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Successes–Social Challenges and Seared Salmon!

Posted Jan 19 2013 9:10am

Whole30—almost 2 weeks in and how are you all feeling?  I know for me personally, I’m feeling great!  For the first time since before the holidays I am not bloated feeling—thank god!  My sugar cravings are just about gone and I’m no longer having sugar detox headaches like I did the first few days.

I’ve had a couple social engagement successes that I’m proud about—two client dinners to celebrate milestones on our projects.  It’s sometimes hard being the person with a different “diet” than others you are with.  But making the best of it and using your “differnces” to educate others is actually really neat.  I was asked a lot of questions about what I could and couldn’t eat, and was also asked some of the basic science questions as to how this will benefit me.  Most were intersted in what I had to say and instead of feeling like the odd one out, I instead was able to help facilitate a conversation on healthy eating.  At the functions, I wasn’t the least bit missing the fried, breaded appetizers that were being served at either of the events (fried zucchini, tempura asparagus, and fried calamari) or the jumbo lump crab cakes—OK, well there I was a bit sad by not being able to participate since I’m a sucker for jumbo lump crab!  But the feeling of pride and success that I didn’t cave in was just as satisfying.  Likewise, I didn’t really miss the vast amount of wine that were flowing at the events, my sparkling water with lime mocktail was just fine by me!  And dessert—no big deal!  I enjoyed the company of those I was with sipping a cup of hot, black coffee.

Speaking of coffee, I’m drinking it black now and can say that I had no iea what I was missing before.  Two years ago I “drank coffee” twice a day with no less than three sugars AND a heaping serving of the flavored coffee creamers in each cup.  The running joke became “have a little coffee with your sugar.”  Last year at this time when I started to change my eating habits with the 10-Days of Real Food Challenge, I stopped the sugar and switched to milk cold turkey.  I started to appreciate coffee more as the year went on, actually being able to tell the difference between light roasts and dark roasts more and the subtle nuances of the spice notes in each different roast I tasted.  So this year, the switch to black coffee wasn’t nearly as traumatizing.  Honestly, the milk didn’t alter the flavor of the coffee that greatly so dropping the few tablespoons that I had been using wasn’t entirely an issue.

It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns these past two weeks on Whole30 though in terms of social situations and interactions.  There have been a couple cheats.  There have been two occasions that our meeting on the job site for work has extended well into lunch and it was decided by the project Owner that we needed to get lunch at this one particular place down the street that he loves.  Nothing on their menu is Whole30 approved and no, since they are a small lunch place in Boston, they don’t have the time to prepare me something special.  So in both those instances I did the bet I could and had a chicken salad.  Their chicken salad wasn’t mayo based but more vinegar based like an oil and vinegar slaw dressing.  There was a decent amount of sugar in the dressing that held chicken together.  Not perfect but the best I could do given the situation.

Fit Moms & Full Plates:  Pan Seared Salmon with Tomato-Garlic-Spinach

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Pan Seared Salmon with Tomato-Garlic-Spinach

The real test will be this weekend though—living in Patriot Nation we are all amped up for the big game tomorrow.  I am planning on doing a food shopping today for some ingredients to test out some Paleo versions of our favorite bar foods—which for us might be hard considering many of them involve lots of melted cheese!  But I’m up for a challenge!  I’ll let you all know how that goes and hopefully share some options with you all before the Super Bowl!

Last night I tested out my interpretation of the fantastic salmon dish I had at one of my client dinners and it is one that I will continue to make.  The Hubs, a non-fish eater, even had all of his salmon—grudgingly but he still ate it all so that is a success in my book!

Pan Seared Salmon with Tomato-Garlic Spinach

Makes 4-servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-lbs wild salmon fillet
  • 1-bag baby spinach, washed
  • 5-cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can organic, whole peeled tomatoes with juice reserved
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil (or EVOO if you prefer)

Preparation:

Salt and pepper the salmon fillet and place meat side down in a very hot, well oiled pan.  Allow it to form a crust—approximately 3-5 minutes.  Carefully flip and allow the skin to crisp—about 5 more minutes.  Your fish may be done at this point dependinging on the thickness of your salmon fillet.  If you need additional cooking time, finish it off by flipping over to the meat side of he fillet again.  The end result should be a beautiful golden brown.

While the salmon is searing, add the minced garlic to a sautee pan with coconut oil.  After about 1-minute add the washed and dried baby spinach to the pan, turning with tongs to wilt all the spinach and coat with the garlic infused oil.  Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to add the spinach in batches.  When all the spinach is wilted, add the juice from the whole, canned tomatoes.  Prior to adding the tomatoes, hand squeeze the tomatoes so that they are slightly broken apart.  Add the tomatoes, chopped olives, and salt and pepper to taste to the pan and stir.  Allow to simmer for about 3-minutes for all the flavors to combine.

Serve the fillet on top of the tomato-garlic-spinach.  We also served mashed white sweet potatoes with this.  The simple preparation of the salmon with just salt and pepper, along with the simple ingredients of the spinach were a great pairing.  While not exactly like the dish that I had out with clients, it is certainly comparable.

Now that we are about two-weeks into the Whole30 challenge, how is everyone doing?  What are your successes that you are most proud of?  Have there been any challenging social engagements you’ve been in?  Have you started to feel a difference in the way you feel?  We would really like to hear—message us or comment here!

DaniSignature


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