Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes
Happy April! It is actually my birthday — yes, I am an April Fools baby! I grew up with a ton of April fool jokes for my birthday. Last year, my husband gave me a Mac book laptop box. I was so excited since I needed a new computer. When I opened it, there was nothing in it. But, he then gave me the real thing!
I do love all the jokes people come up with. My wellness coach was thinking of getting a Dunkin Donuts box and filling it will veggies to give to the sheriffs. I hope she does it and video tapes their faces getting it!
One April fools joke that is NOT a joke is the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fatty acid). I emphasize this with my clients as many of them are not getting enough from their diet.
Omega-3 FA benefits:
Heart health: lowers triglycerides and are healthy fats to help reduce inflammation and coronary heart disease
Improve baby’s health: a mother consuming 8-12 oz of fish (lower in mercury like salmon, herring, sardines, trout) per week benefits the baby’s vision and cognitive development. May also help reduce allergies in infants. Breast milk and some formulas contain DHA.
Pregnancy health: prevent pre-term labor and delivery, lower risk of preeclampsia, and improve postpartum depression.
Brain health: lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, and other cognitive concerns.
Eye health: helps dry eye and lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration
Rheumatoid arthritis: found to decrease the need for pain-relief medicine
Skin health: prevents dry skin
Omega-3 FA deficiency: dry, rough skin and red, swollen, itchy rash
There are three omega-3 FA:
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): found in plant oils like flaxseeds, chia seeds, soy, canola oil, walnuts
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): found in fatty fish and seafood: salmon, mackeral, tuna, herring, sardines
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): found in fatty fish and seafood
How much to consume?:
<3g/day of EPA and DHA combined, including 2g/day from dietary supplements
Before taking a supplement ask your doctor before, especially use caution with an anticoagulant medicine.
Side effects with supplement: burping, poor taste, diarrhea, nausea
How much do I need? (of ALA):
Birth to 12 months: .5g
1-3 years: .7g
4-8 years: .9g
Boys 9-12 years: 1.2g
Girls 9-12 years: 1.0g
Teen boys 14 + years: 1.6g
Teen girls 14 + years: 1.1 g
Pregnant teens and women: 1.4 g
Breastfeeding teens and women: 1.3g
Source: National Institute of Health, American Pregnancy Association
This past fall I got in-depth lab work done which showed which Omega-3 FA I was low in. I was rich in ALA (from nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds) but low in DHA and EPA (from fish). It is crazy to me as my diet used to consist of: oatmeal with chia and flaxseeds, salmon 1-2x/week, and I snacked on nuts. I now take a drop of Omega-3 supplement (Recommended from my naturalpathic doctor). I am glad I found this out prior to getting pregnant!
I share this with my clients to share that I was eating a healthy diet and thought I was getting enough omega-3 FA, but it showed that I needed more. I now try to have at least 2 servings a week of wild caught salmon in all different forms: baked, salmon burger, and now these new salmon sweet potato cakes!
Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes
Serving: 9 cakes
Once salmon is drained, add to medium bowl. Using a fork, break up the salmon.
Add mashed sweet potato and mix.
Add remaining ingredients and mix.
Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Using a scooper, form into a ball.
Spray air fryer tray, place cakes onto tray.
Cook for 8-10 minutes.
Enjoy with hot sauce, favorite dip, or as is!
1 sweet potato, cooked (1 cup mashed)
2 cans (6oz) salmon, skinless and boneless, drained
1 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
April is stress awareness month. It is now getting sunny and warmer out, meaning increased vitamin D! Take this time to enjoy the longer days of sunlight by getting out in nature. May it be going for a walk, doing yard work, taking your weights outside to workout, eating outside, or finding every excuse to get out of the house. We have been stuck inside for so long, we just need to get out! You will find your stress level will go down naturally by being in nature!
Stress doesn’t help anything from spiritually, physically, or mentally. Stress is showing that we lose sight of what the Lord has already provided for us and the faith of what he will provide us. Remember, in every season of life we have something to learn from, it may be during a time of pain or joy. Stress increases cortisol levels in our body, which increases fat storage and doesn’t help with weight loss. Stress increases inflammation, which can lead to diseases and aggravate an autoimmune disease (to name just one). Stress will not mentally help us move toward a positive mindset. Whether you are stressing about the comparison of another person, financially, or relationships going awry remember the stress doesn’t add another day onto your life, but it will make your life shorter if it is chronic.
I stress a lot! So I am preaching to myself here, along with anyone else that wants to listen! I have been working on finding what helps me when a stressful time comes. With my pregnancy hormones, crying occurs much more than I’d wish. But after I think about the situation, I think about what good can come from it and remember the Lord put this in my life for a reason and I will find out the reason later on. Working out has been helpful with my stress. During that time, deep breathing helped calm me down… I just need to remember to breath!
For you it may be a form of meditation, talking to a therapist, taking a few hours to pray and be alone, or doing yard work. Whatever it is, I encourage you to strength that skill as stressors will always come our way and navigating around and through them will help your health, relationships, and self care!