Healthier Food Choices for Fans During Football Season

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Football season is in full gear and who isn’t excited for tailgating or house parties? These celebrations typically include large amounts of food and drinks, which usually results in over consumption. Studies have shown that football season has had a negative impact on health due to excessive poor food choices and alcohol consumption. Fatty meats, sugary-sweets, and alcohol add up quick and impact our well-being. There are ways to go about incorporating healthy, yet still delicious food choices. It’s a matter of getting creative and providing your friends and family clean alternatives. Here are some ways to combat those health concerns.

Provide healthy swap options.
Swap out fatty saturated meats with lean/extra-lean meats. Instead of beef burgers or hot dogs, try having lean turkey burgers or grilled chicken breast sandwiches. Trade full-fat chips for air popped or baked vegetable chips. If you are anything like me, sweets are my weakness. Substitute sugary-cupcakes and cookies for my peanut butter protein balls (recipe below).

Move more between plays and half-time.
If you are not at the game jumping around, most likely you are glued to the couch watching a three-hour-long game. Consuming extra calories while sitting for long periods will not aid in burning off excess calories. Make an attempt to stand more, move around or stretch between plays and half-time. Some other ideas would be to plan a flag-football or cornhole game with your guests during halftime or after the game.

Hydrate with H20.
We all know alcohol is a big part of football celebrations, but over consuming will negatively impact your health. Not only is it intoxicating your body but you are more likely to be in a surplus of calories from both alcohol and junk food that follows. A few ways to help reduce these negative effects are as follows:

  1. Pre-plan a health-conscious intake. Setting your limit makes it easier to stop when you know you have had enough.
  2. Swap sugary mixers with seltzer water and use fresh squeezed lemon or lime for taste. Doing so can save you 200 – 300 calories, per drink!
  3. Hydrate with plenty of H20 throughout the day and before you go to bed. This is a good way to avoid dehydration and nasty hangovers.

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protein balls, energy balls, Claudia’s Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  • 2 Cups Raw Oats
  • 4 Scoops MaxPro Natural Vanilla (or any favorite Max Muscle vanilla/chocolate protein)
  • ¼ Cup PB2 Powder
  • ½ Cup Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Raw Honey
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cashew or Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar-free Pancake Syrup (for extra sweetness-optional)

Directions

1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together, minus the cashew/almond milk. Knead batter well, this will be a very thick and sticky consistency. Pour almond/cashew milk into mixture, as needed to help with mixing.

2. Roll into 20 balls, each ball weighing approx. 1oz (28g).

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Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1 Protein Ball
Recipe yields: 20 balls
Calories: 110
Fat: 4g
Carbs: 10g
Protein: 9g
Sugar: 3g
Fiber: 2g

By Claudia Virgil, Team Max Athlete

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