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Tailgating Tips, Plus Sweet & Salty Fixes!
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Tailgating Tips, Plus Sweet & Salty Fixes!

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09.07.11
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Dear HG,

Football season is here, and my family is big on tailgating. But most of the food and drinks we make are pretty high in calories. And since tailgate events last for several hours, it's pretty much a nonstop snack-fest. Do you have any suggestions for HG-friendly tailgating foods and beverages? Thanks!

Football Fanatic

Hi Football Fanatic,

There's no reason for food worries to ruin your football fun. I'm gonna make it super-easy for you... Just grab a shopping cart and pick up some of the options below!

Mealtime must-haves - Stick with meatless burgers with 100 calories or less per patty. I like soy-based, hamburger-style ones, like Boca Original Vegan, since they're a lot like real burgers in terms of taste and texture. And they're great on the grill! If you need cheese, go for a slice of reduced-fat or fat-free. Hot dogs are another great tailgate food; buy 97% fat-free beef ones, like the kind by Hebrew National. Grab a pack of 100-calorie flat sandwich buns (like the ones by Arnold/Oroweat) or light hot dog buns to go along with your pick. Then have fun with the toppings -- ketchup, mustard, relish, tomato... all guilt-free!

Snacking essentials - Jerky and reduced-fat/baked chips are fun snack foods that are fairly low in calories. The secret is keeping the portions in check -- play it safe and look for single-serving bags. Pack a bag of baby carrots and a couple of apples too, to balance out all the snack food.

As for alcohol... Stick with light beer, and try to limit yourself to just one or two. For every beer you have, drink a bottle of water. That'll slow you down and keep you hydrated.

The most important piece of advice I have for you? Plan ahead! If someone else is doing most of the shopping, bring your own cooler/tote bag of no-guilt stuff to add to the mix. Good luck... with the guilt-free tailgating and to your favorite football team!

Hi, Hungry Girl!

Have I told you that I consider you to be saint-like? You've directed me toward some great products like Popchips (when I crave something salty) and Skinny Cow candy (when I want something sweet). But what about those crazy times when I want something sweet AND salty? I'll admit -- I have tried those chips and that candy mixed together, but I'm sure you can recommend something better. Keep up the amazing work!

Double Flavor Craver

Dear Double Flavor Craver,

Thanks for the kind words. You ROCK. (Yes, really -- you do!) And I know all about sweet-and-salty cravings! I have some great product picks and easy HG recipes to kick those cravings to the curb. Keep reading...

Quaker Chewy Smashbars - These bars are a recent discovery of mine, and they are perfect when you want something sweet, salty, and on the go! They're crammed with all kinds of goodies like pretzels, cereal, chocolate chunks, and dried fruit. Plus, they're easy to find at most stores... always a good thing! (FYI: If you have milk allergies, you may want to avoid these.)

Strawberries + Crumbled Reduced-Fat Feta Cheese - This sweet 'n salty hot couple (a.k.a. an HG two-ingredient recipe) made its debut in a recent email. Good timing!

94% Fat-Free Microwave Popcorn, Kettle Corn and Caramel Apple Flavors - Sooo good! Many brands make kettle corn, and it's the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Look for mini bags to avoid overdoing it. The Caramel Apple kind is only made by Jolly Time (Healthy Pop), but it's totally worth seeking out!

Salted Caramel Cocoa Oatmeal Bowl
- It may be too hot outside for a cup of cocoa, but this recipe for slightly salted caramel 'n chocolate oatmeal is FANTASTIC in any weather. Try it!!

Sarris Candies Pretzel Slims 100 Calories - These chocolate-covered pretzels aren't easy to find in stores, but they are available online and SO worth ordering! No wimpy coating here -- these pretzel sticks have a nice thick layer of milk chocolate around them. And the portion control is a lifesaver!

HG's Ultimate Movie-Viewing Snack Mix - Here's a really delicious recipe with a large serving size, and it combines just the right amount of sweetness and saltiness. Love this stuff!

Now you've got some great options for the next time a sweet-and-salty craving comes around. Speaking of which, I might have to try that Popchips/Skinny Cow combo...

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