I know you all just sang the Chia Pet jingle in your head when you read the title. And that is exactly what I am talking about today.
But instead of spreading the chia seed paste on a terra cota sheep, I want you to eat it.
That's right. My newest obsession is the Chia Seed.
It all goes back to my book club.
Errr--what? What book club? Yeah, I'm in a book club. Party of 2. Eric and I have our own hubby and wife book club. It started because I always complain he doesn't read the same stuff I read, and he threw it right back at me and said the same thing. So, now we go back and forth, reading books of the other's choosing, and have "discussion" time in pj's in our bed. The last book I
Eric chose a book that I gave a reticent glance when he presented it, but I have to say, it rivals Nurture Shock in its ability to keep my attention. Part of it is that it is non-fiction! And part of it is that it is incredibly well written. And part of it is that it has to do with running: Born to Run. It is almost impossible to explain what this book is about, because it is about so much more than running; it is about life...and chia seeds. Even if you have never pushed the treadmill speed past 3.0, I have a feeling you'll devour this book almost as quickly as I devour chia gel. (What is it about this chia? Get to it, girl!).
My completely ill-fitting description to at least give you some background is that it follows the journey of the author attempting to figure out why his foot hurts. Throw in a secluded community in Mexico called the Tarahumara, ultrarunning, history, a crazy man named Caballo Blanco, and chia seeds. Sounds amazing, right? I know, that is what I thought. And then I read the first chapter and got hooked.
Okay, on to the chia seed situation. It plays a supporting role in the book, albeit a very small paid role, but enough that just a quick google for "chia seed" and "born to run" and you'll be overwhelmed with information on the nutritional gem.
Flax was the new quinoa. Now chia seed is the new flax. The Tarahumara in Mexico apparently use the seed in a number of ways to elicit endurance responses like no one has ever seen before. They are known as the "running food." Whether or not they are as magical as they are believed to be according to the book, from the research I have done, they are an excellent addition to any diet. (Okay, my links aren't to the primary science, but a more "digestible" variety of internet perspectives.) What is magical about them is that if you soak them in any liquid for like 30 minutes, you are left with a "gel." We call this gel-o in our house and Miles LOVES a spoonful a day. And as far as I know, Felix likes it too. (One grunt means yes, right?) We soak it in organic Yum-berry juice and just keep it in the fridge.
We are lucky and can get a huge tub of them for cheap at our farmer's market. 1 tablespoon blows up when you let sit in liquid, so it lasts for quite a long time.
The two problems so far I have noticed. Because they are so fibrous, they kind of go in and come out looking the same, which means that diaper changes you are constantly reminded of the chia seed during a not so pleasant experience. That, and they are apparently helpful at keeping people full, so not a huge appetite inducer, which I have chronically been someone who doesn't need anything to stifle my appetite!
I may never run like a Tarahumara, but I can eat like one.