Monday, August 13, 2012

[Read This / Drink That] Born to Run & Chia Seed Cranberry Spritzer


If you know that little diddy, then HIGH FIVE!
If you don' missed out. And dang you're young! :)  See here on YouTube

As a kid, I remember wanting a Chia Pet.  I mean, how cool are those little clay figures with fast-growing plant hair?  Actually I think it was the catchy jingle that got me.  Ah, the 70's...  ;)

Back then, I had no idea that I would one day be ingesting the little seeds that put the chia in Chia Pet.  Apparently those little seeds with their magical growing powers are also good for you!  Each little chia seed is packed with protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, calcium and more.

And the benefits?  For me it jump-started my metabolism and, without really trying, I lost a few pounds. After 9 years of marriage and 2 kids, I thought those little buggers were here to stay. And I lost the weight without altering my diet and exercise pattern too much.

I first heard about Chia Seeds when I read Born to Run last year. I'm not an athlete by any means but I found this to be an interesting and inspiring read.  It's a true story, written by a journalist, that revolves around a cast of unique characters-- the reclusive Tarahumaru Indians, who are the original long distance runners, and their modern (and somewhat misfit) ultra-marathon running American counterparts.  How do they run hundreds of miles without rest, little sustenance, in extreme elements and also enjoy it?  You'll have to read the book to find out all the details, but here's one of the secrets...

Chia Seed Gel 

the main component of Chia Fresca or Iskiate, the Tarahumaru's "miracle" energy elixir

Chia Seed Gel:  1 part chia seed to 9 parts water.  refrigerate.  when the seeds are soft and gelatinous, it's ready (i usually wait about an hour).

Admittedly, not the most appetizing thing to look at, but it's soft and flavorless (think tapioca or boba) and with my cranberry spritzer concoction, it goes down easy. I even crave the stuff!

Chia Seed Cranberry Spritzer

Chia Seed Cranberry Spritzer: fill 1/4 to 3/4 glass with the chia seed gel, the rest is ice cold sparkling water, a splash of cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime.  

If you're worried about texture, start with a little chia seed gel and work your way up.  The photo above is a glass that is 3/4 filled with chia seed gel, so don't let it scare you.  And make sure your sparking water and cranberry juice is ice cold!

This is really good for hydration and it also helps build lean muscles, sustain energy, and keeps your blood sugar stable so you don't binge on snack foods.  This is not a meal replacement but is something that I drink during the late mornings/ late afternoons when I feel like I'm fading or need something hydrating.

So the running part... I hope to start an easy program this fall when the kids go back to school.  I'm not a runner, so I will be starting slow... very slow.  But, according to the book, I'm born to run, so I'll give it a try.  :)

BTW, chia seeds are becoming more readily available.  I've purchased them online through Amazon, in-store at Sprouts, and Trader Joe's just started carrying them too (although they're a little expensive for a small pack).  I'm sure they carry them at health stores too. If you're near a Sprouts, they have them in the bins as well as individually packaged in the pharmacy section.

So what do you think?  Do you see chia in your future??

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