Tips for Healthier Game Days
Football season is here! Which also means most of us are spending weekends sitting on the couch, mindlessly munching on greasy Buffalo wings and cheesy nachos while cheering for our team. Enjoying the game doesn’t have to mean packing on the pounds. Here are a few tips and some “Figure Weight Loss friendly” recipes to help you stay on track.
Healthier Game Day Tips:
• Exercise before games start. Go for a morning walk or head to the gym right after breakfast.
• Use fresh vegetables for dipping as opposed to chips, crackers and breads – celery, carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and cucumber.
• Make lettuce wraps instead of sliders and sandwiches. Use a soft lettuce such as Bibb lettuce. This would work for burgers, pulled pork, grilled chicken, etc.
• Bake or grill wings instead of frying them.
• Avoid mindlessly munching. When the game has you at the edge of your seat you’re likely to absentmindedly eat the entire plate of nachos without even realizing it. Portion food onto small plates rather than eating from the serving dishes to avoid overeating during the nail-biting moments. It is even better to eat when the game isn’t on (half-time, pre or post game).
• Avoid drinking your calories. Keep water at your side during the game instead of sodas, juices and alcoholic beverages.
• During commercial breaks get up and move around. Take a short walk during half time. Or you could have a friendly competition with your friends – If your team gets a first down your friends cheering for the other team have to do 10 push-ups and vice versa.
• If you’re tailgating or watching the game at a friend’s home, offer to bring a few sensible dishes so you have some control over your own menu.
See example recipes below:
Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips
Makes 8 servings
3 medium zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt (coarse sea salt recommended)
1. Slice zucchini as thinly as possible; may use a mandolin. Place in large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.
3. Add oil and vinegar mixture to zucchini, and toss.
4. If using a dehydrator, add zucchini in even layers to the dehydrator, then sprinkle with salt. Drying time will vary from 8-14 hours. Alternatively, zucchini may be dried in oven: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay zucchini evenly, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 200° F for 2-3 hours, rotating halfway through cooking time.
5. Store chips in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1/8th recipe)
Calories: 35 Carbs: 1g Fiber: 0g Protein: 0g
Makes 8 Servings
2 small heads cauliflower, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
1 cup Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup salsa
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Add cauliflower to a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, cumin, paprika and chili powder and toss to coat. Roast in oven until tender and golden (about 20-25 minutes).
3. Top with cheese and return to oven until melted (about 5 minutes).
4. Top with salsa and Greek yogurt.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1/8th recipe):
Calories: 141 Carbs: 7g Fiber: 3g Protein: 8g
Broccoli Cheesy “Bread”
Makes 8 Servings
3 cups riced broccoli
1 large egg
1 ½ cups mozzarella, shredded
¼ cup parmesan, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
½ cup marinara sauce
1. Preheat oven to 425F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Microwave riced broccoli for 1 minute to steam. Carefully ring out extra moisture from the broccoli using paper towel.
3. Transfer broccoli to large bowl and add egg, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan, garlic and oregano. Transfer dough to baking sheet and shape into thin, round crust.
4. Bake until golden and dried out (about 20 minutes). Top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and bake until cheese is melted and crust is crispy (about 10 minutes).
5. Garnish with pepper flakes and serve warm with marinara.
Nutrition Information (1/8th recipe):
Calories: 103 Protein: 9g Carbs: 4g Fiber: 1g