Knowing nothing other than your love for PB&J, imagine it being banned. That’s exactly what happened to the Golden State Warriors when the key ingredients for heaven between bread were removed from their training tables and locker rooms in an attempt to make the team menu healthier. Who would do such a terrible thing?
The coaches and executives relied on PB&J sandwiches as much as the players did. When the strength and conditioning staff that was hired after last season’s NBA championship banned PB&J, the team decided to battle back.
Getting proper nutrients before showtime is key for athletes, dancers and long distance runners. While I danced with the Rockettes, a PB&J sandwich was the number one sandwich choice during rehearsal breaks. Dr. Elaine Winslow, our athletic trainer, advised us to always include a carb and a protein in snacks between rehearsal blocks for proper muscle recovery and energy attainment. What better way than peanut butter on bread?
Relying on PB&J myself daily, I can understand the Warriors “fighting for their rights.” I truly can’t imagine my life without them. From a health perspective, a ban on peanut butter and jelly is misguided, especially because there are so many healthful ways to enjoy them (even without bread).
Today, people are quick to point out all the bad in food, not realizing the surprising facts about peanut butter. Many blogs out there list peanut butter as the number one food that’s “ruining” your metabolism. Peanut butter contains the most protein out of any other nut. Lacking protein in your daily diet is actually what’s slowing down your metabolism. According to the National Peanut Board by law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts. If we call it anything else, it is basically an ice cream topping.
I’m a firm believer in that everything is OK to eat, but what you put on it makes all the difference. Veggies and chicken can be enjoyed on a quesadilla versus cheese and sour cream.
How I pair peanut butter follows that same procedure. Eating your peanut butter with its partner in crime, jelly, is the KEY. Jelly that is made from all fruit contains more fiber than other varieties and peanut butter contains 2g per serving. Fiber is an essential nutrient for digestion and may lower cholesterol levels.
Other healthful ways to consume your peanut butter is to go for the natural kind with chia and flax seeds. Trader Joe’s makes a peanut butter with exactly that. It becomes a peanut butter porn when eaten with a spoon (it pairs really nicely with chocolate ice cream). Score high in healthiness by stirring natural peanut butter in your morning bowl of oats, plain yogurt or smearing it on bananas or whole-grain bread.
Peanut butter and jelly introduced a whole new world to bakery treats and an innovative way to enjoy savory burgers and noodles. Who thought these foods could get any better? If peanut butter and jelly were banned, genius innovations like the PB & J doughnut at Doughnut Plant would not exist. Peanut butter and jelly have this seductive way of making everything from a stale cracker to ice cream taste better. Anyone hating on peanut butter and jelly enough to ban it is out of their mind.
No matter what your profession, even the 8-year-old recess goer can benefit from America’s go-to sandwich, PB&J. So to the misguided Golden State Warriors staff responsible for this ban, STOP hating on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bring them back to our players. They deserve to enjoy their PB&J more than anyone.