The month of March brings basketball fun week after week. Tens of millions of brackets are filled out each year in hope of winning some dough. With the game day festivities, come munchies galore. How do you spend countless hours in the madness and not put on the pounds?
Here are my expert picks for what’s called March Munchie Madness. I worked with NPC Woman’s Physique Champion 2015, Mara Miranda—who just happens to be my personal trainer—to predict how the yum in your tum game time foods will play out when it comes down to the healthier option.
Let’s get the play by play of how it went down:
West Side of the Menu
Spicy Tuna Roll vs. Fish & Chips
Game was a blowout. No. 8 seed, Fish & Chips was no competition for No. 1 seed, Spicy Tuna Roll. A team full of fried protein and starchy potatoes had no chance against the clean goodness of players: Tuna, Avocado, Celery and Rice, all wrapped in a seaweed jersey.
FINAL: Spicy Tuna Roll 91 Fish & Chips 62
Meatballs vs. Buffalo Wings
The game was neck and neck until the last 5 seconds. No. 3 seed, Meatballs had controversy earlier this year on whether it’s secret ingredient bread crumbs are performance enhancing. That was squashed after they discovered that white bread crumbs don’t produce extra energy. Bread crumbs and all, Meatballs pulled ahead in the end. No. 6 seed, Buffalo Wings was an even match—preservative packed, they just couldn’t keep up with the lasting energy of the high protein Meatballs at the end of the game. Buffalo Wings’ locker room smelled of blue cheese and defeat.
FINAL: Meatballs 72 Buffalo Wings 68
Fried Calamari vs. Loaded Nachos
No. 4 seed, Fried Calamari held a decent lead over the No. 5 seed, Loaded Nachos pretty much the entire game. Star player Squid—even through fried—was way lighter on his feet than Loaded Nachos’ star players: Liquid Cheese, Sour Cream, Tortilla Chips and Refried Beans. Between the carb coma and the dairy bloat, Loaded Nachos just couldn’t keep up.
FINAL: Fried Calamari 79 Loaded Nachos 70
Ceviche & Tortilla Chips vs. Chicken Tenders
No surprise with this one. No. 2 seed, Ceviche & Tortilla Chips dominated with it’s rich source of protein. No. 7 seed, Chicken Tenders’ whole team was fried and it didn’t help that they were hydrating with ketchup, ranch and bbq sauce.
FINAL: Ceviche & Tortilla Chips 81 Chicken Tenders 65
East Side of the Menu
Hummus & Pita Bread vs. Pepperoni Pizza
Both high in carbs, the game was back and forth. No. 1 seed, Hummus & Pita Bread took the lead in the second half for the win. It’s protein packed power couldn’t be stopped by No. 8 seed, Pepperoni Pizza’s Precessed Meat and Dairy defense.
FINAL: Hummus & Pita Bread 67 Pepperoni Pizza 61
Cheeseburger vs. Hot Dog
America’s biggest rival battled it out yet again. No. 3 seed, Cheeseburger defeated No. 6 seed, Hot Dog for the 8th time in a row (8-peat). Both teams are similar, with their great buns, condiments and of course fries. Right before the end of the first half, a brawl broke out between the fries…something about a dispute over ranch and ketchup. Both teams lost their starchy players for the rest of the tournament. Hot Dog’s main player Nitrates kept them in the game for a while but as a preservative, he just got outplayed by the Burger’s fresh moves. Hot Dog should have benched Nitrates, he’s bad for team morale.
FINAL: Cheeseburger 74 Hot Dog 64
New England Clam Chowder vs. Bean Dip & Tortilla Chips
We all thought No. 4 seed, New England Clam Chowder would take No. 5 seed, Bean Dip & Tortilla Chips right? Clam Chowder has a fluid, liquid based defense. Too bad that was no match for Bean Dip’s complex triangle offense. Bean Dip’s high protein helped them conquer the opposing team’s Tiny Clam Pieces, Dairy, Sugar Filled Carrots and White Potato. Oh and we can’t forget about key players: Tortilla Chips and Saltines, they really battled it out to the finish.
FINAL: New England Clam Chowder 75 Bean Dip & Tortilla Chips 83
Deviled Eggs vs. Carnitas Tacos
Yet full of protein, No. 2 seed, Deviled Eggs had a rough start with Mayo underperforming. Luckily, No. 7 seed, Carnitas Tacos was easy to stop since their offense is full of lard. Deviled eggs caught up in the second half—Carnitas Tacos fell behind when their fatty red meated star fouled out of the game and all they had left to hold down the fort was Cilantro, Onion and the league’s floppiest player: Corn Tortilla.
FINAL: Deviled Eggs 63 Carnitas Tacos 56
West Side of the Menu
Spicy Tuna Roll vs. Meatballs
No. 3 seed, Meatballs pulled it off in round one, but their protein packed balls were no match for No. 1 seed, Spicy Tuna Rolls in round two. Covered in a sugary sauce, and with bread crumbs still in their system—they just weren’t on their game. The clean shooting Spicy Tuna couldn’t be touched. It was like Meatballs were chasing them around with a pair of chopsticks.
FINAL: Spicy Tuna Roll 78 Meatballs 60
Fried Calamari vs. Ceviche & Tortilla Chips
With enemies playing on opposite teams, this matchup was nothing less than entertaining. No. 4 seed, Calamari—yet fried, has one of the league’s top shooters: Squid. He’s usually spot on. Unfortunately for Squid, assist leader Aioli Sauce just wasn’t there for him that night. Maybe it was the extra mayo in the sauce. No. 2 seed, Ceviche & Tortilla Chips took advantage of Aioli’s off night—and Squid’s nemesis Shrimp stuck it to him for once. Avocado and the other fish also performed well but Tortilla didn’t chip in much.
FINAL: Fried Calamari 45 Ceviche & Tortilla Chips 55
East Side of the Menu
Hummus & Pita Bread vs. Cheeseburger
No. 1 seed, Hummus & Pita Bread was neck and neck with No. 3 seed, Cheeseburger all game long. In the last 2 minutes, Cheeseburger decided to bench The Bun due to fatigue. With a main player on the bench, Cheeseburger brought in an up and coming rookie: Extra Patty. Yet unexpected, his beefy protein pulled them through for the big WIN. Extra Patty made senior player, The Bun look overrated.
FINAL: Hummus & Pita Bread 68 Cheeseburger 73
Bean Dip & Tortilla Chips vs. Deviled Eggs
Unfortunately, No. 5 seed, Bean Dip & Tortilla Chips had a rough start to the game and never could quite get it together. It all went down hill after a flagrant foul was called for playing with too many complex carbs at a 6:30 PM game. They knew it was excessive but did it deliberately. With their star player Beans on edge, they were doomed. Left with just Cheese and Tortilla Chips to compensate for Beans passive playing—No. 2 seed, Deviled Eggs way outperformed them with all their aggressive protein.
FINAL: Bean Dip & Tortilla Chips 60 Deviled Eggs 70
West Side of the Menu
Spicy Tuna Roll vs. Ceviche & Tortilla Chips
No. 1 seed, Spicy Tuna Roll and No 2 seed, Ceviche & Tortilla Chips really had an entertaining night. In the first ten minutes it looked like Ceviche had the edge but Spicy Tuna kept them on a short leash. Spicy Tuna was all over Ceviche’s Center: Tortilla Chips, like white on rice—forcing Tortilla Chips to constantly shoot free throws that he couldn’t hit. Tortilla Chips lost the battle for Ceviche that night. Spicy Tuna just had a cleaner game. Unfortunately, Ceviche’s coach will have to await his lemon-lime shower yet another year.
FINAL: Spicy Tuna Roll 72 Ceviche & Tortilla Chips 67
East Side of the Menu
Cheeseburger vs. Deviled Eggs
As we all know, No. 3 seed, Cheeseburger played really well last round without their senior player: The Bun—and substituting their rookie: Extra Patty. This round, the coach decided to keep that lineup going. The Bun and his closest teammates: Secret Sauce and American Cheese caused a stink about that decision. It was very disruptive! They were like…What are you thinking benching your main player in a final game? So the coach threw Secret Sauce and American Cheese on the bench with their negative bestie and brought in Yellow Mustard. Coach knew exactly what he was doing. With up-and-comer, Extra Patty on the floor—the team’s whole dynamic changed. They got the edge they needed, leaving No. 2 seed, Deviled Eggs to chase the ball around all night long. Both teams high in protein, but Deviled Eggs just couldn’t keep up. Maybe they should take a page out of Cheeseburger’s playbook and bench Mayo next time.
FINAL: Cheeseburger 88 Deviled Eggs 79
Spicy Tuna Roll vs. Cheeseburger
No. 3 seed, Cheeseburger kept their players as is with Patty , Extra Patty, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Onion and Yellow Mustard mainly playing that night. No. 1 seed, Spicy Tuna Roll answered back to every shot Cheeseburger made. It was truly exciting. Spicy Tuna had a hell of a basket with a few seconds left to win the game. Very impressive, but an official review was called on the play because the dunk was into sodium rich soy sauce. Just devastated, Spicy Tuna was in disbelief that their basket didn’t count. Cheeseburger ended up with a 3 pointer at the buzzer to defeat Spicy Tuna Roll. What a game!
FINAL: Spicy Tuna Roll 73 Cheeseburger 75
Mara Miranda, Trainer & NPC Woman’s Physique Champion 2015 – brazilianbodyoc.com
Hubby, Professional Sports Enthusiast