Why? You’ll see! :)
First of all, this morning I woke up super-early and ready for a heart-pounding workout on the treadmill. I jogged outside to the apartment complex gym, only to discover that someone was already there watching the TV. I find it very difficult to listen to music when someone else is watching a very loud TV, so I kept on running! It was probably about 25 degrees outside and sunny, so it wasn’t bad at all. I ran four miles and felt fabulous! I listened to music by Keali’i Reichel while running. Doesn’t Hawai’ian music make you think of palm trees and warm breezes? Warmed me right up! This and this are two of my favorite songs.
I hadn’t brought gloves, so my hands were freezing for the first part of the run. I was also wearing my cotton down-type jacket that I use to go to the gym, so I must have looked a little odd running on the sidewalk.
Breakfast was the usual: creamy banana oatmeal with blueberries, flax, wattleseed, and Saratoga peanut butter.
Lunch was leftover Bouillabaisse and salad with goat cheddar and Annie’s Goddess dressing.
For a good portion of the morning and afternoon I worked on my childhood obesity research paper, and now I’m halfway done! Awesome!
Peter made dinner again, a Tyler Florence lasagna recipe. He slow-cooked the tomato sauce over the course of the afternoon so it was rich and sweet.
Peter wanted me to point out to you guys that he’s wearing his tomato sauce shirt. This man is prepared!
Ready to go in the oven:
Peter made my half with whole grain lasagna noodles. I’m still trying to convert him over to whole grain everything ;)
Once we freeze most of it, this lasagna will make leftovers for a long time. Batch-cooking is a real time saver!
So, why do I eat a Brazil nut (nearly) every day? Because, Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium, a micronutrient essential to a number of processes in your body. This trace mineral is used in your immune system and in thyroid function. Selenium is also a potent antioxidant, and levels of selenium in food is soil-dependent. More info on selenium can be found here and here.
Before I get into this quick discussion, I want to stress that my intention is not to single out one nutrient in one food. I strongly advocate the whole foods approach (rather than supplements) practiced for hundreds of thousands of years and brought to recent public notice by Michael Pollan and others. I incorporate Brazil nuts as part of my diet because I enjoy them, rather than treating them as a supplement. I present this information out of interest in nutrition, not as an order to go eat Brazil nuts!
Anyhoo, in terms of antioxidant properties, research suggests that a diet adequate in selenium can reduce cancer risk. More research needs to be done in this area, of course. I’m interested to see what new findings emerge in the next few years.
The RDA for selenium for adults 19 and older is 55 micrograms per day – a tiny amount! An ounce of Brazil nuts has over 500 micrograms, so just ONE nut will cover you for the day. Since the tolerable upper limit is 400 micrograms, be careful not to overdose. Here are some other sources of selenium (Allie, this list is for you!):
So, the take-home message is: whole foods are good for you, and selenium-rich foods can be a healthful part of anyone’s diet.
How about you? What do you think about the “whole foods” approach?