It started with a craving. The salty, crunchy kind. The kind that makes you scoop handfuls of whatever snack is available. At our house, it was the greasy, high-in-carbohydrates kind. The garbage was always full of empty bags of buttered popcorn, regular or ridged sea salt potato chips. I was the ringleader, having started the trend towards popcorn, pretzels and chips, and my children quickly followed suite. While we were always strict on sugar consumption in our house, the kids were always munching away on one starch or another. A trip to the grocery store was never complete without several bags of greasy, crispy goodness. We thought we were doing all right.
That’s why we couldn’t believe it when our oldest son Seth was diagnosed with Type II diabetes at the age of 14. Ever since my own diagnosis of pre-diabetes around the time he was a toddler, we tried to keep junk out of the house. When the doctor told us that high carbs was the most likely culprit, we were dumbfounded. Naturally, we tried to modify our diet and eliminate the greasy, salty carbs from the house. But the cravings it hit us all.
Our son’s nutritionist had placed him on a restricted diet that included a variety of nuts; more than I even knew existed. Growing up, my thoughts on nuts were mostly about peanuts and I was never a fan of peanut butter because of the consistency. As our future grocery store trips brought us down the nut aisle, I became more familiar with all the different varieties there were, but still never curious enough to try. I stuck with the menu created for my son and the nuts that were listed and left it at that. With the reduction of chips and pretzels, the rest of us had no real snacks to indulge in. I know my youngest, Mike jr., would go to his friends house for treats, but our daughter Sarah seemed to be doing fine without anything extra. She never even mentioned the change to her diet. It made me curious, how easily she was handling the reduction of snacking. So I did what any good parent would do…secretly spied. And I didn’t believe what I saw. I watched her reach a little arm into the pantry and pull out a fist full of macadamia nuts, throw her head back and pop them in her mouth as if they were handfuls of popcorn. When she was gone, I tried the same thing. That’s when I realized my seven year old was way smarter than her old man. This handful of nuts completely hit the spot. Salt, texture, taste…turns out nuts are the perfect healthy substitute for chip lovers! I silently watched my daughter over the course of the next week as our supply of mixed nuts dwindled down. I saw how she created her own trail mix by adding blueberries to handfuls of pistachios or apple slices with almonds. Her creativity inspired me. Afraid to call attention to her new nut obsession, I would refill our supply myself with late night runs to the market. Eventually, the cashier that worked the late night shift joked that I should just go into the nut business, considering how much and how often I was in there to refill the assortment of walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, and the like. Even though she was only kidding, the idea struck me. My family, it seemed, was going nuts for nuts! Even my little girl found her creative spirit in the new addition to our diets. As I researched the idea and all that would go into making it a reality, I saw how necessary this was to the lives of me and my family. Hoping to inspire other families to turn over a healthy leaf, I brought my family on board and opened the company.
That’s our story in a nutshell. Our dream is to help you and your loved ones incorporate the health benefits of nuts into your diet as a replacement for all of the trans fats, high-carb, starchy snack food that is all too familiar convenient but hijacking your health and even the health of our children.
We would love to hear your personal stories and how you manage to navigate through the junk food trap to stay fit and healthy. Please visit our social media pages and let us know what inspires and nourishes you and your family. We are always looking for recipes and ideas for new products.