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Top 5 Healthy Superbowl Sunday Swaps

With Superbowl Sunday approaching quickly, I know many of us are starting to think about the food. Dips on dips on dips plus WINGS. But then you may also be thinking about calories or diet debunking. Yeah, my Whole 30-er’s I’m talking to you 🙂

Some sources say Americans consume up to 2,400 calories on Superbowl Sunday, while others report numbers up to 6,000 calories by the end of Superbowl Sunday. Either way, these numbers are astronomical! And the key to remember is it doesn’t have to be like this. You can have an enjoyable Superbowl Sunday by just making a few easy and healthy swaps. Trust me, these swaps are undetectable! What people don’t know won’t hurt them. Hey, it may even help them in this case.

Old Bay Hot Wings

The video link below is the Fox 17 healthy appetizer swap segment that I did right before Christmas this past December, but many of these swaps still apply so be sure to check it out! Otherwise, skip down to these healthy and simple swaps 🙂



Dip into a healthy new year

  • Healthy spinach and artichoke dip:
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Use a combination of low fat and fat-free cream cheese, as well as non-fat, plain, Greek yogurt for ~60% lower calories and ~80% less fat.
      • Double the artichoke amount for higher veggie and fiber content. Use frozen spinach for a time/convenience factor.
      • For your chicken wing dip, use the Hidden Valley Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip mix with non-fat Greek yogurt for less calories and fat.

Avoid getting nutty this Sunday…

  • Serve air-popped popcorn instead of nuts.
    • Simple swap(s):
      • This Superbowl Sunday, try serving air-popped popcorn instead of nuts. One half cup of nuts is almost 9x more calories than a half cup of popcorn.
      • Popcorn is a great whole grain snack and great source of dietary fiber.
      • Try fun, new variations of popcorn flavors, such as ginger and wasabi, chili-garlic, parmesan and truffle oil with parsley, and paprika and chili powder.

Indulge the right way—

  • Don’t let baked goods debunk your diet!
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Use unsweetened applesauce to replace half or more of your margarine, shortening, or oil in your baked goods for ~50% less calories and fat.

Don’t drink your diet away


  • Calories can add up from beverages, not just food alone. Keep an eye on your added calories from alcohol and high-calorie drinks.
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Ok people, I know you are going to drink and who are we kidding, there isn’t a healthy substitute for beer (unless you enjoy light beer aka water), but let’s keep count at the very least. If you won’t limit yourself to one or two drinks for health, at least do it for safety purposes. Drive safely!
      • Make a wine spritzer using 3 oz white wine and 2 oz club soda or carbonated water to keep your head clear during a Superbowl Sunday party and to cut back on ~40% or ~50 calories.

Get creative with your balls (meatballs of course)—

  • When making meatballs, mix half of your ground beef with cooked lentils to lower calories and fat content.
    • Simple swap(s):
      • Reduce the amount of ground beef by half and add cooked lentils in your meatball recipe to provide up to 20% fewer calories and ~40% less fat.
      • If convenience or time is a factor, check to see if there are pre-cooked lentils available in the produce section at the grocery store.

Spiced Beef and Lentil Meatballs:

Prep time: 20 mins, Total time: 50 mins, Servings: 12-14 meatballs

  • Ingredients:
    • ¾ lb (341 g) lean ground beef
    • 1 cup (250 ml) cooked green lentils
    • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ cup (125 ml) bread crumbs
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    • ½ tsp (2 ml) ground black pepper
    • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) canola oil
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
    2. Combine all of the ingredients (except oil) in a large bowl and gently mix until combined.
    3. Form into golf ball sized meatballs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Arrange on a tray. Should make about 12-14 meatballs.
    4. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Let it warm for 30 seconds. Add half of the meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
    5. Arrange meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until thermometer reads an internal temperature of 160F.



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