Oh “Holy” Grill – Football, Food, Fun Fat Loss!

Being the fanatic football fan I’ve already pulled my special tailgating grill out of the garage, polished it, filled the tank and dreamed about the taste of the first burger off the flames. Now that my “holy” grill is all ready to go, is it possible to enjoy the tailgating experience and be somewhat healthy about it? Sure, but it will take a little planning and getting over the social pressure.

Carrot sticks, turkey and Gatorade, wow, how exciting! Yes, eating healthy may not be as sporty to your tailgating buddies, but in the end it’s more rewarding to your waste line and heart. Hey, I like pounding down the bratwurst, booze and burgers like the rest, I also like to not have to buy new team paraphernalia every year either because it’s too tight.

Here are a few different somewhat healthier food ideas for making your tailgating enjoyable, yet healthy.


Boneless Buffalo Wings

Even though boneless Buffalo wings are made with healthy white-meat chicken, watch the batter

Creamy Herb Dip

A perennial favorite with kids, this all-purpose dip can also be used as a sandwich.

Salsa Rojo

Here’s a homemade version of the tomato salsa served at taco stands and burrito.

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

Plenty of black beans, salsa and chopped fresh vegetables.


Main Course

Barbecued Pork & Coleslaw Sandwiches

Two Southern favorites are combined here: pork in sweet barbecue sauce.

Black Bean Nacho Pizza

Break out the napkins! This pie is an over-the-top.

Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers.

Grilled Portobello “Steak” Sandwiches with Blue Cheese Sauce

Blue cheese sauce gives these gutsy grilled mushroom sandwiches a classic steakhouse taste.

Shaker-Style Smoked Chicken Thighs

Based on a recipe of the Shakers, a Quaker splinter group.

Shish Kebab with Tahini Sauce

Roasted and grilled meats are ubiquitous throughout the Middle East.

Shrimp Chili Cornbread Casserole

Low-fat shrimp and vegetable chili (which is quite tasty on its own)

Sweet-&-Sour Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks stay deliciously moist when grilled—even with the skin removed.

White Chili

This fragrant “white” chili is an unusual, delicious alternative. 



Barbecue Bean Salad

Perfect for picnics or a side for grilled chicken, this fast salad has all.

Summer Potato Salad

Our take on this potato salad has a light creamy dressing made with nonfat yogurt.

Classic Coleslaw

For those who prefer creamy coleslaw to vinegary types.


Is it possible to eat healthy tailgating, sure it is? It may require a little bit more defense on the fatter foods though!

Greg Ryan is an accomplished author, personal trainer, life coach and owner of Resolutions Preventative Health Care through Fitness for Seniors and Diabetics in St. Matthews. www.resolutions.bz