I’m sorry. I had to.
I always wanted a chia pet. A terracotta bunny that sprouted green fur. That’s the one I wanted. I also wanted a Clapper and a Slap Chop, but thankfully never received either of those. If you ask The Carnivore he’ll tell you the Banjo Minnow was the greatest thing to ever come from an infomercial. I think he still carries it around in his tackle box to this day.
I first started using chia seeds after reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. This book is about the Tarahumara Indians who run hundreds of miles, and seem to do so without any of the common injuries that plague city runners today. Oh, and did I mention they run nearly barefoot?! They don’t need GU packs to fuel their runs, Gatorade every 3-5 miles, or special shoes to help their achy feet. They just run. It’s just them and the trail. That’s it. Easy! Yeah right…
Meet the chia seed. Bursting with nutrition, chia is the richest plant-based source of fiber, protein, and omega 3 on the planet, all in one tiny seed. Yes, the same chia seeds that come slathered on your terracotta Homer Simpson’s head. Now don’t go nibbling on your chia pet just yet – people are going to look at you funny. The seeds are known as the “Indian Running Food,” and were used to fuel Aztec warriors on their long journeys and in battles. Chia seeds can hold 9-12 times their weight in water which makes them ideal for preventing dehydration, aiding in endurance activities, and also weight loss!
Check out this ounce by ounce comparison:
Perfect? Almost…but they get stuck in your teeth. I now tend to purchase the white chia seeds because of this little issue.
Note – White seeds are harder to find than black seeds but there is no significant nutritional difference between the two. White seeds are often more expensive because they’re not quite as common.
How to incorporate chia seeds into your diet:
- Add a Tbsp. to your morning smoothie
- Add a Tbsp. to your oatmeal
- As a salad topping
- As an egg replacement: 1 Tbsp. chia mixed with 3 Tbsp. water, let rest for about 5-10 min.
- As a pudding: 1/3 cup chia seeds, 1 cup coconut/almond milk, cinnamon (to taste), honey/stevia (to taste) – combine all ingredients and let rest for 15 min. in the fridge. This pudding reminds me of the texture of tapioca.
- I’m currently working on Chia Bites! Great for a pre-workout snack. They’re delicious, but I haven’t quite perfected the recipe. I’ll share soon.
I would love to tell you that after eating chia seeds you will be able to channel your inner Tarahumara Indian and run a marathon. Unfortunately, you actually have to train for it as well. Bummer.