Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Reduce Inflammation with These Simple Grilling Tips

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?!Reduce Inflammation with These Simple Grilling Tips 2

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.Reduce Inflammation with These Simple Grilling Tips 3

I then topped it with some spinach, broccoli, and more BBQ sauce (he loves BBQ sauce)Reduce Inflammation with These Simple Grilling Tips 4

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!

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Drool Worthy Avocado Chicken

How was everyone’s Memorial Day? Ours was spent planting our garden (and getting some sun, vitamin D, and bug bites)! I’ll be posting about it on Thursday. I’m starting to think we may have more produce than we can handle, but it never hurts giving some away, right? We could have our own farmer’s market in our backyard!

My mom brought this fantastic chicken dish over for dinner the other night. She has been making this dish since I was young because she got it out of the Columbus Dispatch in 1980. Apparently the Dispatch has a recipe contest every year (how come I didn’t know that?!) and this was the winner in 1980.
“Drool Worthy” Avocado Chicken


4 chicken breasts -boneless

2 T cornstarch

1 t ground cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 T water

1/3 c cornmeal

3 T vegetable oil

1 firm ripe avocado, peeled,sliced

1 1/2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 c sour cream

1/4 c sliced green onions, tops only

1/4 c chopped red pepper


1) On a hard surface, with meat mallet or similar flattening utensil, pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness.

2) In shallow dish, mix together cornstarch, cumin, and garlic salt. Add chicken, 1 piece at a time, dredging to coat.

3) In small bowl mix egg and water. In another small bowl place cornmeal. Dip chicken, first in egg and then in cornmeal, turning to coat.

4) In large fry pan, place oil and heat to medium temperature; add chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to shallow baking pan; place avocado slices over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350* oven about 15 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease and cheese melts.

5) Top chicken with sour cream, dividing equally; sprinkle with green onion and red pepper. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and parsley. Makes 4 servings.Drool Worthy Avocado Chicken 6Score: 9.5 out of 10!

Nutrition Facts
(For One Serving)

SOURCE: CalorieCount.comDrool Worthy Avocado Chicken 7Healthier Modifications

– Use reduced fat or fat free cheese (reduced fat cheese will melt better than fat free)

– Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream

– Use egg beaters instead of an egg (this isn’t necessarily healthier, but it will decrease the calories and fat just a bit)

Coming Up

I won’t hear about my job until later this week (keep your fingers crossed!). I will be telling you all about it at the end of the week, regardless of if I even get the job. Until then I will be seducing you with more sweet treats…… Tomorrow; DARK CHOCOLATE SORBET!

Thanks for reading, and have a good Monday…I mean…TUESDAY! Feels like Monday, right?!

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Nutritional Yeast, Fish, and Prenatal Vitamins

Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on my last post, regarding The Raw Food Diet. It seems as though most of you agreed with me that while the Raw Food Diet can be a healthy way of living, it’s a little too extreme and unrealistic for most people (including even the most nutrition savvy individuals!).

Today has been a really bad day, as I woke up to find my car had been hit in the parking lot, with no note (of course). Right as Nick and I are trying to purchase our first home, this has to happen. Oh well, life isn’t fare.

I received a question yesterday that I would like to answer.

Q: I was wondering what you think of woman who are not pregnant and not planning on becoming pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins or a prenatal vitamin.

A: I think some women do this as a way to grow their hair faster, and longer nails, right? I think I have heard of women doing this before. In reality it’s not smart because prenatal vitamins will be very high in two nutrients that you do not want to get too much of; iron and folate. Some studies have linked high doses of folate (1000 mcg from supplements and food combined) with cancer. Many prenatal vitamins will provide close to that amount (for the purpose of helping the baby!). The iron in these supplements is also high (maybe up to 25 mg). This amount of iron is not healthy or necessary for a women who is not pregnant. It can cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The upper limit (UL) for iron is 45 mg. By taking a prenatal vitamin with 25 mg of iron, you are at risk of reaching that amount, especially if you eat fortified cereals!

The Low Down on Fish

If you are interested in learning about fish, and which seafood has the highest amount of EPA and DHA, check out my blog post for out work website, here.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast was introduced to me by several of you. I had never thought to use it, as my diet is full of plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein, but I saw it at Whole Foods the other day and wanted to give it a try, just for fun. It’s deactivated yeast and is produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses, then harvesting, washing, drying and packaging the yeast (Source: Wikepedia). It’s flavor is said to be, “nutty, cheesy, and creamy” and it’s nutritional profile is incredible; B12, riboflavin, folate, thiamin, complete protein, fiber, and potassium.

It tasted great on top of some spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce and ground turkey….Nutritional Yeast, Fish, and Prenatal Vitamins 9

It added some flavor to my boring egg whites…..Nutritional Yeast, Fish, and Prenatal Vitamins 10

And I also added it to some popcorn, kale chips, and last night’s baked potato!

Question: If you use nutritional yeast, how do you use it?

Coming Up

Tomorrow I will post a “Nutrition Tidbit” about food and supplement labeling laws. I will also post about a new product I recently tried; Yoplait Greek yogurt!

Have a great night everyone, and thanks for reading.

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Post Exercise Meals/Snacks

Thanks for all of your fantastic comments on my last post. It’s true, anyone on a 1250 calorie diet should be able to lose weight. I mean, that’s pretty much the lowest amount of calories you could take in, without being nutritionally depleted. It was smart of Taco Bell to take credit for Christine’s weight loss, even though we all know it wasn’t the Taco Bell food that made her lose weight.

On The News

Here I am on the news! It’s short and sweet. Someone also told me you are supposed to add rum to egg nog, not bourbon, but oh well.

Gina’s Random Nutrition and Health Tidbit
Post Exercise Meals/Snacks

I’ve learned a lot during the past few months while working with the Columbus Division 1 training center. In particular I have learned some interesting facts about what to eat after a workout. Here are some good tips:

  • If you workout hard, for 90 minutes or more, you will have depleted some serious glycogen. If you plan on working out again on that day, or the following day, you will need to replenish your glycogen stores! There is a window of 30-50 minutes after you exercise when glycogen formation is very efficient. Make sure to consume 40-50 grams of a high glycemic index food within that first 30-50 minutes (Check out some high glycemic foods here)
  • To prevent muscle soreness, and to promote muscle healing and muscle growth, try to consume 10-20 grams of protein within an hour after your workout.
  • Whey protein is best, such as from egg whites and milk, because it has branch chain amino acids (BCAA). The BCAA are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Unlike other amino acids, these three are metabolized in the muscle and used for energy.
  • Whey protein is absorbed into the body very fast, which is another reason why it’s good to consume within an hour after a workout,

Pre-Bedtime Snack

  • Casein, which is a protein found in milk and cheese, is absorbed slower. Studies suggest consuming foods with casein before bed will allow for a slow and continuous supply of protein energy to the muscles, throughout the night. Greek yogurt is a good source of casein.

Another Marketing GimmickPost Exercise Meals/Snacks 12

Have you seen the commercial for “children’s” Campbell’s soups, marketed towards parents? I saw it the other day and if you listen carefully you will hear them claim that they use “unique natural sea salt”. This is a pretty smart strategy, I must say, as I’m sure some parents will hear this and think, “Oh wow, it’s natural seas salt, it must be healthier than kosher salt!” Yeah there is a whopping 580- 880mg worth of the so-called “unique natural sea salt” in 1/2 cup, and there are two servings per can!

Bottom line: Natural sea salt is no different than kosher salt in terms of it’s absorption in the body, and it’s effect on fluid regulation and, potentially, blood pressure. Don’t be fooled!

Giveaway Updates

Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes is giving away some Chobani yogurt!
Missy of Missy Mountains is giving away a hodge podge of healthy goodies!

Coming Up
Tonight is the first episode of The Biggest Loser! Anyone else watching it?? I’ll admit, I’m pretty excited. I’ll also admit, Nick and I watched the Bachelor last night. It’s entertaining, what can I say? My two favorites are no longer on the show, but one of my favorites, Ashley, did get a rose! All of Nick’s favorites got a rose; Tenley, Corrie, and Michelle (yeah, the psycho, but we voted on first impressions, and she seemed normal at first!). Anyway, my next post will have my first Biggest Loser Review of the new season, plus my first dinner for my 2010 cookbook! Thanks for reading, and have a great day.