Better Bar-B-Q

by Laurie Lynch, ND 

As summer approaches, man's thoughts turn to dreams of outdoor grilling and barbequing. Yum! However, if not done properly, barbequing can be very hazardous to your health. So I'd like to share some tips for safer, healthier barbequing.

  •  Clean the grill – Built up food residue and grease create a sticky coating on the grill, making it difficult to flip or remove burgers and health damaging, charred materials contain cancerous substances. To clean, turn up the heat to high and close the lid for 10 minutes. This will remove most caked oil and grease. Then use steel wool with baking soda to remove germs, rust, and stubborn food residues. Rinse well.

  •  Use healthier, natural coals, such as wood chips (great smoke flavor), or hardwood lump charcoal (burns hotter, slower, and has the best smoked flavor).   Self-starting briquettes contain harmful chemicals such as petroleum to help it ignite. These briquettes adversely affect flavor and can also cause allergies, headaches, lung problems, and contribute to cancer. If you handle the briquettes, these chemicals are absorbed through the skin into the blood stream.

  •  Or use gas grills which burn cleaner, and can be safely started with a long handled electronic igniter.

  •  Use safer lighting methods such as lighting twigs under the coals, or use a metal, chimney-pipe cylinder (available at discount stores), which holds the charcoal above a burning piece of newspaper and uses the air flow under the charcoal to quickly bring it to the right temperature. It heats faster without the chemical taste, toxic fumes, and fire and other health hazards of lighter fluid. Charcoal lighter fluid contains petroleum distillates, benzene, and other toxic and cancer-causing chemicals.

  •  To prevent food from sticking to the grill, rub the cleaned grill rack with a drop of liquid lecithin before cooking. Or a grill basket (a metal cage with long handle), is great for turning hamburgers, veggies, etc. without sticking and crumbling into the fire, and the open design allows fat to drip away from the food.  The non-stick sprays contain unhealthy chemicals, and coating food with oil to prevent sticking promotes free-radical development that can cause cholesterol, blood pressure and heart problems, and cancer.

Healthier food preparation tips:
To grill animal products:

  •  Cut the Fat off meat to reduce saturated fat and formation of toxic, cancer-causing compounds. 
  •  Rub meat with fresh, raw, sliced or pureed garlic to kill pathogenic organisms on the meat.                                       
  •  Wash your hands in baking soda after handling raw meat to kill the bacteria from the meat.                        
  •  Use one plate and utensils for raw meat and a different plate and utensils for cooked meat to avoid contamination. 
  •  Pre-cook meats to prevent undercooking that can cause food borne diseases. Thicker meat cuts take longer to cook.
  •  Do not over cook meat either. Scientists found that charred meat produces toxic, cancer-causing compounds. 
  •  Flip frequently to shorten cooking time. 
  •  Avoid smoke exposure because the particles in smoke damage lungs.

     Now I know all you barbeque enthusiasts love barbequed meat. There are chemicals in the meat that are very addictive. I know. I was very addicted to animal products.  I ate meat 3 times a day and couldn't understand how I could be so deficient in protein, vitamins, and minerals. During my studies, I found that animal products are totally indigestible to humans. Scientific studies have shown that animal products are a major contributing factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, allergies, diabetes, and cancer, all of which I had. When I was faced with death, I decided to make some dietary changes and take a lot of herbs, and I got well in a few months. And now that I've broken the addiction to meat, it doesn't taste good to me at all.

Now I’m not insisting that you ban all meat from your barbeques, but it would be helpful to try some healthier vegetarian alternatives too.
Healthier vegetarian grill recipes:


1/2 Tbsp BRAGG’S AMINOS                                 2 cups TOMATO SAUCE                                       1/4 cup prepared MUSTARD       
1 small ONION, minced                                            2-4 Tbsp fresh LEMON JUICE                                 1/2 tsp fresh grated GINGER
PEPPER                                      3 Tbsp. HONEY                                                       1 tsp (or more) CHILI POWDER
Mix and refrigerate. Works well to coat sliced eggplant, portabella mushrooms, shish-kabobs, veggie burgers, or animal products before grilling.


1 cup RED QUINOA                                                 1 cup green LENTILS                                             1/2 cup ONION, minced                                              1 small sweet or white POTATO                                 1 tsp BRAGG'S AMINOS                                      1/8 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
Bake potato at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so. Bake lentils, quinoa, and onion in baking dish with 2 cups water until liquid is absorbed (about 20-30 minutes).  Mix all ingredients in food processor and refrigerate 2 hours. Form into patties, coat with barbeque sauce, and grill turning often.


Whole OAT GROATS                                                  BRAGG'S AMINOS                                            WATER                                                                        SESAME SEEDS                                                        BAKING POWDER                                              PSYLLIUM HUSKS
In coffee grinder, grind enough oats to make 1/3 - ˝ cup flour per serving, pour into bowl and add ˝ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp psyllium, dash of Bragg's Aminos, and 1/3 -1/2 cup water per serving. Let stand a few minutes.   Form into 2 balls, press into burger size, and sprinkle sesame seeds on one bun and press in. Bake on pan oiled with a drop of lecithin for 15 or 20 minutes 

     Leave husks on and soak in cold water so husks won't catch fire. Grill for 30 minutes turning regularly. The husks keep in natural juices and flavor.

MOCK MELTED CHEESE SAUCE                                                                                                                                                                                        4 tablespoons raw TAHINI                                            2 Tbs. BRAGG'S AMINOS                                  1/3 -2/3 WATER                                                   2 Tbs. liquid LECITHIN                                                   3/4 tsp MUSTARD
Blend all ingredients and spread over burgers or use as a dip.

 Laurie Lynch is a Wellness Consultant, Naturopathic Doctor, Master Herbalist with several degrees in Nutrition. She may be contacted at the Living Well Health & Education Center, (910) 426-5159.

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      Copyright © Laurie Lynch, N.D., 2008-2011