Super Bowl Essentials: A Skinny Take on Party Food

We all love parties.  We love to hang with friends and share good times together.  Parties are really fun places to eat & drink….lots…..until we don’t feel so good any more.  I watch my kids at parties, the temptation is huge.  There are loads of food available to them that they don’t see regularly….other than at parties.  “Orange” Mac-n-Cheese, “Day-Glo” cakes, “Rainbow” carbonated beverages and lots of crispy, crunchy, deep-fried “party” food.  When they are at these parties they ask if they can have at it and of course I oblige.  After all, life is not about deprivation.  We need to experience life in full color, not just black and white.

Kids need to taste everything and so do we!  We can then decide for ourselves if we like it or not.  Who am I to control my kids taste buds?  (Well maybe I try just a little!)  The first few times I took my daughter to kiddy birthday parties she over ate & she got a belly ache.  The rest of her day was sort of destroyed.  We talked about that belly ache.  We agreed that it came from too much food, eating too fast and eating large portions of things her little body wasn’t used to.  She was tiny when this happened to her, but she remembers clearly how much it hurt.  Who wants to wreck their day or night feeling overly full, bloated, tired and guilty.  Do you?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Ten in ’10

We are now in Week 5 of the Ten in ’10 challenge.  The Ten in ’10 was kick started by a few fab foodie bloggers.  They had the insight and ambition to inspire others to get the year rolling with mindful eating and exercise.  We come from everywhere, all different lifestyles and different levels of fitness and eating patterns.  It is fun working together as a team to get fit and healthy.

To all the folks that are working hard out there on getting fit and healthy in 2010 here is your chance to practice some of your new tools.  Together let’s practice some good old fashioned restraint.  Parties can be a difficult place to stay on program.  Do remember to enjoy yourself!  However, try not to overindulge to the point where you feel sick and guilty.  No one wants to leave a party all icky and bloated.  That kinda wrecks the good time.

Looking for support?  Are you feeling alone in your health conscious endeavors at the party?  No need to join the masses and overindulge.  Remember your support group is out there.  Go ahead and Tweet #10in10, Facebook or politely excuse yourself for a moment to re-group and get your mindful, balanced energy back.  Trust me you will feel so much better leaving the party with a flat belly and a clear head!

How about we try something new this time around?  Let’s not “diet” the days leading up to the Super Bowl.  Let’s eat right prior to the party and not feel deprived and entitled to a pig out when we get there.  Trust me, I have done parties the wrong way many times and it never feels good.  I can’t afford to have sleepless nights ’cause i’m too full.  The day after the over indulged party I see it in my face, my body puffs up and I get really irritable.  Ick!

Essential Party Rules:

“Party” is defined as any celebration or big meal out.

  • Don’t “diet” the days leading up to the party, this will make you feel entitled to a pig out on party day.
  • Never arrive at a party too hungry.
  • Eat mini-meals throughout the day so you aren’t STARVING when you get there.
  • Fill up on veggies, light dips & salads.
  • Move away from the goodie table, the closer you are to the treats the easier it will be to grab them.
  • Drink lots or water, tea or sparkling water to help feel fuller without the extra calories.
  • I don’t not drink alcohol, but if you do: Slow down, enjoy each sip of your cocktail/wine/beer and have a glass of water in between each drink.
  • Sit down, take a small plate of food and enjoy each bite.  Try not to eat mindlessly hovering over the food table.
  • Taste everything, but try not to over indulge on any one item.
  • Visualize: How great you feel when you stay balanced.  This will help encourage you to maintain that balance.
  • Do the opposite: Visualize being hung over, lack of sleep, blotchy skin, low energy, lethargic, moody and bloated.  This will probably deter you from the party binge.
  • Visualize: How hard you exercise.  Those lunges and squats hurt don’t they?  I sure don’t want to have to put in extra gym time and pain ’cause I ate too much.  I don’t have time for that.  Just because you worked out doesn’t mean you should pig-out.  If we want to see results from our exercise we need to act responsibly. (I’ll get more into that balance in another post.)
  • And please, don’t forget to ENJOY yourself!  Is your favorite party food Nachos?  Have some.  Mine is layer cake, am I gonna skip it?  Heck no!  Am I gonna eat every mini hot dog, cookie and pizza bite….uh no.  Choose your favorite, have some but try to not eat everything!

Aprés Party

  • Congrats and happy claps for you if you got it right and practiced your Essential Party Rules!
  • Did you end up overeating?  None of these tools worked for you?  Now worries, try again next time.  You will have more chances to get it right.  Try practicing these party essentials at your next big meal out.  Consider this a bump in the road and a life lesson.
  • Go easy on yourself and remind yourself “this too shall pass.”
  • Get right back on your healthy, mindful, balanced track.
  • Do not continue the binge cycle just because you started it.
  • Do not deprive yourself, it will only cause you to binge again. Party Food Ideas

Have fun with your party planning.  Break out of the standard food ideas…get a bit exotique!

Brunch: Oatmeal Bar

For Brunch, you can still serve sweet and filling.  Just make it high energy, feel good food.  Maybe try an Oatmeal Bar.  Cook up a Big Batch of oats and let your guests top their bowls with the whatever toppings they like.

Provide toppings such as: dried fruits, toasted unsweetened coconut, ground flax seed, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, protein powder, fresh fruits, nuts, ground spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg.)  Have a few bowls with butter, nut butters, and try my new favorite, unrefined coconut butter.  Have some some mini pitchers of milk, soy milk, coconut milk.  To sweeten the oat bowls, maple, agave, brown sugar and my favorite stevia are good options.  Mark items with little cards so guests know what is what.

Crunch: Fill some bowls with these:

Lean Protein:

Super Bowls:

These meals you can make big batches of and guests can help themselves.  Prepare a big bowl of brown rice, whole wheat pasta or quinoa if they want a bed of complex carbs under their protein.


Complex Carbs:


I like to bake cakes for parties.  We all have our favorite “go-to” dessert.  Cakes take time, but they are special and made for celebrations!

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

8 thoughts on “Super Bowl Essentials: A Skinny Take on Party Food

  1. It is SO hard to not pig out at parties. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment that I don’t even pay attention to what goes in my mouth. I always get ONE small plate and tell myself that’s it. I can pretty much put whatever on that plate but that’s all I get for the night. It seems to work… Plus I never ever go hungry. I always eat before I go. Good tips Marla! 🙂

  2. You left no stone unturned! What wonderful pre and post-event advice, girl! I agree with it all, especially eating before you go! If you grocery shop hungry, you buy more. If you go to an even famished, you’ll over-eat! Those skinny chicken strips look SO good!!!!

  3. Marla, you rock lady! Love the party tips (I never get to go out and “party” anymore so I dont actually need these tips LOL), and all the food linkage and recipes…nice.

    I am going to try to make more superbowl style food, but every day. i.e. things men love but that are horrible for you, i am going to try to health-ify them. This goal may last all of 36 hrs but hey, cest la vie 🙂


  4. Excellent tips, Marla! Keeping in mind how I feel after overeating is a huge deterrance for me too…I hate that icky/lethargic feeling! Eating before I arrive always helps also…I like to eat a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts on the way to a party.

  5. Kale chips are definitely a perfect super bowl snack. Love the idea of a “skinny bowl”. While I don’t eat meat anymore, I used to always over indulge in buffalo wings…along with a ton of other Americans!