It’s that time of year again. Super Bowl time. And with the constant hype about the game, the commercials, and the parties that surround this mega event, it’s easy to become a bit jaded if you’re trying to eat healthy. After all, the Super Bowl is reported to be the second-largest day for food consumption in the United States, right after Thanksgiving.
But rather than getting all grumbly about things, I think you can still have a great Super Bowl Sunday. How? Here are my 7 Simple Steps For a Healthier Super Bowl Sunday!
1. Host your own healthy Super Bowl party.
By hosting your own party it’s a whole lot easier to make sure healthy, real food options dominate your table.
2. Be a gracious host.
I know some of you may disagree, but if a friend or family member wants to bring some type of junk or processed food to an event I’m hosting, I say “thank you” versus serving up a lecture. My friends, family, and neighbors know I prefer to eat real food, and for the most part they go out of their way to bring something on the healthier side. So skip the judgement—be gracious and thankful. It will make you and your guests much happier. 🙂
3. If you can’t host, bring a dish to the Super Bowl party that you know you’ll enjoy.
I’ve never met a host who doesn’t appreciate a little extra help pulling off a party. So offer to bring a salad, some fruit kabobs, or a pot of homemade chili. (For more ideas of what to bring, check out the wonderful dishes I’ve shared below.)
4. Fill up on healthy food ahead of the party.
I try to eat healthy, real food most of the time. One of the ways I do that is by consciously setting myself up for success and planning ahead. So when I’m heading to a Super Bowl party, it’s really no different from any other social occasion where I know I’ll be tempted by unhealthy choices. What’s my answer? My top way to pre-empt unhealthy choices is to fill up on healthy food beforehand. Then when I’m at the party, I can pick and choose a couple bites to indulge in and not feel guilty.
5. Drink lots of water
I have no problem with having an alcoholic drink now and then. Unfortunately, many Super Bowl party’s can become more about the drinks than the game. So while I may have one beer or a glass of wine, you can bet most of the evening I’m drinking water. And if I’m hosting the party, I make sure to have pitchers of water everywhere. Also, consider serving sparkling water or water infused with berries, melon, cucumbers, or mint to encourage people to celebrate with water versus alcohol or soft drinks.
6. Enjoy spending time with friends and family, regardless of the game.
It’s a proven fact that connecting with people is a powerful ingredient for living a happier, healthier life. So whether you’re a football fan or not, Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to get together with friends and connect. I know a lot of people who don’t watch the game at all, but love spending time with people they care about. Or if you’ve got a group of like-minded Super Bowl naysayers, host your own Super Bowl-Less game night or movie festival.
7. Do your best, be happy, and let go of perfection.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We all need to discover our own values when it comes to food. And what I’ve learned over the years is … it’s all about making progress, not achieving perfection. In fact, I think when we focus on perfection, we risk losing some happiness. That’s why I describe my approach to healthy eating as “deliciously imperfect.”
BONUS TIP…Get outside and be active
Okay. I couldn’t stop at just 7, so here’s my bonus tip! Go for a walk. Get on your bike. Get outside. If you’ve got kids, play with them or throw around a football. No matter what you do, getting up and moving will set you up for a better, healthier day.
Looking for Some Real Food Recipes for your healthier Super Bowl Sunday?
If you’re looking for some ideas for real food fare to serve up for your healthier Super Bowl Sunday, check out some of our favorite recipes below or explore our recipe index here. And if you have some additional tips or recipes for a healthier Super Bowl please share them in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!
Appetizers, Sandwiches, etc.:
- Homemade Queso
- Black Bean Dip
- Quick and Easy Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers
- Quick and Easy Avocados
- Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches
- 7 Ways to Spice Up Your Meal with Red Pepper Jelly
- Hot Swiss Cheese Dip
- Quick and Easy Party Cheese Ball
Soups and Chili:
- Black Bean Chili with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Vegetarian Chili
- Lentil Soup
- Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils
Salads and Fruit:
- Broccoli Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Broiled Grapefruit
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Fast and Easy Avocado Salad
Casseroles and Vegetables:
Note: Edited in 1/31/17 to include even more Big Game day recipes!