INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Gameday tailgates can present a minefield of unhealthy food choices. Between the beer, burgers and brats, the hours leading up to the big game can result in calorie overload.
Even after the game, research suggests we reach for fattier foods when our team doesn’t perform as well as we would like.
“Everyone thinks tailgates have to be unhealthy and full of fatty foods, but that isn’t true,” says Matt Schroeder, a Colts fan who dedicates himself to clean eating and frequent exercise. Schroeder weighed 272 pounds at his heaviest, but in April 2007 he began a journey to lose 50 pounds. He has succeeded in keeping the weight off.
For each home game, Schroeder dons blue and white face paint, football shoulder pads and a large belt – reminiscent of a championship belt from WWE. His weekly tailgates are fan-approved and diet friendly as he substitutes healthier alternatives for tailgate staples.
Turkey brats have approximately 50 percent less fat and 60 percent less sodium than regular pork brats. Serve this delicious option with roasted onions and peppers.
1 package of 5 turkey brats
1 package of Kroger frozen onion & pepper veggies
2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp coconut oil
4-5 sprinkles of Mrs. Dash 'Onion & Herb' seasoning
Foil dish pan
Mix rice wine, onions and pepper mix, spice and coconut oil in foil pan. Place turkey brats directly on the grill, grilling on low heat about 5 minutes. Poke holes in brats to drain the fat. Add turkey brats in with onion mix on high, until done.
Chicken kebabs are a tailgate staple and provide a leaner alternative to red meat.
2 Chicken breasts
1 to 2 green peppers
1 red onion (optional)
1 canned pineapple chunks (reserve juice for marinade)
1 cup Agave Nectar
juice from canned pineapple (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
Dash of soy sauce
Dash black pepper
Cut chicken, green pepper and onions into 1”-to-2” cubes. Place on skewers with pineapple, alternating. NOTE: If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 20 minutes before using, prevents scorching.
Marinade: Mix together agave nectar, pineapple juice, Hoisin sauce and soy sauce into a bowl. Add black pepper to taste, stir thoroughly.
Grill kabobs for 2 minutes on each side. Turn and brush with marinade.
Legion of Blue's Original Protein S'mores
Even your non-health-conscious friends will want more than one of these fan-friendly s’mores. Schroeder chooses the Kroger-brand graham crackers for their low sugar content and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate from Endangered Species, headquartered here in Indianapolis. He creates a marshmallow substitute by combining plain Greek yogurt with Vanilla-flavored casein protein powder from Optimum Nutrition.
1, 17oz tub of Plain Greek Yogurt
88 percent Endangered species dark chocolate
1 scoop Optimum Nutrition vanilla casein protein
In a bowl, mix one scoop of casein protein powder into about 1 cup of yogurt. Stir thoroughly until texture resembles marshmallow mix. Place graham cracker squares directly on grill, over low heat. Place one chocolate square on each graham cracker, checking often to ensure chocolate doesn’t melt – about 2 minutes. Remove grahams and chocolate from grill. Spoon 1 Tbsp. of 'marshmallow' blend onto the chocolate.
"You have to want to lose weight," Schroeder says. "Nobody can make you do it. You have to wake up one morning and say 'I don't want to be like this anymore.'"
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