Written by Salina Jivani
One of the most awaited sporting events of the year is just around the corner. And typically the fierce competition of the Superbowl accompanies an even fiercer craving for all your favorite action-packed foods and snacks, often ones that contain an abundance of saturated fats, carbs and excessive calories. Unfortunately, these very culprits can put a damper on a (so far) head strong effort of eating lean and staying fit—a goal that many of us aspire to at the start of the new year.
But you can’t starve yourself while everyone is busy stuffing face during the most important football game of the year, right? Right (you didn’t think we’d say otherwise, did you?)!
If you’re watching the game at your own place or someone else’s, plan on working in one of these healthy options into your Superbowl spread to make sure the game doesn’t pack a punch on your waist and leave you feeling defeated.
Are you a veggie lover? Offering a veggie tray is a covert way of contributing a delicious, popular, yet tasty Superbowl side dish while allowing you the option to indulge in a snack that’s chockfull of fiber and boasts low calories and fat. If you’re not a fan of the readymade veggie trays, opt to create your own with an assortment of your favorite vegetables. What to dip? Try one of the below complementary options for some added yum.
See other foods on the Superbowl buffet you’re vying to get your hands on? No worries—fill up on your veggies before you proceed to other less healthier options so you don’t end up overindulging on them.
Looking for a leaner alternative to potato chips minus the excessive levels of oil and sodium? Try kale chips. Cut off the kale stems, place the kale leafs on a conventional oven tray, spray lightly with cooking oil (or not) and add a sprinkle of salt before you bake. In no time at all, you’ll have yourself a tray of crispers that’ll give potato chips a run for their money.
Looking for something with more of that potato-ey flavor? Making your own homemade potato chips can help cut back on a lot of the unhealthy ingredients found in the packaged versions. Cut a potato into thin, round slices, place on a baking tray, spray lightly with oil (or not) add salt, bake to a crisp and voila! You’ve got yourself a healthier, fresher version of potato chips!
If you’re cutting back on carbs or looking to eat clean, look no further—we’ve got the perfect snack for you. All you need are some cucumbers and turkey (or your choice of lean meat). Cut the cucumbers into tall, thin slices, place a layer of turkey on top, and maybe a slice of tomato (if you’re a fan), roll it all up and hold in place with food picks for a fresh, delish, pick-me-up finger food. Want condiments? Try healthier variations of mayo (like Tzatziki sauce or hummus) for flavor.
If you’re a vegetarian put hummus (or something similar) on the cucumber and add in your own choice of veggie favs, like shredded carrots or pimento olives for a special zing.
Buy a dip from a grocery store and you’re likely to ingest several preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients, like excess salt and saturated fats. Make your own dips from natural ingredients and you’ll relish the fresh taste plus your body will thank you for the vitamins and minerals more densely present in the homemade versions.
Dips popular with the crowds include salsa, hummus and avocado, so consider experimenting with at-home recipes for these.
Of course no Superbowl is complete without an ample dose of chicken, right? Good news is, now you can have your chicken and eat it too without the telling residue of oily fingers (and clogged arteries!). Try a crispy homemade oven fried chicken recipe that allows you to still preserve and relish the crispy breadedness of fried chicken, while eliminating the excess fat and calories.
If you’re going to a venue or other place where you won’t be able to bring your own food, no worries! There are always healthier alternatives you can look for, such as those that are baked, or are as close to their raw/natural form as possible (variations of fruits, veggies and lean meats).
And remember, if you do overeat, don’t berate yourself—it’s never too late to get back on the health bandwagon (or burn off those calories at the gym). So put your game face on and eat to diet victory!