By Alan Miles
The bowl game experience isn’t exactly all about eating naturally and well. The game is packed with commercials for less-than-healthy foodstuffs, and watching it triggers a feeding frenzy on snacks and party food that are often laden with chemical preservatives, colorings and flavorings. How can someone who wants to eat well take part in this grand sports holiday?
First of all, you’ve gotta believe! If you believe that you can eat right and are willing to give 110 percent to make it happen, you can do it. Use these sports clichés to keep your eating on track and come back with a good-eating victory in a hostile environment:
Stay focused. It can be hard to eat right in a festive atmosphere. But you’ve got to execute your game plan just like it’s any other day. Remember your long-term goals, and don’t try too hard. Just let it come to you. Try to find your comfort zone — the foods you feel good about eating — and do what you do best.
Remember this is what it all comes down to. You’ve worked to eat right for months, faced Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas treats. It’s all been building to this. Remember that it’s not the will to win that prevails, it’s the will to prepare to win. Now is the time when all your hard work pays off.
Play tough defense. They’re going to come at you with everything they’ve got. They’ve probably even added a new wrinkle or two to catch you off guard. But stay solid and remember your fundamentals. Stick to the basics and don’t be fooled by snacks that look good, but put unwanted additives and preservatives in your body. Be a good sport about it — but turn back the rush of junk food.
Don’t forget that the best defense is a good offense. You’ve got to give your defense against junk food a rest with some positive munching. You can kill some clock, reducing the time and energy you have to spend fighting temptations by gratifying your hunger with good food. But you may have to make it happen yourself — you need to be able to bring it every time out. Make a late-season trade of processed chips for colorful root vegetable chips, or try another “super” snack, like Honey Mustard Chicken Wings and Spicy Buffalo Popcorn.
Soup also is a good bet — add a hearty Black Bean and Salsa Soup or “Verdelicious” Green Tomatillo Chili (or one of many other delicious Frontier soup recipes) to the food selections to give yourself (and your natural food teammates) a satisfying, healthful option.
Don’t look ahead. Take it one step at a time. If you’re going to end up with a plate of food you’ll be happy with, you’re going to have to look at each one of your choices and make the hard decisions right then and there. You’ve got to be ready every time you line up in front of a snack.
If you get knocked down, get up. If something doesn’t go well, if you falter and find yourself regretting a food choice, shake it off. Don’t let one mistake lead to another. Forget about what just happened and come right back and do your best. Deep down you know that there’s no quit in you.
Keep it going. If things are going really well, don’t back off and celebrate too soon. There’s no reason to let success go to your head. You can’t sit around thinking about how well you did last week — you’ve got to be ready to go again. Remember: The only true measure of greatness is consistency of greatness.
You can win this thing! With these motivating football clichés behind you, you can’t be stopped! It’s your destiny to get out there and make this bowl game Sunday the most healthful ever. All that’s left is “Eat right” on three! 1,2,3 — EAT RIGHT!
About the Author: Alan explores ideas and issues related to a sustainable lifestyle — from cooking and culture to social and environmental responsibility. He enjoys Shakespeare, but not as much as college basketball (Go Hawks!). Alan is a family man, liking nothing better than spending time with his wife of 35 years, his four kids and grandkids.