My fingers aren’t moving much; it feels a lot like the pathetic, dried-out plant on my desk – the one I look at to see flourishing, lush life that helps me feel inspired about writing something great for readers like you. Maybe I should get a new plant…
That plant won’t work well for today, but food will. I’m always inspired by food – I think about it nearly all day long: what I’m going to have for dinner tonight, tomorrow night, next Thanksgiving; how I plan to drink more milk and eat more yogurt; what I can do to help Kendall (the kiddo) stop furiously shaking her head at the applesauce I offer her; the dreamy cheeseburgers I will meticulously build after my next exhausting long run. You see, food follows me all day, every day. It is my obsession and it inspired my career. And suddenly my mind feels more like it’s overrun with tree branches weaving in and out of each other, full of idea leaves. Oy. I guess I don’t need that plant for inspiration after all.
Just when it’s time to direct the food energy I have, Kevin (the husband) tells me he has to eat baked fish 10 times this month to earn 20 wellness points. (To put this into perspective, 1000 wellness points = 1 paid vacation day from work.) First, I think, “WHAT?! Do you know how NOT EASY that challenge is for anyone WITHOUT decent working knowledge of food preparation. And for only 20 points? Ummm…who wants to eat canned tuna fish 10 times a month. Who’s even going to do this? Kevin, you’re doing this and here’s how.” The planning commenced.
(I get the idea behind this challenge: baked, grilled, broiled fish is relatively low in saturated fat (the nasty artery-clogging stuff), a good source of quality protein (hello, speedy recovery and building/maintaining lean body mass – good for everyone) and some types have that heart-healthy stuff we’re told to get more of – Omega-3s. But even knowing the good things we’re getting doesn’t often inspire us to actually follow through and DO it.)
I’m a creature of habit and don’t mind repetition (in fact, I prefer it – change unnerves me most of the time). Lucky for my meal planning, Kevin isn’t picky and doesn’t mind eating slight variations of similar things frequently. No drumroll necessary for fish but if you want to add a little excitement to the fish in your life, I suggest a little finger drum-rolling upon presenting these delicious fishy food finds to your family, friends, co-workers or pets (if you so choose to dine with furry friends).
Fish Tacos: cook 8 ounces tilapia with your favorite salt-free taco or fajita seasoning in a large skillet until fully cooked and easy to flake, about 12 minutes. Top each of 3 or 4 tortillas with equal portions of fish, a sprinkle of cheese, fresh pico de gallo and avocado slices. Voila! 15 minutes and you have a meal.
Salmon with Balsamic-Orange Glaze: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup orange juice, 2-4 tbsp. brown sugar and 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar; simmer 20-30 minutes until glaze thickens or until you become impatient and cannot wait to eat your delicious fish dish any longer. Meanwhile, grill or bake about 1 pound of salmon until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Farenheit – about 7-8 minutes per side. Serve balsamic-orange-topped salmon with side of steamed veggies so your heart will know you really love it.
Fish is your friend, not foe. Fuel your life and your runs with good things. Eat up, fish-loving friends! Ya know…for the fish of it!