The Joy of Almonds

I’m trying to eat more healthy these days. It’s not easy, given I have such a sweet tooth and also its summer, so bring on the ice cream. But really, I need to watch what I eat for a variety of reasons.

Almonds
Munching on some almonds one fine summer day.

Lately, I have been eating – or rather, indulging in – almonds! I’ve always liked them, but never made them my go-to snack until this past week. I choose Blue Diamond’s Lightly Salted almonds for my fix.

I don’t like too much salt on my almonds, and besides, too much salt on anything is never good. I think this brand’s almonds are just perfect. I’ve tasted the kind you get at Starbucks (I don’t know the brand), but Blue Diamond seems to be on target with its lightly salted nuts.

Now, I have to be careful when I eat almonds – because there is too much of good thing. Since one of the best things about almonds is that they are high in fiber, which is great, too much fiber could lead to problems in the bowels. I am not going to go into a lot of detail here, of course, but yeah, I did at one point eat too much almonds. Let’s just say I now ration my almond intake per day.

So although almonds are the almost perfect snack, there are two things to watch out for: salt/sodium and fiber intake. Remember, there is too much of a good thing.

Happy eating!

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Good-Bye Caffeine, Hello Smoothies!

Before 2016 even ends, I am taking steps to reduce my caffeine intake and replace it with more nutritious drinks. I’m not even waiting until the ball drops on Saturday night. I’m starting today.

I am a coffee addict. I could drink three or four cups a day. I like mine with milk and sugar (two spoons), and I adore that sweet aroma. Like many, I also cannot start my day without coffee.

I’m also a coffee shop enthusiast. I’m also on the lookout for a new coffee shop to check out. I’m one of those freelancers who likes to find a place with outlets, so I could drink my caffe while doing my work.

I also like to meet friends over coffee. Bars just don’t do it for me. Occasionally, they do. But I prefer chatting with a friend over the steaming smell of coffee.

Unfortunately, I have been noticing that downside of being a coffeetarian. It really has negative effects on me. This year, in 2016, I’ve experienced a lot of emotional roller coasters over basically nothing. Things that weren’t a big deal spiraled me out of control. This past week, I finally realized why: the caffeine has a negative effect on me.

My therapist once pointed out to me that I needed scale back my coffee intake after one breakdown. And I did, briefly. But soon I was again knocking back the java nonstop.

Well, it is time for me to stop. I can’t be this emotional mess anymore. I need to reduce my caffeine intake.

So what do I substitute coffee with?

Smoothies!

I’d been considering making smoothies as a way of maintaining a healthier diet. But now, with my need to fill the void that coffee will soon leave, what do I drink? Sure, there’s always decaf. But I want a healthier diet. Plus, I like to experiment with recipes.

So, I am now on a mission to make smoothies. Today, I completed my first smoothie, and it was a success! It was the mixed berry smoothie, inspired by a coffee shop I briefly worked at.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup full of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

1/2 a ripe banana

1 cup of plain yogurt

1/4 cup of orange juice

a drop of milk

Blend it all up, and voila! You’ve got yourself a satisfying, delicious smoothie!

As I move on from here, I am going to try – try! – to maintain a healthier diet by eliminating foods and drinks that wreak havoc on both my mind and body. For me, it is not just about being physically healthy. Mental health is very important to me, so I want to do everything I can to make sure my mind and brain are well-taken care of.