Creating a Fish-Focused Diet

My family and I are enjoying one last ‘summer’ vacation in the Outer Banks right now, and it has me thinking about seafood.  I was in charge of meal planning for my family’s trip (there are five families here!), and I made sure to include some fish in the menu.  Might as well, since we’re so close to the ocean!

Continue reading “Creating a Fish-Focused Diet”

Tuna with Sauerkraut

The other day, I received an email from Safe Catch, a canned tuna company that uses higher-than-industry-standards for mercury testing (they test every single fish!) and buys only from sea captains using sustainable fishing methods.  In the email, a recipe mentioned using sauerkraut in tuna salad.  Hmmm.  It got me thinking.  I like sauerkraut, and I had some in my fridge, and some canned tuna in the pantry (not Safe Catch, as this email was the first I’d heard of them, but after reading up on their company, I decided to grab a couple cans last time I was at Wegmans).  And I try to eat something fermented every day (probiotics, man!), so why not?


Here’s my spin on the tuna-sauerkraut recipe:

1 can tuna (approx 6 oz)

1/3 C sauerkraut

1 small apple, chopped

1 tsp caraway seeds

dressing: 2 T homemade mayo, 1 T dijion mustard, a dash of apple cider vinegar

1 T toasted pistachios

Mix mayo, djion and vinegar; add a pinch of salt. Drain tuna and mix all ingredients together, stir with dressing. Serve over greens and top with pistachios, or with really good rye bread.



what a lunch

This post is for Emily, my sweet, sweet “Irish-twin-one-year-removed” who is a kindred spirit in terms of body type and is on her own “healthy weight” journey.  She is one of the healthiest people I know, both mentally and physically, and I love her to death!

Hi Emily!

Anyway, I found I had some extra time this afternoon due to crummy weather, which is postponing the awesome mural project at the co-op–the first thing I was going to help with as a volunteer.  I’ll be working in a writing/blogging/photographing/PR capacity for them, which I’m super excited about since it’s right up my alley in terms of my education and strengths.  Yay for God leading me right here, right now and blessing me with an opportunity to use my talents for something I truly believe in!

OK, enough of that tangent.  Back to lunch.

Emily emailed me yesterday with some food questions, like how to feel more full and what other healthy things could she try to get more variety in her diet.  I’m telling you, I missed my calling as a nutritionist.  Seriously.  Not that I necessarily want to work in a school/hospital/gym, but I want to KNOW that stuff.  Hmm… I wonder if Andrew would let me just be a perpetual student so I could become a nutritionist/cook/baker/yoga instructor…?

ANYWAY… Reining myself in here…

I replied to Emily and told her what works for me, as well as some sample snacks and lunches she could try to incorporate.  Bottom line:  protein really keeps me feeling full, and whole grains satisfy me.  Add fruits and veggies to the mix and you’re set!

The photos are nothing to write home about.  I know.

Today’s lunch was homemade tuna salad, pretzel crisps, fruit and Kefir and tea.  Let’s deconstruct:

Trader Joe’s Mango Black Tea.  I got this from a friend before we left Ohio and I have to say I’m not a huge fan of black tea.  However, tea is a great beverage to have any time of day.  For the “price” of about 15 calories (1 tsp of honey or sugar), I can enjoy a warm or cold beverage without feeling like I’ve blown it.  Whatever you do, don’t drink your calories!  WATER WATER WATER!  I cannot thank enough my nazi of a father who ONLY allowed us to have water with meals growing up.  Now I love it and don’t have an addiction to soda or juice.  I like to save sodas for special occasions, like pizza night.  Anyway, I’ve been drinking lots of different teas lately and really like my lemon ginger and peppermint varieties.  Get it, “varie-teas?” HAHA

Homemade tuna salad.  Tuna is a GREAT nutritional powerhouse, but you’ve got to keep the mayo in check.  I almost never order it at restaurants because it’s just dripping in mayo.  I made this two-serving batch with one hard-boiled egg white, some pickle and celery, 1.5 tbsp mayo and a teaspoon or two of mustard.  I added a bit more mustard on top today.

I also had a serving, and I mean ONE serving, of garlic parmesan pretzel crisps.  I don’t usually eat a lot of pre-packaged things, but these were one of two bags Andrew picked up on our Target date and they are awesome.  At 110 calories for a one-ounce serving, they’re better than chips and they were perfect for scooping my tuna.  And measure!  I have a tiny “diet” scale that’s perfect for measuring up to one pound.  It really comes in handy for things like chips–have the chips, just don’t have three or four servings.

For sweetness and protein, I recreated my “dessert” from last night: fruit and Kefir.  LOVE IT.  A serving is one cup, which has 140 calories, but I rarely have that much Kefir in one sitting.  I usually just do a half-cup by itself or with fruit or granola.  I cannot recommend it enough.  It’s basically a tangier, drinkable yogurt that’s packed with probiotics, the good bacteria found in yogurt.  It helps with digestion.  For those who grew up on, or still eat, yogurts like Dannon Fruit-on-the-Bottom, it will take a lot of getting used to.  I stay away from a lot of the yogurt cups because they are basically just sugar.  I once heard a dietician on the radio say that one of those flavored yogurts usually has the same amount of sugar as ICE CREAM.  Seriously.  Who needs that much extra sugar in the morning?  So, I switched to plain and haven’t gone back.

Hey, this is a pretty decent picture!

Remember that chocolate from yesterday?  I never ate it…those veggies and hummus were filling!  It made a reappearance on the plate today, but alas, it’s STILL here!  It’s currently sitting on the counter, all by it’s lonesome.   I felt full after I finished everything else.  Those are probably the biggest two challenge for me: NOTICING when I’m getting full, and STOPPING.  All too often I load my plate (even with healthy things) and then switch to auto-pilot and finish it all off.  Listen to your tummy, Holly!

I’m thinking the chocolate might get eaten with some hot, decaf coffee today as an afternoon pick-me-up since I blasted more than 900 calories this morning!  First, an hour of pilates, then an hour of crazy hard kickboxing, then an impromptu one-mile run with Hadrian.  Whew!

So, this post was all about my lunch and thoughts… Hope it helps anyone out there looking to eat real food you can feel good about.  Yesterday was hummus, veggies and dried fruit, today was tuna, pretzels, fruit and yogurt.  If you keep stashes of good things, like cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, healthy dips, yogurt and smart splurges (like good chocolate!), you’ll always be able to mix and match different things for nutritious meals.