My Fish Story

If you have read other sections of, then you’ve probably read a bit about our story. It’s true that the idea for Sizzlefish was born on a training run. Not that it was an earthshaking idea to supply pure, natural fish to health & fitness conscious folks… I mean, everybody knows that fish is good for you, right? But this idea tied three things that occupy my mind – a lot – and put them together into a new way of supplying fish. These things are

  1. Really good fish – choice types of fish, pure, natural cuts
  2. Improved athletic performance and better health
  3. Supplying fish directly to consumers

My career has been as a “fish guy.” I’ve been lucky to spend nearly 3 decades with a great team in wholesale seafood – specifically, supplying premium quality fish to natural and premium grocery chains and to white-tablecloth restaurants.Thing # 1 above, really good fish, is what we are about. We are proud to be fish guys (and girls). Really good fish is delicious! It’s also a unique and complex business; no two weeks are the same. And there is great satisfaction in working with something that you know is both good and good for you!

Thing # 2 is both scientific and personal.  I’m thinking about my health and also about fitness pursuits pretty much constantly, and because you are reading this, I’ll bet you are too.  Back in the 1980s, studies began revealing great health benefits about eating fish, beginning with heart-health. Nowadays we know that benefits of a diet rich in fish are so broad that they extend to things like brain function and eye health. And they include benefits to athletes in the forms of improved cardio and pulmonary function as well as reduction in inflammation.  If Big Pharma had invented fish, we would all be consuming it daily, by prescription, and probably paying $200 per lb for it!  Lucky for us, fish is available to eat in a variety of types and with infinite cooking possibilities – and hopefully you will find that Sizzlefish makes it super-easy for you to enjoy fish more often!

On the personal side – I’m an average guy, probably like you. While never a standout athlete as a kid, I love the competition and comradery of amateur sports and outdoor pursuits. I was a mediocre runner for about 15 years continuously, and a couple of years ago I “discovered” triathlon. I love it! (In no small part due to being more competitive on the bike and in the water than as a runner.) I’ve kept spiral notebooks for a decade and a half that document just about every run, bike, swim, race or other physical pursuit I’ve taken on. I like to think and learn about and plan for events almost as much as I like to train and do them.  Analysis, prediction, results are all part of the fun!

In that vein, here is a brief description and analysis of my own health-and-fitness story, shared with the belief that you may be able to identify with it. This may be the only time I speak so seriously on this blog (going forward we’ll offer up recipes, ideas, anecdotes, and pics of food, or stuff like people wearing aero helmets backwards).  Grew up not fat but never skinny; not really an athlete. In college I jogged some and lifted weights to maintain core fitness and appearance, and continued to do this most of the time into my early thirties. My genetic predisposition for high cholesterol always showed up in testing. In my 20s and 30s even when I concentrated on exercise and lost weight, my bad cholesterol was high and good cholesterol was low. (Later, I would discover this was due in large part to eating what I thought was healthy back then – a diet heavy on rice and vegetables.)

Then, by mid-30s, there were signals to change. My wife and I had our kids, I started thinking more about staying healthy, thinking how to lower my cholesterol, and how to avoid the track to high blood pressure later on that my father had experienced. I really wanted to avoid statins or any meds if possible. One of those family wedding photos appeared where I looked just…not how I wanted to start looking. I began to run, and used races to keep motivated: mostly 5ks, then a couple of 10ks, one marathon, and several halves thereafter. In my 40s, after logging a lot of running and eating habits in my notes, and getting good advice from my physician brother, I began reducing white rice, potatoes and bread and quickly saw improvement in my blood profile. I lost weight in the process too. Diet change clearly worked!

I’m kind of ashamed to admit this part: I really didn’t think about how much fish I ate until the past decade or so. Always knew it was good for you and enjoyed it regularly, but ate it along with a steady diet of poultry, beef, and pork. Nowadays at our house we eat fish more than other meats, and the proportion of my diet that is fruits and veggies is way up compared to say 15 years ago. This past winter I focused on leg strength training as part of off-season triathlon training, and this requires protein for the training to optimally work. In doing so I realized that I get all the protein necessary – ounce for ounce an amazing amount - from the 5-6 fish meals a week that I eat. Starches, particularly white starches are eaten in moderation (often as pizza crust).  I enjoy food as much now as I did when my diet was richer in the wrong things, and I don’t deny myself good things like chocolate and other goodies.

The payoff:  Today, I’m 15 pounds lighter than I averaged through my 20s and 30s, and 5 pounds lighter than as a runner through my 40s. Cholesterol is lower than in my 20s (on no meds); BP is lower than a decade ago.  In the past year I’ve set personal bests in running, biking, and swimming…which is pretty exciting and fun to be doing after turning 50!  I feel great, and am convinced that the PRs and good health are as inextricably related to diet as to the workout routines. Fish is a big part of my health and fitness plan, and I am convinced that it can be a positive part of yours as well.

All the Best,

Rob Mayo

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