Healthy Father's Day
Great Tips for a Happy, Healthy Father's
By Steve Edwards
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to
There's nothing Dad likes better on his big day than to hang out
with his loved ones and ignore the stresses of bringin' home the bacon.
Unfortunately, de-stressing often includes eating all the bacon he's been
slaving to bring home. The typical American ritual involves something along the
lines of Dad parking in his favorite recliner to catch the quadruple-header
whilst the family supplies a never-ending buffet of bad food and beer. A really
good day has more friends showing up, with more food, and even more beer.
The upside is that this odd ritual
makes Dad happy. The downside is that it creates habits and desires that will
ensure a lot fewer Father's Days to come. Let's take a look at our most
ingrained ideas about Dad's big day and how we might turn them into something
Breakfast in bed
There seems to be only one time and place
that could have created the idea that opening your eyes to a mound of food
would be pleasurable: Rome. Only a culture trying to forcibly push the limits
of decadence could embrace such foolishness. Sure, the idea of waking up to
your favorite foods sounds nice, but c'mon! Your body's engine is in full rest
mode. It's not hungry. And even if the food tastes great, your dad stuffing
himself with an all-you-can-eat trucker's breakfast isn't going to help him
begin his day. More than likely, it'll render him into a comatose state where
just walking to the recliner will feel like an accomplishment. "Someone get me
a beer. The pre-game show's about to start."
Hey, wait a minute. Isn't there a
Dad will be just as happy with a taste of his favorite breakfast.
We tend to equate bulk with love in our culture - surely the result of
someone's clever marketing scheme - but piling a plate with five pounds of
bacon, eggs, and gravy will instantly change Dad's mind-set from pleasure to
challenge. He's going to feel the need to show off and eat the entire thing,
even if a cup of joe and a piece of toast were all he really wanted.
Today's a day for rewards. If Dad
likes bacon more than his usual high-fiber cereal, he's earned an indulgence.
Just tone it down to a piece or two. You've got a big day ahead.
Plan your own quadruple-header
Dad doesn't really want to watch ALL
of those games. Back to back (to back) games are usually the result of pure
laziness, or perhaps the result of eating a 4,000-calorie breakfast. The best
game of the day is probably slated for prime time to ensure the biggest
audience. That's the game Dad probably really wants to watch. With this in
mind, you've got an entire day to plan.
What to do is completely a matter of personality but what not to
do isn't. There is one activity Dad doesn't want to do today: yard work. Free
Dad of his chores by getting them done for him. Do it yourself, assign it to
the kids, or hire a gardener. Dad might even stay glued to the couch, because
if he steps outside he'll feel guilty seeing an overgrown lawn. With a clear
conscience, he'll now be free to move about the yard.
Hey, wait a minute. What do we do
If Dad is watching sports, it's likely
that he engaged in them at some point. Ask yourself what he likes but hasn't
done lately, or what has he talked about wanting to do down the road when he
has the time.
- Golf. As long as you don't rent a
cart, playing 18 holes burns a lot of calories. If Dad's a golfer, he's
probably talked about a course he's always wanted to play but can't afford or
doesn't plan ahead for long enough to get a tee time. Book him a round on his
- Mountain biking. These days it's pretty easy to rent bikes and riding can be a
hoot even if it's not something you regularly engage in. Not only does trail
riding burn a lot of calories, it raises your adrenaline levels, which can be
the perfect Father's Day gift.
- Rock climbing. If Dad's an adrenaline kind
of guy who's more into strength than speed, perhaps opt for the local climbing
gym or, even better, a day outside on the rocks with a guide. Climbing is a
great workout that can be perfect for those who suffer from the standard set of
chronic sports injuries. Because it's slow, and you're on a rope when you fall,
it's very low impactat least for beginners. It's the kind of "rad" sport
that won't leave him groping for the couch with a bag of ice when he's
One of the reasons this is the world's most popular sport
is because you can play it anywhere. All you need is a ball and a couple of
peopleactually, you don't even need a ball as anything you can kick can
be used as a substitute. The field, number of players, goals, and rules can all
be altered to fit the situation. The end results will have you running,
kicking, and chasing each other at top speed. Whew!
- Frisbee sports.
Both ultimate and golf Frisbee are great for getting the
family involved. Ultimate Frisbee is basically soccer using a Frisbee so, as
you might imagine, it's a fantastic workout even if you don't know how to play.
Frisbee golf is like, well, golf except that it's free and you don't need
clubs. You just throw the Frisbee down the course and hit whatever you
designate as the hole. While it's popular in some places (many housing
complexes have courses), chances are you'll need to make your own course. You
can use a park, a field, your street, orbecause Frisbees don't break
thingsalmost anything for the course. Map one out ahead of time and
provide Dad his score - card with breakfast.
- Baseball/football/basketball. The American
big three are a bit harder to play on a whim and, these days, it's harder to
head down to the park and find a good pickup game that allows outsiders. If Dad
pines for the bygone days of team sports, see if you can gather a group of his
friends who feel similarly and arrange a game ahead of time. It'll be great
exercise and, when it's over, you're ready for a Father's Day
- Indoor workout.
You can't always count on the weather to cooperate but
that's no excuse to remain on the couch. Plan B should always include an indoor
option and, of course, we've got plenty of suggestions on what to do.
90® or P90X®, or any
fitness program we offer, is the most time-efficient way to ensure that dad has
plenty of future Father's Days to come.
Father's Day in the U.S. of A. would be complete without a BBQ. After all,
Father's Day happens on the cusp of summer during one of the longest days of
the year. It'll be warm, light until 9, and the kids won't have school the next
day. It's the perfect setting for a party, and after a light breakfast and a
day of activity, Dad's bound to be hungry.
Hey, wait a minute. How can a BBQ
- Grill some veggies.
"Um," you're probably thinking, "there are a few things
you don't understand about Dad. He doesn't want veggies. He wants meat." Yeah,
yeah, like the Jack in the Box ads tell us, men like meat. We'll get to that in
a second but first, consider throwing some veggies on the 'cue. Grilled
peppers, onions, and, of course, corn feel and taste different than they do
inside the house. They feel more . . . that's right . . . manly. They're hearty
and crunchy and make you feel like you're eating something with substance. Give
it a shot. Blacken 'em up a bit and he may not even know they're
Now we're talkin'. Dad wants meat and lots of it.
Unfortunately, the standard BBQ fare consists of hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs,
and brats. These are pretty much the bottom rung of the carnivore ladder. All,
except very lean hamburger meat, are loaded with saturated fat. Most have
additives. Even the leanest hamburger meat has mystery ingredients, as ground
beef (turkey and chicken, too) is pretty much the dregs of what's left in the
Stick to whole cuts of meat. After all, dad would
surely rather have a steak than a hamburger. Any whole cut of meat - chicken,
turkey, pork, or fish is a far better option than ground up or processed meat.
Some cuts are fatty but you can, at least, see what you're getting and avoid
here for 11 Tips for Cooking Out Without Pigging Out.)
sauce. While many people prefer grilled meats and veggies
au naturel, BBQ sauce is an American icon. Not all of these are created equal,
or even anywhere close to it. Most are terrible for you but it's becoming
easier to find healthy options.
Make sure you read
the label. Offending ingredients to avoid are high fructose corn syrup, too
much of any sugar, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and ingredients that you
- Chips and dip.
How do chips and salsa grab ya? It's not just for Mexican
food anymore. Chips are bad enough. Dipping them into some sort of sour
cream-based concoction should be avoided at all costs. While you may find
healthy dip options if you scrutinize labels, most salsas are downright
healthy. And if you opt for baked chips, it's all the better.
ah-hem! When it comes to Father's Day, the salad is often
left behind. When it does show up, however, it's often worse than no salad at
all. The BBQ standbys of potato or macaroni salad are generally
mayonnaise-laden gut bombs that do more harm than anything on the menu. Other
"creative" options, such as ambrosias, are even worse.
So here's the
salad rule. Salad should be greeneven at a BBQ. If it's not, it's just some
kind of side dish. Those assorted creamy, fatty items should be forever axed
from the menu. For one, when was the last time you went to a BBQ where everyone
was extolling the merits of the ambrosia? If you did, it certainly wasn't Dad.
here for some delicious ways to spruce up your salad.)
beer, arguably Dad's favorite ingredient at any BBQ, and perhaps any event. So
much so it's likely that Milwaukee's holy water could claim the creation of the
entire BBQ culture. Since Dad's probably going to toss back a couple, let's
closer look at beer.
The main problem with beer is the
calories, half of which come from alcohol. Alcohol impairs our ability to
function and is dangerous to our health when consumed in large quantities.
There are some pluses and many minuses to chronic alcohol consumption, but
that's not our concern in this article. This is Dad's day and you can let him
drink; just don't let him drive.
Keeping the calories under control is
another matter. An average beer has around 200 caloriesa light beer about
half of that. This sounds like light beer is better except that light beers
also taste light and, thus, often go down like water, making it harder to
elicit restraint. It's probably best to choose a beer that has enough bulk so
that you don't want to finish one every few minutes.
Ingredients are another matter. Since U.S. labeling requirements
are not applicable to beer, you have to do some digging to find out what's in
American beer. Locations with more beer history, like Germany, have laws that
require beer to contain nothing but water, barley, and hops. Large U.S.
manufacturersthe kinds that can sell beer for 9 bucks a caseuse cheaper
ingredients like rice. Some beers even contain the ubiquitous high fructose
corn syrup. Chances are that the cheaper the beer, the lower the quality of the
America is also home to many microbrew
companies that stick to European standards and love to tell you what's in their
beer. Essentially this means the smaller the brewing company, the healthier the
beer. Microbrews cost more but, since they are more filling, you tend to drink
less, which can offset their cost. And since they're healthier as well, the
best option is probably to procure Dad's beer from the local microbrewery.
Hey, wait a minute. Isn't there a
Way to go, Dad! You've earned it. Kick
back in the recliner, relax, and enjoy the game.