Super Bowl Nutrition: Health & Football can come together!
Hi everyone! Just a few notes about the Super Bowl as many of us prep for the big game day. So often I hear from patients that the Super Bowl party is a ‘cheat’ day (hopefully you know my perspective on ‘cheat days’ by now!), and I actually have the most patient cancellations the day after the Super Bowl from remorse and fear of the damage they just did.
I believe this to be completely avoidable and within our control. I do think we can have fun, enjoy some good food, and not compromise our health and nutrition goals. Here are some tips for the big game viewing:
- Don’t arrive starving. If you are overly hungry, you will overeat. Have a good protein + carb snack beforehand. You can modify what you eat during the day to accommodate a larger-than-normal evening calorie intake, but don’t restrict all day and end up starving. This is a recipe for disaster.
- See all that you eat: plate your food! Don’t eat chips, wings, etc. out of the basket/bowl/bag (definitely NOT the bag). Put everything you want to eat on a plate first. Research shows when we see all that we eat, this gives us feedback that helps moderate our intake.
- Don’t place yourself right next to the food. In fact, sit as far away as you can. Research shows the closer we are, the more we eat.
- Track it. ALL. Seriously. It’s okay to acknowledge it might be more than what you normally eat, but tracking gives us some accountability for our actions, and this is a good thing.
- Think about the plate method – proportions may not be perfect, but still try to get some veggies in there (with a dip, for example, instead of using chips – dip carrots in guac instead of tortilla chips); have some protein, and if there are any whole grains go for those (Food Should Taste Good brand and other multigrain tortilla chips aren’t so bad…)
- Drinks. Moderation is good. I recommend setting a goal for alcohol consumption ahead of time. Have a game plan. You decide what that is for you – 1-2 drinks per women, 2-3 per men might be a reasonable and moderate goal – but plan it out ahead of time. Remember, the more you drink, the more you’re likely to eat, and the less healthy you are likely to eat. Yikes.
- Bring a moderately healthy snack/side dish to share. While Super Bowls have a reputation for being notoriously unhealthy, you might be surprised how many others will appreciate healthier options as well. Here are some recipe ideas that might be helpful:
- Sweet potato skins with guacamole: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/256970/sweet-potato-skins-with-guacamole/
- For those of you who eat large amounts of guac, here’s a great way to ‘lighten’ it up, and it’s super tasty: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250474/skinny-guacamole/
- Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower bites: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251316/sriracha-buffalo-cauliflower-bites/. Note: ‘Bolthouse Farms’ makes an excellent Greek yogurt based blue cheese dressing that would be great to dip these in!
- Slow cooker enchilada dip: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251429/slow-cooker-chicken-enchilada-dip/
- Having a good chili recipe is key – it can be really healthy, a good source of protein, and so is filling to help prevent filling up on other less-health snacks. Here’s one I like but many chili recipes work: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/256456/chili-topped-sweet-potatoes/
- Whole Food’s 8 layer Mediterranean dip. Heavenly: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/eight-layer-mediterranean-dip
- Shrimp is another great lean protein to have around, is relatively low cal, and gives us some great omega 3’s! Try this ginger an garlic shrimp recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ginger-garlic-shrimp-tangy-tomato-sauce
- Healthier version of Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/hot-artichoke-spinach-dip-recipe.html
- Lightened up Asian Turkey Sliders: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/lightened-up-asian-turkey-sliders.html
- 5 minute hummus – serve with veggies and toasted pita triangles: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/five-minute-hummus-recipe
- My favorite – taco bar: shredded chicken (2 jars of Trader Joes Salsa Verde/Green Salsa + ~6-7 chicken breasts in the slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours, shred chicken and put back in slow cooker to keep warm. That’s IT), lighter guacamole (above), Whole Food’s refried beans (or make your own, but this makes it easy), fresh pico de gallo, corn and/or whole wheat tortillas, shredded cabbage (or I love this fresh cabbage slaw recipe: http://livesimply.me/2016/03/02/cilantro-lime-coleslaw-for-tacos-sandwiches-or-a-side-salad/) – super yummy, protein packed, great way to get lots of veggies. Can’t go wrong.
- Chicken wings! Can’t go wrong with these staples, with a healthy twist of course: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sticky-asian-chicken-wings
- Cauliflower nachos – try these veggie-packed versions of a superbowl staple: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/261425/cauliflower-nachos/
There you have it. Let me know how it goes! Let’s see if we can have a great night AND feel great to train in the morning!