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Whether pistols are firing or the Sooner Schooner is making its rounds, football season in Oklahoma brings friends and family together to cheer on their favorite team. One common factor that goes with football, family and friends is food. This year, don’t let your waist grow with your ego as the team is making a run for the championship. Consider healthier food options during this football season.

The fast, cheap and easy route for food can seem like the best option for your tailgate party but just like the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” Preparing meals a day before and taking the extra time to make healthy meals will benefit someone’s body in the long run.

A great idea to incorporate water intake at the next tailgate party is to infuse flavored water that shares the same color as the team that you support. If your team is orange, try adding freshly cut oranges to your refreshment. Adding to that, fresh strawberries can turn plain water into a calorie-free red and limes will give the water that extra bit of zing to stand out in the crowd while not having to worry about extra calories or chemical additives.

“Plan out your meals a day or two before the game your attending,” said CPN Dietitian, Torie Fuller MS RD/LD. “The more preparing you do and the healthier you make the meal, the better you’ll feel, not only the day of, but also in the long run. Another thing to think about is making sure you have a big breakfast or if it’s later in the day having small meal before you leave. Doing this will make you less tempted to overeat.”

An easy way to avoid bread consumption is by grilling kabobs and adding more vegetables to your meal. Carrots and hummus are a better option than chips and dip. Avocados are a healthy alternative for mayonnaise. Remember, grilling vegetables and chicken are a healthier option than fried food and red meats. But remember, when cooking on the grill, anything can be turned into a carcinogen if left for too long. Gas grill temperatures can be controlled easier than charcoal grills so the likeliness of burning food is reduced. Proper cooking times for vegetables and meats can be easily found online.

“Sometimes it is impossible to find any of the healthy choices around,” explained CPN Wellness Center Healthy Heart Trainer Riley Elmore. “If this is the case, the best thing you can do is watch your portions. If you have to eat something unhealthy, always remember to eat in moderation.”