Cold Salmon with Raita

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Raita is an Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi condiment made with yogurt (dahi) and can be used as either a sauce or dip, or a salad. The yogurt may be seasoned with coriander, cumin, mint, cayenne pepper, and other herbs and spices.

Recipe adapted from FirstLine Manual

Ingredients and instructions for Raita:

  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cucumber, chopped into small dice
  • 1 tomato, chopped into small dice
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup plain, lowfat yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or mint or 1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)

In a mixing bowl, mix cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes with salt and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. Drain well. Combine with yogurt and optional ingredient, if desired. Chill for 20 minutes. Serve with salmon.

Salmon:

  • 2 pounds salmon fillets (about 1.5 inches thick)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Place salmon skin side down in ovenproof pan. Brush with olive oil. Roast uncovered until it flakes with a fork, about 25-30 minutes. Do not allow it to overcook. Serve at room temperature. Make a day ahead and refrigerate, but bring to room temperature before serving. Serve topped with Raita.

Another option is to grill the salmon :)

Serves 8

Breakfast Smoothies: Pitfalls

Breakfast smoothies seem like a great idea – after all, what is better than to mix up some delicious fruit, yogurt, and vegetables?

smoothie pina colada

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However, there are some pitfalls behind making smoothies. Do you know about them? Cooking Light suggests tips on how to avoid those pitfalls:

  1. Measure your ingredients: tossing in ingredients may add dangerous sugar, fat, and calories that you might not have expected
  2. Use greek yogurt or coconut milk instead of fruit juice.
  3. Try spinach first because it’s more easily accepted to the taste buds than the bitter kale
  4. Sweeten smoothies naturally

For more tips and information, please visit Cooking Light 

Homemade orange creamsicle ice cream

Summer is finally here! Are you craving ice cream to beat that heat? Well I found the perfect simple recipe for you – all it takes is just two main ingredients, coconut milk and oranges!

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The recipe and picture is provided in courtesy by Super Healthy Kids.

Homemade Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Peel and section oranges.  Lay flat on a tray and freeze until hardened.
  2. In a blender, add coconut milk and half of the frozen orange sections.
  3. Blend until smooth.  Add the remaining oranges and continue blending.
  4. Add the sweetener of your choice (honey, powdered sugar, maple syrup) and vanilla extract.
  5. Blend.
  6. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze until solid.
  7. When ready to serve, let it sit out for a few minutes to make it easier to scoop. Enjoy!

Save Your Sanity with These Stress Solutions (part 1)

Save Your Sanity with These Stress Solutions (part 1)

“A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity. ‘I recon,’ he said with a twinkle in his eye, ‘It’s because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have sat up and worried”

~Dorothea Kent

stress ball

picture source

On a scale of 1-10, where 1 represents little to no stress and 10 represents high, unbearable, chronic stress, where would you rate yourself on average through the day?

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

 

Once you have given yourself a rating, complete the following stress questionnaire.

Put a check mark beside each description that applies to you:

  1. I get gassy, bloated or experience heartburn through the day especially after meals.
  2. I have a hard time falling and or staying asleep.
  3. I wake up tired and un-refreshed.
  4. I have a difficult time losing weight despite changes to diet and lifestyle
  5. I have belly fat
  6. I experience cravings for sweet and or salty foods most days
  7. I have poor muscle tone or have a difficult time building lean muscle mass
  8. I get dizzy upon standing or kneeling
  9. I have a general feeling of weakness and fatigue through the day
  10. I have little or no sex drive.
  11. I have a hard time concentrating, I get distracted easily
  12. I tend to have low motivation and or trouble making decisions
  13. I do not deal with stress well
  14. I end up with colds and infections easily
  15. My bowels are often either too loose or constipated

Total     /15

In my nutritional practice, one of the first questions I ask new clients is about stress levels. This gives me a sense of their lifestyle, how they cope, how their body is coping with change and how successful they will be with weight loss. Generally, clients rate their stress levels low to average, or between 1-6 on the scale above. Moving along, in a very detailed health assessment, questions similar to the ones above are also addressed; do you have belly fat, do you experience cravings etc etc. What I have discovered is that most people aren’t clear what stress is, the symptoms associated with stress and that they are in fact stressed themselves. It is only when I start connecting the dots, that clients start taking a deeper look at their lives and realize that all the little nagging symptoms that all contributed to making them feel lousy were largely due to stress. My theory is that many people claim low stress levels because it’s all they know and so it simply seems normal. How sad! So many people live with chronic stress that they aren’t even aware that how they are living and coping is abnormal.

Stress, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”. And guess what- stress makes you fat! If you want to stop reading now, that is essentially what I need you to take from this article. When you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol and one of the main functions of cortisol is to signal your body to store fat. This is in fact a survival mechanism built into our genetics from caveman days, yet in this day in age, it is wreaking havoc on many of our bodies.

Putting It Together

In my opinion, a score of 5 of higher suggests you are under some type of stress or another. Just something a seemingly simple as gas and bloating is extremely stressful to the body. In this state, undigested food is fermenting or putrefying not only perpetuating inflammation in the body but also interfering with absorption of vital nutrients our bodies need. If a person lacks nutrients, their bodies will be under a constant state of malnourishment- something that is tough for the body to cope with over long periods of time.

What Can Be Done?

First of all, acknowledging potential stress is the first step. If you are aware that your system is suffering than you are more likely to do something about it. Secondly, stay tuned for part 2 of this article (coming out in June) that will touch upon stress management strategies to help save your sanity.

Michelle Armstrong RHN

Registered Nutritionist

www.strongnutritionandweightloss.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCvfPjQ7cwM