Saturday, November 7, 2009
The Secret is in the Sunflower
On one of my recent journeys, I had the opportunity to see my sister's Navy ship get commissioned. Which also meant that after her trip around South America, I also got to see my sister! And one of the first things out of my mouth was how fabulous she looked!
I travel a ton. Any frequent visitor to Uncovering Food notes my long absences when sketch hotel Internet or crazy debate tournament schedules take away any remaining energy I have left to share my fabulous foodie thoughts with you. However, I always find time to eat! Stress and exhaustion fuel that need to munch and losing weight is a difficult task because of this.
However, my sister had managed to lose a ton of weight while living on a ship! Granted the food wasn't always 4-star and she was doing a lot of physical activity. But towards the end of our visit she shared one more secret. She keeps a bag of sunflower seeds on her when she can to munch on. The salt helps with motion sickness and the process of de-shelling the seeds in her mouth keeps her occupied.
I decided to test out her theory that the secret was in the sunflower seeds the very next day. I bought a bag of sunflower seeds for my travel home. Normally on flights, I like to eat. It passes the time and fills the monotony of sitting in one place. Great idea, right? Taking in calories while burning as little as possible?
I felt the urge to munch mid flight and broke open the bag. With my airsickness bag as the receptacle for the shells, I began to snack. Before I could finish less than 100 calories worth of sunflower seeds (along with sipping the complimentary airline water), I was full. In fact I was so full I didn't want lunch a couple hours later. And I had munched my way through a significant part of my flight!
My guess is that the healthy fats helped fill me up, as sunflower seeds have a significant amount of Vitamin E in them. They also have a number of other health benefits according to an informative article on Whole Food's site. But it was the combination of being filling and the process of eating these shelled morsels that made them magic.
For the last two trips and even during the day at school, I have kept a bag of sunflower seeds with me. These preportioned shelf-stable baggies remind me that if I get the urge to snack, I can munch on something healthy. But before I can consume too many calories, I am tired of eating. And that's a crazy feeling!
According to Calorie Count, 1/4 cup of seeds in the shell is 68 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein.
I get asked by readers if I am being paid to push products. The simple answer is no. In fact, most of the products I write about are ones I have found and purchased during my trips to the grocery store or on the road. Occasionally, a company will send a sample my way and if I believe the product will serve a need for my readers and I would buy the product myself, then I will share it with you. Sometimes I will write to a company after reading about it, if I believe it will help us lead healthier lifestyles. But even then, if the product doesn't pass my scrutiny, it won't make the screen of Uncovering Food. You can trust that every product or recipe posted here has passed through my lips, and that I wouldn't blog about it if it wasn't worthy of you... my favorite readers.