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Confession #1: I’m probably one of the only runners left on earth who has NOT yet read “Born to Run” by Chris McDougall. You know, the one about the Tarahumara tribe who runs a bajillion miles a day barefoot, fueled by their chia seeds (or something like that)? It’s on my book shelf…I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Sorry Mr. McDougall, it’s nothing personal. Just the life of a crazy running mom. One day I’ll get to it, I swear.
Confession #2: I don’t eat as well as I should, or as well as the people who know me as a fitness health freak probably *think* I do. Heck, just last night Twitter suggested I follow Hostess Snack cakes and I got a little giddy inside thinking about cupcakes and ding dongs, I won’t lie.
I’m trying to make a change. And like any lifestyle change, slow and steady is the way to go. Everyday I try to incorporate more and more healthy items and less and less junk food, though I will cave in to the occasional Taco Bell and not feel (too) guilty about it.
But I am also a picky eater and there are some things I just DO NOT like…one of the big ones being seafood. I mean, I’ll eat it occasionally. Fish and I do not loathe each other, it’s just not one of my all time favorites. Fish however, are a huge source of those awesome omega fats that we all need. So I turn to chia seeds. Most people have never even heard of these little guys, and the look on their faces when I say yes, it is INDEED the same seeds used to grow chia pets is almost always priceless.
Chia is an itty bitty little seed that is high in fiber, omega 3,’s 6’s and 9’s (in the correct ratio your body needs), antioxidants, and vitamin C. It has 16% of your daily value of calcium, plus boron and magnesium, which help your bones absorb the calcium. It can help lower cholesterol, increase energy levels, level blood sugar, induce weight loss and aid intestinal regularity (woo!) And the best part is that its’ all natural, a plant, not manufactured supplements. So if you are into eating as natural and clean as possible, it’s a great addition to your diet.
When I first started eating chia, I just bought whatever I could find. But like anything else, you get what you pay for. That’s why I was excited to find the brand “Running Food” chia.
– Chia is Micro-Milled , a process that doesn’t apply any crushing pressure or heat that could degrade the nutritional value of the chia.
– Running Food is a raw power food, a complete protein, is gluten free, Vegan, Kosher, and GMO free. The equipment is used ONLY to mill chia, so no chance of cross contamination.
– It’s packaged and milled in New York (go USA!) Running Food works directly with fifth generation chia farmers in Bolivia. Running Food is completely traceable from the farmers fields, to their customers hands. No junk or mystery food!
– They love mother earth. Packaging is environmentally friendly, and they use 100% renewable energy sources to produce all of their products.
Now, let’s go back to confession #1, the whole deal with the Tarahumara and chia. How can chia help you as a runner? Let’s review. Actually, let me just cut and paste what Running Food has to say from their website (they say it better than me and the kids are starting to wrestle with the dogs)
Endurance: Protein is essential for sustaining energy during lost distance events. Running Food is loaded with easy to digest proteins. Chia has two times the protein of any other grain or seed, including soy! The way your body digests chia seeds naturally helps you sustain energy. Running Food mixes with water and your stomach juices, forming a gel that creates a barrier between the carbohydrates and your digestive enzymes. Therefore, the carbohydrates digest at a slower even rate, keeping your energy levels constant.
Hyrdation: Maintaining hydration is key during any endurance event. The way your body digests chia seeds naturally helps you maintain hydration. Running food holds seven times its weight in water, therefore eating chia helps you level out your water intake and retain your electrolyte balance.
Recovery: Protein and antioxidants are crucial for recovery. Running food is packed with both, and it contains the richest source of omega 3’s, 6’s and 9’s of any commercially available source. Plus, the omega fatty acids are plant based. Plant based omegas are easier for your body to absorb than manufactured omegas.
So there you go. Nothing like a sports physiology/nutrition lesson first thing on a Monday morning!
Running Food brand chia offers a number of ways to get your daily chia fix, from whole chia seeds, to micro milled chia, pure chia oil, and even chia oil soft gels (GOOD BYE stinky fish oil supplements!) So go check them out at www.runningfood.com and tell them Run Faster Mommy sent you !
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Have you ever tried Chia? Is it a staple in your diet?