Next to Thanksgiving, Superbowl Sunday is the second most popular day to eat. Americans will consume about 1.3 billion chicken wings, 11.2 million pounds of potato chips and 4 billion pounds of pretzels. No wonder only one third of people make it to the end of January sticking to their resolutions! If you want to still enjoy the game without blowing your diet completely, here are tips to get through and a recipe to add to your game time spread that will make you the hit of the party.
- Bring Something: If you’re not sure what type of foods will be at the party bring something you know you can eat whether its veggies and a low-calorie dip, guacamole, chili, or some Zone Enchilada orzo (recipe below).
- Don’t Go Hungry: Try not to bank your calories by skipping breakfast and lunch. This usually doesn’t work as you override your hunger signals and go way overboard on your eating. Instead, eat a lighter breakfast and lunch and have a small snack with a little protein prior to leaving. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and give you more will power to avoid tempting foods you might have otherwise indulged on.
- Be Mindful: Since most parties can range anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, space out what you are going to have. I find that the best foods tends to appear on the table around half-time so try not to fill up too quickly. Instead of eating chips and snacks mindlessly, grab a small plate and put a few things on it. The act of having to continue to refill a plate, versus standing around the TV or table picking at foods without thinking, makes you more aware of just how much you are taking in.
- Pick Your Favorites: How many times have you been at a party and finished an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre that you didn’t even like. Instead of grabbing a little bit of everything, try to pick a smaller portion of the top two or three things you would like and stick with it. Look for things that have protein as they’ll have more sticking power instead of making you go back for more. People tend to consume more foods when they take a little of everything versus having a select few.
- Tomorrows A New Day: If you find that you didn’t do as well as you could have, don’t beat yourself up. Congratulate yourself on what you did right, whether it was bringing something with you, not showing up hungry or filling up on lower-calorie alternatives first. Remember, tomorrow is a new day and just start fresh at your next meal.
- Switch from regular beer to light beer.
- Have a glass of water or a calorie-free beverage in between every alcoholic beverage to reduce your alcohol intake.
- Try to avoid mixed drinks, but if it’s your pleasure, have diet coke instead of regular coke, use club soda, seltzer water or diet tonic in place of regular tonic water and try substituting four fluid ounces of tomato juice or 100 percent juice in place of syrup. Be careful because mixed drinks can easily be 200-400 calories.
Since this may be a day you’ll indulge more than usual, try to get some pre-game energy expenditure into the mix whether it’s hitting the gym, going for a walk, or even playing your own game of touch football with your friends!
CROCK POT ENCHILADA ORZO
This recipe is sure to keep you in the Zone. With a prep time of less than 10 minutes this truly is a fix and forget it kind of meal. Start in the morning and have it ready in time for the game. Serve on its own or make it a spread with low-carb or corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pico de gallo and cheese.
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 2 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth, or more, as needed
- 1 (10-ounce) can of red/green enchilada sauce (e.g. Frontera)
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups uncooked Zone PastaRx Orzo
- Place diced tomatoes, green chiles, broth, enchilada sauce, and black beans into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir until well combined. Top with cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
- Uncover and stir until cream cheese is well combined. Stir in orzo. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30-45 minutes. Add more broth as needed until the desired consistency is reached.
- Serve and enjoy!
Makes 6-8 servings
Check out more Zone Recipes here!