The Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Guide to the Super Bowl
Yay for you! We’re just off New Year’s Resolution Season, and you’ve decided to make big changes to your diet (be it gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, or raw). You’ve made this big commitment to your health and well-being, and it’s going great, right? You’re finding new and interesting foods. You’ve probably hit a few stumbling blocks, but it’s all good. And now you’re faced with a terrifying moment…
How the heck do you survive a Super Bowl Party AND keep your new commitments?
Back when you weren’t so interested in your health, Super Bowl Sunday was one of your favorite holidays. Your friends are always surfing Pinterest and Rachael Ray’s website for new great party recipes, and you always LOVED to try them!
But, since the last big party, you decided to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.
Not only are you not going to be devouring buffalo wings, brats, or barbecue, you’re also not going to be eating THE key ingredient in any Super Bowl snack—cheese. You’re ALSO not eating butter, milk, and eggs—that cuts out 99% of those gooey, warm, cold-weather comforting desserts.
What’s left?! Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. The first Super Bowl after I went vegan and raw was pretty tough, but it’s not impossible. You can do this!
Listen, you made this decision because it’s what’s right for you. I’m proud of you for doing it. It’s going to take some effort on your part, but I want to help you stick to it. Here are some suggestions that can still make Super Bowl Sunday fun and tasty without starving yourself or caving into the temptations.
GO POT LUCK
Bring a dish. Hell, bring two! You know that there are not going to be a lot of healthy options, let alone dishes that are specific to your diet. Don’t let your friends be the only ones to bring creative dishes. Pinterest has tons of recipes for every dietary need. Find some new, fun snack recipes that suit your needs. Better still, bring something that’s on your diet and don’t tell your friends. Let them yummm their way through your dish and then surprise them with the truth! My friends just about died when I told them the chocolate truffles I brought were vegan.
There are two ways you can be proactive here.
First, contact the host or hostess of the party you’re attending and ask them what they’re planning to serve. They’ve invited you to their party because they want your company, and they want you to enjoy yourself. Give them the opportunity to do that. Just politely mention that you have changed your eating habits and it would be AWESOME if they could include something in their menu to accommodate you. Just ask! It can’t hurt!
Second, if you are really worried that nothing is going to be available for you to eat at the party and bringing a dish just isn’t fitting in to your schedule, eat before you go. There is no need to make food the focal point of YOUR Super Bowl experience just because it is everyone else’s. Eat a good, filling meal before you go, and spend your time actually watching the game, not grazing at the buffet table.
FLIP YOUR MINDSET AND FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN EAT
Focus on what you CAN eat, not what you can’t. Let go of last year’s Super Bowl expectations. The wings and nachos…they’re just not happening this year. And you know what? You’ll survive! Don’t make yourself miserable, pouring over the buffet table, salivating at all the treats you’re not eating. Enjoy what you brought and what your hostess or other friends might have made that you CAN eat.
Frankly, your body couldn’t handle all that meat and fat even if you DID break your own rules for just one night. You’ll be in WAY worse shape than the drunkest person there if you have managed to cleanse your system of the bacteria and enzymes in your intestines that digest animal protein. Keep that in mind, if it comes to it.
DON’T BE A JERK
Lastly, don’t be THAT guy.
Don’t make your decision to change your eating habits everyone else’s problem.
@HayleyHobson (Click to Tweet!)
If you’re a vegan now and you eat something that looked okay for you but tasted a lot like it had butter in it, don’t freak out, just let it go. If it’s been a while, it might make you uncomfortable by the end of the night, but it’s not going to kill you. Just roll with it. You getting cranky about what you can’t eat and everyone else can or that you ate something you shouldn’t have will only make you miserable and drag everyone down with you. And don’t judge others for the plates full of food you can’t have. This is YOUR choice.
Be strong enough to resist temptation, but positive about it, not preachy.
The day after the party, you might find someone from the party regretting all the calories they consumed, asking you for advice on how to eat more cleanly!
You have chosen to be healthy and to change your eating habits, and you are determined to make the changes permanent. Good for you! You feel healthier than you ever have before in your life! You’ve got more energy, your skin looks great, you’ve lost weight, and all that bloating is GONE. So, the sacrifice is worth it. You’re going to go spend time with your friends and to scream at the TV when the ref makes a stupid call. And, on Monday morning, you will wake up without the gluten, sugar, alcohol-induced hangover all your friends are going to have.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
*Image courtesy of marsmet522.