Good Health Reads: Chef Stephanie Harris-Uyidi 

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Open book on blue wooden plank with sea beach background

With so many health-transforming books being released, WholeFoods wanted to know what the experts are reading. Here, Chef Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, author of The Posh Pescatarian: A Collection of my Favorite Sustainable Seafood Recipes, shares her thoughts on three books she couldn’t put down.

 

Since October is National Pescatarian Month, now is the perfect time to educate yourself on eating seafood sustainably. Pescatarians eat a plant-based diet supplemented with seafood. There are no rules, only guidelines. Daily physical activity/movement combined with eating at least two healthy seafood dishes per week are key to the pescatarian lifestyle. Make sure to get your daily intake of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes. Equally important, look for sustainable options. Our oceans are in danger due to overfishing among other things. Purchasing ocean friendly seafood is the responsible choice, which often includes cultivated seafood. Strive to purchase fish that has been harvested in an eco-friendly manner, using appropriate fishing methods (harpooning, hook and lining, trolling, etc.). A blue MSC label will let you know that your fish is sustainable. Since the seafood that is considered sustainable changes regularly, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program app to stay up to date with industry guidelines.

Salmon, shrimp, tuna and cod are popular favorites and are delicious, however, it is important for pescatarians and seafood lovers alike to mix things up! Razor clams, mackerel, sablefish, oysters and branzino are excellent choices. Sea vegetables are also a fun option. Stock up on frozen and tinned fish. Keeping frozen seafood on hand will enable you to whip up a quick meal instead of ordering take-out or going through the drive-through—in most cases, fish can go from freezer to oven or crock pot and cook up in less than 20 minutes. Tinned fish is one of my favorites and is a pantry essential. There are elegant and delicious varieties from all over the world that are great for lunch, snacks or part of a main meal (e.g. lemony garlic & clam pasta).

 

Making Life Easier by Christiane Northrup, MD

Dr. Northrup’s work really speaks to me. She combines practical advice with a spiritual and metaphysical twist. I listen to the audio version of this book during my long weekend walks when I need to recalibrate. It’s a good reminder that my physical health goes beyond eating well and exercise, my spiritual and emotional states must also be aligned, they all influence each other.

One of my favorite gems from this book is that “living out my personal heaven on earth is possible by deliberately and consciously letting my spirit take the lead.” I know this sounds very meta, but it’s so true! Our thoughts and emotions are key to our happiness.

 

Hot & Spicy Caribbean by Dave DeWitt, Mary Jane Wilan, and Melissa T. Stock

Hot & Spicy Caribbean is a vintage cookbook that my dad gifted me a few years ago. I am a huge fan of Caribbean ingredients, flavors and cooking styles and this book delivers on all of those things. It’s a fun read that combines recipes with personal stories from the authors. This book helped influence my forthcoming book Going Coastal.

I use this book as a guide for cooking with exotic spices and hot peppers. There is a reason that it’s called Hot & Spicy Caribbean. Every season, I’m gifted with bushels of jalapenos, habaneros and ghost peppers and this book helps me whip up healthy dishes with lots of spice. One of my favorite chapters is called “A West Indies Heat Wave.” A few of the most interesting seafood recipes include French Caribbean Crabs, Escovitched Fish, Spiny Lobster in Sizzling Sauce and Pucker Up, Snap, Reggae Rice and Frijoles Negros.

 

The Seafood Cookbook by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller

This is a photo-free cookbook that heavily focuses on technique, nutrition, and the handling of seafood. There are some illustrations, but this is definitely a book for true cooks who know how to read a recipe and infer the results. The recipe titles are descriptive enough and it includes familiar ingredients. I use this book as a reference guide and recipe inspiration. There are so many good recipes and ideas in the book; Marinated Seafood Brochettes with Anchovy Butter, Crab Meat and Avocado Salad, Baked steamed mussels with Ginger and Coriander Clams with Pine Nut Butter.

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