My Pistachio Stash
Back in college my roommates and I would regularly buy a bag of peanuts the size of a toddler. We’d prop it up against the coffee table and get to cracking. A small trash can was held between our feet, ostensibly to catch falling shells.
This set up wasn’t perfect. Wayward shell remnants reached the floor with regularity. Being college kids, we didn’t particularly care our living room floor developed the ambiance of country western bar.
Indeed, as our parents would ghastly attest to, peanut shells on the floor wasn’t cleanliness issue #1 at our higher education residence. I believe they’d cite something about a “blackened bathtub”.
Now that I have a wife, the bathtub is regularly scrubbed and peanut shells crunching underfoot is frowned upon. But I’ve found a great way to keep the cracking and snacking going from the comfort of my couch. Enter the Pistachio.
Pistachio’s harder shell doesn’t crunch as easily as the peanut, making managing fragments much easier. Plus a dropped shell won’t lose its integrity beneath my foot.
As a bonus, pistachios are healthier than peanuts. They’re packed with Vitamins B1 & B6 and carry more heart healthy fats. Like other nuts, they do pack a caloric punch. On heaping handful carries about 230 calories. But those fiber rich calories fill you up making pistachios a great snack.
There’s also something called the “Pistachio Principle”. Apparently all that cracking makes us eat less. It also applies to peanuts. Weird, in college four guys would polish a large bag in no time. Perhaps there were other factors at play.
I was in Barnes and Noble last afternoon and stumbled across the diet book section. A dizzying number of authors have apparently cracked the weight loss code. And they’ve been thoughtful enough to share their discoveries in easy to follow steps to melting away fat.
How does one choose from so many wonderful step-by-step diet strategies? Luckily, someone much smarter than me has provided an excellent answer. Dr. David Katz summarized the intermingling of all these diet theories perfectly in his article “No One Thing”.
In short, he says everyone is right. But everyone is wrong. For example, both a vegan diet and the Mediterranean diet have positive aspects, but in his words:
If the most ardent proponents of a vegan diet are right, the proponents of the Mediterranean diet must be wrong.
He goes on to explain that no dieting philosophy sees the whole picture but each is right for the assertions they make in their area of preference. Except, notably, “Six Weeks to OMG” (subtitle: Get skinnier than all your friends).
It’s a notion illustrated best in the parable he introduces “The Blind Men and the Elephant“. I’d never heard this parable before, but I’m now assured of using it often enough my children will roll their eyes as I use it to illustrate one the numerous life lessons I’m sure to bestow.
Another lessson: Never read anything entitled “Six Weeks to OMG”.
Ever use the gum trick? I use it often at work to prevent overeating or mindless snacking. All that’s needed is a pack of your favorite chew-able
The gum trick is simply popping a stick of gum when you’re finished eating. Or better yet, before you’re finished. It serves two purposes, freshening your breath and making your taste buds unwilling to accept more interlopers.
Consider this: Have you ever eaten after brushing your teeth? Likely not. Not only is eating post brushing counterintuitive, it also gives your chosen dish an unnatural minty finish. I wish my 23 year old self had that kind of common sense when downing a beer shortly after a pre-night out teeth cleaning. Ok, my 33 year old self…
In any event, the gum trick serves the same purpose. Next time you find yourself in a position to mindlessly munch, pop a stick instead. Eat less, have better hygiene
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve given up bacon. It’s surprisingly painful to say out loud.
Before I’m put on suicide watch, let me clarify. I’ve not eliminated bacon completely from my diet, just from my daily breakfast sandwich.
It once consisted of egg , cheddar, and crispy bacon on a whole grain roll. Now only the egg and cheddar remain. Several dollups of Siracha have gallantly tried to pick up the slack in bacon’s absence.
I know eating bacon every day isn’t good for your health. All that added salt and fat. I had always tried to minimize the fat by nuking my strips on paper towels. The salt, and I supposed nitrates, I ignored. Or, rather, celebrated.
But they’re all gone now. And I’ve grudgingly adjusted to the lack of crispiness in my sandwich. I’ve also adjusted to mildly lower grocery bills.
So the horrible thing I’ve done has made me a little healthier, and a little richer. Think about what can you cut from your diet to deliver that kind of effect.
I’m betting it’s not as drastic as giving up the heaven endowed gift of bacon.
That’s my scale. Damned thing added 3 more pounds from my holiday celebrating than I had anticipated. But instead of cursing the scale, I thanked it. It reminded me I was the one who’d supplied the higher readout.
Although it may seem so, a scale doesn’t render judgement. It only offers feedback. And a small amount of feedback at that. The numbers on the scale define your health as well as the balance of your checking account does your credit score. Important, but not all encompassing.
I prefer judging health by overall fitness, clothing size and fit, the mirror, daily energy, sleep habits, and self-confidence. You shouldn’t need a scale to know your weight is going up.
Yet, shows like The Biggest Loser make it seem as though the numbers that peer up at us determine our self worth. The numbers don’t matter, what you do with them does.
So use the scale as it was intended, as an early warning system when you’re veering off course. The highway rumble strips of dieting.