turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
¼ cup of water
1 can of black beans (drained)
2 jalapenos (diced)
Pico De Gallo Ingredients:
1 large tomato (diced)
1 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tsp lime juice
1 Tsp lemon juice
¼ onion (diced)
1 tsp minced garlic
Brown one pound of ground turkey and add taco seasoning and water. Stir together and simmer for three to five minutes.
Place multi-grain tortilla chips on a large baking sheet. Then add seasoned ground turkey, black beans and cheese. Broil on low for five to seven minutes till cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and sprinkle on diced jalapenos. Mix together all the ingredients for pico de gallo and spoon on top of the nachos, then enjoy!
Mac And Cheese Is Always A Crowd Pleaser
Homemade baked mac and cheese has always been one of my favorites. But if you are trying to skimp on carbs, it is definitely not the way to go. Luckily there is a healthy twist. This is my own personal recipe that I feed my family.
I’m not keeping it a secret any longer.
2 large yellow squashes
1/2 of a head of cauliflower
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 box of whole grain spiral noodles
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash and cauliflower into small chunks, then boil or steam until they are softened. Drain water and add them to a blender with the salt and pepper.
Blend until pureed.
In a large pot, boil noodles until they are fully cooked. Drain. Pour squash and cauliflower blend into a pot on low heat and stir in about ¾ of the cheddar cheese until melted. Toss the mixture together with the noodles, place in a baking dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly on top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. During the last two to three minutes, turn the oven to broil to ensure the top coat of cheese is melted.
The Redskins Will Be There (In Another Form)
Potato skins are a popular Super Bowl treat.
They are just plain delicious!
Try this healthy twist instead.
Healthy Sweet Potato Skins
6 medium sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp of organic extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
2 scallions (thinly sliced)
½ avocado (diced)
1 cup of crushed black bean chips
Move the oven rack to the top position and pre-heat to 350 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until tender (usually 40 to 60 minutes). Let the potatoes cool completely then cut in half, lengthwise. Scoop out most of the flesh with a spoon and leave about ¼ inch border. For the remainder, save for a nice dish of mashed sweet potatoes later on.
Pre-heat the oven once again to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes skin side up on a baking sheet and brush olive oil on each of the skins. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. You could also stop when the skins are slightly browned. Carefully turn the potatoes with a spatula to where they are skin side down. Sprinkle each one with mozzarella and scallions. Bake until the cheese melts (8 to 10 minutes). Remove and top each one with avocado and crushed chips.
Hang Up That Phone!
Don’t Order Pizza.
Pizza is always one of the best foods at a Super Bowl party. It’s convenient, filling and it tastes awesome. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can save all the guilt from delivery and make yourself a healthier alternative with the recipe that follows.
Low Carb Veggie Pizza (Witch Cauliflower Crust)
For the crust-
1 small head of cauliflower, florets removed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp salt
For the toppings-
3 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
½ small red bell pepper (sliced)
1/3 cup broccoli florets
¼ small red onion (sliced)
1/3 cup baby portabella mushrooms (sliced)
¼ cup pizza sauce of your choice (or plain tomato sauce)
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
Put a large baking sheet in the oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees. Place a peace of parchment paper on a cutting board and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
Cut off all the cauliflower florets and place them in a food processor or blender, then pulse until they are the consistency of sand. Place the cauliflower sand in a microwave safe bowl with lid and microwave for about four minutes. Let it cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Trust me, you will burn the crap out of your hands if you don’t.
Put the cauliflower in a clean towel and ring it tight to remove all of the moisture, then place it in a bowl and add cheese, spices and egg and mix well to form a dough ball. Place on parchment paper, cover with another piece and roll it out flat like a normal pizza. Cover the crust in pizza or tomato sauce and all toppings, saving the cheeses for the very top layer then carefully place on hot baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Don’t Forget About The Drinks!
If you’re skipping beer or other forms of alcohol for the Super Bowl, but want something other than water, then you could try any of the following:
Iced tea with lemon – If you like it sweet, try adding stevia instead of sugar.
Homemade no sugar added lemonade – Squeeze two large lemons into a pitcher, add 3 Tbsp of stevia, 2 cups of ice and 5 cups of cold water. Stir well and enjoy.
Healthy soda – Find a natural soda such as Zevia, which contains no artificial sweeteners and no calories.
If you’ve already decided you would like to have a few alcoholic drinks, then try any of these lower calorie choices:
Simple margarita – One shot of tequila, squeeze of lime juice, splash of triple sec, shake it with ice and enjoy!
Vodka and soda – Mix one shot of your favorite vodka with 4oz of club soda and a squeeze of lime.
Whiskey and green tea – Combine one shot of whiskey with a cup of your favorite green tea over ice.
Enjoy the game, eat well, drink good and make sure you cheer hard for the (insert your favorite team name here). Good luck to your team and good luck on eating right the whole way through the game.
Don’t worry about slipping up here and there. We all deserve a treat. It will not reverse all of your hard work if you treat yourself once in a while. Just try to keep it to a minimum and know what’s going on your plate.
By Heather Neff, CPT
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