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What is SMASH Fish?

When is the last time you’ve had your mercury level tested?  Our clients are regularly discovering their mercury levels can be higher than expected and it can be quite a surprise.  Higher mercury fish such as king mackerel, tilefish, swordfish and shark are a problem as this is toxic the body and brain and can be quite disruptive. Vancouverites know all too well the wonderful enjoyment of sushi, I’m talking to you tuna sashimi!, but it may be time to reduce or eliminate tuna options. Large predatory fish like tuna that eat smaller fish are a highest in mercury concentrations and over time ingestion will raise your levels.


One of the healthiest food choices is fish.  Besides being a source of low-fat and high-quality protein, it is a rich source of vital nutrients such as vitamin D-a nutrient that many people must supplement because of deficiency.  Fish is also rich in calcium and phosphorus, as well as other minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium. We recommend consuming at least twice per week as part of a healthy diet.


When heading to your local market, pay close attention to the seafood option you choose to bring home. S.M.A.S.H. is a handy acronym to remember. These are safe fish choices that typically contain the lowest levels of mercury:

S - Salmon

M - Mackerel

A - Anchovies

S - Sardines

H – Herring

Seeking an easy and creative way to prepare your fish?  Longevity Coach & Functional Nutritionist, Melanie Rathbun, is sharing one of her favourite ways to prepare wild salmon, great for spring and summer!


Sheet Pan Salmon & Asparagus


This easy, nourishing meal is simple to put together and cooks quickly! It’s best to use wild coho or sockeye salmon for the recipe. King salmon is too thick and takes much longer to cook.  Serve salmon with a salad, steamed vegetables and even cooked quinoa if desired for a balanced meal. Serves 4.



  • 1 ½ pounds wild salmon fillets

  • 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed

  • 2 lemons sliced

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

  2. Place the salmon filets onto the sheet pan.

  3. Trim to woody ends off the asparagus spears, then place them around the salmon.

  4. Add the lemon slices to the salmon filets; nestle a few around the asparagus spears.

  5. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  6. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes only! Watch carefully so the asparagus and salmon don’t overcook. Timing will depend on the thickness of the salmon and asparagus spears.



  • Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) If you are following the AIP diet simply omit the black pepper.

  • Low-Oxalate – black pepper. There are approximately 6 mg of oxalates in ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper.  If you are following a low-oxalate diet, then be aware of how much black pepper you are using to season your food.  A pinch here and there may be okay but larger amounts should be avoided.



Melanie Rathbun


Functional Medicine Longevity Coach & Nutritionist


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