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Nutritionist Jennifer Shea MS, MPH, RD: Touchdown to a Sinless Super Bowl

Nutritionist Jennifer Shea MS, MPH, RD:  Touchdown to a Sinless Super Bowl

Dietitian Dialogues

December 30, 2007

Nutritionist Jennifer Shea MS, MPH, RD: Touchdown to a Sinless Super Bowl
Super Bowl Sunday, and all of its savory snacks, falls at the perfect time of year ­– right when your New Year’s Resolutions for a healthy lifestyle are slipping away! But don’t give in to temptation just yet. You can stay the course and continue on with your new and improved lifestyle while you’re cheering for your favorite team!
If your resolution was to eat a healthier diet, follow my menu for great Super Bowl finger foods that won’t cause a diet interception. I’ve made-over the typical Super Bowl favorites, like pizza, chicken wings, fried chicken and nachos, and given them a healthier and more flavorful flair.
Remember, the star players that will help you stick with your healthy eating goals are fiber-filled foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains, and protein-rich foods like chicken, shrimp and low-fat dairy products. Fiber and protein both aid in helping you feel full and satisfied after a meal or snack, while sugary foods can increase cravings for more sugary foods – and lead to unstable blood sugar levels.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, the food and drink is just as important as the game (and of course, the widescreen) – so flavor is key! What’s the menu for Sunday? Since I’ll be rooting for the Patriots, here’s my menu – renaming the dishes according to your favorite team is optional!
Super Bowl Sunday Temptations
Belichip and Dip
·         Serve Utz baked Chips, pretzels and mini whole-wheat pitas with salsa and light French onion dip.
Paxton Platter
·         Make a large veggie platter with raw celery, carrots, green peppers and blanched asparagus, broccoli spears and cauliflower. Serve with light onion dip and hummus.
Childress Cheese, Nut and Fruit Tray
·         Cube Cabot reduced-fat cheddar and serve with Planter’s Peanuts, almonds, dried apricots and sliced apples (squeeze a lemon over the apple slices to prevent browning).
Bruschi BBQ
·         Throw some chicken tenders and shrimp on the grill. Serve with hot sauce, low-fat honey mustard, and BBQ sauce.
Brady’s Whole Wheat Boboli
·         Buy an oven ready Boboli 100% whole-wheat pizza crust and add your favorite toppings. Try Ragu tomato sauce, Cabot reduced-fat shredded cheese, diced onions, mushrooms and turkey pepperoni. Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 450 degree oven.
Moss Melon Bowl
·         Slice a watermelon in half and cube the fruit – save the outer melon rinds. Carve flags for each of the Super Bowl teams into the melon halves. Combine cubed watermelon, honeydew melon, sliced apples, tangerines and bananas. Toss with fresh lime juice to prevent browning and add back into melon halves.
Dark Chocolate Defense
·         Have bowls of Dark Chocolate Hershey’s kisses for a small sweet treat. Dark chocolate has heart healthy antioxidants and flavonoids – and may provide cardiovascular benefits.
Brown’s Favorite Beverages
·         Non-alcholic: Enviga green teas, Diet Coke, Dasani or Smartwater bottle, Fresca. Or buy sugar-free Kool Aid in your team’s colors!
·         Alcoholic: Light beer (choose your favorite). Remember, calories in light beer (typically between 90 and 110) add up quickly. Try to alternate between light beer and water, or sugar-free beverages.
·         My favorite: A frosty mug of half light beer and half Fresca!
Super Bowl Sunday Calorie-Burners
Now that you have your Super Bowl snacks planned, how can you add some physical activity into a day that typically involves no movement except for walks back and forth from the fridge to the couch? Follow these tips to add some calorie-burn to the day.
Jackson Jumping Jacks
·         When your team scores a touch-down, do 50 jumping jacks!
Interception Pushups
·         When your team throws an interception, get down and give me 20!
Halftime Hand-Weights
·         While you’re being entertained by the half-time show, do bicep and tricep curls with 5lb weights.
Super Bowl Squats
·         Do 10 squats for your team every time they make a first down!
Commercial Catastrophe
·         Some commercials will be a hit; others you’ll wish you never saw. When the latter comes on the screen, get outside and do a quick run around the house or block.
Backyard Tailgate
·         After the game, gather friends and family for your own touch football game in the yard.
Follow this plan and you’re sure to have a Sinless Super Bowl Sunday, while having a blast and watching your favorite team take the title! Have fun and Go Pats!
Jennifer Shea MS, MPH, RD is the Wellness Coach and Program Manager for the Wellbeing Program at Shaw’s Supermarket. The Wellbeing program gives Shaw’s customers simple solutions to everyday living in the following areas: culinary, health, energy and style.

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