Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mediterranean Halibut And Asparagus

I often find myself wanting to bestow words of weight loss and health wisdom to my readers when I am not feeling particularly wise myself. Only a few days into the New Year, I'm finding myself still craving the holiday sugar. Although all my cookies and pies are gone, I'm reminded of how addicted my body gets to sugar when it has it. Every day I wake up thinking, "No sweets today, no sweets today," but by the afternoon, the cravings start. I've always been aware that my body's reaction to sugar is really strong, but I'm noticing the same problem with a lot of my clients as well. The New Year is here, and we all want to start off on the right foot, but the sugar withdrawal keeps sucking us back in. "Cookies!" It calls. "Pies! Chocolate!" It makes me think of that scene in Mannequin where Hollywood is complaining about the doughnuts calling to him at night. "Hollywood! Oh Hollywood! Come and get me Hollywood!" It's comical, but for many of us, not so funny in reality.

So what do I do about this sugar addiction? Going gluten-free was easy for me because my emotional reaction to gluten was so severe and obvious. Going sugar free? Not so easy. Not such a clear line for me. But one I'm seriously contemplating as I sit here eating a gluten-free cookie and wondering where my willpower went. I think the sugar ate it.

I'll be doing the Whole Life Nutrition elimination diet in the next month or so (I'm going on vacation next week so I'll start soon after I get back), and I'm hoping to get some clarity on my feelings about sugar. If nothing else, the detox from sugar should help eliminate my cravings. But right now I'm feeling rather addicted, and frustrated that I keep eating something that makes my body feel so uncomfortable. Were I the kind of person that could eat a small piece and then be done for the day, I would gladly eat a cookie every day, but the more I eat sugar, well...the more I eat. Period.

Until I start the elimination diet, I'll be doing my best to cut out sugar. As a client reminded me, you just take it one day at a time and eat as healthy as you can. I had two cookies today, and they didn't make me feel very good. But I stopped at two (I'd better go brush my teeth so that that statement remains the truth!) rather than three or four. And I made a very healthy late lunch of sauteed halibut and asparagus. My mom made a simple salad dressing of hummus, olive oil, and lemon juice when I was home, so I decided to use that as the base for this recipe. It turned out delicious and light. And made me feel much better than the cookies. I should remember that the next time those cookies start calling to me.

Mediterranean Halibut and Asparagus
Print-Friendly Option
1 lb. halibut (deboned)
1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and tough stems broken or cut off
5 oz. salad greens (You can buy the prewashed bags which are the perfect amount for 4 servings)
1/2 cup hummus (of course the brand you use will make a difference so buy a flavor you love. I used Trader Joe's Mediterranean.)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fat free plain greek style yogurt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
4 kalamata olives, dices
3 sundried tomatoes, diced

  1. Whisk together the hummus, lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt, black pepper, and paprika. Stir in the olives and sundried tomatoes.
  2. Spray a large saute pan with oil and heat on medium-low. Place fish and asparagus in the pan. Pour sauce over. Put top on and saute 6-8 minutes.
  3. Turn the fish and asparagus over and saute another 6-8 minutes with top on (the time will depend on how thick your halibut steaks are).
  4. Prepare four plates with a bed of salad greens. Top with asparagus and halibut. Spoon the drippings over the salad greens for dressing.
Serves 4

I'm leaving for L.A. and San Diego on Tuesday to visit my sisters, so I'll be coming to you next from sunny California! I have some gluten-free friendly restaurants picked out, and I'm hoping I can cajole my little sis into making me sushi. If you know of any great gluten-free restaurants in L.A. or San Diego, I'd love to hear of them!

This post is linked to Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.


Lauren said...

Love the new header! So fresh and fun =D.

Asparagus and halibut are amazing - this looks wonderful! Have a fabulous time with your sisters! Also, good luck with the elimination diet =D.

Juanita said...

LOVE hummus! It tastes good with practically anything and is heavenly on baked sweet potato (but I wont go as far as Zohan that I'll brush my teeth with it or put it in coffee) :-)

Enjoy California!

GF Gidget said...

*sigh* If only my husband would eat fish!

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

I live the way you cook. Wish we lived closer and could share. My niece is in Brooklyn. Loves it. I use to live in NYC in 87-88. Only lasted a year. Favorite place to get lost was Zabars.

Betsy said...

I signed up for the email Daily Dietribe, but found that it comes with no header and of course, no comment post. I am and I'll just use the email to let me know when to look at your site. LOVE the new header. Good luck in CA! Enjoy!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

This dish looks fabulous, Iris! I have never thought of using hummus to make dressing; that's genius.

Now as far as the sugar, I'm with you sister! It doesn't take much to make me want more and more. Just best to leave it out, but it's tough and sweets are the number one thing that readers look for again and again. Sigh.

Have a wonderful vacation with your family! I love the new header, too. Irresistible!



you're gonna be in my parts! i don't know of any specifically gluten-free places, but i do know a lot of "healthy" spots. lemme know if you need a list, and if you have time to meet up!

Just Call Me Zippy said...

I so relate to the sugar craving! It's weird that I never made sweets when I ate gluten. Now that I'm GF it seems that I'm always in search of that perfect cupcake!

This looks so fresh and wonderful. I love asparagus.) Please figure out great places to eat in and around San Diego. I'll be there next summer and have already started asking on message boards about GF restaurants that aren't chains.

Chelsey said...

I gotta say I have the same problem. I wish it would just go away but it calls, and bekons. I've been sugar free for 4 days and stuffing my cravings with raisins and dates. It's not really working for me. But what to do?!

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

I'm passing this recipe along to my fish eaters. They'll be thrilled. =)

I too, love the new header. Beautiful! I left a link to your blog on my page today. Hope you'll meet some new bloggy friends through it. Thanks again for the great zester. We love it!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Your dish sounds so fresh and light! Yum! I have the same relationship with sugar. I am fine and balanced when it's not in my life, but then once it sneaks its way back in, I'm back craving something-anything that has sugar in it. It's frustrating! I have found that there are some herbal teas out there that help..sort of. The Republic of Tea makes this one called "Get Lost" that is Rooibos and cinnamon and some other spices, and it's kinda sweet, but it helps take the edge off. I try to turn to a tea like that instead of candy to knock out the craving. Still working on it!

Stephanie said...

This looks great! I've been eating a lot of fish the last couple weeks as well, and am excited to try this recipe.
I have a hard time stopping at just 2 cookies as well. So I brush my teeth and throw in my retainer, to keep myself out of the kitchen when I know I've had enough!

Mary said...

I love your new look. The halibut sounds and looks delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. I hope the New Year brings you health, happiness and prosperity.

Anonymous said...

why fat free yogurt? that fat free stuff or low fat is so bad for you. do you know about weston a price or sally fallon, you posted this on food renegade and it's about High fat, meat, traditional food.

Jen said...

What a rude comment, Anon!

I too came from Food Renegade. This dish looks so good! I agree using a hummus dressing is brilliant... can't wait to try it. The only substitution I will make is to use a high quality, full fat yogurt (maybe even homemade). :)

Iris said...

Anonymous- I tend to stick with what works for me unless I find sufficient reason to make a change in my diet. I lost 20 lbs eating organic fat free yogurt every day, so that's what I use. But I know my mom uses full fat and much prefers that. I think both are fine really. It's just a matter of preference. You can definitely substitute full fat yogurt!

Jen, I'm impressed that you make homemade yogurt! I would love to get some tips from you on how you make it!


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