The Best Seafood on Keto with Sena Seafoods
What are the best seafoods to eat on keto? In this episode, Carole chats with Sena Wheeler, of the family-owned wild Alaskan fish seafood delivery company, Sena Seafoods. We’ll talk about the health benefits of never-farmed seafood, sustainability, their multi-generational fishing history, what it’s like to run a family fishing business, and their commitment to ocean stewardship.
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Carole Freeman: We’re live. Hey everybody. Welcome to the show. I got a quiz up top for you. What is the best source of potassium on a keto diet? Live everyone. Welcome to the show. Are you trying to get enough nutrients like vitamins and minerals on your keto diet? You worry about the health of our planet, sustainability of foods that you’re eating?
Carole Freeman: And this episode is for you. Stick around and learn all about the, oh, that sentence. I have a sentence here that doesn’t make any sense. Learn all about the health benefits and how Alaskan seafood might be just the healthiest food you can eat on keto. Your guest co-host today is Sena Wheeler of Sena Seafoods.
Carole Freeman: Welcome to the show. I want everybody to be engaged and so those of you, I can see we’ve got people live right now. So go ahead and comment. Let us know where you’re joining from, you’re part of the show as well. We’re so glad that you’re here. Welcome to keto chat live, I am your host Carole Freeman. I have a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology. I’m [00:01:00] also a board certified, Keto Nutrition Specialist. And just so we’re protected, my lawyers want me to share this show disclaimer with you. This show is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not medical advice nor intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any condition. If you have questions or concerns related to your specific medical condition, please, please seek out proper medical care or seek out your qualified functional medicine care professionals. Thank you Sena for being here.
Sena Wheelers: I’m super glad to be here. Thank you for including me.
Carole Freeman: Wonderful, great. Quiz for our viewers, listeners, fun little quiz for you here. Which has more potassium per a hundred gram serving? Go ahead and give me a comment. Let me know what your guess is. Alaskan salmon or banana? Imagine if you guys the pile of the same weight. A hundred grams of a banana or a hundred grams of salmon, which one do you think has more potassium in it?
Carole Freeman: So let’s let’s check in with our special guest co-host [00:02:00] here today. Let’s introduce you to our group here. Welcome Sena Wheeler of Sena Seafoods. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved in what you’re doing?
Sena Wheelers: Yeah I have, it’s been a lifetime of being involved in fish. So I wouldn’t say no choice, but all directions have led me basically to where I’m at. The real quick background. My grandfather immigrated from Norway. Started fishing out of Ballard in Seattle, which is a hub for Norwegian immigration at the time. And as his brothers come over, everybody gets a boat. So that’s our history. We say we’re three generations of fishermen, but my dad jokes that it’s probably more like 300, because that doesn’t count our Norwegian history as well. I grew up in the Pacific north west, and my dad was a fishermen. I guess what’s fun about that is that my dad is a son-in-law, so it’s actually my mom’s side of the family. So I’m actually come from my mom who’s a fishing wife. My grandma was a fishing wife and I’m a fishing wife. So my husband [00:03:00] now fishes as part of the family business. And so we basically just go find a fishermen to marry. We would just, we outsource the fishing part of it for our family tradition. It sounds weird the way I said it but I’ve been involved in fishing, eating fish growing up, eating fish, my mom owned it. Health food store and my dad fish. So we ate healthy food and lots of fish growing up. So that’s my upbringing. Did you want me to move into education and that kind of stuff?
Carole Freeman: Yeah, just a moment. Let me welcome, Valerie is here. She’s one of our regulars. So she says, hello ladies. I’m going to get salmon has more potassium than bananas. Well, we’ll tease it. I won’t get reveal the answer here for a little bit longer, but thanks for chiming in Valerie. So glad you’re here. And, yes. I wanted a little bit more Sena then about. So what was it like growing up where, it seems like when people grew up with a healthy food environment, it can go one or two ways, right? Either, you embrace it. You’re healthy [00:04:00] most of your life, you that’s just a family dynamic, or sometimes, it goes the other way where you’re like you rebel and you go off to college and you’re like, you know what? I want to eat all the junk food in the entire world and you never come back. So what was it like growing up with this long history of fishing and healthy foods in your family? How did things go for you when you went off to college?
Sena Wheelers: For me, I would say that healthy eating it’s like you would want for your kids. I grew up with it. It’s very normal for me. And I embraced it, as I remember being it probably in middle school was the time that I was like, I remember there was candy bars for sale in middle school and I’m like, oh my gosh, a whole candy bar, like for one person, I’m just going to buy it and eat it, so I recall that being very exciting. I probably only ever bought two candy bars because it probably made me feel horrible and I didn’t do it again. I think that when you realize how good you feel [00:05:00] when you’re eating healthy, you might try eating unhealthy and realize that it feels like crap. And so, that’s for me, it just really, it’s just really natural. It feels good and feels right to me. I have sisters I’d say that most of our family continues and my siblings continue to eat healthy. Just because that’s, it feels right, I would say.
Carole Freeman: I love that you shared that. Thank you for sharing that so much because so that’s an example of how like you ate really well your whole life. So I’m working with a lot of people, especially ladies that, maybe they didn’t have the healthiest upbringing. And so we have to work a lot harder at getting to that healthy space and we maybe not ever have such a flexible diet. So I can imagine that you, growing up in the environment that you did, you probably have some more flexibility in your food choices. Whereas those of us that I’m working with on keto need to be a little more restrictive in what we’re eating in order to achieve the same health. But I also want to point out too that how how, because you did have such a healthy base in your childhood that when you ate something that [00:06:00] wasn’t so healthy for you, you could choose to go back to your healthy eating roots, because it just didn’t feel as good to eat those things. So I want to really highlight that for our moms that are watching and grandmothers, because a lot of people fall in the trap thinking when kids are young, they should get to eat whatever they want. And like they should eat all the crap cause they can get away with it. But you’re a really good example of how, when you make that healthy base for people, when they’re young, they just keep eating really well because they feel so good and they can notice that really stark different. So I encourage everyone listening give your kids that healthy upbringing like Sena had so that they, they can continue to choose foods that make them feel really good. So thank for sharing that.
Sena Wheelers: Thank you. I agree, and I have three kids and every, I raised them with healthy eating as well, and I feel the same way. It’s a foundation to fall back on. They might indulge at a friend’s house or this or that. And I usually ask them afterwards how do you feel? And they can notice how they feel and they [00:07:00] don’t feel that great. And that’s all I leave it at, that I don’t go yeah, jeez, the guilt trip or anything, it just that conversation on how do you feel after you, after that? It just can slowly sink into their brains. And it’s really interesting to watch that, but they, but when you feel good, it’s easier to notice when you feel bad. If you feel bad all the time, you don’t, you might not get the opportunity to feel what it feels like off of the sugar and whatnot.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, that’s so true in kids when given the choice and especially the way that you’re framing of just how do you feel, kids want to feel good too? And you’re right that they can, when they’re asked those questions and it’s not a mandate that you’re not allowed to have that, or you have to eat this broccoli or something like that. Kids choose feeling good and so good job, mom. Good job. You’re doing a great job. Yeah, so let’s chat about your education. Sena and I in our pre-show chat, we had discovered we had a lot of the similar [00:08:00] backgrounds. So Sena went to school at Oregon State University, where I actually have a little bit of schooling as well. So was it just a no brainer where this is the family business that I’m going to go get a degree in something that’s related to this, or was there a longer path share with us? How did you pick out your your.
Sena Wheelers: I, I chose nutrition just because I took a class and loved it. And I, at the time I just said, oh, this is, a nutritionist for me. I, this is what I would look into or understand or enjoy on my own. And I never thought of the path like, that I would loop back around into fish and fishing. I just thought of it completely separate that it just made a lot of sense. The things I’m learning, just lined up with how I was raised. And so to read about nutritional concepts was like, oh yeah, this is cool, I love it. So I just felt it, it really resonated with me. And in fact, I always, I love to tell college students, everybody should take nutrition. We’re all humans and we [00:09:00] all need to feed ourselves and, sometimes a family. It just felt, actually it felt personally indulgent to me to get to study nutrition. So I really enjoyed that. And I did that for my undergrad. It was a nutrition and food science track. Right at the end in the program I was at, you choose to do the RD path registered dietician where you’d be in a hospital. And I did my residency in a hospital or my internship and decided that a hospital wasn’t really where I wanted to be. And then at that point I took a hard left and went into food science. And I loved all my science courses too. So for me, it’s those a little bit more hard science that, that was interesting. Things you can test, things you can get results from. And, tangible, I would say. So at that time I went into I went to Oregon state and got a master’s in food science and then again, it was like a stumble into fisheries because [00:10:00] to get my master’s degree, you need to be having an advisor and approved and have a professor that says, yes, I want to take you in, and a research professor. And so I was looking online, and a professor was looking for a student and he was in fisheries and food science. And he’s looking for a student that would be comfortable going on a fishing boat and comfortable working with fish. And I, it was like, oh, that’s a no brainer. So I sent one email and just said, oh, here’s my fishing background. I had been already going up and fishing on my dad’s boat in the summers through high school and college. So I already had lots of fishing experience being on the boat. So I sent one email and he said, great sign you up.
Carole Freeman: So it was like destiny. All right. I guess that’s I’m going to stay in this field.
Sena Wheelers: And again, I didn’t even see myself doing fish per se. I thought this is a great way. He also had a a scholarship and a stipend available. It [00:11:00] was a great way to get my graduate degree paid for through this research opportunity. So for me, it just felt and ends to a means or, means finance. However you say that, but it just felt so right. I didn’t even think through oh, do I want to be in fish for the rest of my life? It just felt right. And so I did it. And and here I am. Really utilizing that information. I was studying of all things I was studying and quantifying the omega threes in the fish. So yeah. So now I feel oh, wow. When you look backwards, it makes more sense sometimes. But and I followed my gut a lot of times.
Carole Freeman: Oh, that’s great. Welcome again, everyone who’s watching, let us know where you’re joining from. Give me a little comment and we’ll welcome you to the show here.
Carole Freeman: All right. So Valerie, you are the winner, you did the quiz correctly. So it’s if it’s a keto show, it’s a trick question, but if you miss the quiz I asked, which has more potassium, a banana or salmon, a hundred grams of each and actually same sort of serving size. And I only say this because[00:12:00] So many people who are not on keto, or not a nutritionist or a nutritionist that has done keto think that keto is nutrient deficient. That there’s no way that if you’re limiting carbohydrate foods, that you can possibly have all the vitamins and minerals that you need. People always say what about potassium? You need bananas for potassium, but the truth is that bananas have just been a product of a brilliant marketing. That was out there for Chiquita bananas and everyone associates bananas with potassium. So in order to sell lots of bananas in order for people to identify saying, oh, breakfast, I need a banana is because of marketing being told that bananas are really high in potassium, right? So every hotel breakfast that you go to is going to have a whole pile of bananas, nevermind that they’re out of season, that they have to ship them from who knows where and all the impact of the environment people have no problem with that. But it turns out that salmon is much better source, all fish is a really great source of potassium. And my early on in [00:13:00] my journey at keto, I tracked all of my food and put it into chronometer my favorite tracking software. Cause I would just, I was worried myself, is this a nutritious way of eating? And I found that it’s very easy, especially if you’re focusing on real whole foods as a, on your keto lifestyle, it’s very easy to get all your vitamins and minerals met. So potassium is just one of the example. So a hundred grams of banana has about 358 milligrams of potassium, a hundred grams of salmon, 429. And I’ll tell you what, so portion of salmon, you’re probably gonna eat around a hundred, maybe 150 grams. So you probably would eat even more than you would have a banana, especially on keto. And here’s the, just a fun one I throw in as well as what’s even higher in potassium than bananas or salmon is avocado another food that’s keto friendly as well. So it’s actually pretty easy to get your potassium needs met on a keto diet, especially if you enjoy fish and seafood.
Sena Wheelers: I love that because I did have a [00:14:00] recipe. Sorry to jump in. I have a recipe on our website for salmon, with an avocado topping and it is amazing. And it’s my kids’ favorite. So that’s a really nice combination there.
Carole Freeman: That’s great. So I usually do a little personal check-in here and I skipped over that. But speaking of avocado, you can see some of my background here. Funny story with those. And then, so I just celebrated my 51st birthday and I did a week long road trip to grand canyon national park, horseshoe bend, Zion national park and met up with a friend of mine. So Sena is up in the Seattle area, and I met a friend of mine that lives in Seattle. Currently, she drove her camper van down. We met up in Zion and so this was one of the things she gave me for my birthday was a little avocado necklace and it’s oh, that’s perfect. So cute. And these avocados they’re stuffed ones it’s backwards. So I point the wrong direction. Oh one of them I just got for myself because I thought it was adorable. It’s actually has a little face on it. And then last year for Christmas, my sister, one of my sister’s boyfriends, we did a secret Santa thing and he sent me [00:15:00] one of these and I was like, oh, how perfect it is that I already even have one, like that’s how appropriate it was that was purchased for me. So avocados are close to my heart. So I’ll have to check out the avocado recipe on your website, so that your recipe is, Sena seafoods.com?
Sena Wheelers: Sena Sea. Senasea.com. Yep.
Carole Freeman: SCA, here. Let me do a little banner here so that people are yeah.
Sena Wheelers: S E N A S E A .com.
Carole Freeman: We’ll put this on here so that people can see. Senasea.com and recipes are on there.
Carole Freeman: Let’s just talk about that for a first then. So like a lot of people are intimidated by fish. They think they don’t like it. Or they’re they don’t know how to cook it. So what do you got for us there?
Sena Wheelers: Yeah. I find that usually people’s kind of biggest issue is what am I going to do with it? How am I, they just that comfort level in the kitchen. And it’s actually very easy once you get your hands on it and get used to it. So I would just really welcome people to give it a try. One of the things that we do [00:16:00] in our, when we send fish to your door, it comes frozen. We have little handling cards. So it basically just tells you you put it in the freezer, how to defrost it. I like to do in cold water, so all of our portions are vacuum sealed individually. And so they, I can put them in cold water and they’re defrosted within 30 minutes. And so that’s really nice because I can never remember to pull things out of the freezer, like a day in advance. That’s requires a lot of advanced thinking. So I liked that it’s really easy to defrost. I basically start defrosting it and start looking around my kitchen, go, okay, what am I gonna, what am I going to put together here? And we have a lot of recipes on our website as well, like we mentioned. One of the things is we have an email list. People jump on the email list and we have a downloadable cookbook and it is how we cook the fish. So we work at, we, especially starting out, we were in a lot of farmer’s markets. We are in the Seattle area. We did a lot of big Seattle farmer’s markets. And one of the main questions people would ask over and over [00:17:00] is how do you cook the fish? And they know how do you cook the fish? Me, being in a third generation fishing family, they want to know what we’re doing at home. So we have a downloadable cookbook that has basically all the tips and tricks and primary recipes that, that we really do at home. So that’s that’s nice to have. But mostly I say jump in there, grab some fish, find a recipe and give it a shot because it really is not as hard as you might be thinking.
Carole Freeman: Valerie’s got a tip here for us. Her kids love salmon nuggets where she simply pan saute cube salmon in a bit of geek. I bet that tastes delicious. Thanks.
Sena Wheelers: Oh that is good. My same thing we do, we chop it up into some cubes and if it’s bite-sized kids love it. It’s magical.
Carole Freeman: And let’s see. So what kind of fish? Oh, wait, I thought of another question I want to ask for. So do you have a sense? Cause it’s [00:18:00] interesting. It seems like somewhere along the way, we lost touch with love of seafood, right? There’s a lot of coastal areas. A lot of people in the U S come from areas like Ireland and European countries where they have a lot of seafood, but even Southern countries, there’s a lot of coastal areas and a lot of seafood and fish. And I was struck at how many people. Yeah. I lived in the Seattle area for 27 years and grew up in Oregon, right on the coast country, countries, states. And just how many people like say they don’t like seafood? Do you have any sense of like, where did people lose touch with enjoying, such a delicious and nutritious natural food?
Sena Wheelers: Yeah, that’s a really interesting question. The losing touch for me, in my perspective, I come from this, like multi-generational seafood family. So for me it’s like I know what you mean when you grow up eating it and the people around you eat it and there’s this great love for it, it feels festive. King crab or oysters, there’s a [00:19:00] lot of tradition around different types of seafood and a lot of love for it. And so I know what you mean when people just do this blanket nah, I’m not really into seafood. And it is surprising. Especially if you’re talking about the Seattle area, Oregon area, where on a coastal town, it should be a little bit more ingratiated into the way people are brought up. And my, my best guess is really just like big egg or big beef is in industrialized to a certain extent so that even if you live on the coast, you can live in Seattle and not know a fisherman or a source to get fish from because those fishermen are selling to just totally lost the word, but a middleman who’s then selling to big brokers. And so you could be in the same town that the fishermen comes in, he’s got the fish, he sells to a middleman. He goes through a broker. It might work its way back around to the restaurant or even the grocery store next to you. But it’s a very convoluted [00:20:00] chain. And the end consumer is really in the dark and not sure how to get involved in that. And so fishing is one of those things. It’s difficult. You have this fish is very perishable. It’s not often, we don’t have this great setup for just like walking down on the docks and buying fish. So it really becomes this disconnect for understanding where you get the fish, how does, how you get it, what types of fish are even available. And I think that we’re seeing it across the board with same thing, vegetables in me at it’s, it is that disconnect. And it’s really fun to connect people back together with those food sources. We find that people are really interested in the lifestyle and how we fish and just what other species? And once when somebody takes a step in, it’s oh, this is really interesting, and it’s really delicious, and all of those things. We are involved in a lot of farmer’s markets. I think I mentioned that before, especially well limited now, but pre COVID, we did a lot [00:21:00] of farmer’s markets and I really liked being in the culture of the farmer’s market. It felt like a really good fit for us because there are people that are interested in the seasonality and the connection. And then we’re here being fishermen saying, Hey, we have seasonality and connection as well. And people it’s, oh, I hadn’t thought of that. I just saw Flay fish at the store. I hadn’t made that connection. So that’s been really, probably one of the most rewarding parts of what we do is connecting with our customers.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. I think you’re right, it’s you know, the process food industry, that’s moved most consumers far away from the source of their food. And if it’s not processed and pre-made, and you could throw it in the microwave, it’s what do I do with this fresh piece of fish? They probably, most people, these days don’t even know what do it, like maybe fresh pizza, chicken, or how to cook a steak or anything. It’s probably a big part of why they lost touch with that or why they’re not as adventurous. Isn’t it funny to think that seafood is considered adventurous [00:22:00] when it comes to heatings for some people.
Sena Wheelers: Yeah. And I really liked what you said about, it really, what you’d expect out of a coastal town is not really, even there, everybody is like a mainland Maine mainland person, with losing that connection.
Carole Freeman: Now you People can get fish delivered right to their door from you. Do you do nationwide? Do you do international? Like how far are you shipping your fish?
Sena Wheelers: Yeah, we ship nationally. So we really focus the lower 48. It’s a bit ironic because our fish comes out of Alaska. We ship it down and we live in Washington state. So that’s where we ship out to the lower 48. And it’s really about accessibility. Getting fish right to people’s door. I get these great emails from people in the Midwest that are saying, wow, this is incredible. I literally cannot get copper river where I’m at. And so to have this source that comes to my door is really incredible. And that’s why we’re doing this. When we first started out, it’s, we’re really spoiled [00:23:00] with what we have in our freezer. My kids have, they were they couldn’t have wheat or dairy and I’m cooking from scratch a lot. And just realize, especially when you are dealing with dietary constraints, Just having access to really high quality food is really big deal. It’s it makes a really big difference. And so when we started this, we wanted to get our fish out to people independently to their door without a, a grocery store or kind of three middlemen along the way. So we shipped nationally. We ship overnight. Our fish is frozen. So I guess I don’t want to just dive into the next topic, but it comes frozen in six ounce portions and it’s vacuum sealed and it makes it really approachable for people. I look around, I see how many people we have for dinner. I pull that many portions out of the freezer right then. So it’s very approachable that way you don’t have to have this whole fish or this whole Flay and go oh my gosh, what do I do with this?[00:24:00]
Carole Freeman: Yeah. And just for viewers and listeners seeing graciously sent me a box of fish to try. Oh my gosh. So good. But also just to let you guys know, I live in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s not the dead of summer. It still was, so I , maybe about a month ago, so we’re in December here, but actually I think it was in late October that I got it. I think it was, I had it before the beginning of November, anyways, arrived at my doorstep, completely frozen. There was no issues at all. Very well-packaged, each piece was still very frozen, even though it was probably 90 degrees during the day in Phoenix area. So you should feel very safe about, ordering it and it’s going to arrive in really great condition. There were some recipes that came in the box too. I did try one of them. It was a salmon with dill like a dill soup and not salmon, sorry. Sea bass and halibut with dill and I keto fight it. So it’s a regular dish that would, the soup would be like a potato based soup and all he did was sub out cauliflower in there. [00:25:00] And I’ll tell you, it turned out amazing. Now, I didn’t have maybe as much deal as what maybe it called for, but I also know like your food photographers, beautiful, right? This bright green and the picture. And so when I made the soup, it wasn’t that like spectacular, bright green color. So when I took photos of it, I’m like that doesn’t look as pretty as your food photographers, photos of that recipe, but I’ll tell you it was a, it was amazing. So good. So the recipes are really great with it as well and was, fairly easy to make too. Yeah, so seeing it invited me to actually rewrite that as a keto version that could go up on the website too. I basically, I have to put plug it into an analyzer to check the macronutrients for people. But I’ll send that over to you soon so that you can put that up for people to, people listening to the episode, want to go check out the dill and a halibut, dill soup with halibut. I forgot the exact name of the recipe I was looking for the quarter.
Sena Wheelers: I actually can’t think of the name. It is. It’s a Dill. It seems like it’s Dill halibut soup. [00:26:00] I can’t think of it either, but yeah, I would love, we, we put up a lot of recipes, some recipes are from customers. But I would, I love to show, put that up and show how to keto eyes, that recipe.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, it was the list is in it. It’s got the finish on it. It’s some, pan fried pancetta, not pan panchetta. Prosciutto and that just nice little salty crunch on top of that. Those of you joining us live welcome, we have some new people coming in. So just give us a comment where you’re joining us from, and we’re talking about the health benefits of sustainable seafood. So what types of fish do you offer? Sena seafood.
Sena Wheelers: We fish in Alaska, so everything that we offer is a wild-caught and it sustainably caught. And just as an aside, all fish caught in Alaska is sustainably caught. It’s written into their constitution and the state of Alaska has a really tight management over their fish. So just when you’re looking for fish, if wild and sustainability is important to you,[00:27:00] for health or planetary reasons, keep that in mind with the wild Alaskan. So everything on our site is wild alaskan. We’re fishermen’s are ourselves. Of course. We catch salmon, halibut and black cod, and then when we’re long lining for the halibut and the black cod, it’s actually bycatch, but we have link Cod ,rockfish, and Pacific Cod. And those are caught alongside the halibut and black cod on the long line. So we’re really into utilizing the whole fish, but also utilizing the full spectrum of species. So when we catch the fish, we’re allowed to keep it. And we sell, all the types of fish that we catch. And really it’s for salmon, it’s many varieties. So we have copper river salmon, which is really popular because it’s so delicious cup of river. When you’re talking about salmon, it’s like beef, the categories, or the levels of quality, it all relates to the fat content. And when you’re talking about salmon it’s your fat content is omega threes. [00:28:00] And so that’s even better because it’s the healthy fat of omega-3. So you have your copper river king, which is king is the top. So it’s the most omega threes and the copper river Sockeye and then copper river coho. And we have some regular non copper river Sockeye. And then we have black Cod or sablefish, which is also a high omega-3 white fish, which is really amazing. And then we have a, and I’m telling you in order from highest and omega-3 down. So after the black Cod would be, we have link Cod rockfish, and then you have halibut, which is a really lean protein, but also low in fat.
Carole Freeman: Oh, wow. I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds of copper river salmon, and some of that came in my box and I think I’m pretty sure I’d never had it in Seattle. I always knew it was like the big, the copper river run came and it’s the first catch flying in fresh to Seattle. And it was always a big deal and the restaurants would [00:29:00] have limited supply of it. So I felt very spoiled that you sent me some copper river as well. So definitely a much you could see the more marbling basically of the fat that was in copper river compared to maybe what you’re used to with regular salmon, if you’ve had that the other, what you were just saying that I didn’t know, I learning that all Alaskan caught fish is sustainable. That’s such a cool thing. Another reason why, like I always choose Alaskan salmon myself, just because of what I know about the farm, farm salmon, first of all, just doesn’t taste as good. But now that I know the how much is a barrier Alaskan salmon is for more reasons, too. It always kill me. When I was in a Seattle restaurant, that was a nation chain that in Seattle, they would have Atlantic salmon that they were serving. I think it would surprise the most people around the country to know that there are Seattle restaurants that serve salmon that’s not from Alaska, just because it’s, I dunno, for their supply chain or something like that, it was just always really disappointed. The seafood here in Phoenix has been [00:30:00] surprisingly good. There are several restaurants here that they fresh fly in their seafood every single day. And I’ve found that some of it’s even fresher than what I could get in Seattle. Cause not everybody, not every restaurant in Seattle is bringing in fresh supply every single day. So tell me, oh, this is this hopefully, this answer. What is the, what is Scottish salmon? Is that from Scotland or is it a type of salmon?
Sena Wheelers: Just like I was going to jump in and say Atlantic salmon is like a, it’s a code word for farm salmon because there’s no wild Atlantic salmon anymore. And farm salmon is usually labeled as Atlantic salmon. So that’s a watch out on the farm, if you see Atlantic salmon, It’s farm raised and be wary if that’s not what you want to eat. And Scottish, in fact, it’s funny Norway is really big on farm salmon. So Norwegian salmon and Scottish salmon are often farmed as well.
Carole Freeman: Now I know I can ask the expert here, so I’m so glad you’re here. It’s my personal seafoods consultants consultation here. So [00:31:00] Valerie is asking, Sena, can you tell us a bit about why it’s important to sustainably fish?
Sena Wheelers: Oh, yes. So fishing sustainably basically means that the catch for us, the word sustainable, I’m glad you asked that because the word sustainable is one of those words that can mean many things to many people and many genres and in many areas. So when you’re talking about fishing, the term sustainable is really relating to how the fishery is managed. So the fishery is for salmon and halibut and black Cod they’re managed by species very individually. So for salmon, specifically is managed Daily. So basically they’re managing it at rates to make sure that there’s enough population for the next year. So they’re always, it’s the term is escapement. So they’re managing the amount of fish that’s getting through the river up the river to then spawn and create the next generation of fish. The fish have [00:32:00] about a four year lifespan. So it’s the creating the fish for the next four years, the four year fish. So anyways, they have pretty sophisticated. They have sonar all the way up the river and they have the opening date, for example, on copper river. It’s a really big deal. It’s the first big commercial opening of salmon on the planet and the, in the spring time. And it doesn’t just open. Say on March 15th, it opens when the fish come in the number. So they have target numbers for where they should be hitting. They’re watching the fish return, they’re counting. And once they have a million fish go by, they open for fishing. They’re still counting the whole time. They’ll open for 12 hours of fishing in certain areas. And only after the escapement goes by then they’ll open up for the next and a couple of days later for the next opener. So we never even know we usually fish only two times a week, but it completely related to how many fish have already made it up to the river to spawn. So it’s [00:33:00] not fishing first. It is escapement first. It is managed for sustainability, just always making sure that the next generation of fish are making it up river before the fishermen are catching it. And that’s whether it’s sport or commercial, and it’s really ingrained. There is no where we fish out of in Cordova. It’s a small town. And when the fishery is closed, there’s no copper river available anywhere in the world. People would pay any price for it, especially, copper river king, but there’s not a single fishermen that would ever be out there catching it because it would be such a, it would go against everything that fishermen stand for and fishermen, stand for sustainability, especially when you’re talking about these generational families like what we’re involved in, it’s all about the sustainability. I guess I’m sidetracking, but sustainability always means managed so that there’s always enough future [00:34:00] generation of fish.
Carole Freeman: Sounds important.
Sena Wheelers: Very important, especially if you are a fishing family or if you like to eat fish or just looking at the planet and the life cycles is it’s incredibly important..
Carole Freeman: So fish is very nutritious. We talked about the omega-3 in it. Also excellent source of complete protein. People that are pescatarian, they want to avoid red meat. And I’m not a fan of avoiding red meat, but if that’s something somebody wants to do, fish is a complete protein, very concentrated source of protein, also great source of vitamin D, b12, zinc, selenium, we talked about the potassium. But I think, I wonder if this has to do with why some people, like why fish fell out a fever? Is that what about pollution? What about toxins and things like that, that we’ve been throwing our oceans and our fish I have some things to say about it, but what. What is your take on that?
Sena Wheelers: Yeah. I think it’s important to think about, and it’s really looking at where fish is caught. So looking at the water that fish [00:35:00] is raised in it, it makes perfect sense to me. If you catch a fish in polluted waters, that fish is going to have a level of toxins in it and that’s a concern. So I agree with that concern and especially looking in the Seattle area and the Puget sound, you look at a huge city with water right outside of it. And that is a concern. I would say that’s to me and I don’t want to sound like I’m a broken record, but it’s another reason to look at Alaska. We spend the summers up there and it is this truly unbelievable uninhabited place. So you have these pristine conditions that if you grew up in a city, you think they’re long gone. You think this is like, not real, but it’s real. And up there it’s really pristine. So when you’re talking about like the copper river itself is a huge long 300 mile river, the basin [00:36:00] itself, the Delta, where the water comes out and joins the the ocean is, they say like the size of Rhode Island, however, that is, it’s 300 miles. If it’s huge area and there’s no population we fish out of Cordova, which is still, four hours away from the fishing ground, at least. And there’s no roads in so this town is very rural. So you, so the waters here are unpolluted. You have these rivers with no, there’s no mining in the area. There’s no dams in the rivers. There’s no deforestation around because there, these rivers are kept in tucked for this important fishery. So it’s really Important to realize that there’s places like this still left on earth. And that here’s the flip I like to say. People worry about eating the last wild salmon, but it’s actually in reverse. If you go to a restaurant or you spend money on that wild salmon in return, [00:37:00] the Alaska saying, okay, great people value the salmon. We’re not going to pollute these rivers. We’re not going to mine on the river. We’re not going to put up dams because these salmon are so valuable and so important. So it’s actually valuing that life cycle and the salmon to make sure that we’re doing everything in a way to make sure they come back. If that makes sense.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. That’s great. I no, that’s I learned so much about Alaskan fishing. Oh, how ironic on it on a show talking about Alaskan fishing. Yeah, that’s I just love hearing about how it’s so protected and everybody that’s there and participating in this fishing is so such a vested interest in keeping it high quality and clean and sustainable. So great. And I’m a big fan of the work of Chris Kresser and he had some articles a few years back just talking about like the nutritional benefits of what we get from fish far outweighs the risk of, any toxic stuff that may be in there. And I think that probably goes with this as well. So Valerie is asking people also mentioned mercury [00:38:00] when they talk about seafood. Is that something to worry about? She says she eats seafood very often.
Sena Wheelers: Oh yeah. That is an issue in. I’m learning a little bit more about it. That there’s different people that are more sensitive or not to mercury, which I think is really interesting and I hadn’t really realized. So when you’re thinking about mercury what you want to think about is number one, you would avoid fish that are really big and live a really long time because those fish are eating other fish or smaller fish that are then the mercury levels are building up in their bodies. So the other thing to think about, so it’s the size and the, basically the lifespan. And then the second thing is the omega three content. So it’s interesting, but typically the mercury content is an inverse relationship with the omega three content. So the hot, really high fatty fish. So whenever you’re looking at a list of of the best fish for, low mercury, it’s always a high-fat fish on the top of. You get a double bonus when you’re eating these high-fat fishes, that it’s also inversely related [00:39:00] to to mercury.
Carole Freeman: All right. Oh, that’s interesting. That’s so great. Let’s see, I think so. I think the one thing we wanted to mention as well too, is that you guys have a subscription service for your fish.
Sena Wheelers: Oh yes. Yeah. What’s so we have a subscription service. I it’s available on the website. It isn’t, you don’t go anywhere a specialist when you choose any box of fish, you choose salmon or Whitefish, and we have this great box that is a seasonal varieties. You say? Yeah, I want, for salmon, for Whitefish and seasonal variety means basically I call it Packers choice. What fish we have on hand, we’re going to give you, and that’s what seasonal. And then if you can buy anything one time. Oh, I really firmly believed that people should be allowed to try it and buy it. And we have a lot of customers that by a lot and they just buy what they want when they want it. And that’s totally fine. And then our subscription program, right under where you buy the fishes a little subscribe and save. If you choose to, [00:40:00] you can get a box once every one month, every two months or every three months, just depending on the size of your freezer, how much fish you go through. I recommend getting it less often in a bigger box. And. We keep it really flexible. So you want to change the kind of fish that you want. You want to change the box size. You want to change how often I completely work with people, I’m emailing all the time. And I just tried to dial it in because the point of the subscription isn’t to lock people into something they don’t want. It is to have good high quality fishing people’s freezers because if it’s available, They’ll eat more of it and there’ll be healthier for it. So it’s really just to be easy and to get the fish there and you don’t have to think about it. If it’s there, you’ll pull it out, you’ll fix it and you’ll love it. So that’s the idea there.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. And one of the reasons I love the Sena fish the way you guys package it is that it really fits with what I teach my clients, where you want to have meals that are quick and easy. [00:41:00] And a lot of people don’t think of fish, especially frozen fish as being something quick and easy. But Sena said, each it’s already pre-packaged for you. So this is a big, one of the things I recommend for my clients is that buy things that already pre weighed and measured and cut for you. So six ounce portion perfect for your keto meal. And like she said, even if it’s frozen, solid in your freezer, you can pull it out. It’s sealed in plastic and you just put it in your, just run, cool water on it, or put it in a bowl of water. And within 30 minutes, it’s going to be defrosted that you can actually just cook it and you can make it so easy that, heat up your hand pan, pretty hot. Put some kind of oil in there. Bacon grease, so ghee and Sprite first on the side that has the skin on it. So like just cook it as hot as you can on that side until it’s done put a lid over it. And basically usually by the time it’s, you’re going to press on the top and it’s going to be pretty firm if you’re not quite sure you can always just flake it apart, pull it apart and just make sure that it’s opaque. So basically that’s how you know fish has [00:42:00] done is that it’s no longer translucent so as sooner than later. So fish gets tough when it’s over cooked, like most meats. And so it’s much easier than you think. And usually, five to 10 minutes is all it takes to actually cook it in a pan on the stove. More foolproof ways. So if that’s intimidating for you, you can poach it. So that’s just meaning you’re cooking it in some kind of liquid. So some kind of broth, bone broth that’s the easiest way. Just heat up some broth in there, plop the fish in. Cook it on a simmer until it’s cooked through so easy foolproof, you can’t burn it. And also it’s a little, you almost can’t over cook it that way as well, too. Yeah, if you boil it for an hour, it’s not going to be, but also that’s another like super easy way that you can cook a fish and it totally fits with my rules for my clients and find things that are really quick and easy that you can throw it in. And encourage you to try some variety. Like we talked about earlier here is that a lot of people just fallen out of fishes, not within their comfort level or for whatever reason, they’re just not used to having it. That’s why I wanted to bring Sena on [00:43:00] here is to talk about how quick and easy this can be. And also it’s going to bring you a lot of nutrients that you might not be getting from other types of protein choices that you’re making. Anything else you wanted to cover today? Sena?
Sena Wheelers: Oh, I love it. That this has been really fun. I think that’s really really does cover it. I, in my family we joke because I call fish are fast food and, I can literally pull it out of the freezer and cook it. And if I can cook it, and throw in some frozen vegetables, whatever I can make it as fast as you could call a pizza, it’s just that mental switch that this can be fast and easy. It is just because you’re cooking at home. It doesn’t mean it was really challenging or you had to do a lot of planning. It’s just having a couple of quick and easy. I completely agree.
Carole Freeman: And I’ll just add as well. I forgot to mention this, but you don’t have to get any fancy seasonings, right? Like salt and pepper on it when it’s cooking and that’s it. Keto people, just put few slabs of butter on it after it’s done as well too, you can finish it in the pan with butter or just put it on after it’s [00:44:00] done cooking. So easy. So delicious. You don’t have to get too complicated. Yeah. We talked about. Any last things you wanted to mention about how healthy, how efficiency, food and Alaska food specifically is for you for us.
Sena Wheelers: I guess one, one thing we hit on it. One more Alaska hit is I wanted to mention. Fish farming is actually illegal in Alaska, so it’s never been allowed in the state of Alaska. So it’s another one of those kind of points where it gets really complicated for people. It’s like why I need to understand so many things to go to the store and buy fish. And really, so a lot of times, I just what do I look for? And I would say wild is number one to me because of the health reasons, as well as just the taste and quality is, it’s just, it’s the best and it’s the best for you. And then keeping in mind, anything that says Alaskan is always going to be wild, sustainable, and no farming. Yeah. And I guess the last hit on that is just [00:45:00] that the fact that there’s no farming in the whole state, even if you’re buying wild, if it is spawn in the same river as fish farming, it can get disease and things from the fish farm because it’s migrating past fish farms. So the fact that they’re not allowed at all is just one more step to keeping that food source really pure. So I sound like an advertisement for Alaska, but what I’m trying to do is just demystify and make it simple.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. Valerie such I feel like I took a class, this been awesome. That’s great. Oh, good. I’m glad you had the value in this. Let’s see. So thank you everyone for being here up next week. I’m actually going to have, we’re going to be talking about keto pets, and I’m going to have a keto pet food on here. So I’m probably gonna, we’re probably going to learn any more stay tuned for the class next week, Valerie.
Carole Freeman: So today we talked all about the health benefit for us, for our planet, how amazing Alaska is and protecting our valuable seafood resources up there. And I’d want to mention our show sponsor [00:46:00] kito-space.com. They provide our show transcripts. So if you’re reading on my website they have generously provided full transcripts of the show it’s so those of you that can’t listen can actually just read the entire transcript of Fish class today.
Carole Freeman: Thank you again, Sena for being in here and people can check out what you have to offer again, at Senasea.com. For those of you listening it’s S E N A, sea, S E A, oh like the ocean.com. Check it out. Let me know what you think. Thank you again Sena for being here.
Sena Wheelers: Thank you. Thanks for having me. This is a really fun chat. I really appreciate it.
Carole Freeman: Oh, great. And thank you audience for being in here. Share this episode with somebody who maybe is afraid of fish or once a really good quality type of fish that they can have in their life since wild caught Alaskan, sharing is caring. So share this episode with a friend and remember help us for the show and thanks everyone for watching. See you next time, bye![00:47:00]
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