Tom Brady is famous for his rigid diet plan which he feels is a critical part of his longevity as one of the top quarterbacks in the game. So whether you are an Eagles or Pats fan, you can “party like Brady” and host a fun Super Bowl party knowing that eating healthy and enjoying good food are not mutually exclusive. Healthy doesn’t mean eating chunks of lean chicken breast and a fun Super Bowl isn't necessarily about overeating junk food.
This year it’s my turn to host the Super Bowl and I’m excited to show my friends that the words “healthy”, “delicious” and “Super Bowl” can be used in the same sentence.
We can all relate to the feeling of eating too much or overindulging on foods that we don’t normally eat and ending up feeling slow and heavy the next day. Overeating does have an impact our body, especially if it’s processed food, generally high in sodium and added sugars. When our bodies are overloaded with a combo of sugar, carbs, fat, and calories, we transform excess glucose into fat, our insulin levels spike, and inflammation is triggered, which is one of the reasons we end up feeling so bad, physically and mentally.
The solution is not to avoid temptation. Being healthy is not about deprivation or discipline. The key is to create healthier options with a few simple tweaks.
Here is how I’m transforming traditionally unhealthy Super Bowl dishes into more nourishing alternatives:
Bake your chicken wings: You still have delicious chicken wings; the difference is that baked chicken wings have less sodium and fat, which is what activates the reward system in your brain to want more of the unhealthy foods.
Switch from cheesy nachos to crunchy tortillas and salsa: This is a great way to “have your cake and eat it too”. I will be offering a big bowl of tortilla chips and chunky salsa. The key here is to avoid highly processed products, and to go for ones with fewer ingredients. Garden of Eatin’s organic blue corn tortillas or Siete’s grain free tortilla chips, are great alternatives. Pair them with Whole Food’s 365 delicious red chipotle salsa. I also love making this edamame guac that will make everyone lick their fingers.
Low sugar booze: stay away from sugary cocktails and high-alcohol craft beers! Vermouth, Champagne, white and red wine or straight liquors (the less sweet ones) are better alternatives. If you feel you’ll miss a cocktail, try a fruit mojito. Simply replace the sugar with agave or fresh fruit!
Remember it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can enjoy the Super Bowl and be healthy with some advanced planning and a few simple tweaks.