Ep. 58: Stay Fed+Fit at a Sporting Event

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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The Fed+Fit Podcast | Nurturing a Healthy Mindset for a Healthy Lifestyle

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Ep. 58: Stay Fed+Fit at a Sporting Event

Today we’re going to talk about some Fed and Fit behind the scenes updates, and also some good, better, best food and beverage options that you can find at sporting events.

Cassy Joy: Good morning everybody! I hope you guys had an awesome weekend, and you’re getting ready for another great week. So to start off on today’s show, I want to once again apologize for sound quality. If you hear some background noise, it’s because there is some background noise. {laughs} I am in the car commuting right now, and it just seemed like a really great time to go ahead and record this show. The thoughts for today’s show are fresh at the top of my mind, plus I am, as you guys know, very richly scheduled at the moment so it’s nice when I’m able to multitask. So thank you for sticking with me.

And to fill you in, if you are unaware of what’s going on over in this Fed and Fit world; I am; let’s see, we are coming into the middle of March and in the middle of July my first book will be coming out. It is part cookbook, part complete overview of really my personal philosophy of food and fitness. So I will have a sample of my 28-day food and fitness program in the book, the Fed and Fit Project if you’re familiar with it. That thing that I offered online; that thing. {laughs} That program that I offered online starting last fall, and we have since taken it down, offline while I was writing the book and also rebuilding the online format. So there’s a whole bunch of stuff in the works.

And if you guys are seeing less of me on social media, if I’m not as available as much, I promise I’m still working for you, it’s just kind of the behind the scenes stage of my business right now. I feel like Oz behind the curtain, pulling all kinds of pulleys and triggers, and getting things set up for a really great show. That will all really, really kick off this summer. So in the meantime, although I'm not posting weekly recipes on my blog right now. I’ll be able to pick those up as soon as I’m over this next big hump of the book, the work, but I am still committed to these podcasts on a weekly basis. So I'm at least able to touch in, provide some new content, say hello, and just serve as a reminder that I’m still here for you guys.

So if you ever do want to hear more from me, please come find me on social media. Of course on Instagram, but I recently really started to get into one of the new social media platforms; new to me at least, called SnapChat. And if you are not already familiar with SnapChat, I highly recommend you look into it. To be completely honest, my youngest sister, Samantha, who has joined me on the podcast before for that Fed and Fit college student miniseries, Samantha is 5 years my junior, and she’s kind of my anchor as far as what the young, hip kids are up to, and she’s been trying to convince me to get on SnapChat for years now, and I have resisted because I thought; I don’t know I kind of had some preconceived notions about that platform.

So I decided, no I’m good with my Instagram and from what little I understand about Facebook. But I finally jumped in with both feet, and you guys, it is such a fun platform. If you follow me on there, you know how much I’m enjoying it because I post all the time. So SnapChat, you would have to look me up by my username, @FedandFit, just like I am across all the other platforms. And really what I post there, it’s completely unedited, really just glimpsed into what I'm up to. So if you want to know what the heck am I up to, you can see that. There's a lot of Gus; my big Great Pyrenees. There’s some fun family times. There is a lot of work, so during the day while I’m finishing writing pieces for this book and editing, I’m spending a lot of time on a standing treadmill desk that I have access to. So you get to see that, my check ins, and all kinds of fun stuff. So anyways, if you want to see more from me or hear more from me, that is a really great way to do it until I’m able to get back to creating recipes for the blog.

Ok, so now that we’ve got all that order of business out of the way, let’s jump into today’s topic. So, you know, while I’m writing this book, to be completely honest with you guys, I'm throwing everything I’ve got at this book. Everything. And I promise, this plays into today’s topic; kind of. {laughs} I’m putting everything; all of my ideas, all of my best thoughts, best programs, best explanations, I'm putting it into this book. I want it to be a really dense resource that has true staying power. Although I don’t think this will be my last book, I want it to be one that for years and years and years, I'm able to say, if you want to get started on a healthy food and fitness plan, or you want a resource to recommend to your grandmother or whatever it is, your aunt, your little brother, for years and years and years I want to be able to reference this book. This is not a flash in the pan, I want this to be a cornerstone of the Fed and Fit business and community so you guys will be able to use it for a long time coming.

So because of that, because I’m putting all of my thoughts and energy into this book, coming up with really amazing topics for the podcast has been difficult, because I’m spending all of those thoughts on putting it into this writing activity. So that’s a good thing, and it also makes this podcast a little bit challenging sometimes.

So, I was asking my family; I said, what do you guys think I should talk about on the show. And just like I asked them, I’m open to your ideas, so feel free to send them in if you’ve got some ideas. But they suggested, since we’re coming up on March madness, right. And if you’re familiar with March madness, or if you’re not, it is essentially when college basketball gets into; it’s college basketball playoffs, I guess, for lack of better words. And it is March madness because these guys are playing game, after game, after game, and it is just very exciting and things change very quickly, but there’s a lot of basketball going on. As you guys know, I’m a fighting Texas Aggie, class of 2008, whoop! So I’m rooting for my team, and hopefully by the time this podcast comes out, we’re still in the running.

But there are a lot of games going on; basketball, professional basketball, of course, is always active. And just springtime sports, I guess are out there. And so the topic idea that they brought up was talking about how to be healthy at a sporting event. Now this is a little bit different, this fall I think I’ll come back and do a part two where I talk about tailgating. I'm from Texas, as many of you know, and we love our football. Especially Aggie football in this little household, so I can come back with all kinds of other thoughts about tailgating; how to be Fed and Fit at a tailgate/at a stadium type sport like that.

But, for today we can talk about sporting events for the spring time. So what the heck; how do you navigate those waters. So let’s just paint a picture. Let’s say you are going to a basketball game, and you get there and it is, let’s say it is a midday game. I don’t even know if those actually happen. Bear with me with these examples, some of the details are a little fuzzy because I tend to watch these games from home. But I do go to a lot of sporting events. It’s a really fun way for my husband and I to get out and do something that we both enjoy.

So, what’s the game plan there? Are you going to eat at the stadium? Are you going to eat before? What are you going to drink? Let’s say you hadn’t planned on eating at the stadium otherwise you would have brought snacks, but all of a sudden you're famished. What are some of the best options? What are some things that you can go to that are going to be a little bit better than necessarily a big warm pretzel and a beer.

Ok, so let’s break this up into two parts. Let’s talk first about hydration, and then let’s talk about food. So, drinks and then something to actually chew on. What are some good, better, best options. Now, starting off with food. Or, excuse me, starting off with water! Beverages. What is the best beverage option? What is the best game plan to go in if you’re really; sometimes you can go to these sporting events and you're going to view it as a day to just kick back, relax, and indulge a little bit more than you would have at other times during the week. That’s absolutely fine; there’s nothing wrong with that. Now, if you’re like me and you go to some events a lot, you get to the point where you don’t want to indulge every single time, because then all of a sudden those exceptions become the rule because you are there all the time. So you want to go in and you want to make your healthy lifestyle fit with this really fun activity that you’re doing with your friends and family.

So, the best what I go to when I really want to be on my game and feel really great before and after, and then the next day after an event like that, is I’ll employ some of these tricks. So the best option for beverages; if you are able to get away with it, I recommend that you bring your own bottle. So a refillable bottle, your favorite on. You’ll probably have to go into the stadium without anything in the bottle to start off with; they probably won’t let you bring in just a beverage because they may not know exactly what’s in it, or who knows. But bring an empty bottle, and then find a water fountain and fill it up. Ok, especially if there’s healthy water wherever you’re at. That’s probably the best option.

The better option, so good, better, best, right? We’re working in reverse order. So the better option, so second down, is to buy water when you get there, and then throughout the duration of the time that you’re there. So when I go to a sporting event, before I even plant my hiney in a chair, or in the stadium and settle in the enjoy the sporting sports {laughs}. Before I even get settled in, will make a stop at a concession stand if I didn’t already bring my bottle, and I will buy myself the biggest bottle of water I can find. And they’re usually really expensive, sometimes $5 to $7, on the extremes, but it is always worth it. And that is kind of like my lifeline. Maybe if the game starts picking up and I’m not going to want to get up and go and have to leave the action to go get some water, that’s really helpful because I’ve already got it there, it helps me stay hydrated, which is pretty much my number one priority when I’m out. Hydration really is the biggest game changer for me. So I’ve got that ready for me, and I will go back and I will get more water if I’m there for longer and I finish my bottle.

So just make that a priority. Buying water while you’re out can be really expensive, but go in expecting to spend, budget $20 just in case you need water. And it can add, of course, to the total cost of that event and that activity, but at the end of the day you’re probably going to feel a lot better and feel like you got more from it. So that is the better option.

And then the good option is, if you’re looking for something other than water; what is out there that we can order? Some stadiums don’t serve alcohol, other’s do. I’m going to tell you, if I am going to get a cocktail while I’m at a stadium, what are some of the cocktails that I will order. I will usually stay away from beer, because a lot of it contains wheat gluten, and that really doesn’t make me feel good. In addition to being alcohol, I also start to suffer the effects of exposure to gluten. I don’t know if we’ve actually done a podcast episode on the effects of gluten on the body. I might have to put that up in the queue. But I’ll typically stay away from that. Again, I’m not telling you guys that you have to stay away from it. You can make your own decisions, but that’s typically one that I’ll stay away from.

Instead, I will opt for a red wine or a while wine; sometimes they’ll have sparkling wines. Those are all good options; a hard cider would be an alternative to beer. Usually they’re a little sweet; sometimes too sweet for me, but if you’re looking for a beer-like drink, that could be a good one. And then lastly, if you happen to find a bar that has liquor added, some of the best stadium type drinks that I’ve just Jerry-rigged, some of them are bloody Mary’s; just ask for some tomato juice and some Tobasco and some vodka and you’re good to go. So that’s a pretty relatively benign cocktail.

Another one of my favorites is a paloma, is what I ask for. So I’ll ask for a silver tequila on the rocks with some fresh grapefruit juice, which most bars actually do have stocked. Fresh grapefruit juice, a squeeze of lime, and sometimes a splash of club soda to make it a little bit fizzy. It’s a not sweet drink, but it’s very refreshing and very delicious if you’re looking for a little cocktail, kind of like a brunch type cocktail.

Lastly I will do kind of make my own margarita. And this is one of my favorites, because typically if you’re at a bar that is either in a stadium or just, not I guess a standalone bar in a city somewhere. They probably don’t have fresh squeezed lime juice, and nothing grosses me out more than that neon green sour lime sour mix that some bars will use to make margaritas out of. So what I will ask for, if I do want a margarita, is some silver tequila on the rocks in a salted little glass, and then I will look at the bartender, especially if there’s a line, I will say, and then can you just give me 6 lime wedges and I will squeeze them in myself. So I’m able to make my own fresh margarita from that, and the bartender wins because I have just asked them to not have to squeeze them for me. So it’s always a funny exchange. But those are some good alternatives if you’re looking for a cocktail at a stadium.

Ok, now let’s talk about food. Good, better, best options as far as food goes. Let’s do reverse order this time; let’s talk about the good first. So a good option at a stadium would be, let’s say you are there and you want to partake in some of the stadium foods. You don’t want to go totally paleo, you want to partake in some, but you also don’t want to feel crummy for two or three days afterwards. So what are some things that you can order that would help you out with that?

One of the things that I will typically go to if I’m looking to indulge but not throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak, something you can easily find are sometimes nachos depending on where you’re at. You know, that nuclear nacho cheese isn’t necessarily ideal, but that will probably be better than a hot dog or a pretzel. Ok, so those corn chips loaded up with some jalapenos, loaded up with some meat if you can, skip the cheese if you really don’t need it, and that could be a really great option.

Another option could be; let’s see, what are some other stadium foods. You know, a lot of stadiums right now are having other restaurants come in. So they’ll have burger places, and they will have Chick-Fil-A, I’ve seen in several stadiums lately. And so you can usually get pretty creative with some of those foods. So like at a Chick-Fil-A, if I’m looking to indulge a little bit, but once again I don’t want to feel crummy for days, I will order a grilled chicken sandwich minus the bread. So I will tell them; save your bread, I won’t eat it, and I don’t want to throw it away so please save it. And then I’ll also order a small French fry. And the potatoes, and the chicken meat, it’s a great meal for me. I get some carbs, and some protein, and I feel just fine. So that’s another really good option.

Ok, let’s talk about the better options. What are the sort of paleo friendly food options that you could probably find at a stadium? So, that grilled chicken breast from Chick-Fil-A could be one of these better options. I would probably avoid the French fries if I were you, because the oils that they’re cooked in are not ideal. But again, if you’re looking to indulge that would be just fine. Grilled chicken, maybe a salad if you can find any bar or any food stand that sells any kinds of greens. Mix and match; if you can find a hamburger patty at one food stand and you ask for it without the buns, and you can find a bed of greens at another one, go ahead and buy the bed of greens and buy the naked burger, and make your own burger salad. That could be a really good option. I would use mustard for dressing if you can’t find anything else.

You can ask questions; I know that Texas A&M University Kyle Field they now have a gluten-free friendly menu, which is really cool. For example, I know they have a gluten free hot dog that you can buy, so sometimes, even though hot dogs aren’t the best meat, sometimes I want to have a little stadium food and still feel good, so I will grab a hot dog, a naked hot dog, and I’ll dip it in mustard and maybe I’ll get some relish to go with it. So that’s always a delicious option.

Now, you can also, if you're looking for a snack, a lot of stadiums serve nuts, like hot roasted nuts. So you could get peanuts, you could get almonds, you could get cashews. Those are a great option, you guys. If you’re looking for a snack that’s not going to totally throw you off, if you don’t want to go into the nachos, you don’t necessarily want to get the candied popcorn, that could be a really good one. So that kind of covers the span; different stadiums, of course, are going to have different foods.

Try to put your creative hat on, your thinking outside the box hat on, look at the menu, see if they’ve got some proteins that you can clean up by either omitting the bread. They probably don’t make things from scratch in the stadium, so you probably won’t be able to ask them for chicken fingers without the breading, that might not be an option. But look in the menu, see if you find a grilled or very simply prepared protein, and then see if you can get creative in how you order it, or just toss the bread if they’ve already got it all packaged up. So, those are the better options.

Now the best option for eating in a stadium, this is probably going to come as no surprise, but it is to bring your own food. It’s either bring your own food or plan your meals around the sporting event. This is something that I do. We go to a lot of Aggie football games, you guys. When they are playing in college station during the fall, we’re pretty much at every single game. And when I go to every single game, I do not want to have a gluten free hot dog every single weekend. That just doesn’t work out for me and my body. It’s a once in an every once in a while, kind of a nice treat, but not something I want to have four times a month.

So what I will do is I will plan my meals around the sporting event. I will make sure that, let’s say if it’s an 11 a.m. game, I will wake up really early, have a nice big breakfast, and then I will eat a nice big lunch before I go. Even though I might not be hungry for lunch right away, I’m going to get that in my belly so it holds me through the game. And then afterwards, I plan a nice healthy dinner. So those are really good options. Of course, change around your meals pending on when game is, but plan your meals around it.

You could also start bringing your own snacks in. Now I understand some stadiums won’t allow you to just bring in oodles of your own food. You may not be able to bring in a cooler, you know, you may not be able to bring in a can of sardines, but whatever you’re able to sneak in I encourage you to do it. Bend those rules a little bit; in the interest of health, heck yes. So what are some things that I will typically bring in? Some of them could be plantain chips in a little plastic bag, I will bring in a protein bar. RXbars are probably my favorite paleo friendly protein bars. You should look them up if you can. And those are also something you could just keep in your pocket. You know, guys don’t typically carry purses into sporting events like that, or little bags, so you could easily slip a protein bar into your pocket.

Beef jerky, beef sticks; look up Steve’s Paleo Goods if you’re looking for a really good kind of healthier beef jerky or beef stick alternative. Plantain chips, those are great like I said; dried fruits are also a good one. Fruit rollups, like ones that are all natural, made from all natural juices, read the label on those guys, and make sure all you see is fruit on the label.

So those are some of my go-tos. I hope you guys found this helpful. I do recommend that if you go to a sporting event you guys, enjoy it. Don’t worry too much about the fine print. If you need to let your hair down, you let your hair down, and know that one meal or one indulgence at a basketball game, if you’re at March madness or whatever it is, is not going to totally derail all of your efforts. So you just go have a great time, be with your family, and know that there are healthy options that you can use to meet halfway.

Ok you guys! I hope you have an awesome week. Thanks again for sticking with me while I’m getting all these things together. I really, I cannot wait to show you what I’ve been working on. I’m so excited about it, and I’m pouring every little bit and piece of me that I’ve got into these projects. So thanks again for joining me. We’ll be back again next week.


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