We received many wonderful entries to our recent essay contest and want to express our heartfelt thanks to all who participated.
Selecting winners was an incredibly difficult task, as every entry was thoughtful, creative and articulate. It's clear that Vital Choice customers are an extremely bright lot—the essays were some of the most direct evidence we've seen linking fish consumption and brain power!
Congratulations to the winners:
1st Prize: Susan Eliason
2nd Prize: Judy Gorfain
3rd Prize: Nina Holly
These are the winners, starting with Susan Eliason's energetic essay:
Vital Choice: Aahh-fishally My New Favorite Energy Source
By Susan Eliason
Snappp! went the lid off my first can of Vital Choice Alaskan Salmon. Onto my waiting plate it went, all 3.75 ounces, along with some freshly cleaned spinach and chopped red onion.
“This is the day I embark on my voyage to better health,” I murmured to no one in particular as I squeezed a modest shot of Thousand Island dressing on the side and a squirt of lime over the whole thing for good measure.
“Here's to you, Andrew Weil,” I continued, raising a forkful of my piquant concoction in honor of the good doctor who greets me each day with his tip for better living. It took a while, but I finally got that he wants me to eat more salmon—real Alaskan salmon. The artificially colored, pen-bred, pellet-fed variety they try to bait me with at the warehouse store just doesn't cut it any more.
What happened after I finished my savory, guilt-free lunch surprised even me.
I graded papers, changed a tire
Cleaned my pantry, fixed the dryer;
Purged a closet, baked a squash
Dusted, vacuumed, did the wash—
Stopped a quarrel, made a call,
Helped a neighbor, cruised the mall,
Took apart the family room
Put it back, and then—vroom, vroom—
Sat in something of a quandary
Thinking, as I folded laundry,
“Every task is such a snap!
How come I don't want a nap?”
Actually, it came as no surprise that my noon refueling selection had propelled me upstream with agility and stamina all afternoon and beyond. I've known for years that I feel much better when I include regular helpings of high-quality fish on the menu. Problem is, I'm a creature of convenience—and, till now, finding a grabbable single serving of tasty seafood has been anything but convenient.
And in a day when many Americans are drowning in fast food options that pack on fat and promote disease, what a treasure I've found in Vital Choice! Here's a slowly and carefully produced but quickly accessed treat that not only delights the palate but also strengthens and streamlines my body. It's aptly named, too. Vital contains both life-giving and essential connotations. Choice reflects my ability to select what I want—and who doesn't love to choose?
It's an hour until bed now, just enough time to tackle that disorganized basement and eliminate some of the debris that's been floating around for so long down there. First, though, a final couplet in my poetic tribute to a delicious new source of joie de vivre:
I've sailed through this day at the top of my voice;
And I'm still not done shouting—Ahoy, Vital Choice!
Vital Salmon, My Choice for Every Season (and every seasoning)
By Judy Gorfain
The World is a snow globe—soft fat flakes drift toward evening on a late January afternoon, gathering in the hollows of angel wings on a snowy hillside. I start with Vital Choice canned salmon; add buttery fresh breadcrumbs, translucent bits of minced onion, a sprinkle of sea salt, a grind of pepper, and an egg with an organic pedigree. Sometimes I bless the mixture with fresh herbs, sometimes not. I sizzle the cakes gently to a golden brown. My favorite Sunday night supper.
Pale and tender green shoots, soft blue blossoms opening under gentle April rain. Wild asparagus stalked along a country road, a wild salmon filet simply roasted under shallots and feathery dill—a perfect pair for a romantic Spring dinner for the two of us.
Summer on a plate. Chilled Salmon straight from the can, spilled onto a tangle of baby greens—a squeeze of lemon, a scatter of tiny black olives. I add a crusty baguette and something sparkly to drink. We watch the sun set over the harbor from the side porch.
Bright yellow, russet, magenta, tawny gold leaves and the windblown fluff of milkweed seeds. Sumac, pumpkins, Bittersweet berries. The Autumn glint of salmon leaping through rainbows of cold spray, on their way upstream. Halloween treats, costumes and parties. We dip into spicy salmon mousse, festive and delicious.
Thank you for simply superb Salmon. I can't wait to try all of your other products. I love being inspired.
Saved by Vital Choice
By Nina Holly
Vital Choice salmon saved my life not once but twice in the last couple of years! It was my first year at law school, and the stress was terrible. Between the looming exams, intimidating professors and intense competition for grades, I found myself utterly fatigued and frazzled. Like many of my female classmates, I reached for tasty carbohydrate snacks to energize and reward myself; chocolate chip cookies, Danish pastries and croissants were all on the daily menu.
After a few weeks of this, my expanding waistline and my low energy levels were sad testimony to my poor eating habits. In addition to being stressed out, I was chubby and tired.
Luckily, my boyfriend, a long-time seafood lover and devoted Vital Choice fan, intervened. "Fish is brain food," he explained. He also tactfully mentioned that a well-balanced diet with lots of fish was helpful to people struggling with their weight (he wisely did not mention any names), as evidenced in popular diets such as the Perricone Prescription.
The following week, he showed up at my apartment with an armful of salmon—lots of bright red cans and a few scrumptious-looking salmon fillets. I was skeptical at first, knowing my deep love for bagels and donuts, but agreed to eat red salmon at least once per day as my boyfriend suggested.
Fast forward through three months of Vital Choice salmon, I had lost my "freshman fifteen" and found I had mental and physical energy enough to spare! The best part was, I never got tired of eating red salmon—I still eat it daily and it shows.
The Vital Choice salmon saga was not yet over: later that year, a few of my classmates and I were in charge of cooking a fancy dinner at an end-of-term party hosted by one of our professors, who was known to be something of a gourmand. We had put together a lovely menu, but could not agree on the main course. I had advocated for a salmon dish (surprise!), but my suggestion was outvoted in favor of a Thai chicken meal.
When the evening of the party arrived, I was helping set up the table, when I suddenly smelled something burning. I rushed into the kitchen, where the Thai chicken was turning black, and the person in charge was nowhere to be seen! There were only a couple of hours remaining, and the chicken was ruined.
As luck would have it, my boyfriend stored a goodly-sized red salmon filet in the freezer that he had bought for another upcoming group dinner. I brushed the filet with some olive oil, added a few spices and quickly slipped it in the oven.
The dinner was a grand success—our discerning professor was delighted with the meal and complimented the cooking team on their efforts. The change from chicken to fish was only known by a few select individuals, and I believe that the meal turned out even better than it would have with the Thai chicken (My boyfriend did have to buy another fillet of red salmon, though).
Thank you, life-saving Vital Choice salmon!