I have been going through a study with a group of remarkable women and the title of the book is Made to Crave: Action Plan. Every other week I write down what I learned and share some of the great tips on nutrition that hit home for me.
The emphasis on this week is fish and fiber. I shared a bit last time about fiber (you can find that post here). Today I will share what I learned…and a bit of my own “unique” perspective on fish. You might want to sit down for this because you are going to dive right into my mind and how I think for a sec.
I knew this day was going to come and I would have to face these inner issues with fish. 😦 Eating fish for me is SO HARD! I went to Red Lobster for the first time about a month ago and I basically hated every minute of it. I think I heard the fish crying “help me”…or at least the lobsters at the front of the waiting area. I couldn’t look at them…they were so sad.
My hesitation with eating fish/seafood isn’t because of the taste so much…it is because of what it is. All of this meat eating philosophy of animals started in high school when I was in a science class and part of our learning was dissecting a cat. Yep. (gag me with a wooden spoon!) That is where all this different type of thinking started and I really don’t know anyone else who thinks quite like me about this topic…here are a few facts to know about me that you need to be aware of so you can understand a bit where I am coming from:
- I am not a fish lover. Never have been. Tuna is even a stretch for me to eat.
- I was a vegetarian for 2 years. You would never know that now cause I can eat bacon by the package. Growing up in Iowa…where cows and pigs are around every corner…I was not the norm. My family let me know that, especially at Thanksgiving. I went through 2 of those holidays not eating that bird.
- I understand that meat comes from animals…I really do.
- I don’t like tofu…at all. That just isn’t an option for me.
- I know that eggs were the start of little baby chickens…I get that. If you tell me that though when I’m making eggs or the thought gets in my head…I need at least 24 hours to get over that before I can eat them again.
- I see the fish…and their faces…and all I can think of is how they were just swimming around without a care in the world…and loving their little fish life.
Part of this whole study with Made to Crave: Action Plan is eating better and getting the nutrition stuff down. For me, personally, part of that is mental. I know fish is good for me but it is just so hard for me to get past that mental aspect of what they are…animals…that were just swimming.
*right now you are saying…FREAK!…or laughing at me. I don’t understand it myself and know it is odd. This is just what goes through my head as I am eating some things…and I even have trouble with canned peaches because they remind me of goldfish. I know.*
I got all brave last week and made it my mission to cook fish. That was my first step. Wait…first I had to buy it. Buying it…THAT is my first step.
I took some deep breathes and marched into Costco with my 6 year old. The frozen fish aisle was the last area I had to go to (and wanted to go)…so we hit all the samples and fun stuff first. It was all part of the mental prep work I was doing. ;0 I had determination though…I had to leave that store with fish. That was my goal. But through our journey through the million kazillion aisles I saw this one sad…really cold row of packages…and it broke my heart. I thought maybe I could make fresh fish…but not after seeing their little tiny faces staring back at me through the thin layer of saran wrap. I had to swallow the throw-up that was starting to come up in my mouth and keep marching on to the frozen section where no animals could stare back at me.
The book, Made to Crave: Action Plan, talks about what the best fish are for you…and I conveniently forgot to bring any type of notes so I could remember what those were. So I am standing in the gigantic aisle of frozen fish and had no clue what to do. I started reading them and just had to put the thought away that I was holding FISH!!!! It was in my hand. If you would have come up behind me at that point I probably would have jumped and dropped it…and ran.
I did remember a few things though…and here are some tips for you about what the best fish are and what to buy when shopping:
- Omega-3’s are the good things…they keep you healthy and are important for factors such as heart disease, arthritis, allergies, cognitive loss, depression, diabetes and again. This hit home for me because I have some gray hair (shh!) and one of our kids has some pretty severe anxiety and at times seems depressed. Heart disease and diabetes runs in my family and being a mom I am pretty sure that since I was pregnant the first time…my memory function is at a much lower level.
- Omega-6’s are the fatty acids and are necessary for health but can be bad for you if you eat too many of them. Did not know this. I thought fish was fish.
- Talapia is the worst and actually has more bad Omega -6’s in it than the good Omega-3’s. Don’t buy it EVER! In the video of our study they actually threw it in the trash…it is that bad.
- The best stuff to eat is Mackerel (which I don’t even know what that is), second best is Salmon and then Cod. Salmon and Cod can be found at pretty much any store.
I managed to find a box of fish that was called Wild Alaskan Salmon that had 6 fillets in it for about $15. I had no idea at that point if it was a good purchase since I didn’t have my notes but apparently it was a good choice…as far as health. 😉 The best thing for me too…since I have absolutely no idea how to cook fish…is it came with some sort of marinade. All I had to do was basically put it in the oven.
Eating the fish was my second obtsacle…because there is some mental work that has to be done there too. I think it all would have been okie dokie until I saw that there was a layer of fish scales, skin, grossness…whatever you want to call it…at the bottom of the fish. I managed to get it all down though and get some good Omega-3’s in my body.
I DID IT! My kids also did it too and I was really proud of them for trying new things with me and not complaining or whining the entire time about how yucky it is. That would have sent me over the edge.
My new goal is to eat fish at least once a week. It might be the same one over and over until I am ready to try a new thing…but I am doing it. It is a small change for me.
Do you eat fish regularly? If so, share how you cook it and/or what you do to help it taste great. Put those comments down and help me out…would ya? 🙂
Our word for this week in this book study is also important…because it tied right in to a post I wrote last week. As I opened up the attachment that reveals the word I almost fell off my chair. Right there in front of me was a huge word that said “DETERMINED”. That word meant so much at that point because I had just ate fish and I was pretty determined to accomplish that task. This word can mean so much more though…
I saw this word play out so well during 12 weeks of a challenge that we had going on here at The Journey called The Small Changes Challenge. Fish wasn’t a part of it…but a lot of other small changes were. It was 12 weeks of building a profile of exercises, nutrition and mental work that would lead to a better lifestyle. Everyone has a different route that they take in their own journey so some weeks are harder for some…but easy for others. It is all You vs. You though…and the challenge for each person to finish. We started with many of you and ended with a handful that actually finished this challenge completely…and I congratulate all of you that thought about joining us, got through some of it and those who finished. We do have a winner though!
WINNER OF THE SMALL CHANGES CHALLENGE (GROUP 1) and PRIZE INFO: The winner of our first group will win a new gray workout tank valued at $22, Larabar variety pack of 3 bars (my favorite!) and pampering package with some great things for women who need a little spa day at home. Winner…you know how to contact us here at The Journey. 😉
*****and the winner is….Margaret Mulligan******
We have another group that has been working hard on The Small Changes Challenge for 8 weeks. Those who have been working hard on this…DON’T GIVE UP! Just don’t. 🙂
Thanks for being part of The Journey!