Do you keep a journal? Or should I say, “Do you keep a diary?” It is a fun process of keeping track of what you are doing in life. In the words of Christina Baldwin, “Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” It is an avenue to record your reflections. I concur with the fact that the human brain can remember many things via our memories; however, we can support our memory banks by journaling (e.g., manually and electronically). Journaling is recording the inner deliberations of our subconscious. It is a voyage of self-revelation and discovery. In the words of Robin Sharma, “Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.” So, once again, I am here anew today, digging up memories of years past about the fun times I had living in Northern California by way of the City of Oakland on Harrison Street. Take a journey with me back to Friday, December 29, 2006, when I tried my hands in the kitchen trying to prepare a healthy and artsy Salmon dish that I christened, “Salmon de la Nish.” Let’s start my adventure down memory lane.
“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.” — Robin Sharma.
On this day, I was playing around in the kitchen and trying out new healthy dish recipes and attempting to make my plating as pleasant as possible—talk about the meticulous and artsy nature in me coming to bear. Food is very vital to our earthly existence. The lack of food could be detrimental to our health, to say the very least. However, what we eat could also be of either positive or negative value. Eating healthy is of great importance to everyone, to say the very least. In the words of Hippocrates, the Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (or Classical Greece), once said that “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Unfortunately, we do ourselves much harm when we stuff our bodies with unhealthy foods—junk foods or foods with high amounts of unhealthy cholesterol. Now, the movie documentary “Supersize Me,” originally released on June 11, 2004, and directed by Morgan Spurlock, will open your eyes to what I am saying about the dangers of eating cholesterol heavy meals. In a nutshell, the documentary highlights the physical and psychological changes and challenges Spurlock experienced by eating only McDonald’s burgers for a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003—talk about a harrowing experience.
Our eating norms say a lot about us as individuals and as a culture. Today, many of us are steadily on the go, and we resort to eating “fast” foods. We want something whipped up fast that we can eat on the fly as we drive through traffic during rush hour. Or we hunt down “fast” foods because we need to eat as fast as possible during our short lunch breaks. From what I see around me, I can plainly say that the United States is fast food culture. We are currently fighting a battle of the bulge (obesity). We are eating a lot of unhealthy food on the go, and we are more sedentary than ever. Junk meal leads to obesity, and obesity can lead to death. In my opinion, eating unhealthy food is a thing of the mind. One bite at a time, we lay the foundation blocks of our unhealthy lifestyle. One bite at a time, it becomes a habit. Making junk food eating a custom in our lives adds pounds, increases the body mass, raises blood cholesterol, inflicts us with mood swings, causes sexual dysfunction, and leads to fat accumulation in the liver. I will not encumber you with so many details of unhealthy food eating and obesity. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does a good job in expounding the details for this disease via the link on their website “Adult Overweight and Obesity.”
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates.
Now, when it comes to cooking, I dabble a little here and there in the kitchen from time to time, and I endeavor to eat as healthy as possible. It’s not always an easy feat, but its core is making an effort to continue the health habit trend. So on Friday, December 29, 2006, I decided to prepare a delightful healthy salmon dish for myself, and I called it Salmon de la Nish —what an appellation, right? The dish was quite simple to cook, to say the very least. The ingredients used were spinach, onions, Habanero peppers, and Salmon, of course. First, I simmered the salmon for about seven minutes with two bulbs of diced onions, with some seasonings for taste—light salt, curry, Maggi/Bouillon cubes. I also added two habanero peppers—I love my food to have a little bit of heat to it—not atomic hot—just a zing of heat. I then removed the salmon from the simmering onions and sautéed or pan-fried it with a slight hint of olive oil for about ten minutes—flipping it over from time to time. I then added the spinach to the simmering onions, where I pulled the salmon from. I then cooked it for about fifteen minutes, after which I drained the remaining water out. I then dished it out, attempting to make my plating as creative as possible. I then sat down to a delicious healthy supper, and I must say, it was very gratifying.
As I sit back reminiscing about my time cooking and plating my healthy food creation, Salmon de la Nish, I am rhetorically asking myself—Why Salmon? What makes salmon so healthy, and why should we add it to our list of favorite meals? Folks, I will refer you all to an article I read titled “11 Impressive Health Benefits of Salmon,” written by Franziska Spritzler on December 20, 2016, for a more in-depth look at the benefits. Looking at this article from a birds-eye perspective and extracting facts from it, we can see the health benefits of eating salmon succinctly. First, the fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Second, they are a leading source of high-quality protein. Third, they are excellent sources of B vitamins (i.e., Vitamin B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 12). Fourth, they are high in Potassium, which controls blood pressure and reduces excess fluid retention in the body. Fifth, they are packed with Selenium, the trace mineral found in soil and certain foods. (NB. Selenium aids in protecting bone health and improves thyroid function). Sixth, salmon contains the antioxidant Astaxanthin, which gives it its red coloration and beneficial for the heart, brain, nervous system, and skin.
Seventh, eating salmon regularly can help people reduce the risk of heart disease. Eight, salmon can help you reduce your weight and help you keep it off. Okay, now this is a great benefit. Junk foods help you negatively pack on the weight, but salmon can help you shed some extra pounds and help you sustain a healthy weight—you can’t beat that. Ninth, salmon can help fight inflammation—which is the body’s way of healing and protecting itself from harm. Tenth, it may assist in the protection of the brain and improving its functions. Eleventh, salmon is very delicious and versatile—you can prepare it in various ways. You can steam it, sauté it, smoke it, grill it, bake it, or poach it—for me, I like it sautéed or fried or baked. Some people choose and enjoy eating salmon raw as sushi or sashimi; however, this is not my forte or how I enjoy eating my salmon. All I can say is that the fish, salmon, is a mitochondrion of delicious goodness with a Herculean load of wholesome benefits. I enjoy and relish it a lot, and you may want to consider adding it to your diet as your journey towards achieving your healthy eating goal habits.
So, I urge everyone to get into the habit of eating healthy; in doing so, you can add some salmon to your diet. You don’t have to break the bank in other to whip out a healthy meal delicacy. You could prepare a healthy meal delicacy on a low or medium budget—even a salmon dish. As you get into the kitchen, have fun as you dabble. Be creative in your plating efforts and techniques. It is always fun to see how adventurous some people can get while plating their foods. So, have fun as you dabble! Now, before I end this piece out of my diary column, I must encourage you to cut down on cholesterol-laden foods today for your own good. Rethink your life before you take another bite of junk food. Is it worth the health risk and heartache that you will encounter should your body break down because of eating junk and high cholesterol food? Remember that—Health is wealth. Eat right and live life!