Healthy twists to party platters
By Barb Freda
FUNNY HOW THE Big Game day comes so
soon after we make resolutions to start a
healthy new lifestyle. Game day almost begs
to be the excuse we need to derail our plans.
The truth is there is no magic in starting
something on January 1, and a healthy eating
plan should be able to fit any special occasion
into the works. The Connection talked to a
couple of experts about how to face Big Game
day, what dangers to avoid and what works
best in any party situation.
Our two experts are Linda Melone, a
California-based certified fitness professional
and writer, and Marissa Lippert, a registered
dietitian, author of The Cheater’s Diet and
consulting nutritionist to Food Should Taste
Good, maker of the multigrain chips found in
The Costco Connection
Here are some food finds at Costco that
will help you stay on track on game day.
• Guacamole: Watch the quantity, but the
fats in avocados are the “good” kind (not
• Hummus: High in protein and fiber, this
dip made from chickpeas satisfies.
• Salsa: It’s all good!
• Vegetable trays: Prewashed, precut
veggies. It couldn’t be easier.
• Healthier chips: Look for high-fiber,
low-fat, wholesome chips.
• Shrimp platters: Cooked, peeled and
ready to eat.
select Costco warehouses. These two have
created a game-day game plan that will have
you scoring your own victories, avoiding penalties in the food zone and celebrating a victory at the end of the day.
Personal foul, unnecessary roughness
The right game plan
Survey the field
A smart step is simply to stop and think
before eating. “Look at everything before you
fill your plate,” says Melone. “Go for the cru-
dité or peeled and cooked shrimp, unless you
are really watching your cholesterol. And get
a balance. If you really love chicken wings,
get a couple, and go easy on the dip.”
Then step away from the wings! (In fact,
step away from the table entirely—the more
distance you put between you and the food,
the less mindless eating you will be doing.)
Go for fiber, advise both Lippert and
Melone. Healthy versions of chips and other
foods with high fiber and proteins are keys to
feeling satisfied with smaller portions. “One
serving and your body recognizes a sense of
fullness,” explains Lippert.
Make the right call
Look for indulgent dishes made with
healthful ingredients. Go for baked wings
rather than fried. Get frozen meatballs made
from turkey instead of beef. Make your own
healthful version of high-fat dishes (see the
roasted squash dip, creamy fresh herb dip and
salsa recipes at right).
And, of course, scan the Costco aisles for
delicious, easy treats that follow our coaches’
guidelines, won’t get you benched and will have
you doing a victory dance in the end zone. C
Barb Freda writes about food and teaches
cooking classes in Charlotte, North Carolina.
You can read about her foodie adventures at