Tag Archives: avocado

Super Bowl 2016: Healthy eating at your Super Bowl party

This is a great time of year for football fans. The NFL playoffs are in full swing and the big game with all the parties, the Super Bowl, is less than a month away in Santa Clara, California. But what can you do to keep those health goals that you have vowed to keep with the typical Super Bowl party that is full of anything but healthy food? The simplest thing could be to not worry about it – enjoy Super Bowl 50 on February 7th, 2016 but don’t completely fall off the healthy eating wagon. I try and temper the unhealthiness by keeping the food at the Super Bowl party, somewhat in line with the healthy eating that we all try to start off every new year. This way I won’t be overcome with guilt the day after or spend the next week trying to overdo it in the gym.

I was thinking about the 2016 Super Bowl over the weekend and came up with some healthy ideas that anyone could incorporate. I wasn’t able to test all these recipes out this weekend but did enjoy the fruits of my labour while watching the two wild-card NFL playoff games on Sunday.

Must have Super Bowl tortilla chips and dip

To kickoff this Super Bowl party we need to have some tasty chips and dip. How do we make them healthy? Let’s tackle the tortilla chips first. Look for a good quality baked tortilla chips – I prefer organic baked tortilla chips. Yellow or blue corn is up to you; mix them up if you want your platter to look cool. If you can’t find the baked variety don’t fret too much…just read the labels of the various brands in your supermarket and splurge a little if needed to get the best quality organic tortilla chips.

The layered dip to go along with the chips is super easy to make. You will need salsa, guacamole, plain greek yogurt and a light cheddar cheese. Start by making the guacamole. You already know that I love the superfood avocado so having guacamole in the layered dip is a no brainer. You will need some ripe avocados, finely minced red onion, chopped cilantro, diced tomato, hot sauce, salt and lime juice. Cut the avocados in half and twist them open; remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh in a bowl. Mash up flesh with the back of fork, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix it well. Taste and season as needed.

Super duper chips and dip
Main ingredients for the 4 layer dip

We start assembling the layered dip by putting the guacamole in a dish of your choice. Smooth it over and then add a layer of your salsa on top. Grate some light cheddar cheese and then put a thin layer of greek yogurt and finally top it with another layer of grated cheese. You can repeat by adding another layer of guacamole followed by salsa, cheese, greek yogurt, etc. if you wish. I also add like to add some sliced jalapeños at the very top as a zesty garnish. Et voila, your multi-layer dip is ready for your tortilla chips.

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Top 5 Superfoods for Athletes

If you workout, are an athlete that plays sports or live an active lifestyle then you will benefits from superfoods that can enhance your athletic and gym performance. You are already have a very different mindset and set of goals compared to the majority of the population that lives an ever increasing sedentary lifestyle. The added demands of this active lifestyle also require that you  continually help the body with what it needs to perform at higher and higher levels. While supplements are very popular with the athletic, weight and endurance training crowd, they should be seen as just that – “supplements” –  defined as “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.” In this case, dietary and nutritional supplements can enhance the results of proper diet/nutrition and exercise. The game changer here is that you can introduce everyday foods into your diet that do more than just provide calories – they may also provide helpful micro-nutrients that can enhance your  overall active lifestyle and performance (hence termed superfoods). Let’s start with this list of the top 5 functional superfoods for enhancing athletic performance.


Beets are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals but there are also some key micro-nutrients that bring the modest beet root and its leaves to the top of the list of superfoods for athletes. For starters, if you are buying your beets whole, use the leaves as you would kale and chard (they are bitter and work well if cooked in some good extra virgin olive oil). Then tackle the beet root itself.

Superfoods fresh beets and beet greens
Beet roots and beet greens make a killer superfood combo

Beets are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals but the two micro-nutrients that absolutely stand out and make them a super-food are the naturally occurring nitrates and betaine found in beets. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide (NO) by the body which is an important factor in regulating many critical activities. These include dilating blood vessels, helping with erectile dysfunction, lowering systolic blood pressure and increasing exercise performance – including better endurance and better muscle pumps for those training with weights. Beets are also a rich source of betaine which can help reduce inflammation and improve exercise performance.

The challenge with beets is the preparation and handling. In their raw form they are quite firm and most of all, they bleed their bright red colour. Be careful when peeling, cutting, cooking and eating them because it can get messy. You can juice your beets, grate them raw over a salad or slice and steam them. Pickled beets are also easy to find in grocery stores (though they often contain some added sugar) and bottled beet juice and beet powder are also now making the health food store rounds. If you are a gardener, beets are pretty easy to grow from seeds and will be ready in about 3 months. Eat beets regularly.

Nutrition facts for beets

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100g
Servings Per Container

Amount Per Serving
Calories 43 Calories from Fat 1.8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 78mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2.8g 11%
Sugars 7g
Protein 1.6g 3%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Avocados (sometimes called alligator pears or apple of the winter) contain many nutrients that have performance and health benefits, including potassium, folic acid, vitamins B6, C, E, and K. Unlike most fruits, the avocado contains a minimal amount of carbohydrates (and those to almost all fiber) but is very high in fats. This should not scare you off as these are the much espoused “good fats”.  The combination of the high amount of fiber and monounsaturated fat can help improve cardiac markers (cholesterol levels and triglycerides) but this combination may also be playing a role in making those who eat avocados feel fuller. This increased satiety would mean that you consume fewer calories, therefore making it easier to lose weight.

Avocado super fruit
Creamy avocado super fruit

Guacamole is a great way to eat your avocados if you are making it at home, with fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice – ingredients that could be considered superfoods in their own right. A good way to cook an avocado is to cut it in half, remove the pit, season it lightly and grill it on a barbecue. I prefer to just scoop out the creamy flesh and eat them as is with a sprinkle of good sea salt and freshly squeezed lime juice. If you can’t find avocados in your grocery store you can get avocado powder (never tried it myself) and avocado oil (excellent product).  Eat avocados regularly.

Nutrition facts for avocados

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100g
Servings Per Container

Amount Per Serving
Calories 160 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 2.1g 11%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars .7g
Protein 2g 4%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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