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Health Tips

Filtering by Tag: breakfast

7 Reasons to Add Chia Into Your Diet + Chia Seed Porridge Recipe

Brittany Carlson

Chia seeds are an ideal breakfast or snack because they contain all of the essential macro-nutrients to keep you fueled.  If you haven't tried chia seeds or have only used them as a topping instead of the main dish, try out my Warm Coconut Chia Porridge. I eat this for breakfast or sometimes as an afternoon snack, and it tastes like a comforting dessert.  No sugar spikes or cravings to follow! 

7 Reasons to Try Get Your Chia On

1. Chia seeds are a complete protein--note to vegetarians!

2. Chia seeds help retain electrolytes. When mixed with water, these little beads absorb up to 10 times their weight. I recommend consuming chia seeds before a workout to stay hydrated.

‪3. Chia seeds aid in digestive health. One serving contains 11 grams of fiber to keep you regular. These seeds also contain valuable minerals, which are needed to produce enzymes in the body to break down the food you eat.‬

4. Chia seeds reduce inflammation. Chia contains the highest level of omega 3 fatty acids of any known plant foods, which helps to decrease inflammation throughout the body. An anti-inflammatory diet is important to prevent disease.‬

5. Chia seeds balance blood sugar. Chia is high in fiber and fat, so it is digested slowly, helping to avoid spikes in blood sugar. 

‪6.  Chia seeds promote strong bones. Chia contains calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus, helping to maintain bone mass and strength.‬

7. Chia seeds improve cholesterol levels. Chia seeds have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind!).‬


Warm Chia Seed Porridge Recipe

What you'll need

  • 1/2 cup full fat organic coconut milk, unsweetened (I use Native Forest)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid stevia (optional) 

  • pinch of flakey sea salt

Method

  • Whisk all ingredients together into a bowl

  • Refrigerate overnight (you can enjoy like this or keep going with the extra steps!)

  • Put chia/coconut mixture into a small pan on the stove and add 1 cup of water.

  • Heat on very low heat, stirring continuously until porridge is smooth and warm. Do not over heat!

  • Put porridge into a jar or bowl and enjoy!

Optional toppings: coconut milk, cacao nibs, nuts, seeds, goji berries, blueberries, hemp seeds

Coconut Milk Tip: The cream in canned coconut milk often separates from the water. To acheive more of a milky consistency, I remove everything from the can and blend the water and cream together. I use this milk in my coffee on a daily basis and it is delicious!


Are Smoothies Good for Weight Loss? + Low Fructose Smoothie Recipes

Brittany Carlson

Many people view smoothies as a vehicle to weight loss. If the scale isn't budging, it is most likely because of too much fruit in your smoothie. 

Fruit naturally contains fructose, which is not directly absorbed into the blood (unlike glucose). Fructose requires more energy for our bodies to metabolize-- it needs to go through the small intestines and the liver before it can be used as fuel. When our cells have enough glucose to function, the excess is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver to be used on a rainy day. When these glycogen reserves are full because of more sugar than your particular body needs, sugar is stored as fat. That's right, excess sugar is stored as fat. Dietary sugar increases blood triglycerides more than any other macronutrient. Essentially, sugar = Fat. 

Furthermore, when we eat fructose (or any sugar for that matter), blood sugar rises. The rise in blood sugar results in a short-lived boost in energy. You end up feeling hungry quickly and crave something sweet to feel balanced again. So not only are you fueling yourself with something ineffective that wont help you lose weight, you wind up eating more shortly after to get your body back to a balanced state. 

So what can you do differently? My recommendation is to incorporate healthy fats and proteins into your smoothie and cut the fruit. Good fats and protein are digested slowly, which will keep your blood sugar stay balanced and leave you feeling satiated for longer. Avocado, a source of fiber and fat, is a perfect base for a smoothie. A high quality protein powder is also a good alternative (I use Vega). And if you do decide to have fruit in your smoothie, limit it to half a cup and try a fruit with a low glycemic load such as a peach or a pear.  Try these recipes out to get you started!


Low Fructose Smoothie Recipes

Omega 3 Boost

Ingredients

  • ½ organic cucumber, chopped

  • ¼ cup parsley

  • ½  squeezed lemon

  • ½ avocado

  • 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk

  • 5 ice cubes

Method

Combine ingredients and blend until smooth. 

Chocolate Madness

Ingredients

  • 1 serving Chocolate protein powder by Vega

  • 1 Tablespoon Cacao Powder 

  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

  • 5 ice cubes

Method

Combine ingredients and blend until smooth.