There is nothing sexy about a flat-faced fish. Its got two eyes on one side, looks kinda slimy and seems like it should have stayed in the prehistoric era; but this freaky fish may hold the key to you squeezing into your swimsuit this summer. Whether you're rocking a one piece, speedo or bikini this little guy, like all his seafood friends, can help us shed our winter weight in a surprisingly short period of time.
When I work with diabetic patients that are trying to lower their BMI or raise their HDL-cholesterol I try and get them to start cooking up some of this protein packed superfood. However, I have to admit, I do get some resistance, it may be because some people don't know what the seafood tastes like or their parents, 30 years ago, didn't like it and that carried over. Well, nothing says summer like a seafood festival so let's use these events as an opportunity to sample some seafood without all the work.
This weekend New York City was full of fresh catches, from the 2nd Annual Summer in the City: Surf & Turf Festival to a classic crawfish boil at Brooklyn's Freehold, a hybrid work/hang space with food that has hipsters packed in like sardines.
Now, surf and turf feels like a decadent feast but keep in mind that seafood is shockingly low in calories and has super high nutrient values. Seafood contains all of those things that you don't normally get in your diet, such as vitamin D, omega-3s, iodine, and zinc. If you have never tried poke, oysters, squid, or grouper a festival can allow you to dive into the world of seafood without being caught in the trap of purchasing a full meal that might not be something you enjoy. It also allows you to be adventurous in bite size form. For instance, the Surf and Turf Festival featured dozens of chefs like Michelin-star chef April Bloomfield with partner Ken Friedman of the Spotted Pig, Momofuku Milk Bar, The Meatball Shop, Jacob's Pickles, Shake Shack and AG Kitchen -- each offering a different version of the land and sea menu concept.
Just the introduction of new foods can help affect your health for years. For adults, at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week are recommended, keep in mind if you're pregnant or a child that differs but let's keep in simple and say you're a healthy adult. A serving size is 3.5 ounces (99 grams), or about the size of a iPhone 5.
Generally speaking, you can go nuts on seafood, a whole lobster has less than 150 calories with all the WOW factor. Crawfish only have 75 calories per serving and are super fun to eat on a warm summer night. That means I could have eaten 20 oz. or 1.5 lbs. of crawfish and only taken in 500 nutrient filled calories! The omega-3 fatty acids in the crawfish may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, decrease risk of stroke and heart failure, reduce irregular heartbeats, and in children may improve learning ability. And for those of your worried about the high-cholesterol ratings in some of these crustaceans, know that, it's all in their head -- no really, shrimp and crawfish have a bunch of cholesterol in them but it's only in the head, which we don't usually eat.
So, don't be sad if you missed out on the gluttony of my weekend there are tons of seafood festivals across America this summer. Below are just a few where you can slurp, crack and bite your way to wellness.
Be Fearless, Be Full.