Posts from 2016-06

Summertime Grilling


June 20th marked the first day of summer. This is one of my favorite times of the year because of warm days and outdoor fun.  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is prepare meals on the grill. You don’t have to limit yourself to just hotdogs and hamburgers. Grilling can be a very healthy method for preparing food. Fish, poultry, vegetables and some fruit can also be prepared on the grill. Consider trying the recipe below the next time you turn on your grill.

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

Servings: 6


1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 ½ - inch cubes

1 ear corn, cut into chunks

1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges

1 small red bell pepper, cut into chunks

1 small zucchini, sliced

·         Mix oil, vinegar and Chicken Seasoning in small bowl. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well.

·         Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Alternately thread chicken cubes and vegetables onto skewers. Lightly sprinkle chicken and vegetables with additional Chicken Seasoning, if desired.

·         Grill over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, turning frequently.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 176, Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 167 mg, Protein: 17 g, Total Fat: 8 gm, Fiber: 2 gm, Carbohydrate: 9 gm




Can Vegetarian’s Build Muscle Mass?

Vegetarians and Muscles



                While the vegetarian diet doesn’t contain protein from meat products, it is a true misconception to believe that vegetarians cannot build muscle mass.  The type of vegetarian diet being followed by an individual must be taken into consideration when determining what types of proteins that can be consumed.  Listed below are different types of vegetarian diets:  

  • Lactovegetarian: Excludes meat, poultry, eggs, and fish but includes dairy products
  • Vegan: Excludes all animal products, such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese and other dairy products
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Excludes meat, poultry, and fish but includes eggs and dairy products

With a well-planned vegetarian diet, an individual can consume adequate protein and calories to promote muscle growth.   Optimal protein food sources include meat, eggs and dairy due to the fact that these products contain all essential amino acids that are required for sustaining life and building muscle.  Some plant based proteins do not contain adequate essential amino acids that humans require; therefore, it is very important to consume a variety of amino acids (protein) throughout the day to promote optimal intake.   Depending on which vegetarian diet that is being followed here are a few options that do contain all essential amino acids that can be included in the diet:

  • Dairy options: eggs (these are considered the perfect protein due to containing all 9 essential amino acids),  low fat yogurt and milk
  • Soy options: soy milk, soy yogurt, edamame, soy burgers, tempeh and tofu

Vegans who do not consume any eggs, dairy or animal proteins need to make sure to consume a variety of foods to optimize their intake of a variety of amino acids.  Some examples of food combinations that work perfectly together to enhance amino acid intake include:

  • Adding soy milk products to any meal.  Such as adding soy yogurt to breakfast or on a baked potato, adding soy milk to cereal or having a wrap or sandwich with soy cheese.
  • Consuming grains plus beans or legumes.  A classic example is rice and beans; however you can try other combinations such as quinoa and couscous with tofu, legumes and kidney beans.  Some other examples include cornbread and bean chili, tofu and brown rice, bread and split pea soup.
  • Consume legumes plus seeds, such as tofu and sesame seeds and chickpeas and tahini.

Let your taste buds be your guide to choosing your protein source, but keep in mind in order to build muscle mass adequate protein is required.

Key Take Home Message: You should consume protein at each meal.  Make sure that your protein sources are providing you with all of the essential amino acids for muscle growth and overall health.

Remember:  Eat five or six small meals per day that include protein. Keep in mind also consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and plenty of water.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th Edition

Prediabetes- Are You at Risk?


Chances are you know someone with type 2 diabetes. Over the past few decades the number of people diagnosed with this disease seems to have sky-rocketed. In America the increased rate of obesity, related to a poor quality diet combined with decreased physical activity, has set the stage for this growing health problem. Did you know that a condition called prediabetes often occurs before Type 2 diabetes develops? According to the American Diabetes Association, “In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. Other names for prediabetes are impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.”


The good news is that when prediabetes is identified and treated, the person may be able to avoid, or at least delay, the progression to type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, many people have prediabetes but don’t know it. Prediabetes often has no noticeable symptoms. Some people do develop patches of dark skin on certain areas of the body including on the neck, armpits, elbows, knuckles, and knees. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans. However, not everyone with prediabetes will develop this.


The best way to find out if you have prediabetes is to visit your healthcare provider for regular check-ups. Prediabetes can be diagnosed with a blood test in a doctor’s office or medical clinic.  Treatment generally includes lifestyle modifications that lead to a modest 5-10% weight loss.  These changes usually involve eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity. In some instances, medication may be prescribed to help bring blood sugar back to normal range. For more information visit these websites:;;