Light and Fresh for Summer and the 80/20 Rule

Welcome  We’re wrapping up our Simple Summer Suppers Series today with a light and fresh salmon recipe accompanied by a sweet and spicy strawberry and cucumber salsa and I share one of my favorite tips for getting a healthy eating mindset.  Please note: This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when you click on one of my Amazon product links and make a qualifying purchase.  There is no additional cost to you and helps keep this site free for your use and free from pop-ups.  Thank you.

Food For Thought  It should be no surprise to you that I pray a lot, about a wide variety of things, from extremely personal to global.  One of my recent prayers was focused on my eating habits and lifestyle choices.  I feel I need some help in this area, and who better to help than my mighty God?

I’ve been so bogged down with all the types of exercises my body won’t let me do anymore.  I lost focus of the little choices I can make each day that add up to big differences.  I said a prayer for God to help me find balance between my love for cooking and baking and making healthy eating choices for me and my family.  I don’t think God expects me to abandon my enthusiasm for food, cooking, and baking, but He can help me with little things, like the 80/20 rule.

When I looked up the 80/20 rule for food, I found many different explanations.  One said to eat until you feel 80% full and then stop.  Another said that you categorize your eating habits and attack the worst 20% first, while not worrying about the other 80% until you begin to feel successful with new habits.  Another source claimed the “magic” formula for weight loss was 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise.  When I first heard about 80/20 with food, it was a simple direction to eat healthy 80% of the time, while allowing yourself treats and indulgences the other 20 percent of the time.  This seems to be how the majority face the 80/20 rule in their diets.  I’m not sure how you are at curbing cravings and handling indulgent eating situations in real life, but for me this seems like a manageable and reasonable expectation.


I’ve had a mostly good week, personally speaking, but I want to focus on those healthy choices for a moment.  When I stop demanding perfection from myself or feeling the need to meet everyone else’s expectations about weight, numbers, and food trends, I can start focusing on the little steps that add up to make a big difference.  I can’t run anymore, but I can walk.  My feet and legs don’t let me walk long and hard anymore, but a mile here and there each day adds up.  My joints aren’t super flexible right now and I’m definitely not as strong as I used to be, but twenty minutes of yoga in the morning and evening will slowly improve my flexibility and strength.

Just know this about me: I’m not going to give up baking and eating desserts-those recipes will still come.  I’m not going to give up entire food categories, like carbohydrates.  I’m not going to jump on board the latest diet trend bandwagon.  Not for a loss of pounds and inches and certainly not just for an increase in traffic to my page.  I find these actions to leave me feeling “unbalanced,” nutritionally and emotionally.  I can, however, choose to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables at each meal and snack on more nutritious options.  I can lighten up some of my favorite dishes with big, impactful flavors from fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.  I can look for ways to get more food (I do like to eat!) for my calorie and nutrition-buck.  I even try to apply the 80/20 rule to my beverages, drinking water at least 80 percent of my day, while allowing for my (gasp!) caffeine in the other 20 percent.

Today’s Scripture  In words from Zechariah 4:10 (NIV), “Who dares despise the day of small things…?”

Suggested Reading  Check out these great posts about the 80/20 Rule and establishing a healthy eating mindset.

The 80-20 Rule: A Practical Diet Approach for a Healthier Relationship with Food

The Clean Eating 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule–Stop Feeling Guilty for those Treats!

Find more articles on my Pinterest board, Healthy Eating Mindset

Today’s Recipe  One of my favorite ways to eat healthy is adding fruits and vegetables to every meal in a creative way.  This is what I’m bringing to today’s dish–a sweet and spicy strawberry-cucumber salsa with a brown sugar-rubbed salmon filet.  I love the sweetness of seasonal berries, joined with the coolness of cucumber and the mild heat of a fresh jalapeno.  The flavors are married with lime, mint, and tangy onion.

salmon with strawberry salsa
Eat more fish, fruit, and vegetables with this light and fresh dish perfect for simple summer suppers.


Glazed Salmon with Strawberry & Cucumber Salsa (about 4 servings)

For Salmon

  • 4 salmon filets, about 6 ounces each
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 TBS spicy ground mustard
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For Salsa

  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 TBS fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 TBS finely diced red onion
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar

Prepare salsa ahead of time, if possible, to allow the flavors to mingle.  In medium bowl gently stir all the salsa ingredients together.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary for your preferences.  My version is intended to be a spicy and sweet combination, but you may consider it too much heat, so you may choose to use less than a whole jalapeno or you may want to add more sugar.  Chill until ready to serve.  Note, this strawberry and cucumber salsa also makes a great dip for whole grain chips.

For the salmon, rinse and pat dry the filets with paper towels.  Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray and lay salmon on foil, skin-side down.  Season the flesh side of the salmon with salt and pepper.  Combine the brown sugar, mustard, and oil in small bowl.  Brush or rub onto salmon.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Salmon is ready when pale pink in color and flakes easy with fork.  Top each salmon portion with some strawberry and cucumber salsa for serving.

Strawberry Cucumber Salsa
Sweet and heat collide with this mix of strawberries, cucumbers, mint, and jalapeno!


Recommended Products from Amazon  A juicer for your citrus is a big help!

Zulay Premium Quality Metal Lemon Lime Squeezer

Alex’s Lemonade Stand 34-oz Citrus Juicer

Bellemain Premium Quality Stainless Steel Lemon Squeezer with Silicone Handles

OXO Good Grips Small Citrus Juicer with Built-in Measuring Cup and Strainer



2 thoughts on “Light and Fresh for Summer and the 80/20 Rule

  1. Hi Robin! These recent recipes have really helped me stay focused on healthy eating. Also ordered the Rubbermaid storage set thru you-love it! Glad you are “blooming” in your new pathway. E

    1. Hey, Elizabeth, I’m so glad to hear from you and know you are loving the recipes and the products. A combination of learning, perseverance, and a lot of faith are helping me grow faith-family-food. Thank you for your support!

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