Fresh Sardines with Garlic & Tarragon

The month of March was a giant diet hiccup for me. I was sick for 2 weeks…got better…traveled to Venice, Italy (and stuffed myself silly on fried seafood, gelato and pizza!) and then the last week of the month I got sick AGAIN! So it’s safe to say I didn’t work out for a whole month and pretty much forgot about dieting.

Unfortunately, I also gained back the 10 pounds I lost in January & February.

Being sick last week really gave me some time to think about how I have been approaching my low carb diet. Honestly, the keto route has made me feel very unhealthy! My nails have becoming insanely brittle, all of the sudden I have dandruff and over all I just feel gross. I know a lot of people swear by a constant state of ketosis/high fat diet….but I think it might just not be for me!

So the hubby wanted to try a lower-carb IIFYM diet. Basically, you calculate your specific needs for calories, fats, carbs and protein and only eat that daily. I calculated a typical day for me on a high fat diet and realized I was eating over 3,000 calories per day! No wonder I wasn’t losing weight!

So according to theΒ IIFYM Calculator, my macros are 35% fat, 25% carbs, 40% protien and about 1,800 calories per day. I have also been logging my meals on the MyFitnessPal phone app! I was really worried about eating 114 grams of carbs per day, seeing that I was used to under 20 per day! Also, 1,800 calories? That seems like NOTHING!

To my surprise, I am eating HUGE meals and feeling super satisfied! Lots of veggies, fruit, lean meats, egg whites and whole grain BREAD! I know what your thinking, bread on a low carb diet? It will never work.Β Well, it’s been 10 days and I have lost 7 pounds.

So it’s safe to say that I am still limiting my carbs, but adding a lot more fresh foods. I feel great!

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Sardines have become a staple in our house, usually in the canned form. Recently, I found a grocery store that has them frozen and sometimes fresh! Depending on the size of your sardine, you may or may not have to bone them. I opted for the tiny frozen ones, so all I had to do was gut them.

DSC_0479The flavor of fresh sardines is less “fishy” and has a meatier texture than it’s canned version. I love it!

DSC_0480Cooking this fish is so simple. Just a little bit of oil, herbs, lemon and seasoning and pop it in the oven for about 14 minutes. My fish were small, so I didn’t have to remove the bones. Bigger sardines will have to have the spine removed, but you can stuff them!

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Sardines fresh out of the oven. The garlic and lemon smell amazing!

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Sardines with Tarragon & Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pound fresh whole sardines, scaled and gutted
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously brush a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with oil; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, tarragon, garlic, zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over mixture; stir to combine.

  3. Place sardines so they overlap slightly in prepared baking dish. Generously brush with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle herb mixture over the fish. Bake until fish are cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

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3 responses to “Fresh Sardines with Garlic & Tarragon

  1. Hi,

    If you want all of the health benefits and none of the down sides of long term low carb/ Leto diets read a book called β€˜carb nite’ by John Kiefer. The if it fits your macros will work for weight loss in the short term but over a long period you will stall and it will affect your health.

    Good luck and keep up the blog it is fantastic !

    Cheers

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