Pistachios, Monkeys, and Meditation

The next time you need a break from your computer, or from life in general, try this.  Pour yourself a teacup full of pistachios.  Take another cup for shells, and sit, preferably somewhere far from all electronic sights and sounds.

There is something primal about the process of prying open these little bivalve shells and retrieving the tiny treasures inside.  Have you ever watched a monkey eating quietly in the forest?  This is like that.  I tried buying them already shelled once, but it wasn’t quite right.  It was too easy to grab a handful and go.  For me, this is a meditation, similar to sipping hot tea.  You have to slow down and focus on the food in front of you.  You can only do one at a time.  Don’t rush it.


Have you tried these?  Introduced as a cash crop to California just a few decades ago, pistachio trees grow well in hot, drier areas.  They can grow 30 feet tall and can live and produce for centuries.  One pistachio tree can bear an average of 50,000 pistachios in two years.  The “nut” is really a fruit containing a seed.  As the fruit ripens, the shell turns from green to yellowish beige and finally bursts open with an audible pop.

Pistachio nutrition

In one ounce of pistachios, a palm-full, there are 6 grams of complete protein (all essential amino acids in significant and balanced quantities).  Pistachios are also high in healthy fats, lutein, thiamin, B6, choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.  They are high in fiber, they are anti-inflammatory, and they have a low glycemic load.  They fill you up and give you long-lasting energy without the sugar crash of high-glycemic foods.  In addition, pistachios have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, to raise anti-oxidant levels, and to benefit cardiovascular health.

All in all, this is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat, and pistachios are great for kids’ lunch packs, as long as there are no allergies.  As with all nuts and seeds, moderate intake is good.  Unlike most nuts and seeds, my 7-year-old daughter loves to eat these, so I pack about a quarter cup of them in her school lunch.  (We do shell them ahead of time, because school lunchtime is not so great for meditation.)

So be healthy, and happy, and keep a stash of pistachios in your pantry.   The greener the seed color, the better.  And now, isn’t it time for a break?

© Copyright 2011, Laura J. Rongé, Ciel Bleu Media, healthiveg.com.  All rights reserved. Disclaimer.  This article is not intended as medical, nutritional, or other professional advice.

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