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Carne asadas, or barbecues, are a staple in Mexican households, especially in the summer. Whenever I go home, my dad always makes steak, ribs and vegetables. This week, I’m firing up my grill to make dinners that are full of mouthwatering summer flavors and are also packed with heart-healthy foods.
Your Meal Plan
You don’t have to have high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease to benefit from these heart-healthy dinners. They’re nutritious recipes for anyone looking to take care of their heart—and the rest of their body—in a delicious way. These healthy meals feature fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains, heart-healthy fats and lean proteins. Plus, they are low in sodium and saturated fat—two nutrients folks with heart-related conditions need to be aware of—to fit our heart-healthy nutrition parameters. Less salt and saturated fat don’t mean less flavor, and these dinners are proof!
Taking care of your heart doesn’t mean skipping the foods you enjoy, and for me, that’s red meat. While red meat is higher in saturated fat than other animal proteins, certain cuts, like tip sirloin steak, are leaner options, meaning they’re naturally lower in saturated fat. Plus, you can always trim away additional fat before cooking, or ask the butcher to do that step for you, to cut down on even more saturated fat. Needless to say, I can’t wait to make Friday’s Grilled Beef & Vegetable Kebabs. While the recipe notes that letting the meat marinate for 2 hours is enough, I plan on doing that step the night before to infuse the kebabs with lots of flavor from the spices, vinegar and mustard. I’ll serve the kebabs with a Quinoa Avocado Salad to round up the meal with more satisfying fiber and healthy fats.
sunday: Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Radish Salsa with a side of whole-wheat baguette
Monday: Basil Pesto Pasta with Grilled Vegetables
Tuesday: Grilled Salmon with Sweet Peppers with a side of grilled corn on the cob
Wednesday: Spiced Grilled Chicken with Cauliflower “Rice” Tabbouleh
Thursday: Grilled Blackened Shrimp Tacos with a side of Easy Grilled Zucchini
Fridays: Grilled Beef & Vegetable Kebabs paired with Quinoa Avocado Salad
Something to Sip On
To go with the delicious Grilled Beef & Vegetable Kebabs on Friday night, I’ll make this Fresh Strawberry Margarita with Mexican tequila I brought from home. Contrary to popular belief, margaritas are not the most popular drink in Mexico. In fact, most Mexicans drink tequila either straight up, paired with a cold beer, or as a Paloma, which is a tequila-based cocktail made with grapefruit soda and sparkling water, served in a tall glass with coarse salt on the rim. But since the strawberries are so delicious right now, this refreshing margarita is calling my name this week!
Get the Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Margaritas
What’s Inspiring Me This Week
It’s common knowledge that exercising regularly is good for your overall health, including your mental health. However, there’s always controversial information on which type of exercise is best for you, especially when you have a condition like diabetes. According to a new study, mixing heart rate-boosting cardio and strength training might be the way to go. Research published in The AmericanJournal of Medicine found that this combination, especially when performed in the afternoon or evening after a meal, is the best approach to help balance your blood sugar levels. While the study focused on folks with type 2 diabetes, the findings are beneficial for anyone.
Find Out More: The Best Way to Exercise If You Have Type 2 Diabetes, According to Science