Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nuts to You

Tonight’s poker game at my house has been postponed because of the snow and late scheduling conflicts by three players who previously committed to show up. If I were a vindictive man, I’d name names. But in this time of Mandela inspired forgiveness, I’ll follow Madiba’s example and not hold a grudge.

Which brings me to the real reason behind this post, inspired by the time a few years ago during another hosting of my group’s poker games when a friend got up to get a beer and was stunned by the vast quantity of nuts arrayed across the second shelf of the refrigerator. He joked about our house being inhabited by squirrels. 

Truth is, on that second shelf we have regular almonds and dry roasted almonds, slithered almonds, cashews, pecans, shelled and unshelled pistachios, pine nuts, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, chocolate covered peanuts, and trail mix packs. A true squirrel heaven. We have such a wide array of nuts because most mornings my breakfast consists of almonds and cashews combined with assorted fruit, all smothered in whipped cream. Gilda usually takes dry roasted almonds, brazil nuts and some pecans for snacking during the day. 

You might be scratching your head wondering if we’re eating the wrong stuff, but you wouldn’t be if you read Jane Brody’s column in Tuesday’s NY Times (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/snacking-your-way-to-better-health/?ref=health&_r=0). Once considered bad for you, nuts are now a first line of defense against such illnesses as cancer, heart and respiratory disease. 

Despite their high fat content nuts are said to reduce bad cholesterol. They also can lower triglycerides. Unfortunately, I started my nut regimen way after my triglycerides topped the four digit level. They’re under control now, most notably from a changed diet along with a supercharged omega-3 fish oil capsule, Lovaza. You have to be careful with Lovaza, or any fish oil capsule, for that matter. If one of the pills leaks, the others in the bottle are infused with an overwhelming fish smell. That apparently happened with my most recent Lovaza prescription. I couldn’t get the fish oil smell off my hands despite repeated washings with soap and water and a spritz of Purel. It got so bad I had to call the mail order pharmacy to complain. I suspect I wasn’t the first to do so as the pharmacist was quite apologetic and accommodating, agreeing to send out a replacement order ASAP.