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Men - Eating Heart Healthy

By Charles Pendleton - Master Chef, Contributing Writer
On April 28, 2012


My culinary journey to become a chef started because of my dad's influence. We went to many diverse restaurants together and we loved them. My house was also frequently filled with the smells and flavors of wonderful southern food due to my mom's phenomenal cooking. My dad's parents were from the south and those habits of eating food heavy with salt, sugar and fats were ingrained in him from an early age. As a result, he died far too soon at the age of 56.

Men, we have to change the way we approach food because it can become a death sentence if we don't listen to our bodies.

While most people can appreciate a hearty meal, many of us make food choices based on how quick and convenient a meal is. However, meal planning should be approached as if it were one of the most important things in our lives, because it is. Putting in the time and effort to create and eat healthy meals can improve and prolong our lives.

Let's look at what we can do to break this cycle. The first thing we can do is avoid processed or boxed foods and consume more whole, natural foods, like more vegetables and fish. Studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish may reduce rates of cardiac and sudden death. Next, make sure you eat foods high in antioxidants, such as pomegranates and blueberries. The mix of pomegranates and blueberries are also great for our sexual health because the polyphenols they contain help remove plaque that could be in your arteries for proper blood flow, not only to our hearts but throughout the whole body and especially "the part that counts" in a moment of passion.

If you incorporate a healthy diet of green vegetables and fruits into your lifestyle, you can start down the road to a healthier body and a longer life immediately. Eating well now can help you avoid medical problems and having to depend on harsh medications to maintain your health when you are older. Studies show that many health conditions Americans develop can be reversed just by a change in eating lifestyle. Changing the way you eat can be challenging, but if you plan your meals and make smart decision you can do it. Here is a recipe that I enjoy, the color is a glorious deep mahogany red, the flavor is the perfect blend of tangy and sweet and it looks extravagant because of the fresh berries.

Grilled Salmon Steaks in Raspberry and Blueberry Marinade


¼ cup orange juice

3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce ("can be found in the aisle of the section with the Asian spices of your grocery store")

1 ½ teaspoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoons of kosher salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of Tabasco

2 pounds of salmon steaks

¼ cup of fresh raspberries

¼ cup of fresh blueberries


  1. Whisk together all ingredients but the fish and berries. Marinate the fish in this mixture for 30 minutes. Turn several times.
  2. Meanwhile preparing the grill or broiler.
  3. Remove the fish from the marinade and grill and brush the fish with marinade, brush the fish before you turn it, then brush the top again, 2-3 minutes on each side, remove and keep warm.
  4. Boil ½ cup of the marinade for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the raspberries and blueberries and pour over the fish.
  5. Serve with your favorite brown rice with chopped fresh thyme and your favorite grilled veggies.

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