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Clean Eating and Barbecue

Clean Eating and Barbecue

As Pitmaster’s, BBQ and Grill lovers, you may think all we eat is Protein, Protein, Protein. We do speak alot about Paleo and Keto Diets, which focus on eating more Protein and Less Carbs. But we as Grillmaster’s are not eating Brisket, Steak and all Types of Red Meat Everyday. We DO Clean Eating.

For us, Proteins include small amounts of red meat, pork, chicken, fish, lamb, turkey and legumes.We like to follow what is called the “Mediterranean Diet”. This way of eating is a leisurely social affair, to be enjoyed with friends and family, and maybe a glass of wine—all of which sounds like the makings for the best kind of cookout. We view the barbecue grill as just another tool, like the oven or stovetop, on which you can gently cook nutritious ingredients like peak-season produce and fresh seafood, all year round.

You don’t need any special gear to grill the Mediterranean way, though a wire grid or grill basket can be handy when barbecuing smaller vegetables and fish.

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Clean Eating and Barbecue

According to Stephanie Jaworowski, MSACN, (a clinical nutritionist at the Integrative Healing Center) The Standard American Diet (SAD)—one high in meat, dairy, fat, sugar and refined, processed junk foods—has become our new normal. Unfortunately, this is the exact type of diet that can initiate a cascade of inflammation, leading to altered gene expression and chronic disease. Inflammatory foods include gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, trans and saturated fat, processed foods, artificial sweeteners and additives, and fried foods. The more we consume these foods, the more our genetics are altered, leading to chronic disease.

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Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. Preparing and enjoying Real Food that comes from its origins and is made from scratch is the finest way to nourish your body.

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Now that we know inflammation can lead to chronic diseases, it is important to decrease this inflammation through diet and proper lifestyle. As mentioned earlier, SAD is rich in processed and inflammatory foods. Isn’t it SAD were S.A.D. (Standard American Diet).

An anti-inflammatory diet—one mimicking a Mediterranean diet, which is high in olive oil, plant-based foods, legumes, fresh herbs and fish, and limited in red meat—will provide our body with a tremendous amount of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids (the good, anti-inflammatory fat). This type of diet will have the opposite effect of SAD, and will keep our body in a healthy, non-inflamed state. Regular physical activity is also key in reducing inflammation. Exercise has been shown to reduce the production of inflammatory markers, as well as assist in the control of blood sugar and fat levels.

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When preparing your meal plans, always remember moderation is the key. If you are planning for a red meat, select one that is hormone free and grass-fed. Be cautious of Flare-Ups. Controlling flare-ups reduces carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Remember Grilling is healthier than Frying, as it breaks down collagen and fats, leaving healthy fats and juicy flavors.

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Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Wipe your catch-pan: Make sure the grease catch-pan is wiped clean of accumulated fats and oils.
  • Preheat your grill: Properly preheat your grill so excess debris is burned off the cooking grates and the Flavorizer® Bars.
  • Brush your grates: Brush any remaining debris off with a Weber stainless steel grill brush.
  • Cut your meat: Trim the excess fat from your meat.
  • Carefully apply oil: Make sure you don’t over-oil your food.

When you put the meat on your grill, don’t close the lid and walk away. Most flare-ups on charcoal grills begin within a few seconds, or right after you turn the food over.

Make sure you have a charcoal-free zone by stacking the charcoal on both sides of the catch bowl and leave an area clear in the center. This way if you do have a flare-up you can quickly move the food to the middle, wait a few seconds until the oil and fat burn off, then move it back over the charcoal area for direct cooking.

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It has been proven that low and slow Barbecue is even healthier, even when smoked with your favorite wood.

So enjoy firing up your grill year round and plan well-balanced meals that include your favorite protein, vegetables, salads, fruits and gluten free grains. Don’t be afraid to pick up that weird looking vegetable, pepper or fruit at your local Market instead of that salty mushy can stuff. Nowadays, people are more willing to share their Recipes online. Grandma’s can’t keep their secret recipes secret anymore!


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