by A’verria Martin, Ph.D.

Welcome back to the Eating for Success Series. We have spent the last four weeks discussing lean proteins – eggs, salmon, chicken, and today turkey. This will be our last week concentrating on lean protein, as we begin to explore vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy and low-glycemic grains. There is an abundance of other fish – preferably wild – that provide a wonderful source of lean protein, which we have not yet talked about in this blog. We encourage you to do your own research, explore the world of nutrition, and find creative and tasty ways to prepare lean proteins!

As a review, lean protein is essential to a healthy diet and any weight loss or muscle gain program. Proteins are the body’s building blocks and support healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Post-workout, muscles are rebuilt and repaired by the proteins you consume. Lean protein provides a feeling of fullness or satiety which can greatly reduce overeating.


Turkey is an incredible source of lean protein and another nutritional powerhouse! Turkey boasts approximately 32 grams of protein in a 4-ounce serving (153 calories); 65% of your daily value (DV) of protein. This high-protein food assists in keeping post-meal insulin levels within a desirable range; keeping your body from flooding with insulin and keeping you satiated longer.

Similar to chicken, turkey contains tryptophan (119% DV), selenium (52% DV), Vitamin B3 (43% DV), Vitamin B6 (32% DV), Phosphorus (25% DV) and Choline (23% DV). Collectively these vitamins and minerals aid the thyroid and immune system, encourage healthy brain and normal nerve functioning reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels while simultaneously increasing good cholesterol (HDL) levels. In addition, they synthesize antibodies needed to fight various diseases, decreasing the risk of ailments such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and anxiety, cataracts, osteoarthritis, and type-1 diabetes. For more on the specific benefits of each vitamin and mineral please see previous post on chicken (4/13/13).

Remember to choose organic, grass-fed turkey whenever possible. Turkeys that are organic and grass-fed have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and higher protein content. Eating organic turkey has an added benefit of minimizing risk of exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and pesticides, which causes undue stress on the human body.


Ground Turkey Kebabs


• 1 ½ lbs. ground turkey (organic preferably)
• 1 garlic clove, chopped
• 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 egg
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley


1. Soak 6-8 wooden skewers in bowl of water and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients. Lightly grease hands and form into meatballs that are more oval and longer than regular meatballs. Drizzle meatballs with oil. Slide meatballs on 6-8 skewers.

3. Spray grill with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat the grill to medium. Grill, turning occasionally, until the kebabs are browned, 10-12 minutes.

Tandorri Turkey Kebabs


• 1 lb organic turkey tenderloin (organic preferably)
• 1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
• 2 Tbsp garam masala
• 2 tsp chopped garlic
• ½ tsp ground ginger


1. Soak 6-8 wooden skewers in bowl of water and set aside.

2. In medium bowl, combine yogurt, garam masala, garlic, ginger and salt to taste. Add turkey and marinate for at least 10 minutes.

3. Spray grill with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat the grill to medium.

4. Slide turkey onto skewers. Place kebabs on hot grill and cook, turning frequently, until turkey is cooked through (10-12 minutes).

Do not forget to come out and support your 619 San Diego Personal Training Athletes – Nikos, Aleks, Jonathan, Jamie, and Tracey – this Saturday at 4 pm at 619 San Diego Personal Training Del Mar for the California Affiliate League Competition!!!