Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-CHIA!

Here we go...trying to post without my "crutch" of pasting pictures of the boys as a distractor from my disjointed thoughts.

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.

NurtureShock: New Thinking About ChildrenErrr--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 forced Eric to read was Nurture Shock. I had purchased and read it last year when it came out and think it is just fantastic. Even if you are not a parent, I highly suggest reading. I think all teachers should read this as well.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenEric 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.

2 comments:

  1. I've read Nurture Shock, thanks to your library and will have to read Born to Run when I am down next. Having added Flax to our diets, I am intrigued by chia seeds.

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  2. Hey I've been obsessed with chia seeds lately too! I put them on cereal, salad, in soup and I even have baked them into a few recipes. Where do you get yours?? I've picked them up from a few places online because no store near me sells them and the last 2 times I got them at thechiaseed.com because they ship for free and they sell them in pound and a half bags which lasts about a month. Thanks for the post!

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