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Archive for the ‘Healthy Snacks’ Category

On Saturday, Tony and I had our first party at the new house, our house.  We were celebrating his Dad’s 75th birthday.  We debated how to go best about serving food and in the end decided to make it ourselves.  Tony made two types of humus (from chickpeas and black beans), as well as Italian roasted fries, buffalo chicken, turkey and hamburgers.  I on the other hand stuck to what I know, produce.

I stopped by the farmer’s market on Friday at Copley and brought those cool rainbow carrots, chives, and cucumbers which I forgot to use!  My first task was to cut up some veggies for the humus.  I picked celery, yellow pepper, zucchini, those yellow Sunkist tomatoes.

Next came the salads

Baby Spinach, Red Onion, Orange and Red Pepper, Sunkist Tomatoes, Celery & Dill dressed in an Olive Oil Vinegar mix

Then I got busy on my current summer addiction!

Baby Spinach, Orange & Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Dill, Chickpeas, Goat Cheese drizzled with a little bit of Olive Oil

And ended with my favorite Russian Salad!  I’ll share the recipe but for now all I’ll say is that it involves pickles!

I wish I had pictures from the party but once the guests came I was too busy making sure things were up and running to be a paparazzi!

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I’m starting to enjoy tapering.  For example I took a6 mile run on incline 2 with no pace goal other than feeling comfortable.  It ending up being only slightly slower than my tempo run speed.

However with the lack of mileage and fear of trying anything new (I don’t want to be sore for Boston) I tried to adjust my diet accordingly.  I tried to eat like my co-workers with calories and control in mind.  I tried, but I failed.

I substituted my muffin + 3 cups of peanut buttered oatmeal for this:

Ignore that giant ball of cream cheese, it’s there for calcium

Lunch I tried again to be normal

Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with Rice!  Although not nearly enough food, I have to admit this was my favorite microwave meal for under $4.  It’s under 250 calories, but that doesn’t mean much if you consume an equal amount of 250 calories bag of trail mix.  I liked how the sauce was cooked separately in that steamer thing leaving my food not that least bit soggy.

The plan for the rest of the week is

Wednesday 10 miles

Thursday 6 miles

Friday rest/cross training

Sunday easy 4

This should leave me for a total of 25 miles for the week and then the marathon!

Any suggestions for healthy lunches?  I’m bored of salads and I’m not eating to run this week.  Therefore, I will be trying to keep my apetite in check to the limited level of activity.

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Entry attempt #2

About four score or possibly four months ago I tried to make a blog entry…. What happened?  Its still sitting incomplete and unpublished since the only thing worse than fear is making an introduction post.  Instead I’ll write about my love for Walnuts.

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First the ugly…

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But what is an ounce?  An ounce seems plenty!  Until you realize 8 ounces is a cup of coffee and you’re pretty sure that sandwich size Ziploc bag of walnuts might have a been a bit bigger than that..

Lets skip over the lack of portion size preception on my part and go the benefits!  The half full portion of this more than one ounce glass.

Some healthy facts

  • The nuts are rich source of energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids.
    • Regular intake of walnuts in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood.
  • Eating just as much as 25 g each day provides about 90% of recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Research studies have suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers.  Plus being a runner, it’s always nice to find non advil methods of lowering any inflamation
  • They are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall anti-oxidant activity, including melatonin, ellagic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids, and poly-phenolic compounds. These compounds have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
  • The form of vitamin E found in walnuts is somewhat unusual, and particularly beneficial. Instead of having most of its vitamin E present in the alpha-tocopherol form, walnuts provide an unusually high level of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol. Particularly in studies on the cardiovascular health of men, this gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E has been found to provide significant protection from heart problems.
  • Scientists at University of Scranton, Pennsylvania have recently discovered that walnuts have highest levels of popyphenolic antioxidants than any other common edible nuts. 100 g of walnuts contain13541 µmol TE (Trolex equivalents) of oxidant radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). Eating as few as six to seven average sized nuts a day could help scavange disease causing free radicals from the body.
  • In addition, they are also excellent source of vitamin E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; contain about 21 g per 100 g (about 140% of daily-required levels). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
  • They also very are rich source of minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron,magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as co-factor for anti-oxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidases.
  • Walnuts oil has flavorful nutty aroma and has an excellent astringent properties; helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in massage therapy, aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

Some interesting facts where I can spell and pronounce each word written below

  • Walnuts are the oldest known tree food — they date back to 10,000 BC
  • There are more than 30 varieties of commercially produced walnuts!
  • The three most popular verities grown for commercial purpose are the English or Persian walnut (Juglans regia), the Black walnut (Juglans nigra), and the White or butternut walnut (Juglans cinerea).
  • The Greeks called walnuts karyon, meaning “head,” because the shell resembles a human skull and the walnut kernel itself looks like a brain!
  • English walnuts (also known as Persian walnuts) originate in Central Asia and were introduced to California in the 1700s.
  • Commercially, the nuts are being cultivated in the United States of America, Romania, France, Turkey, and China.
  • Today China is the number 1 world supplier while US is number 2
  • 99% of the commercial U.S. supply and 3/4 of the world trade of walnuts now come from California.
  • After plantation, the plant takes approximately four years until it produces its first major crop.
  • Walnuts are only harvested once a year, between September and November.
  • Walnuts have always been considered important for their medicinal properties, including curing bad breath, reducing inflammation, and healing wounds.
  • Like today, a common culinary use of walnuts in the 17th-19th centuries was in salads

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So enjoy, possible over indulge, knowing full well that at least you’re overdosing on benefits (and possibly some fat)

And no, I’m not a nut expert, so all facts have been acquired through the powers of the interwebs.

How do you like your walnuts?

I like mine plain and already cracked open so I can enjoy the full creamy nut flavor with minimum amount of work!

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