Best Time Of Year To Eat Wild Salmon

When I first start working with a new athlete, I will usually review some food logs to see how things are progressing. You know what I see? Chicken. And lots of it! Chicken and broccoli. Chicken on a salad. Chicken on a low carb wrap. While a skinless, free-range chicken breast is a great source of lean protein, my fear is that food boredom is right around the corner. Well now is the perfect time of year to branch out!

Stop into your local fish store and you’ll notice that the once dull and pale shade of peach salmon is now a shiny, vibrant red color. It is now “in-season” for wild Alaskan salmon, so be sure to spend the extra few bucks on the real deal, your taste buds will thank you. And to be honest, this is usually the cheapest time of year to buy wild anyway!

And since we are on the topic, here are some thoughts on salmon in general.  And check out some Core Diet salmon recipes below!   

General Salmon Recommendations:

  1. Best Choice: Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon FAS (frozen at sea)
  2. Second Best Choice: Wild Alaskan King Salmon Fresh
  3. Limit (or Avoid) Consumption: Farmed Atlantic Salmon*

*Note: "Fresh Atlantic Salmon" is generally farmed raised as the name “Atlantic” refers to the species (NOT the origin). The Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for farmed Altantic salmon due to high levels of PCBs.  If you cannot find wild, look for clearly labeled U.S. farmed freshwater coho salmon.

Types of Wild Alaskan Salmon:

Red (Sockeye): has a richer and more intense flavor and color. Its red color is enhanced due to it eating krill, and requires fresh water to grow (salmon run). It actually spends over a year in the fresh water! Red Sockeye is more expensive because it's less abundant.

Pink (Humpback): has a mild flavor and is lighter in color. Upon hatching, the Humpback goes directly into the sea where it is caught. It's actually pink when caught from the sea, however both red and pink do lose a little coloration in the canning process. Pink salmon is definitely less expensive as it is more abundant. 

"I’m getting so bored with canned tuna. What about canned salmon?"

Canned tuna seems to be a staple in many households, but I very rarely see salmon. This is quick and easy as it is shelf stable and fully cooked. There is no thawing or special preparation. And with little to no mercury content, it’s a great way to get those omega-3s in. When fresh wild Alaskan salmon is not in season, this is a great alternative.

Canned Salmon Recommendations:

First, make sure it is WILD ALASKAN. I very rarely see canned salmon that is not, but always double check the label to make sure. You’ll have 2 choices when it comes to canned salmon – red or pink – pick a color!  Nutritionally, they are pretty close, but red salmon has slightly higher fat, vitamin A & D.

Whether you choose red or pink you are still making a good choice as long as it's Wild Alaskan. If it's not, then it's probably farmed and I would definitely look for a brand that is wild. If you are not sure about what color to choose – do a blind taste test! Buy one of each and see which one you prefer. Although red is known to have a superior taste, some people cannot taste the difference between the two. 

What do I do? I purchase both. I’ll use pink if I am using recipes with lots of ingredients such as herbs and mustards, and I’ll save the red for when I am using minimal ingredients, such as lemon juice or vinegar. If you find that it is just too fishy for you, try one of these simple, fast tips:

  1. Adding some fresh squeezed lemon to it first (cuts the fishiness)
  2. Mix it up with Dijon mustard and onions
  3. Mix it up with vinegar and onions

Try one of these Core Diet salmon recipes:

Salmon Burgers

Salmon With Citrus Sauce

Wild Alaskan Salmon Salad

Salmon With Spinach & Feta

Curried Salmon Cakes

~ Jaime

*Salmon comparison photo by www.nofarmedsalmon.com 

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Strategies to Avoid Gut Issues During Exercise

“I Guess I Shouldn’t Have Eaten That”

A common complaint I hear as a sports dietitian is “I can’t eat anything before or during exercise because it causes stomach issues.”

This can be especially problematic for athletes participating in long distance triathlons and running events.  While athletes can often complete short distance triathlons without sports fuels, they will require them for long distance events.  Consumption of fuels prevents bonking and are fundamental for speed and performance. 

Read Full Story

Sea Salt: Is It Worth Emptying Your Wallet?

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Bolivian Rose Sea Salt. Dead Sea Salt. Celtic Sea Salt. Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt. Organic and Natural Sea Salt.

Sea Salts are marketed to us as a more natural and healthy alternative.  But are they any different than table salt?

Yes and No.

What is Sea Salt, anyway?

Read Full Story

Healthify Your Comfort Food

As the colder months roll in and slowly envelop us in frigid air, our food choices start to change.  Our penchant for salad goes by the wayside and we start craving more comforting foods: warm, creamy soups; toasty, gooey casseroles; and oodles of noodles.  All the delicious foods that, if eaten with abandon, help create the lovely padding around our midsection– a thermal layer that keeps up warm through these chilly months.

Read Full Story

Leucine: Improving Muscle Gain & Maintenance

As a triathlete, you work your tail off throughout the season to perform your best in that A race.  The first part of your season consists of building a solid base; gaining strength in the gym that will transition to power on the bike and in the run.  The second half of your season is devoted to speed and continued aerobic improvement.

Read Full Story

Ten Nutrition Tips for the Traveling Triathlete

It’s Monday afternoon and your boss has just informed you, that despite your best efforts to excuse yourself from business travel plans, you’re going anyway.  Before you know it, you’re booked on the 6am flight across the country.  Panic sets in.  My workouts! How am I going to get those key workouts in?  Frantically, you call your coach and somehow, you manage to work out the details. Ok, run a while I’m there, before meetings, after meetings, try to work in a swim, find the local YMCA, got it.  We’re covered.

Read Full Story

Food Logging: Is it a stress worth taking?

Logging your intake. I can’t tell you how important it is. The number one piece of advice I give to my athletes, regardless of if they are just starting out, or a seasoned triathlon veteran, is to start keeping track of what they eat! Even if you have (or think you have) control over nutrition, logging intake is a great learning tool. Besides tracking calories, one can monitor grams of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber. All of which can make or break your training session, or race!

Read Full Story

The Triathlon Fueling Window

I continue to get asked by athletes and coaches about taking a lower carbohydrate approach to fueling long course events. This concept sounds great on the surface, like Total Immersion-style swimming in triathlon, but as you dig deeper, you discover its pitfalls. I’ll sum this concept up as “Metabolic Efficiency Training – By Nutrition Modification” (low carb approach). I add the nutrition modification piece, as training via proper intensity ranges provides “Metabolic Efficiency” without tinkering with nutrition and is a proven concept.

Read Full Story

Detoxing Your Holiday Toxins Away

As we spend the last day of 2013, I bet many people are pondering about the changes they will make in 2014, and they will surely include some sort of health goal. For some, it can be easy to wake up tomorrow and start off on the right foot. But for others, it can be daunting to take that big leap.
Although one of the big reasons the Core Diet is so successful (besides the fact that we focus on real, nutrient dense foods) is that it is realistic. We allow “windows” for those foods that are not on the top of the “eat this” list, as well as a non-Core meal every once in a while (determined by your RD). However, some individuals can go a bit overboard during the holidays!

Read Full Story

Running In Cold Weather: Why You Need To Do This

It’s hard for me to think about bundling up in layers for a run when its still in the 80’s down here in South Florida. But as I pack for my upcoming New England trip, I am reminded of the weather reports in the rest of the country. Snow is trickling down on branches, and runners are seeing their breath before the words “hello” come out of their mouths as they pass a local running buddy. It’s also hard for many to imagine that sweat loss is going to occur when you are about to endure a run in 35-degree weather. But guess what? You still need to hydrate!

Read Full Story

When I first start working with a new athlete, I will usually review some food logs to see how things are progressing. You know what I see? Chicken. And lots of it! Chicken and broccoli. Chicken on a salad. Chicken on a low carb wrap. While a skinless, free-range chicken breast is a great source of lean protein, my fear is that food boredom is right around the corner. Well now is the perfect time of year to branch out!

Stop into your local fish store and you’ll notice that the once dull and pale shade of peach salmon is now a shiny, vibrant red color. It is now “in-season” for wild Alaskan salmon, so be sure to spend the extra few bucks on the real deal, your taste buds will thank you. And to be honest, this is usually the cheapest time of year to buy wild anyway!

And since we are on the topic, here are some thoughts on salmon in general.  And check out some Core Diet salmon recipes below!   

General Salmon Recommendations:

  1. Best Choice: Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon FAS (frozen at sea)
  2. Second Best Choice: Wild Alaskan King Salmon Fresh
  3. Limit (or Avoid) Consumption: Farmed Atlantic Salmon*

*Note: "Fresh Atlantic Salmon" is generally farmed raised as the name “Atlantic” refers to the species (NOT the origin). The Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for farmed Altantic salmon due to high levels of PCBs.  If you cannot find wild, look for clearly labeled U.S. farmed freshwater coho salmon.

Types of Wild Alaskan Salmon:

Red (Sockeye): has a richer and more intense flavor and color. Its red color is enhanced due to it eating krill, and requires fresh water to grow (salmon run). It actually spends over a year in the fresh water! Red Sockeye is more expensive because it's less abundant.

Pink (Humpback): has a mild flavor and is lighter in color. Upon hatching, the Humpback goes directly into the sea where it is caught. It's actually pink when caught from the sea, however both red and pink do lose a little coloration in the canning process. Pink salmon is definitely less expensive as it is more abundant. 

"I’m getting so bored with canned tuna. What about canned salmon?"

Canned tuna seems to be a staple in many households, but I very rarely see salmon. This is quick and easy as it is shelf stable and fully cooked. There is no thawing or special preparation. And with little to no mercury content, it’s a great way to get those omega-3s in. When fresh wild Alaskan salmon is not in season, this is a great alternative.

Canned Salmon Recommendations:

First, make sure it is WILD ALASKAN. I very rarely see canned salmon that is not, but always double check the label to make sure. You’ll have 2 choices when it comes to canned salmon – red or pink – pick a color!  Nutritionally, they are pretty close, but red salmon has slightly higher fat, vitamin A & D.

Whether you choose red or pink you are still making a good choice as long as it's Wild Alaskan. If it's not, then it's probably farmed and I would definitely look for a brand that is wild. If you are not sure about what color to choose – do a blind taste test! Buy one of each and see which one you prefer. Although red is known to have a superior taste, some people cannot taste the difference between the two. 

What do I do? I purchase both. I’ll use pink if I am using recipes with lots of ingredients such as herbs and mustards, and I’ll save the red for when I am using minimal ingredients, such as lemon juice or vinegar. If you find that it is just too fishy for you, try one of these simple, fast tips:

  1. Adding some fresh squeezed lemon to it first (cuts the fishiness)
  2. Mix it up with Dijon mustard and onions
  3. Mix it up with vinegar and onions

Try one of these Core Diet salmon recipes:

Salmon Burgers

Salmon With Citrus Sauce

Wild Alaskan Salmon Salad

Salmon With Spinach & Feta

Curried Salmon Cakes

~ Jaime

*Salmon comparison photo by www.nofarmedsalmon.com 

“I Guess I Shouldn’t Have Eaten That”

A common complaint I hear as a sports dietitian is “I can’t eat anything before or during exercise because it causes stomach issues.”

This can be especially problematic for athletes participating in long distance triathlons and running events.  While athletes can often complete short distance triathlons without sports fuels, they will require them for long distance events.  Consumption of fuels prevents bonking and are fundamental for speed and performance. 

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Bolivian Rose Sea Salt. Dead Sea Salt. Celtic Sea Salt. Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt. Organic and Natural Sea Salt.

Sea Salts are marketed to us as a more natural and healthy alternative.  But are they any different than table salt?

Yes and No.

What is Sea Salt, anyway?

As the colder months roll in and slowly envelop us in frigid air, our food choices start to change.  Our penchant for salad goes by the wayside and we start craving more comforting foods: warm, creamy soups; toasty, gooey casseroles; and oodles of noodles.  All the delicious foods that, if eaten with abandon, help create the lovely padding around our midsection– a thermal layer that keeps up warm through these chilly months.

As a triathlete, you work your tail off throughout the season to perform your best in that A race.  The first part of your season consists of building a solid base; gaining strength in the gym that will transition to power on the bike and in the run.  The second half of your season is devoted to speed and continued aerobic improvement.

It’s Monday afternoon and your boss has just informed you, that despite your best efforts to excuse yourself from business travel plans, you’re going anyway.  Before you know it, you’re booked on the 6am flight across the country.  Panic sets in.  My workouts! How am I going to get those key workouts in?  Frantically, you call your coach and somehow, you manage to work out the details. Ok, run a while I’m there, before meetings, after meetings, try to work in a swim, find the local YMCA, got it.  We’re covered.

Logging your intake. I can’t tell you how important it is. The number one piece of advice I give to my athletes, regardless of if they are just starting out, or a seasoned triathlon veteran, is to start keeping track of what they eat! Even if you have (or think you have) control over nutrition, logging intake is a great learning tool. Besides tracking calories, one can monitor grams of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber. All of which can make or break your training session, or race!

I continue to get asked by athletes and coaches about taking a lower carbohydrate approach to fueling long course events. This concept sounds great on the surface, like Total Immersion-style swimming in triathlon, but as you dig deeper, you discover its pitfalls. I’ll sum this concept up as “Metabolic Efficiency Training – By Nutrition Modification” (low carb approach). I add the nutrition modification piece, as training via proper intensity ranges provides “Metabolic Efficiency” without tinkering with nutrition and is a proven concept.

As we spend the last day of 2013, I bet many people are pondering about the changes they will make in 2014, and they will surely include some sort of health goal. For some, it can be easy to wake up tomorrow and start off on the right foot. But for others, it can be daunting to take that big leap.
Although one of the big reasons the Core Diet is so successful (besides the fact that we focus on real, nutrient dense foods) is that it is realistic. We allow “windows” for those foods that are not on the top of the “eat this” list, as well as a non-Core meal every once in a while (determined by your RD). However, some individuals can go a bit overboard during the holidays!

It’s hard for me to think about bundling up in layers for a run when its still in the 80’s down here in South Florida. But as I pack for my upcoming New England trip, I am reminded of the weather reports in the rest of the country. Snow is trickling down on branches, and runners are seeing their breath before the words “hello” come out of their mouths as they pass a local running buddy. It’s also hard for many to imagine that sweat loss is going to occur when you are about to endure a run in 35-degree weather. But guess what? You still need to hydrate!

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