Friday, February 17, 2012

Awwww...nuts! National Almond Day

Yesterday was national almond day, and I didn't get to post about it. I actually planned on posting about it, but didn't have the time. SO...I'm celebrating yesterday, today. You follow?

I'm going to start by telling you a little story...Once upon a time I hated nuts in almost all forms. I say almost because I did like the little bags of peanuts I got on the airplane. That was about where I drew the line. I hated nuts in brownies. I hated nuts in bread. I hated nuts on muffins. I didn't want nuts in their natural lonely form. NO NUTS. The shocking part...I didn't even want much to do with peanut butter.

Time for some true confessions...
1. I still hate nuts in any baked good. They just ruin things, ok?
2. I didn't eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was 16. (GASP!!)
3. I always thought nuts were too high in calories and fat and it was probably better that I hated them anyways.

Explanation of my true confessions...
1. Self explanatory. They just ruin things, ok? I feel the same way about raisins.
2. I was the girl who took salads in a Tupperware, cut up vegetables, and all sorts of fruit snacks in my lunch, but NEVER a sandwich. Never. I still am not the biggest jam lover, and I didn't used to love honey, so what in the world would I be eating with peanut butter on bread. girls camp one summer we were desperate for food (aka: I was once VERY picky and hated a lot of foods) and a PB&J was my only option. LIFE CHANGING. Don't worry I've made up for lost time...

3. I had the wrong idea about nuts until I had an incredible class in college called Chronic Disease Prevention from Dr. Aldana. Our textbook was his book entitled, The Culprit and the Cure. If you haven't read it, read it. It is amazing, and it will change you view of food in a big way. I learned that nuts are a healthy food that are full of healthy fats and good calories. YES, they require some portion control, but eating nuts is VERY beneficial. Almonds happen to be one of my favorite foods now. I actually purchase them in bulk.
(Yep, I've used this photo before, and yep the bag was opened upside down.)
Almonds have so many health benefits.
- They fight heart disease! The good fats help to decrease the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol.
- They have antioxidants and all sorts of vitamins and minerals.  The antioxidants are cancer fighting agents, and come in the skin of the almonds.
- They have protein in them! Always a bonus This makes them a great snack to take with you on the go. I ALWAYS have a plastic bag of them in my purse. ALWAYS.

So...include some almonds in your diet! One serving is about an ounce or 24 almonds. The stats for one ounce of almonds is about 163 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber, and only 1 gram of sugar! AWESOME. Try to portion out a serving at a time so you don't overdo it, but by all means, eat your almonds!

I love my almonds raw and natural, slivered on salads, and even mixed in with trail mix. I also LOVE cinnamon almonds. THIS recipe is a healthified version that is super delicious.
What is YOUR favorite way to eat almonds? Do you like nuts in your baked goods? You can say yes and we will still be friends. Are you a fan of the ole' PB&J?


Rachelle Wardle said...

Love almonds! I am so much like you it is laughable. Hated, HATED nuts and peanut butter growing up. I tried my very first PB&J my freshmen year of college and now I am completely hooked. :)

Jessie said...

NOM NOM NOM! I love almonds. I also love almond milk, and almond butter! Yummy!

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