Thursday, November 13, 2014

12 Reasons to Shop Small

12 Reasons To Shop Small


What can you add? 




Sure, everyone's familiar with Black Friday but even in recent years, some retail stores are trying to be open on Thanksgiving but thankfully enough awareness is being brought to this issue that it's not happening as much as it could. I believe most of us can agree that even one retail store open (on Thanksgiving) is far too many. 

But as far as Black Fridays go, I choose to skip the madness that ensues for anyone brave enough to enter the stores very early the day following Thanksgiving. I read the other day that some folks were already waiting in line 22 days before Black Friday at Best Buy in a California city. My time is much more precious and I bet yours is too! 

Then you must have heard about Cyber Monday where rock bottom deals are offered for businesses that have an online presence. "The National Retail Federation says it coined the term in 2005 to describe a sharp rise in online revenue and traffic the first Monday after Thanksgiving" (Source: International Business Times).

But, let's get back to the heart of this post. The Saturday following Thanksgiving starting in 2010, has been nationally recognized for the small business. Four years ago, American Express, wanted us (the small, locally owned businesses) to get more customers. "When you shop small ®, it can lead to big business." 




Friday, October 24, 2014

Wild-caught. {A Fish Recipes Collection}

Fish. It's what's for dinner. 


I wish I could share with you a story and images of our family fishing for our own fresh, wild-caught marine staples, but, I haven't gone fishing since I was a kid! In my youth, I enjoyed spending some peaceful quality time with my parents when I went fishing with them. In high school, I did learn how to crab but you know what, I may have enjoyed both experiences more if I had enjoyed eating fish. It wasn't until much later that I even tried fish. 

At one time, I thought fish sticks were real fish (some may be but most are probably filled with junk). But when you don't know, you don't know! I never liked fish sticks (filled with junk kind). While we were visiting Dublin, Ireland in 2007, we had the BEST fish and chips and from there I was hooked (no pun intended!). 

Then fast forward some more time. It wasn't until I studied to become a certified health coach did I learn the difference and the importance of eating low-mercury fish (medium is okay but in-moderation is essential) and wild-caught over farm raised. I used to eat tilapia but all of it is farm-raised (and it's low-mercury as seen in the chart below but I no longer choose / buy it). That's why it's so cheap! There are plenty of articles (like this one from The New York Times) that addresses tilapia being farm raised and what they eat! It's not even food that fish naturally eat; it is soy and corn (both genetically modified (the top two crops of highly GMd)! When you know better, you do better! 

So, before I share a collection of fish recipes and education about fish (importance of Omega 3s), I'm going to share a resource from Nordic Naturals on the mercury levels of fish. If you're looking for a quality fish oil to bridge the (Omega 3) gap, you may be interested in Nordic Naturals. If you'd like wild-caught as fresh as you can get without fishing fish, you may be interested in Vital Choice. The information to research and order is here on my Products page. 

Nordic Naturals has a handy pocket guide on mercury levels based on information from Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org). I reproduced the information below, but you can also find more materials pinned here



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What?! More fish? YES!!

From my first post in October, I addressed the common complaint I hear among clients (and friends) is that they want to eat fish but they don't know how to prepare it so I shared a recipe for cod with veggies! Today I'm sharing a quick post on a salmon recipe. Later in the month, I hope to share a collection of fish recipes from real food bloggers. Stay tuned! 



This recipe is gluten-free but not dairy-free because I used butter and parmesan cheese but you can sub out butter for a vegan (non-GMO spread) and omit the cheese. There is also dairy in the Lundberg Risotto (but it is gluten-free) so opt for a jasmine rice if you're avoiding dairy as well. 

You'll need 1/2 to 1 stick of butter depending on how much fish and asparagus you have. I used 1/2 stick for the amount of fish in my recipe. Use more or less (to your liking). 

Ingredients:
6-8 ounces wild caught salmon 
1/2 stick softened butter 
2 cloves garlic mashed (or 2 tsp of minced garlic)
1 tbs fresh parsley
Slices of lemon for cooking and garnish
1/2 pound asparagus 
Risotto (or rice of your choice). I used this brand.
salt to taste 
Optional: Top cooked asparagus with Parmesan cheese.

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375*. 

2. While oven is warming up, make risotto according to package instructions. 

3. Wash asparagus and trim to 1" pieces and discard fibrous ends (or compost!).

4. Prepare butter mixture for fish (and asparagus). A half stick of butter is enough for 6-8 ounces of fish (or 2-3 filets). Mix the garlic, parsley, and optional salt to taste with the butter. If the butter is too soft after mixing, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to let it harden (just a bit) so that it will cook on top of the fish.

5. Salt the fish (just a sprinkle). Then spread a dollop of the butter mixture on top; it should be a thick coating on top of the fish. Add a slice of lemon to each fish filet and cover.

6. In a separate bowl, toss the asparagus with the remaining butter mixture and sprinkle some salt. Cook uncovered. 

7. Cook the fish and asparagus for 17-22 minutes. Fish will flake with a fork and asparagus will be al dente. Toss the asparagus half way through. 

8. Watch your risotto while the fish and asparagus are cooking. You want everything to be done about the same time. =)

9. Optional: Sprinkle the finished asparagus with Parmesan cheese. Add a lemon garnish to each fish filet before serving. 

9. Buon Appetito!! =) 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 Days of ABCs: F is for Fish


This week's post is focusing on the letter F and will not only include a nutrient dense recipe but also fun activities you can do with your small children before, during, and while you're waiting for your dinner to cook.  

I bet you've read over a dozen articles about eating more healthy fats and then wondering how you'll incorporate them along with more vegetables (balanced nutrition). Are you at a loss where to start? I once knew that feeling! It seems like a huge undertaking when you're wanting to start new in your wellness journey. You've heard it before: Take baby steps and my advice: Start where you are! 

Where do you fall short when making healthy meals for your family? Is it the confusing food labels? (I can help with that in one of my classes or consultations.) Uncertain about which fish is the healthiest? (Source and quality matter!) Green veggies aren't appealing? (They can become a norm in your home.) Unsure about which fats are the best? (I use two of the healthy fats in this recipe.) You like fish but aren't sure how to prepare it so that it will be appetizing? (This recipe is simple, flavorful, and nutritious!)


This post is part of an ABC Collection for the month of October. My friend, Jennifer, of The Good Long Road (here's her post from last year), asked me to do letter F and I kindly accepted! What an honor. So this post, will be to share all about the letter F which will include a recipe and activities for children / families. Let's start with the activities and then the recipe will follow.