Summer weather means it’s time to break out the barbecue grill! 🙂 There’s nothing that quite hits the spot in the summertime like a grilled burger.

Try using grass-fed ground beef since it is healthier and leaner. While the protein content may be about the same as regular beef, grass-fed beef is higher in vitamin E, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids.

TIP #1: Add veggies 
If you want to incorporate some veggies, try adding finely chopped green pepper to the ground beef.

TIP #2: A Twist on Toppings
* Instead of a sliced tomato, top your burger with slice of grilled pineapple. It has twice the heart-healthy potassium of a tomato slice!
* For even more flavor, replace mayo with some non-fat plain Greek yogurt mixed with onion soup mix
(combine 16oz. of yogurt for one packet).
* Substitute sliced cheese by spreading a slice of ripe avocado on the burger. Not only does avocado have the same rich, creamy texture as cheese, but it contains heart-healthy fat, and is a great source of vitamin E.


In a large bowl, add equal amounts of fresh mushrooms, corn, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, peppers and yellow squash. Add olive oil, salt and thyme. Toss the vegetables in the bowl until coated, Load the vegetables on metal skewers and place on the barbecue grill, and cook 5 minutes.

Turn and cook 5 minutes more, or until zucchini is crisp-tender and the vegetables have light grill marks on the second side.


Ingredients for the blueberry bbq sauce:
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water

Combine the blueberries, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, chili powder and black pepper in a medium saucepan. Stir in water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce is slightly thickened. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook 15 minutes. Turn and cook 10 minutes more. Brush with the blueberry BBQ sauce and cook to an internal temperature of 170°F. Serve with the remaining blueberry BBQ sauce.

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Edna Dimataga-Fernandez
Edna Dimataga-Fernandez founded The Wellness Institute in 2013. The company utilizes a holistic model of wellness consulting focusing on the 6 dimensions of organizational well-being: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual & financial health. The Wellness Institute provides holistic health assessments, corporate well-being workshops & wellness consultations with holistic health practitioners. Wellness-Spring, the company’s holistic health store, sells organic & non-toxic health & beauty products. A portion of the proceeds is donated back to causes that support women, children, health, wellness & education. She has worked & consulted for companies in the insurance & financial services industry, the medical & behavioral health field and the non-profit sector. Edna holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is a Past President (2010-11) of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors - Los Angeles Chapter and is an approved Continuing Education Provider for the California Department of Insurance.