A plan ride does it every time….

By Kirsten West ND, LAc

It takes you to a new place, new surroundings and is often, depending on the nature of travel, quite invigorating.  I just returned from a wonderful trip with close friends (now fellow doctors) to 95 degree, sunny Arizona. It was wonderful: a recalibration of space, time, joy, and a whole bunch of laughter. And most of all, it was invigorating – a good way to break the “day to day” run of life, which we all need!  The only problem- the plane ride and the slowing of digestion- the one routine I wanted to keep. This is a common problem for many. There is a thought, that atmospheric pressure change associated with flight, is the culprit. Whatever, the case, I know I am not alone and this is a common complaint of most who see the world (and friends) via the sky.

The following is one of my favs! It is just the “ticket.” This recipe is a bit more involved but the best part is, most of the ingredients can be reused and any leftovers make for an awesome next day lunch (or dinner!). And even better, the flaxseed crackers can be kept and used for any number of snacks or meal additions.

Here’s the deal:

  • Arugula is one of the best “stimulating and energizing” In fact, Romans used to consume the leaves and claim that they not only felt more physically, but also sexually energized. Its consumption serves to awaken the system (turns out, in more ways than one :)). Due to its bitter nature, it helps to promote digestive function. Its place in the brassica family secures its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and high concentration of glucosinolates (natural cancer fighting phytochemicals.)
  • The addition of broccoli to this salad makes for an additional brassica family boost.
  • Trout is one of the best “summer” Its high essential fatty acid composition makes it a perfect all around anti-inflammatory. (For more on EPAs and also another recipe, see here). NOTE: we are able to source a good amount of this in Colorado. If wild caught trout is not available near you, wild caught salmon can act as a good substitute.
  • Tahini is a helpful support for platelets while also, along with olive oil, providing additional fatty acids to promote absorption of nutrients found in the arugula, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, and herbs in the flaxseed crackers.
  • Olive oil can never be forgotten. Its place among some of the anti-cancer foods is continually substantiated in those who consume it (in generous quantities) throughout life.
  • Pineapple juice, used in the dressing, contains bromelain- a great digestive enzyme serving to promote and increase proper digestive function and nutrient assimilation. NOTE: this should be avoided in those on a strict ketogenic food intake.
  • And finally, the flax seeds make for an excellent fiber boost helped, along by the stimulating properties of arugula. These littles guys also make for excellent hormonal maintenance, general GI detoxification, and also provide some additional omega 3s (more essential fatty acids).

Wild rainbow trout over arugula spinach salad with pineapple tahini dressing


  • 1 wild rainbow trout fillet (approx 159 gms)
  • 1 C arugula
  • 1 C spinach
  • ½ C artichoke hearts
  • ½ C broccoli flowerettes
  • flax cracker pieces (recipe below)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

How to make it:

Warm sautee pan with  ¼ tbsp olive oil. Add onions, artichokes and broccoli. Cook until desired. Remove veggies from heat. Add another ¼ tbsp olive oil to pan, sautee trout fillet until cooked through add back veggires. Sautee until warm.  Place trout and veggies over 1 C each of spinach and arugula.

Add croutons to salad

[Sprinkle about 1 tbsp oil over 1 slice of gluten free flax bread. Cook in oven until desired crunchiness is met. Approx. ½ slice of bread will suffice for about 5 croutons.]

Dress salad with 2 tbsp of pineapple tahini dressing (recipe follows)

Pineapple Tahini Salad Dressing


  • 5 ounces pineapple juice (may substitute a Bragg’s limeade as a substitute for those following a ketogenic diet)
  • 3 ounces tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon dill (dry or fresh)
  • 3 garlic cloves

How to make it:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend.

Raw Flaxseed Crackers

NOTE: this recipe does call for a food dehydrator. If you do not have one you can purchase flaxseed crackers at a health food store or on line! Some of my favs can be found  here.


  • 2 cups whole flaxseeds
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup tamari or coconut liquid aminos
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced herbs (optional: my favorites are rosemary, thyme, and black pepper (for their high flavonoid content))

How to make it:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, cover the flax seed crackers with water and allow to soak for at least 1 1/2 hours. The water will turn to a gelatinous goo.
  2. Check the mixture, and add more water if needed. You want the mixture to be gooey, but not runny, and not too thick.
  3. Stir in the tamari, or Liquid Aminos, sea salt and herbs. You can also get creative and add some extra flavors – a squirt of lime juice, minced ginger, chili powder or cayenne pepper – depending on your tastes.
  4. Spread the mixture about 1/8 inch thick on your dehydrators paraflexx or teflex sheets.
  5. Set your dehydrator to about 110 F, and dehydrate for 4-6 hours.
  6. Turn the mixture over, and dehydrate another 3 – 4 hours. If you like a crispy and crunchy cracker, dehydrate a bit longer.
  7. Break or slice your crackers into pieces when finished dehydrating.

Keep this one “on board” as needed! And make sure, when traveling, to take your probiotics and any other Optimal Terrain™ recommended microbiome support with you!