When you’re someone who is wellness-focused during football season, gamedays can feel like a weekly challenge. For me, avoiding the party scene altogether is not an option and I would never recommend that my clients be antisocial either. Wellness is as much about our relationships as it is about the food we eat, our sleep, exercise, etc…(more on that soon). Instead, I have a few tips and tricks for elevating your gameday experiences.
Hostess with the mostess
If it’s an option and feels like an enjoyable opportunity for you, I recommend hosting the get-together yourself. This allows you to have more control of the food offerings, setting and overall timing of the day. Want to have the evening to yourself to better map out the week ahead? Invite your people for a gamewatch brunch to get the house back to yourself at a reasonable time. Throw together some easy options that will give you and guests healthy options for snacking like veggie skewers and hummus, roasted nut mixes, smoked salmon on rice crackers or prosciutto wrapped pears.
But first, move.
I like to start the morning of with a workout that will energize me through the event. Include friends and fam that will later join you as well. It’ll infuse the wellness-focus into the mindset and vibe of the group before the party even starts. I opt for workouts like spin, a run or a strength class. A good sweat and a challenge leaves me feeling accomplished…and hungry for all the good stuff later on.
Call in the subs
Traditionally, gameday events are thought of as overly indulgent experiences complete with ranch-covered, bacon-topped, fried everything. Nonetheless, I think it’s fair to say that the signature dishes we all associate with tailgates and gamewatch parties are a favorite part of the season. For me, finding inspiration from those party favs and reworking them to better suit my food preferences is one of the ways I find my balance during football season. Some dishes are better left as the original and enjoyed in moderation, but others can be just as great with some simple, healthier substitutions.
One of the foods that instantly comes to mind when I think about football is buffalo chicken wings with ranch dressing. While that is something you should have just as it is every now and then, this recipe makes the cut for your weekly rotation. Enjoy!
BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
· 4 sweet potatoes
· 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
· 1 cup water
· 1 bottle Tessemae’s buffalo sauce
· 1 bottle Tessemae’s buffalo ranch
· 1 handful fresh cilantro
Roast whole sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven until fork tender (about 45-60min depending on the size of your sweet potatoes). Place chicken breasts and water in an Instant Pot and set to 30 min on the poultry setting. Shred drained and cooked chicken with 2 forks and toss with buffalo sauce to combine (I use approx. ¾ of the bottle). Slice sweet potatoes in half and stuff with chicken. Drizzle ranch over the top of each and sprinkle with cilantro. I love this one served alongside a big cobb salad with chopped celery, carrots, radishes and hard boiled eggs.