YUMNUTS – A Review

Posted on June 28th, 2010

YUMNUTS

Recently I had posted about my homemade version of YUMNUTS. Not too long after making the post Yumnuts Naturals sent me some free samples, so I decided to review them here on my blog. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I was pretty excited when the packaged arrived at my door, containing one 5oz bag of Chili Lime flavor and sample sizes of Sea Salt, Toasted Coconut, and Chocolate. I was skeptical about all of the flavors except for the Chili Lime, which really resonated with me. They closely resembled the Cajun flavored nuts I had bought in the store and made on my own. They had a bit more of a kick to them though, which I liked a lot. At first I thought it was going to be impossible to consume the nuts in one sitting, which I was happy about because I can easily devour a 5oz bag of the Cajun flavor in one sitting. However, I quickly found myself picking the bag back up and polishing them off. As with any nut, these are extremely filling, but also flavorful; they left little to be desired.

Next up was the Toasted Coconut flavor, which I found to be lacking. I’m not a huge coconut fan, but do use coconut flavor fairly frequently in raw food recipes, but the flavor combination didn’t do the trick for me. The Sea Salt flavor was the bare bones version of YUMNUTS but were very tasty and just as addicting as the spicy flavors, but nowhere near as tasty. The plus side of these is that the only ingredients in them are sea salt and gum acacia. But if you have read Michael Pollen’s Omnivorous Dilemma you will know it’s best to avoid such foreign ingredients.

My favorite of the flavors YUMNUTS so far have ben the Chocolate flavored nuts. They remind me a lot of peanut M&M’s which was perhaps one of my favorite candies before I gave up eating candy (for the most part). I have already consumed more bags of these than I can count on one hand and look forward to making my own raw version once I get my dehydrator out of storage. For now I will have to do with a mild addiction to a still healthy nut, although less healthy than any of the others.

The Chocolate nuts contain: honey, sugar, cocoa powder, milk powder, and soy lecithin. The biggest disappointment in the Chocolate nuts is that they contain sugar in addition to honey. Why go overboard with the sweetener? Although there is a lot of debate about soy going on, soy lecithin isn’t all that bad and is a great source of Vitamin B. Granted these aren’t really the healthiest nut you can be addicted to, but it sure beats candy and other sweets. The only truly healthy nut is 100% organic raw nuts, but I am learning that truly raw nuts are hard to find and organic nuts come at a really high price.

So in conclusion, give YUMNUTS a try, but remember moderation is key with anything. I would also like to mention that Yumnuts are roasted, so you don’t get as many beneficial enzymes as you would with raw nuts. Also, YUMNUTS don’t use any oils to season their nuts, which is good in the sense that you don’t have a lot of added calories, but the down side is they are using foreign ingredients (gum acacia) to coat the seasoning on the nuts. Again, it comes back to moderation, so enjoy these healthy snacks. They are an excellent replacement for just about anything you would find in your break room vending machine.




Recovery Super Smoothie

Posted on June 15th, 2010

Lately I have been bad about recording down my smoothie ideas and successful concoctions. Not intending to brag, but just about every smoothie I create comes out wonderful! There is the occasional mess up though, but it’s usually just too strong in a certain flavor. For example one I made a couple weeks ago contained pineapple and it ended up having a very strong/sharp taste due to having too much pineapple in it.

Most of my creations come about by accident. I don’t typically set out to design a great smoothie. What usually happens is I am out of something what I typically make, so I rummage around the fridge and fruit basket to see what I can find.

My most recent creation is a strawberry pineapple mango smoothie. Typically I would just throw in strawberries and banana, but all I had that I thought would work was mangoes. This is actually my go to fruit to mix in when I am out of banana. That has been the case a lot lately since the grocery store seems to only have non-ripe bananas that I have to wait for to ripen.

Anyway, this smoothie is simple and straight forward….

The Recipe

  • Approximately 5oz of freshly cut pineapple,
  • About 6 frozen strawberries
  • Approximately 4oz of
  • ½ dropper of stevia
  • 1 TBSP of raw tahini
  • 1 cup of hemp seed milk
  • Your choice of greens, greens powder, and or hemp seed protein (optional)
  • 1 TBSP of optional flax meal (optional)

This smoothie is great for relieving inflammation due to the pineapple and flax seed. I have been making a lot of highly anti-inflammatory smoothies lately due to my shoulder bursitis I have suffered since a car accident last June. I previously mentioned this in the Pineapple Grape Smoothie recipe. It does seem the pineapple helps a lot with the inflammation, but as with any food or medicine the effects wear off. So, I’m trying as hard as I can to keep as many anti-inflammatory foods in my diet. Sadly, some things I really like to eat, such as dates are highly inflammatory so they can cancel out other foods. So, it’s important to keep an eye on this. Web sites like Nutrition Data will help you determine not only calorie count and nutritional information, but they give you an inflammation index as well.

As a parting note, if you have been following my blog for a while know you may have noticed I used stevia for sweetener instead of agave. This is because I am attempting to include less of this in my diet now. I recently discovered that I possibly have a low performing thyroid, and in order to help improve my thyroid health I am cutting back on sugars. This means less stevia, as well as less bananas. This will be somewhat hard for me as I typically consume a few bananas a day, but I have already started replacing those snacks with healthy raw nuts, with on occasional package of Yumnuts (which I will be reviewing on the blog soon).

I have a big sweet tooth, so making things like Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie will have to become less frequent. Both agave and bananas are really high in natural sugar, and agave being high in fructose is not good in mass quantity. I still plan on continuing to use it in my sports drinks and energy bites though as it is high in crabs and releases slowly into the blood stream for longer lasting energy. This is also why it’s safer alternative to sugar for diabetics. But as with anything moderation is key.

Additional Note: This smoothie is VERY high in protein. So, eliminate the protein powder if you want to cut down on this. I think I estimated it had about 28grams total.




Life changes

Posted on June 11th, 2010

Sometimes the unexpected happens, and it’s always unexpected! Sometimes it’s something as small and petty as running out of gas or losing your car keys, thus making you late for an appointment. Other times it’s mind blowing; like your former ex-girlfriend traveling 235 miles (four hours) just to tell you she loves you!

This is exactly what happened to me recently. It was unexpected because I had spent that last four months moving on and focusing on a move to Colorado as I posted here. We had previously dated for 4-5 months two years ago, but broke up after she moved to Austin. I had never truly gotten over her. After a recent attempt to reconnect back in October I decided it was time to cut off communication the following January. It was a very difficult decision, as I cared a lot for this girl. But wanting to be able to move on and love again I decided it was best. I didn’t know it at the time, but she took the cutting of ties fairly hard, but at the time it still didn’t change how she felt about me.

During the time we didn’t communicate I began to “get over her” and eventually got to a point where I could see myself dating somebody else seriously. I had also begun to feel like I was called to Colorado as well as to make a huge career change. In hind-sight I feel like these things were a divine distraction as I had never totally forgot about her. At times I would ponder ways that God could potentially put us back together, such as her getting transferred out to Colorado at the same time I moved, but none of that was even possible considering the organization she works for, and their location.

Four months after I had cut off communication is when I had the surprise of my life. I was at home on a Friday night packing boxes and getting ready for my move to Colorado, even though I didn’t yet know when it would be. At one point I had picked up my cell phone and saw that I had a call from her. I was pleasantly surprised, but at the same time wondered why in the world she was calling after I had cut things off. The ironic thing is I hadn’t even deleted her from my phone (even though I almost did at one point), so I knew it was her.

Her voicemail stated that she was going to be in town for business the next day and wanted to see if it was okay for us to meet and talk. I figured that she had just heard I was moving to Colorado and wanted to talk to me one last time before I moved. For a moment I thought maybe she was going to tell me she wanted to get back together, but I immediately dismissed it, not wanting to dwell on it and get my hopes up.

The next morning we meet up and ate breakfast at our favorite breakfast place Old West Café. It was here she sprung on me a somewhat long story about the changes she was going through in her life and how she had been given a change of heart. It was even unexpected for her. It sort of come out of nowhere, but we both believe it was God given. She proceeded to tell me that she loved me. I also found out at this point she had made the four hour drive just to tell me she loved me. THAT was her “business”.

THE GIRL I'm moving to Austin for!

Being bewildered and guarded I didn’t say much. Out of nowhere the girl I had loved for so long shows up out of the blue and blew my mind; and in my mind, at the time, wasting away my plans to move to Colorado. But, I pretty much instantly knew I was no longer going to Colorado and I would be staying behind in Texas. Even though I had said I would never again, not move because of a girl, this was different though – it was love!

So over the next few days I thought and prayed a lot about it. I didn’t want to make a rash decision and wanted counsel from friends and family. I didn’t want to admit at first that I was going to abandon my plans to move to Colorado, but a friend pointed out that it sounded like I already knew in my heart what I wanted to do. He was right! So, the following Wednesday we talked for about an hour on the phone and decided to pursue a relationship again, but were going to take it easy at first. She also came back into Denton that next week and by the end of the weekend I was positive I wanted to be with her again. The only thing that was holding me back was fear of future rejection and leaving behind what I thought I was supposed to do. But I had to let go of that fear and step forward in faith, and so far it has been amazing.

One thing this has already reminded me of is that we often have our own plans and ideas, but that is not always the best. There is an often a better path for us to take even though they may not seem like it at first and other times the better path is obvious. When doors just open and things fall into place, you just know. But in both situations the end of the road makes you a better person and brings you joy, even if it’s through trial.

Kristy and I celebrating her 30th Birthday.

So, all this to say; my plans to move to Colorado are temporarily on hold. For now I have decided to move to Austin, Texas to be with the girl I love. I’m excited about moving forward, not just because of Kristy, but because of Austin. Although it has always been my second choice I still see a lot of great opportunities here and there is quality rock climbing close by in addition to great hills for running and biking. The future looks bright and lots of change surely lies ahead. And as a side note if you need a freelance web designer or photographer in Austin let me know. I’m available for work!




Smoothie Tuesday: Strawberry/Pineapple recovery smoothie

Posted on June 9th, 2010

Okay, I know it’s Wednesday, but I’m long overdue for a post. Life has been extremely busy lately. I have been gearing up for a move that will hopefully take place soon. I recently posted Getting confirmation on living the dream, but sometimes plans change. I have come to realize that often times we plan out a path, but God has something else in store for us, big surprises and sometimes disappointments. But in my case, I was thrown a huge curve ball and was pleasantly surprised. To make a long story short (I will post a longer version later) I will be moving to Austin, rather than Colorado, to pursue the girl I first fell in love with nearly two years ago. All I am waiting on before making the move is the sell of my house, which SHOULD happen pretty soon. But I also have to remember that the way I want things to happen may not be best. This could be held up for another month or longer. It has already drug out for two months.

Rock climbing at Reimer's Ranch near Austin, TX - my future new home.

Anyway, on with the smoothie recipe. Yesterday I got back into the climbing gym after not having been in over a week, and prior to that I was lucky if I was getting in the gym once a week. This season has not been filled with as much climbing as I had hoped for. Despite being out of prime climbing shape I decided to run 4×4′s with my climbing friend Scott. Basically you take turns climbing the same route four times, you have on to the next route and repeat the process. You do this until you fall. So, we decided to climb 5.9 routes after warming up on an easy 5.7 climb. We managed to finish 12 laps without any falling, but we both had our first fail at lap 13.

So, we continued on with our 4 laps, getting as high as we could each time. After finishing this, we moved on to bouldering after cooling down on some easier routes. So, in all I climbed about 19 routes and four boulder problems. All this to say, I did A LOT of climbing for being out of shape. I guess it goes to show I wasn’t as out of shape as I thought, but needless to say I needed a good anti-inflammatory recovery smoothie.

This smoothie is chock full of anti-inflammatory goodness and protein. As I have mentioned before pineapple contains bromelain that can be used to help treat sports injuries, trauma, arthiritis and other types of inflamation. I also added ground flax seed as well for a balance of omega three and six. The omega three contains the anti-inflamatory properties needed. So without further or do, here is the recipe…

The Recipe

  • About 1/4 – 1/2 a 160z container of chopped or frozen pineapple
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries
  • 1+ cups of hemp milk
  • 1 TBSP of raw tahini (optional, it didn’t affect the flavor much)
  • 1/2 TBSP of your favorite greens powder
  • 1 TBSP of hemp seed protein

My guess is this smoothie has around 18 grams of protein, I’m not sure what the carb count is, but my guess is around 54 grams, giving you a nice 3 to 1 ration. If you desire something closer to 4 to 1 just eliminate the tahini and replace the hemp milk with water or rice milk.

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