Have you heard of chia beyond the Ch Ch Chia Pet? Evidently the Aztecs were on to something with this little wonder. It was so valuable in their culture that it was even used as currency. One serving (1 TBSP) of this tiny seed contains 20% of the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber. Chia is the richest plant source of Omega 3s, it is high in calcium, magnesium and much more.
We have been experimenting with incorporating it into our diets and the results are impressive. I originally ordered some because I had read that it was useful in baking bread. We actually started using it as an egg replacement after we began our elimination diet and were no longer eating bread or eggs. In recent weeks we have been testing it as "chia fresca" or a chia drink with the seeds soaked in water and a bit of juice for at least 10 minutes. The seeds form a gel and it takes a bit to get used to drinking it, but the entire family is now asking for their chia drink! I have also incorporated into smoothies, baking and as previously posted, used it quite successfully as egg replacement for waffles.
Now for my story of how I know the chia and the dietary changes we have made are helping. On Monday morning, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. Wide awake, determined to fall back asleep. However, something was making me itch, I thought it was a stray hair, stealthily making me miserable. When I finally opted to get out of bed at about 4:15, one look in the mirror, revealed the source of my early morning. I was covered in a red rash and itching from head to toe. I ended up with a nice morning for a leisurely quiet time and for checking some items off of the to-do list before the kids were up. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a glass of chia fresca.
Our day was filled with activity outside of the home and off we went at 10:30 a.m. When their school day finished up at 5:00 p.m., my son begged to go to the soccer game of all of his friends. I had been up since 3:30 and my only caffeine of the day was metabolized by 8:00 a.m., oh and let's not forget that I was still itching from head to toe. But, he really wanted to go and since our schedule had not allowed for him to play on the team, I decided we could make it. Now, prior to our elimination diet there is not a chance that I would have had the energy to say yes!
Not only did we have a great time at the game, but he and I then went to Whole Foods for dinner and to grab a few groceries. I didn't return home until after 8:30 p.m. and still had enough energy to get the groceries put away and finish a few items not yet crossed off of the day's to-do list. This is so drastically different than how I have felt in the past decade that I am still shocked by the day. Now, if we can figure out what caused the hives...
I know that the diet has been the biggest factor in returning my energy levels to where they should be, but I believe that the addition of chia has also been a help. I don't mean to make it into the wonder fix all remedy because it is not. If I was still eating processed food, I am not sure how much benefit I would see, but based on all that I have recently read, I believe it is truly the superfood it is claimed to be.
In closing, there is a great story of an endurance experiment with chia. You have to read about halfway through to get to the story of the group that decided to climb Mt. Wilson. Half of the group ate nothing but chia during the 36 hour climb and the other half ate whatever they choose. You can click here to read the outcome as well as lots of other info about the mighty chia.