A Handful of Almonds

While you’re watching the debate tomorrow night, enjoy a handful of almonds. No matter how you feel about politics, you can’t go wrong with a simple, nutritious snack that pays homage to those who came before. You may remember that during an Obama speech to the DNC in 2016, Matt Yglesias tweeted, “Tonight, Obama’s going to eat seven chocolate-covered almonds.”

We all snack at different times and for different reasons. Rather than trying to eliminate snacking, why not enjoy eating something you can feel good about?

I’m not sure whether the chocolate-covered almonds referenced are cocoa dusted or almonds covered in candy. Of the two, cocoa dusted is the healthier choice. Healthier still are raw almonds.

Seven raw almonds contain 49 calories, 1.8 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 4.3 grams of fat. They also have 21 mg of calcium and 61 mg of potassium. For comparison, a banana has 5 mg calcium and a tablespoon of whole milk has 17. A banana also has 358 mg potassium, 90 calories, and .3 grams of fat. A tablespoon of whole milk has 22 mg potassium, 9 calories, and .5 grams of fat. Almonds also provide a good supply of vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. While they may seem high in calories, some of those calories are not absorbed by the body.

The brown skin of almonds is high in healthy antioxidants. In fact, vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect your cells from oxidative damage. Studies have linked higher vitamin E consumption with lowered rates of Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease.

Magnesium lowers blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance which may help prevent Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A sufficient amount of manganese is required to keep blood pressure in check. As if that weren’t enough, almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Almonds fill you up, protect your cells, help preserve your memory, and give you satisfying crunch. Sounds like a pretty good snack, no?

Whether you’re enjoying the debates, binge watching, or taking a hike, almonds are a great choice when you want a snack between meals. Just a handful will do!

https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-nuts-almonds-raw/ZBfdrfsWRzyC1C68o0NSrw

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-proven-benefits-of-almonds#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20199999/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12117360/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15321799/

Mid-Morning Pick-Me-Up Snack Fit For a President

By the time mid-morning rolls around, I’ll need a pick-me-up snack. I eat breakfast really early on holidays as well as regular days. Three to four hours later, I’m hungry. Snacking is common in the US. According to a study published in 2017, snacking increased from 1977 to 2012. While not everyone snacks in the morning, everyone has some favorite treats. Elected officials are no exception.
snack
In honor of President’s Day, let’s see what snacks are fit for high office. I live a few blocks from the governor’s mansion in my state where the previous governor enjoyed a peanut butter sandwich with a gin and tonic each afternoon when he got home. I know this because chefs love to share and I knew his chef.

US presidents have their favorite snacks as well. Their chefs love to share too!

Some of you may remember the jar of jelly beans Ronald Reagan kept on his desk as President. Before he ever reached the White House, Reagan used jelly beans to help him quit smoking. He chose a mini jelly bean flavored all the way through that was introduced by Herman Goelitz Candy Company in 1965.

When he took office as the governor of California in 1967, Reagan’s staff placed a standing order for monthly delivery of jelly beans from Goelitz. In 1976, the company introduced gourmet flavors like Very Cherry, Root Beer, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Lemon, Licorice, and Grape into the mini jelly bean line. They placed complimentary samples of the gourmet flavored beans called Jelly Belly into Reagan’s monthly order. He soon converted his entire order to Jelly Belly.

Reagan’s fondness for Jelly Belly was well known. When he died, it wasn’t uncommon for visitors to leave offerings of jelly beans at his library and gravesite.

Abraham Lincoln preferred gingerbread cookies. I can get on board with these as a snack. My grandmother used to keep them in her cookie jar when it wasn’t full of oatmeal raisin. I don’t know anyone who keeps a cookie jar full of homemade cookies now. Funny thing is, we rarely grabbed a cookie. We were too busy playing.

It’s not hard to appreciate a fondness for candy or cookies. It’s much more difficult to understand how someone could eat cottage cheese with ketchup on it. Apparently, that was a favorite snack for Richard Nixon. While it’s arguably healthier than jelly beans, I can’t get my mind around the taste. Some might say he lowered the bar in more ways than one.

Before his heart surgery, Bill Clinton liked to consume sweets and heavy foods like cinnamon rolls, cake, ribs, and enchiladas. And he was famous for jogging down Broadway to McDonald’s when he was governor of Arkansas.

President Obama’s preferences fall closer to mine – pistachios, almonds, chocolate roasted peanut protein bars, trail mix, and handmade chocolates. I could eat a handful of pistachios right now. I like them best roasted and salted whereas I prefer almonds and cashews raw.

I don’t know that I have presidential taste. It seems there’s not really such a thing. Just because you hold high office, doesn’t mean you have some sort of elevated preferences. In fact, with all the pressure that comes with the job, you’d most likely resort to whatever you find most comforting.

And now it’s time for a comforting snack for myself. Happy President’s Day!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579603/

https://americacomesalive.com/2017/11/11/ronald-reagans-jelly-beans/

https://www.jellybelly.com/?scid=scawd796498&utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_campaign=sidecar_paid_search_google&gclid=CjwKCAiAqaTjBRAdEiwAOdx9xl7Vb1eY02u9rjsMln9faUFLtW1zFldzYMfXIR5g9vt14QZ8jJOJ0hoC_oUQAvD_BwE

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1955&dat=19691203&id=258tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YKAFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5155,1679604

https://www.washingtonian.com/2012/01/06/former-white-house-pastry-chef-recalls-bill-clintons-scary-appetite/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/top-five-gluten-free-summer-snacks-2016/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/safe-graze-snacks/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”