From the Director, July 2017


A Taste of Summertime
How to Prep Nutritionally for Your Big Academy Exam

Hello, from Academy Exams!

Summertime is here, and for me, that means fantastic fare. The veggies and fruits are fresher than ever, and the grill gets put in the spotlight more often. My boys love grilled meats and veggies, and it's such a healthy and easy way to get good food on the table.

Summertime also means EXAM TIME! We held an exam in Miami in June, we're holding an exam in Orlando on July 20th, and on August 25th we'll be headed up to St. Augustine. We may even try to sneak another exam in sometime in September, before the Fall. If you need to earn your INSP I or INSP II certification, the Academy has plenty of opportunities.

Good grillin' and good exam takin' go hand in hand, if you ask me. You want to be well-rested and have plenty of nutrients fueling your brain before you sit for an Academy Exam, and a good meal the night before will help with both! Here's one of my absolute favorite burger recipes--and I guarantee, it will be a hit. Add some asparagus (tossed in olive oil and salt & peppered first) to the grill the last 4-5 minutes of cooking, cut up peaches or watermelon to put on the table, and you've got a great meal!

First step, as with the exam, is to study.

Make the BBQ Rub.

I've read a few different recipes (study...see?) but this version from Myron Mixon's "Everyday Barbecue" is my favorite and will make enough rub to use for multiple meals.

1 c. packed light brown sugar

2 TBS chili powder

2 TBS mustard powder

2 TBS onion powder

2 TBS garlic powder

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 TBS Kosher salt

2 TBS freshly ground black pepper

Mix and store in an airtight container.

Second step is to prep. Just like with the exam, get all the materials ready (review and tab your reference materials, sharpen your pencils, all that good exam day stuff!).

Make the Best Burgers for Brain Fuel EVER

1 lb. ground chuck

1/2 lb. ground sirloin

1 TBS. BBQ rub

2 tsp. Dijon or German mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste

Start your grill--and if you're gonna do it right, use natural wood charcoal (no lighter fluid!) and a chimney to start your fire. Easy and much better flavor. Once the coals are glowing, pour them out on one half or third of the bottom grate and let 'em take in some air for a bit.

While the coals get started, mix and form into 4 burger patties, approximately 1/2" to 3/4" thick.

Place the grilling grate over the coals and add the burgers, just off to the side of the direct heat. Cover and wait 6-7 minutes. Check, flip, cover again. Check in 5-6 min. Continue this till they reach your desired doneness. Again....if you're gonna do it right, I say medium is the way to go! The burgers will be done to medium when they give gentle resistance to a finger poke in the center.

Take the burgers off, grill up your veggies, put the fruit on the table, and serve! If you want to add an extra little something, grill the burger buns for a few seconds before serving the meal. Perfection!

With this meal to work with, your brain will be at its best when you sit for your Academy Exam. Study and prep, everyone. Enjoy the summer!