Barbeque season is now in full swing and the aroma of meat grilling in the breeze is a welcome delight. You might have heard that BBQ meats can cause cancer…well this is somewhat true, but so can a myriad of other things too. SO instead of up and selling your BBQ on Kijiji, here are a few tips to minimize the risk.
What we are looking to avoid are chemicals that are caused when meats are cooked at high temperatures. A BBQ’s average temperature at high heat is between 450 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. At those temperatures two carcinogens, HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), are created, and these chemicals can cause changes to DNA and ultimately lead to cancer.
1. Start with a clean grill. When you are done cooking and before you get started on the next meal, scrape down the racks to get rid of the carcinogenic residue that can stick between the cracks. Otherwise you might be inadvertently transferring the chemicals to your next feast.
2. Choose leaner meats, and trim off the fat. This reduces the flames when fat hits the coals or propane, reducing heat and carcinogens.
3. Cut your meat into smaller pieces and make kebabs. This will decrease grill time and flare ups from flames. Fish is also a great option as it cooks much quicker.
4. Marinate your meat. It only takes as little as 30 minutes to do the trick and the moisture will reduce the HCAs from 57-88% depending on the type of marinade. Caribbean being the best: orange, lime and jerk spices.
5. Lay out a sheet of tin foil on the grill (with holes to let the juices out). This will protect the meat from getting charred. But please don’t re-use the sheet as this will lead to another pile of problems.
6. Try not to overcook. Sometimes your carefully planned Caribbean kebabs will get overdone and the meat will be “charbroiled”. In this case, just trim off the black part, and the next time turn the heat down and flip more often.
Did you fall off the wagon over the weekend? Don't panic! You had fun, right? Good, so don't go beating yourself up after having a great weekend. A little indulgence is okay once in a while, like the old adage goes "everything in moderation, including moderation". Here are a few awesome tips to get yourself back on track, after your wagon comes off the rails.
1. Did you eat too many sweets? You can counter balance that feeling of too much sugar by rebalancing your blood sugar. This can be done by replacing the synthetic sugar from cakes and candy with something naturally sweet that just happens to be in season: cherries. Cherries are made up of 75% water so they give you hydration, fiber and a bit of sugar to smooth out any sugar cravings.
2. Did you eat too much in general? Eating too much can leave you feeling soggy and bloated and generally unwell. One quick tip for improving your digestion is drinking a teaspoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in a little warm water before your next meal. It kick starts your digestion, therefore reducing indigestion. It also promotes weight loss if taken on a regular basis!
3. Did you drink a little too much? To avoid a hangover, drink one glass of water between each alcoholic drink, as this will reduce dehydration and headaches. If it is too late and you are already hung-over, make yourself a homemade electrolyte drink that will revitalize your whole body:
4. Is your sleeping schedule way out of whack? The long nights by the campfire singing "Kumbaya" can definitely make it difficult to get back into the workweek groove. The night before you have to wake up to your alarm try eating foods that promote a restful sleep.
5. Are you frazzled because your house is turned upside down upon your return from the weekend away? By planning ahead you can reduce your stress when you get back. Have groceries purchased for breakfast and lunch. Separate your clean and dirty laundry as you go for easy washing when you get home. And lastly, take everything down to the basement right away when you get home to reduce the clutter in the front hall. Just having a clear space will give you a clearer mind, until you have a chance to put everything away.
Weekends are a great way to decompress and de-stress - by following these steps, you might be able to keep that nice relaxed feeling beyond Monday morning!
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, CPCC, Personal Trainer
We’ve all been there. As you pull up your pants and take a deep breathe in hoping that you can get the button done up you take a mental note that tomorrow you will start your diet again.
Although you can’t remember the last time a diet actually worked for you it doesn’t seem like there are many other alternatives to help take the weight off and lose the unhealthy belly fat.
There are now hundreds of ways to lose weight and most diets work in the short term when they are followed. The problem is the weight always seems to creep back on and land exactly where you don’t want it to…your tummy.
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Cancer Coach and fat loss expert I teach my clients two simple methods for weight loss. Yes, as we move through their journey together things can get a bit more complicated but if you follow the 5 fundamentals below you will be able to
We’ve all heard before that balancing hormones is a sure fire way to achieve weight loss. It’s true. Hormones like cortisol, insulin, leptin and ghrelin are responsible for regulating your stress response, blood sugar levels and feelings of hunger and satiety (fullness).
When the 4 hormones are unbalanced due to high stress, food cravings, eating processed foods, belly fat, yo-yo dieting and a sedentary lifestyle weight loss proves to be a challenge. Cortisol and insulin love to help us store our left over calories as belly fat for later use.
A rough day, one too many cups of coffee and a bagel all add up to a muffin top hanging over your pants. This is something we seriously want to avoid.
When we have a couple rolls of fat hanging over our pants we tend not to feel as confident or as attractive. Also, belly fat is unhealthy and is one of the major risk factors that can lead to Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and increase your risk of certain cancers.
So how do we lose weight and beat the battle of the bulge once and for all?
Before I outline the 5 weight loss fundamentals to shrink belly fat it’s important for us to understand our daily energy needs. This is part one of the 2-part strategy I teach my clients.
Your daily energy needs are the number of calories you need to happily live out each day. This includes adding extra calories for exercise or if you have a physically demanding job. A quick calculation is to add a 0 to your weight.
For example if you weight 150 pounds then you require approximately 1500 calories per day. So whatever weight you are right now, add a zero to it.
Part two of the equation is to evaluate the quality of the calories you eat. Meaning that you avoid high fat, high sugar processed foods and opt for whole foods instead. I believe this is more important then the amount of calories consumed. Still it’s important to know the range of calories you need daily. After all the goal is to lose weight and that isn’t achievable by eating twice the amount your body needs.
Listen, there will always be controversy and conflict regarding the right and wrong way to eat, to lose weight and to reduce belly fat. I’ve learned from working with thousands of people that there are 5 fundamentals that help to balance hormones and promote healthy weight loss.
Fundamental # 1 Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking up
When you skip breakfast or delay it because there is no time your blood sugar levels drop and you become starving. At that point saying ‘no thank you’ to the cookies or bagels in the workplace kitchen is too hard so make sure you fuel your body within 1 hour of waking.
Fundamental # 2 Add protein and a healthy fat to breakfast
Protein and fat help to balance your blood sugar levels, keep you feeling full and regulate your hormones.
1 cup Greek yogurt (plain) 8-10 nuts (raw)
2 eggs 1-2 tablespoons hemp seeds (protein and fat)
1 scoop protein powder 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Fundamental # 3 Eat every 4 hours
Your meals should be large enough that they fill you up for about 3.5 to 4 hours. When you snack (eating every 2 hours) or nibble throughout the day you don’t allow your body to digest well or utilize the food as energy.
Fundamental # 4 Include a protein source at every meal
Protein is the building block for your immune system and lean muscle mass. Without protein at your meal you are more likely to overeat carbohydrates.
A protein size for females is about 4 ounces and a portion size for males is about 6 ounces.
Fundamental # 5 Choose high fiber carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are not something to be afraid of when you choose the right ones. Stay away from the white processed carbs. Instead opt for carbs that digest slowly because they have at least 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.
Make 5 grams of fiber or more per serving a rule when choosing your carbs.
One last tip: please be patient with your body while losing weight. Losing weight and shrinking belly fat does not happen overnight regardless of what any quick fix diet scheme says. Follow the 5 weight loss fundamentals and you will see your muffin top disappear while you lose weight, reduce your risk of disease and feel healthy and happy.
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, CPCC
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