When we think of a traditional Super Bowl spread our mind buzzes with the deep fried and breaded apps of the world. You have the wings, jalapeno poppers, cheesy dips, breaded bites. You have chips after dip after sauce after, okay, we think you get the picture.
And this is totally okay, and definitely delicious.
We promise you that spending a day knee deep in beer and fried food will not ‘ruin’ your health efforts, or make you gain weight. Healthy eating is not limited to salads, smoothies and carefully planned meals. It’s a lifestyle, and having a healthy lifestyle means figuring out how to balance it all out.
So, if you’re thinking, don’t try to throw my beer and chips game off… don’t worry, we promise we won’t.
Just because Super Bowl traditions can fill your belly with fried food and hops, doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to apply a couple of healthier swaps without;
- anyone noticing
- compromising on taste.
It’s just a matter of knowing what and where to make these swaps so you can still feel totally satisfied, as well as satisfy everyone around you.
10 EASY IDEAS FOR BUILDING A HEALTHY-ISH SUPER BOWL SPREAD
1) SWAP CHIPS FOR ORGANIC BLUE CORN TORTILLA CHIPS OR LENTIL CHIPS
Chips are one of those things that only require a couple of changes. You really don’t have to give them up. Take these Kettle Brand Potato Chips, they’re cooked with avocado oil instead of canola or vegetable oils, which makes them better for your health and your heart, and they taste just as good. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point and is less vulnerable to oxidation. And, it only has 3 ingredients: potatoes, avocado oil, Himalayan salt.
2) BAKED/ INSTANT POT WINGS INSTEAD OF DEEP FRIED & BREADED
This is another minor change that gives big results, and when you’re knee deep in the football game, who really knows whether or not their wings are breaded or fried?
It’s all about the sauce baby!
So, instead of those boxes of breaded wings that contain a lot of preservatives and possible MSG, you can get plain wings and whip up these amazing Instant Pot Wings or these Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings.
Or, if you want to crisp up your wings without all that heavy breading, try these Parmesan and Garlic Crispy Baked Wings.
3) MAKE VEGGIE LOADED DIPS
Making a healthier switch on dips is much easier than it sounds as well. If you’re buying a dip, you can always opt-for dips that are organic, because in most cases they are void of extra sugars and additives (not always the case though, so make sure to check the label).
If you’re looking to make some fresh dips yourself, test out some of these recipes for healthy, whole food based, veggie inspired dips:
4) USE CAULIFLOWER AS A SUBSTITUTION
Opting for cauliflower as a low-carb, healthier alternative will probably change your world. Just sayin’.
5) USE SWEET POTATOES AS A STARCH FILLER
Just like replacing breadsticks or breaded wings with cauliflower, there are some other ways to take starch filled appetizers and meals and make them a little healthier. Sweet potatoes are a great replacement because they’re incredibly filling, and also very nutrient dense. Here are some delicious options.
6) BE INSPIRED BY PALEO DISHES
Not everyone has an issue with grains, but usually after a mini food and drink binge session you hear some common complaints: bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea. These complications are often due to the overconsumption of simple sugars and dairy combined with yeast and alcohol sugars.
A simple trick to avoid all that bloat and gas is to reduce your grain consumption. Check out these delicious Paleo recipes that are grain-free and completely delicious.
7) FIND PLANT-BASED MEALS WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON TASTE
Okay, we’re going to let you in on one of our favourite secrets (not so secret secrets): there are a TON of vegan recipes out there that TASTE AMAZING! Shhhhh… you don’t have to tell anyone it’s vegan. They won’t know, we promise. Just check out these delicious plant-based goodies.
8) REPLACE THE FRIED SPREAD FOR A MORE ARTISANAL LOOK
Ditch the fried food and instead spread out fruit, cheese, cured meats, pickled and fermented foods and fresh baked bread.
You can even make a beautiful cheese board. We totally recommend adding this delicious Smoky Artichoke & Herb Cheddar or this soft and creamy Brie made from cultured organic cashews. Hooked we say, hooked!
9) SWAP THE HOPS & CIDER FOR GIN OR VODKA
Beer = bloat for many of us. Yes, it’s sad but it’s true. Carbonated drinks have air bubbles that travel through the digestive tract to the stomach and release carbon dioxide, which is where that uncomfortable bloating comes from.
A very simple technique to avoid that gassy bloat feeling, without giving up a couple of drinks during the party is to swap your beer and cider for wine or spirits.
Better yet, you could try infusing your water with pineapple, which contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps break down food and use it with your gin or vodkas. Not only will the infused water help balance out the removal of electrolytes that alcohol brings, but the pineapple will help keep things light and refreshing.
Try adding these infused waters to the party, see what they say.
10) SPEND THE PRE & POST GAME IN HEALING MODE
Okay, this tip requires more planning than most of the other ones. It requires taking 1-2 days before the party, and 1-2 days after the party prepping and resetting your body. If none of the above tips work for you, or if you just really want to dig into a pile of fried food, try to keep it light pre and post-game.
This means veggie loading your days, adding easy to digest foods like soups or smoothies to your routine, cutting back on the sugar (in all forms), and limiting your meat and dairy intake. If you opt for incredibly healthy days leading to the party, you’re going to feel so much better going into it, and you never know, you might even want to keep it up.
So, there you have it, a few of our favourite party tricks for minimizing the bloat, and adding in some healthier options.
Do you have any healthy options you love to add to your Super Bowl game? Let us know in the comments below.