Sunday, August 5, 2012

Can you eat healthy at a ballpark?

Can you eat healthy at a ballpark?  After visiting 5 parks in the past year or so and my answer is a resounding NO.

Ok, you can eat SOME healthy foods in some ballparks but you have to SEARCH. Like hunting for a kiwi during the day (they are nocturnal and an endangered species, people!).  So here are my thoughts on a bunch of different parks and what I remember from the visits....

My favorite was PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates), which we visited in June of 2011 and I actually had 2-3 options to pick from!  They were all grilled chicken options- a grilled chicken salad, grilled chicken wrap, and grilled chicken sandwich.  Duh, I picked the salad and even though this was quite a while ago, I remember being impressed. Also, I really liked the park in general.  You had to walk across a bridge over the river to get to the park and it was really beautiful.  The pirates also do a ton of family and pet oriented activities, including "dog days of summer" that they have included my company's charity organization in before.  You can bring your dogs into the park, and all the proceeds from the dog's tickets go to animal charities. Very cool!

6/5/11 at PNC Park- holy cow do I look different!

At Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies), we was there July 2011 and found NOTHING.  I will add though, that we brought in sandwhiches so I wasn't looking hard and it's been almost a year, so that might have changed.  We went with Kevin J and his gf at the time and it was HOT.  Over 100 degrees even at 9pm at night, and I succumbed to the need for ice cream to cool off.  It was 110% worth it, even though it half melted all over me.  The game was still fun despite the ungodly heat and humidity, and mercifully the game was quick as well.

7/22/11 at Citizens Bank Park

For Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles), we were there on June 8, 2012 and I didn't have a choice but to eat dinner because I was coming straight from work.  After searching every stand and almost giving up I ended up piecing together a very basic but low calorie dinner from two stands.  A side salad from Seasons Pizza with no dressing, where the woman told me it was the only one they had sold all day, in inning 5.....that's sad.  I also got a cup of Maryland crab soup from this crab stand where everything else was deep fried.  MD crab is a yummy broth based soup with lots of veggies in it, so it was a go.

The last time I was in Camden Yards, I weighed around 400 lbs and trust me, it was a very different experience then.  I suffered my way through the game and left with bruises on my hips and tears in my eyes.  It was a terrible experience, which I suffered through while trying not to let on to my husband and parents in-law how miserable I was. Every time I've gone to a stadium with my smaller butt/hips I am so grateful I will never have to experience that again.

not my picture- sorry, we didn't take any at that game!

So what spurred on this post?  On vacation this past week we went to two ballparks- Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.  The parks themselves could not have been any different, it's kinda funny.  You have a very new park in NY and one of the oldest ballparks in Boston, which is actually celebrating it's 100th year this year. 

Yankee Stadium- 7/29/12-, before the game, as you can tell by the empty stands

Last Sunday Jen H, Adrian, and I went to Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees) to see the Yankees and Red Sox play- which was quite an experience.  What wasn't so great- I found no decent food.  You know it's bad when the lowest calorie option is cotton candy- which is under 200 totally pointless and wasteful calories.  We went with Jen H which was great in itself and the game was at 8:00 pm- so we most definitely ate dinner outside the stadium.  I will say that we only hardcore looked on the grandstand level, only briefly looked on the first level so I may have missed some, but I doubt it.  Nice thing about NYC- calories are on everything because of their awesomely health minded mayor.  Colleen approves! :)

8/1/12 at Fenway Park

This past Thursday we went to Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox) to see the Red Sox match up against the Minnesota Twins.  Even though we ate dinner before arriving, I really hunted in this park for food because at this point I was really curious what I would find after looking at Yankee Stadium.  I'm sad to report I found nothing even remotely healthy.  But, as we were leaving I found this interesting poster right by the exit that says supposedly there are healthy options and even a fruit cart!  I could have sworn we walked virtually the entire park but apparently we didn't get to the concourse level, which was the only place with "healthy options."  I am frustrated that I never found these options but also frustrated because there was only one area with these healthy options.

The evidence that there was fruit and "healthy options"

My conclusion, and don't get mad at me my wonderful husband and baseball friends, is that I really don't like going to baseball games.  It is much more enjoyable than it was when I was heavier because the seats are more comfortable because I can fit in them easily and being more fit makes all the walking easier.  But, seriously?!  I know that most Americans eat like CRAP, but you can't offer more healthy options, MLB?!

I know this is going to sound extremely judgmental and hypocritical but sometimes I am just disgusted with what people will put in their mouth. Because those people are the ones that will complain about being overweight and then try to make me feel guilty for not eating like they do.  I've been hearing these phrases a lot lately- "Colleen, you need to eat more" or "I've been gaining every pound you lose" or the worst "You are getting too skinny, you look sick."  I don't know what people are trying to accomplish by saying these things, but it sometimes really pisses me off.

If I haven't reiterated enough yet, let me repeat myself.  I am NOT too skinny.  According to BMI, I am overweight and still need to lose 20+ lbs.  Although I don't think the BMI scale is great, I do think it has some value.   I really hope that I was not like that when I was obese, but I might have been.  It is really annoying when you try so hard to get yourself healthy and people tell you that it's easy and then food push on you or tell you that your crazy.  For some of them it's because they feel guilty about how their living their life and don't want my healthy lifestyle rubbed in their face.  I understand how that feels, but it's no less frustrating.

Well, I refuse to apologize anymore for being healthy.  I really shouldn't have to- I should simply be proud of my hard work and say screw it to all the haters.  Easier said then done....

So....Do you have a favorite ballpark or stadium that serves some yummy healthy options? I want to hear about them!


  1. The stadium here in Seattle has a ton of healthy options-- vegan, too! Grilled salmon is one I see a lot of people with. I like the field roast hot dogs, which pack a super wallop of protein without any animal products.