Fish & seafood · Soups, salads, and sandwiches

Mental Health

hump day

I have a confession: Yesterday I took a “mental health day”.  On Monday I got all of my work done for Tuesday, turned it in and decided to stay home. (Maybe I shouldn’t be writing about this because some of my professors read this, sorry guys! But as usual, I am just being 100% honest with you!)

I started my day with a 6 am spin class and a 2 mile jaunt, it felt amazing! I have really been slacking in the fitness department, which is maybe contributing to my high stress level since I am not releasing it. I then hijacked borrowed Joseph’s car for the day to run some errands for the baby shower I am planning for a certain pregnant woman and grab some groceries.

Overall, the day was great and MUCH needed. I got a lot of crafting for the shower done (which is nautical themed) and I was able to re-charge my mind (I have been one big ball of anxiety and stress for the past few weeks. Is it graduation yet?)

Earlier last week Joseph got us tickets to a presentation called “Failure:Lab” (Check out their website here), so that was on the agenda for the evening

“Failure:Lab was founded in 2012 by four professionals from West Michigan. The mission is to eliminate the fear of failure and encourage intelligent risk taking. The events showcase personal stories of failure, publish crowd-sourced lessons, and instigate discussion.”

I loved it. I know that I am pursing a very unconventional route in the dietetics world, which is risky (Writing my rants and ramblings on the internet, developing a cook book, free-lance articles and hopefully opening a café) but it is what I want to do. I am also aware that 80% of small businesses fail within the first 18 months. While I won’t let these stats stop me, I do realize I need to take them into consideration. Failure:lab help to re-ground me. I will encounter pot holes, it will be difficult, but I need to learn to not fear failure, but to embrace it.

After each speaker we were asked to write down the message that we took away from them. At the end we turned in our bulletins with all of our notes and they will be posted on the website within a few days. I can’t wait to read what everyone else took away. Needless to say, I really suggest attending Failure:Lab. So refreshing and motivating!

Okay, enough of my day-dreaming about the future, let’s get to the good stuff: Food!

I haven’t had a chance to make an actual meal in what feels like forever, so I decided to add that to my mental health day. Avocados were on-sale so I knew I wanted that to be in the mix. (My frugal, dutch, college student self tends to cook with whatever is on sale. Can ya’ blame me?? We all love saving money, right?) I also wanted some seafood, veggies, and a little bit of sweetness in the mix. The result?

A baked salmon filet atop a bed of baby spinach with avocado and orange. I thought that my first version was a little bland, so I revised it a little for you all, here it is!

**Disclaimer: We were running a little late for failure:lab and I didn’t get a change to snap a picture of the dishes. So I am posting the picture of the salad from Self Magazine’s recipe which is the recipe I adapted mine from**

Self Magazine Salad Version
Self Magazine Salad Version

Avocado-Orange Salmon Salad

Yield: 2


2, 3-4 oz salmon filets
2 oranges
4 cups baby spinach
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 avocado, sliced length-wise
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
¼ red onion, sliced
1/3 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt

For the salmon: Preheat the oven to 350. Place salmon filets on a lightly greased baking sheet. Juice one of your oranges and pour about ¾ of the juice over the salmon, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the filets flake (the time will depend on the size of them)

For the salads: Take your spinach, parsley, carrot, and onion and divide it evenly between 2 plates. Peel and divide your orange and divide evenly between each plate. Place 1/3 of the sliced avocado onto each plate. The remaining 1/3 will be mashed and used for the dressing.

For the dressing: Combine the 1/3 mashed avocado, the remaining orange juice, and Greek yogurt. Taste and add any salt/pepper/seasonings until it is to your liking.

For the assembly: Place salmon filets atop the bed to spinach/vegetables. Dollop the Greek yogurt dressing atop.

Dig in!

For dessert I made a low-fat strawberry trifle. This recipe is so simple an 8 year old could make it. Here it is:

Simple Strawberry Triple

Yield: about 8 servings


1 container fat-free whipped topping
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix (I used sugar-free)
1 lb fresh strawberries
1 angel food cake (Home-made or store bought, it is up to you)

First, fold the pudding mix into the whipped-topping (Do this very gently so that it doesn’t become soupy!) Tear the angel food cake into bite sized pieces. In a glass bowl alternate layers of cake, sliced strawberries and whipped topping (about 3 repetitions total) Garnish with 1 or 2 whole strawberries.

See, I told you… Simple!

Asparagus Salad Up-date: I have created the recipe with your ingredient requests. It will be debuting this weekend. Stay tuned!




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