A Nutty, Seedy Affair


I fancy nuts ( we are talking food here!). And am now having an affair with seeds. 

I seriously can’t get over these mini powerhouses of nutrition . A couple of years back, out of frustration of not finding a healthy alternative to mid meal & tea time snacks, I decided to give nuts a chance. Or was it because I had to find ways to deal with the deluge of almonds, walnuts ,cashews, raisins etc  that landed up at home around festivities ? I  You will never know 🙂

But I can vouch for their benefits. As in first – hand experiences with real changes, felt and seen. Once I introduced a regular intake of these nutrient dense foods, I slowly but surely saw their fabulousness – in healthier skin, shinier hair , energy level spikes, the feel-good factor and yes , I could also satiate mid-day hunger pangs and feel filled up without any discomfort. Plus they were really convenient to carry along – to office, while traveling and as munchies for kids (individual sized Zip -Loc pouch packs)

So apart from having a handful of mixed nuts  regularly , I also sprinkled them over cereals plus used them in bakes and desserts.And then I got curious about what more could be done with them. So I did what any new age, new fangled health enthusiast would do. I scoured the web .And guess what? I found two amazingly simple & healthy ways to use ’em nuts! Here goes :

1.       Almond Milk

  • Dairy free – so ,great for the lactose intolerant or the vegan diet lovers
  • Nutritious & fabulously delicious!
  • Easy to prepare. Visit http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Almond-Milk for a detailed , visual walk through!
  • Multiple uses – As it is, in smoothies , shakes and desserts.The leftover pulp , once a little dry also makes for a great face scrub/pack!
2.      Coconut Butter
  • Loaded with the health benefits of coconut oil, one of the most stable fats
  • Good substitute for dairy butter while baking 
  • Simple to make – 2 cups of shredded coconut , blended in a powerful blender for about 10-12 minutes does the job.
  • I guess it should make a great body butter during winters too – all natural, pure, preservative free. On my try-list!
And now like I confessed, its Seeds that I am flirting with . And they treat me real goooood! 
My pick from the neighborhood store
Eating nuts and seeds are a great way to add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential fatty acids (like omega 3 and omega 6), to your diet. Some great choices include almonds, cashews, flaxseeds (ground), peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. If you have time, you may want to purchase raw nuts and seeds and soak them in purified water for up to 24 hours; this starts the germination process, which makes them much more nutritious. (Source – http://www.veghealthguide.com/nuts-seeds/)
The main reason soaking nuts and seeds is so important is because they contain enzyme inhibitors.
The purpose of these enzyme inhibitors is to protect the nut or seed until it has what it needs for growing.
Nature allowed the inhibitors and toxic substances to be easily removed when the conditions (enough rain and sun) were met.
In nature, when it rains the nut gets enough moisture so it can germinate and produce a plant. The plant then continues to grow with the sunlight.
By soaking nuts and seeds, you release these toxic enzyme inhibitors AND increase the life and vitality contained within them! (Source : www.raw-food-living.com)
I also learnt that different seeds have different soaking periods and ideally one would soak them accordingly. Ideally.I make it easier and soak them together. Talk of respecting their individuality!My apologies to the seed breeds 🙂 (I guess I am going nuts, no pun intended!)
Though am still exploring with different ways I could incorporate them in my diet , I found it was easiest to :
1. Sprinkle a spoonful ( 3/4 of a tablespoon) over my cereal 
2. Blend it in smoothies ( I add some when I make my daily Spinach smoothie)
3. Dust it over Salads
Some pics from dinner last night :
                    Homemade low cal  Veggie Burgers, with baked potato wedges and a side of  fresh salad, sprinkled with whaddya know – a seed mix!

Garlic flavored baked skin-on potato wedges , sprinkled with herbs
Exercise Recap 
Gym (4-5 days a week)
  • 15 min Running at around 8-9 km/h 
  • 30 min Circuit training ( alternating between Upper and Lower body on subsequent days) 
  • 15 Min Cardio on the Cross trainer
Yoga  (2-3 days a week)
  • 30 minutes Stretching & Flexibility routines 
  • I add about 10 quick-paced Surya Namaskars towards the end for an energy boost
  • Want to up my breathing exercises, but struggling with the patience it needs. Ouch!
My  big HWL goal for August 2011!

I chose a shorter distance because in my last run (10 km Cross Country), I noticed that my stamina wasn’t really up there (in fact I had been better off in my first 21km run! ) and  I don’t want to run for the sake of adding up the kilometers but I really want to clock better time and run strong.

Trying to live Healthy – one mindful, deliberate day at a time !

One comment

  1. If you are planning your diet and trainings, check out this blog: militarygradenutritionals.com/blog. For me it’s an excellent source of information on fitness and right nutrition. I’ve learned there a lot of things which helped me organize my trainings and eating habits.


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