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Jenny’s Fall Fun Guide: Healthy Tailgating Tips

Autumn marks the return of football season—and with it comes a seemingly endless parade of tasty temptations threatening to throw your healthy eating off track. Is it possible to cheer on your favorite team, without losing sight of your own personal victories? Absolutely! Just follow these simple guilt-free tailgating tips from your friends at Jenny.

MINDFUL MAIN DISHES. Nothing says fall fun like firing up the BBQ in the parking lot. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep your pre-game grilling lean. Start by skipping the burger/dog category altogether; even if you choose lean beef, turkey, chicken or salmon as your meat, the bun and all those delicious fixings can easily throw your caloric and sodium intake way off-balance. Instead, prepare some simple kebabs with marinated chicken breast and big chunks of onions and peppers. Not only will you get some deliciously healthy protein, nutrients and fiber… you won’t even need a plate!

SMART SIDES. Salty snacks are a hallmark of football season—after all, what goes better with beer? But it’s important to remember that sodium can cause you to retain water, which can lead to disappointment at your weekly weigh-in (not to mention side-tracking your health goals). So, instead of reaching for the chips and high-calorie creamy dip, come prepared with your own arsenal of chopped veggies (carrots, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower) and some healthier dips, like salsa, black bean dip or hummus. Dying for something with a carb-y crunch? Bring along a bag of Jenny’s Cheese Curls or Bruschetta Veggie Chips to savor.

DRINK DOS + DON’TS. Of course, the best thing you can drink at a football game (or anywhere, really) is water. Start by drinking 16 oz. in the car on the way to the game; this will help to ensure you don’t get dehydrated during the game. Instead of grabbing a regular soda, make a pitcher of iced tea and sweeten with stevia or another calorie-free sweetener. If you’re going to drink alcohol, choose wine or light beer over sugary mixed drinks like margaritas, and limit yourself to one or two. Indulging in more will not only boost your calorie intake—it will lower your inhibitions, making you more likely to stray from your healthy eating ways.