Skip to main content

Ode to the glory of the tin of fish.

If you are a regular here, you might be aware that I have a bit of a thing for tins of fish, and I felt it was time we took a moment to explore this most excellent foodstuff.

The tin of fish is a divisive snack option. I remember tucking into a tin once when working at a school and being asked if I was eating cat food (erm, noooo). I also recall bonding with my fellow students while studying for my Personal Trainer qualifications : "TIN OF FISH, Awesome snack!". Then I knew I had found my people.


What is a tin of fish?


There are all kinds of variants on a tin of fish, it might be round or square, it might contain tuna, sardines, mackerel or salmon. It might be in sauce, or not. The only prerequisite is that it is oily fish, preserved in a tinned format. That said, when I use the term, I will be referring to mackerel in plain tomato sauce (not spicy, because some brand's idea of what makes a "spicy tomato sauce" leaves much to be desired) in a flat tin with a ring pull, because that's how I roll.

What is so great about a tin of fish?


The tin of fish is an excellent nutritional staple. Because....

It's a portion of protein
It's got your essential fatty acids (omega3), 2-3 portions a week is recommended.
It's cheap (a small tin will set you back 50-80 English pence)
It keeps well - no need to worry about eating it before it goes off, so you can stock the cupboard.
It travels well - I keep one in my bag all the time, it won't get squashed, or crumble or leak.
It's really versatile.

It's basically a really simple and easy to implement option for adding some quality nutrition - as long as you like fish.

What to do with your tin of fish


1. Tin and a fork, camping style


Get your tin, open it with the ring pull... careful now, the juice is tricky. Eat from the tin, with the fork. Do not use your fingers.

Preparation time: 10 seconds, unless you forgot to pack a fork.

This is my favourite tin of fish option. I have a friend who leaves tins and forks strategically around the house in case of moments of hunger.

2. On toast, late night snack style


Toast some bread. Granary and malted are both good. While that's doing it's thing, turn out your tin of fish into a bowl, mash with a fork. Add some paprika if you feel fancy. Spread on toast. Put in your face.



3. Quick tin of fish pasta for a last minute lunch


Cook some pasta, I like wholemeal. Also cook some veg, spinach is good, as is broccoli, or just some frozen veg like peas, sweetcorn or that mixed stuff. Grate some cheese. Drain the pasta and mix the veg, fish and cheese in. Eat.

This also works with variations of tins of fish, mustard sauce instead of tomato is a good option. Or sweet chilli or teriyaki sauce with egg noodles instead of pasta. Your options are limitless.


4. Super fancy toastie wraps.


Take your tin of fish, turn it out into a bowl. Mash it up with some salsa and grated cheese. Make into a little parcel in a wholemeal flour tortilla. Toast under the grill, on a dry skillet or in a toasted sandwich maker - I use a Diablo.

A post shared by Claire Salem (@firelotusfitness) on

I'll talk about tins of fish all day for free, but if you want in depth nutritional advice, or guidance on making healthy lifestyle changes, you should check out my online personal training and nutrition coaching services. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What's the deal with yoga and hypermobility?

I wanted to address a question today that keeps coming up on various hypermobility and EDS forums that I frequent. It comes up so often in fact that I feel like I have to write this all up in one place, to save me 1000s of key strokes of individual responses and distil some of my opinions and thought processes on the matter.

It always goes like this. Someone asks a question like "I've just been diagnosed with hypermobility, I've been told I can't do yoga anymore..."

The responses are always a mixture of "yes, my doctor/physio told me yoga was the worst thing I could do for my hypermobility" and "I do yoga and it's been the best thing for my hypermobility".

So what gives?

Well, I'm firmly in the "yoga is useful" camp, and I have to disclose that. I'm a yoga practitioner of around 20 years and a perinatal yoga teacher, as well as a personal trainer and bendy person.

While I have the deepest respect for the medical professio…

But how can you be an athlete when you are sick?

Training through chronic illness - living life on the edge.
I'm living a double life.

My superhero persona goes to the gym and lifts enormous weights. She's vital and has her life together. Endless to-do lists in a bullet journal, juggling work and kids and being an athlete and performer with theatrical effortlessness.

Then there's the secret side people don't see, where I lie on the sofa in my flare day leggings and fleece, clutching a cup of tea for the slight relief the warmth affords my stiff, clawed hands.

I know I'm not the only one. I know a lot of athletes living with chronic illness. Outwardly fitter and busier than the average person, inwardly wracked with pain and fatigue.

There are two ways people tend to interpret this. Either we are not as sick as we claim, or we are stupidly putting our health at risk doing sport that seems counter-intuitive to our well being. The reality is a lot more complicated. I wanted to formulate a decent answer to "why …

Managing Fibromyalgia flares

I've written before about living with EDS and Fibromyalgia,  much of my personal fitness and health practices are geared around managing those conditions and keeping me as well as I can be.

When managing a chronic health condition, particularly one that involves fatigue and potential flare ups, pacing, good nutrition, good sleep and generally taking care of yourself is always the first priority. Ideally we want to have as few flares as possible. But sometimes they still happen, and when they do, it's good to have a strategy in place.

And I'm going to be talking in fairly general terms, because while EDS and Fibro are my personal experience, there is so little understanding of the mechanisms behind these conditions, that most strategies are going to be applicable to a number of conditions where crashes of exhaustion and pain are a feature.


So what is a flare?
A flare is a period where someone with chronic illness suffers increased symptoms for a short while. The symptoms can…

We need to talk about talking about our bodies.

Up until a couple of years ago, I always had "saddlebags". For those not in the know, this delightful term doesn't indicate that I was some kind of human pack mule (that's parenthood) but that due to hormones and genetics and all that guff, I stored fat on a certain point on the outside of my thighs.

I'm going to call it trochantic adipose tissue. I'm not sure if anyone else does, but what's the point of an Anatomy degree if I can't use fancy anatomy words to make up names for body parts by describing them?

I always had this, at a size 10 or a size 16, it was just how my body was. But I knew I wasn't supposed to have it, because that's a bit that is consipiciously absent from most images of women in the media. And also it has a colloquial name. Not a particularly offensive one, but not a flattering one either. Not a term that one would associate with beautiful women with amazing bodies.

Anyhow. They are gone now. I'm a chunky size UK12 but…

I'm an intelligent grown-up, so why can't I eat like one?

Nutrition is complicated.
The rules change all the time. One minute we are told a food is bad, the next it's good. It's like scientists can't make their minds up!

Fat does't make you fat. Sugar is toxic. Undereating puts you in starvation mode. But you can "hack" your metabolism with this one weird trick.....

Of course all of this is false, or at least such a gross reduction of the truth that it is open to extreme misinterpretation. Put it out in plain sight and it becomes very clear that it doesn't hold water. So why are we believing this? Why are people telling us this, and most importantly; why as educated, intelligent adults who are perfectly capable of identifying a healthy plate of food, are we still struggling to consistently eat well?

The rules of healthy eating.
Healthy eating is not at all complicated. It's actually so obscenely simple that when I spell it out you're going to go "well tell me something I didn't know" and r…