Tag Archives: superfood

My Favorite Weird Food: Chia Seeds

30 Oct
Chia Seeds

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If watered regularly and exposed to sunshine, your nutritious seeds will double as a friendly plant.

I talked about chia seeds in this post, but I don’t think I fully communicated how great they are (as per the fact that the focus was on the oatmeal rather than the chia seeds). But now is the time to talk about them in their full, slimy glory.

I first heard of these weird little seeds in the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. He talks about how the Tarahumara Native Americans in South America use these seeds mixed with water and lemon juice as fuel during long (and I mean seriously long–think 24-hour) runs. They are one of the few non-meat foods that is a complete source of protein.

Born to Run

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This book is great.
Go read it if you love running.
Or if you think your body wasn’t made for running.
Or just if you know how to read.

So… McDougall claims somewhere around the middle of the book that eating chia seeds on a run will give you renewed energy and magically make running as easy as breathing. …At least that’s how I read it. So I mixed chia seeds with yellow gatorade and hit a mountain trail. And after about 20 minutes I felt like I was dying. So I tried the chia seeds. They absolutely didn’t work. Like at all.

Regardless, I still love chia seeds. They are so weird. But so good for you and fun to eat. They don’t really taste good, per se, because they don’t really taste like anything. It’s the texture that makes them so interesting. But don’t take my word for it… go buy some and try them yourself!

Ps: here’s the nutritional information…

Omega 3’s: When I hear “omega 3’s,” I usually think of fish (yummm). But turns out that chia seeds contain a whole lot of these bad boys. They can reduce the risk of breast cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, decrease your risk of depression, and even make your husband do the dishes. Psych! Unfortunately I haven’t found any kind of nutrient that will make that happen.

Also, turns out that omega 3’s are important to your little guy or girl’s growth! They are absolutely essential for neurological and visual development. And they help make breast milk after giving birth. Not bad, I say.

Anyway, since they are such weird little things, I’m excited to see what I come up with this week. Go buy some! Do it now! Even if you only sprinkle them on toast, you won’t regret it.

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Overnight Oats–Not for the Faint of Heart

25 Oct
Baby Feet

Two little crossed feet. I just love those tiny toes πŸ™‚

I had an ultrasound today! Nothing terribly exciting, just like my doctor’s appointment yesterday, but I got to see my little guy wiggling around. So fun πŸ™‚ He’s starting to look a little cramped because he’s getting so much bigger. Turns out that he’s still small though. I’m halfway through my 23rd week, but he still looks like he’s almost 21 weeks old. I just keep hoping that he’ll catch up to where he’s supposed to be by February 18.

And I’m not sure if I’ve been reading too much Harry Potter, but… does he look a little like he-who-must-not-be-named? I love looking at his profile in ultrasound pictures, but straight on… yikes.

Babyface

The line across the top is his arm with his little hand on top of his head and his forehead is just to the left of center in this picture. Those big black holes to the right of his forehead? Eye sockets. Yikes. I’m hoping he looks a bit cuter (read: less creepy) when he’s born… Is it bad that my baby’s face creeps me out a little?

Creepy or not, I just love him and can’t wait to meet him! And see his whole face and not just the bones. In the meantime, I’ll just keep looking at those cute little feet.

On to food? Yes, I think that’s always a good choice.

I was so excited to wake up this morning because I made overnight oats last night! I’ve heard that they’re something you either love or hate, so I was a little wary, but they actually turned out pretty well. I think I’m going to keep making these yummy things. Beware: if you don’t like Greek yogurt, this might not be the breakfast for you…

I found this recipe on this blog and just added a lot of chopped up apple and a tablespoon of agave nectar to give it a little more flavor.

Overnight Oats

Okay, let’s get real.
They look pretty freaky.
But trust me, they are worth it. SO good for you!

Overnight Oats
6 oz. Greek yogurt, any flavor (I just used plain)
2 tablespoons chia seeds (have you read Born to Run? I love these gooey little things! More on them later though…)
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk

Mix, mix, mix, cover, and let sit overnight in your fridge. In the morning you can add fruit, a little more milk to make it less thick, or pretty much anything else you think would make it better, because there’s no way around it… overnight oats are pretty bland.

Overnight Oats Transformation

See the transformation? Overnight the oats get soft and puffy and the chia seeds really get–there’s no other way to describe them–slimy. It’s in a good way though, I promise. Make sure to try this because it is so yummy!

This recipe made a lot of oats. You could actually have it for breakfast for two mornings. I kept thinking about them throughout the day and kept going back… so… yeah, they’re gone. All eaten. But don’t worry, I’m gonna make them again soon πŸ™‚

This is What Burned Success Looks Like

24 Oct

I made granola! First time ever. Today was a big day for me. Like everyone else in the world, I could eat granola nonstop throughout the day. Unfortunately, it’s ridiculously expensive. Fortunately, making granola yourself is really easy and a whole lot less expensive. Still tasty though πŸ™‚

PB Dark Chocolate Granola

I read this blog and saw this recipe awhile ago, but I definitely made some tweaks (as per the fact that I didn’t want to run to Trader Joe’s for ingredients. Yep, I’m lazy like that).

Peanut Butter + Dark Chocolate Granola

Makes 20 servings (1/3 cup is 1 serving)

6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup pine nuts (I had some left over from making pesto)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate (I used half of a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar)

Melt everything but the oats and nuts together over low heat and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl. This is the part where everything smells like no-bake cookies πŸ™‚ Spread the oats onto a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees in 10 minute intervals for 50 minutes. Every 10 minutes, pull the granola out of the oven and mix it up so it doesn’t burn. Watch it closely, because mine got a little crispier than it should have… It’s still good though.

Nutritional Information
190 calories
26g carbs
7g fat
5g protein
21mg sodium
11g sugar

I’m so excited to eat this with Greek yogurt in the mornings! Or with milk… or over ice cream… or just by itself. I love granola!

In other news, I had a doctor’s appointment today! Nothing exciting, really, but turns out that in my last ultrasound little man was too squirmy so they didn’t get a good picture of his heart. So… I get to go back tomorrow to get another! I love getting to look at him, so I’m not complaining. Hopefully I’ll come back tomorrow with some new and adorable pictures of the little guy who has taken up residence in my uterus.

I Heart Oatmeal

22 Oct

I have a killer headache right now. Is it from dehydration? The debate?

Probably a little of both.

Either way, I’m going to make this post short. I wanted to just update you to let you know what superfood I’ll be experimenting with this week.

Oatmeal

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Who doesn’t love oatmeal?

It’s the perfect breakfast for a cold fall morning. But turns out that it is filled with all kinds of great nutrients.

Iron: Just 1/3 cup of dry oats has 10% of your daily iron needs. Because your body is increasing the amount of blood so drastically, iron is really important.

Protein & Fiber: Protein helps you feel fuller, longer, which means that you won’t have the urge to graze throughout the day. Fiber has the same effect. Fortunately, one serving of oatmeal has about 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.

I usually think of a hot breakfast when I imagine oatmeal, but I’ve also eaten it uncooked and it is just so great. Unlike kale, the evil leafy green, oatmeal is tasty anyway you look at it. I’m pretty sure coming up with recipes made with oatmeal are going to be easy peasey.

Ps: I know I mention the debates every time they’re on. And sorry if you’re the apolitical type, but they just get me so antsy. I am so glad they’re over! I just hate to hear the candidates going after each other, but I still think it’s important to watch to understand what’s going on. Dang politicians. Anyone else ready for November 7? I think the day after the election is going to be blissfully uneventful πŸ™‚

Pss: Only 5 more days to the Dawn of the Dead Dash!! I have the perfect runner/zombie costume planned. Stay tuned for the gory pics!

I made kale.

21 Oct

Okay, I really hate to say this, but I think kale might just be unsalvageable for me. I might just have to give up on it. I’m a little sad because I had such high hopes for it, but guess what. It’s just gross.

And I say that after trying really hard to find a way to like it. Sorry kids, I will be taking a loosely permanent vacation from kale effective immediately.

Take a look at my fully-documented journey with kale this week:

Steamed Kale

I chopped. I wilted. I steamed.
And then I puked.

To be clear, I think the puking was pregnancy-related, but it still happened. And for that I blame the vegetable. If you’re curious, I used this recipe, which sounded really tasty at the time, but… well, you know the gory details. Bonus? It made my apartment smell disgusting for a full 24 hours.

Aside from my quest to become a lover of all veggies, I might have made a friend! After we met, we started talking about healthy food and turns out that been a 100% organic chick for the past three years. What? I know. She’s so cool. I’m gonna learn all of her ways.

I’ve also been reading like a maniac. Harry Potter? Of course. Well, I’ve been listening to Harry Potter, but I’ve been reading this book:

Run Like a Mother

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Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving–And Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea

As per the fact that I will be a mother in less than 4 months, I decided that this book was a necessity. And it has gotten me so excited about running after the baby comes!

Meanwhile, my C210K plan managed to get a little off-track (illness, you know). So I just skipped ahead a few weeks and life is now great. All of a sudden I love running again!

When I’m on a run, there are 2 parts that I really hate: the warm-up and the last mile. I realized that the reason I was hating my workouts was because that was all I was getting. Skipping up to the 4 mile runs has been so.much.better. I actually like it again and can remember why I love running so much!

Also, something exciting happened this week.

Official Ballot

I ♥ democracy.

Our official ballots came! Michael and I read through the whole voter’s pamphlet (read: I read through the entire packet and then gave him the condensed version) and then voted. So awesome. The last presidential debate is tomorrow. Can you believe it? Election season is the bomb.

Superfoods: Condiment Edition

15 Oct

This week, the superfood I will be focusing on is ketchup!

Ketchup

Yes, that’s right. Ketchup.

Made of tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar, ketchup is one of the healthiest foods you can find. It is packed full of vitamins A through Z and… calcium… and… okay, just kidding. Ketchup isn’t a superfood. Turns out it isn’t even good for you.

But.

I need to do some serious catching up this week (get it? Ketchup… Catch-up? I’m so funny).

Pretty much I’m going to go back and do 1 more kale and 1 more carrot recipe because I just didn’t give these superfoods enough love during their respective weeks. Party party!

Carrots + Kale

Carrots + Kale. Maybe combined? Okay, let’s not get too crazy.

Also. I went jogging today! This was quite the event, since I pretty much didn’t move at all last week. At all. But after listening to this talk, I’m determined to love running (and life in general) more. Because it turns out that I’ve been dreading it and hating every step lately. So sad.

Today was better. I was really focused on not checking to see how far I’d gone or how fast I was running and just staying in the moment. All was going well until I slipped on a bridge (dang rain makes everything so slippery), fell, and hurt my shoulder just a tad. I’m going to go ahead and call it a sports-related injury.

Here are some great quotes from that talk that I just love:

“Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey.”

“Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?”

[ahem… me on every.single.run.]

“We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already availableβ€”all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.”

I feel like I’m usually really good about loving life when I’m in the moment–particularly running–but lately, I feel like it’s just another thing to check off of my to-do list. Isn’t that sad? I love running! Unhealthily, even. But I just don’t love it these days, so my goal for this week is to suffer through it less and love it more.

Is anyone else going through the exercise dumps?
How do you stay positive?

Remember Me?

13 Oct

Hey there.

You might have noticed that I’ve been curiously absent from the blogosphere this week… or maybe you didn’t notice. Either way, I decided to take a break while I was “on the mend.” Just to catch you up on what I would have written about had I posted, here is a list of what I’ve been up to:

Sleeping
Eating soup
Listening to Harry Potter
Coughing
Watching CNN & loving Anderson Cooper from afar
Not running
Sniffling
Getting a little too fired up about the VP debate
Not cleaning
Not doing much that’s productive

So trust me, you haven’t been missing out on any scintillating details over here because there hasn’t been much going on.

During this week of illness, I did manage to make one superfood recipe that was ridiculously tasty. Yep, it was the carrot ginger soup I promised earlier!

Carrot Ginger Soup + French Peasant Bread

Carrot Ginger Soup + French Peasant Bread

I got both of these recipes from Lynne, who is pretty much a healthy food guru. Someday I plan on having a giant library of healthy recipes stored away for daily use, but until then, I’ll just have to rely on the brains of others…

Carrot Ginger Soup
(ps: I should point out that ginger is a great ingredient to use in cooking for women in their first trimester because it works wonders for nausea–curing it, not causing it :))

Makes 4 servings

4 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups chicken stock (I used unsalted vegetable stock and used 4 cups instead of 3 because mine turned out a little too thick)
2 lbs. carrots
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp nutmeg
Pepper
Fresh chives for garnish (I left these guys out)

1. Melt butter in saucepan.
2. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add stock, carrots, ginger, nutmeg, and garlic salt and bring to a boil.
4. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. Let cool a little and puree in a blender or food processor (or a submersion blender. I realized right before I made this that I actually have a submersion blender. It was a wedding present that I never got around to using until now.)
6. Season with pepper and chives.

I really loved this soup. It was so good! Perfect for a Fall day. And? Packed with some serious nutrition.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Note the Vitamin A… pretty impressive!
Ps: This uses regular old chicken stock rather than unsalted vegetable stock.

And now I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite commercial of all time before I head off to enjoy some serious college football. Enjoy!