Calming Food for a Tense NFL Day


A new way to display the Black and Gold?

Some years ago the then-editor for Behind the Steel Curtain asked me to write a sponsored post on game day food using the sponsor’s product (at least some of it.) If I recall correctly it was an expensive form of alcohol—brandy or some such. I was the only female writer at the time and said editor was slightly abashed at asking me. I didn’t mind, but I do occasionally feel women’s brains are underutilized in sports journalism.

However, I’m actually interested in food, and I like to cook, so I feel no shame in throwing in an occasional food-related post. Today’s post is not, however, a recipe compendium but some suggested foods you might wish to include in today’s consumption—at least if, like me, you are very nervous about tonight’s game.

Mind you, I get nervous about every game. This one is particularly bad, though, because of all the reasons (and more) I enumerated in the opponent preview. In addition, we have to wait all day to watch it. Fortunately I am now in Colorado Springs, so the game actually begins at 6:30. But it’s still going to be a very long day.

The first information I found as I searched was a list of foods to avoid when you are dealing with stress and anxiety. You all are not going to like this list, as I’m guessing it contains pretty much every component of your regular game-day routine. But I’m not here to make you happy but to make you better. Here they are:

  • Alcholic beverages
  • High-glycemic carbohydrates (stuff made with white sugar, white flour, and so on…)
  • Fried foods

If you haven’t stopped reading already, here are some foods that will help:

  • Blueberries, bananas, apples, other berries
  • Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, and Brazil nuts
  • Avocados
  • Grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken
  • Garlic
  • High-fiber carbs—whole grains, beans, etc.
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Seaweed (you can get some seriously delicious crunchy nori snacks at Costco, for example)
  • Chamomile tea, green tea

This isn’t so bad after all. You could make a big bowl of guacamole with garlic, cilantro, and some chopped tomatoes and serve it with hippie chips—some sort of whole-grain tortilla chips. (I like the Food Should Taste Good brand with flax seeds and so on.) Bean dip would be good, too, either instead of or along with the guac.

Some sort of protein dish—maybe flank steak barbecued and cut against the grain—would be a delicious way to get some serotonin. A big fruit salad featuring lots of berries would be very good, and colorful, and you could finish with no-bake cookies made with whole flaked oats, nuts, chopped dark chocolate, almond butter (rather than peanut butter), and just enough honey to make them lush.

In fact, this all sounds so good that if you will excuse me, I’m heading for the kitchen. Oh, and Go Steelers!







  • That reads exactly like the complete opposite of my game day fare.
    I could I suppose adjust a nacho to fit in there somehow.


  • I just read your post and the timing is great! I woke up this morning in the mood to cook stuff so I have a pound of ground venison thawed. I’m going to go cook it soon and top it with Anaheim pepper, Swiss cheese, tomato, onion.

    Yesterday I cooked some garlicky/dilly bread that I made from a 1 pound frozen bread dough. I let it raise and cooked in a square 9 x 9″ glass pan so it’s only about 3 inches tall and will make a delicious sandwich bun.

    I was so impressed with the bread last night that I’m thawing another one. I just made a delicious homemade pizza sauce because later I’m going to make a four cheese deep dish pizza – 1/2 mozzarella and the other half equal parts aged cheddar, Havarti, and Swiss cheese spread in separate concentric rings on top of the sauce. I’m going to put onion, pasilla peppers, and pepperoni on top. I grated the cheese earlier so once the bread is ready I just have to load it up and cook it.

    I can’t wait! Mainly for the Steelers but also for the food!


    • It all sounds fantastic, particularly the venison!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Because I eat a mostly very low saturated fat diet and eat healthy things like organic sprouted whole grain bread, I too enjoy eating venison and 94+% fat free grass-fed beef. But truth be told it is soooo low-fat that it tastes like cardboard (which I compensate for by the liberal use of Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce before cooking!)

        When I do go off the reservation and eat junk food such as pizza, I like to control the ingredients that’s in said food. Which brings me around to my delicious pizza of which 2 of the 3 “secret” ingredients are found at Costco – Kirkland’s organic stewed tomatoes and Coastal Rugged Mature Cheddar Cheese from England.

        The other secret ingredient is the use of bread dough for the crust because it tastes like fresh baked bread. IMO, crust is usually the weak link in pizza and a good tasting, memorable crust really rounds out the taste of a pizza. Plus, thawing a pound or 2 of frozen premade bread dough is very, very, easy.

        Considering how the game turned out am I now required to make something like this before every game? Have I been food-superstitionized?

        (Btw, speaking of blueberries, I have found that if every day I drink a glass of fresh blueberry juice in the morning that’s been blenderized in my Nutribullet with Splenda added, I feel very good for some reason. Maybe my diet is poor in vitamin K? Just food, or should I say juice, for thought …)


  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    No fancy cooking here today as we went to the in-laws for supper but we did harvest our carrots today (we harvested the beets yesterday). The garden is almost completely exhausted for the year. Just a couple of squashes and a few small green tomatoes left to deal with.

    If I was cooking it would probably have been lentils, green peas and onions in a spicy green curry sauce (with extra garlic and fresh ginger) served on a bed of rice. Simple, tasty and easy to prepare in advance.


    • Sounds delicious. But you realize you are going to have to go eat with the in-laws every week until the Steelers lose…


      • cold_old_steelers_fan

        We normally eat with them every other week though, as they age, this is becoming a slightly more frequent event. Next weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada so there were discussions about where and when the family supper will occur. All I know for certain is there will be turkey and for that I am grateful.


  • Pingback: The Sunday Food-Related Post: Comfort Foods for a Potentially Really Long Day | Going Deep:

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