Health & Wellness

Nutritionally Speaking: Healthy tailgating

The leaves are changing color, the morning air has a chill, thoughts of eggnog and cranberries creep into our thoughts. . . Plus, we are in the midst of our fall sports season, and for many, a big part of the fun – whether they are watching a college or pro game – are the various tasty treats we enjoy. Tailgate parties or home game-time faire include a vast myriad of choices from the grill, the pizza oven, the drive-thru and the produce department.
The many choices we make often come with ”bonus” ingredients. Our veggie trays often come laced with pesticide residues and our corn chips made with GMO (Genetically modified) ingredients. Farmers use GMO seeds/plants for ease of growing, as they can spray plenty of toxic poisons such as glyphosate (as found in Roundup) killing the weeds without affecting the plants. We also include sugary beverages to wash down our food, and unhealthy fats in our chips and dips. No wonder we struggle to get up for work after our weekend of revelry and gain so much weight!
I have written often about making better choices. We truly are what we eat, and as Michael Pollan says, ”We are what we eat, eats.” Choosing organic produce eliminates the toxic chemicals that science says we should avoid, and when we eat meat and dairy products, let’s make sure they come from healthy sources, not from the toxic feedlots, and confinement dairies. Always choose pastured meat and dairy from grass-fed cows. When choosing chips and dips, use non-GMO and organic ingredients as well, the unhealthy fats contribute to inflammation, and the GMO corn chips for example will have those ”bonus” toxins I mentioned above. My favorite chips are made by Jackson’s Honest, cooked slowly in coconut oil at low temperatures, and they taste amazing!
Here a couple of my favorite ”Tailgate” or party treats recipes that are found along with many others on the Natural Grocers website.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Yield 6 cups
1 cup of your favorite hot sauce combined
1 large head cauliflower, (about 2 pounds), trimmed of stems and leaves and cut into 6 cups of bite-sized florets
Natural ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping, optional
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine buffalo sauce and almond flour. Use a fork to break up any clumps of almond flour and mix into a uniform consistency.
Drop about a third of the florets into the batter and use the fork to stir until each floret is coated with batter. Transfer each floret to the prepared baking sheet, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl before doing so. Make sure the florets are spread evenly and not overlapping each other.
Repeat this process until all the florets have been coated and placed on the baking sheet.
Place filled baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from oven and gently turn each floret over. Return the pan to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.
Serve immediately with your favorite natural ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Kran-Bucha Mocktail
Yield 1 serving
3 ounce(s) sparkling cranberry juice
3 ounce(s) cranberry kombucha
1 ounce(s) peach nectar
1 tbsp(s) fresh lime juice
1 ounce(s) mineral water
frozen cranberries, for garnish
Mix all ingredients together, stir well and serve over ice. Garnish with fresh lime and cranberries – Enjoy!
At Natural Grocers in Eugene, where I am the store’s Nutritional Health Coach, we offer free classes that include plenty of information about healthy eating choices, and free one-on-one health coaching sessions (call 541-345-3300). Please “like” our Natural Grocers-Eugene Facebook page. Find our store’s schedule of free classes at:



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