“BALANCE”ing Tailgating Nutrition

“BALANCE”ing Tailgating Nutrition

Football season has officially kicked off! This time of year usually means making plans around game schedules and nutrition takes a backseat to who’s playing who. On top of that, tailgates put us face to face, not only with our rivals, but also with so. much. food every single weekend. Between concession stands and tailgates, game days are not known for their nutritional value, but rather their greasy indulgences. This football season, skip the lines and choose healthier options. Your wallet and waistline will thank you later!

Our nutrition experts at Woman’s Center for Wellness suggest these tips:

  • Plan Your Menu: When thinking of a tailgating menu, be sure to include foods from all food groups. Try to incorporate lean proteins like grilled chicken or boiled shrimp. non-starchy vegetables like asparagus or bell peppers, whole grains like wheat pita or crackers, low fat dairy cheeses, and fresh fruit like berries or grapes. Remember to balance the meal with healthy foods and practice portion control. 
  • Stay Hydrated: Women should limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day. If you plan to drink more, alternate each alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic drink, preferably water, to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid Mindless Eating: Try to avoid snacking all day. Instead, used a plate and fill it once. Also try to eat at a normal meal time to help your body naturally fight cravings.
  • Get Active: Take part in physical activity to burn some of those unwanted calories. Throw a football, play corn hole or take a walk around campus.

Jambalaya is a common staple at many tailgates, but with a few tweaks it can become a healthy option. The dish already calls for leaner proteins, but use brown rice to cut down the fate and add a healthy dose of whole grains. Try it at your next tailgate!

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

  • 3 lbs chicken (boneless and skinless)
  • 1/2 lbs sausage (low fat and/or reduced sodium)
  • 4 tbsp Cajun seasoning blend
  • 4 tbsp Smart Balance butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 7 cups water

Season chicken with seasoning blend and brown in pot with butter. Remove chicken from pot and add vegetables. Saute for 10 minutes. Add rice and sausage, cook for 10 minutes. Add chicken and water, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 3o minutes.