Healthy eating while watching the Super Bowl

Fun Fact: The Super Bowl is one of the biggest calorie fests of the year for many Americans. The average football fan eats about a day’s worth of calories during the game, and the U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips on Super Bowl Sunday.

We all know that Super Bowl Sunday is not just about the game—it’s about the food. This year I want you to give your Super Bowl party a healthy twist. First, promise me to keep the food in the kitchen and out of the living room. This will dramatically cut down on your couch being stained, (hahaha!) and when people want to eat they HAVE to get up to do so. I am one of those people who would eat because there is food in front of me, Therefore, binging unnecessarily. So move the food off of the living room table and problem solved.

Secondly, pass on the store-bought snacks and take-out food —they’re loaded with fat and sodium and not so good for the waistline. Try easy Super Bowl recipes with a healthier take on traditional Super Bowl snacks. In addition to the classics, lay out goodies like, grilled veggie kebabs, a Mediterranean platter, chilled crab legs, vegan mac-n-cheese, and turkey chili.

Don’t forget the water. Skip the carbonated drinks. Need I say more…

But regardless of who wins the game, you’ll score points among your fellow fans with these healthy Super Bowl recipes:

Organic Popcorn – Don’t buy the bagged or the microwavable popcorn. Go with air-popped popcorn or pop it on your stove in a little olive oil. Add a small amount of real butter and some kosher salt or other natural seasonings.

Healthier Nachos – I found this recipe on Healthy Tasty Cheap. Black beans, corn, pepper, onion, and tomatoes top organic chips. A little 2 percent sharp cheddar cheese and reduced-fat sour cream cover all the beans and veggies so your guests won’t say “Look, healthy nachos!”

Vegetarian Chili – Chili in a slow cooker is a staple at many Super Bowl parties. This low-fat vegetarian recipe from Allrecipes.com has been given an average 4 ½ out of 5 stars from 355 people — many of them meat eaters. It’s easy to throw together, and if you cook it the day before the game, the flavor will only get better by game time.

Hummus – Food Network has a variety of hummus dip recipes, and you can search for one that suites your tastes. Healthier than dips made of cheeses and sour cream, hummus uses nutrient-packed beans as a base. Serve with veggies or pita chips for dipping.

Twice-baked Sweet Potatoes – Instead of serving traditional deep-fried potato skins, try these twice-baked sweet potatoes from Health.com. They use Canadian bacon instead of the fattier regular bacon and reduced-fat sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Enjoy the game… and go Saints!!!!

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