Wednesday, 9 July 2014

California Almonds; The 21 day Snack Challenge, An evening of Almonds

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the team behind California Almonds, my evening was spent with Denise van Outen and lots of other bloggers at the Ice Tank, London.



The Ice-Tank entire theme for the evening was ALMONDS, we drank a delightful almond cocktail, ate a whole host of almond nutty nibbles.  Its amazing how versatile this little nut is.
A #SnackHappy PicknMix had every type of jazzed-up almond nut available.

Honey Roasted, Cinnamon, Lemon, Chocolate, Jakarta, Wasabi, to name a few of my favourites.



Years ago when Denise was working long hours, she felt an afternoon tiredness taking over, just the same as most people she would snack on all sorts.  She was fit and active, training at the gym with her personal trainer she couldn't understand why.  Her trainer recommended replacing her snacking treats with almonds.

Much to her surprise almonds have been a great source of energy, she feels more energized and happier.  Since then she's been promoting almonds to anyone and everyone who will listen, even converting her friends to eat them.  By chance The Almond Board of California found out that Denise is a great lover of their nut, they made Denise a great ambassador.  The rest is history.  Denise is always on TV, in magazines, she looks awesome... In real life too.  She's a mother too and understands how demanding life is being a parent.     

Nutritional research A handful (30g) will nip hunger prangs in the butt for hours or at least until meal time.  
  

Having kids has turned me into a snacker, occasional slacker.  I consume far more calories than I exercise.  So I have been making changes to my lifestyle, the way I think, the way I eat for a healthier me.

Almonds have so many vitamins, good fats Polyunsaturated Fat 3.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g.  With the only bad Saturated Fat 1g.


I had a wonderful evening and was very surprised by the results of these great nuts.
If you want to lose weight try substituting your naughty snacks for a handful of almonds.  I'm not say the weight will drop off, but your energy levels will increase, your sleep can improve.  Hopefully getting you to make the right choices to become more active and feel alert.

I was also told that tests have been completed, eating a recommended 30g per day the consumers didn't gain any weight.  That was surprising as when I think about nuts, I think too many will be fattening.


Talking of food, we were spoilt rotten, Jack Williams our chef for the evening, cooked-up a feast of canapes and desserts. Everything cooked included almonds.



I have never really cooked with Almonds before.  I found the vegetable & almond roll delicious.  So armed with the recipe card. I cooked my own.  Tasted so good, my whole family love it. The filling is roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, spinach, chopped almonds.  Absolutely delicious.


Trying to incorporate almonds within my families diet, I made them treats too.  I had made almond (almond milk, mixed berries and honey) ice lollies and almond and chocolate cupcakes.  Lots of healthy options, they really liked eating.     


My 21 day #SnackHappy Challenge went well after the first week, I stopped craving crisps, I was eating more fruit and vegetables. I felt more awake, confident within myself.  I started off eating a couple of packets a day, I even had my boys eating them.  It feels great to hear them asking for almonds rather then unhealthy snacks.
At the end of week 2 I ran out of Almonds, had to wait for a more to be delivered.  This is when I noticed a difference.  I rapidly felt tried in the afternoons, school run time I was already yawning my head off, the cravings kicking back in I wanted chocolates, biscuits, anything with processed sugars.
When the almonds arrived, everything went back to normal, I felt good again.

I did weigh myself at the start of my challenge,
Week 1 5lbs off
Week 2 2lbs on
Week 3 3lbs off
Total 6lbs off - Big smiles from me.

During the evening I met the fabulous Lucy Jones  Lucy is a Consultant dietitian, writer & TV presenter.  We had a one to one consultation. I advised I wanted to lose weight, that I had just started power walking.  She said it would be a good a thing to set myself some goals.  Possibly run a 5k, maybe for charity.  Which I believe would be a great idea, so watch this space for that.

I asked if only almonds are this nutritional, she said all nuts are good but to eat within moderation.  Maybe add a couple of other nuts for variety.

If you are pregnant its advisable to include nuts in your diet, making baby less pron to nut allergies.

I am pleased to say I'm still snacking on almonds, I will continue to do so. #Snackhappy

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Note this is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.