Oh How I Love Thee, Alligator Pear!

I have a confession. You might want to sit down for this one.

I don’t think I ever ate avocado before I was an adult.

I know! RIGHT?!?!

Now, if you are good at geography, and I tell you that I was born and raised in Indiana, you’ll probably understand this immediately. Even as recently as the 70s (yes, it’s not that recent, but in the grand scheme…), food transportation was not all it is today and it was rather expensive to get items in the middle of the country that were only grown on the edges. So, I pretty much thought that catfish was seafood, never had an avocado or guava, and believed a mango was a green pepper.

And then, some time after I started college, avocado happened. I think I liked it immediately, but I wasn’t head over heels. And then, over time, as I started to realize all the ways it could be served (besides the usual guacamole or pico de gallo), I became more and more of a fan. And, as a vegan, avocado quickly became my replacement for a creamy sandwich spread when mayo was out.

So, besides the fact that it has buttery deliciousness, pairs well with savory or sweet, and can be fashioned into spread or eaten in chunks, what’s so great about the avocado? It’s good for you!

Avocado can help you control your cholesterol. While high in fat, the monosaturated nature of the fat helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good stuff), while decreasing LDL (the bad stuff).

Avocados are a great source of potassium (1 avocado is around 2 bananas worth of potassium). Potassium has been correlated with lower stroke risk, lower blood pressure, and healthier bones and muscles.

Antioxidants are also strongly present in the avocado. The particular antioxidants that are in avocados are good for maintenance of vision as you age, and may even improve eyesight. Avocado antioxidants have also been associated with reduced cancer risk.

1/4th of an avocado can provide almost 10% of your daily fiber requirement; over 5% of your vitamin C, B6, and E; and 7.5% of folic acid.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. This would normally be where I would insert a good picture of a sandwich with avocado on it. And, I did make one. But then I accidentally ate it instead of taking a picture. Trust me, it looked good.

Now, go eat an avocado.

Go Back to Class!

A joke for only the coolest Internet dorks.

As my Facebook friends know, I have a learning thing. I love to learn new things.

In the past six months, I’ve taught myself to knit, learned to use Photoshop, completed a set of classes on digital photography (doing more of that now), started really learning about vegetable gardening, and toyed with the idea of starting reiki classes in the fall.

This spring, another person sought my advice about adopting a vegetarian diet, meal planning, and nutrition. And it occurred to me that I could better serve the people who come to me with such questions, and even work that into my future plans for The VeganAsana, if I completed some real training in nutrition.

My good spouse, who has tremendous patience with my desire to learn and learn again, gave me a “gift certificate” for Mother’s Day to start my classes toward certification as a health and nutrition consultant. Sweet!

So, now I’m back in class, studying calories (4 per gram of carbs or protein and 9 per gram of fat, by the way), macro and micro nutrients, FDA labeling laws, and the like. Most of it is a refresher for me, as I’ve been studying nutrition for a long time on my own, but it’s great to have this organized curriculum, and I’m learning tidbits here and there that are news to me.

I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about nutrition on this blog in the coming months, so stay tuned (ominous or inviting, you be the judge). ¬†And now, back to my books!