Lauren Rabaino

Here it comes again, that fantastic icon of American testosterone, the Super Bowl. Even if you don’t like football, everyone can find some enjoyment in it by hanging out with friends, eating, and watching those ridiculous Super Bowl commercials. It is a day traditionally filled with nachos, beer, buffalo wings and just about any other fatty foods you can handle. There is one problem that we have to keep in mind: the post-Super Bowl food hangover. You had a fun day, but you are paying for it with your stomachaches and constant pondering of, “Why on earth did I eat that?”

Just to scare you a little, check out these post-game stats. For Super Bowl 2007, the average intake from kickoff to finish was 925 calories, along with 38 grams of fat and 890 milligrams of sodium. That is just under half of what you are supposed to eat in an entire day crammed into three hours of gorging.

I am here this week to help you and your guests avoid the post-Super Bowl regrets by offering some healthy yet still fun ways to eat this coming Sunday.

1. Nachos

Always a crowd favorite, but they don’t have to be as heavy. Try using reduced-fat cheese and baked chips for fewer calories and less fat.

2. Dips

Instead of using full-fat mayonnaise or sour cream in your dip, try non-fat plain yogurt. Bean dips are also yummy and healthy with extra fiber and some B vitamins for an energy boost. Homemade fresh salsa is not only more delicious, but it also packs a serious vitamin C punch. Guacamole is a great source of potassium and the healthier type of fats called monounsaturated fatty acids.

3. Fruit and veggie trays

Make your own or buy one from the store. Make sure you don’t put out the ranch dressing. Use hummus or bean dip instead.

4. Pizza

Order a pizza with extra veggies and half the cheese on a whole wheat crust. You could even save yourself some money and make your own.

5. Chili

With so many tomatoes and beans, chili has a lot of potential to be a pretty healthy meal. Try using extra-lean beef or ground turkey (I bet your guests won’t even notice it is turkey) along with reduced-fat cheese to garnish. For your cornbread, use part whole-wheat flour along with low-fat canola oil.

6. Chicken

Sideline those greasy buffalo wings and try making some chicken fingers. Just dip some chicken breast strips in milk and seasoned bread crumbs and throw them in the oven. Don’t forget to put out honey mustard and barbecue sauce as well as some buffalo sauce for your guests that need the heat.

7. Salad

Try making a southwestern salad. Not only is it super easy, but it’s healthy, filling and delicious. Just throw some canned corn, kidney beans, lettuce, onions, chopped tomatoes and peppers in a bowl with a ton of fresh salsa. Add some low-fat jack cheese if you want some extra flair.

8. Sandwiches

Instead of getting a big subsandwich, put out the ingredients for your guests to make their own. Use lean, low-sodium meats with reduced-fat cheese. Whole grain bread or tortillas are a good substitute for those huge French rolls. Make sure to include all of the veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, roasted red peppers, sprouts, cucumbers) along with mustard and low-fat mayo.

9. Liquids

Try to drink diet soda, juice or water. If you choose to drink, pick a light beer, but don’t get too crazy because you have school the next day!

10. Halftime Show

I know it might be tough to pull yourself away from Tom Petty during halftime, but grab your pigskin and your pals and go outside to have your own mini-football game. This will help get you off the couch and away from all the food!

So go out there and scream at your team, just not for Tom Brady. (Seriously, leaving your pregnant girlfriend for a supermodel?) Anyway, have a fun and healthy Super Bowl!

Sarah Bailey is a nutrition senior, a Mustang Daily nutrition columnist and a member of PULSE. E-mail her your questions at slbailey@calpoly.edu.

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