We all love going to the movies. After all, it’s an American tradition.
But along with that tradition typically comes buckets of “butter”-laden popcorn, candy filled with high fructose corn syrup (soon to be renamed “corn sugar” to try to get away from its bad reputation) and even nachos with cheese that could qualify as a bio hazard based on the first 3 ingredients alone. But we eat them. All of them, simply because they taste good.
Here’s a sobering fact however:
New laboratory tests conducted by the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest reveal that a $12 medium-popcorn-and-soda combo sold at Regal, the country’s largest movie-theater chain, contains 1,610 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat — the equivalent of three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter. Source
Yep, that wonderful tasting bucket of popcorn is smothered in soybean oil, artificial flavoring, beta carotene for color, and preservatives giving many folks a very necessary run to the bathroom as well as their nearest Weight Watcher’s meeting!
I won’t deny that I’ve fallen victim to a bucket of popcorn or a candy bar calling my name from those pretty, well-lit shelves.
But that was years ago. In fact, I don’t really remember the last time I had movie popcorn or a candy bar.
Now, I should mention here that I do NOT, under any circumstances, feel deprived. Quite the opposite. The truth is, if I did really feel deprived, I would absolutely give in to having a candy bar. But that’s what’s great about eating clean and healthy. Once you really get on the “band-wagon”, you eventually lose those cravings. I haven’t had a candy bar in years because I honestly don’t want one. I don’t even remember what they taste like.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional treat at the movie theater. The only difference is, I bring my own instead of handing over an entire paycheck for one tiny bucket of popcorn and chemicals.
Here’s what I take into the theater with me (conveniently hidden in a backpack or large purse to avoid any conflicts – I figure when the movie theater starts providing clean and healthy treats, I’ll start giving them my money again) – What do you like to sneak into the theater?
- Air popped popcorn popped at home (Recipe for healthy coconut popcorn here.)
- Nuts like roasted almonds or cashews (in portioned sizes, of course. It’s tough to see how much you eat in that dark theater!)
- Healthy “Potato” Chips
- Roasted Curry Pumpkin Seeds
- Low fat cheese sticks
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Chunks of chicken breasts
- Edamame beans
- Clean Eating Granola
- Pecan Caramel Chews
- Chocolate Chip Protein Bars
- Cherry Pecan Lara Bars
- Fruit (Take a napkin!)
- An apple with nut butter for dipping (I do this in place of nachos, which I do still admittedly crave from time to time.)
- Caramel Popcorn
A MOVIE NIGHT IN
If you’re having a night in with a movie rental, here are some fun ideas to liven things up.
- If your movie has a theme, try making healthy snacks that fit that theme! For example, in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”, you could make a clean eating pasta dish as a main course (Eat/Italy), a nice curry flavored finger food as a snack (Pray/India) and a coconut drink for your beverage (Love/Indonesia). Have fun with it!
- Have a “movie popcorn” tasting contest! Find different popcorn flavorings. Mix them with small amounts of popcorn and put in small “tasting dishes”. The winning popcorn get’s re-popped and guests get to take a bag home.
- If you have a projector, take your movie outdoors along with your dinner! BBQ some clean eating foods to nosh while you watch your movie on lawn chairs and drink fun, clean drinks!
- Fall is nearly upon us. Take that movie projector and some blankets outside. Serve clean apple cider, baked apples and pumpkin soup!
- Make it a pot luck movie night! Everybody brings a dish. But the catch is, it has to be healthy and clean! Best dish wins a prize based on the movie!
And lastly, I’d like to share a little daydream of mine. Some day, I would like to organize a huge clean eating movie night. It will be in the fall, and I’ll project an old Halloween movie against a wall somewhere (maybe a park). Everybody will bring their lawn chairs and a mug. I’ll serve clean apple cider, and that pumpkin soup I mentioned above. And for the kiddos, I’ll serve Clean Eating Hot Chocolate. I’ll do this every weekend for the 4 weekends leading up to Halloween. Doesn’t that sound like a blast?
Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.