Nutz for Nuts!

nuts

Nuts and seeds are a great way to increase fibre and protein in your diet. Nuts are a source of unsaturated fat which, plays a role in heart health and prevention of heart diseases.

I tend to carry ~1/4 cup of nuts/trail mix on me throughout my work day. They are a great snack to curb your hunger and help you last until your next meal. Almonds are my go to nut. Why you ask? Almonds have the highest fibre, highest percentage of unsaturated fats from total fats, and the second highest in protein content (following peanuts with the highest protein per serving).

Although nuts contain all these healthy properties, you still need to watch your intake as they are high in fat content and over-consumption can lead to weight gain. Also, it is important to choose the best nuts and seeds in terms of nutrition content. The nuts that contain the highest % of unsaturated fat from total fats are the best because the fat % that is not unsaturated is… SATURATED.

Saturated fats are naturally occurring in foods as well and may link to heart disease and may raise bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) in the blood. Macadamia, Brazil and Pine Nuts are nuts that carry the highest percentage of saturated fat content.

So what nuts are the best for you to choose to snack on? 

Almonds and hazelnuts are best.. 88% of their total fat is UN-saturated fats. Also, almonds contain 4g of fibre per 1/4 cup and hazelnuts contain 3g per 1/4 cup.

Almonds are also a great source of Vitamin E. This a fat soluble vitamin which may have the ability to improve immune function. This is because Vitamin E is an antioxidant therefore, helps prevent free radical damage to our body’s cells.

Anyway… all nuts/seeds are great in moderation! They will provide you with satiety, a source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre 🙂

Happy Friday!!!

Sprouted Honey-O’s Trail Mix

Honey O Trail Mix

I absolutely love One Degree Organics products. They truly stand by their motto of using only #REAL ingredients. This trail mix was created using their Sprouted Honey O’s.. (QUIT THE CHEERIOS for the real good stuff!!!) Their products can be found…almost everywhere! Sobeys, Whole Foods, Loblaws, etc. The benefit of using a product such as this in the trail mix is that it will be much lower in fats than an all nut trail mix.

More about the Honey O’s ingredients and nutrition facts can be found on their website: Click Here: **Sprouted Honey O’s**

My trail mix recipe:
Ingredients:
2 cups Sprouted Honey O’s
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground sea salt
Optional: dark chocolate chips

Directions:
In a skillet on low-medium heat, add 1 tbsp coconut oil and melt it.
Once coconut oil is melted, add the rest of the ingredients in the skillet and mix.
Mix/stir the combination in the skillet until starts browning (~5-7 minutes).
Remove from heat. Let sit to cool and enjoy 🙂
Honey O Trail Mix 1

Sprouted Quinoa Salad ft. Broccoli, Maple Glazed Nuts, Edamame, ETC!

Quinoa Salad - Broccoli

I freaking love quinoa! Have you been able to tell throughout my blog posts?

I tossed this salad together to have as a side with dinner this past week.

Ingredients (serves ~8):
1 cup uncooked sprouted quinoa, cook according to package directions.
1 cup broccoli, chopped finely, steam in a covered container in the microwave with 2 tbsp water.
1/2 cup edamame beans, from frozen (will thaw in the salad during preparation)
3 green onions, diced/chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup Maple Glazed Pecans (directions below)
Homemade Dijon Balsamic Dressing to taste. (directions below)

Maple Glazed Pecans:
You will need:
1/2 cup pecans
3 tbsp maple syrup
Directions: In a small pan put 1/2 cup pecans and pour 3 tbsp maple syrup evenly on them — to coat the nuts. Put the burner on medium heat. When the maple syrup begins to bubble, turn the burner off. Allow the nuts to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove the nuts from the pan and allow them to dry with the maple syrup coating on parchment paper.

Dressing:
(Mix in a separate bowl — add to salad to taste)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon

My Protein Picks

Protein Sources1

Protein is a macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and fats, that is essential to our diet to maintain proper body function.

 My top protein picks (as seen above) include: ground turkey/chicken, salmon, nut butters (preferably almond butter), skinless boneless chicken breast, almonds/mixed nuts, quinoa, chickpeas, Greek yogurt (plain 0%), and beans/lentils. 

 
Why is protein so important to our body?

  • it is apart of every cell in our body
  • it is needed for muscle synthesis and development
  • helps to build and repair nails, tissues, skin, and hair
  • it is a building block of hormones and enzymes

Nutrition tips:

  • Choose ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef. Ground beef is high in saturated fats whereas, turkey/chicken are much leaner sources of protein.
  • When cooking chicken, try to barbeque/grill the chicken breast with spices versus pan-fried and with commercial sauces.
  • Choose plain/nature greek yogurt to avoid refined sugars. Sweeten it at home with fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup, melted frozen fruit (put in fridge over night).
  • Add chickpeas to your salads or stir fry’s to add protein.
  • Carry a small handful of nuts/seeds on you throughout your day in case you get hungry. Nuts are packed with the good fats (polyunsaturated) and protein to satisfy you until your next meal.
  • Choose quinoa, the ancient grain, over rice. Quinoa is a complete protein source, containing all the essential amino acids and also contains much more substantial/satisfying nutritional content. Check out my food fact of the day on quinoa for more information.

10 Must-Haves in my Nutritional Lifestyle

10must haves

I created a list of 10 foods that I always try to incorporate into my lifestyle as they have substantial nutrient content and benefits to health.

1. Oats: Are high in soluble fiber and may improve cholesterol (create a sticky ball within your digestive system, trapping cholesterol, removing it from the body). Also, oats are whole grain! Whole grains provide you with fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.

2. Berries: Berries are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your body’s cells from damage from free radicals (e.g. pollution and cigarette smoke). Antioxidants help lower your risk of many chronic diseases.

3. Nuts: Are a great source of protein and healthy fats (polyunsaturated fats) which play a role in heart health.

4. Salmon: Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (the healthy fats). Salmon is a great source of protein and low in fat. Omega-3 fatty acids also play a role in maintaining healthy eyesight, a healthy immune system, and a healthy heart.

5. Dark, leafy greens (kale and spinach): These greens are low in calories and packed with nutrients. Kale and spinach are high in Vitamins A, C, K, folate, and calcium!

6. Greek yogurt: It is a great source of protein! Is lower in carbohydrates versus traditional yogurt and contains a substantial amount of calcium. Choose a nature/plain-flavoured yogurt to avoid added sugars and sweeten with fresh fruit, homemade granola, or add to your morning smoothie.

7. Egg Whites: Buying carton egg whites are a great way to increase protein in your day. Also, egg whites are a quick and easy way to make omelettes.

8. Chicken: protein protein protein! Chicken is a lean source of protein and lower in saturated fats versus other animal protein sources. Choose to barbeque or grill your meat products.

9. Oranges: Substantial source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of bones, teeth, and skin. Also Vitamin C plays a significant role in improving our body’s absorption of iron from plant-based foods.

10. Beets: Are a source of iron which is needed for oxygen transport throughout your body. Also, beets contain fiber, nah improve the function of antioxidant enzymes, improve WBC production (helps fight disease and maintain a healthy immune system). Last but not least, beets may help improve your running performance according to recent studies.