Dr. Oz and the Unemployment Rate

The current unemployment rate is 9.2%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which graphically depicts the unemployment rates dating back to 1950. The highest unemployment rate was 10.8% in 1982 and the lowest was 2.6% in 1953. The rate was as low as 3.9% in December of 2000. So you can see that like the ocean tides, the unemployment rate also ebbs and flows.

What does unemployment have to do with Dr. Oz, you might ask? Well, at this time in our lives, Dr. Oz is the purported health expert. At one time it was Jack LaLanne who, as far as I know, didn’t have a medical degree, just a passion for health. Dr. Oz, on the other hand, is a cardiothoracic surgeon born into a wealthy family, educated at Harvard and Penn. Does Dr. Oz know anything about unemployment, eating healthy on a budget or financial stressors? I doubt it, although he may know about financial stressors because sometimes very wealthy people live so high that even they can get in over their heads.
I wasn’t initially going to include Dr. Oz in my unemployment spiel but as I was researching salmon cake recipes, I came across a recipe from the Dr. Oz Show. Of course it wasn’t Dr. Oz’s recipe.

Sometimes, to really understand a situation, you have to walk a mile in another man’s (or woman’s) shoes. As someone who isn’t always financially savvy, I can relate to those who struggle to eat healthy while living on a shoe string. I am guessing that Dr. Oz cannot.

But, no matter what your financial situation, eating healthy should always be an important part of your life. Afterall, if you don’t have your health, you really don’t have anything.

I find that I create the best recipes when I don’t have a lot of extra cash or when I just want to use up everything I have.

This week I had some oatmeal, some whole wheat bread crumbs, flax seeds, eggs, an onion and two-14oz cans of sockeye salmon which everyone knows, is very rich in omega-3 fats. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must be aware of the importance of omega-3 fats in the diet. I have written about them many times over the past few years. To review, please visit my omega-3 series beginning with “Just the Flax Ma’am,” followed by “The Rest of the Story about Omega-3 Fats,” and ending with “Queen of the Fats.” To sum it all up, many of our maladies can be linked to a major imbalance between our intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fats.

On one hand, omega-6 fats promote inflammation and clotting, on the other hand, omega-3’s reduce inflammation and clotting. We often think of inflammation and clotting as “bad” because we think of painful arthritis, and blood clots as they relate to heart attacks and stroke, but every pathway in the body has a purpose. Inflammation is part of the healing process and blood clotting can save your life when you’re bleeding profusely. Inflammation can also kill off invading viruses. But researchers have linked “chronic” inflammation to “chronic” diseases. So supplement manufacturers, and anyone out to make a buck, have been trying to find the answer to all our problems in “one little bottle” of….fish oil, krill oil pills, or flax oil.

When Lucy Ricardo drank Vitameatavegamin and got drunk, she learned that the answer to “all her problems” could not be found in one little bottle. The answer is in fact, in your day-to-day choices. And even when money is tight, you can make choices to help keep your inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways in balance.

Researchers can’t even agree on how much omega-3 fats you need in the diet, it really depends on the condition/disease you’re trying to treat. But researchers can agree that we need to change the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats from the current 17+: 1 to a more balanced 4:1 or less.

The reason the balance is so important, is that the omega-6 fat Linoleic Acid (LA) and the omega-3 fat Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) compete for the exact same enzyme in the body that converts them to their more useable form. In the case of ALA, it eventually gets converted to EPA & DHA which you have probably heard of by now. These are the fats that promote the anti-inflammatory pathways. DHA, in particular, is known for making up a large proportion of brain fat including part of the outer shell (cell membrane) of every cell in the body. Optimal DHA in cell membranes makes those cells work better. DHA can even be found in highest concentrations in the muscles of trained athletes.

However, short term supplementation with omega-3 rich fats does not necessarily show an improvement in performance. It takes time, a regular, vigorous exercise routine and consistently following a more balanced omega-6 to omega-3 diet to see a change in the composition of cell membranes and a subsequent enhancement in performance.

To help you as you strive for enhanced performance, more energy and optimal health, oh, and weight loss too, all while living on a shoe string, I’m offering up some of my budget friendly, perfectly balanced and super nutrient dense recipes. The salmon recipe is obviously high in omega-3 fats but to really help you achieve more balance I’ve paired it with a super-green drink. I love these green drinks, especially in the hot summer months, not that Santa Monica is ever really hot. The average temperature is 70 degrees, pretty much year round.

Instead of just eating a cup of raw or steamed spinach or salad greens, sometimes it’s nice to throw it in a blender with some seasonal fresh fruit, flax seeds, ice and water and really up the nutritional value of your meal or snack while quenching your thirst. Plus the sheer volume of this omega-3 and fiber rich beverage with natural protein to boot, makes it the perfect midday snack to sip while working or working out.  I keep mine in my 24 oz. Thermos Hydration bottle and carry them in my Built NY insulated bottle holder.Try it. Your energy will be consistent and you won’t experience those blood sugar ebbs and flows that are caused by most energy drinks or poor snack choices. Energy ebbs and flows are a natural part of your body’s rhythm but we don’t want to encourage them with less than optimal food or beverage choices.

Now that you’ve got some tools to help you achieve more balance. Please give these recipes a try. Brought to you by someone who really knows the trials and tribulations of trying to be healthy when money is tight.

NOTE the nutrient content of each recipe. Although the salmon cakes are low in Vitamins A & C, the green drink makes up for these lacking nutrients. Now that’s balance! Who needs supplements? 

Salmon Cakes
Salmon Cakes

2 (14oz) cans sockeye salmon, drained
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash sea salt
1 small yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups whole oats
1 cup panko, Japanese-style, whole wheat bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine canned salmon, including bones and skin. Add Dijon, horseradish, egg, flax seeds, salt & pepper. Pulse to thoroughly combine ingredients. Pour salmon puree into a large mixing bowl. Add oats and onion. Use clean hands to mix oats and onion with salmon. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place bread crumbs on a plate. Grab small handfuls of salmon. Rolls salmon in bread crumbs to coat evenly. Place salmon cakes on baking tray and press down with a spatula. Bake 25 minutes.
Enjoy with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 teaspoon horseradish.

Cost per serving: $2.21
Nutrients per serving (2 cakes, 5.8oz/165g): Calories: 318, Total Fats: 11 g, Omega-3 fats: 1,810mg, Sodium: 672 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 25 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 29 g
Omega-6: Omega-3 = 0.6:1, the goal is 4:1 or less
Salmon Cake Ingredients
Canned Salmon with Bones
Pureed Salmon

% Daily Value (DV)
Selenium: 69%
Vitamin D: 64%
Niacin: 60%
Phosphorus: 50%
Manganese: 43%
Calcium: 29%
B-6: 20%
Riboflavin: 20%
Magnesium: 18%
Thiamin-B1: 15%
Potassium: 15%
Zinc: 13%
Iron: 12%
Vitamin-E: 11%
Copper: 10%
Folate: 8%
B-12: 7%
Vitamin A: 7%
Vitamin C: 1%

Green Drink
Super Green Drink

1 cup raw spinach
1 cup watermelon, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried spirulina or mixed super greens powder (optional)
1 heaping Tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/4 cup cilantro or 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups water
6 ice cubes

Throw everything in the blender, except the ice cubes, and blend. Gradually add the ice cubes until you reach a desired consistency. I like my drink slushy. I make two of these in the morning before going to the gym. I pour them in my 24oz Thermos brand hydration bottle. Then I put them in the freezer and drink one when I get home and the other later in the day. Do not leave in the freezer for more than 3 hours.

Cost per serving: $0.62
Nutrients per serving (~24oz/673g): Calories: 106, Total Fats: 2.5 g, Omega-3 fats: 1,220mg, Sodium: 64 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 17 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 12 g, Protein: 4 g
Omega-6: Omega-3 = 0.2:1, the goal is 4:1 or less

Green Drink

% Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin C: 34%
Vitamin A: 32%
Manganese: 28%
Folate: 21%
Magnesium: 14%
Iron: 12%
Copper: 12%
Potassium: 11%
Riboflavin: 8%
Calcium: 7%
B-6: 7%
Vitamin-E: 6%
Niacin: 6%
Phosphorus: 5%
Thiamin-B1: 5%
Zinc: 4%
Selenium: 1%
Vitamin D: 0%
B-12: 0%


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