Clean Eating, Football Style

Football season is in full throttle and if you haven’t already attended a game day get-together you probably have one on the calendar. Unfortunately, the food that’s served at most football gatherings can be incredibly…fattening. Not a word I use often, but kind of applies here. I’ve been to a few tailgates and have witnessed some high calorie grub being being mindlessly consumed over the course of several hours. Add alcohol to the mix and things can get even more out of hand.

My clients struggle with this as well, especially when coming off my clean eating detox. How do you eat clean at these events? It’s a good question and one that needs to be addressed. Just remember, you always have a choice! My best strategy for pot-luck type events is to bring my own “safe dish.” A safe dish is one that you know you will be able to eat. You can always build your plate around that.

Here are a few tasty, healthier, clean (but still fun) snack options for your game day feasting!

Gaucamole-Based Dips

Mostly made with just avocados (full of a heart healthy monosaturated-fat), fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice – quacamole is a great starter dish. I love to health it up a bit by blending in baby spinach or kale leaves. Nobody is the wiser and you get in an extra dose of greens for the day! Also, instead of scooping it up with tortilla chips, opt for sliced veggies like baby carrots, celery, bell peppers or my favorite, jicama sticks.

Pomegranate guacamole

This is my famous Pomegranate-Mandarin Orange Guacamole — it’s to die for. Try it.

Hummus-Based Dips

Hummus has become a catch-all term for dip and it’s really a secret weapon for anyone who owns a food processor. Don’t like beans? No problem. You can make hummus with just about anything these days. I’ve seen pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, eggplant, and sun-dried tomato hummus! There really are so many ways to make it interesting. I do suggest you stick with some kind of bean base though, just to get the benefits of the fiber and protein — which will keep you full and may even stop you from gorging on Frito’s and cheese dip. Aside from being fast, easy and relatively cheap to prepare yourself- you can also buy store brands for added convenience. You can use a variety of veggies to dip into your hummus or use it as a base for veggie wraps.

pumpkin hummus

Here’s  a great idea for Pumpkin Hummus from Closet Cooking. Looks devine.

Make Your Own Trail-Mix

Looking for more a sweet and salty snack? While most varieties of store bought trail mix have tons of added sugar and salt, you can make your own and keep it clean. Just mix together in a bowl the following ingredients: dry roasted, unsalted nuts and seeds like almonds, pecans and walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds; a dash of dried fruit like goji berries, ginger, unsweetened cherries or dried blueberries (I also love to toss in freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries); a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes, and for a little chocolate boost, throw in a handful of cacoa nibs or dark chocolate chips. Delish!


 So easy. You just need a bowl.

Grilled Buffalo or Chicken Wings

I’m not a meat-eater but I realize most football fans are. Instead of bringing store-bought fried wings to the party, why not opt for grilling them up yourself? This little tweak will save you loads of fat and calories without losing any flavor. And everyone will be impressed, which is always nice.

grilled wings

Here’s simple recipe for grillin’ these up from Kiss My Whisk. You can use whatever dipping sauce you like!

 What’s your favorite healthy football watching dish?

Confident Kitchen Tip: Bring a healthy dish that you want to eat so you always have a choice!

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