You know the deal. You made some great New Year’s resolutions, and you have been faithfully sticking to them. You’ve been eating better foods, moving more and working on a positive mental attitude. Then, on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans eat more food than any other time of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving. If you are a football man, you probably want to watch the game and drink beer in peace. If you are dating or married to a football man, you probably want to have a Super bowl party. Why not? If you’re going to be glued to the tube for 6 hours or so, you may as well have some drinks, some nachos and some friends to laugh with. What could be better?
The problem is that what we have become accustomed to at parties is very stressful on the body—not only the amount of food we eat during the game; but also the types of food we choose. So I’ve created a short guide to help you take some baby steps towards a healthier, happier life—yes, even on Super Bowl Sunday!
The average football fan will consume 1,200 calories during the game. Some fans use the commercial breaks during the game to refill their beverages, go to the bathroom, stoke the logs in the fireplace, but that’s certainly not enough to work off all those extra calories consumed during a short period of time! The advertisers who pay for air time during the Super Bowl are spending on average four million dollars (!) for 30 seconds of your attention. You can be sure they have created some of the most hilarious and captivating commercial spots you have ever seen. They want you glued to your seat. But you are smart, and you know that “sitting is the new smoking.” You know you have to move, but you can’t break away from the commercials.
Use your TIVO or DVR or other recording device to tape the game with all its commercials. In regular season, you would watch the game and fast forward through the commercial breaks. But for your replay of the Super Bowl, you will fast forward through the game which you already saw, and choose instead to watch the commercials and maybe the halftime show. Because you know what you will be doing during the commercials and halftime show? Moving! Walk around the block, jump on the stationary bike, or shoot ten baskets in the driveway as fast as you can. Have one of the gang lead you all in simple jumping jacks or other calisthenics. Anyone who refuses to participate has to refill drinks for the crowd or go out and get more firewood from the patio. Make it fun and challenging. Remind guests that it would take 7 hours of yoga or a 3 mile strenuous hike to work off the average number of calories consumed per person on this day.
The Drinking Game
Sometimes fans like a good drinking game. Maybe we all take a shot every time our team scores. Maybe every time the color commentators say a certain phrase we chug a beer. Whatever game you are used to, we’re going to change it up a bit, because alcohol acidifies the body, and sickness and disease love an acidic host. Whenever play is delayed on the field because the experts “upstairs” have to review the play, or whenever a coach throws the red challenge flag, everyone in the room has to dance for 60 seconds. Have your iPod or stereo set with some tunes, and be ready to call a dance break. Added bonus? People don’t act like jerks when they exercise too much. That can’t be said about drinking.
Choose to Run the Option
Humans are separated from the animal kingdom primarily by our ability to choose our behavior instead of acting instinctively. If we constantly revert to eating typical Super Bowl food, we will never change the state of our health! We’re not saying you have to serve Kale smoothies during the game, but some baby steps towards serving and eating better foods will go a long way towards taking some of the stress off your body. Added bonus? You won’t feel crappy the next day from over-doing it. (Antacid sales increase by 20% on the Monday after the Super Bowl.) Check out this chart of the most popular foods consumed during the Super Bowl, and then check out our recipes for success!
Reasons to Avoid/Embrace
1.25 billion wings were eaten last year during the big game
Conventionally raised chickens have hormones and antibiotics in them which stresses your body. Wings fried in vegetable or canola oil are high in Omega6 fatty acids which cause an inflammatory response for days in the body. Many of the prepackaged sauces contain chemicals that stress your body.
Use organic, pasture-raised chickens. Make your own sauces from real ingredients with no added flavors, colors, or harmful chemicals. Bake or broil them instead of frying. Try our great wings recipes*.
Today ranked nachos the #1 best use of tortilla chips during the game
We disagree. The dairy in all that cheese and sour cream combined with beef that has been grain fed can really cause a lot of inflammation. Most tortilla chips are made with genetically modified corn which is damaging to your body at a cellular level.
Organic, non GMO corn chips are delicious when served with guacamole* and homemade salsa*.
79 million pounds of avocados were consumed during last year’s Super Bowl!
Yes, this is a great choice! Eating avocados boosts vitamin and mineral absorption in the body!
Eat more avocadoes!
Dominoes alone anticipates selling 11 million slices on Super Bowl Sunday!
Between the gluten, the conventional dairy, and the bad fats; it’s truly a toss-up when it comes to figuring out which is the worst aspect of eating pizza.
If you must eat pizza, try to get gluten free, veggie, and/or thin crust. Every little bit counts.
Experts estimate that we will consume 11 million pounds of chips this Sunday!
When potatoes are fried, acrylamide is one of the byproducts. It is a known carcinogen, and should be avoided.
Try veggies and hummus or veggie crisps instead if you need crunch.
49.2 million cases of beer will be sold on this big weekend.
Beer is basically “liquid bread.” It acidifies the body, turns immediately to sugar, stresses the liver, and contains gluten.
If you must have beer, at least get a gluten free variety. Hard cider may be a better choice.
Game Changing Recipes
Make sure avocadoes are ripe. If they are hard when you buy them, store them in a sealed, brown paper bag. The gasses they give off will actually ripen them in a couple of days. Peel and seed avocadoes, then mash them. Add fresh lime juice right away to prevent discoloring. Add chopped tomatoes (optional). Add the other ingredients to taste. If storing in the refrigerator, place plastic wrap directly on top of the guac to keep it from turning brown. Serve with organic, non-GMO corn chips.
3 large ripe, organic tomatoes, diced or a 14 oz. can organic diced tomatoes with the juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small green bell pepper, seeds and veins removed, and minced
Fresh banana peppers (for mild) veined, seeded and chopped
For hot salsa, add a chopped jalapeno pepper, or two if you are a glutton for punishment!
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor. Pulse carefully for chunky salsa, and more vigorously for fine, restaurant style salsa.
Chili with a Twist
Sticky Sesame Wings
Sesame seeds are tiny, but powerful! They contain a lot of protein, have been shown to lower blood sugar, and are high in magnesium which lowers blood pressure and promotes relaxation!
1 large garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons mild honey
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne
3 lbs. organic, pasture raised chicken drumettes or chicken wings
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 scallion (green part only), finely chopped
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large shallow baking pan (17 by 12 inches) with foil and lightly oil foil.
Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife. Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and stir in soy sauce (gluten free), hoisin, honey, oil, and cayenne. Add drumettes to sauce, stirring to coat.
Arrange drumettes in 1 layer in baking pan and roast, turning over once, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer drumettes to a large serving bowl and toss with sesame seeds and scallion.
If using chicken wings instead of drumettes, cut off and discard tips from chicken wings with kitchen shears or a large heavy knife, then halve wings at joint.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Wings
1/2 cup soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free, and so is Tamari Wheat Free)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon sherry or tequila
3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
10-12 chicken wings or drumettes
Bake wings first if you want them crispier, or just plop into the crockpot and cover with sauce. Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours.