Health & Wellness

Nutritionally Speaking – Healthy tailgating a winning choice

Chicken & Vegetable Snack Kebabs File photo

The leaves are falling, swirling in the wind; the morning air has a chill, thoughts of eggnog and cranberries creep into our thoughts… and we are in fall sports season.
Tailgate parties or home game-time fare include a 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. Veggie trays often come laced with pesticide residues and our corn chips are made with GMO (genetically modified) ingredients. Farmers use GMO seeds and 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 super-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!
We truly are what we eat, and as author Michael Pollan says, ”We are what we eat, eats.” Choosing organic produce and other ingredients eliminates the toxic chemicals which 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, such as Tillamook for example. 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.
Chicken & Vegetable Snack Kebabs
Dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium organic lemon, cut in half
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces organic button mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed
2 medium organic yellow squash, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium organic zucchini, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium organic red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 head organic garlic
Place chicken in a medium bowl with juice of ½ lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Place vegetables in a separate bowl with the juice of ½ lemon, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Separate the cloves of garlic, leaving all paper and skin intact. Skewer the garlic cloves on their own skewers.
Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers. Place skewers on hot grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

Kombucha Frozen Mock-Margarita
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄2 teaspoon lime zest
1½ to 2 cups ice
1 cup coconut water
1 cup citrus or ginger kombucha
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Lime slices to garnish
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until you get an icy consistency.
Pour into two mason jars, garnish with a lime and put the lid on to enjoy during the tailgate events.



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