When I was a little girl my family and I would visit my grandparents each summer in their small rural Kansas town. I always enjoyed those summers because my papa would take me with him to collect walnuts and then we would run home to crack them with the nutcracker. I loved nuts-all kinds of nuts and could eat them to the exclusion of anything else back then. As I grew older and became conscious of my weight ( neurotic might be a better word) I stopped eating nuts because I thought they were fattening and would make me gain weight.
But, I now no longer wistfully stare at the cashews, almonds, peanuts, and almonds as I shop and instead fill up my buggy with nuts, nuts, nuts! What can account for such a drastic turnaround you may wonder? Well let me tell you! I have discovered that for me nuts actually help me maintain and when necessary lose a couple of pounds. When my favorite jeans start getting a bit snug I know it is time for a little nut detox. I follow a low carb diet for two days consisting of usually cheese, salad (or whatever low carb foods you like) and yes, NUTS (usually almonds, peanuts or cashews)! Now, let me tell you why this works for me. I like to eat and I have to feel satisfied or a day of low carb eating or dieting will not work and I will grab the next completely unhealthy, fattening and inappropriate thing in sight to eat. The nuts make me feel full and satisfied because they are filling and therefore I don't feel a need to grab some chips, brownies, etc. When people ask me how I do it I can honestly say NUTS.
**Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health found three times as many people trying to lose weight were able to stick to a Mediterranean-style moderate-fat weight loss diet that included nuts, peanuts and peanut butter versus the traditionally recommended low-fat diet. (International Journal of Obesity, Oct. 5, 2001).
As long as you control total calories, eating a handful of nuts daily may help prevent weight gain and possibly promote weight loss . The fat, protein and fiber in nuts help you feel full longer, so you may eat less during the day. By helping induce a feeling of satiety, nuts may help people feel less deprived and not like they're "dieting." Just limit your portion to a healthy handful.
** Nuts naturally contain no cholesterol and very little sodium (unless of course you get the salted so try to stick to lightly salted or no salt if possible)
**More than 30 studies have shown that nuts in the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease regardless of the nut studied.
This is a recipe from Low Carb Connoisseur Cafe & Market in Anderson, SC
Fat Fast Low Carb Macadamia Parfait
1 8 oz package of Regular Cream Cheese
1 cup Hula Princess Macadamia Nuts
*Heavy Whipping CreamExpert Foods Mousse Mix*
No calorie sweetener such as Stevia
*Singing Dog Sugar Free Vanilla Extract*
Several small serving bowls or parfait dishes
1.To make the nut layer: Crush Hula Princess Macadamia Nuts to a medium fine consistency.
2. To make the cream cheese layer: Whip package of cream cheese with an electric mixer and slowly add heavy whipping cream until you reach a mouse like consistency. Stir in sweetener and Singing Dog Vanilla extract to taste.
3. To make the whipped cream: Combine 1/4 cup of whipping cream with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and sweeten to taste. Whip until doubled in volume but still soft. Add 2 teaspoons Expert Foods Mousse Mix and whip until thick but not stiff. Thin if necessary with a little cream.
4. For each serving dish - start with a layer of crushed mac nuts in the bottom of the dish, and alternate with cream cheese mixture.
Top with whipped cream and a few whole macadamia nuts. Chill thoroughly and enjoy !