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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Getting Fit: Consider getting more fish into your diet

Joe Marchilena

The line between bravery and stupidity easily gets blurred, but last week, I felt like I was closer to the former when I decided to make a trip to Whole Foods a mere four days after it opened.

I’d driven by on its first day of business, thankfully heading toward downtown Nashua. Traffic was backed up a good way on Amherst Street,
and I could see a police officer at the plaza entrance, directing cars in and out of the parking lot. ...

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The line between bravery and stupidity easily gets blurred, but last week, I felt like I was closer to the former when I decided to make a trip to Whole Foods a mere four days after it opened.

I’d driven by on its first day of business, thankfully heading toward downtown Nashua. Traffic was backed up a good way on Amherst Street,
and I could see a police officer at the plaza entrance, directing cars in and out of the parking lot.

When Friday rolled around, and my better half suggested checking it out – specifically the bar inside the store – I figured why not? Maybe we’d get there early enough that the happy hour crowd wouldn’t have arrived yet, we could get a bite to eat and then explore the store.

Didn’t happen. Forced to park in the row closest to the street, there were no seats at the bar, or the surrounding tables, or the couches at the front. We did get to enjoy a drink, but food was out of the question, so we began our trek around Whole Foods on empty stomachs.

Since she’d gone grocery shopping earlier in the week, I thought our chances were good of not making too many impulse buys.

But then a strange thing happened. We walked by a display of frozen fish – I’m not sure what kind, as I glanced too quickly – when she said “Oh look, fish. We should eat more of that.”

I’m not sure if she noticed, but I did a double take. Here was my wife, who doesn’t much care for seafood, saying we should eat more of it. I wondered for a moment if maybe we should have stuck around the bar to eat. Or maybe we’d been there too long.

It’s probably a safe bet that most of you reading this don’t eat enough fish – including me.

My problem is preparing it. I’ll go to the store, think I should buy some, and then it sits in the freezer for a while. I see it every time I go in there and think that I should really figure out a way to cook it, and when I do, it’s never as good as I hoped.

Jane Brody, who has written for years about science and nutrition, recently wrote in the New York Times about the reasons to eat fish.

For your health is the first reason you probably thought of, and Brody says that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help with a number of health issues, including cancer, stroke and depression.

Brody recommends grilling fish outside if the smell of cooking it bothers you. Or get it when you dine out.

If you are cooking it yourself, if it appears to be done, you’ve overcooked it, according to Brody. Stop cooking while the fish still looks a little raw, and by the time you’ve got it on a plate and ready to eat, the fish will be ready to be eaten.

There are also types of fish that are better than others. Salmon, mackerel, bluefish, herring and sardines are high in omega-3s, while shrimp, lobster and squid tend to be high in cholesterol.

Personally, I pass on the lobster. I prefer things that look like sea monsters to remain in the books I read.

Joe Marchilena writes a weekly fitness
column for Hampshire Hills. To find out more information about the “90 Day Commit to
Get Fit” program, call 673-7123 or email
hhinfo@hampshirehills.com.