As the NFC Championship appeared to be slipping away for the Seattle Seahawks on the afternoon of Jan. 18, it seemed as if the Seahawks were cursed.
So, I started blaming the friends and family with whom I was watching the game.
My wife was wearing a new shirt. It must be bad luck. My teenage daughter was actually watching the game. I asked her to leave. I’d lost my lucky shirt. I rummaged through my closet trying to find it. (It’s not a Seahawks shirt — it’s a red Godzilla shirt — but the Seahawks and Washington State are undefeated when I wear it.)
The most blame, as I saw it, went to a friend who’d brought a huge wedge of delicious cheese over for the game. Cheese? For a game against the Green Bay Packers? Talk about tempting fate.
So finally, as the Hawks were rallying, I grabbed one of the last pieces of cheese, opened the front door and chucked it across the street into the yard of my neighbor, a long-suffering Jets fan.
This is usually as much thought as I put into a game-day spread, especially the question of whether or not it is healthy.
But football parties can have an impact on your waistline.
Brooke Douglas, a registered dietitian and CEO of Puyallup’s Nutrition Authority, says “Being mindful during a Super Bowl party is much like being mindful with holiday eating.”
Navigating the holiday eating season is no easy task, and for Seahawks fans it’s as if the holidays have been extended a month.
Today, the Seahawks play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. The parties — and the food — are bound to be epic.
Here are some tips for handling the feast so, whether your team wins or loses, you’ll feel a little better on Monday morning.
Find time to exercise before the party. Not only will exercise help fight off the incoming calories, but it will also help relieve stress, Douglas said. And if the Seahawks start the Super Bowl the way they started the NFC Championship, Seahawks fans are bound to feel plenty of stress.
2. DON’T SKIP MEALS
If you’re thinking of skipping breakfast and lunch so you can eat more during the Super Bowl party, you might want to think again. This strategy sometimes actually leads to overeating, Douglas said.
3. EXPLORE THE VEGGIE TRAY
Passing on fattening foods in favor of healthier snacks could help you feel much better after the party. Don’t think there will be healthy options at the party? Then offer to bring something healthy such as a salad, chicken or fish, Douglas said. Douglas also recommends thinking about putting together a colorful plate when you’re dishing up. Do this and you’re going to end up with fruit and veggies on your plate.
4. PAY ATTENTION
Don’t mindlessly cram chips in your mouth as you watch the game. Eat small portions and think about what you’re eating and how you feel. “Pace yourself and become more aware of what you are eating and drinking,” Douglas said. “Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.”
5. LIGHTEN UP
Explore healthier ways to make your standard dishes. Less cheese and more veggies on the pizza. Veggies and hummus instead of chips and dip. Douglas also recommends trading in beer and wine for lighter versions. Mixed drinks are also high in calories, she said.
6. STAY DISTRACTED
You’re bound to eat less if you socialize and focus more on the game. And, Douglas said, stand away from the food table to help resist the urge to eat more.
7. SCOUT THE BUFFET
In an article Douglas wrote for her clients, she offered a game plan for navigating buffets like the ones you’ll see at a Super Bowl or holiday party. She recommends checking out the spread before grabbing a plate and looking for what you’d like to try. Then fill up once, filling half your plate with veggies. Eat the higher fiber foods first. You might even consider chewing gum to signal to your body that you’re done eating, Douglas said.
8. NO CHOWDA
I was joking about food superstitions. (I think.) But it seems that if a friend shows up for the game toting a pot of New England clam chowder, you probably ought to ask them to leave. Or at least send them away and ask them to come back with Manhattan clam chowder.
Better safe than sorry.