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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!

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1 ½ lbs fresh blueberries (or 24 oz frozen)
½ cup light brown sugar
Juice from ½ lemon (discard seeds)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBL cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 TBL cold water
1 baked pie crust 9” (check ingredients if buying frozen crust or make your own)

In a large saucepan, heat the blueberries over medium-high heat until they begin to boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch or arrowroot well with the water. Pour mixture into the simmering blueberries while stirring. Cook and stir until mixture becomes clear and thick. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool.

Spoon mixture into already baked pie crust and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Whip up SoyaToo Soy Whip to stiff peak and put a dollop on your slice of pie. Garnish with mint sprig. This is a healthy dessert recipe. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants.

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pHion is the category leader when it pertains to pH balancing of the body.
Amazing Meal is a powder that you blend with water (approx 10 oz) and enjoy. It is organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, soy free and dairy free. It is a superfood drink that provides greens, protein, and fruits & vegetables for optimum energy while delivering tremendous health benefits.

I sampled all 3 flavors. Pomegranate Mango Infusion was my favorite. I blended this with 8oz cold water and 2 oz of Naked OJ. It was simply delicious. I would even have this as a dessert it tastes that good! The powder is only 110 calories with 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. Fat is only 1 gram and sugar 6 grams. The blend provides 80% of vitamin A, 40% each of vitamins C & K as well as 20% of B12. There are additional vitamin and mineral benefits, but these are the substantial ones. The powder is a blend of wheat grass, kale, barley grass and alfalfa, with rice and hemp protein and a blend of antioxidant fruits and vegetables, such as acai, carrot, blueberry, goji, rose hips, maca and banana which are all organic. Flax seed powder is also incorporated as well as digestive enzymes and active culture probiotics for an alkaline drink and a pH health benefit!

I am a chocoholic, so I was surprised to find I loved the Chocolate Infusion second. It is also extremely yummy to drink. You don’t feel like you have to suffer drinking a ‘green’ drink. The Original Blend is a vanilla flavor and looks and tastes more green. It is still very delicious. I added in 1 banana to give it more flavor. They are all great tasting and deliver tremendous health benefits. Buy them in individual packets so you can take with you, especially if you travel.