Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cocoa Covered Almonds, Overview of Vitamin E, and Day 3 Health Challenge Update

Almonds provide a lot of nutrients to our body. You know what? They also taste great too!
I can talk all about almonds, including that they are high in calcium, magnesium, folate, Vitamin E, protein, fiber and fat (healthy fats). But for now, I'll give a basic overview of Vitamin E before giving you guys the recipe to Cocoa Covered Almonds. I'll eventually  talk about the other nutrients in later posts.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin made of:

  • Tocotrienol—biologically inactive form
  • Alpha-tocopherol—biologically most active form

Functions of Vitamin E include:

  • Primary role as an antioxidant
  • Protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
  • Protects low-density lipoproteins (LDLs)
  • Protects white blood cells
  • Enhances immune function
  • Improves absorption of vitamin A
I'm sure you guys have heard of antioxidants. But, what are they really? Antioxidant are chemicals that protect cells from damage from oxidation. Oxidation is the loss of electrons from a molecule. Many metabolic processes involve oxidation reactions and can produce free radicals.

Free radicals cause damage to:
  • Cell membranes
  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs)
  • Proteins in the cell
  • Genetic material (DNA. Damage to DNA may cause cancer, depending on which gene is affected)
They are linked to diseases such as:
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Cataracts
  • Kidney Disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
One of the main concerns is heart disease. How does it reduce the risk of heart disease? 
  • It prevents oxidative damage to LDL
  •  It acts as an anticoagulant to prevent blood clots (vitamin E is an anticoagulant)
The oxidation of LDL marks the beginning of clogged arteries. 

So, now you know a little more about Vitamin E. Now, here's the recipe for Cocoa Covered Almonds. By the way, cocoa has a lot of benefits too! 

Serving: 1 recipe
Calories: ~180 calories

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 packets stevia (2 tsp)
  1. Place almonds in a small Ziploc bag. 
  2. Pour in the cocoa powder and stevia. 
  3. Seal the bag and shake it. Enjoy! 

That's such an easy recipe, right? It's also delicious and healthy. 

 Here's what I ate for day 3:

Breakfast: protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, milk (I made chocolate protein donuts with this) 250 calories

*By the way, cooking protein powder does not diminish its benefits. The proteins are just denatured, just like cooking egg whites. Either way, before proteins reach your muscles and other parts of the body, it has to be digested. Before even leaving the stomach, the proteins are denatured due to the stomach's acidic environment. Then, it gets broken down to its amino acids. 

Morning Snack: (4) Orange 200 calories
Lunch: 2 Nori Sushi Sheets, salmon, sriracha (I ate it with tuna/hummus instead of salmon and I ate an avocado salad) 273 calories
Afternoon Snack: LaraBar 220 calories
Dinner: Quinoa, baked salmon, steamed veggies (This totally changed. I ate 5 pieces of brown rice hawaiian sushi roll, some tofu, chicken, shrimp patty and some vegetables) 400 calories
Night Snack: nonfat Greek yogurt, truvia, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon (I added some pb2 and I didn't add the cinnamon. I also ate some dark chocolate) 370 calories

Total calories: 1713 calories

I know. I ate the brown rice sushi! I can't believe it. I gave in. Oh well. We all have slip ups. My slip ups could have been worse. At least I didn't eat a calorie, carb, fat loaded pizza.

For today, here is what I plan on eating. I already have eaten my breakfast, morning snack and lunch.

Day 4:
Breakfast: protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, milk (chocolate protein donuts and pb2) 245 calories
Morning Snack: Orange 50 calories
Lunch: multigrain rounds, boca burger, sriracha 210 calories
Afternoon Snack: almonds sprinkled with stevia and cocoa powder, craisins 300 calories
Dinner: Quinoa, baked salmon, steamed veggies 422 calories
Night Snack: nonfat Greek yogurt, truvia, ground cinnamon, pb2 175 calories

Total calories: 1402 calories

Hopefully, I can stick to it the rest of the day. Wish me luck!

I also did a new HIIT treadmill workout today. It was really hard. I was so tired at the end. It was good to try a new workout. It challenges the body.

I also have a LaraBar Review. I finally ate a Peanut Butter Cookie LaraBar.

It tastes like a real peanut butter cookie! The texture is a bit chewy too, which I like! You can't tell that these have dates in them. I was so surprised. This is one of my favorite LaraBars (surprisingly, I hate the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough LaraBar). What I like more about this bar is that it only has 3 ingredients. Can't you believe it? Dates, Peanuts, and Sea Salt. That's it.

Here's the PB2 that I've been talking about. I poured it into jars since I knew it wouldn't stay fresh for long in the bag.

Also, here's how the donut looked with the PB2 and how it looked in Greek Yogurt. 

This is how it looked by itself:

Do you guys like almonds?
~I love dark chocolate covered almonds

Do you guys like peanut butter? Or do you prefer almond butter?

Have you tried HIIT workouts?


  1. I like almonds. These are tasty and healthy. And the bar! If it constains only these three things, it must be really delicious :)

    1. Almonds are tasty and are loaded with nutriets. And, yes. The larabars are delicious and healthy as well. I can't believe it tastes like a real peanut butter cookie with just 3 ingredients.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...