How Not to Totally Blow Your Diet at Your Super Bowl Party

Plus smart recipes swaps for a lighter Super Bowl spread.



Football fan or not, you’re probably going to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. And more than likely, there’s going to be copious food and drinks involved.

Whether you’re hosting a bash at your place or crashing a friend’s party, here are my foolproof tips — plus a few recipe swaps — for keeping to your healthy-eating goals on track.

If you’re heading to a friend’s party …

1. Indulge only where it really matters.

Need to satisfy the pizza craving? Have a small slice — just one — then load up on the veggies and guac.

2. Start your day with greens and veggies.

Your party likely isn’t going to start until later in the day, so try to keep breakfast and lunch as pure as possible. Drink your greens in a smoothie, eat your fruit whole, and chow down on whole grains. The trick is not to show up to the party starving, or you’ll be more likely to binge.

3. Make substitutions where you can.

Ask the host if you can help out by bringing a dish, then ensure that your culinary contribution is of the lighter, healthier variety. Here’s an easy, flavorful snack that’s full of protein.

4. Alternate with water.

Keep yourself hydrated and save a few calories by drinking water between each cocktail.

5. Get back on track.

Whatever you do, don’t dwell on your caloric splurges for too long; it is a party after all. Remember that tomorrow is a new day, and the perfect opportunity to get back on track. Start the next day with hot lemon water and lots of green juice.

If you’re hosting your own party …

1. Take classic Super Bowl snacks and reinvent them for your main dishes.

Craving wings? Bake some chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces and top with homemade hot sauce. Chili? Try this lighter version with chicken. Nacho dip? Try my easy cashew queso dip to cut out digestion-clogging dairy.

2. Include some greens and healthy fats in your snacking spread.

I’m not talking about a boring platter of plain ol’ cut veggies here. You can get creative and still serve something nutritious. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Squash hummus and veggies

Cucumber hummus bites

Baked corn chips or veggies with smashed guacamole and pico de gallo

3. Serve smaller portions.

When possible, serve individual bites so everyone takes his or her portion, and there isn’t temptation to pile a plate to the brim. One example: individual chili bowls or small cups of queso dip with veggies.

Check out my recipes below:

Homemade Hot Sauce – Gluten-Free and Vegan

1 garlic bulb, peeled
7 hot peppers (jalapeño, habanero…your choice!)
3 red bell peppers
Drizzle of olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Sweetener – Choose one of the following three options:

• 3 teaspoons coconut sugar
• 1.5 teaspoons raw honey or pure maple syrup
• 3 teaspoons organic brown cane sugar

Water for thinning

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut off the top of your garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil and wrap with foil.
3. Place the garlic and hot and bell peppers onto a baking pan for about 25 minutes until hot peppers are wilted. Remove the hot peppers and garlic and let them cool.
4. Keep the red peppers in the oven for another 20 minutes, then cool.
5. Remove the seeds and stem from your peppers and discard. Unwrap the garlic and add to a blender or food processor with the peppers, vinegar, salt and sweetener of choice.
6. Blend until liquefied and add water bit by bit until you reach desired consistency.

Cashew Queso Dip – Dairy and Gluten-Free

Makes 2.5 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for up to four hours, drained and rinsed
½ cup water
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Juice of half a lemon (about 1½ tablespoons)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ clove garlic or 1-2 shakes of garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
1 fresh plum tomato, diced
½ jalapeño, minced with seeds removed
Cut veggies (carrot, cucumber, celery) or tortilla chips (look for the least processed chips with minimal ingredients – GF, vegan, non-GMO corn) for dipping

1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the first seven ingredients. Blend until a smooth and creamy sauce is created.
2. Transfer the cheese mixture to a large bowl and add the tomato and jalapeño. Stir well to combine.
3. Adjust flavors as needed (add more jalapeño, salt, etc.).
4. To warm the dip, add to a small pot over low heat.
5. Serve with cut veggies or tortilla chips — or make your own nachos!

Squash Hummus – Gluten-Free and Vegan

Serves four

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1 zucchini or yellow squash (medium-sized), peeled and chopped and squeezed in a strainer to remove all trapped liquid
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
Optional: dash of cayenne pepper

1. Put lemon juice and tahini in a food processor or blender and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
2. Add squash, olive oil, cumin, sea salt, garlic and cayenne pepper and blend until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides if needed.
3. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. When ready to serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of paprika. Serve with veggies, like carrots, cucumber, celery, broccoli.

Cucumber Hummus Bites – Gluten-Free and Vegan

Serves two

1 cucumber, sliced in half
4 tablespoons squash hummus (see recipe above)
5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Sea salt and pepper

1. Add hummus to sliced cucumbers. Top with cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Smashed Guacamole – Gluten-Free and Vegan

½ small onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
Sea salt to taste
2 ripe avocados, scooped out and smashed with a fork on cutting board
Optional: diced tomatoes

1. Combine onion, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, and salt in a bowl.
2. Add smashed avocado, combine and season with additional sea salt as needed.
3. If desired, add diced tomatoes for color.


Jessica Baumgardner, aka Health Coach Philly, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach dedicated to helping women improve nutrition, reduce stress, lose weight, and increase their energy by developing personalized nutrition and lifestyle programs for them.

After successfully using a holistic approach to prepare for her wedding in 2012, Jessica decided to share her knowledge of whole foods and healthy living with women to help them fulfill their own personal goals.