While I vaguely remember the incident, I vividly recall Dr. Maislen in his white lab coat, his white hair, and the white walls of the waiting room where children whined trying to settle into chairs or onto their mothers’ laps. Thinking back to visits with our family’s pediatrician, most were positive. This time, not so much.
The occasion I am referring to is one I am not proud of. And for sure, it was my own fault. It’s something that I will never do again. I’m older. I am wiser. I know better now. And if my mom hadn’t written it down in our family’s childhood memory book, I could pretend it never happened and I wouldn’t ever have to hear the story again.
From my journal: December 21, 1985 Redondo Beach, California
“The first time Robert will be meeting my family…hoping for no embarrassing stories… especially…about me!”
So apparently, my love for fruit with hard shells wrapped around edible kernels started when it was okay to feed them to your child. Dr. Spock, the well-known American pediatrician and author of Baby and Child Care, copies of which could be found in just about every household during the 1950-70s including our own, suggested babies be introduced to them after six months. But only ground up to prevent choking. After five years, a child can eat them whole. So, I must’ve been three as my mom tells it. I was handed a nut, a walnut, and maybe it was just a little too big for me or it wasn’t chopped up enough. Either way, I ingested it. And no, I didn’t choke because instead of putting it in my mouth, I did what all three-year-old’s are bound to do at one time or another, and that is, I stuck it up my nose. Why did I do it? Maybe out of curiosity? Or perhaps I just lacked the hand mouth coordination needed for self-feeding? Who’s nose…I mean, who knows?
Anyway, I was having a little trouble breathing and was a tad uncomfortable, so to the doctor’s office we went. And when my mom told Dr. Mailsen what had happened, he was not surprised, nor was he worried. He simply said, “Shari, you’re a nut with a nut in your nose.” And then, he proceeded to close off one of my nostrils and asked me to blow. It did the trick. (Just in case you need to know for future reference.)
Being a lover of all things nuts, this past Saturday, October 22nd was a day for me to rejoice in, as it was National Nut Day! Hallelujah! Created by Liberation Foods Company only six years ago, its goal is to continue to promote the Fair-Trade Organization, as well as healthy snack options. Nuts, being their choice.
Chock full of nutrients, nuts are a good energy source and contain vitamin E and B2. You can eat them raw, cook with them, or roast them. Rich in protein, fiber, and essential minerals, they are good for you and taste good, too! Some studies even show that if you eat them on a regular basis, you are less likely to succumb to heart disease. So you can eat them to your heart’s content! And another health benefit to note is that almonds and walnuts can lower your LDL cholesterol. Not bad for a nugget sized morsel.
Pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamia, pine nuts and more! I love them all. Chopped up and sprinkled on salads I like the added crunch, folded into homemade energy bars I enjoy the extra protein, or even straight from their containers they are a no fuss snack, and I have a handful just about every day. Portable, too, I am never without a snack bag full, whenever I’m away from home.
You could say, I’m nuts about nuts! So before I head off to munch on a few, I’d like to share some fun facts about them with you.
- Did you know that peanuts are not actually nuts? They are in fact classified as legumes!
- The only nuts to contain Omega-3 fats are..ta da da da.. walnuts! They are thought to help stave off cancers, arthritis, and even cardiovascular diseases.
- Pine nuts are named as such because they actually grow in pinecones.
- Consuming nuts such as almonds, acorns, and pistachios dates back 780,00 years ago! Wow!
- In their cooking, Ancient Romans used ground up walnuts as a thickening agent. Yum! And…
- Chocolate manufacturers buy over 40% of the almond supply around the world to use in their products. Double Yum!
Whichever type you like, and however you choose to eat them…enjoy! And take it from me, the best way to appreciate all the goodness they have to offer, is without a doubt, through your mouth.