Is everyone having a nice weekend? Today Nick and I are working on the front of our house. We picked weeds last weekend and today we are laying down the mulch. I can’t wait. It’s going to look so much better, even just by adding the mulch. As you all know tomorrow is Father’s Day. Any plans? Nick’s father passed away a few years ago so he is coming with me to my family reunion (we do a family reunion every Father’s Day) then we are hitting the outlet malls on the way home! I have to get some new clothes for my new job…..right?!

If you are a registered dietitian, I hope you are also a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Although it’s quite pricey to join, in my opinion it’s worth the price (and I’m cheap!). I especially love the direct access to their journal; The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In this month’s issue there was an interesting study about AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products). These AGEs are a “diverse group of highly oxidant compounds”. You know antioxidants? They are supposed to protect us form things like AGEs. AGEs, and other oxidative compounds, are known to cause inflammation in the body and thus contribute to higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. They are found mainly in animal protein foods, but more will form when these animal proteins are cooked (especially high fat animal proteins).

How can you prevent the formation of these harmful AGEs?

Use shorter cooking times

Cook with moist heat

Cook at lower temperatures

Marinate your meat and poultry in acidic ingredients prior to cooking (I really like to add balsamic vinegar to my ground beef prior to cooking it)

If I don’t use balsamic vinegar as my acidic ingredient, I use lime juice. The chicken below was used for Nick’s poker dinner (I pack him a dinner to take to poker every Tuesday so he doesn’t get stuck eating wings and pizza with his friends. I swear he likes it!). Prior to cooking it on the stove, I marinated the raw chicken (1 pound total) for about 30 minutes in; 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, and 2 tsp. seasoning mix. After cooking this chicken I put most of it away in the freezer, and I put the remainder on a bed of brown rice for Nick’s dinner.

I then topped it with some spinach, broccoli, and more BBQ sauce (he loves BBQ sauce)

The next time you cook your meat or poultry, try to follow some of the above tips! You’ll be glad you did (or at least your body will). Did you know that inflammation also causes premature aging? Yep, so go get some acidic ingredients for your next marinade!

Coming Up

Ironically, on Monday night Nick and I are taking my dad to The Thurman Cafe for Father’s Day (one day late). Their signature burger was featured on the show Man Vs. Food. Let’s just say it’s HUGE and I’m going to prove to my dad that I can eat the entire thing. Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking “Gina, you just posted about the danger of heating and eating high fat proteins without following the above tips”. True, but as I always say, everything in moderation

Monday’s post will be a video blog about YOGURT. I will talk about three different types of yogurt; soy, regular, and Greek. They each have positive and negative qualities, but they are all a fantastic addition to a healthy diet!