I always feel that it’s rather pointless to regurgitate information about beautiful plant based ingredients since the internet is busting at the seams with knowledge much more detailed and researched, of the nutritional value and amazingness of chia. It’s always hard for me to merely repeat copy-and-paste style unless I have personal experience (about anything really), written about in this website. Hence, I shall only provide a few facts that I can definitely confirm about this tiny seed.
Nutritional value – according to research
I read that two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals including zinc and copper. They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. The complete protein part is what gets me howling while doing happy dances under the moon.
Egg and Protein substitute (dairy free)
I started excluding eggs almost completely from my lifestyle. For roughly a year, I ate no eggs and then started again because old habits die hard. Please note, this is my opinion and experience, each person has their own journey and (thankfully) views; mine is that once I started eating eggs again, I would have acid reflux and wake up the next morning with a slimy, filmy feel on my tongue and my breath was gunky (something I never noticed while I was eating meat and eggs but once I stopped, noticed the difference in the morning and only then realized how dairy products affects one’s gut). In my view, an egg is basically a liquidized baby chicken – a dead little body and it figures that my breath would reflect that as well. Then, I started getting into wanting to not just love dogs, cats and horses but all animals. Will I never eat eggs again? I don’t know what the future holds, I have never been hungry or in starvation so I choose not to put a label on myself, but while I can make a choice, I choose not to eat eggs. So what was I saying? Ah yes … CHIA! Chia is a great protein substitute for those who run screaming through the streets worried about all the protein they would be missing out on. In addition, if one loves baking but does not want to use eggs, two teaspoons of chia mixed with a teaspoon of water is a very effective proven replacement for egg when baking (wait for it to solidify and please know that it takes a bit of tweeking ).
When I first became aware of the apparent nutritional value of chia seeds, I would put three even four tablespoons full of it in my smoothie. Not a good idea. Firstly chia becomes gelatinous and thickens alot so you will end up with a very stiff smoothie unless you want to turn it into a dessert. Secondly, although it is a seed, one teaspoon in a smoothie suffices because it does have calories albeit less. I’m guessing the claim that chia is good for weight loss most likely lies in the fact that one spoonful of chia in a smoothie or even in water (if you are an avatar) is very filling and keeps one full for a few hours. (Please check the internet for countless smoothie recipes with chia seeds). So basically chia is filling, nutritious and low calorie. Wait, there’s got to be a catch. This all sounds too perfect.
If chia were a movie
If chia were a movie, it would be a bit boring and need a few beautiful actresses to give it oomph. The catch about chia is that it is a bit like tofu … rather tasteless. Any visual or culinary enjoyment needs to be added. I love to make my own chia porridge or dessert with home made almond milk (cashew or walnut milk would be delicious too but almond milk is lower in calories) and soak one or two teaspoons full of chia over night in the milk or, until it gets a porridge gel-like consistency. The fun starts from this point on where I top the chia porridge with a bit of maple syrup, banana, berries, nuts etc.; the world is basically my porridgy oyster at this point. I also love to take the chia porridge and slowly warm it up and infuse it with a cinnamon stick or two and cardamom – remove after infusing. So delicious. There are also many baking recipes with chia seed replacing gluten.
Why not traditional oatmeal with yogurt?
You might ask the question why would one simply not go for oats with yogurt. Why almond milk and chia? When I eat oats and or yogurt, I feel bloated and it just seems to linger in my gut whereas chia is so much easier on my digestive system, no bloating and it passes through quickly even helping digestion – to this I can attest, my bowl movement is definitely much better each time after consuming chia.
A small packet of chia goes a long way for smoothies, desserts, snacks, porridge.
Guard your heart
This post has not even began to touch on what researchers suspect chia to be good for. During the last four years, I have heard of at least five women in their early 40s who suddenly died in their sleep or dropped dead literally (no disrespect intended) due to a failing heart. Chia is rumored to protect against heart disease – when one hears of these kind of tragedies, adding a little chia to your lifestyle does not seem too bad of an idea ♥️
I would like to share how my daughter and I use lemons to practice a more environment friendly, natural and healthy form of hygiene tried, tested and extremely effective. Please, if you can, use organic lemons:
Clean, fresh tongue: (Caution : please do not do this if you have sores on your tongue or bleeding. I will share in an upcoming post how I deal with oral hygiene). I dip my toothbrush in some lemon juice and brush my tongue. It cleans so nicely and gives a clean pink look. The tongue carries a great deal of bacteria that is the cause of bad breath. (To be honest, I just take a quarter of a lemon and rub it on my tongue but I am aware that many people have sensitive skin so please do not do this; rather use the toothbrush way previously suggested). After doing this, I brush my teeth or rinse my mouth with warm water.
General feminine hygiene: Stress, not drinking enough water, poor diet, inferior quality underwear, heat, sexual activity etc. can be the reason for alot of issues: after showering I add lemon juice to warm water rinse intimate areas; lemon water is a great disinfectant and refresher. I know that this may seem a bit foreign to many people, however, we have forgotten how nature has actually provided for all our needs.
Travel – especially long flights: I feel so uncomfortable being sedentary for 14 hours or more when I fly and so to freshen up, I always travel with a lemon cut in half put into a small holder or fresh bag; squeeze some lemon juice on toilet paper (I told you it’s real talk) and wipe under arms, the inside of your thighs and as mum would say “other important places”. Of course, flush away the toilet paper once you are done. Keeps one amazingly fresh on long hauls. Why don’t I use baby wipes etc.? Because they are not entirely natural and one half of a lemon can be used for lemon water on flights and the other half for freshening up. I can even use the lemon juice to clean the toilet seat before I use it. It’s an amazing cleanser provided by nature.
Under arm: Instead of using under arm sprays, roll-on that can be very toxic or powder that leaves a thin layer of a crumbly look that I see so often especially with ladies I use a little bit of lemon juice each morning under my arms (freshly squeezed). If you have very sensitive skin, then mix the lemon juice with some warm water and dab it under the arm pits after a shower (do not do this immediately after a shave – apply a tiny bit of coconut oil under armpits and later dab the lemon juice on). Very long lasting and completely fresh feeling. Simply wonderful.
Lemon blooms have the most beautiful perfume and I love to know that what I am using on my body is not some hardcore chemical in a beautiful package but really something that is easy to transport, versatile, environment friendly and really, truly refreshing.
model: alma (in gratitude to her wonderful parents for allowing her to be my very first model)
(Photograph: Pia my daughter who is a person with special needs and her beloved grandpa who gave her a lot of love).
It would be almost three years from the time this picture was taken to the day of his death. Each spring and summer we would spend as much time as we could with Pia’s grandparents in Poland; their home tucked between hills, vast fields and forests; each spring a stork couple would return to a perfect giant nest high on top of their green house lovingly nurtured with organic lettuce, parsley even red peppers. I loved going there so much! But at first, I did not!! Country farm life was a tad too real for a spoilt city girl like me and I’d almost reluctantly join Pia’s Dad, my then boyfriend on the very long drive from Vienna to Poland. I’d teeter around in very high heels even amongst the chickens and rabbits with lots of make-up and get really annoyed in the morning stumbling into their kitchen for coffee just to find a neighbor or two, even a family member already in the kitchen at 7 a.m.! I wanted my peace and quiet, I did not want anybody God forbid, to see me without make-up.
As the years went by and especially after Pia’s birth, all the issues we had with her premature birth, the heartache of knowing she would always be a person with special needs, Pia’s Dad’s family circled around her with love, so much love! I had started walking barefoot among the rabbits and the chickens and could not wait to go downstairs to meet everybody for coffee early in the morning, the make-up got a bit less. I had changed. Love and the love the family gave Pia changed me. I always knew though, that those long summer days and fun nights with family and friends in Poland around the fire late, late into the night – I knew in my heart they were too perfect. I knew they would come to an end … I just did not think so soon and all one has to hold are pictures.
Even in the earlier years, I started hanging out with my then father-in-law way more, he was not a perfect person, no one is, but he had a generous heart. We had a good connection. Sometimes we would just sit in the summer sun, birds chattering in the trees surrounding their huge home, not saying a word. Just hanging out. Later even more so and especially when I heard of his illness. No one had told him that Drs predicted he only had two to three years to live and me, I tried to hold on to times I knew were slowly slipping out of my hands. The very last time I saw him, I told him “thank you for being the father I never had. You know that I love you”. He never spoke much, he looked at me and said in Polish “I know”. The next week he left. I was on a bridge over the Danube on a rainy day in Vienna when the call came through.
After he left, everything changed. I am so grateful that I came to my senses early on to realize that people, relationships, situations are not perfect – they never are and the moments we have with loved ones, friends … it’s important to consciously realize even remind ourselves daily, that they are not forever. Time slips away and faster than we think. The way things are today all too soon becomes the way we were, tomorrow.