cashews

Hello Internet! My name’s Mackenzie and I am participating in the May Nutrition Program at Empowered Fitness in Half Moon Bay, California. I will be documenting my  journey on this blog, every Monday and Friday, as well as sharing yummy, healthy recipes! Let’s do this thing!

Week two almost down! I’ve been focusing on my fitness goals a lot and managed to run a mile (straight, no walking!) for the first time in a looooong time. I won’t even say how long. It felt great! I started wondering what it is about this way of eating that gives me the energy to continue to meet my fitness goals. In the past, I’ve always had trouble with muscle spasms and injuries. So, I turned to Google. It turns out that eating (healthy) fats is a vital part of repairing and building muscle!

Not all fats are equal. This challenge focuses on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in foods like avocados and walnuts. The not so good fats, saturated fat and trans fat, are found in foods like ice cream and fried foods. Now, saturated fats, when found in certain foods like butter, cheese, and eggs, are fine in moderation. But trans fats are pretty bad across the board. Below is a list of 5 sources of healthy fats that can help you meet those fitness goals!

  1. Almonds. These nuts are an awesome source of healthy fat and also come in a nut butter form, yum! Almonds are good to sprinkle over cottage cheese with fruit or even blend into your smoothie. Just keep in mind that almond milk isn’t necessarily the best form of this nut to enjoy the fat benefits because it contains so much water.
  2. Sunflower seeds. I remember these being really popular as a kid, with the shells constantly underfoot at the lunch tables. Guess what, your beloved childhood snack is also a source of healthy fat! Enjoy a tablespoon of these per block of fat.
  3. Olives. Yes, these are a fat. And what a wondrous fat they are! My family likes to eat them straight out of the jar, but for more civilized folk I suggest sprinkling them over a salad or adding them to black beans, shredded cheese, and diced chicken breast for a quick, Mexican-inspired meal.
  4. Cashews. I have to admit, these are my favorite. They are less distinct in flavor than an almond, which means you can add them to a variety of things without overpowering other flavors. Try sautéing veggies in a teaspoon of coconut cream and a tablespoon of cashew butter. Delicious!
  5. Chia seeds. We already have a post dedicated to this superfood, but it doesn’t hurt to mention them again! Check out five ways to eat chia seeds here. (link post: http://empoweredfit.com/blog/221/5-delicious-ways-to-eat-chia-seeds/)

What’s your favorite healthy fat? Tell us in the comments!