Are you ready for some football?

24 09 2012

Megan Byrd

Fall is officially upon us and if you’re like me, that means one thing: FOOTBALL!  Saturdays and Sundays will now be spent in front of the big screen reveling in victory or dwelling in defeat.

Unfortunately, football games usually mean unhealthy food choices.  It’s easy to open a bag of chips and a can of dip, or a can of soda while you’re enjoying the game.  Instead of subtracting from the good health decisions you’ve made all week, I want to share some alternatives to your favorite game time favorites that are good for you AND taste great!

Grill out:

When you fire up the grill before the big game, make your burgers out of lean ground beef or lean ground sirloin. Be sure to check the nutrition levels and choose a higher grade with lower fat content (think 90/10, rather than 80/20, which cuts out 10% of the fat).  

Another option is ground turkey. It has less calories, less saturated fat, and lower sodium.  

Trying your hand at vegetarian cuisine? Sprinkle olive oil on some veggies, like zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers and throw them on the grill.

Dress to impress:  Forego mayonnaise and heavy condiments.  Dress your burger with the veggies you grilled and for more flavor add avocado.  Avocados are an excellent source of vitamins E, B6, C, K, fiber, and potassium.  

Everything tastes better with bacon, but try turkey bacon instead as a healthy alternative.  Top with a whole wheat bun and you’re ready to enjoy.

Snacking:  You’ll need a snack to go with your burger. Fresh fruit is always a crowd pleaser.  If you’re feeling creative, you can cut a watermelon in half and decorate it like a football field.

Instead of potato chips, whole wheat pita chips are versatile and high in fiber. 

Instead of a dip high in calories, choose hummus.  You can buy this premade and it comes in many delicious flavors and varieties.

The vegetables you roasted on the grill will also taste great dipped in hummus.

To get you started on your journey to healthy game day eating, here is my recipe for…

Healthier Ranch Style Dip

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or fat-free sour cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Time out:  Keep some hand weights close to your favorite lounging chair.  When the coach calls a time out and the commercials roll, stand, pick up the weights and do some quick strength training in the form of bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, forward raises, bent rows, squats, lunges, or any other exercise you like to do.

During half time, you can keep your workout going.  Get your football friends involved and go outside for some bag-toss, or a pickup game of touch football

At the end of the game, hopefully you’ll be as satisfied with the score as you with yourself for making healthy decisions and staying on your path to weight loss.

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