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Best and Worst Movie Theater Snacks

Nothing is more thrilling than sitting down in a cushy movie theater seat anxiously awaiting to see your must-see flick on the big screen. Most of us go to the movies on the weekend, and weekends frequently transform into two-day splurges that sabotage our well-intentioned healthy eating efforts of the week prior.

The movie theater is where our food demons tempt us to fall for the buttered popcorn and Goobers. But movies and snacking do not need to be so traumatic.

Before the weekend hits, read on to find out which of your devilish movie snacks are best left behind the concessions counter and which ones you can peacefully nosh on.
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Sony Pictures CEO Calls for Healthier Snacks in Movie Theaters

I’m a pretty hardcore movie fan. When I’m in a groove, I’m watching 2-3 movies a week. But, this is almost always in the comfort of my living room. My wife and I splurged a few years ago on a nice home theater system, and it’s paid off in so many entertaining hours of movie nights, not to mention NFL Sundays for me.

Needless to say, I am rarely tempted by the junk food that populates movie theater lobbies. With the exception of Avatar a few weeks back, I don’t recall the last movie I’ve seen in theaters. But, for the millions of others who make their local cineplexes a regular destination, they may – or may not – crave a few healthier options to choose from. From my perspective, if I’m going to fork over $12 on a drink and some popcorn, I’d prefer something not just a little healthier, but more substantial.

Theaters have made a point of adding more food items to their menus in the last 5-10 years, but the choices are still usually not much to write home about. Well, health food advocates have a Hollywood heavyweight in their corner now. Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive officer for Sony Pictures, is calling on movie theaters to offer healthier snacks as a way to fight obesity, not to mention give moviegoers more food choices.
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Popcorn Packs a Nutritional Punch of Antioxidants and Fiber

bowl of popcornMovies are a passion of mine. It’s especially important to me now that I’m a parent of two youngsters and spend so much time home-bound. Butterless popcorn is a great little snack while you’re watching a new DVD release. If you think that it’s healthy, there’s a kernel of truth to that.

There’s a new reason to pop some of your favorite movie-viewing snack, sans the slabs of butter. According to findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, popcorn contains more antioxidants and dietary fiber than any other snack food.
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March Madness Munchies

If you plan on sitting on your duff this weekend watching the March Madness Sweet 16, do yourself a favor and don’t fill up on the typical watch party snacks. Greasy potato chips, fried chicken wings and calorie-packed cheese dips are common fare at these parties. Whether you’re hosting the crowd or have been invited to attend, be prepared with healthier snack options. Your guests won’t notice the difference and you’ll look like you’re helping out the host if you are the guest. These are our top two seeds:
March Madness
Cherry Almond Clusters are a sweet, crunchy twist on traditional popcorn balls.

Ingredients
19 cups air-popped popcorn
2 cups granulated sugar (substitute Splenda, with zero calories)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup maraschino cherries, cut into quarters (use fresh cherries to reduce calories)
1/2 cup blanched, whole almonds, toasted

Preparation
1. Keep popcorn warm in a 300 degree F oven
2. In a heavy medium-size saucepan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt
3. Bring to a boil; clip candy thermometer to pan
4. Cook syrup to 250 degrees F (hard ball stage)
5. Remove saucepan from heat
6. Quickly stir in almond extract
7. Scatter cherries and almonds over the popcorn
8. Slowly pour syrup over all; toss lightly to coat evenly
9. Spread popcorn on sprayed cookie sheet and let cool
10. Separate into clusters with a fork

Caribbean Chicken Kabob have a refreshing flavor and offer plenty of protein and fresh veggies.

Ingredients
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 lime rind, finely grated
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. rum
1 packet sweetener
1 tsp. cinnamon
Fresh veggies and fruit like mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini or pineapple

Preparation
1. Cut chicken into bite sized chunks
2. Place in a bowl with the lime rind, juice, rum, sweetener and cinnamon
3. Marinate 1 hour
4. Save the juices and thread chicken on 4 wooden skewers with desired vegetables
5. Cook the skewers under a broiler or grill for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the juices

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