Saturday, September 18, 2010

Are you ready for some Football? (and all the tempting snacks too?)

I am about a week late with this post, but better late then never! The question of what to eat at Football parties has come up a lot lately and this can go for any party or gathering in general. But I wanted to think more about "game food" or things that could be modified for you but not look too out of place or be too odd that others wouldn't want to try it. A number of people like to hide the fact that they are "low carb" either out of fear of harassment, or they don't want people staring at them wondering why they haven't lost weight yet, or they don't want people lecturing them saying meat/fat is unhealthy while said person plows down a box of twinkies.

People have many different reasons for wanting to keep their eating habits quiet and that is more understandable to me when someone has been bigger or is still bigger. People watch you, they notice what you eat, they sometimes comment on it and it can really make you feel self conscious. If you don't want to say that you are "low carb" you can just say that you can't eat flour or sugar, or that you are even allergic to flour or sugar, or that flour and sugar makes you sick. It's not really being dishonest because most people who are low carb for any amount of time WILL get sick if they eat very much flour or sugar. It becomes more so if you are VLC (very low carb) like I am and even more so if you have a medical condition like PCOS.

A lot of times when we think of a football party we automatically think of junk food, chips and dip, nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni salad etc. While all of that is fine and certainly affordable to feed the majority of your guests there are options to add in to help those who don't eat carbs.

If I am having a party or people over I always ask if anyone has any food allergies or dietary restrictions. I grew up with a Mother who is allergic to cheese and other foods made her sick or she just didn't like and other family who was diabetic. Then I worked with/became good friends with a lady who could not eat a lot of fatty foods due to a gall bladder problem. So I guess I just became more sensitive to the issue of people having different dietary needs. Planning for a gathering is easier if it is at my house, but when I go to some where else I just try to bring things that I can eat like a veggie tray, boiled eggs and then just eat a bunless burger or hot dog and avoid the other things. I haven't had any issues being stuck anywhere that didn't have good options besides when I was in enemy territory at Yankee Stadium.

Mini Bacon Cheeseburger Stackers:
You could put pickles, cherry tomatoes and cheese cubes on the skewers above the burgers if you want to. Then have buns for most people but just don't eat the bun yourself.

Just make pizza's for everyone else and then make yourself a low carb pizza with the same toppings or different toppings on the pizza's for variety. If anyone notices that your pizza is different, again just say you can't have flour. I just got some frozen cheese pizza's at the store and then added my own toppings so it looked the same as mine. But you could always just get different kinda of frozen pizzas and then add a little extra cheese to them to make them be better.

This was my Low Carb Pizza:
I just used a low carb tortilla for the crust and a pizza sauce that was as low in carbs as I could find. This pizza was actually 7 carbs for the whole pizza, but that will depend on the tortilla you use, the sauce you use and the toppings you add. I have made other one that was 16 carbs per the whole pizza. The big difference was using a 4 carb tortilla vs. a 10 carb one. 

Buffalo Wings or BBQ Wings or Italian Wings:
I made Buffalo Wings with a sauce that was 1 carb per 2 tbsp of sauce. Just bake the wings with basic seasoning on them like pepper, onion powder and a little garlic powder if you want. Then use a Buffalo sauce that is lower in carbs like Ken's Buffalo Sauce and marinade or a BBQ sauce that is lower in carbs like Kraft Light, or even use Italian dressing and Italian seasoning. These wings actually had only a little sauce and it was 1 carb for all 4 of these wings.

Steak Kabobs:
You could also add cherry tomatoes to this if you wanted to.

Chicken Kabobs with bigger pieces of chicken:
Chicken Bacon Kabobs with smaller pieces of chicken:
You can grill up steaks and then warm them/finish cooking them in the oven or make a roast.

You could also make up a sandwich tray with various sandwiches cut in half or in 4's and then also have a few wraps on the side. Included in this could be your wraps in low carb tortillas, or just keep your wrap in the fridge and get it out when you need it. Maybe make up a few more in case someone else is also avoiding the carbs. You could even ask if anyone else is allergic to flour or sugar and offer then one as well.

Boiled Eggs:
They are cheap and easy. Add a veggie tray or baby carrots and ranch dressing too. You could also do a meat and cheese tray if you like. Put those out in addition to all of the chips and dips. When I have done this I ended up with people thanking me for having some healthier options available.

Cheese Crisp Crackers:
These are the cheese crips crackers made out of melted cheese. You can top them with tuna, egg salad, lunch meats or use them as chips with salsa if you wanted to. Another thing you could keep to the side for yourself or make a small batch to share if you wanted to.

If you want more substantial food and you don't want to do steaks, kabobs, burgers, hot dogs etc. You could do a taco bar. But keep in mind that not everyone has a tummy that can handle spicy foods. You could still have chips and salsa and taco shells and normal tortillas but over to the side have your low carb tortillas or just make taco salads. If you have it set up like a taco bar then people could just make their own. It is easy to store taco meat in a crock put and you could also have queso for nachos too.

Taco Salad:

Chicken Fajita Salad:
Low Carb Enchilidas:
I cut a 4 carb tortilla in half and then stuffed it with as much meat as I could. You could have a pan or two of normal enchiladas ready for everyone else.

Chicken and Sausage Lasagna:
This is a pasta free Lasagna it has chicken and Italian sausage with sauteed bell pepper, onion, fresh pressed garlic, grilled tomatoes, Italian seasoning, fresh ground black pepper and lots of cheese! I fed it to someone who isn't Low Carb and they didn't even miss the pasta not being in it until I asked them how the noodles tasted. Then they noticed! But you could make a normal one if you wanted to and save this one for yourself.

You can even get low carb ice cream and diet root beer and make root beer floats for yourself and normal ones for everyone else.

So am I ready for some Football???
Heck yeah! My only problem is, my Patriots gear from last year is a bit big on me now. This hoodie is kind of like a snuggie now because I can fit my legs up into it when I sit down.

My youngest doggie wanted to give me kisses:
It was actually cool enough that I wore this on Sunday until after I got too hot cooking in the kitchen.

This is my only Patriots shirt that isn't too big for me yet. I have a Broncos fan offering to buy me Broncos gear in the right size, but I have declined the offer. lol

I hope some of these ideas help avoid the carb loaded temptations but still allow you to feed your other guests the food they want. I have cooked differently for someone who eats a lot of carbs and myself being very low carb for quite awhile so I have learned how to make modifications to things and use the same base ingredients but just make alterations or exclusions to mine. The one thing I will caution you on is pay attention to the added things like the ice cream in the root beer float. A serving size is 1/2 cup, if you use more then that just make sure to add up the carbs. You may even want to plan out in advance what you are going to eat and enter it into FitDay and then just kind of keep a mental note during the party so you don't let yourself over do it. BUT if you do decide to be "bad" and go over your 20 carb limit, then you will have a better chance of just staying under say 30 carbs for that day if you have your low carb options available to you. Instead of having a 120+ carb day without your low carb options. Staying under 30 carbs for a special occasion is a lot better then 60, 80, 100+.

I do occasionally let myself have an "Off" day where I go above 20, but it is not very often and then it is still under 30 and very very rarely would I let myself hit 40, it would have to be something special that I really wanted or I was somewhere like Yankee stadium where I didn't have a choice. That day I had eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast about noon time and then a cheese steak sandwich at the game about 7pm. I picked part of the sub roll off, but ate most of it because there wasn't a lot of meat on the $15 cheese steak sub that was 6" long. Then later in the game I shared a small order of cheese fries with a friend. Drank half of a small hot chocolate that was about 15 carbs, I mostly wanted to hold the cup to stay warm. Then I ate a piece of beef jerky about 1am once I got back to the hotel. I didn't gain any weight and I didn't get sick, but the carbs were also spread out and combined with quite a bit of walking and water that day too. I don't know exactly how many carbs I had that day, but that has been my worst "off" day in a very long time. I went right back to very low carb the next day for breakfast. When traveling I try to make sure to eat a good breakfast because I can get full on eggs, bacon and sausage and not have to worry about the carbs.

1 comment:

  1. These are all wonderful and delicious ideas. I need to counteract with some of them! YUMMY!