Sunday is the NFL’s Super Bowl XLVIII.
Living 50 miles from Pittsburgh automatically made me a Steelers fan. The Steelers have won the most Super Bowls in the history of the NFL with six. In the ’70s and ’80s the stars for the Steelers were Terry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, Rocky Bleier, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Lynn Swann, and Franco Harris, to name a few.
Lambert built a house in the woods in our county, about 15 miles from my home. He liked to hunt, fish, and play golf. Many times I would see him at the local golf course or out at a restaurant. He was not the personable type such as Rocky Bleier or Terry Bradshaw.
The company I worked for hired Bleier as a motivational speaker for a day. We were waiting on the valet to bring our cars around, mine a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and his a Lexus. The first thing that struck me was his height. At 5’ 11” he did not look like a typical football player. He was well-spoken with a true interest in talking to people. After five minutes of conversation the valet arrived. Guess whose car arrived first?
Bradshaw is just the same as the person you see on television, outgoing and funny. He retired in 1983 without the elusive “one for the thumb” ring. This year the opportunity has slipped through the hands of the Steelers again. If you are watching this year, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will go head-to-head.
If you are making the food for the Sunday’s celebration keep in mind the calories can be extreme, not to mention the fat content and enough salt to retain all of the water from Niagara Falls.
On average, a 1-ounce serving of nachos with beef, cheese, beans, and sour cream can be 1,598 calories with 90 grams or more of fat and 1664 mg of sodium. A Philly cheesesteak sandwich weighs in at over 600 calories, 24 grams of fat and 1,182 mg of sodium. And what is a football game without pizza? One slice of a 14-inch pizza with pepperoni can rack up 370 calories, 14 grams of fat and 900 mg of sodium. How about adding three beers for a four-hour game? A typical beer is 150 calories or more. Consuming this menu can add up to over 3,000 calories, 128 grams of fat, and almost 4,000 mg of sodium. These numbers do not include potato chip, pretzels, or candy.
How do you work off the calories? Run 30 miles in four hours, do aerobics for 6 hours and 20 minutes, ride your bike at 12 to 14 miles per hour for 5 hours and 30 minutes, play tennis for 6 hours and 20 minutes, walk for 9 hours, or vigorously weightlift for 7 hours and 20 minutes.
The other choice is to lighten up the menu.
Nachos can be lightened up by using nonfat refried beans preferably spicy, low-fat cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, and lower fat baked chips. You can serve a dish at 1⁄3 of the calories of the original. The Philly cheese steak can be changed by using cooking spray, flank steak, low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, and reduced calorie bun. These changes will decrease your calories by almost 200 calories and fat by 19 grams. Making your own pizza dough or purchasing a healthier version of the crust, adding low-fat cheeses, and items like sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, and seasoning can reduce your calories by 50 percent. Serving light beer can save another 180 calories for three cans. Your total saving in calories can be almost 1,300. Consuming 1,700 in one meal is still mind-boggling.
Substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise in dip recipes. Use baked chips instead of fried. Use lean meats instead of burgers or hot dogs such as flank steak, grilled chicken, turkey or pork tenderloins with smoky spices grilled or roasted.
Sleep better after the game knowing this was not a 3,000-calorie meal.