Posted by: saramcglothlin | May 21, 2012

Compare and Contrast

The theme of my meals recently.  I have found that when striving to be healthy on a daily basis (or weekly basis if that is too aggressive for you), I must make a choice between what might be my best option at a given moment, whether it be eating out, at the grocery store, or standing in front of the fridge.  Usually the answer comes quickly if I just listen to my body, but other times, both are seemingly healthy choices and you just want to know the nutritional info (without being too compulsive about it), even if it is just for curiosity sake.

Last night as I was scoping out what was for Sunday Night Dinner, I spotted the filet of fish by the stove.  Before I could even say “salmon,” my brother reads my mind and says “Nope, not salmon.  Arctic Char.”   That’s not salmon??

Sure looks like salmon…

The man at the seafood market referred him to the arctic char, as it is a close cousin of salmon, yet a less “fishy” fish.  My brother also bragged it was less “fatty,” which I let go in one ear and out the other.  Salmon primarily consists of healthy Omego-3s so it being “fattening” has never led me astray.  But of course I was curious, so I thought I would compare the two:

Salmon (serving size 100 grams):

  • Calories = 206
  • Fat = 12 g
  • Saturated Fat = 3 g
  • Protein = 22 g

Arctic Char (serving size 100 grams):

  • Calories = 182
  • Fat = 8 g
  • Saturated Fat = 2 g
  • Protein 22 g

He was right!  Per serving, arctic char has fewer calories, less fat, yet the same amount of protein.  One downfall however is that I don’t think it is as readily available, but I will definitely keep this in mind.  I also agreed that it was less “fishy” and I might even prefer the taste over salmon.  This allows you to really taste the flavors of the marinade, spices, etc.

Honey-soy-sesame arctic char with rice and arugula

Here is an easier one for ya: white rice vs. brown rice?

As you can see above, that is white rice on my plate.  I can say with certainty that I rarely eat white carbs (my brother and 10-year old niece is another story).  This isn’t drastic in my mind, just healthier when comparing the amount of fiber and protein of the two.  I also prefer the taste of that grainy, nutty flavor of whole wheat products, so I never really thought twice.

White Rice (serving size 158 grams):

  • Calories = 205
  • Fat = 0 g
  • Saturated Fat = 0 g
  • Fiber = 1 g
  • Protein = 4 g

Brown Rice (serving size 195 grams):

  • Calories = 216
  • Fat = 2 g
  • Saturated Fat = 0 g
  • Fiber = 4 g
  • Protein 5 g

So while I will always choose brown rice over white, I didn’t have a choice last night, and I wasn’t going to pass it up.  Another successful Sunday Night Dinner all around!

I will use some of today’s eats to a quick transition to tonight’s dinner, because it was definitely the star of show.

OO with 1/2 c rolled oats, 3/4 c soy milk, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, blackberries, cinnamon, almond butter blob

Snack Bag: Apple, grapefruit, baby carrots, yogurt, soy nut butter cookies, cottage cheese and cinnamon raisin bread 

Green salad with grilled chicken, left over red pepper quinoa, 1/2 avocado, balsamic drizzle

As I was driving to the grocery store thinking about dinner (as usual), I suddenly craved a grilled cheese.  Not just any grilled cheese…a gruyere grilled cheese with apple slices and turkey bacon.  Yum.  Unfortunately, the only turkey bacon offered didn’t quite do it for me:

After reading the ingredients, I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t do it.  Mechanically separated turkey?? I don’t really know what that is but it sounds…processed.  Not to be judgemental or anything…

But thinking about eating just cheese and apple made me feel like something was missing.  So I turned to a “filler” go-to of mine: Avocado.  I don’t know where I came up with the idea that it contained a lot of protein, but that what was I was thinking at the store. Per 1/2, it only has 2 g but about 7 grams of fiber so it did the trick

Gruyere grilled cheese on a whole wheat sandwich thin, apple slices, avocado, brussel sprouts

Up close and personal

Oh my goodness.  It was not only tasty, but the cheese, apple, and avocado worked really well together! I will definitely have this again tomorrow night another time soon!

Question: Do you often compare foods in order to choose the healthier option?  What has been the easiest switch to make?  The hardest?



  1. Love this combination I’m totally trying that! Gruyere is my favorite cheese of all time–so worth the price tag haha!

    • Ah I didn’t even look at the price! That just goes to show that when I have a craving, money ain’t a thing!

  2. […] Steamed zuchinni and squash with roasted red pepper hummus, quinoa, baked arctic char […]

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