Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cha Cha Cha Chia

I know what you're thinking, and no, I am not referring to the endearing handmade decorative planter made famous in the glorious decade known as the 80's...

Although, I think I know what Lucy is going to be for Halloween this year...
Can I just say this is Hi-larious!
No no, I am talking about the amazing super seed! I discovered the power of chia seeds about a year ago, but only recently started using them on a daily basis. Chia seeds are an ancient super food that has been used by the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. In fact, Chia means “strength” in the language of the Mayans, and was considered running food because messengers could run all day with the help of these tiny seeds. Chia seeds were considered medicine and were actually prized more than gold due to their incredible health enhancing properties.
Chia seeds are high in:
  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid.
(In fact chia seeds contain more Omega-3′s than any other plant source, including flaxseed). An ounce of chia seeds contains 137 calories, and will get you four grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. Now, I am not concerned with calories, I've never been a calorie counter, and God willing never will be - I mean, come on, WHAT A BEATING! I know it works for a lot of people, so no disrespect, it's just not my cup 'o tea. I know that with the amount of running and cross training that I do, keeping meticulous track of my calorie intake is really not necessary for me.

Chia seeds are a complete source of protein. They actually have 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain. They are great for weight loss because they easily bulk up the food without changing the taste. SCORE! Because the carbohydrates are released incredibly slow, it makes people feel full. They also bulk up and cleanse the body of old “junk” so the body can detox and lose weight. DOUBLE SCORE!

They also have 3 times more antioxidant activity than blueberries, 3 times more iron than spinach, and are packed with calcium! Who knew?!

And as if that wasn't great enough, they are also great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic, meaning they absorb large amounts of water. Chia seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer. I seriously CANNOT wait to try this out on my next long run on Saturday!

The chia seeds gel when they become wet (that's what she said) and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!

The goal is to take about 4 tablespoons of chia seeds a day, which is super easy since you can pretty much put them on or in anything! So this morning, I sprinkled them on top of my peanut butter toast, then for lunch I dumped a bunch in my taco salad (just a reg salad with left over taco meat), and I just finished off a delicious chocolate protein shake with a bunch of those little guys mixed in.

And I am totes going to try this yummy looking pudding later tonight :)
Here's the recipe

Why on earth did it take me so long to make this a regular part of my routine?! I will keep you all updated on any differences I notice from the chia seeds. Do you have any experience with them?

Here's where I got most of my info.

Have a great day! And please say a prayer today for the victims and families of both the plant explosion in West (about and hour and a half away from me) as well as those affected by the Boston bombings. God Bless,


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