Success Stories

Meet other health nuts.

Here are a several people who made changes in their lives – and brought healthy pistachios along for the journey.

GARRETH BRUFF

GARRETH BRUFF

Loser (of 13kg in only 5 months) - Winner (against his middle-age slump)

They say it’s never too late to change. I am a normal, regular man trying to cope with work, family and life in general. When I was young I was really fit, I played rugby and cycled. As I matured, life caught up and so did the weight. You wouldn’t say I was fat but I was carrying 12 kg (24lb) of extra weight. Before I knew it, I was 46 years old and sliding very quickly into a middle age slump.

I have always tried to keep myself fit by cycling and tried to follow a reasonably healthy diet. Like a lot of people my life is pretty demanding. I work full time in a stressful job which I enjoy, but I commute three hours a day and have two teenage children, so that puts a dent in extra curricular activity.

One day I decided enough is enough and I am going to reclaim my health and fitness, so I contacted Nigel Mitchell, a dietitian who put a diet and training plan together for me.

The thing I liked about having a plan was that all I had to do was follow it and the results would come. This included eight hours a week of structured exercise, which may seem a lot but when it was broken down over the week it was really manageable. To begin with, I was worried that I would not have enough energy, but the plan was designed to ensure that my energy levels were topped up. He included in the day a 40g portion of pistachio nuts to snack on between meals and informed me that they would be ideal because they would slowly release carbohydrate healthy fats, protein and antioxidant. I never felt deprived.

Initially, I could not believe how good I felt and Nigel’s plan was even helping me to cope with the stresses of work. I am now 5 months into the plan I have lost over 13kg, but more importantly, it feels like my fitness and energy levels are through the roof. I will never go back to that lethargic low energy feeling.

CRYSTAL LEE

CRYSTAL LEE

Owner, LifeSite.co - Miss California 2013

As an entrepreneur, it’s important that I maintain a balanced life. Running a startup tech company, though rewarding, can be stressful and time consuming. Therefore, I prioritize my health with habits that help me keep up with the pace of a growing business.

Eating healthy snacks like pistachios and practicing yoga is a key part of my regular routine. Whenever I start to feel sluggish, especially in the middle of the day, I will leave my desk for a workout or turn to a healthy, natural snack to give me sustained energy.

Whenever I travel for work, it can become especially difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Therefore, I rely on a consistent combination of a morning run and healthy snacks like pistachios throughout the afternoon to prevent overeating at dinner.

Being a former Miss California, I always try to look and feel my best whenever possible. Long before my first pageant, my mother taught me that no amount of makeup or superficial treatments can disguise a bad attitude or poor habits. Beauty stems from the inside out. It includes having a servant’s heart and treating others with kindness and generosity. As I’ve grown up, I now know that it also means taking smart steps for my own health and wellness so I can sustainably give back to others, whether it’s employees or loved ones.

My greatest blessing is to have a loving family that helped me develop healthy habits. I have been eating all-natural, California pistachios since my grandparents gave them to me as a child. I’m grateful to have access to quality, healthy food to fuel me on my journey to bring LifeSite.co to families and customers all over the world.

KRISTINA OWYOUNG

KRISTINA OWYOUNG

Expectant mother / Communications professional

My husband Todd and I are excited to be expecting our first child, a little girl, in less than two months. Health and wellness has been a focus of mine throughout my pregnancy. As a marketing and communications professional, my baby and I have flown over 40 flights together. Doing prenatal yoga in my hotel room and targeting a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day have helped me stay active and in shape while traveling.

As a professional coach, I work with people to increase their leadership effectiveness. While our focus is on enhancing their skills in the workplace, I think it’s important that they develop healthy practices that support their mind, body and spirit. I practice what I preach, so I sleep eight hours a night, integrating regular meditation into my day and most importantly, I eat a balanced diet of veggies, lean protein, fruits and nuts.

Being pregnant, one of the most common things people say to me is, “enjoy eating for two.” I don’t take this as a license to indulge in whatever I want. Pregnant ladies only need an additional 300 calories a day to support the growth and development of a healthy baby. I make smart choices in what I feed my growing girl. Pistachios contain more protein than most other nuts and are a delicious snack. Two servings of pistachios a day is an easy way to add nutrients my baby needs to thrive.

Todd and I enjoy scuba diving and adventures. He even asked me to marry him when we were 85 feet underwater during a scuba dive in Belize. We have had dive adventures in Central America, Hawaii and explored the waters of Micronesia. We have been face to face with 13 foot hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas. While we hope our water baby has the same love for traveling, adventure and the ocean as we do, most importantly, we hope to raise her with happy and healthy habits!

FATHI BENDJEBBOUR

FATHI BENDJEBBOUR

Ex-Handball Pro

My name is Fathi, I am 39 years old and I once was a professional handball player. During my career I never really had to do much to stay in shape. But when my career ended I got a sedentary job, I didn’t really work out anymore and consequently I gained 45 pounds. No surprise so far. You all know how it goes.

At that time, my two best friends posed this challenge: Sign up and run the ‘20km de Paris’ race with us.

20km! Phew. As I found out later the guy holding the course’s record, Evans Cheruiyot, ran the entire distance in only 57:19 minutes. Not bad. And I didn’t have to think more than 1 second about my answer: Of course I said no.

I had been telling myself that I was just not good enough anymore. I felt like my energy was gone and I couldn’t take on such a challenge.

But my friends kept on insisting. And eventually they got me thinking. There was still a lot of time left until the next “20km de Paris” - maybe it wasn’t impossible. Or was it?

At the first training session I was not able to keep up with my friends for more than 20 minutes. But looking back, those sessions really were the turning point for me. I was back in the game. The first steps literally are the hardest.

I was careful with my nutrition and very focused. My typical routine was this: getting up at 6AM and running for half an hour. Then exercising at home. Then breakfast - with a lot of seeds and grains, dried fruits and pistachios.

I did all the research myself and I learned pistachios are a great source of protein and potassium. Exactly what I needed for my challenge. I wanted to lose weight and keep up with the others. Nothing else really mattered. After some time my muscle memory kicked in and so did my top athlete’s mindset.

After one year of preparation I really did it. I ran the “20km de Paris” in 1 h 19 min. Hearing thousands of people cheer when I passed the finish line was an incredible experience.

None of them could have guessed why I was so proud of myself at that moment. They had no clue that only a year ago this wouldn’t have been possible for me. That I had been a different person back then. And 45 pounds heavier.

When I passed that finish line three people knew what I had accomplished. My two best buddies and me. So guys, whatever your next challenge is: I’m ready.

Fashion Photographer Jan-Ole Hoffmann

Fashion Photographer Jan-Ole Hoffmann

In good shape behind the camera and before the camera

I woke up one day and the usual struggle began: I rolled out of bed and into the bathroom - preparing to drive to work. I am a photographer, 36 years old and found myself trapped in my daily routine. My breakfast used to consist of three chocolate bars from my good old friend the vending machine at work. Every morning. Every single morning. As a fashion photographer I am used to working with perfectly shaped bodies every day. And my models are not necessarily younger than me.

But here I am, still standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom, looking at the guy staring back at me and couldn't help but notice:

This guy has nothing to do with those perfectly fit men I work with. I have a flabby belly and almost no muscle tone -at least not without using a lot of imagination.

Then a light went on; Hey, you are not that old yet -but your lifestyle is far from healthy. Go and get yourself in shape! And so I did.

That very day I signed up for a trial at our local gym. After the first workout, I went at least three times a week.

But I figured that even the hardest workout is nothing without the right nutrition. I completely removed sugar from my diet. But that left me with a problem: There is sugar in almost all convenient food! Even in tomato pasta sauce (where I least expected it).

I crossed all processed foods off my shopping list and started cooking for myself with fresh ingredients.

In addition to my workout at the gym I began to do more cardio. Starting with short distance runs and ending up with an average of 120 km (74,6 miles) a week.

In order to better adjust my nutrition to my workout regiment I read a lot about nutrition and got advice from a friend who works as a nutritionist.

I started snacking nuts on a daily basis and integrated them into my diet. From walnuts and brazilian nuts to almonds and pistachios. What I loved about pistachios is, of course, their good taste as well as the simple fact that they contain the right kind of fats and proteins that support muscle mass growth and maintenance.

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