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Serving Up a “Bowl” of Health: Healthy Meals for the Bowling Alley

The smell of pizza, chicken fingers, buttery popcorn, and nachos seem to be common aromas of various bowling alleys. It’s a tempting, and easy, option to get in line after a game of bowling and order your self an unhealthy meal full of fried food. However satisfying those chicken fingers and fries may be, your body will not be thanking you later on. The unhealthy fats and oils that these foods contain will not replenish your muscles after working hard. Instead, they will lead to both short-term and long-term detrimental health effects.

The two types of “bad” fats that are often found in the aforementioned bowling alley food are saturated fats and trans fats. Both of these can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes because they increase your unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol levels (mayoclinic.org). Additionally, they do not provide adequate protein and “good” carbohydrates to refuel you. Instead, you will most likely be left feeling fatigued and not energized. A much healthier and inexpensive option is to pack your own bowling ally meal. You will not only be in control of what you are putting into your body, but also saving money by not spending it on over-priced french fries.

The best foods to pack for the bowling ally should be high in protein and unprocessed carbohydrates. After working hard, your body breaks down nutrients that are stored in your muscles. Both protein and carbohydrates are needed to replenish what your body has used. However, you need to be careful about what kind of carbohydrates you are eating. Processed and refined carbohydrates do not have the health benefits that carbohydrates full of fiber have. Foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans are examples of “good”, fibrous, carbohydrates. Instead of causing spikes in blood sugar, our bodies absorb them slowly so that the nutrients are utilized (webmd.com). Below are a few recipes that contain high protein and “good” carb content.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a grain RICH in protein. You cook it like rice, with a 2:1 ratio of quinoa:water. When your quinoa is cooked, add black beans and your favorite veggies. At the bottom of your Tupperware container, layer a bed of spinach and then put the quinoa mixture on top. Drizzle with your favorite oil based salad dressing, or just oil and vinegar. This makes for a salad that is hearty, as well as healthy!

Wheat Wraps

Whole-grain wheat wraps are great alternatives to any classic sandwiches. Some options of what to put inside the wrap are: grilled chicken and veggies, tuna, PB&J, PB & banana, cold cuts, etc.

Meat and Veggies

Whether it’s chicken, pork, ham, or steak, it pretty easy to throw some into a to-go container for a protein packed snack or meal. Cut them into bite-sized pieces at home, so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of cutting meat at the bowling alley. For even more sustenance, throw in some veggies on the side. Carrots, cucumbers, and salad are all great options!

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a tasty, filling, and healthy option for either a small meal or part of a meal. You can cook them right in the microwave at home, and then bring them to the bowling alley with a little Ketchup. They taste just like sweet potato fries!

For more information:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fat/art-20045550

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/carbohydrates?page=1

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