I have been trying to improve my diet and one of the hardest things about eating healthily is the dip I have in my energy levels between meals. This results in me snacking. I try to eat the right things, like fruit, but sometimes the fruit isn’t enough. It tends to make me dip again too quickly. I end up reaching for a bag of crisps, or other junk food. In fact on a recent shopping trip I tried to see what I could buy as an alternative, coming away with a yogurt and banana. Needless to say these were not enough to sustain me. So I was interested to hear about California Almond’s #SnackHappyChallenge of eating a handful (30g) of almonds for 21 days.
California has the perfect conditions for Almonds to grow, so it will come as no surprise that 80% of the world’s almonds come from there. There are more than 80 published studies on the benefits of almonds to health, such as diabetes, weight management, heart health and that they are rich in anti-oxidants.
Changes to my lifestyle due to Almonds
I have to honestly say that I am really impressed. I am feeling less tired, more energetic, and not snacking on junk because I feel that I need to grab the first thing to hand before I faint. I have to admit I had upped the amount of caffeine I am drinking (on top of my water) but have cut that right back now. I like how easy almonds are to transport, without taking up too much room or worrying that they may leak onto things. Also, unlike fresh fruit and vegetables, they don’t go off too quickly.
After a one-to-one consultation with Nutritionist Lisa Jones I reevaluated my breakfast. Knowing it was the most important meal of the day I was proud of the fact that I always had it. A nice healthy bowl of Weetabix. But now I know that this just was not enough. I now add all manner of things into my bowl – of course including almonds (various seeds, and dried fruit). The almonds work with the fruit, to help me keep going without dipping. It has also give my breakfast so much more variety and flavour, meaning I am enjoying it a lot more.
The very most impressive thing though is that my Sensory Seeker is fussy with food and I had given him some almonds with chocolate to try – he LOVES them! Not only chocolate covered but ALL almonds! It is so good to know as they are a natural source of protein and fibre, containing fifteen essential nutrients (including vitamin E and calcium).
Combinations of Almonds
You can eat almonds in a huge variety of ways, combining it with other food, making them great for all tastes. My husband really loved the chilli and cinnamon almonds. My youngest son loved them roasted. I do like sliced roasted on my breakfast (and I think they’d be delicious on ice-cream). Of course you can use them with chocolate too! Not only are there sweet mixes but why not try with savory too – such as with some cheese.
Also almonds do not need to just be for a snack, and we were shown how they can be utilised to make alcoholic drinks and in foods. My absolute favourite was Smoked Salmon Blini with Almond Pesto. Other recipes I have been given are Mini Almond Tarts, Almond French Macaroons, Chicken Skewers with Almond Satay Sauce, Triple Almond Brownies, Plum and Almond Bites, Almond butter Flapjacks, Almond and Vegetable Rolls, and Olive & Almond Tapenade.
Almonds are just perfect for busy mums and dads – and if you can’t take my word for it then listen to what Denise Van Outen thinks about them.
I received Almonds in order to take part in the challenge, and invite to an event for which I was financially reimbursed and given a notebook. All words and my honest opinions.