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Summertime Grilling

from Nutrion and Wellness Solutions by Heather Fink, MS, RD, CSSD

Summertime is a celebration of warm weather, outdoor exercise and fresh foods! Cooking fruits, vegetables and a variety of meats on the grill can be a fun and nutritious way to refuel from long workouts. Whether you are preparing a meal for yourself, your family, or your entire training group, review the following tips for keeping your outdoor kitchen safe and healthy.

Prepare to Grill
Grilling meat or fish may require you to plan 24-48 hours in advance of your meal, in order to prevent food borne illnesses. Always thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator or microwave, not on the countertop in your kitchen. Marinating your meat or fish should also take place in the fridge. Before you cook your thawed and marinated foods, wash your hands, grill and cooking utensils. Check out for a 45-second video on the four simple steps you can take to avoid food poisoning this summer.

Cook Wisely
Cooking food properly on the grill may help to not only prevent food borne illnesses, but may also reduce your risk for cancer. There are three key tips to cooking wisely: use a meat thermometer, do not char meats, and enjoy more vegetables! By using a thermometer, you can ensure that hamburgers are cooked to a safe temperature of 160°F and chicken breasts to 165°F. Avoid eating meats that are burned or black since charred meats seem to have a high concentration of heterocyclic amines which have been linked to some cancers ( Include plenty of peppers, onions, squash and other grill-tasty vegetables in your barbeques to improve the nutritional value of your meal as well as to add color-appeal.

Try New Recipes
Many recipes for outdoor grilling can be found online, including the link below to a wide variety of recipes for meats, fish, fruits, vegetables and meatless entrees:

One of my favorite recipes is the following for marinated salmon:

1 lb fresh salmon
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Ground ginger

1. Place raw salmon in a large baggie. Add soy sauce, garlic and ground ginger. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Place marinated salmon on the preheated grill (discard marinade). Cook for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.


If you are interested in developing a personalized nutrition plan, contact Heather Fink for an appointment. Heather can be reached at 317-443-6811 or
Learn more about Heather on her website:


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