Chia Seed- The tiny but mighty superfood

Chia Seed Pudding with fresh Summer figs.  Photo Cred Minimalist Movement

Chia Seed Pudding with fresh Summer figs.  Photo Cred Minimalist Movement

If this sexy little seed could talk, it would have a South African accent. Wanna hear more? This power food dates back to the Aztecs. Oh yeah, and the Mayans. That is way back in case you were wondering. Like pyramids. Fast forward to present time, and this trendy treat is an ingredient in just about every breakfast bowl, smoothie, and nutrition fitness bar. 

Let's take a closer look as to why this functional food measures up to even the most super of super. 

1) Calorie Friendly = Fiber Friendly- Portion distortion is running rampant. Our tummies cannot keep up with our brain, or vice versa. Foods like chia that help signal satiety will inspire you to put your fork or spoon down when you feel full.  NOTE: don't confuse this with dieting. Having a working knowledge of what portions are and how to control your own is pivotal when practicing THE FOOD ATHLETE strategies. (click HERE for details on working with me to find your perfect strategy.)

2) Free Radical Fighter- Antioxidants: We need them in our feed schedule. Toxins that are either put in our body intentionally or the kind we breathe when we are living "out there" walking about town need to be combated. Chia, although not the obvious antioxidant because it is so tiny contains many properties to help repair the damage caused by free radicals. 

3) Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals- Yep, hard to see with the naked eye (well my eyes cause I wear glasses) these cute seeds are packed with nourishment: 

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Fat
  • Carbs
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A,B,E,D
  • Omega ALA

4) Energy Efficient- Oh yeah, talking metabolism again. Boost energy efficiency simply by adding Chia to your healthy lifestyle. For one it is so easy to digest. LISTEN UP, ATHLETES! I hear this common issue with so many of my fitness and nutrition clients. "My stomach hurts when I eat early in the morning then work out." Problem solved, sneak some chia in a smoothie and have some sips pre workout, then drink the rest post for recovery. Done and done. Two, you need the energy to burn energy and as you have just seen these little guys pack a punch in the nutrient department. Burn baby burn. 

5) Disease Preventative- Diabetes Type 2: When a study(s) is done and proven effective in preventing diseases and cancers that are when "health benefit" talk gets exciting. Decreasing inflammation specifically in the adipose tissue in our belly is just the beginning of the good news. The concise The Food Athlete Cliffs Notes on chia and diabetes is that research and studies have shown fascinating outcomes in reducing insulin resistance by helping to regulate blood sugar. Yay!



Click HERE to check out these Coconut Chia Overnight Oats- at my Lets Cook Together page.

Want more food fun?  I just did a piece on coconut for my friends over at Beyond Yoga on the benefits of coconut which featured this chia-coconut with grilled mango recipe. Click HERE for the post. 

For a variation ditch the oats and just do the chia pudding on its own and add your favorite toppings. I am loving beautiful summer figs at the moment. 

Thanks for stopping by Food Athletes! You made it, Hump Day, the week is still half-full of adventure and new food experiences. Enjoy!

Be Happy, Be Healthy, Love Your Body,

xo Jessi (Your Food Athlete Coach) xo



there's no whine in mocktails

Photo Creds, The Minimalist Movement  

Baby, it is scorching outside! I am here today to assist grapefruit in making its big comeback. Also to begin a new trend "Mocktails all day." However, let's get back to the sassy citrus, grapefruit. Red, pink and white, it is all good. I have been trying to get my eighty-eight-year-old dad to eat some every morning, but so far he will only sip the juice, he has been quite vocal about preferring the red grapefruit also, noted pop. Although eating the fruit and pulp itself has more health benefits than the juice there is still much to be gained from this tangy citrus beverage. What happens when we extract just the juice from fruits and veggies? Loss of some vitamins and minerals, but mostly that fabulous fiber will be missing if you just drink the liquid. Sure it may be easier to grab a bottle of juice and take that route. Being healthy does take some effort and energy, but it is worth it. That extra dose of fiber in the morning can add spring in your step and a little zip in your doo-da.

So, the million dollar question is, how can you rack up more vitamins and nutrients every day, still enjoy what you are eating and not get bored? It is challenging, and brings up the number one, two and three, issues my clients struggle with most, which is  timing, planning and prepping meals. It can be a monster hurdle and it's ok to ask for and need the guidance. 

First, I lay out the facts. People like to see the information with their own eyes. 

Grapefruit Health Benefits:

  • Low glycemic
  • healthy fiber
  • rich in antioxidants
  • helps lower risk of some diseases
  • sparks metabolism
  • burns calories
  • keeps you full longer, therefore aiding in portion control
  • contains oodles of micronutrients like vitamin c and calcium

Second, I share about all the delicious and easy variations there are cooking with grapefruit.

  • sliced
  • in salads
  • salad dressing
  • marinade for grilling
  • blended in smoothies
  • mixed with other citrus to make ceviche
  • juiced

Third, I share simple recipes you can make at home for yourself and the family. 

Read on to get the spill on my yummy mocktail recipe. 

Please note: grapefruit has been reported to interfere with some prescribed medications so as always, be responsible, read your medication labels and if ever in question consult your doctor. 


Pink Grapefruit & Ginger Ale Mocktail

Who needs Rose"? Well, not this girl. If you follow The Food Athlete, you probably know that I am a sober woman. I will add as a nutritionist day drinking can get sketchy, so perhaps if you must do your Rose', try partial day and take some hydration intervals with some water and a non-alcoholic cool-down treat.

Not only did I create this divine mocktail refreshment. I made designer ice cubes to garnish and chill to wet your whistle on a delightful pool or beach day. 

Grapefruit, ginger-ale, thyme ice cubes.  

Grapefruit, ginger-ale, thyme ice cubes.


Assembling the mocktail:

Grapefruit Thyme Ice Cubes

Filtered water

Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice + few pulp segments

Splash of Ginger Ale for bubbly effects

Fresh spring of Thyme

I would hope I do not need to go into lots of detail on how to make ice cubes. However, just in case. Fill trays 1/4-1/2 with water. Add a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice, no seeds but add some pulp for added flavor. Add a splash of ginger ale or your fave soda water. Pluck a few thyme leaves off the stem and add to mixture. Boom! Beautiful, citrus ice for a hot summer day. 


Happy Summer Food Athletes! Cheers to you and your health!

Be Happy, Be Healthy, Love Your Body,

xo Jessi (your Food Athlete Coach) xo