I love football. I grew up in Wisconsin, so being a Packer fan is the law. But football is also the bastion of fatty food, hours of gluttony, and sloth (TWO deadly sins??). How do you keep healthy when snacks and hours of TV watching take up your Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday)? My rules for an awesome football experience, without ending the season looking like a lineman.
1. Bring something healthy, yet delicious. No one wants to watch football and eat food that makes them hate life. Football is fun, food is fun. Don’t ruin lives by offering food that looks, and tastes, like stale death. Eating healthy takes you creating dishes you love and WANT to eat. Veggie plates are easy and tasty (as are fruit plates), but not always the top choice. There are multiple healthy options for a game day meal. Salsa, spinach dip, and guacamole are all great with baked chips, veggies, or cut peppers. I love turkey chili (super spicy), turkey hot dogs, or turkey burgers (see the theme?). There’s less fat, and yet you’re still enjoying great tailgating food. And you saved a cow, which is WAY more adorable and lovable than an ugly turkey (have you ever tried to hug a turkey? They’ll peck your face off).
2. Get your workout in. During the commercials, there isn’t much interesting going on. Use that time for short fitness bursts. Jumping jacks, football drills (ironic right?), suicides, bicycle crunches, Heismans (more irony), or any short drill to get that heart rate up. Bathroom break? Who needs it. Get your workout in during commercials. I feel silly, and my husband looks at me like I’ve lost it, but it gets the job done. One caveat: not good at sports bars (or biker bars). Looking silly is OK at home, and maybe with friends, but not so much around sports hooligans or gang hangouts.
3. Drink in moderation. Want a beer? Have one. I like wine and mixed drinks, and I find healthy options for those things. There are light beers, diet soda mixers, and healthy smoothies that you can add some booze to, making it less healthy but more delicious. Enjoy yourself. Have a drink, but don’t go crazy. A little red wine is good for the heart, and a beer has antioxidants- so have some. Just don’t have so much that you end up with a lamp shade on your head and no pants (again, this is WAY worse when happening at a sports bar or gang hangout).
Football is great. I love football season. But football brings with it junk food, drinking, and hours on the couch. But if you love to WATCH a sport, you can love to PLAY a sport. Get that heart rate up and run like hell during the commercials. Maybe all your hard work will pay off with a really good looking, and rich, football player falling in love with you (Clay Matthews- call me).