Author Archives: Jackie Keller

Great Grilling Tips for a Healthy Summer BBQ

Summertime means plenty of barbecues and grilling… and to keep our summertime foods as healthy as possible, The American Institute for Cancer Research has some helpful tips.

Research tells us that grilling foods can increase their level of cancer-causing chemicals. Fish, red meat and poultry are the most potentially harmful when prepared on the grill. Why? When the fat from the meat drips onto the coals or stones in the grill, PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are formed. These chemicals are deposited on the food from the smoke and flare-ups in the form of charring on the outer surfaces of the meat. The meats themselves produce another carcinogen, HCA (heterocyclic amines), which is formed in the animal protein when it is cooked at high temperatures. HCAs have been responsible for increasing cancer risk in the colon, prostrate, stomach and breasts.

The following tips can help keep your foods free of carcinogens.

  • Trim meats to be as lean as possible.
  • Marinate grilled foods in low-fat marinades to reduce the HCAs.
  • Watch your portions- eat small amounts of grilled meats.
  • Lower temperature, and turn the foods often.
  • Pre-cook meats before placing them on the grill. (pre-bake or parboil)
  • Wrap foods in foil; poke small holes in it while cooking. This allows the fat to drip out, but keeps the meat protected from smoke.
  • Never eat charred or burnt pieces.
  • Place meat on skewers, cut in small pieces, so shorter the cooking time.

Try grilling fruits and vegetables instead; they add volume and variety to your barbecue. Consider preparing grilled meat as a side dish rather than an entrée. Cook pastas, vegetables, salads and fruit dishes to serve with the meat. Also instead of serving thinly sliced grilled steak with a side salad, try making a large salad and topping it with grilled fish or chicken. The healthiest way to enjoy outdoor cooking is to plan ahead and make sure you are balancing the meal with plenty of vegetables and fruits, using moderation and portion control.

Check out our website, www.nutrifitonline.com for great grilling recipes and menu ideas.

Healthy Recipes for Summer BBQ

As mentioned in yesterday’s Summer Savvy Tips, Here are 5 of my great summer recipes featuring some of the healthy foods to enjoy for a summer menu. Please comment and let me know if you try any of them.

Avocado-Corn Salsa
Serving Size: ¼ cup
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
2 ea. avocado, seeded, peeled & diced
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 ea. tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced
3 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
½ tsp. green chile pepper, seeded & diced
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. NutriFit Calypso Salt Free Spice Blend*

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, gently combine avocado, corn kernels, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, chile peppers, Calyspo blend and salt.
2. Refrigerate until ready to be served.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 182; Fat: 10.5g; Carbohydrate: 23g; Fiber: 6.6g; Protein: 3.7g

Chilled Honeydew Soup
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients:
4 cups honeydew, cut into cubes
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. superfine sugar

Directions:
1. Using a food processor, puree the melon, mint, lime juice and sugar.
2. Taste for acidity, add 1 tbsp. Midori (melon liqueur, if available), and reprocess again.
3. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Nutrient Information: Calories: 101; Fat: 0.4g; Carbohydrates: 24.5g; Fiber: 2.6g; Protein: 2g

Black Bean, Corn and Barley Salad
Serving Size: 2 cups
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 tbsp. fat free parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. fat free, reduced sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp. fresh basil, minced
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
¾ cup medium pearled barley
2 ¾ cups water

Directions:
1. In a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, bring the water and barley to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low; partially cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender. Drain off any remaining water. Transfer the barley to a large bowl.
2. Add the beans, corn, and peas.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, basil, broth, and oil. Pour over the salad; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Serve warm or chilled.

Nutrient information: Calories: 380; Fat: 6g; Carbohydrates: 69g; Fiber: 16g; Protein: 17g

Pasta with White Beans & Kale
Serving Size: 2 cups
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
½ cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. NutriFit Mediterranean Salt Free Spice Blend
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 ½ cups pasta, cooked al dente and drained
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups white beans (cannellini or other)
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
3. Add kale, broth, spices and pepper, stirring to combine.
4. Cover; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring occasionally.
5. Add pasta, juice and beans to pan, stirring to combine; cook 1 minute or until mixture is thoroughly heated.
6. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 plates; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Nutrient Information: Calories: 373; Fat: 8g; Carbohydrate: 58g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Protein: 18g

Fresh Fruit Trifle
Serving Size: 1 Slice
Servings: 8

Ingredients:
8 slices angel Food cake, sliced about 2″ thick
1 cup lite whipped topping
2 cups fat free, vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. Amaretto, or other cordial
½ cup blackberries
½ cup strawberries, hulled and halved
½ cup blueberries
½ cup peaches, peeled and sliced
½ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Cut the angel food cake into large chunks, about the same size as the fresh fruit pieces you are using. Put in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, combine the whipped topping with the yogurt. Mix very well. Add the vanilla extract and the Amaretto.
3. In a serving bowl, assemble the trifle as follows: put a thin layer of cake cubes on the bottom, top with a thin layer of fruit to cover. Continue layering the cake and fruit until all your ingredients are used up. Pour the topping mixture over the top layer, shaking the bowl gently to allow the mixture to settle down through the layers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Best if served within 2 hours of preparing.

Nutrient information: Calories: 193; Fat: 1g; Carbohydrates: 39g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 5g

*All recipes by Jackie Keller, Founding Director, NutriFit LLC
*NutriFit’s Salt & Sugar Free Spice Blends available at www.nutrifitonline.com or call 310.473.1989.

Jackie Keller Helps Parents Avoid Halloween’s Sugar Rush

The excessive amount of sugar kids consume during and after the Halloween holiday can be spooky. But it doesn’t have to be. Though most trick-or-treaters tend to throw out the apples and raisins put in their pillow sacks, there are yummy treats that offer a nice compromise – great taste without all the sugar. It’s all in the way you present it. Little ones will love these healthy alternatives – and parents, you’ll love the way their children respond to them. Get your kids involved in preparing healthy treats. Letting them decorate their own creations using miniature candies/chips/sprinkles means they’ll have a blast making and eating them!

Check back soon for some healthful recipes you can make with your Little ghosts and goblins!

www.nutrifitonline.com

Monday moment of Clarity

So excited to drive the new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – coming to L.A. by the end of this year! Amazed to learn that it will have all of the latest driver safety features (lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, among others) that will help me stay on the road safely on my drives to our farm (The Mesa) – I can’t wait – less than 20 weeks to CLARITY.

For more info., visit: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

 

From the NEJM TODAY

Researchers examined diet and mortality among some 125,000 male and female health professionals who were free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at baseline. During roughly 30 years’ follow-up, over 33,000 participants died. High intake of saturated fat — when replacing carbohydrates — was associated with an 8% increase in total mortality. Similarly, high trans fat intake conferred a 13% mortality increase. In contrast, high intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids were associated with 19% and 11% reductions in mortality, respectively. In addition, replacing 5% of calories from saturated fat with calories from polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids was associated with mortality reductions of 27% and 13%, respectively. The authors conclude: “Replacement of saturated fats with unsaturated fats … should continue to be a key message in dietary recommendations. These findings also support the elimination of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, the primary source of trans-fatty acids.”

At NutriFit, we minimize saturated fats because we care about your health. Science proves it, and we believe it.

Celebrating World Chocolate Day

The Aztecs and Mayans were the first to recognize the potency of chocolate – they’d celebrate the harvest of the cacao bean with festivals of wild orgies. Montezuma believed that drinking 50 cups of chocolate each day enabled him to better serve his harem of 600 women. For my NutriFit meal delivery service clients, I believe that it puts us in “the zone”. The zone of health, that is!

Science gives us another reason to enjoy this heady delight. Dark chocolate contains naturally occurring plant compounds called Flavonoids. These natural powerhouses are part of the polyhenol group.

Some of the key heart health benefits include:

  • Decreases LDL oxidation (Low-density lipoproteins, which are the unhealthy kind).
  • Reduces stickiness of platelets in the blood, which reduces risk of blood clots
  • May lower blood pressure
  • Increases blood flow in the arteries- (Increased blood flow can lead to brain health benefits, including boosting memory, attention span, reaction time and problem solving skills).

Some psychological benefits of chocolate include improved mood and pleasure, by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.

Finally, flavonoids absorb UV light, and so have a beauty benefit of keeping women’s skin more moist, smoother and less scaly. After all, better blood flow in general also means increased blood flow to the skin!

For all these reasons, and because I love chocolate, I’ve designed hundreds of delivered, healthy diets that include daily doses of the best quality, most delicious, guiltless decadent desserts.

Mint Chip Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Bliss- the myth and the reality

 

SimpliHealth Growers Harvest Highlights

Highlights from our day of harvesting yesterday include:

81 lbs. of zucchini

17 lbs. of rainbow Swiss chard

14 lbs. of cucumbers

9 lbs. of tomatoes

4 lbs. of kale

5 lbs. of fresh herbs (mint, pineapple sage, thyme, oregano, basil, chives)

edible flowers, lettuce, purple and fingerling potatoes, bok choi…

PLUS MORE
Awesome Country Berry Tart featuring our own Mesa grown organic blackberries  (handpicked yesterday by yours truly), strawberries blueberries and raspberries !!!

Great news for us coffee lovers!

This from the Tufts Health & Nutrition Update this morning:
In a recent report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee for the first time addressed safety concerns about coffee, concluding that drinking three to five cups a day (up to about 400 milligrams of caffeine) was associated with minimal health risks. The experts also noted observational studies indicating that coffee intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.