Even though many mainstream health resources discourage dark meats in chicken and turkey because of the high fat content, studies show that women with high cholesterol who have the highest levels of taurine (found in dark poultry meat) have a 60% less chance of dying from heart disease. The taurine content offsets any negative impact of higher fat content. To maximize health, especially if you are female and have high cholesterol, consider increasing consumption of dark poultry meats.
To increase overall health, consider adding as many of the following foods to your regular diet as possible:
1. Organic flaxseed – for omega-3 fatty acids and bowel health -best if ground immediately before eating.
2. Raw organic nuts – for fatty acids and minerals.
3. Foods containing sulfur for antioxidant properties – like organic eggs, onions and garlic.
4. Green tea for antioxidants, weight loss, and anti-cancer properties.
5. Healthy oils (organic) – Olive oil for salads, organic Canola oil for baking, and butter for frying.
Learn basic alternatives to fattening foods. Learn to speak the second language of food – the language of healthy food:
- Choose mustard over mayo (mustard naturally has less calories/fat).
- Choose brown rice, whole wheat, rye or oat bread over white bread (brown foods don’t have extra fats added to them to change their color).
- Choose the white meat of turkey or chicken over dark meat, red meat or pork (most of our fat intake comes from animal fat; white meat contains less fat).
- Choose poached, baked or broiled over fried, battered or breaded.
- Choose water over juice and soda. Some juices contain just as many carbs and calories as a small bag of potato chips. Try slowly weaning yourself off caffeinated soda with [herbal] tea or water – have two glasses of water, or cups of tea, per every can of soda. (Also, don’t drink your calories – those 100 calories of juice could be two pieces of fruit or a cereal bar, a more filling feeling for you and your stomach.)
- Choose low-calorie sauces and ask to have sauces and dressings served on the side. (Usually more sauce is poured on than is needed. Dip your fork into the sauce, then dip your fork into the food. This will give you the flavor with every bite, but without the extra, unnecessary fat.)
- Choose fat-free milk and cheese made with skim milk, as opposed to whole milk (again, most of our fat intake comes from animal fat).
- Choose vegetables as side orders over fries and chips. Steamed veggies are preferable over creamed veggies (vegetables naturally carry less fat).
- Choose to pack fruit and nuts to hold you over to the next meal, rather than opting for fast food or snacks from a vending machine. Fruit snacks will help you get to the next meal, as they allow you to eat more, more often and without the extra fat intake). Fruits like bananas and oranges are convenient and have their own protective packaging.
PREP TIME 20 mins
COOK 40 mins
READY IN 5 hrs 40 mins
- 1 quart cold water
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 (4 pound) whole chicken, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 habanero peppers, seeded
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons prepared Thai sweet chili sauce
- Combine water, kosher salt, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat; cook until sugar and salt dissolve, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Score the skin side of each piece of chicken 2 to 3 times, about 1/8 inch deep. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl or lidded container.
- Puree cherry tomatoes, habanero peppers, garlic, and allspice with the salt and sugar mixture in a blender until smooth.
- Pour tomato brine over chicken pieces, making sure all pieces are covered. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
- Remove chicken pieces and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
- Combine thyme, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oil in a small bowl.
- Brush each chicken piece with thyme and oil mixture.
- Cook chicken, skin side down, on the preheated grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn each piece and move to indirect heat. Cook until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
- Brush each piece with Thai sweet chile sauce. Transfer to a plate and allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings
PREP 20 mins
COOK 5 mins
READY IN 25 mins
- 2 avocados – peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 4 (7 inch) pre-baked pizza crusts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast meat
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven’s broiler. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while it preheats.
- In a food processor, combine the avocados and cilantro. Puree while adding lime juice and salt to taste. Cover, and set aside.
- Slice the garlic clove in half, and rub the cut side onto the tops of the pizza crusts for flavor. Brush both sides of the crusts with olive oil. Spread the avocado mixture thickly over the top of each crust, then arrange chicken and tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with cheese, and season lightly with cayenne pepper. Place pizzas on a baking sheet if you do not have a pizza stone.
- Broil for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cheese has just melted and the crust is lightly toasted.