What Are Your Tips For Safe & Healthy Grilling?

Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World:

The inspiring people in the Healthy Child community never cease to amaze me. If this is the first time you are visiting our site, I strongly encourage you to sign-up for our weekly emails and join us on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation and get to know our community. You won't be disappointed!

Today, we're highlighting Katie Newell, a passionate Healthy Child advocate with an incredible story. Like many, her journey has lead to a whole new lifestyle of health and in addition to her story, we're sharing her timely tips for safe & healthy grilling.

Katie's Story:

At the age of four, Katie Newell was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and she spent her childhood in chronic pain. At the age of 24, she was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondyliltis - an annoying disease that causes the individual vertebrae of the spine to fuse. Eventually, she lost the ability to look up, and the majority of the range of motion necessary to turn from side to side. She vowed to find a way to slow the progression of this debilitating disease.

Given these autoimmune diseases, it came as no surprise that she suffered from fertility issues, as well (they often go hand-in-hand). More than one specialist turned her and her husband away, advising them to start looking into adoption. (When looking at her ovaries, it appeared that she had never in her lifetime ovulated. Fortunately, there were eggs, they had just never come out.)

In her quest to improve her health, she discovered the power of eating healthy. The only (very large) problem? She didn't even know how to fry an egg. Still, she researched, struggled, and persevered until she completely revolutionized her diet.

So, you ask, did it work?

Katie writes, "I am now the mother of two amazing miracles. Besides overcoming fertility issues, my body now functions better, and is in less pain, than ever before. It's not perfect, but I have come a long way. By choosing live, healing, whole foods over dead, processed, and genetically modified junk, I have been able to dramatically lower the amount of prescribed drugs I have to take. Eventually, I hope to be completely drug free. I am now able to enjoy activities that I thought were forever off limits. Most importantly, I am now a mommy that can keep up with a toddler while carrying a baby. Because of the changes I've made, I am healing my body from a disease that should be only getting worse. Above all, I was able to bring two healthy girls into the world after being told I had no hope."

Now, Katie runs a successful blog, HealthNut Foodie (read her whole story here), and she just published her first cookbook! She's also been a stellar supporter of Healthy Child's Eat Healthy program and will be donating 20% of book sales over the next 90 days to support our work. Just enter "HealthyChild20" when you buy on-line. THANKS Katie!

Now, without further adieu, here is some of Katie's sage advice for healthy eating just in time for peak grilling season!

Katie's "Top Ten" Tips For Safer & Healthier Grilling

  1. Add fresh chopped parsley to marinades and burger patties. Thanks to a volatile oil called myristicin, parsley can help reduce your absorption of certain carcinogens found in grilled food and cigarettes. (Information from my book, Feeding our Families.)
  2. To help prevent some of the carcinogens from forming in the first place, never turn your gas grill above medium-high. Cooking meats at high temperatures is one of the main causes of carcinogens. According to Cancer.org, regular exposure to carcinogens create a buildup of toxins in your body that has been directly linked to an increased risk of cancer.
  3. Always keep cold foods at or below 41 degrees until time to serve. Set a timer and discard/quit serving food after two hours, sooner in extreme heat. Salmonella, e.coli, and other sickening bacteria will begin to develop after this amount of time. This is especially important with mayonnaise based dishes!
  4. Cut watermelon is one of the top causes of warm weather food poisoning. Who knew? Fresh cut fruit can develop salmonella too! When in doubt, throw it out!
  5. Always place grilled meats on a clean platter, not the one you had them on when the meat was raw.
  6. Invest in a meat thermometer to ensure that meat has been cooked to the proper temperature. This will also prevent your hamburger patties from turning into hockey pucks because you "just weren't sure".
  7. When purchasing hot dogs and sausages, always source brands that are free from synthetic nitrates and nitrites; often listed as "sodium nitrate" on the label. Nitrates have been directly linked to an increased risk of cancer and migraines! Read more about the dangers of nitrates here.
  8. Keep all grilling utensils out of the reach of young children. These heavy, sharp, and potentially hot tools are an accident waiting to happen. Placing a bubble machine or sidewalk chalk in a separate part of the yard is a great way to keep little adventurers away from the grill.
  9. Offer fresh-cut veggies and dip for kids and guests to munch on while the grill heats, and the main dish cooks. This will ensure that everyone is getting a healthy dose of vegetables, even if the rest of the meal is veggie sparse.
  10. Have fun! There is nothing quite as fun and rejuvenating as an evening outdoors with friends, family, and beautiful weather!

What Are Your Tips For Safe & Healthy Grilling?

Find Out More: