Weight Loss Support - I'd sell my soul for a jar of almond butter

04-09-2009, 01:42 AM
And trade away my first born. And give up an evening with a naked Orlando Bloom. And tell Publisher's Clearinghouse to take a hike if they showed up at my doorstep with an oversized check. You get my drift...

Almond, peanut, cashew butters... these are the reasons my weight hasn't changed in the last month. I eat cleanly for a few days, mostly fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts, and some meat and dairy... but then I dip into my roommate's jar of freshly ground almond butter for a small spoonful, and...

7 or 8 more spoonfuls typically follow (I just had about that many).

And oy, the calories! Healthy calories, certainly, but way too many of them. And I know that nut butters are solely responsible for this plateau. The problem is that I love them so much that I can't not eat them (if that makes any sense), and my roommates always have several jars around. I just can't take it!

I've managed to extinguish my cheese habit (one ounce of aged cheddar or goat cheese works for me) and brownie fixation (I didn't even glance at the homemade batch my roomie left on the counter for a week). But man, I just can't get past this one. In fact, I think Maranatha puts crack in their almond butter, and now I'm completely addicted.

What to do? :?:

04-09-2009, 01:44 AM
Maybe try PB2? A lot of folks seem to rave about it. I haven't tried it yet, but I will be doing so shortly.

Jennifer 3FC
04-09-2009, 01:55 AM
Mmm yeah, try PB2 (http://www.freshapproachdietstore.com/nuts.php). I've had the original and liked it a lot, but I haven't tried the chocolate yet.

04-09-2009, 02:33 AM
I always have some almond butter... the difference is I budget it into my overall caloric intake & eat it OUT of a tablespoon (from a measuring set of cups).

I don't trust myself to simply "eat" it by a regular spoon (big or small) or by a "lick" of a knife, lol :D

You can have some, just budget it into your caloric amount for the day :cool:

~ tea

04-09-2009, 03:43 AM
There are some things I cannot budget - I'll tell myself that I'll stay within a limit, but find that self-control goes out the window after the first bite. Some nuts and nut butters are that for me (usually it's something even more carb-heavy like Nutella - I must have gone through 4 jars before I realized that I shouldn't buy it at all because I never am able to eat just the amount I budget for.

Peanut butter I can take or leave as long as it's unsweetened. Cashew and almond butter are much more addictive. We have a health food store in town that sells grind-it-yourself peanut and almond (and sometimes cashew) butter. That works out very nicely, because I grind only a few tablespoons into the plastic container (the cashier always looks at me funny, because some people probably put more on a single sandwhich than I am taking home) - every time she asks me if I've never had it before (thinking I must want only a small bit to see if I like it) - and every time I tell her "love the stuff, this is just damage control."

04-09-2009, 08:05 AM
The only thing you can do, IMO, is to tell yourself that it's not your food and stay out of it. Substitutes might just keep you jonesing.

If someone was sneaking their roommates' supply of alcohol, there would be a name for it. :o

It's not your food. It's not your food. Maybe you could make a deal with your roommates by which they lock it up instead of just leaving it where you can get to it.

Good luck...


04-09-2009, 08:15 AM
I've never heard of almond butter. What is it? Is it like peanut butter?

Judging from the responses, maybe I'm better off not knowing.... ;)

04-09-2009, 08:19 AM
I've never heard of almond butter too.

04-09-2009, 08:22 AM
I've never heard of almond butter. What is it? Is it like peanut butter?

Judging from the responses, maybe I'm better off not knowing.... ;)

I agree...lol

04-09-2009, 08:45 AM
Almond butter is a gift from God (or is it Satan?)

I'll try PB2, see if that helps, but I'm not sure that it will. Skippy and Jif and other processed nut butters can sit in my fridge for years. Frankly, I think they're disgusting, and all the crap they add to it (sugar, palm oil, etc.) really detracts from the flavor of natural, plan peanut butter. It's the real McCoy that I crave.

tea, I try to budget it into my calorie budget, but I would have to budget 1000 calories worth, because there's no way I can have just one spoon. Like kaplods, I can blow through a huge quantity before I feel the power to stop.

JayEll, good point! Though I should mention that my roommates and I share food; they're free to eat mine, I'm free to eat theirs, so I wasn't really sneaking anything. But maybe I should think of it that way...

Thanks all.

04-09-2009, 10:52 AM
Never had almond butter. That's probably a good thing.

I would kill for some pistachios though. Damn recall.

04-09-2009, 11:08 AM
I've always been the same way with peanut butter, though I am not fond of other nut butters. I had to cut myself off completely for awhile (easier for me since I live alone). Now I can have it in the house without losing it, but it took me a long time to get to that point.

04-09-2009, 11:18 AM
I'll try PB2, see if that helps, but I'm not sure that it will. Skippy and Jif and other processed nut butters can sit in my fridge for years. Frankly, I think they're disgusting, and all the crap they add to it (sugar, palm oil, etc.) really detracts from the flavor of natural, plan peanut butter. It's the real McCoy that I crave.

PB2 only has some sugar added to it--no extra oils or emulsifiers or anything--and as far as I can tell it's not a lot of sugar. In essence it's just powdered peanuts, so I'd think that there's little to get in the way of the true peanut butter flavor. But, I haven't tried it yet, so I dunno for sure! :)

04-09-2009, 11:26 AM
I've never heard of almond butter. What is it? Is it like peanut butter?

Judging from the responses, maybe I'm better off not knowing.... ;)

Almond Butter is to Peanut butter, what a McDonald's hamburger is to Kobe beef (I'm a bit biased, of course), but nut butters like peanut butter is a nut paste. They can contain "just nuts," or they can contain other ingredients (sugar, salts, emulsifiers....) so you have to read the labels just like anything else. The grind your own contains only nuts (which may be salted or not).

I saw my first nutbutter (other than peanut butter) in my first trip to a healthfood store in college. It looked like peanut butter with dark flakes (almond butters come in various shades of brown, with or without the the dark flakes - depending on how much the nuts are roasted, and whether the skin of the almond is removed). I was fascinated, but $7 a jar was pretty intimidating, so I didn't try it until years later (when I found a teeny, tiny jar for $4). As someone who was never a peanut butter fan, I had found absolute heaven, and I ended up trying all of the nut butters I could find.

Fresh ground peanut butter - this is good, but can't be compared to store peanut butter. The texture (a little dryer) and even the taste (more like a handful of roasted peanuts) is completely different - it's the only peanut butter I really like.

Cashew - This stuff is the gold standard of the nut butters I have tried. Just absolutely the most amazing stuff on the planet. Don't even think of trying it if you ever want to be able to choke down peanut butter ever again. It's so expensive, that I was able to control myself only by thinking of how much each tablespoon cost - I'd warm the jar in the microwave, and spread the cashew butter as thin as I possibly could so the jar would last as long as possible. Cashew butter is usually $12 or more per pound. Keeping that in mind, does help.

Macadamia nut butter - I had high hopes for this one, as macadamia nuts are my absolute favorite nuts (I only buy these in the tiny, single-serving 1 oz packages (and only one or two at a time). The nut butter though was not pleasant. It was much oilier than other nut butters (which makes sense, because macadamia are one of, if not the fattiest nuts), but the oil didn't stir into the nut butter very well, and it had a strange "old" almost rancid taste. I've never been brave enough to try it since, but I think it may have been an inferior brand - or because it was so expensive, it had sat on the shelf too long (there wasn't an expiration date on the jar - but this was probalby 20 years ago, so shelf stable products didn't always have a use by date).

Almond butter - Still pretty expensive $7 to $12 per pound (7 in the jar, and 12 to grind yourself at the grocery). If you like roasted almonds, you'll love almond butter. When I worked in the juvenile detention center, the jail would send over huge cans (a gallon or more) of almond butter (apparently, there was a government surplus of almond butter that year). The kids HATED it, because it wasn't peanut butter. We had to eat with the kids, and weren't supposed to eat anything that the kids couldn't have (unless we could make sure they didn't see us eating it - when I was on Nutrisystem I had to prove to my bosses that there was no way that the kids would be jealous of the food I was eating - luckily that wasn't hard to prove with Nutrisystem - it made the jail food look good). But before I was dieting, though I ate a lot of almond butter at work. I joked (but was serious) in staff meetings that I would gladly "trade" the almond butter for twice the amount in peanut butter so the kids wouldn't have to "suffer" any longer. Unfortunately, not legal to do so, besides I would have had to stand behind the director of the facility and all of the senior staff members (assuming we went by rank and seniority and not had to fight it out).

You can make your own nut butters in the food processor, but my only attempt to do so with almonds, failed miserably. I didn't use any additional oil, so it came out more like almond meal, than almond butter. Almond meal makes a great coating for oven-"fried" chicken, by the way. I later learned that for many nuts, a small amount of additional oil is needed to make the nuts into nut butter. If you can't find the "matching" oil, walnut or peanut butter is often recommended.

Oh, I should also mention tahini - it's not a nut butter, but a seed butter. Ground sesame seeds. I believe it comes in both raw and toasted. The raw is white and has a creamier, looser texture than nut butters. A lot of people love it, but I didn't like it at all. I found it too bitter.

04-09-2009, 11:50 AM
I know you're probably craving whole spoonfuls, but you could try combining the almond butter with other foods to up the volume, decrease the calorie intake compared to eating a lot of it pure, and make it a set meal or snack so it doesn't feel like a guilty indulgence (which leads to the, "Oh well, I've already splurged, might as well keep going" phenomenon). Would an almond butter and banana sandwich work for lunch? Or apple slices with a bit of it spread on top? I sometimes stir a tablespoon of peanut butter into oatmeal for a power breakfast, or blend it into a smoothie.

I use tricks like this to get around my personal cravings: especially chocolate and ice cream. A quarter cup of the latter goes a long way with strawberries and a mound of fat free cool whip, and a bit of chocolate tastes a lot better and lasts a lot longer if I nibble in between sips of green tea.