Lighten Up Your Summer Barbecues

We’re at the peak of summer barbecue season, which typically involves getting together with friends and family over big food gatherings. I’ve had many patients asking me recently for tips to eat healthier at parties, especially with the 4th of July coming up. The abundance of

© jillchen - Fotolia.com

© jillchen – Fotolia.com

calorie-dense foods poses a constant challenge if you are trying to lose or even maintain your weight.

This 4th of July – and beyond – here are a few ways to host a summer barbecue gathering that is both tasty and cancer-preventive.

The Main Dish: add some color
Instead of the traditional cheeseburgers and hotdogs served with white bread, get creative and add some color to the main dish. I’ve been loving kabobs lately – they are a great way to combine lean protein, vegetables (and even fruit). Here are some ideas:

For protein options try chicken, shrimp, heartier fish — like salmon, tuna or swordfish — or extra firm tofu. Mix up the vegetables: try peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms. Use pineapple to add a sweet touch.

Thread your skewers, then top with a light marinade. Marinating the skewers adds flavor and helps reduce the carcinogens created when grilling foods. Right now, my favorite is tuna kabobs with onion, red pepper, and peach or pineapple. I marinate the whole skewer with a soy and ginger mix for about an hour then grill. Continue reading


Men’s Health and Weight Loss: Why a Salad is Cool

A few months ago I wrote about some challenges women face when it comes to weight loss – menopause, pleasing your family, and post-partum weight retention. Obesity is linked to cancer, so it’s important to think about how we can all maintain a healthy weight to decrease our cancer risk. With this being National Men’s Health Week, I’d like to focus on ways to overcome some unique challenges I hear from men who are working to lose weight and stay healthy.canstockphoto

1. “There’s usually lots of beer, nachos or other unhealthy foods when I go out with my friends.”

Whether its watching sports or other get togethers, it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re surrounded by indulgences. Distractions like TV make it even harder to pay attention to what (and how much) you’re eating.

Solution: There are a few ways to make a situation like this easier. First, you can eat before you go. If you aren’t hungry, enjoy the event and the company around you without all the eating and drinking. If you want to drink alcohol, make sure to have a tall glass of water before or after a drink. That’s a good way to stay hydrated and just slow down a bit to limit the number of drinks. Another strategy if you’re at a house gathering, bring healthier foods like raw cut veggies and salsa, and drinks like seltzer water.

2. “A salad isn’t cool.”
You might know what the healthier option is, but it’s hard to select the greens if your friends give you a hard time for ordering something healthy. Continue reading


Make-Ahead Healthy Lunches, Your Way

AICR’s Recipe March Madness – down to the Final 4 today – inspired me to share a recent kick I’ve been on to make a one-pot dish on Sunday that I pack for lunches throughout the week. With a little preparation and planning (and it doesn’t take much!) I end up with about 5 delicious and inexpensive lunches filled with cancer-protective nutrients.canstockphoto14256168

I start with a grain and cook 1 cup dry (to yield about 2 to 3 cups cooked) according to package instructions. Lately I’ve been using quinoa because it cooks fast, is delicious and packed full of protein and fiber, but you could also use brown rice, farro, bulgur or another whole grain. I cook it in a low sodium vegetable broth instead of water to give it a little extra flavor. Once cooked, let the grain cool in the fridge.

Next I pick a few ingredients to mix in, always with some added vegetables and/or fruit. Then I pack it into individual containers so I can grab for lunch in the mornings.

Here are three versions you can make with a few simple additions to the already prepared grain-base. When you make dishes like this, you can change the ingredients based on what you have around! Continue reading