Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

Actually, most times I feel like a nut, in more ways than one. If you were to ask my wife, other family members, or any of my close acquaintances, most, if not all, would agree that I tend to conduct myself in a nutty fashion from time to time. Hey, I admit I can be a tad goofy, but that doesn’t make me a bad person, does it? No, it just makes me a bit nutty.

While this post isn’t about me or my nuttiness, it is about nuts. I eat nuts just about every single day. And you should too. Why? Read on…

But first, here is a list of other titles I considered (and rejected) for this post:

1. Go Nutz!
2. The Power of the Peanut!
3. Almonds: The Perfect Snack
4. Ode to Pistachios
5. Wall-to-Wall Walnuts!
6. Have Nuts, Will Travel
7. Please Don’t Eschew Cashews

Being a vegetarian, I am always in search of vegetable protein, and am delighted to report that nuts, besides offering us a (sometimes) salty taste treat, are high in protein. Consider these protein totals while munching your next handful of these popular nuts:

Almonds 8g
Peanuts 7g
Walnuts 6g
Pistachios 6g
Pecans 3g
Cashews 5g
Macadamia Nuts 3g
Brazil Nuts 4g

POP QUIZ!

Q: What is the most consumed nut in the world?

A: The peanut (Almonds are the most popular in America)

Okay, so nuts taste great, have lots of important vegetable protein, but why else should you grab a pile and start devouring them daily?

Fats.

Excuse me?

You heard right: Fats! The good fats, that is.

Most nuts are loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Not only are these fats the antithesis of those evil saturated fats, but consuming massive quantities of them has also been known to:

* reduce bad cholesterol and raise the good stuff
* battle coronary heart disease
* fight diabetes
* improve bone health
* help you lose and/or maintain your weight
* prevent gallstones
* give you more energy

Wow! No wonder I’m nuts about nuts! And I haven’t even mentioned the fiber! Or the fact that most nuts are loaded with antioxidants, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, omega 3 fatty acids, and lots more.

POP QUIZ II!

Q: Which one of these nuts isn’t a nut at all?

a. almond
b. peanut
c. walnut
d. cashew

A: the peanut is actually a member of the legume family.

Most of you know that I take a walk just about every day…oh, but the way, you should too! I walk so much I’ve even produced a video series called "Walking and Talking with Mike." On these daily walks, a handful of nuts are not far from reach. My nut of choice while walking are almonds, but don’t hold me to that—I love them all! For those of you unfamiliar with my walking/talking/crunching routines, I’ve created this video for you:

SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT



Speaking of almonds, I am lucky to live in one of the most prolific almond producing regions in the world, Chico, California, leading me to:

POP QUIZ III!

Q: What percentage of the world’s almonds is produced in California?

a. 50
b. 32
c. 68
d. 80

A: c. 68%, with Northern California, led by Chico, producing the majority.

I love almonds so much, I produced this video over a year ago:

ALMONDS: THE PERFECT SNACK



Okay, class, let’s recap, shall we? Eating just a handful of nuts is a good way to:

* add vegetable protein and fiber to your diet
* lower cholesterol
* control weight gain, fight heart disease and diabetes
* eat smart

And may I add: they are delicious!

Peanut butter is by far the most popular of the nut spreads. A dollop atop a slice of (whole wheat) bread, mingling with some (organic blueberry) jelly still makes one of the all-time favorite sandwiches enjoyed by human beings from age one to one hundred. But if you’re only eating peanut butter, you’re missing out. Cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts all make amazing butters. My favorite, though, is almond butter. It has a distinct taste and is healthier than peanut butter. One of the places I love to visit right here in town is a locally owned shop called Maisie Janes. If you love almonds or are just looking for incredible (and tasty) gift ideas (their gift baskets are loaded with amazing products all locally grown in the area), I suggest visiting them online. You’ll be glad you did. Oh, and tell them Mike at livelife365.com sent you.

One last thing: peanuts and, recently, pistachios, have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Some crops of these healthy nuts were contaminated with salmonella, a very serious bacterial infection. I stress that you check labels and keep informed regarding product recalls to assure that the nuts you are purchasing and consuming are safe.

It’s a shame that hundreds of thousands of people may deprive themselves of the enjoyment and health benefits derived from eating peanuts and pistachios because of human carelessness. My suggestion: Don’t! Do play it safe and make sure that the next bag of nuts you buy is absolutely safe. And do yourself a favor and:

Eat Your Nuts!
(another considered and rejected post title)



Until next time…



peace,



Mike



Reminder: Entries are still being considered for the Social Networking Blues/livelife365 Contest. Leave your comments here or at livelife365.com.

25 comments:

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Hurrah to all the ntters in the world Mike. If you're not a nutter you are missing out big time.

Rock on!


ps Why haven't you got a PR rating?

carol at A Second Cup said...

The problem I have with nuts is that I tend to keep eating them until the all disappear. I guess I am nutty bot nuts also.

kRiZ cPEc said...

can't help laughing at your shot, :)

Sagan said...

Great post! I'm so glad to hear that my favorite nut also has the most protein :) I love both peanut and almond butter (all natural, of course, with no salt or anything added!)

Butler and Bagman said...

Ah nuts! My blog this morning was supposed to be a photoshootout but turned into a tongue in cheek dissertation on grits. You might get a laugh from it.

Andrea said...

I love nuts, but the only ones we really keep in the house are almonds (and PB for the kids). Maybe you can answer something for me. My husband is allergic to some nuts and seeds, but he can eat almonds with no problem. What is it about almonds that makes them different? (If you know - please don't go nuts on my account looking for an answer!)

LisaNewton said...

I'm not a big fan of almonds, but I do love peanuts. Plus, I got 100% on the quiz.

Yupp, it's all good on Fridays..........:)

Keep up those great posts and videos, Mike.

Mike Foster said...

martin: go nutters! If by PR you are referrring to page rank, I do have one: 4.

carol: i have the same problem, especially with the cashews...

kriz: that is my nutty face, glad it gave ya a chuckle

sagan: the almond butter at Maisy Jane's is awesome!

butler: thanks for the visit, I will be heading over to your place very shortly...

andera: not sure about the allergies. i would suggest asking your medical professional...sorry...

lisa: i would expect nothing less than a 100% from you, lisa.


peace,

mike

Mama Zen said...

Peanut butter is a mom's best friend!

HalfCrazy said...

Yeah, judging by your photos and videos, you really seem like a goofy and err, a nut LOL.

I like Chocolate Almonds!

Evelyn Lim said...

I love nuts but admit that once I start eating them, can't stop. So I try not to have too much nuts in the house.

Mike Foster said...

mama zen: i eat almond butter and peanut butter, love em both...

halfcrazy: yeah, i'm a bit goofy...but that's a good thing...like chocolate almonds

evelyn: they are kind of addictive, but ya gotta control yourself...


peace,

mike

Faisal Admar said...

i should buy some almond and put in a jar at the office. so that i can eat it whenever i need something to chew... to release my stress. currently i'm using crunchy seaweed to cure the stress.

reallylife said...

i like almond, it very delicious for me

Diane said...

I'm nuts about nuts especially almonds. However, almonds are quite expensive in my country. And they're quite scarce, too, especially in the town where I live. I get my almonds from Hershey's Almond chocolate bar, which isn't really a healthy way to get almonds, unless we don't eat the chocolate. :P I eat a lot of boiled peanuts here at home (boiled peanuts are mmm...good!). Love your blog!

Mike Foster said...

faisal: you're in luck, it is a scientific fact that crunching almonds in an office relieves stress

reallylife: not just almonds, but walnuts, peanuts, pistachios...the list is endless

diane: i have heard about boiled peanuts; can't wait to try them!


peace,

mike

Laubach said...

Lol..i feel like nuts ;) after reading this articles.

You seems to be a very nice person Mike and hopes you may have lots of friends around you. Add me too in your list.

Jena Isle said...

Lol,your post made me smile and learn simultaneously. You're right they're rich sources of proteins; and they're yummy too. Unluckily, I have an elevated blood uric acid level and I can't eat them...(sigh) I can't eat my nuts! lol

heidi said...

Great post! I live on almonds!! They are my diet secret and health secret too. Walnuts are my second favorite.

Mike Foster said...

laubach: us nuts gotta stick together...

jena: nice to see you again...sorry you can't enjoy nuts...peace...

heidi: so true, not only do almonds taste great, but they curb your appetite, are full of fiber and protein, and, well, you know the rest...



peace,

mike

familyinshape said...

As always, informative and funny! Love your posts Mike! I really like eating Cashew Nuts the most probably because they are not so hard to chew. My next favorite, Almond, followed by walnuts. Thumbs up on the PB&J but must be Natural peanut butter and Jam made with real fruit and at least real sugar.

dwipa said...

good....Natural Medical

Mike Foster said...

faimilyinshape: agreed, i always opt for natural peanut butter with no salt or sugars added...and i love cashews too

dwipa: good...


peace,

mike

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

Mike,

I love almonds. In fact, we don't use peanut butter but instead, use almond butter and organic grape jelly on whole wheat bread.

And as for those good fats, you need em' to help your body assimilate those vitamins and minerals, as well as lose weight.

When we get educated, then being happy and healthy is possible.

Have a great day!

Paul

Eat Well. Live Well.
PurpleGreenPops.com

G.Kannan said...

Nuts have so much plus points? Really surprising. Thanks for the useful and interesting information.