Jun, 29
2012

Crazy for Nuts

Michael Smith Blog - Know The Cause You might be considered a nut these days if you thought that nuts were not one of the best foods that nature has provided for us. Nuts come in many shapes sizes and varieties, but one thing is almost universal across the board - they are great, healthy Phase 1 food that is vital to your diet plan. 


The nut family is vast and diverse - from almonds, walnuts and pecans to macadamia nuts, brazil nuts and cashews, you have a colorful array of palate pleasers. One reason that I love nuts is that they are so versatile; you can toss them in salad, toss them with phase one dehydrated fruit like berries, or just eat them by themselves. They are fairly portable if you have a plastic baggie and keep for quite a while without spoiling. 

Another great group of products for Phase 1 dieters is the array of nut butters that have become more popular and prevalent in both health food stores and conventional grocery stores alike. Like peanut butter (which is not allowed on Phase 1 - more on that in a minute), nut butters are simply nuts that have been ground into a paste - the high oil/fat content of nuts gives them this special ability to be ground into butter. Almond and cashew butter goes great on green apples, or eaten alone. Most nut butters have a tinge of sweetness to them, so if you have an relentless sweet tooth when you are dieting, try eating a teaspoon of almond butter after meals to quench it. When shopping for nut butters however, be sure to read the ingredients. Some companies add sugar. In my opinion, as far as flavor goes, this is completely unnecessary, not to mention a definite no no on Phase 1. 

Nuts are loaded with two important macro nutrients - protein and fat. Before you get worried however, remember that the good monounsaturated fats that are found in avocados, olive oil and fish are the same ones found in most nuts. Monounsaturated fats are great for your skin and your heart. Indeed, the more research is done on these kind of fats, the more they appear to be medicine. Almonds are loaded with vitamin E, manganese, calcium and potassium. If walnuts are more your style, you are going to be getting a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. 

There are two kinds of nuts, however, that are not on Phase 1. Peanuts, which are actually a part of the legume family rather than the nut family, are commonly contaminated with mycotoxins, so Doug saw fit to exclude them. Peanuts are similar to corn in that you can find peanut components in quite a few foods. Peanut oil is used in a variety of processed foods, and a certain fast food chicken restaurant fries all their fare in peanut oil. Pistachios are the other offender; pistachios are also commonly contaminated with mycotoxins and are also excluded from the diet. 

So be sure to toss a variety of nuts in to your basket on your next shopping venture. I'm including a Phase 1 smoothie recipe that is one of my favorites. This is a morning staple of mine. 

1 can of Amy & Brian Coconut Juice with the pulp
1/2 of a large avocado, without the skin
1 tablespoon of raw, creamy almond butter
3/4 cup of frozen organic blue berries

Blend until smooth. Enjoy!