Thursday, June 21, 2012

5 Superfoods For The Grill

If you get our newsletter (What?! You don't? Sign up now!) you discovered which foods are better to buy organic or conventional. Today we're taking it a step further and giving you superfoods to incorporate into your summer grilling.

Grilling these superfoods will not only give your BBQ a healthy makeover, but they'll taste delicious. And no high sugar marinade is necessary. Just a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to caramelize and bring out the flavor!

So, the next time you're at the Farmer's Market look for these 5 superfoods:

1.  Pineapple. Most fruit is too fragile to grill. Not true for pineapple! Hearty pineapple is definitely an exception to this rule and tastes sweet and delicious after just a few minutes on the flame. Brush with a touch of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), toss on the grill and you have the perfect garnish to jazz up a burger or place under a grilled lobster tail. Pineapple is low in calories and packed with vitamin C. 1/2 cup provides you with 20% of your daily needs.

2.  Asparagus. A simple marinade of EVOO and balsamic vinegar makes this super easy to make and flavor-packed veggie a must grill side dish. Asparagus is actually a member of the lily family - extra low in calories yet rich in fiber, folic acid, potassium, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C.

3.  Corn. Grilled corn-on-the-cob is a popular menu item for BBQs and clam bakes and fortunately is a healthy nutrition choice too. Grilling brings out the natural sweetness in corn and allows its natural sweet flavor to surface without the need for unhealthy additions. Roasting the corn in the husks is the best way to cook them (just be sure to soak in lightly salted water for 30 minutes before tossing them on the grill). Corn is filled with phytochemicals,  B vitamins, folic acid as well as a notable amount of protein.

4.  Zucchini. Zucchini, sliced lengthwise, are super easy to grill and with their ability to capture those perfect crosshatch grill marks make them a nice visual addition to your menu. Flavor with a touch of EVOO and lemon juice, toss on a low heat and you ’re good to go. Zucchini is a super low calorie vegetable - one entire zucchini contains a measly 20 calories. And for those 20 calories, you get a nice amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, calcium and iron.

5.  Portobello mushrooms. Marinate these meaty mushrooms in a little EVOO, balsamic vinegar, garlic and onion for an hour, toss them onto a hot grill and it just doesn't get any better than this for both taste and nutrition. Dense and flavorful, you can use them as a burger substitute, make them into pizzas, or serve them sliced as a side dish. Any way you eat them; these super-tasty and hearty mushrooms are the perfect low-calorie addition to your summer BBQ. Mushrooms pack a wallop of healthy stuff. For 70 calories you get a nice amount of B vitamins, vitamin D, potassium and copper.

Add these five superfoods to your summer menu and enjoy the flavor and health benefits of bringing your nutrition outdoors! Tap into the season’s bounty of fresh nutrient-packed foods. Use grilling for a flavor-packed light and healthy meal and enjoy the perfect outdoor cooking method.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Men's Health

This is National Men's Health Week. I'll guess you didn't know about it. Let's be honest, wearing pink is much more popular than wearing blue (yes, there really is a wear blue for men ribbon).

But your lack of awareness for a blue ribbon is much less important than awareness of your own health. Or lack thereof.

If you haven't been, or don't go, to the doctor in the last couple of years, it'd be wise to pay him or her a visit. Especially if you're at the 30, 40, or 50 years old mark. Those are the years to start keeping an eye on certain things.

Better to catch it now rather than later. (It's a Benjamin Franklin kind of mindset - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure").

Here are 8 tips to get healthy and stay healthy.

You've likely heard most if not all of them. Maybe from your doc, from me, the news, your next door neighbor, or even your spouse or significant other. There's a reason you're hearing it from many different sources. It's good advice! Follow it. Get healthy. And live a great life.

==Don't smoke. Yes, even with smoking bans and laws, people still smoke. Soon, you might have to climb 500 feet in the air and blow into a FDA inspected bag. But people will continue to smoke. Not smoking is probably the single most important health decision you can make.

==Control your weight. This is a biggie. No pun intended. Although weight is not directly related to illness and disease as smoking is, it's still very bad for you. And it causes a lot of problems beyond just feeling terrible about yourself.

==Drink alcohol in moderation. Key word is moderation. Yes, go ahead and imbibe when the occasion warrants it. But just because it's 5 o'clock somewhere doesn't mean martinis should be poured. 1-2 drinks a few days out of the week should be it. If you're trying to fix number 2 then it's much less. ;-)

==Exercise regularly. Exercise lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity, osteoporosis, improves mood and reduces depression, makes you smarter, increases energy, makes you stronger, more confident and look better. It attracts females - (a fit guy is always more attractive than an unfit guy!). There are HUNDREDS of other benefits. And I can come up with more that haven't been proven by scientists but by average Joe's.

==Know your numbers. Do you know your lipid profile? Or do you at least know if it's good or bad? Regular cholesterol and blood pressure tests, diabetes, prostate, colon, and so many more numbers are critical to preventing disease. We're back to Ben's advice. Ask your doctor what tests are necessary for your age and family history.

==Take a baby aspirin every day (for most men). This daily dose of aspirin is one of the most beneficial and simple things you can do. It acts to reduce the risk of clot formation in the arteries leading to your heart and brain, thereby reducing the risk of both heart attacks and strokes. As always, see your doc on this one.

==Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF. Skin cancers are the most common of all cancers by far. Fortunately, most of them (basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) are rarely lethal. This is of the utmost importance if you're in the sun a lot. Yard work, pool, or at the Lake. Make sure it's on!

==YOU time. Find time for some kind of meditation and/or relaxation. This goal is very flexible. It is more important to set aside some time for relaxation than it is to worry about a specific relaxation technique. Even physical activity that is "relaxing" in the sense that it gets your mind away from stressful thoughts can be helpful. All of us should take the time to "get away" mentally and emotionally at least once a day, wherever we are, or whatever we are doing.

Hope this helps. I hope it at least helps encourage you to tackle a few of these items.

Don't get overwhelmed by it. Pick one or two and get it under control. You'll be on the road to healthy living in no time!

Here's to you fellas,

Tim Chudy

P.S. Father's Day is this Sunday, June 17th. A great gift is that of fitness. Gift Certificates are available. Call me at the studio for details, 314.909.9565.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Smoking, BPA, the Sun and now THIS Are Linked To Cancer

It seems every time we turn around something else is linked to cancer. Soon we'll all have to live in a bubble and eat freeze dried space-food to be safe. :-)

THIS has also been associated with increased risks of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, and early death in earlier studies. But this is the first human study to link it with cancer.

Researchers still have a long way to go as they cannot yet prove a cause and effect relationship. But there is a "very solid association".

What is it? (hint: it's tough to know because you could sleep right through it.)

Sleep Apnea, the silent killer. Press release here.

Common causes of sleep apnea are:
  • Excess weight
  • Neck circumference - greater than 17 inches
  • High blood pressure
  • A narrowed airway
  • Being male
  • Being older - 2-3x more often in adults older than 65
  • Family history
  • Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged sitting

I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, if there is a panacea, it's exercise.

I can argue that if you were to lose weight alone you'd fix a slue of (potential) problems. And losing weight, of course, starts with diet and exercise. But know that by just getting more muscularly stronger and more aerobically fit helps regulate your metabolism and body rhythms. There's a lot to be said for getting hungry when you're suppose to and getting tired when you're supposed to. Eating your first meal at 2pm is not normal, nor is getting tired and falling asleep at 2am. Even if you do wake up at noon.

Get better sleep, get fit, and stay healthy.  

In other (bad) health news... 

2/3 of obese teens and 1/2 of overweight teens already have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

Teens! And heart disease! Can you believe that?

So much for the story of a normal 40 year old dying of a heart attack. It won't be long before a 20 year old dies from a heart attack.

We MUST get childhood obesity under control. Our friend Jean Huelsing is a champion in this arena and has been working hard at it for years. If you have a teen that is overweight or obese or know of one, I'd encourage you to look Jean up. Her program is top notch.

Age is just a number...

I've made a case against your age, or being "old", preventing you from accomplishing your fitness goals. Japanese mountaineer, Tamae Watanabe, blew that argument out of the water. She's a 73 year old climber and just set a world record May 19 by becoming the oldest woman to scale Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. She broke her own record set when she was 62.

So there you go. Your age can't keep you from reaching the top of the world!

FYI - my previous argument that Tamae shattered was Dara Torres competing in her 5th Olympics in Beijing at age 41. She's 45 now and going for her 6th in London!!! Let those two be inspiration for you this summer!

To your health,
Tim Chudy