As the season of fall continues we're all into cheering on our favorite collegiate and professional football teams.  Some weekends are just perfect for a fun tail gate style get together. Typically, tail gate parties are filled with salty snacks and lots of beer.

If you're like me, I'm not so much into beer and salt can send my blood pressure up. So, I have learned to exercise moderation.  You can still tail gate and snack healthfully! Just a few substitutions and you'll be good to go!

Substitute Plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in your dips, make fresh veggies (celery, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots etc...) readily available.  Hummus can be a yummy way to dress up your spread as well!
If you choose to serve burgers, try ground chicken or turkey instead of ground sirloin. Saute mushrooms and onions for a burger topper with low fat Swiss.
Tail gates aren't complete without dessert right?  Fresh fruit and yogurt dip are always good or try making brownies but, instead of using the wet ingredients the box calls for, use one can of pumpkin puree. You'll end up with a dense moist brownie that's a bit healthier for you than the latter.

About the beverages that go along with tailgating... Sodas are full of sugar and empty calories. A great alternative are the flavored seltzer waters (think Dasani and La Croix). These are not sweet and just have a hint of flavor. Personally, I've learned to enjoy them when I want the bubbles.  Alcohol, I'm not much into it but if you like an occasional cocktail, try a light version. Just know that Alcohol is dehydrating so be sure to drink extra water to stay hydrated.

If you're a guest, and you're surrounded by the usual fare, try to eat a small meal before hand. That way, you're less likely to fill up on things that will make you feel icky later. Graze on the veggie tray and by all means, allow yourself a treat if you must. Life is way too short not to have a buckeye right?  If you happen to overdo, don't beat yourself up! Brush yourself off and immediately get back on track. Don't NOT eat dinner if you're hungry. Just choose a healthy salad with lots of vegetables and lean protein. Drink lots of water to flush your system.  Remember, tomorrow is a new day!

Yes, that taco dip looks delish but try to eat less of it and more of the veggie tray!

photo credit: <a href="">IMG_2573.JPG</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

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