The recommended daily serving size of nuts is about one-ounce, an amount that should contain approximately 160-200 calories, full of protein and other nutrients (vitamin E in almonds, manganese in hazelnuts and iron in cashews, for example). A nutty snack will also fill you up with a good balance of protein, unsaturated fats and carbs. The problem lies in getting that one-ounce size. I know that if I want to eat some nuts, I don't put them on my scale in the kitchen before I pop them into my mouth, although I do worry a bit about how many I've eaten when a big bowl is placed in front of me. An extra serving or two of nuts can add up quickly, especially if you're indulging a bit extra over the holidays. The trick is to learn what a one ounce portion looks like and nutnutrition.com, which is run by Planters, has a great interactive resource to help you do just that. The site lets you see what one-ounce of nuts looks like when scattered and in a 1/4 cup measure. After a couple of visits to the site, you'll be able to sit in front of that big nut bowl and snack with confidence.
"hoilday" news and stories
Have you been to Starbucks lately? If so, you have probably noticed that their signature holiday red cups are in use, but if you are lucky, you might have noticed something else was happening in the stores, too. Starbucks just launched their cheer-pass movement. The company's goal is to start a chain of cheer this season by passing on good things to some of their customers, in the hopes that they, in turn, will pass that good cheer on to someone else by doing something thoughtful for another person. To kick off the program, last week some Manhattan commuters were given free subway MetroCards and free movie tickets were given away in Chicago. Other bits of cheer from the company might include free samples of the chain's holiday beverages, bags of coffee and $5 Starbucks Cards.
The only "catch", such as it is, is that the cheer spread by the company is accompanied by cheer passes, which are numbered cards that you are supposed to pass on if and when you "pay it forward" and do something good for another person this season. They have the Starbucks logo, but the real purpose of the passes is to track the chain of good deeds. By entering the number of the card on the cheer pass website, you can enter your good deed and see what other ones were associated with that particular card before you received it.
The company hopes to distribute 10,000 pieces of cheer daily for the next eight weeks to see, in the holiday spirit, just how far one good deed can go.