By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD
United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk
It’s that wonderful time of year where sports begin and fun gatherings, be it a homegate or tailgate, are happening. Typically we see food and beverage consumption rise potentially leaving us with a few excess calories in our diets that lead to weight gain. It’s all too familiar. So here are our top tips to help you execute a successful and tasty tailgate without overindulging.
Don’t Skip Meals
The day before or the day of your tailgate do not skip meals to save up your calories for the event. This mentality almost always leads to over consuming both food and beverages. Instead, consume balanced meals full of lean protein and fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied.
We love skewered anything! It’s a great way to portion out proteins and add in vegetables and fruits. You can make no cook options, grilled options, buy them pre-made and use it for both savory and sweet items. The key here is to add more vegetables though. So, start with your vegetables!
Opt for leaner protein choices this season by choosing a 90/10 or 93/7 of one meat. Of if you like the taste of combining your meats try a 50% ground chicken and 50% ground turkey mixture or a 50% ground turkey and 50% ground beef mixture. Don’t forget to add the spices and any additional flavor builders like shredded onions, or diced peppers to keep your burgers moist. If you’re choosing a cut of meat, look for smaller white “veining” (also known as marbling) to make sure you are consuming a leaner choice.
Some of our swaps may not be exactly in the same category but they give you more nutritional bang for your buck with the same idea. Instead of queso, try guac. Instead of mayo and sour cream opt for Greek yogurt for the same creaminess but with more protein. Instead of a 7 layer dip munch on pico de gallo for a lighter option. Instead of potato chips, opt for the stuffed potato as it will deliver a more nutrient dense source of food as well as keep you feeling more satisfied. Get creative with this!
Water all day! Stove for about half of your weight in ounces every day, especially on tailgating days. If you’re consuming alcohol, be sure to alternate a bottle of water in between each alcoholic beverage. Include fruits and vegetables on your plate as they are high in water by volume.
Mushroom Pizza Skewers
1, 1oz pkg basil
1, 8oz pkg whole mushrooms
1 pkg mini mozzarella pearls
1/2 lb pepperoni
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1. Half cherry tomatoes
2. Dice pepperoni into 1/2 inch cubes
3. Dice mushrooms into 1/2 inch pieces
4. Take a toothpick and layer on a half cherry tomato, 1 basil leaf, 1 pepperoni cube, 1 mozzarella pearl, mushroom