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Navigating Superbowl Sunday with Healthy Choices

Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday. We’re just over a month into 2012 and already I’m seeing that the gym isn’t quite so full of all of the resolution folks. But if you resolved to make healthier choices this year (or you have a healthy eating theme) and you are having trouble figuring out how to navigate in a world where most people don’t make healthy choices, Superbowl Sunday is a great opportunity to put your values into action.

These ideas aren’t specific, of course, to Superbowl parties, but can be used at any party. It just seems for some reason that a gathering around sports is more likely to include crappy food. What’s up with that, anyway?

  1. Pick a designated driver. OK, that’s not a food choice but tomorrow ranks high in traffic fatalities due to alcohol. Don’t drive even after a few drinks, it’s not worth it. You never know how impaired another driver will be and you need your reflexes intact.
  2. Decide ahead of time how much you want to drink, and really, if you want to drink at all. It’s remarkable when you’re in a room full of people drinking beer how your hand just always seems to have a beer in it. Not to say you shouldn’t have beer, but it’s empty calories and you just might be engaged enough in the game that a glass of water would suit your needs just fine.
  3. Call ahead. If you are wondering if the host will have healthy food available, give a call. A simple “Hey, I’m curious to know what’s on the menu tomorrow.” can go a long way to helping you make your game plan.
  4. Bring a dish to share. Depending upon how well you know the host you can ask about bringing something or just bring it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought something healthy to a party full of junk food and have had person after person tell me they’re so glad to have it available.
  5. Eat first. I do this all the time. I’ll eat a big salad with some protein on it, leftovers from the fridge, or in a pinch I’ll stop and grab something to eat on the way. That way I can skip eating at the party, or just graze. A little bit of unhealthy food is way better than a lot of unhealthy food.
  6. Bring your own food. I recently attended a wedding with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread in my purse. And an auction with whole grain crackers in my coat pocket. I’m not whipping it out in front of everyone but if it’s a priority to eat healthfully, what’s the harm in slipping out for a sec? No harm at all, I say.  You know what? Now that I think of it there are plenty of times (at a casual gathering) I do just bring my own food and load it up onto a plate instead of loading up what’s on the buffet table. Again, I wouldn’t do that at a wedding but a Superbowl party? Sure.

giants logoEnjoy! (and go Giants!)

-Dr Samantha

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