Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chia Seeds

 Hey everyone! Hope your weekend is going well and you are getting some sun, rest, and relaxation. Or you could be exercising and using these days off work to train hard. I know a friend of mine who is training for the full iron man, so his weekend was packed with training, and another who ran a half marathon this morning in Florida! Good job Mike & Jill! :)

I promised an update on how I feel since drinking wheatgrass. I have been coffee-free for three days now. Last time I stopped drinking coffee cold turkey was in 2008, and I was miserable the entire time. I distinctly remember working at the hospital and hearing someone talk to me but feeling like they were at the end of a tunnel. I turned around slowly, feeling like I was in a fog, my mind was cloudy and my actions were delayed. It was like I wasn't human without my coffee. I only lasted two weeks, the entire time with a killer caffeine-withdrawal headache, and when I couldn't handle my tense mood and irrational behavior anymore, I quickly and easily slipped back into my coffee drinking ways. I used to think it was funny and cute to say "Don't talk to me until I've had my coffee" or "It's too early for this, not enough coffee", now I just think it's a sign of weakness and addiction to have to have a drug in order to feel human. We put down people who are addicted to snorting cocaine or smoking marijuana, but how much better are we than them? You may think "it's different", but is it really? A drug is a drug.

So after three days of no caffeine, and taking 2 oz of wheatgrass each morning, I have to say I feel...amazing. I wasn't planning on actually being able to kick my caffeine addiction, I more-so thought the wheatgrass would benefit me and help me feel better (if anything) in addition to my coffee, and if it helped me cut back on coffee, great. However... I have had absolutely no coffee and could not feel better. Not a single headache. Not a single withdrawal symptom. No crankiness, moodiness, foggy-headed thoughts, irrational behavior, nothing. I feel more alert and awake than I have in perhaps my whole life, yet I'm not on any caffeine. I feel like I could run forever or talk really fast yet I'm not wired or jittery like after drinking caffeine. The best part is there's no coming down feeling like after coffee when you feel like you need a nap or to just lie down.
 I'm not getting paid to sell this stuff, I wasn't even sure it would do anything for me. However, it has done wonders and it feels great. It's natural, it's potent, it's raw and it's real and I am so lucky and blessed to have been able to try it and now I am a living testament that its great!!

 For today's post...I wanted to take the time to tell you about Chia Seeds, and just how great they are for you. I have seen these little seeds around on various blogs, usually put in cereal or shakes, but I only recently bought some of my own and have incorporated them into my daily food intake. I have noticed a difference almost immediately.
 Chia Seeds are a tiny little edible seed from the mint family called Salvia hispanica, but it one of the most nutritious superfoods known to man!
The following are benefits of chia seeds:

  1. Helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent junk food cravings
  2. Helps you concentrate and improve your mood
  3. Fills you up
  4. Lowers your cholesterol
  5. Helps build lean muscle
  6. Builds strong bones
  7. Healthy nails, skin, and hair
  8. Excellent source of Omega-3
  9. Loaded with antioxidants
  10. Loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, niacin, zinc and boron.
  11. Gluten free
  12. High source of protein
  13. Low glycemic index


Okay, so how does a little chia seed do all this? A dry chia seed looks like a little tiny dried seed, but when put in food or water, it swells to become gel-like and puffy looking. This is the soluble fiber in the chia seed, and in your digestive system, this fiber slows the conversation of carbohydrates to sugar, thus evening your blood sugar and lessening cravings. You don't have high peaks and lows but rather a stable, even blood sugar. This in turn leads to more even energy levels, which can help with stamina and long distance endurance. The Aztecs used to eat a spoonful of chia seeds before they went on a 24 hour run or march and it sustained them the entire time.
 Because chia seeds swell, they fill you up and make you feel more full for a longer time. Once in the small and large intestines, they act as a prebiotic to help feed the good bacteria, and cleanse the intestinal tract.
 Because chia seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids, which are critical for brain function, they provide mental clarity as well as stronger hair, nails, and skin.

 So how can you incorporate chia seeds into your diet? This afternoon, after a long run, I made a smoothie with the following ingredients:

 2 cups almond milk
 1 banana
 handful of frozen strawberries
 1 spoonful of vegan protein powder
 1 teaspoon chia seeds


The word "delicious" doesn't do this milkshake justice. Creamy and rich because of the almond milk, sweet and sublime because of the strawberry-banana mix, and thick due to the chia seeds and protein powder.

This is the vegan protein powder and little baggie of bulk chia seeds I bought at the store

 The vanilla vegan protein powder is pretty tasty. I used to order it online for The Boyfriend when he wanted to bulk up, but I bought this for cheaper at the health food store and it tastes better. I did not buy it because I feel like I am lacking protein. Rather, I bought it for two reasons: one because it will thicken up my shakes while adding calories, and two because I am running so much that my clothes are now literally falling off me.


Regular protein powder has whey in it, which comes from animals. The health food store had about 3 vegan protein powders, though, so there is still variety and choices without having to steal, exploit, or kill an animal. Click here if you want to read how I got started as a vegan and why I choose to not take an animal's life.
 
 So that's one option of where to put chia seeds: a protein shake

Another one is here : a banana soft serve overnight oat.

I also put it in oatmeal in the morning for a raw breakfast:
1/2 cup raw oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
Mix together, let the chia seeds become puffy and soak up some of the liquid, and eat. Here's a picture of what I did not take a picture of: delicious

 So there you have it, three easy ways to incorporate chia seeds : shakes, breakfast shakes, and oatmeal.

 So how have I felt since drinking/eating chia seeds?  Well, great. I'm not sure if it's the mixture of wheatgrass and the addition of chia seeds, or just one more-so than the other, but like I said, I've never had more energy despite working night shift, or been full for longer or more clear-headed without coffee, caffeine, or anything for energy.  Let me know if you try chia seeds or wheatgrass and how you feel!   Life is so vast, so fun, and so filled with joy and love, so treat yourself to something healthy and start feeling great today!

14 comments:

Andrea said...

Hey girlie! Thanks so much for the compliments and support on my guest blog post! To answer your question, I received an email from the website saying they'd seen the post and asking if they could republish it on their site! I am so with you as far as, if you don't agree with something, or don't like it, don't say anything at all and move on. But I guess sadly the reality is anytime you put yourself out there, there will be people who find something negative to say.

It's so funny that you mentioned Luna's, because I actually just tried it for the first time last week. In fact, tomorrow's post on my blog will include a recap! I really liked it so I'm totally up for going again. What is your email address? Can you send it to me? Not sure what your plans are for the weekend (or what the forecast is like), but maybe we can go for a run or a hike and have lunch or tea afterward! :)

P.S. You have me wanting to get some wheat grass shots asap and loved, loved, loved daiya cheese!! :D

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Good sharing, for healthy purpose, Chia seeds offer the highest volume of Omega-3, as well as addition fiber (soluble and insoluble) along with vitamins or perhaps minerals you don’t usually get whenever you take sea food oil. Chia seeds giving you long lasting energy during the day moving in deep, restful sleep during the night time. Read more about Chia seeds at:
http://kidbuxblog.com/chia-seeds-is-the-most-extremely-versatile-superfood-and-vegetarian-supply-of-omega-3/