Ch-ch-ch-chia

Good morning!

Willoughby and I are still in our pajamas. I’ll be changing soon (even though I’m working remotely, I do actually throw on jeggings instead of lounge around in my pjs all day. Come on, people…I am not THAT much of a bum), but I expect that Willoughby will be in his all day. That, or his pajamas look exactly like the outfit he wears every day. Haven’t figured that one out yet…

As I was eating my breakfast this morning (oatmeal with chopped dates, sliced almonds, peanut butter, and chia seeds), I decided that it would be a good idea to share the benefits of chia seeds with you. After some research (since I am not an expert), here are some of the best things about chia seeds that I could find:

That last one is my personal favorite.

Aside from their entertainment and fashion value, Chia seeds they actually have great nutritional benefits. In fact, they are often regarded as one of the best superfoods to consume!

What are chia seeds, exactly?

Definitely NOT my hand.

Here’s a great, brief description I found on their source and history (source):

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. I’ve read that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.

Now check out some stats on them. Here are some easy ways to compare chia seeds to your favorite “every day” foods. Per serving, they have (source):

  • More Omega-3 than Atlantic Salmon
  • More Antioxidants than fresh blueberries
  • More Fiber than bran flakes
  • More Calcium than 2% milk
  • More Protein, Fiber & Calcium than flax seed

The best thing about chia seeds is that you can add them into pretty much anything that you want: they don’t have a strong taste, and only add a little bit of crunch to the texture of your food; they can be cooked or eaten raw; and they can even be used in baking as a substitute for eggs! (mixing raw chia seeds with water and allowing to absorb for a little while creates a viscous fluid, as chia seeds gel went wet. This is an especially fun fact when you eat dry chia seeds and then find a gelly one stuck in between your teeth four hours later).

Although chia seeds are still gaining mainstream popularity as a superfood, they are generally available at any health-food store (I got mine at Whole Foods), and you can definitely order them online.

What are you waiting for? Ch-ch-ch-chia!

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Secrets of the world’s healthiest women

Here’s an interesting article to kick off your morning (well, it’s 12:00pm here. I guess we’re technically closing out the morning…)

Secrets of the world’s healthiest women

(Source)

Some highlights:

  • “French women stay slim with petite portions.” Also, the author confirms that I definitely should continue drinking my “antioxidant-rich wine.” No wonder I always feel so good after a (couple of) glass(es).
  • “Despite scarce sunlight, Icelandic and Scandinavian people actually suffer from depression less than Americans, possibly due to all those omega-3s.” The fact that omega-3s can have such a significant effect on depression this is really interesting to me. Just thinking about the little sunlight and the temperatures in Iceland depresses me.
  • “On Okinawa, they practice hara hachi bu, or eating until 80% full.” I have read about this theory a few other times, and every time I’m reminded of it, I try to put it into practice that day. This always makes me realize how brainwashed we are as Americans to be members of the Clean Plate Club at every meal. It’s really difficult to get out of the habit of eating until you’re full.
  • And a common thread throughout these populations – “The longest-living people don’t think of exercise as a chore.” They tend to walk everywhere or stay “functionally active” instead of finding time to fit in the gym. I’d really love to live in a more “walkable” area someday and have a job that encourages activity (or at least allows for the flexibility for me to fit it in more often).