Lightening Up “Guy” Food

It’s no secret that men are notorious for loving those stick-to-your-ribs meals that taste amazing, but maybe aren’t the healthiest. I was on Let’s Talk Live this week talking about you can make “man food” healthier but still taste great. My two simple tips are “add in nutrition” and “don’t sacrifice flavor”. Here’s a quick rundown of the foods that I shared:

SandwichesGrilled sandwich or panini with melting cheese, tomato, and spinach leaves, on wholewheat bread. Stock Photo - 3499345

What guy doesn’t love a sandwich. The trouble is, after you fill a 12 inch hoagie roll with bacon, sandwich meat, mayo, cheese and maybe a tomato slice you’ve really dialed up the calories, and the saturated fat which we know isn’t good for our hearts. I was thrilled when Eckrich introduced me to their new line of Ekridge Farms Bacon Lovers Sandwich Meats that are actually made with real bacon, but a 2oz. serving of the Chicken Bacon Ranch has only 80 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, and 10 grams of protein to keep your man fuller, longer. (honestly, not what I expected with a “bacon ranch” flavor). This profile is in line with other lunch meats, but let me tell ya, tons of flavor!

For the segment, I made paninis with the Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwich meat, and added in nutrition with whole wheat bread, cheddar cheese, thick slices of tomato, onion and a handful of baby spinach. It tastes great and hits all those same bacony flavor notes that they’ll love.

Go Nuts

I’ve said many times what a great snack idea pistaccios are, but I’ll say it again! For guys that love to snack, you can’t beat the 49 kernal serving of pistaccios which is the largest serving size of any nuts. They’re also great because they slow down your snacking because you have to shell them while you eat them. They’re packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals so they provide more nutrition than other crunchy snacks like pretzels or cheese curls.

Potato Salad

Potatoes have gotten a bad wrap because they contains carbs, but they’re extremely high in potassium which is a key nutrient in helping maintain a healthy blood pressure. A typical potato salad has around 350 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving, but by switching out the rich recipe for a vinegar based one and using herbs, you can get lots of flavor. Plus adding in nutrition in the form of red peppers and any other veggies you’d like adds crunch and even more flavor while helping to keep sodium in check.

Dessert!

Fresh summer berries with real whipped cream (yep I’m talking about heavy cream you whip yourself) and angel food cake (store bought is fine) can make the perfect light summer dessert. It can be fun to serve it in a margarita glass for a smaller party or in a big trifle dish for larger parties. Berries are packed with antioxidants which have been shown to have cancer preventing properties.

Keeping Booze in Check

Although I would never recommend for a person to drink lots of alcohol in one sitting, I understand that imbibing in booze is a part of life for many people. If you are going to drink, I always recommend trying to limit alcohol to one or less per hour and 4 or less per day/night out. One way to do this is to alternate water and alcohol in order to both limit your intake, but also to keep you hydrated. It also helps ward off those pesky hangovers!

I hope these tips and food ideas are helpful and show that “man food” can still be doable by adding in nutrition without sacrificing any flavor! What other swap outs can you share with me?

Discloure: I worked with Eckrich and Paramount Farms on the media appearance, however, I did not receive compensation for writing this blog post. 

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