Heart-healthy grilling recipes

Meat on Barbecue
Photo Credit: artur84
(FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Summer wouldn’t feel like summer without grilling. We all have our favorite foods to throw on the grill, but if you’re in need of healthy grill recipes, or just want to try something new, here are some recipes from the American Heart Association that look really tasty. Click the links to see the recipe and pictures on the American Heart Association website.

Also, here are links to a few healthy grilling tips, including some on how to reduce exposure to grill carcinogens (cancer-causing substance):

Chicken

Fish

Shrimp

Steak

Veggies

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“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” 2013 National Nutrition Month (March)

National Nutrition Month 2013March is the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month, which has existed since 1980 (and since 1973 as “National Nutrition Week”). The purpose of the month is to emphasize the “importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” (Source)

This year’s theme (“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”) “encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices” (Source). Within the MyPlate recommendations, there is plenty of room to create meals you enjoy. For ideas of how to meet guidelines in ways that work for you, click to read the 10 tips nutrition education series from MyPlate.gov.

Here’s a few ideas for making March a little more healthy:

  • Try one new fruit or vegetable each week
  • Test one new recipe this month
  • Read an article about a nutrition topic that interests you
  • Check out the National Nutrition Month games for interactive learning
  • Explore the MyPlate site for customized nutrition recommendations, free online food and physical activity trackers, and healthy living tips

And if you want to follow me in various places of the web:

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NutritionJobs Interview

NutritionJobs.com InterviewSometimes it feels like nothing changes, and then suddenly, something happens to make me reflect on the many changes that took place in a short period of time.

Back in August, I was interviewed (via email) for a blog post to be published on NutritionJobs, a job hunting resource for nutrition professionals. They published the interview earlier this month, and you can read it here.

It surprised me how different things are now.

At the time, I had a part-time job for PapayaHead, a weekly dinner plan website. I was testing a new feature that has yet to be released. I was also in my last quarter of classes, struggling to find balance between responsibilities for school and the rest of my life.

Now, I am a full-time dietetic intern (at various locations/rotation sites, see here for which ones). I have fewer assignments so I have more time for hobbies and my Goal List.

It was also good to reread the answer I gave to the question “What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?” (This was my favorite question). I was very convicted by the answer I wrote, because I feel like I lose track of that sometimes (no spoilers here, you’ll have to read the interview to find out what I said). Also, I like this question because I didn’t know what advice to give of my own, so I shared advice I got from people I think are “successful and fulfilled”–my parents. I appreciate their wisdom and I hope you will too.

Related: Lessons from my first year of grad school

Trans fat alternatives: Healthier choice…or more of the same? (New GUEST post at Nutrition Nuts and Bolts)

Nutrition Nuts and Bolts guest post on trans fat alternativesTrans fats are out, but what’s taking their place?

This Nutrition Nuts and Bolts guest post by Carrie Dennett (Seattle Times nutrition columnist, public health nutrition graduate student, and blogger at Nutrition by Carrie) teaches you basic information about trans fats, their alternatives, and what you can do for your health.

This is also the first time I’ve had a guest blogger on the site, so make sure you let me know what you think and if it’s something that you’d like to see more of.

-Shelly

Is potassium in anything other than potatoes and bananas? (New post at Nutrition Nuts and Bolts)

Screenshot from Nutrition Nuts and Bolts potassium postCan you list 3 foods with more than 500 mg potassium per serving?

No? Read the new post at Nutrition Nuts and Bolts to learn about 3+ foods high in potassium.

Yes? Good for you! Read the new post anyway, because I give you free resources that list more foods and their amounts of potassium per serving. I also give you some information about what potassium does in our bodies and how much we need every day.

Potassium is an important mineral, and I want everyone to know how they can get enough.

-Shelly

3 nutrition lessons from Moneyball

baseball photo - Photo Credit: theseanster93
Photo Credit: Sean Winters/theseanster93 via Flickr
Used unmodified under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license

What does a baseball movie have to say about the world of nutrition? Quite a bit, actually.

This weekend, I got a chance to watch Moneyball (2011, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill). The movie tells the story of Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, who recruits undervalued players based on the results of a computer analysis program created by a baseball analyst.

This analyst has a degree in economics, and is often criticized for not having played baseball or gained experience in the recruiting side of the game. Instead, he has a degree in economics, and he created his computer program using the ideas of a security guard, who wrote a book on the topic (the guard is also criticized throughout the movie).

This brings me to the first nutrition lesson:

finger with light bulb - Photo Credit Tsahi Levent-Levi - Some rights reserved (Creative Commons Attribution)
Photo Credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi
CC BY 2.0

1. Ideas come from everywhere.

Nutrition relies on information from psychology and marketing, and public health nutrition uses system science knowledge, which is common in fields such as engineering.

While not everyone should make nutrition recommendations, there is great opportunity for collaboration and fresh perspectives from people in other fields.

The economics-trained analyst introduced new ways to think about baseball. This caused resistance from people who only thought of baseball recruiting in the traditional sense, which leads into the second lesson:

thought bubble - Photo Credit: Chicago Art Department
Photo Credit: Chicago Art Department
CC BY 2.0

2. Improvement often requires a change in thinking.

Maybe you (or someone you know) think you (or them) are too fat to lose weight, or too lazy to exercise, or that you will always fail at whatever goal you set for yourself.

Change these thoughts to create more positive self-talk and less resistance to healthy behaviors.

In the movie, Beane faced resistance from the traditional baseball recruiters when he needed to replace the first baseman, one of the team’s best players. Beane couldn’t afford an equally fantastic player, but he could afford three undervalued players that together were as good as (or better than) the one he was losing. And that is the third lesson:

Small steps add up!

3. Small changes can be better than one big change.

Small changes are often easier to accept and serve as building blocks for bigger changes. Small changes, such as exercise or cutting calories, add up to much bigger results. The CDC says “10 minutes at a time is fine” for physical activity (10 minutes x 3 each day = 30 minutes of recommended activity), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides Ways to Shave Calories (using small changes).

Now that you know what lessons Moneyball has to teach us about nutrition, how are you going to apply these lessons? To what other areas of life can you apply the lessons? Leave some comments below.

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