The Diet Diva is Here!

I am very happy to welcome aboard the ‘Diet Diva’!  Also known as Jennifer McDaniel, dietitian extraordinaire.  You may have seen her on several news stations, the radio, or maybe even took one of her course at Saint Louis University.  Jennifer served as my adviser, teacher, and all around role model in my many years spent at Saint Louis University.  She is the best dietitian I know and is also one heck of an athlete from running, biking, and weightlifting.  She talks the talk and walks the walk (or lifts the lift, runs the run, and kicks the butt???).  Anyway, she’s good!  Below, Jennifer touches on some very important grilling tips and share one heck of a Kebab recipe.

As you know we are all about service at The Lab.  We are not simply a gym that demonstrates exercises, however we deliver results.  There are many trainers in this world but what sets them apart is not only what certification or degree they have but their ability to deliver a service that changes your life.  This is a multifaceted skill set that ranges from scientific knowledge, motivation, enthusiasm, and if they work for me one hell of a set of organizational skills!  My trainers are not merely demonstrators of exercise or rep counters but LIFE CHANGERS!

You get more than just diet and exercise at The Lab and in order to deliver such a product we go through great lengths to train our employees.  Not only are we one of the few gyms that have weekly staff meetings 2hrs every week) but we have a rigorous 90 day employee training protocol that not all make it through if we don’t see them as Lab material).  But, it doesn’t end there, our staff is constantly pushed to deliver better service and continue to learn more so we can keep our reputation as, The most unique gym around, and the best trainers in town!

So, we need your help.  Evey so often when we bring in a new candidate as a Lab trainer we need to give them substantial practice to learn our systems and philosophy.  In order to do this we have something called, ‘Continuing Education and Research Personal Training Hours,’or C.E.R.P.T.s.  This allows our trainers to take clients through all of our diverse training programs and take their current knowledge, skill, and abilities and refine them to our standards.  This is a very rare opportunity and does not come around often, so I would like to extend this offer to everyone now and we will keep your information on file for when an opportunity comes up.

What you get are sessions for only $10/pc!!! Which normally go from anywhere between $40-100/ per session.  Some gyms just let trainers walk in the door and charge whatever they want. Not here, we are guaranteeing our quality and this is one of the ways we do it.  So, if you would like to be considered for this rare opportunity and save HUNDREDS of dollars please reply to this email and I will send you more info (or email at:  There are MANY factors considered when choosing the right C.E.R.P.T. client for a new trainer.  Likewise, situations are very diverse so reply now so we can get you on file and contact you if/when an opportunity arises.


Actual picture of me training a new Lab trainer.

Finally, the USA Weightlifting Nationals are this weekend and my training and preparation are going very well.  I will be lifting Saturday night at 7pm.  You can find a link for the live webcast at: (check later in the week).

Enjoy this Majuscule!

King (or Queen) of the Grill


By: Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RD, CSSD

Summer is here, which is even more reason to avoid heating up the house, and fire up the grill.  Grilling can be a healthy and delicious cooking method for virtually anything from non-traditional foods like figs and flatbreads to staples like hamburgers and chicken.

Unfortunately, that charred taste some of us love, might be putting us at risk.  Recent attention has focused on the link between grilling and cancer, in particular, stomach, colorectal, lung, and breast cancer.  The culprits are cancer causing agents called heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These chemical substances are formed when fat is heated to high temperatures.


Going to need some sauce…

So now what? Cut back on grilling? Absolutely not. There are several tips you can follow to relieve your grilling woes, and it can all start with a tasty marinade. A recent study from Kansas State University marinated the same cut of meat in 3 different marinades.  The various marinades reduced these “bad” chemicals anywhere from 57-88%.  The largest reduction (88%) was seen in the “Caribbean Marinade” (see a similar marinade recipe below).

Here are some additional steps for a healthy grill out.

Avoid placing meats in contact with high flames or extreme heat through grilling, broiling, barbecuing, or frying.

Grill foods such as vegetables, veggie burgers, quesadillas, or even pizza. These foods contain little fat and can be a fun new food to introduce to the grill.

Choose lean and trimmed meats. They have less fat to drip into flames and cause flare-ups.

Briefly cook meats and poultry in the microwave before placing on the grill, this will remove some of the drippings that could cause flare-ups.

Place meat on aluminum foil instead of directly on the grill to avoid juices into the fire or flames touching the meat.  Not only does this help prevent charring, but it also makes for easy clean-up.

Keep your grill clean.

Keep a spray bottle on hand to tame flames.

Remove charred portions of meat before eating.

Some Info adapted from WebMD and the American Institute for Cancer Research


Jamaican Jerk Beef Kebabs

1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 habanero or serrano peppers, seeded
1 1/2 pounds boneless sirloin, trimmed and cut into 30 cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 18 pieces
2 black-ripe plantains (banana-like fruit), peeled, and each cut into 9 pieces (use pineapple if you can’t find plantains)
Cooking spray
Diagonally cut green onions (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)



Prepare grill.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Place onion mixture, beef, and bell pepper pieces in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes.

Remove beef and bell pepper pieces from bag; discard marinade. Place beef, bell pepper pieces, and plantain pieces in a large bowl; toss well to coat.

Thread 5 beef cubes, 3 red pepper pieces, and 3 plantain pieces alternately onto each of 6 (12-inch) skewers. Lightly coat kebabs with cooking spray. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until desired degree of doneness. Garnish with green onion pieces and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Yield:  6 servings (serving size: 1 kebab)

CALORIES 260 (25% from fat); FAT 7.1g (sat 2.7g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.3g); IRON 3.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 76mg; CALCIUM 20mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.3g; SODIUM 358mg; PROTEIN 26.9g; FIBER 2.4g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2001

If you follow these guidelines your everyday foods will be much improved!  For more information regarding eating healthy and other nutrition topics, please contact:

Call The Lab 256-1411 or email at: to set up an appointment or direct at:

Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RD, CSSD @

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