March Madness is officially here friends! ⛹️♂️ And with that comes sports games over reality tv, brackets, and lots of classic eats – nachos, hamburgers, bite size snacks & tons of bevvies (alcoholic & non-alcoholic, alike 😉). We all get in the MM spirit by indulging in some of the on-theme fares from time to times but let’s talk about some simple good-for-you swaps that don’t sacrifice on flavor?!
Reading this after March Madness? That’s ok – that means spring is here & next up is tailgate season. We could all benefit from keeping some of these babies in our back pocket!
Bite Size Snacks are really everyone’s favorite
Who doesn’t like to nibble on a few different flavors in one sitting?! I mean that’s why the charcuterie plate is such a fan favorite & tapas – is there a more fun way to eat?! Doubtful. But the unfortunate truth is these mini bites are often loaded with trans fats, sugar & additives and we’re trying to age well, ya know? Don’t ‘womp womp’ me yet – gratefully, Snow Days has us covered with the pizza bites of your dreams. Flavors include Buffalo Chicken, Cheese, Sausage, and Veggie White – they offer pretty much any bite you could imagine but with organic ingredients, grass-fed cheese and without tons of sugar or weird additives. Plus, you just heat them up, maybe pair with a dipping sauce & you’re ready to go.
Sign. Me. Up.
A classic: Sliders
That fast food burger ain’t gonna do your body any favors. Fast food is one of the main sources of trans fats today, which is not only super inflammatory but also has been shown to be awful for supporting healthy cholesterol levels (not only does it raise harmful LDL, but it also lowers helpful HDL!).
Make the swap to simple, homemade grass-fed ground beef sliders. As compared to conventional beef, grass-fed beef has been shown to be richer in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, vitamin A & E. And another awesome thing about it?! It’s affordable. Right there is one simple swap that can make a big difference on bodily health – I love this easy slider recipe; just add some veggies or sliced avocado and you’re golden.
Give me all the drinks
When talking drinks, they fall into two categories worth chatting about: sodas / sugary drinks & alcohol. First, let’s dive into alcohol.
Alcohol: It’s no secret that it sure isn’t great for energy, sleep, inflammation, lots of stuff. But many of us like to have a cocktail or two, maybe a glass of wine. Unfortunately, we don’t always even know what’s even in our drink of choice but I’m here to give you the facts + the solutions. If you’re a wine person, I like Dry Farm Wines & Avaline for low sugar wines that really respect ingredient quality. More of a cocktail person? It’s key to know that many are also sugar bombs, so even a simple swap of 4oz of soda of 4oz of a sparkling water can cut your drink’s sugar by a tablespoon (or 12gm!) – I love this low sugar, super refreshing Rose Paloma! Another option is swapping in a drink for a zero proof option that goes beyond sparkling water + lime like this baby by our friend Dr G!
Sodas & Sugary Drinks: As cited in our 2023 Weight of Sugar Report, most Americans still consume 3x the recommendation for added sugar everyday and the #1 source of added sugars remains sugar sweetened beverages. Think soda, juice, sweetened coffee & tea. It’s easy to assume that juice is better than soda because it’s made from fruit and fruit is good right? When in reality, both can have about 16 tsp or around 60gm (!!) of added sugar in a classic 20oz. And when we talk about sweetened coffees & teas, you can see just as much in your takeout beverage order depending how much sugar – or ‘pumps’ – are being added!
Don’t worry. I’m not taking sweeteners completely off the table but small steps made consistently lead to big change. Simply cutting back on the number of packets of sugar added to your coffee from 3 to 2 or diluting your morning juice a bit or swapping to a flavorful moderately caffeinated sparkling water when you’re craving the energy from a 1PM soda fix all make such a positive difference in your health.