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Who’s ready for some football?! Regardless if you love the sport or not, it’s always fun to partake in a great super bowl party. While you won’t be able to control the calls in the game or the final score, one thing you can control is your dietary intake. While I don’t expect anyone to eat perfectly during the Super Bowl (heck, even I know I’m going to indulge a little bit), we can take some steps to make sure our indulgences don’t spiral out of control too much on game day.
1) Don’t skip any meals! This is a point I bring up time and time again. Skipping a meal on a big food day may sound like a good idea, but this only sabotages your metabolism. A depressed metabolism can cause you to eat way more calories at the party than what you would normally consume had you followed your regular meal schedule.
2) Think veggies and protein. Preferably together! Veggies are typically forgotten about at social gatherings, especially the Super Bowl. Now there is always the classic veggie tray, but try to think outside the box. For New Year’s I made chorizo-stuffed mini peppers and turkey-stuffed mushrooms. Personally, I find veggies, proteins and healthy fats to be much more filling than starchy items like chips, crackers, pretzels, etc. In fact, it’s not uncommon for my husband and I to go through a bag of Sunchips in 24 hours (why are they so good yet so unfilling??!!)
3) Portion control. Your portion sizes can easily get out of hand when you’re distracted by the game and conversation—especially when you eat directly from the large party bowl rather than put your food items on a plate. It’s much easier to count platefuls of food than it is to count handfuls of chips. Try to eat off of smaller party plates to keep your overall portion sizes down.
3) Drink water. It’s perfectly fine to have a few social beverages but try to alternate your beverages with water. Drinking water not only hydrates you, it can also help control your appetite.
4) Have fun! Remember no one single occasion ruins your health overall. If you eat clean and wholesome foods 80-90% of the time, then you absolutely can splurge once in while on some party favorites.
Looking for a game-day side dish that includes protein, veggies and healthy fats? Here you go!
Packing your lunch and snacks from home is one of the easiest ways to avoid unhealthy temptations at work, but how do you stick to a healthy diet when you have to eat on the go? There are plenty of healthy options that can be chosen from fast food restaurants such as salads, wraps and grilled chicken but many of us struggle with the temptations of fries, deep fried foods and readily available sweets, and would rather avoid going through a drive-thru. Luckily, a drive-thru is not the only way we can get a quick bite to eat. Check out some of these alternatives the next time you’re eating on the go.
More and more grocery stores are now equipped with healthy salad bars and grab-n-go meals. The other day I saw that our local HyVee had a turkey wrap, apple and Greek yogurt as a to-go lunch meal. You can also quickly grab a piece of fruit and a protein pack (cheese, nuts and meat like the ones shown here) or an individual container of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. Watch out for the deli bar, where tempting potato salads, fried chicken and desserts can be found.
It’s quick and more likely to offer healthier selections than what you would find at McDonalds or Taco Bell. Repulsive hospital food is a thing of the past. Today, hospitals pride themselves in their food service departments and often offer cuisine similar to those of sit-down restaurants. You can easily pair together a healthy soup and salad combination or take advantage of the healthy menu item of the day which may include chicken or fish with roasted or steamed veggies.
I hold true to my advice that you shouldn’t buy your food where you get your gas, but sometimes you are left with no other resort, especially if you have to travel often for work. Rather than picking the bagel sandwich or slice of pizza, opt for a protein bar or protein shake. When selecting a protein bar, go for the one with the less added sugar. Many gas stations also offer fresh cut fruit or raw veggies with ranch as healthier side options.
If you’re stuck in a situation where the vending machine is your only option, go for the selection that offers the most protein. These items would typically be nuts, trail mix or beef jerky. Foods that include protein are more likely to keep your fuller longer and less likely to cause a blood sugar/insulin spike like chips, pretzels or chocolate would. When it comes to beverage selections, water is always your best option and if you prefer a sweetened beverage, try to choose the options that are sweetened with stevia/truvia such as Sobe Lifewater Zero or use a packet of Crystal Light Pure to sweeten up your bottle of water.
The Quickest Way to my Husband’s Heart…is through his Stomach
My husband has been such a trooper with me trying out so many new chicken recipes lately; I decided to surprise him with a meat dish. This recipe does take a bit of prep time; but, the flavors are so phenomenal, it is well worth the time and patience when you taste your finished product. Whether you want to treat yourself or treat someone special in your life, this recipe gets a grade A stamp of approval from both me and my husband. Serve this dish with your favorite green bean recipe, side salad or sautéed vegetables.
1 ½-2 lbs flank steak (this is one of the leanest and thinnest cuts of steak, which makes it perfect for this recipe)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Any steak seasoning you like (I used BWW’s Chipotle BBQ dry rub)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, julienned
1 zucchini, julienned
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts)
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
2 tsp butter
2 Tbsp shallots, finely minced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup beef broth
1. Begin prepping your steak. Trim visible fat and pound thin (only if other type of steak is used instead of flank). Season both sides with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
2. Slice vegetables into thin, matchstick-like strips. You will be lightly sautéing these prior to rolling them in the steaks.
3. For the sauce, melt butter in sauce pan. Add shallots and stir for 2 minutes. Add the rest of sauce ingredients. Once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the temperature and continue to stir as sauce thickens, another couple minutes. Once sauce is at desired consistency, transfer to separate sauce dish.
4. In the same pan or separate pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and sliced vegetables (except for green onions). Add Italian seasoning and a sprinkle of salt and sauté for a few minutes. Once slightly cooked and softened, remove vegetables from heat.
5. Assemble the steak rolls by placing marinated steak down on cutting board and laying vegetables (and green onions) in middle of steak. Roll over steak and secure with toothpick.
6. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 Tbsp of oil. Place steaks seam-side down and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Add special steak seasoning to rolls as they are cooking. Cook until desired.
Chicken nuggets and chicken tenders are food favorites for people of all ages. The downfall for these menu items is that they are breaded and fried and rank low in nutritional value. Even if you bake these items, remember that they were originally fried and then flash frozen to preserve freshness. Keeping up with my goal of exploring a new chicken recipe each week, I found this healthy and gluten-free alternative. Instead of using exact measurements when seasoning the chicken, I simply coated each piece of meat evenly with the spices.
Coconut Dusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce
3-4 chicken breasts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup almond flour
Honey Mustard Sauce
5 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 375oF. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Season each chicken breast evenly with spices. Meanwhile, combine coconut and almond flour in mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk both eggs together.
2. Once seasoned, dip each chicken breast in egg mixture and then dip into coconut mixture. Make sure each side is coated evenly.
3. Bake for 35-40 minutes. (The thicker your chicken breasts are, the longer time is needed to cook thoroughly.) These will not brown up like regular chicken tenders. If this is desired, then cook an additional couple minutes under the broiler setting.
4. While chicken is cooking, whisk together the honey mustard sauce ingredients and set aside.
5. Serve with your favorite vegetable side dish. I chose mashed garlic cauliflower garnished with chives with a mixed green salad.
Have you ever wondered what to do with your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? Amanda Figge, Springfield Clinic registered dietitian, shows us around County Market on how to make a delicious recipe with leftover turkey. Plus she delivers some excellent healthy eating tips. Enjoy!