Almond Bran

How cute is this package?  The shipping box is just as cute and creative, but I was too lazy to take a picture of it.  This bag houses some almond bran that I bought.  A few years ago, I wanted to buy some almond bran.  Surely with the health craze of brans and the beneficial aspects of almonds that someone surely had figured out that there was a use for the bran discarded from blanched whole and slivered almonds.  That was not the case.

I emailed someone, somewhere about it.  Never got a response, but my message to the Universe was answered.   Anyway, I did another search and here we are with a sole supplier:  You can find almond bran on their website by clicking here.  Read about almond bran benefits here.  I bought 2 bags and took a picture for you.

My personal food slogan is was that a life without carbohydrates is not worth living.  Muffins in the mouth glom onto the body as muffins at the arms, back and waist.  I guess I don't really like muffins so much that I wish to transform into one.  Oh wait...I have.  I've never had to worry about my weight, but now that I'm older, lack of judicious eating choices, never a problem before, have now become problematic.  It is fixable.

And while my muffinicity is high compared to where I used to be, it is not high compared to most.  However, I now realize how easy the body adapts to higher and higher weights.  While my 15-20 lbs may not seem like much compared to 50-75 lbs, it is just a matter of time (given no change to activity and/or nutrition) that this might be the case.

The Harvard School of Public Health has a great website.  It is full of facts that will scare the bejeebers out of those, such as myself, that have become complacent about exercise and weight management.  Click on the link and you will be transported to an article that all of us should read and put it on the fridge.  Specifically, it says the following (emphasis added is mine):

If your weight is in the healthy range and isn’t more than 10 pounds over what you weighed when you turned 21, focus on maintaining that weight by watching what you eat and exercising.

The good news is.... Encouragingly, for women who had never used hormone replacement therapy, losing weight after menopause—and keeping it off—cut their risk of post-menopausal breast cancer in half.

I'm not in that 'if' range.  Rather, I'm 20 lbs heavier than what I weighed in my mid-20's.  I'm 13 pounds heavier than what I weighed in my early 40's.  But in my early 40's, I was in the best shape of my life.  (Weights, stretch, trail running, mountain biking).  I was stronger and cardiovascularly fitter than I ever had been.  For so long into my mid forties, I never changed sizes.  Magically (and unfortunately), that has recently changed in the last 24 months.

Remember, I'm building consciousness around my health circumstances (channeling Jose Ortega y Gasset).  And being the geek that I am, I'm going to plow through literature and make an attempt to integrate what makes sense.  I also know to listen to my body.  The array of nutrition information out there is amazing--good amazing and bad amazing.  Whole grains are good.  Whole grains are bad.  Fat is good.  Fat is bad.  Dairy is good.  Dairy is bad.  Alcohol (in moderation) is good.  Alcohol is bad.  You get the picture.

What is a body to do?  I guess ultimately we have to listen to our body.  My personal theory is that it is an alimentary question.  Simply put:

The proof is in the poo.  If what you eat is digested well by your body and eliminated easily, then you are eating something that is good for your body.

With this long-held (but poorly practiced) belief in hand, I did a search and found this helpful website:  Hemorrhoid Information Center.  It is about digestive health, not hemorrhoids specifically.  I found this page which gives the Bristol Stool Chart and some other helpful information.  I guess the Bristol Stool Chart is the bikini-body pin up for our stool health.  Some marketing genius has coffee mug that you can get.  I wouldn't recommend it as an office mug. 

How often does a doctor ask you about your stools?  Rarely.  I'm unclear as to why, given the medical evidence regarding the optimal functioning of the alimentary system and  importance of stool consistency and the makeup of flora in the bowels as to why stool testing isn't a recommended test during physicals.  Riddle me that Batman.

Back to the beginning.  Almond bran (There is also almond flour and the like.  I've not used any of it.  But as an intrepid cook, I will down the road) at 5g serving has 3g of fiber and 17.5 calories along with all of this (from the website)

The total antioxidant capacity of Almond Bran is more than 13 times greater than that of almonds alone because removing the skins from the almond concentrates their antioxidant potential.  Together with its dietary fiber, essential minerals and phytosterols Almond Bran is CONCENTRATED NUTRITION.   
See how this high potency supplement compares to whole almonds:
Almond Bran contains:
            Less than half the fat
            Nearly four times the dietary fiber
            Three times the calcium
            Nearly 4 times the phytosterols
            20 times the amount of stigmasterol
            7 times the amount of campesterol


Plus, it is also a pre-biotic -- giving the good bacteria stuff to eat.  And if you feed your gut the wrong stuff, the wrong type of bacteria thrive causing all manner of issues.  But that is not for today.  Like a good stool, I'll let my thoughts on this fully form and give you well-considered output.

I'm going to go make some oatmeal until I become convinced that it really is bad for me.  I'll be adding dried apricots, 5g of almond bran and I will enjoy it with Almond Milk.  (Unsweetened, Vanilla).

Down with muffinicity.


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