10 Steps to a Healthier Super Bowl

Wow. It was crazy.  We went to the grocery store twice today (forgot 3 things!) and both trips were the same.  It was just like the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Aisles were jammed with unsmiling people and their carts at all angles. I watched a little boy reaching for a can of Pringles on the end-cap display saying, "But it's the Super Bowl tomorrow, Mommy.  We need these." And into her cart they went. There was lots of that going on. And the check out lines...so incredibly long.  Patience was the name of the game today. But tomorrow's game is the big one. From the looks of all the bags of chips and boxes of beer in the shopping carts, we need to get our game plan ready!

Maybe you're one of the ones excited to watch the football game.  Maybe you just love watching all the new commercials or even the Puppy Bowl.  But one thing is certain:  we ALL love chowing down the chips and other nibblies at home or during the parties as we sit around the big screen TV's. It's time to get your head in the game if you don't want to end up feeling stuffed and sluggish tomorrow.

10 Steps to a Healthier Super Bowl:

  1. Eat a good, healthy breakfast and lunch.  This helps keep your blood sugar level steady all day. Don't even think about skipping meals to save room for the party food.  When you get too hungry, most of us lose control of our eating choices.
  2. Drink water throughout the day.  Stay well hydrated. 
  3. Get your walk or workout in before the game.  Burn a few calories, zip up your energy level and feel good about yourself.
  4. Before the game, have a healthy snack.  Grab a yogurt, an apple or a banana with a little peanut butter.  This fills up your tummy and gets that blood sugar to a good place before you are faced with the chips.
  5. Provide some Healthy Food Choices. Whether the party is at your house or at a friend's, be proactive.  If you are going to someone's home, surprise them by bringing a healthy tray or two:                      
  • Veggie tray with low fat dip. Try carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, cucumber, olives and grape tomatoes. For easy dips, start with plain Greek yogurt as a base and stir in powdered ranch dressing or onion soup mix (go light on the mixes as they are high in sodium.) Or be creative and try mixing the yogurt with fresh dill, basil, minced garlic or whatever sounds good to you.  
  • Salsa.  Serve a variety of flavors for fun and they count as a veggie!
  • Fresh fruit kabobs with pineapple, grapes, strawberries or kiwi stuck on toothpicks. Make sure to make LOTS of these and watch them disappear.
  • Hot bean dip:  One can fat-free refried beans mixed with 1 cup of salsa.  Nuke  until hot. (I love the black bean refried beans.) Serve it with tortilla chips and veggie sticks.
  • Baked tortilla chips are a great whole grain choice.  Grab your favorite or make your own:
    1. Cut corn tortillas into 6 wedges and place on cookie sheet.
    2. Lightly brush with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.
    3. Sprinkle lightly with salt (sea salt if fun to use.) Use a little chili powder, cumin, garlic powder or seasoned salt, if desired.
    4. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes. Turn and bake another 7 minutes or until lightly brown.
    1. On a platter, spread 1 can of fat-free refried beans.
    2. Mix 8 oz of Greek yogurt with 1/2 package of Taco Seasoning.  Spread on top of beans.
    3. Top with shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes, sliced black olives, diced avocado (toss with a little lemon or lime juice first), and drained green chilies, if desired.
    4. Sprinkle a little reduced fat cheddar cheese on top. 
  • Hummus and Whole Grain Pita Bread.
  • A case of chilled bottled water. Just leave it outside to get cold!
  1. Sit out of arm's reach from the "Danger Bowls" that are filled chips or other less nutrient dense nibblies that encourage mindless eating. Sit closer to the fruits and veggies.
  2. Have a glass or bottle of water with you at all times.  This keeps one hand occupied and less likely to reach for food, and keeps you well hydrated.  Grab 2 bottles and hold one in each hand if you really can seem to stop the drive to nibble. 
  3. Eat Mindfully. Plan your eating strategy and try to stick with it. Perhaps you'll plan on filling your plate only once for each half of the game or once for the entire game. Or, maybe you'll stay with the veggies and fruits during the game and fill your plate with your other choices during half time.  
  4. Chew gum while you watch the game if you have trouble with mindless eating.
  5. Alternate your light beer or other alcohol choice with a non-caloric beverage to minimize empty calories, maximize hydration and keep your head in the game better so you can remember to make healthy choices.
  6. Think about how much better you'll feel about yourself if you exercise, choose health foods and stay in control of your food this Super Bowl Sunday...

    Your mantra of the day:  The first bite tastes the same as the last!  

    Fire UP!  You Can Do This!