Eating fish and lean meats for dinner every night is healthy, sure, but it can also get boring—nutritionist Philip Goglia knows this and is prepared to help.
“Fatty fish when consumed at night promotes deep sleep, helps you release growth hormones; it’s a big time anti-inflammatory. So it has all these great benefits to promote fat utilization while you sleep,” says the founder of Performance Fitness Concepts, who works with members of the Kardashian family on a rotating basis, in this week’s issue on PEOPLE. “But after a while you look at the fish and you just want to puke. You go, ‘I can’t deal with this.’ “
That’s why Goglia recommends experimenting with a mix of different unrefined sugars and herbs to lightly baste filets of fish like salmon, black cod and sea bass.
“A little bit of maple syrup with cracked sea salt on top of it will give it a sweetness. Or try a little bit of drizzled honey mixed with white ponzu. Even black strap molasses is interesting,” he says. “These are flavorings that make these things tolerable.”
One of his clients Khloé Kardashian’s “favorite” takes on this tactic is a maple salmon paired with spinach and asparagus (full recipe below).
Working together for many years, Goglia has been witness to the reality star’s huge shift towards making nutrition and fitness a priority over the years.
“The biggest change that Khloe’s had is being unreasonable about her foods. Previously years ago it was like this, ‘I’m so busy, I can’t get that done now I’ll get it later. Oh, my water bottle’s empty but I have to take this meeting,’ ” says the creator of the peanut butter and jelly packets Split Nutrition. “Her mind set is now completely changed. She’s completely unreasonable. She will say, ‘Hang on, my water bottle is empty I need to go fill it up, I’ll be right back.’ She knows that if she services her nutrition patterns everything else she does becomes easier and more efficient.”
Goglia has passed on a few realistic dieting tips to Khloé that have helped her stay on track—like limiting her to cheat meals instead of cheat days. “Park yourself in front of Krispy Kreme for all I care, just make it one meal,” he says. “And then get back on track. Compliance is critical.”
He also has one “big rule” for dining out. “Khloe knows that if there’s a ton of nachos in front of you but you’re staring at your sea bass, you need to eat the fish first—and then dive into the crap. You’re always eat less crap if you’re eating healthy stuff first.”
Philip Goglia’s Maple Salmon with Spinach & Asparagus
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup ponzu sauce
1½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
2 (8-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets
4 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-in. pieces (1 cup)
2 tsp. olive oil
4 cups loosely packed spinach
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
⅛ tsp. kosher salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together maple syrup, garlic, ponzu and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. Pour mixture into a large ziplock plastic bag. Add salmon; seal and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Toss together asparagus and oil on a nonstick baking sheet; spread in an even layer. Roast in oven until crisptender and beginning to char, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer asparagus to a bowl; set aside until ready to use.
3. Transfer salmon, skin-side down, to baking sheet, reserving 2 table-spoons marinade. (Discard remaining marinade.) Roast until salmon flakes easily, 12 to 15 minutes, brushing with reserved marinade halfway through cook time. Remove from oven.
4. Add spinach to cooled asparagus; toss together. Add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and remaining ½ table-spoon lemon juice; toss to combine. Serve with roasted salmon.
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Per serving: 433 calories, 51g protein 17g total fat, 856mg sodium, 14g carbs, 2g fiber, 10g sugars