Tag Archives: Super Bowl snacks

How to Have a Healthy Super Bowl Sunday

I love to watch football. I am plugged into the NFL from the summer preseason games through the Super Bowl and I follow off the field NFL developments all year. So, today is a real culmination for me.


I was surprised to learn that in terms of total amount of food consumed, Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving. Wow! I have seen some estimates of the tons of pizzas and beers that will be consumer eaten and drunk today. Staggering. Papa John’s and Domino’s must love it.

So, it seems like the Super Bowl presents a potential roadblock to someone working on weight control.

Here is how my day looks: I just came back from a 15 mile bike ride. You may have heard that Chicago is flirting with blizzard conditions today. That is true but I ride on the lower level of Wacker Drive which is covered. You may not have heard of lower Wacker, but you have likely seen it. Christian Bale wheeled his Bat mobile all over it in the Batman movie.

So, I feel that I have paid for some of the extra snacking I will be doing come game time.

A lot of folks go to Super Bowl parties to enjoy the game. My girlfriend and I are planning a two-person party complete with all the goodies.

Since there is so much snacking over the course of the afternoon, the game starts at 5:30 PM, Chicago time, we thought we would start watching and snacking at 5:00 PM.

Here are some of our Super goodies.

Here are some of our Super goodies.

We plan to simply snack through the afternoon and game and forgo any kind of dinner. This frees up around 400 calories for the festivities.

Interestingly, our choices mostly came from our neighborhood Costco. We will have Sabra hummus and pita bread which is delicious and a very healthy item. There will also be toasted seaweed  and Edamame (a soybean snack). The Energy Blend Snack, a mixture of cranberries, nuts, soybeans, etc. Only the nice dish of tamari roasted pepitas will be from Whole Foods.

She is bringing some fancy hors d’oeuvres in addition to nachos and halfway healthy chips for dipping.

Finally, I will make stovetop popcorn with coconut oil which is as nutritious as it is delicious. If you aren’t familiar with the numerous benefits of coconut oil check out my Page Why You Should Include Coconut oil in Your Diet

I fell for the Bud Light Lime ads back when they first introduced it, so I will be drinking Bud Light Lime beer. My girlfriend who is infinitely classier than I, will have wine.

You will notice that I haven’t spent a lot of time with calorie counts. I think this is definitely a celebration day and if you go over some on your calorie, you go over and that’s okay. I don’t want to spoil the fun. I know you can eat healthy and still have a good time.


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6 Fun Super Bowl Snack Suggestions from CSPI

“This Sunday, Americans should be more concerned with over-inflated bellies, not under-inflated footballs,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. 

As far as food consumption goes, Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving for the amount of food eaten, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

WASHINGTON–There’s no rule that your Super Bowl party has to feature boring sporting-event staples like chicken wings, pizza, chips, and soda.  With that in mind, the food detectives at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, publisher of Nutrition Action Healthletter, are recommending delicious recipes and packaged foods for Super Bowl entertaining that offer a break from the same old high calorie, salty, fatty, sugary, and over-processed party fare.

Mail Attachment 2

“This Sunday, Americans should be more concerned with over-inflated bellies, not under-inflated footballs,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.  “Consider making at least half of the food you serve on the healthier side of the spectrum, including generous amounts of fresh vegetables or fruit.  Not all of your guests will want to eat like a linebacker, anyway.”

If you put anything before your guests to mindlessly nibble on while watching the game, vegetables should be the default option, says CSPI.  Fresh veggies contribute to lower rates of heart attack and stroke, especially if they’re replacing higher-calorie salty snacks like pretzels or potato chips.  CSPI’s recommendations for Sunday include:

• Veggies  Hummus. Make your own hummus.  Or buy a packaged brand like Sabra, Tribe, or Athenos.  Serve with platters of baby carrots, red pepper slices, cherry tomatoes, or snow peas.  A typical hummus has about 50 to 70 calories per two-tablespoon serving.

• Roasted Chickpeas.  Chickpeas aren’t just for making hummus.  Roasted, they make for a snack that’s high in fiber and a good source of protein.  The Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks come in seven flavors, including Cracked Pepper, Thai Coconut, and Smoky Chili & Lime.  Saffron RoadCrunchy Chickpeas is another good option, which offers Korean BBQ, Falafel, Wasabi, and other flavors.  A quarter cup serving has around 120 calories

• Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  Need a substantial finger-food?  The recipe, developed by Nutrition Action culinary director Kate Sherwood, is a great alternative to wings. Flavored with garlic, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, and orange juice, these lettuce wraps are garnished with scallions and slivered tortilla chips.  400 calories per serving.

• Cannellini Beans & Chorizo.  Instead of a big vat of chili con carne, consider Sherwood’s 5-ingredient, 20-minute recipe for white beans and chicken or turkey sausage.  This dish keeps sodium under control (370 mg) and packs 6 grams of fiber for just 300 calories.

• Clementines.  Put out a big bowl full of sweet, easy-to-peel, and kid-friendly clementines (or other variety of mandarin orange).  Halos and Cuties are two brand-name varieties of these little seedless, citrus gems, typically sold in bags or small wooden crates.  Each has around just 40 calories and a gram or two of fiber.

• Flavored waters.
 Instead of soda, consider seltzer water spiked with fruit juice, or if you’re more ambitious, pitchers of spa water flavored with slices of citrus fruits, cucumbers, herbs such as basil or mint, and berries.

Snacking aside, CSPI also criticized the National Food League for letting PepsiCo sponsor the halftime show, and celebrities like Katy Perry, Kid President, and Danica Patrick for promoting sugary drinks, which cause diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other serious health problems.

“Soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo claim not to market to children, but kid-friendly celebrities like Katy Perry and Kid President have great appeal to tweens and younger children,” Jacobson said.  “Years from now, these celebrities will likely look back with regret that they promoted a product that causes so much preventable disease and misery.”

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What are the Best and Worst Super Bowl Snacks?

Okay, the Big Day has finally arrived. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Yay! The Broncos and Seahawks square off late this afternoon for what many consider the grandest prize in all sports, the Lombardi Trophy. Unlike most other football games, we will all be staying on our couches and watching the numerous commercials that interrupt the action. And, while watching this afternoon we will be snacking, whether we are home, at a friend’s place for a party or out at a bar with a giant flatscreen. Therein lies the rub. I love watching the game and have struggled through the ups and downs of the past season to get here, but, like you, I love to snack while watching the game.

Boiled Edamame with a dusting of coarse salt.

Boiled Edamame with a dusting of coarse salt. Yum.

One of the best snacks that I will be munching on today, and I was surprised to learn that WebMD agrees with me, is Edamame, or soybeans in the pod. Costco sells them by the bag and it takes only five minutes to boil them up. Sushi places serve them with a dusting of giant salt crystals. You can match those by picking up some Coarse Kosher Salt at your supermarket. A four ounce serving of Edamame amounts to around 120 calories. There is also four grams of fat, no saturate fat or cholesterol, eight grams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, four grams of healthy vegetable fiber and 12 grams of body-building protein. The fact that the beans are still in the pod helps to make them a great finger food as you have to crack them out before you can eat the beans inside. For my money, this extra step adds to their appeal and it slows down my consumption to some extent.

On the negative side, one of the worst snacks according to WebMD, are Mozzarella Sticks. WebMD says, “There’s something about a stick of warm, gooey cheese that is irresistible — until you take a look at the nutritional facts. A typical order has 930 calories, 48 g of fat, and 2,640 mg of sodium. That puts mozzarella sticks pretty much on par with chicken wings.

For a slideshow of WebMD’s Best and Worst Appetizers click the link. The slideshow also gives the skinny on Onion Blossoms vs. Vegetable Kabobs, Spinach Artichoke Dip vs. Spinach Salad, Cheese Fries vs. Crab Cakes. Check out their entire spectrum at the link above to read them all.

Instead of beer or diet soda, do yourself a favor by drinking something healthy like coconut water or just plain ice water for something clean and healthy without any dangerous chemicals. Check out my Page – What’s wrong with Soft Drinks? also Snacking – the good, the bad, and the ugly for more on this topic.

Enjoy the game with a clean conscience.

Buon Appetito!


Are you pulling for the Broncos or Seahawks? I confess I am torn. As a long time NFL fan, I want to see Peyton Manning get his second ring. On the other hand on a personal basis, my former brother in law, Dan Quinn, who I have known since he was a teenager, is the mastermind of  the Seahawk’s defense, their defensive coordinator. I would love to see Dan get his first Super Bowl ring. 

Que sera, sera.


Filed under calories, diet soda, sodium, Super Bowl, vegetables, Weight

How I gained more than 2 pounds watching the Super Bowl

I am writing this as a warning: Don’t let this happen to you.

I knew I was going to be snacking watching the game, so I went to the health club that morning and did 30 minutes on the rower to put an extra 300 calories into the bank. I also had a small but reasonable lunch to leave room for snacks. As it turned out that wasn’t even close to enough.

So, what went wrong?

Well, I went to a Super Bowl party. There was good company, good conversation, a good ball game and really good snacks.

To start with, because I was enjoying everything mentioned above, I got carried away with the salty snacks. Rippled potato chips and a bowlful of delicate savory potato crisps. There were also some wonderful little hot dogs called Lil Smokies. Enjoying these savory snacks, of course, I had to wash them down with a beer and glass after glass of soda. I remember thinking the soda glass didn’t hold very much because I had to keep refilling it.

The fact is, I completely lost my focus. I was so into the experience of the afternoon, I didn’t pay attention to how much I was eating and drinking. Mindful eating, anyone? I certainly wasn’t practicing it.

It began to dawn on me when dinner was served and I filled up my plate with Italian sausage, meatballs and stuffed shells (a variation on lasagna). I actually felt so full that I had trouble finishing my dinner. I never feel that way.

My overindulgence was twofold. Because I ate all those salty snacks, I had to drink a ton of soda. Not smart and more not smart.

The next morning I tipped the scale at 154.9 lbs, that is 2.8 lbs more than on Super Bowl morning. Because I weigh myself daily, I knew that while I had eaten a lot, I hadn’t eaten that much more. Remember, fluctuations in daily body weight can also reflect elimination and water retention. I am sure I had retained water.

This morning, the second day after the Super Bowl, I was back down to 152.5 lbs, a much more reasonable number.



Filed under calories, healthy eating, Snacking, Super Bowl, Super Bowl Snacks