The “R” in rain is for rest…

I must confess, I plan my rest days around the weather.B I take a look at my dinky Iphone weather app and on the day the sun icon is the biggest, I schedule my long run.B Real science at work there.B Although with my work schedule, I only have two options: Saturday or Sunday.B Regards, its cold and rainy this morning and after 5 days of running it was time for a break.

Friday was the first sign of a rest required.B 6 Miles – 2incline – 52:30 – 6.9MPH.B

Too slow for a speed workout so I’ll write it off as an easy run even if it felt less than easy.B After my run, I came home and enjoyed someB Spaghetti Squash and some frosty adult beverages.

Also, is anyone else addicted to Temple Run?B It’s a silly Iphone game where you run and collect coins.B Pretty simple but addictive. Anyways I finally broke a million!B If you’re in the 5 million and up club, don’t laugh at me!

On Saturday I decided a rest day makes a great day for volunteering. Community Servings is a not-for-profit food and nutrition program providing services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Aside from hanging out with some awesome people while peeling potatoes I get to enjoy an awesome free lunch!

Roasted veggies, spicy taco meat, rice, black beans and a crispy quesadilla!B This is totally worth peeling some potatoes for!B But the real part I came for was the dessert!

Chocolate cake, Ice cream and a toffee bar.B It was a triple birthday party at CS so triple dessert.B I love my birthday but other people’s birthdays are pretty awesome too.B Especially when I get cake!

After some volunteering I put my apron and hair-net away and went to Trader Joe’s to load up on wine for my fundraising party I’m throwing next week.B You think this is a single serving?

And because I haven’t posted a cat picture in a while here’s Agent Meower ready for his bath:

Rest day for the cat

Jack Meower like me is also taking a rest day and is enjoying the comfort of sleeping on my butt behind my legs.

Did you get snow or rain this weekend?B Where are you?

We had 3 small snow storms before Friday and then rain today.B I’m in Boston =)

What did you do with your Saturday?

After volunteering I am now catching up on episodes of Fringe and my book “Girl who played with fire”

What are you favorite rainy day activities?

Mine include ice cream, books and tea!

What about Sunday?B Anything fun?

Hopefully my last longest run before DC.B I’m targeting 26.2 miles

Marathon Training Body Changes

I’ll start with some happy news. B Yesterday after work I ran 15 miles on a treadmill. B Total time 135 minutes 2 incline.

First 10 miles were run in 88 minutes while the other 5 in 47 minutes. B Also for the first time since I started doing greater than 7 miles on a treadmill runs, I didn’t feel like poop afterwards. B I was hungry yes, but my knees were happy, my stomach was okay enough, and my energy was not wiped out. B Practice may not always make things perfect, but it definitely makes them better! B I went from dying/wanting to throw up after a 14 mile TM run to actually feeling great in the span of 1,5 months!

Now was the less happy news. B I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning. B I did my Inbody analysis. B And lets just say that results since marathon training were not the ideal health type. B No I didn’t gain weight, but I lost muscle which was replaced by fat. B So no weight gain or loss; yay! B Switching muscle for fat; boo!

So first what is Inbody?B B The InBody uses bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) [try saying that aloud 5 times!] to analyze your body composition. B BIA is a technique that measures body impedance by sending an electrical current through the body. B B How futuristic! Its quick and you feel nothing at all as the current only passes through the water fluids inside the body, and based on the impedance values collected, the body water volume is calculated. B Since water fluids are usually inside muscle tissues, by using the water volume, the fat-free mass can be calculated. B Body fat calipers measure skinfolds to calculate how muchB subcutaneous fat(fat under the skin) a person has. B According to research itbs highly accurate and not subject to human error (me pinching in different places). B However, water fluctuates and to avoid that its recommended to not eat or drink 2 hours before your test.

Now in summary this shows I’m a healthy, average person who could use a few or many core workouts. B My trunk muscles are non-existent. B This can lead to back problems,B bad posture and all sorts unpleasant stuff from working at a desk job all day. B That was already known to me. B Also, between the 6 weeks I did not gain any weight which is awesome being that its winter and all. B I didn’t lose any weight, which is fine since that was not my intention with running. B However, my overall fitness level went down.

I lost two pounds of muscle and traded it in for two pounds of fat. B Clearly with my desire to be healthy and fit, this is not the direction I want to go in. B So I needed to evaluate my recent habits and see what’s going on.

Biggest change in my life for the past 3 months? B I’m training for my FIRST marathon. B Its super exciting and I’m learning everything the stupid way because I’m just that brilliant.

Here are a few reasons for my body change (even if it’s a 2% change)

bChange in eating habitsb

Ibd like to say marathon training has made me a healthier eater, but it has not.B While before I used to eat a small light meal at lunch (salad or a small deli sandwich from home), I find myself needing bigger meals to get through post work training runs.B My cooking time has also drastically decreased.B I am no longer cooking balanced meals, but instead picking the option of eating out.B When I get home at 9PM post run, I want food NOW, not an hour later once Ibm down slicing, dicing and baking.B Tortilla chips and pop chips seem like great options as I savage through my kitchen.B While those make a great in between meal snack, I shouldnbt be adding them in addition to my regular dinner.B Also due to time, I have created a more vegan diet.B I am skipping lean meats like chicken and replacing it with a more fatty protein like peanut butter and other nuts.B Why?B Those are much easier to pop in my mouth as I am always in a rush.B However, while I am keeping up with my protein intake, Ibm sure my fat content in my diet is increasing drastically at a higher rate.

Solution: I need to keep an eye on my healthy fats intake.B I need to cut back on peanut butter.B Ibve been really going to town on that jar and eating it in place of a more balanced snack such as an apple or yogurt.B Ibm also going to make an attempt to increase my lean meat consumption instead of just relying on nuts to get my protein content.B I donbt feel like I need to cut calories, but I definitely need to change the content of them.

B bAre you resting more than usual?b
I read this somewhere and I think it applies to me.B I am no longer running in addition to my normal activity.B Instead itbs become in place of my long walks or biking or hikes I used to do.B No more Jillian Michaels workouts.B My mind has taken the mentality of bwow I ran far…I can relax the rest of the dayb. Before marathon training a typical Saturday was a few hours of hiking followed by grocery shopping, laundry, pretending to clean and then out with friends. I was moving constantly. Now a Saturday involves two to three hours of running followed by vegging on the couch most of the day and a bag of tortillas for bcarbo-loadingb.

Solution: Donbt let running take over my life.B Even though itbs winter, itbs coming to an end and definitely make a better effort of staying social.B Try to go hiking when the weather is good.B Clean the dust of my bike.B Donbt direct all my energy to just running.B I know this will get easier once I feel like I have the base for running 26.2 miles and am not paranoid that I do not have enough training.B Also cut back on bcarbo-loading.bB If I eat healthy, Ibll have enough, therebs no need to find an excuse to stuff chips in my mouth for every meal.

bCalories Rewardsb
As my running mileage starts doubling for the week; it has become very easy to say bwhy yes I deserve a 3pm cookie!B 10am cookie, this is just breakfast part 2, I bpomiseb;b Puppy dog big eyes.

Solution: I really have no need to eat half a bag of M&Ms with my tea before lunch time.B Save my sweet tooth for 3PM.B Cut giant cookie in half or have a few M&Ms.B I donbt really need both items.B Better yet, but a cool kid and half an oz of dark chocolate.B I hear it has some pretty nifty health benefits.B Also just because I have free baked dessert at work available daily does not mean I need to take advantage of it daily.B Grab an apple instead!B If Ibm not hungry enough to eat the fruit, then Ibm definitely not hungry enough to eat the cookie.B

bBuilding glycogen storesb

Another reason for my loss of muscle and gain of fat could be my glycogen stores.B Everyone and their great-aunt know about the importance of glycogen storage for distance.B Your body automatically stores water with the glycogen and that might lead to weight gain and a reading of less muscle mass.

Solution: None needed, itbs okay I should be happy with this as my races are coming up.

bRebound Hungerb

As common with others, (I am not a unique snowflake) I am not feeling very hungry post long run but am famished the next day.B Problem is when my hunger is out of whack, I make silly eating decisions.B bWhy yes, peanut butter brownies make an excellent breakfastb vs. a normal oatmeal serving like a normal child.B Repeat this for a couple of days a week and bam fat/weight goes up within a few weeks of training.

Solution: Seriously, as stated earlier in this rambling, I do not constantly need to be shoveling chips, almonds and M&Ms into my mouth.B Take the time to eat an actual meal so I donbt find myself famished when my metabolism catches up to me.

“Lacking of Strength Training”

Also, I need to make more time for strength training. As my running mileage increases, I still have the same limited amount of free hours in a day. B This leads me to cut out my strength workouts I used to do.

Solution:B Take the time to cross strength. B Skip a run and do a Jillian Michaels workout instead. B Do 5 minutes of planking a day. B Wake up, Plank up, shower and head out. B It’s not too complicated, I just need to stop finding excuses.

Basically the conclusion is, although its great that my endurance is growing, I need to stop using my running/training as an excuse to eat crap (chips, how did this habit start) and avoid weight/strength training (I really hate weights and non cardio workouts).

Have you ever one of these body composition analysis?

Have you ever noticed changes in your body as you were training for something? B What were you training for and what changes did you notice?

How long would it take for my skin to turn yellow/orange?

Yes, I ended up with a single lunch time run session:

5.6 Miles – 3 Incline – 49.44 – 6.8 average pace

Not bad. B I wanted to do an 11-miler for my “longish” run but I got caught up at work for an extra 90 minutes and by then the slush/snow storm made me too lazy to stick around the office until 10pm (even if it is to use the gym). B I told myself there’s always tomorrow and that’s my plan for today. B 5:30Pm 14 mile run single session. Me and evil treadmill have a date.

So yesterday instead of run part 2, I went home and decided to make theB SpaghettiB Squash that was slowly but surely going to die in my kitchen if it wasn’t cooked soon.

Spaghetti squash gets its name from the fact that when it is cooked, the inside flesh pulls out of the shell in long strands, resembling spaghetti pasta. B When I first tried it, I was a bit in shock when it didn’t taste exactly like pasta.

So Let’s talk about why aside from the taste (even if its not like pasta), why it’s so great

  • A 1-cup serving offers 5.4 mg of vitamin C, which is almost 10 percent of the recommended USDA daily intake
  • Other vitamins include A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin K.
  • The dominant mineral is manganese, with 0.2 mg, which is 8 percent of the RDI. Manganese aids in the production of healthy bones, tissues and sex hormones. It also plays a part in metabolism, regulation of blood sugar, absorption of calcium and the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Other minerals found in smaller amounts in spaghetti squash include potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, sodium, zinc and selenium.
  • It contains 2.2 g, or 9 percent of the RDI of Fiber. B Your body will use this fiber much better then the kind found added to FiberOne bars.
  • B It also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. While the former is good for preventing heart disease, cancer and inflammation caused by arthritis, the latter promotes brain function.
  • There’s only 42 calories and 10 carbs in one cup!
Here’s a summary chart people who see too many words on a screen and tend to have their eyelids glaze over:
Nutrient Value
Vitamin A 170 IU
Vitamin B1 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3 1.3 mg
Vitamin B5 0.6 mg
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg
Vitamin C 5.4 mg
Vitamin E 0.3 mg
Vitamin K 1.2 mcg
Folate 12.4 mcg
Potassium 180 mg
Choline 11.6 mg
Calcium 32.6 mg
Sodium 28 mg
Phosphorus 21.7 mg
Magnesium 17 mg
Iron 0.5 mg
Zinc 0.3 mg
Manganese 0.2 mg

So how did I prepare this massive lump of goodness?

I washed it, I almost killed myself,B I cut it in half, took out the guts, seeds and all that icky stuff. B I Pam-ed it (I might get cancer but its moreB convenientB then olive oil), went to town with the garlic salt, lemon pepper, and maybe a littleB too much cayenne pepper.

Upside down and in the oven it went. B 400F degrees for 45 minutes or so until the skin felt bendable.

Once out of the oven, the fun part begins, grab a spoon, grab a fork, grab your hands and scrap/scoop out the insides. B Keep scooping I promise there is plenty left!

My one squash yielded me two giant snapware containers worth!

Look at what a mighty fine job I did! B The left side tried to misbehave so I showed him whose boss.

Now how do you serve this? B Normal people add something fancy like sliced up small veggies and marinara sauce.B Not I. B I was in a hurry and only had 10 minutes this morning. B So:

B Top half with spaghetti squash, other half with baby spinach (my addiction) and four Trader Joes fully Cooked meatballs and you’re ready to go.

That’s me running out the door!

Remember these from The other day. B They made a comeback in my squash. B I’m on a add hot sauce to everything kick.

Pop into the microwave for 2 minutes and now I’m off to work some more and eat my lunch!

Have you ever madeB spaghettiB squash? B What recipe did you use?

Did you sign up for any races yesterday during Rock & Roll’s Leap Day Sale?

I signed up for the Montreal Marathon inB September. B Now I need to figure out who I can convince to come with me. B Any takers?

The perfect muffin

I had quite the great start to my day today. B After my usual giant breakfast of half a bagel, 3 egg-whites and a pound of cream cheese I decided to go to the cafe once again before the clock even hit 10AM. B Healthy start I know, I grabbed one of our cafe’s “low fat” blueberry muffins. B I say low fat in quotes because our low fat soft serve frozen yogurt has 160 calories per serving so there’s lies in the labeling. B Anyways I digress on my rants of low fat labels that still mean high calorie. While I went to town on the muffin. B Hold and behold I had the perfect muffin.

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The inside of it was all blueberries! B I think that counts as a healthy dose of anti oxidants.

My lunch time workout went great. B IB squeezedB out a 6 mile run at a 7MPH on 2incline. B I alternated between 7.5MPH with 7.3MPH to 7.0 MPH with 6.8MPH with a few 4MPH walk catch of breath when I felt really winded.

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I’m part of runners world daily quotes and early this week they have the common quote of:

“If running is important to you, then your mind-set shifts from Can I find time for it? to When can I find time for it? You think in terms not of Will I run today? but When will I run today?B (Scott Douglas)”

Which as i become more addicted to this running world, I’m finding out that my grand debate in my head is not will I run, but when can I find an hour to make time for one? B Will I have time at noon? B Do I need to go after work? B Maybe at 3pm I can carve out that hour if I have work meetings during my lunch time? B Will it be indoors or outside? B But I never question will I be running this week anymore as I used to a few years ago. B I guessB that’sB just part of the addiction.

A couple of other interesting reads I got from my running emails lately are:

Alternative carb sources keep you fueled on runsB – From runners world, if you’re like me and just can’t stomach Gu. B My favorite suggestion was using gumdrops instead of energy chews as they have 4grams of crabs per drop vs. 5grams of crabs in energy chews.

Commuter Workouts!B – Which is linked with this article How sitting killsB – I love the the scary but true charts they have showing the facts. B “Sitting 6+ hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. B Even if you exercise.” One option for office workers they suggest is to always take the stairs. B We all know that. B While I am not about to go up 39 flights of stairs and break my knees, I do try to take every staircase when I useB train stationsB for my daily commute. B I am also trying to take the article’s suggestion on sitting at a 135 degree angle as I do sit at least 8 hours a day (and that’s on a low key slow day.)

New Geico CommercialB – A co-worker showed me this hilarious new Geico commercial which pretty much defines half my eating lifestyle…. I know, I know, B EewwB seriously…B that’sB so gross…

Do you have a long weekend? B Any good plans?

I do have the awesome Monday off! B Mine are to eat, run and nap. B Maybe try to plan a few vacations for 2012. B Tony and I are going out to dinner tonight for a date and on Saturday we have a couple double date. B So yup lots of eating, some kitten cuddling andB definitelyB a 20-miler for my marathon training.

Do you say soft serve or creamies?

I say soft serve, while myB VermontB friends same creamies and I just think it sounds dirty. B Spell-checkB agrees because it gave me a red squiggly over the word “creamies.”

How do you try to make yourself less sedentaryB in an office environment? B

I take the stairs when I can for my train commute. B Everyone once in a while I try to stand vs. sitting on my train but usually get lazy and sit down once a seat opens up. B I try to walk if I need to be somewhere less than a mile away. B I’m lucky for living in such aB walkableB city.

TV Catch-up time

Today I kept my workout short to just my usual lunch time run.B The results are still in a struggle disappointment.B 5.6 Miles 52 Min 10 Seconds Incline 3. This set me at an average of 6.4MPH.B I”m struggling to go back up to 6.9MPH I used to be able to.B You figured with my increased endurance I would be able to increase my speed for the short runs.B Maybe I’m just tired, or my legs prefer flat surfaces.

This morning I woke up with a craving for oatmeal… I know, that’s a bit weird for me… So that’s what I had some simple plain oatmeal with a ton of raisins and cinnamon.B After my run I munched on some extra salty peanut butter and fruit.

Which was followed by lunch 20 minutes later…

Looks familiar?B That’s my salad from last night with the leftover lunch chicken…. organic spring mix, organic baby arugula, organic celery, orange pepper, organic carrots, asparagus and cucumbers.B I last minute decided to nuke up the salad so I can pretend to have a warm meal instead with a side of sour cream and onion pirate booty.

The 3pm snack was some vegan carrot walnut cake and peppermint tea… Which ended being disappointing due to the frosting.B Not sure whats in vegan frosting but it did not make my mouth happy and after digging around for the cake part I gave up and threw it in the trash and reverted to my usual bag of M&Ms.

As for dinner, I’m actually quite excited to write about!B Although not as excited as I was about eating it.B That’s why midway through my munching I remember I should take a picture.B I actually do own a nice SLR and a nice point and shoot but I prefer iphone photo for speed.

Yup that’s my dinner half gone already. Tony’s mom kindly offered us some chickpea/veggie patties so I graciously accept (that’s the bitten up thing on the bottom left.) They’re quite yummy.B The rest I made myself!

I chopped and baked sweet potatoes, turnips for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.B I then added some asparagus to the baking bowl for another 15 minutes.B To which I ripped up some organic Kale bumped the over temp to 450 and kept it all baking for another 10 minutes.B Retrospectively I should have only did the Kale for 6 minutes or so, o well live and learn; don’t partially burn your food.

Tony made some hummus that I snacked on with pretzels as I continue to catch up on tv for the night.

What was your most recent day of TV bingeing?

Today I practically ran home so I can catch up on some of my weekly shows:B Once Upon A Time, Desperate Housewives, Pretty Little Liars, and Biggest Loser.B I’m a hulu addict.

Prepping for another 14-miler treadmill run

Today’s workout 14 miles, much too long at a too slow pace on a treadmill. To be fair, it was on an incline of 2-3 with a short phone call break not a good excuse but I can whimper.

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So how do I survive a long(ish) boring treadmill run after a long work day? Yes 14 miles is long for as before last two months my regular routine was just 5.5 miles on a treadmill at a time with a painful long run of 7 miles. It takes a full eating day, because if I don’t eat well, I don’t last beyond 7 miles maybe 8. I guess I can try to integrate Gu but just writing makes my insides curl up for now.

I carbo-load for breakfast. Giant sesame seed bagel smothered in peanut butter with extra salt from my amazing work cafe. This picture is stolen as I ate mine before I decided I’m going to blog about what I ingest into my belly. My bagel is bigger with a lot more peanut butter and 3 salt packets. I usually leave 1/4 of the massive bagel to nimble on later.

I skip my regular lunch break/workoutB to catch up on work so I can go up to the gym a little before 530. Most importantly I usually grab lunch from cafe as its all you can grab for 6 bucks and I found out that when I try to run post work on my regular from home lunch I burn out quicker. Although my work lunch is very fairly priced for the balanced options on the days I don’t run long(ish) I still make my own as the work cafe makes it way too easy to overindulge.

So here’s part one of what I grabbed. A gyro sandwich and coconut curry soup. I ate half the soup and put the gyro on the side because I had my eyes set on the next part of my meal.

My baby spinach salad. Did I mention I’m a baby spinach addict like Popeye! He had to get strong and so do I. I love the sweet taste of baby leaves compared to bitterness of a spring salad or plainness of romaine. Yes I might have went crazy with adding goat cheese and feta cheese. B Not sure where this lately crazy cheese craving came from.

Yup, I really load up those to go container, cafe staff and my bosses must think I’m feeding a third world country underneath my desk.

I did leave myself some surprisesB at theB bottomB in caseB i’m still hungry post-salad. B To the left, is some eggplantB potatoB dish that I ate without looking. B It was creamy, veryB pureeB eggplant and perfect potatoes I assumeB GreekB style as that was the theme of today’s menu. B I skipped the chicken kabob on the right as I tried a small piece and it tasted a bit too lemony. B Needless to stay the gyro sandwich got skipped as well. B The meat tasted a bit too processed for my evening plans. B I always grab a little bit ofB everythingB because I never know what I will like and I want to avoid being hungry. B I know wasteful, but I do try to reuse some of the things I don’t eat later in a way that I can stomach so its not too bad. B Right? =)

Around 3pm, one of my amazing coworkers got us some cupcakes from the South End Buttery. B This awesomeness is created with a “traditional Southern recipe, made with cocoa powder and aB hint of vinegar, topped with cream cheese frosting.” Did I mention this is the first time I liked frosting on a cupcake! I had half with a nice cup of mint tea. B I saved the other half for breakfast. B Can’t wait!

I’d like to sayB that’sB all I ate, but I did munch on some berries and a pack of peanut M&Ms (250 cals pack). B Yes my teeth will rot, but my coworkers will beB gratefulB because sugar keeps me perky and not the crazy cranky Liana monster that can appear when tried.

I concluded my 14 milers with someB FacebookB catch upB and foam rolling joying. B Best part of running 14 miles is taking those extra few minutes to roll out some kinks in the legs. B Anyone else want to scream when theyB foam-rollB their calves? B I guess mine are super tight. B

I fully wrapped up with someB GreekB yogurt and more berries for refuel as it was already 7:30 and I had an hour commute back to my palace aka apartment and I hear passing out on trains never leads to a good night.

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Dinner was another boring low key salad as I was slightly tired by the time I made it home. B I reheated the other half of my coconut curry soup and ate that gyro from lunch. B Process meat is fine by me as long as its at the end of my day and not the middle =).

There might have been some more pretzel sticks as I was making my salad and a few pieces of Trader Joes darkB chocolate with some organic ginger peach tea.

Overall, it was a good day through and through. B Hope yours was too!

Do you ever run after work? B How many miles? B Ever do long(ish) runs on weekday evenings? B Outside or inside? B

I try to do 1-2 long(ish) runs in this part of my training during the week with one long run on the weekend. B I’m terrified of running outside and I think lack of light leaves me a bit depressed so I stick to indoor post work workouts. B On the downsize I find the treadmill a lot more tiring than the pavement so I try to pay closer attention to what I eat on those days. B It’s my first marathon and I’m a bit on the rush to build up my base from regular 5 mile runs to 26.2.

Entry attempt #2

About four score or possibly four months ago I tried to make a blog entry…. What happened? B Its still sitting incomplete and unpublished since the only thing worse than fear is making an introduction post. B Instead I’ll write about my love for Walnuts.

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First the ugly…

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But what is an ounce? B An ounce seems plenty! B Until you realize 8 ounces is a cup of coffee and you’re pretty sure thatB sandwichB sizeB ZiplocB bag of walnuts might have a been a bit bigger than that..

Lets skip over the lack of portion size preception on my part and go the benefits! B The half full portion of this more than one ounce glass.

Some healthy facts

  • The nuts are rich source of energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all importantB omega-3B essential fatty acids likeB linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids.
    • Regular intake of walnuts in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or bbad cholesterolb and increase HDL or bgood cholesterolb levels in the blood.
  • Eating just as much as 25 g each day provides about 90% of recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Research studies have suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers.B Plus being a runner, itbs always nice to find non advil methods of lowering any inflamation
  • They are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall anti-oxidant activity, includingB melatonin, ellagic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids, and poly-phenolic compounds. These compounds have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
  • The form of vitamin E found in walnuts is somewhat unusual, and particularly beneficial. Instead of having most of its vitamin E present in the alpha-tocopherol form, walnuts provide an unusually high level of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol. Particularly in studies on the cardiovascular health of men, this gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E has been found to provide significant protection from heart problems.
  • Scientists at University of Scranton, Pennsylvania have recently discovered that walnuts have highest levels of popyphenolic antioxidants than any other common edible nuts. 100 g of walnuts contain13541 B5mol TEB (Trolex equivalents) ofB oxidant radical absorbance capacityB (ORAC). Eating as few as six to seven average sizedB nuts a day could help scavange disease causing free radicals from the body.
  • In addition, they are also excellent source ofB vitamin E, especially rich inB gamma-tocopherol; contain about 21 g per 100 g (about 140% of daily-required levels). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
  • They also very are rich source of minerals likeB manganese, copper, potassium, calcium,B iron,magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as co-factor for anti-oxidant enzymes such asB glutathione peroxidases.
  • Walnuts oil has flavorful nutty aroma and has an excellent astringent properties; helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as bcarrier or base oilb in traditional medicines in massage therapy, aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

Some interesting facts where I can spell and pronounce each word written below

  • Walnuts are the oldest known tree food b they date back to 10,000 BC
  • There are more than 30 varieties of commercially produced walnuts!
  • The three most popular verities grown for commercial purpose are theB EnglishB orB Persian walnutB (Juglans regia),B the Black walnut (Juglans nigra), and theB White or butternut walnutB (Juglans cinerea).
  • The Greeks called walnutsB karyon, meaning bhead,b because the shell resembles a human skull and the walnut kernel itself looks like a brain!
  • English walnuts (also known as Persian walnuts) originate in Central Asia and were introduced to California in the 1700s.
  • Commercially, the nuts are being cultivated in the United States of America, Romania, France, Turkey, and China.
  • Today China is the number 1 world supplier while US is number 2
  • 99% of the commercial U.S. supply and 3/4 of the world trade of walnuts now come from California.
  • After plantation, the plant takes approximately four years until it produces its first major crop.
  • Walnuts are only harvested once a year, between September and November.
  • Walnuts have always been considered important for their medicinal properties, including curing bad breath, reducing inflammation, and healing wounds.
  • Like today, a common culinary use of walnuts in the 17th-19th centuries was in salads

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So enjoy, possible over indulge, knowing full well that at least you’re overdosing on benefits (and possibly some fat)

And no, I’m not a nut expert, so all facts have been acquired through the powers of the interwebs.

How do you like your walnuts?

I like mine plain and already cracked open so I can enjoy the full creamy nut flavor withB minimumB amount of work!