Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Healthy Nuts for Your Training Table

Nuts and seeds can be a healthy part of your training table this season.
I can remember enjoying all sorts of nuts since I was a child, especially those walnuts my father would bring home starting around Thanksgiving. A neighbor would give us Christmas gifts of pecans in the shell each year. We also ate fresh roasted peanuts as my father's cousins grew peanuts for Planters on their Virginia farms. They would always send us off with a 20 lb sack of raw peanuts in the shell that we would roast in the oven. Lately I've become a fan of Macademia Nuts ever since my brother began shipping them to me while on vacation in Hawaii!

The point is that you don't have to stay away from nuts (unless you have allergies of course) due to their reputation for being high in fat. On that note, let me say that not all nuts and seeds are alike in their fat profile. All the same, you NEED good fat in your diet and raw nuts / seeds can certainly fill the bill.  Here are some TOP nutty choices for your training table:

Setton Farms Whole Pistachios and Chewy Bites
1.) Pistachio Nuts
If you are concerned about controlling the amount of fat in your diet, pistachios offer a lot of taste and nutrition but are lower in fat than other nuts. In fact one serving of pistachios = 49 nuts! That's a lot more than you get in a serving of other nuts. Technically a seed, pistachios also lend well to being added to salads, homemade energy bars and baked goods. In fact Setton Farms offers whole, fresh California pistachios as well as these new Pistachio Chew Bites. These are soft, chewy little bars of dried cranberries, agave and at least 50% pistachios. Vegan, Kosher, gluten and GMO free, you get 30 different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the combination. Absolutely delicious and easy to take with you on a run or bicycle ride. Check them out at SettonFarms.com

Raw Pecans are rich in antioxidants. 
2.) Pecans
While pecans are higher in fat than pistachios, they are a powerhouse of antioxidants. 10 pecans come in at about 98 calories with 10 grams of total fat. They also have trace amounts of iron and calcium. Add them to cereal, salads, energy bars as toasting them a bit gives them a richer flavor. I buy a big bag in bulk and refrigerate to prevent rancidity. 

Coated Almonds

3.) Almonds
These are perhaps some of the most versatile of all nuts and seeds. I showed you how to easily make your own organic almond milk with this simple recipe which you can read HERE. Rich in antioxidants and protein you can use them raw, toasted, slivered and more.  I like to cook the meal that is left over from the almond milk, as a porridge. So yummy! Buy Certified Organic Raw almonds in bulk and refrigerate. I like the certified organic California almonds from TimbuktuRanches.com

Organic Raw Almonds being soaked for almond milk.

4.) Coconuts
More specifically organic coconut oil or coconut butter. Coconut oil has been one of the body builder's best kept secrets. Take a tablespoon each day to help boost your metabolism and burn body fat. I use coconut oil in cooking in place of other oils. Replaces butter or oil in baking and other dishes, I use it for my home baked bread. Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is available most everywhere now but check out online companies and purchase in bulk. 

Coco Joy Pure Coconut Water

Coconut Water: Likewise coconut water, (not made from concentrate), is a refreshing, healthy drink that many athletes use to recover after a workout. I like Coco Joy as it has no added sugar or preservatives. It is REALLY great tasting and is Nature's Own Isotonic. Like opening a coconut and drinking the milk. Visit Cocojoy.com to see all their coconut products.

Nature's Approved Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil in my baked bread.
5.) Sesame Seeds & Sesame Oil
Toasted or raw, sesame seeds are rich in Omega 3's and believe it or not, calcium. Sprinkle them on salads, in yogurt and on vegetable dishes. Better still is Organic Sesame Seed Oil which is delicious in just about everything butter would be used in. I like to use Sublime Beauty Naturals Certified Organic Pure Sesame Oil for cooking Asian dishes especially. So good! A little goes a very long way especially if you use non-toxic, non-stick cookware. Similar to Coconut Oil for versatility, Sesame Seed Oil has 101 uses including oil pulling for oral hygiene and as a superior moisturizer. Get it at SublimeBeautyNaturals.com

Certified Organic Pure Sesame Oil

6.) Organic Nutty Cereals
As a certified nut-lover, most cereals never seem to have enough fruit and nuttage for my tastes with one exception. Viki's Granola. My favorite is the Maple Cranberry but all of her flavor selections have a ample helping of sunflower seeds and nuts. So delicious, I like to add a little on top of my Greek Yogurt! Check them out at Wegman's, Whole Foods or online at VikisGranola.com
Want a little nuttiness to go? Try Carrington Farms Organic Flax Hemp Packs. Ready to eat and rich in proteins and omega 3's, I keep a few packs with me in my handbag,  Really scrumptious from CarringtonFarms.com.

Viki's Granola

Fresh & dried fruit, granola topped yogurt.

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