Score a Touchdown with Heart Healthy Snacks for the Game

The big game needs big plans for healthy snacks! Don’t sack everyone’s healthy New Year’s resolutions with a party spread filled with fried, fattening or sugary foods. Score a touchdown with a super party buffet full of heart healthy foods to give everyone a healthy option while celebrating the big game! Offering healthy food choices can help people maintain a healthy weight, even when celebrating the biggest game of the year.

First Half Strategy – First down: start off with salad and veggies. Fill up on the healthier foods first then add in a few treats on your plate. Go with healthier appetizers like cut veggies and hummus, fat-free yogurt dips or

guacamole made with avocados. According to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals. Use baked, not fried and whole grain versions of your favorite chips and crackers. Try low-fat cheeses with whole grain crackers or toasts, and choose assorted low-sodium or unsalted nuts, which are high in good fats and protein.

Halftime Rally – When planning your halftime buffet, throw the penalty flag on the worst party foods like fried Buffalo wings (up to 35 grams of fat per serving), takeout personal pepperoni pan pizza (over 60% of sodium daily allowance), nachos with cheese (30% of your daily fat). Opt for baked,

not fried buffalo tenders, whole wheat pizza with veggies and chicken or bean & low-fat cheese burritos in a whole wheat wrap and you’ll still have energy for that halftime touch football game! Try turkey or chicken and bean chili with lots of veggies cooked in and low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream on the side.

Second Half Plan – Offer seltzer and no sugar-added fruit juice beverages as “mock-cocktail” alternatives to alcohol-based drinks. Alcohol can raise

blood pressure and is full of empty calories. Make portion control part of your game plan. Smaller plates and calorie counting apps can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming so you don’t go overboard. Know your portions. For example, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a deck of cards and an ounce of cheese is about the size of your index finger. A cup of pasta is the size of a fist and half a cup of rice is a cupcake wrapper-full.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy most often. Keep total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils most often. Use naturally occurring, un-hydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.

Why offer healthier options? In the US, the prevalence of obesity among adults increased from 1999 to 2000 through 2013 to 2014 from 30.5% to 37.7%. Nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese and at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Making small changes to diet and lifestyle can help prevent heart disease and stroke, the number one and five killers.

The American Heart Association has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to offer Simple Cooking with Heart, a nationwide program aimed at changing the way people think about food. Try these healthy variations of classic party recipes and get more cooking tips from the American Heart Association and free recipes and cooking videos at

By |January 31st, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

West Point’s Coach Jeff Monken Finalist in Bear Bryant Awards

The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, announced the finalists for the 2019 Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards, sponsored by Marathon Oil Corporation. Representing the nation’s best in college football, these coaches will compete for the highly-coveted and final title of the season: the 2018 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award. The winner will be announced live on Jan. 9, 2019 during the awards dinner and ceremony at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston.

The 2018 award finalists are:

  • Bill Clark – University of Alabama-Birmingham
  • Josh Heupel – University of Central Florida
  • Brian Kelly – Notre Dame
  • Jeff Monken – Army West Point
  • Nick Saban – University of Alabama
  • Dabo Swinney – Clemson University
  • Jeff Tedford – Fresno State University

Coach Frank Beamer is the recipient of the 2019 Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award and will also attend the dinner in January. Beamer coached the Virginia Tech Hokies for 29 years, retiring in 2015.

Now in its 33rd year, the Coach of the Year Award recognizes the country’s top college football coach for their contributions both on and off the field. The award is the only college coaching honor selected after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association.

Behind the scenes, the award is much bigger than a season’s success. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on heart disease and stroke – the nation’s no. 1 and no. 5 health threats. Since the adoption of the name, the Bryant Awards has raised over $9.8 Million for the American Heart Association, funding research, education and advocacy efforts and saving countless lives. “Bear” always talked about being bigger than something other than himself. The Bryant Awards offer an opportunity to do just that — to join the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease and stroke and help save lives.

Once again, sports aficionados can enjoy the Bryant Awards live on FOX College Sports – available through most cable providers.

Fans can take part in the online silent auction benefiting the AHA. Items are available for bidding online now at Notable auction packages include: a 15-day Grand European River Cruise for two; tickets to the Master’s Tuesday Practice Round in Augusta, Georgia for four; a suite at the Toyota Center to see the Houston Rockets take on the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, March 22, 2019; and autographed sports memorabilia from the Houston Astros, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and more.

Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for the past ten years, underscoring the Company’s commitment to health and wellness. The Company strives to partner with local organizations to recognize and advance important public health initiatives in the communities where it operates.

Lee Tillman, Marathon Oil president and CEO, says the finalists are each remarkable. “These distinguished coaches are leaders on and off the field, and we’re honored to welcome them to this elite group,” Tillman said. “They represent Paul “Bear” Bryant’s belief in excellence and support the Bryant family’s commitment to the American Heart Association’s mission of building a world of longer, healthier lives.”

To purchase tickets to the Bryant Awards, contact 832-918-4009 or visit

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Marathon Oil Corporation

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) is an independent exploration and production company based in Houston.  For more information, please visit the Company’s website at

Have a Heart-Healthy Football Party

Family watching football game cheeringCan you keep it healthy at the tailgate party or football-watching bash? Yes!

Football season’s grand finale is here! And America’s most popular sport means enjoying many beloved traditions – including lots of fried and fatty meats washed down with calorie-laden drinks. Great fun, but not great for your heart-health! Your Big Game Party doesn’t mean you have to pack on the pounds and put your heart at risk. In fact, you can do a lot to keep your tailgating and other parties heart healthy – without giving up the fun or the flavor.

Check out these helpful tips:

The Meats

Do tailgates mean having a pile of meat sizzling on the grill? Well, if you’re eating meat, just be mindful of which ones you’re firing up. Choose lean or extra-lean beef burgers, and keep the patties to the size of a deck of cards. Or try turkey burgers or salmon burgers, which are tasty and give you the essential omega-3 fatty acids your body needs. If you crave the traditional fried wings, try replacing them with grilled chicken breast strips tossed in a small amount of your favorite sauce. Try this heart-healthy recipe for Tailgate Chili!

Picking the healthiest meat isn’t the only healthy choice you can make. Be careful about how you season it. Resist a heavy shaking of the salt shaker; instead, throw in some chopped onions or extra pepper to spice things up. Choose 100 percent whole-wheat buns or make a lettuce wrap. Or you can cut your burger in half and have just one side of the bun.

The Sides

At many football parties and stadium parking lots, there’s no shortage of chips or fries stacked high with chili, cheese and whatever else you can think of. However tempting they may be, you can fill up (and feel better later) by nibbling on vegetables throughout the game. “Load up on the veggies!” said Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., .a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a volunteer for the American Heart Association. “Have vegetables for dipping rather than chips. Serve plenty of salsa and bean-based dips rather than other high-calorie dips.”

Skewers are also a fun and flavorful way to snack. Load them up with onions and peppers, or throw some corn on the cob or zucchini on the grill.

The Drinks

Beer and full-calorie sodas are usually plentiful at football parties and games. If drinking alcohol at games, just remember to use moderation.“Try not to overindulge on alcoholic beverages,” Johnson said. “Too much beer, wine or liquor impairs judgment and can cause us to eat more.”If you do get a beer at the game, try one with the least amount of calories and carbohydrates.For those who choose to drink alcohol, the American Heart Association recommends limiting to an average of one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12-ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.)As far as soda goes, you’ll usually find no-calorie options wherever the full-sugar kind is. Water is the best choice, though, especially at games early in the season where dehydration is a concern. If you want a little more excitement then just plain water, throw in some fresh fruit to give it a refreshing taste.

Tailgating Do’s and Don’ts

  • Choose your sides in moderation. Try to make sure your plate is colorful, with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink lots of water. You may be feeling hungry, but you may actually just be dehydrated. Stay hydrated.
  • Remind yourself to only eat if you are hungry – not just for something to do at the game. It may help to keep track of what you eat.
  • Placement counts! Put your healthiest items up front so choosing the healthy foods is easier for your guests!
  • Sweet Endings: Never underestimate the power of the fruit kebob for dessert, or cut fruit with a drizzle of dark chocolate! Now, that’s a crowd pleaser!
  • Burn those calories: Do go for a halftime walk or have a heart-healthy halftime game of touch football! Include the kids for a family fun time!

Learn more:

By |January 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments