Tag Archives: Omega 3’s

Getting Fish Into Your Budget

Eating fish gives your body an internal massage.  Fatty fish like salmon, trout, sardines and blue fish are really high in omega 3’s which reduce inflammation and artery clogging triglycerides.  In particular, it’s the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA that have all kinds of health benefits.  According to WebMD eating 2-3 servings of fatty fish a week can:

  • reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering triglycerides
  • reduce inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma
  • reduce the risk of dementia
  • reduce symptoms of ADHD
  • reduce symptoms of depression

With these kinds of benefits, can’t you hear your blood vessels purring?  And from my anecdotal experience I have brought my triglycerides down to 51 without medication, well below the guidelines of 100 and have been able to cut my asthma inhaler dose in half.  Between the fish I eat on a regular basis and my daily smoothie that is loaded with flax seed, containing another omega 3, ALA, I feel the best I have felt in years.

The Cost Of Fish

I discussed five different ways of preparing fish in the last post.  Three of the recipes were different ways of preparing salmon by cooking it once and recreating different meals in order to save time and not get bored with leftovers.  The total budget for the five meals in the last post came to $102 for a family of four.  That comes out to $5.10 per meal.  That might be more expensive than hot dogs and chips but the comparison ends there.  Eating fish will make you feel better, reduce health complications, possibly reduce the need for as many cholesterol lowering meds, asthma meds, blood pressure meds, arthritis meds and even antidepressants.  Now go enjoy that hot dog.  Your mouth and stomach might be humming right now, but the rest of your body will not be purring.

How To Get Fish Into Your Food Budget

The salmon was $8.99 a pound and the cod was $7.99 a pound – more expensive than most meals unless you can get in on a really good sale. But you can still make it work if you look at the overall picture.  You can offset the cost of fish meals by making other meals during the week much less expensive.  On the weeks you choose to eat salmon make some vegetarian or meatless meals.  My lentil soup recipe costs less than ten dollars and serves eight.

frittata

Frittata – tata!

My Frittata also costs less than ten dollars, makes eight servings, and can be served for breakfast or dinner. It’s delicious in a wrap with some spinach and grated cheese and salsa.

Both these meals, at $1.25 a serving, make enough for two meals for a family of four and can offset the expense of the fish meals.

And there are cheaper sources of fatty fish like sardines that are just as high in omega 3’s.

You Can Do The Fish Meal Shuffle On A Budget

My meal shuffle is all about preparing really healthy meals with less time and money.  The pork and beans meal shuffle came to $3.75 per meal and the chicken and barley meal shuffle came to $4.16 per meal.  Buying meat and fish on sale certainly will reduce the cost.  And cooking things like grains, beans and even soups in abundance and freezing, are all time-saving tips that can keep you from going out to eat.  In a study done by JAMA internal medicine, the average calorie count of a sit down meal at a restaurant was 1,128 calories.   My meals are less than 500 calories and will have your body purring.  Now that’s a loud ME-OOOOOW!!!

 

It’s About Inflammation, Not Your Weight!

We are our own harshest critics when it comes to our weight.   Appearance is usually the motivator for losing weight, but often times that is not enough to make the weight loss stick.  There is a stronger motivator but it is not as visible.  Shifting the focus from weight to the burning fire within your body is the best reason and the one that will give you the greatest payback.

Testing For Inflammation

What if your focus is on reducing the slow burning up of our body by inflammation?  This is what leads to the slow destruction of our organs and interferes with our ability to function at our best. fire It leads to chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, dementia, depression and cancer.  Even though we may not “feel” inflammation, there is a strong likelihood that it is there if any of these diseases are present.  It can be tested for by checking C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood.  Generally there is no CRP in the blood.  The presence of CRP is an indication that you have inflammation.  This is not a routine test because it is not disease specific and can lead to a plethora of further testing to identify the source of inflammation. There is also a more sensitive test, the high-sensitivity c-reactive protein or hs-CRP that can be done to test specifically for heart disease.  Results greater than 3 mg/L indicate high risk for cardiovascular disease.

Instead of going through the expensive testing assume that if you are obese with a BMI greater than 30, are feeling tired, are not getting adequate sleep, are being treated for heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, GERD or depression, there is a strong likelihood that there is inflammation.  How about making small changes that can smother the burn, soothe your organs and restore your energy?

Smothering the Burn of Inflammation

Instead of focusing on the scale, make your goal smothering the fire.  Let’s break it down into actions you can take starting tomorrow.

  1. Walk for 10 minutes several times every day.  Walk fast enough to breath a little hard and swing your arms.  Doing this for ten minutes after a meal can diminish the rise in blood sugars and insulin levels that often occur after eating.  Large swings in blood sugars and insulin levels can lead to weight gain.
  2. Take the stairs whenever you have a chance.  No more elevators unless it’s greater than three floors.
  3. Set a sleep schedule time and get a minimum of seven hours of sleep.  We know adequate sleep helps fat metabolism.  Too much fat, especially around the belly, is the fuel for inflammation.
  4. Avoid toxins from things like mercury (choose low mercury fish from below), excessive alcohol, and pesticides.
  5. Eliminate allergens that may be contributing to asthma and bowel disorders.  Lactose and wheat are fairly common ones.
  6. Eat fewer processed foods and whole fat dairy that are full of the inflammatory-causing trans and saturated fats.
  7. Eat more high Omega 3 foods:
  • Fish – particularly sardines, striped bass, wild salmon, herring and anchovies.
  • Eat two tbsp. of ground flax seed daily.  You can put it in hot cereal (after cooking), add it to sauces or put it in a smoothie.
  • Eat two tbsp. of walnuts daily- this makes a perfect topping for oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Eat one serving of either Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and watercress daily.

8.  Eat more foods high in antioxidants like kidney and pinto beans, berries-especially blue berries, and artichoke hearts.

Try gradually adding these actions to your daily routine, be mindful of your energy level and see what wonderful things will happen one month from now.  Instead of your body burning up, your body and mind will be more stable and alert and you will notice some of those clothes fitting much better as a byproduct without even focusing on your weight!