Thursday, January 27, 2011

Super Bowl – Keep the battle on the gridiron and off of the bulge

It Super Bowl time and many of us will be spending that illustrious first Sunday in February in front of the TV or at a bar watching the big game.  It is a fun day and it’s certainly worth a party.  Whether you are planning a party, attending one, hitting up a local bar, or watching it at home with your family, you can enjoy the game day spread without spreading your waistline!  I am devoting today’s entry to providing you with your game plan to combat the beer belly and still have fun:
  • If you order pizza, go for thin crust and order extra veggies rather than extra cheese.  If you eat a few slices of thin crust with extra veggies rather than thick crust with extra cheese, you could save hundreds of calories and lots of saturated fat!  Also, when ordering meat on your pizza, opt for Canadian bacon rather than pepperoni.  Even ground beef is a better choice than Italian sausage.  Anything that comes in a “link” will have way too many fillers and unwanted fat.  Or, make your own pizza with a bought crust (you can now find whole-wheat), fresh veggies, lean meats, and low fat cheese – you can buy 2% cheese and save a lot of fat, but it still tastes great and mozzarella is one of the lowest fat cheeses you can buy.
  • Try to avoid the hot wings.  Not only are they fatty meat, but they are deep fried, then dunked in butter and hot sauce.  An order of hot wings with bleu cheese dressing could load you up on more than a day’s worth of fat and calories.  For those of you who cook, or if a family member does, you can make your own hot wings or chicken fingers.  Simply bake them in the oven rather than deep frying them.  Marinate chicken fingers in hot sauce and buttermilk (or yogurt) for a few hours, coat chicken in whole wheat bread crumbs (or even crushed bran flakes or ground almonds), and bake on a baking sheet on high heat. 
  • Substitute ground turkey for beef in chili or nachos – with so many other flavors and ingredients, you won't even notice a difference. 
  • Go for salsa (tomatoes provide powerful antioxidants) or hummus rather than creamy sour cream or mayonnaise based dips.  Also, baked tortilla chips or whole wheat pita chip are actually heartier than fried tortilla chips and are much lower is saturated fat.  Whole wheat pita chips even offer you a serving of whole grains.  Also, use celery, carrots, or any other crunchy veggie as a dipper. 
  • If you do prefer the creamy dips, substitute low fat yogurt or sour cream for the full fat mayonnaise or sour cream.  It’s a very simple substitution and one that you will never notice. 
  • Opt for light beer rather than red label, MGD, or other high calorie beers.  And make sure you drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you down.  A recent report found that men who drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day have lower levels of testosterone than those who drink two or less.  C’mon…are a few beers every day worth losing your manly testosterone…seriously…think about it. 
  • If you are looking for simple munchies that you can reach for during the game, light popcorn is an excellent choice.  You can add flavor to the light popcorn by sprinkling on some chili powder, cumin, or even cinnamon.  Also, unsalted roasted almonds and walnuts are great for snacking.  Just limit yourself to about a handful each day.  Make sure you stay away from packaged cookies and fattening sweets – have fresh fruit and bite-size dark chocolates to nibble on.
I know you’ll do great and have an awesome day.  I encourage you to make your own food – it’s the only way you can control the quality of products you and your family & friends eat.  In addition to the above tips, I have several chili recipes and ideas for party food, appetizers, and cocktails (or mocktails).  If you are interested or would like more details, contact me.  I am also available for in-home demonstrations of all of my recipes or to prepare your game day party spread.  I have menus available from which you can choose your desired fare and beverages.  I wish you all a healthy and happy Super Bowl party! 

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