Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Putting the “Super” in Super Bowl

You already know that football rocks the Calkins house, so it’s no surprise that we’re pretty excited about this year’s Super Bowl (the only bummer being of course, that the Bengals are missing).

The ads! The halftime show! The drama! And of course – the food! The Super Bowl is essentially a holiday in many American households, and we celebrate it in that classic all-American way: with lots and lots of food. In fact, it’s the second HIGHEST food consumption day of the year! Yes, right behind Thanksgiving!

Considering the fact that the Super Bowl comes hot on the heels of the holiday season, falling right at the point where many of us have finally gotten our eating back on track, a Super Bowl party can create quite a nutritional challenge. This year, head the calories off at the pass by hosting your own Super Bowl party – the HealthStyle way! A few easy tweaks and you can have all the taste without adding inches to your waistline.

Skip the frozen food aisle! While those packaged Friday’s appetizers look tempting and are certainly easy to make, they are incredibly high in fat, calories and sodium. Keep recipes as simple as possible and stick to fresh ingredients; the fewer processed foods, the better.

When preparing old favorites, use low-fat or fat-free ingredients wherever possible. Low-fat sour cream, ranch, mayo and cheese are nearly undetectable in a dip recipe. Even better, have some hummus on hand for a tasty healthy dipping option. Turkey and low-fat ham are great sandwich fixin’s. Find an artisan whole-grain bread to make sandwiches special while also sneaking in some filling fiber.

Turkey versions of pepperoni and hot dogs also work well. Throw a turkey dog or organic chicken sausages in your pigs-in-a-blanket and see if anyone notices. Instead of chicken wings, serve grilled chicken strips with buffalo sauce or spices.

Make sure you have plenty of fruit and vegetable platters on hand – they pack a mean punch in terms of filling you up with high quality nutrients, without a ton of calories.

Put your Crockpot to use with turkey chili, extra-spicy to satisfy the manly men. Or make a vegetarian black bean version. Meatballs can also be made with ground turkey; with the sauce, it will be hard to tell the difference.

When it’s time for dessert, try substituting plain applesauce for half the oil in brownies or other baked goods; Egg Beaters for regular eggs; and frozen yogurt instead of full-fat ice cream. Edy’s and Ben and Jerry’s have amazing frozen yogurt that will satisfy even the most hard-core ice cream lover.

Here’s to a super Super Bowl! May the best team – and your best you – win!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

HealthStyle Fitness  |  Cincinnati Fitness  |  4325 Red Bank Road  Cincinnati, OH 45227