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Brazil Nuts (raw)
Macadamia Nuts (dry roasted unsalted)
Marcona Almonds (roasted and salted, can use other almonds, but these are my favorite)
Cashew Pieces (roasted and unsalted)
Walnuts (raw pieces)
Pecans (raw and unsalted pieces)
Sunflower Seeds (raw and unsalted)
Pumpkin Seeds (raw and unsalted)

In a medium size bowl, mix together all nuts and seeds, using 1/4 cup each. You can always add in a little more of what you enjoy most. Eat a handful as a snack for a quick protein energy boost.

You can also add in raw pepitas and pistachio nutmeats (dry roasted, unsalted halves & pieces).

Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of nuts and seeds at reasonable prices. I get my pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods.

The Story of Nuts:
Many people avoid nuts because they are high in calories and fat. Nuts are a great source of protein and do contain fat, but this is the type of fat you want in your diet. Nuts provide unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), delivering omega-3. Eating nuts can help lower the risk of heart disease. Nuts provide many vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. They contain fiber, vitamin E, selenium, folic acid, copper, magnesium, boron and the amino acid arginine, which boosts the immune system and lowers elevated blood pressure levels. The plant sterols in nuts help to reduce cholesterol absorption from fatty foods.  Some nuts, like pecans, walnuts and almonds, contain tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, the happy feel-good hormone, which can help against depression. Here are a few of my favorites:

Almonds – this nut comes in many varieties and can be used in all sorts of recipes. Almonds are probably the most nutritious of nuts, delivering magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin E, zinc, and lots of protein.

Brazil Nuts – a provider of selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals that can attack healthy cells and increase the risk of heart disease and various forms of cancers, like breast, lung, bowel, and prostate. Rich in zinc and magnesium, Brazil Nuts are great for anti-aging.

Cashews – provider of a high iron content, as well as zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and are rich in protein and carbohydrates.

Macadamia Nuts – this nut has the highest level of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) over any other nut, but can lower harmful blood cholesterol.

Pistachios – you can buy the ‘nutmeats’ already removed from the shells, or in a shell, but then you have to work for the nut. Pistachios are high in iron, protein, fiber, and magnesium and make a delicious topping on roasted butternut squash.

Walnuts – this is the only nut high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, so eating these after you consume fatty foods help disperse the saturated fats and lower triglycerides. Saturated fats come from animal protein and dairy products, so cut these out of your diet to be a true vegan.

You can consume from 1-2 oz of nuts per day. It is best to mix so you consume a variety and take advantage of the benefits each nut provides. Always look for nuts that are raw and unsalted. Store nuts in the refrigerator to keep fresh.  

Buy nut butters and seed butters (my favorite is Sunflower Seed Butter Trader Joe’s), but read ingredients to make sure you are buying unsaturated fats (mono and poly). The butters will have the oil separated, so you will need to stir to combine before each use. Some need to be refrigerated, so read the container.

Allergies can be an issue for some, so know what you cannot eat if you do have allergies. An allergy from nuts can result in a skin rash or hoarseness in the throat.

A mix of nuts makes a delicious and satisfying movie-going snack. For sweet and salty, I like to add in a few chocolate chip vegan morsels along with a couple of pretzels broken into pieces. Get creative!

pHion is the category leader when it pertains to pH balancing of the body.
Acid Reflux has been a concern of mine. Will eating a vegan diet help with this condition and balance out my bodies pH?    

Yes, acid reflux is a condition of an unbalanced pH inside of your body. The bodies pH balance should be more alkaline, rather than acidic. Eating meat and other animal products, which are acid producing, can help offset the balance especially if you are on a high animal protein diet. A body that is highly acidic  stores more fat and toxins. By eliminating meat (use vegetarian meat –  vegan) and other animal products from your diet, and eating more fruits and vegetables, you can gain control over your bodies pH and stop the heart burn and acid reflux. Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, pepper, tomato sauce and orange juice. Infuse your body daily with greens you eat or drink in a shake, like Vega, which actually tastes good.  Comes in vanilla chai, chocolate or berry.

Another ‘green’ shake probiotic option is by Vibrant Health. It is gluten-free and supports nutrition, digestion, circulation and your immune system.

The cells in your body change when they live in an overly acidic environment. High acidity can cause illness and put you at greater risk of developing diseases and conditions, such as cancer, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, weakened immune system, fat accumulation and inflammation, among others. Consume foods rich in chlorophyll which are alkaline. This will help with cleansing to remove toxins from your blood stream, regenerate cells and improve the flow of oxygen. Try drinking Kombucha, an organic raw living tea that contains active enzymes, probiotics and detoxifiers. Kombucha helps with digestion, immune system and liver functions, helps to control appetite and weight, increases body alkalinity, supports anti-aging and nourishes cells, skin and hair. My favorite flavors are multi-green and maqui berry grapefruit., then ginger and original.

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