How (and why) to use Chia Seeds?

How and why to use chia seeds

I’m not sure when I first became aware of chia seeds, but I do know that I’ve been adding them to a few smoothies, juices and granolas for a while. I was speaking to my friend Emily recently, telling her to add some chia seeds to her porridge because they’re good for you, but when she asked why they’re good for you, I drew a blank.

Erm, they just are, I said.

But I started to do some research. Why was I sprinkling little seeds over m any dishes, what exactly were the health benefits.

Did you know that chia is the Mayan word for ‘strength’!

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

  • They are high in protein, great for vegans and veggies, as well as helping you feel fuller for longer. There’s 4g of protein in each 28g serving of chia seeds.
  • They’re high in fibre- again this helps you feel more satiated and helps keep things regular. You can get a third of your recommended daily intake of fibre through 2tsps chia seeds.
  • They are a source of iron, fab for women and athletes especially.
  • They are a source of calcium – great for bones, teeth and blood clotting
  • They are a source of magnesium – helps turn food into energy your body can use
  • Importantly, they’re also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, something that many people don’t eat enough of, especially vegans and veggies. Gram for gram they contain more omega 3s than salmon!
  • They are high in antioxidants, fighting the production of free radicals and all those horrid things that cause ageing and cancer.
  • They’re a wholegrain, which many people don’t get enough of in their diet.
  • They’re naturally gluten free – not exactly a health benefit but good to know.

Chia seeds can be used in place of eggs, simply mix 1tbsp chia seeds with 3tbsp water and leave for 15min. Use these in baking and savoury dishes, such as these meatballs!

I’ve added a huge tub of chia seeds to my store cupboard at home, and am looking for ways to sneak them in to numerous meals. Here are some of my favourite Chia Seed recipes from the web, showcasing the numerous ways in which these amazing little seeds can be used.

how and what to do with chia seeds

 Chocolate and avocado chia seed pudding  from theironyou.com

how and what to do with chia seeds

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam from thehonoursystem.com 

how and what to do with chia seeds

 Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Muffins  from the tablespoon.com

How and why to use chia seeds

 Gluten Free Tortilla Wraps from meaninguleats.com 

how and why to use chia seeds

Flourless Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Blondies from purelytwins.com 

how and why to use chia seeds

 Cheesy Chia Seed Crackers from theironyou.com

how and why to use chia seeds

Tomato Chia Seed Jam from thewholesomepursuit.com 

how and why to use chia seeds

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Chia Seed Brownies from alldayidreamaboutfood.com 

 

Have you/do you use chia seeds when you cook? Will you be adding them to your next shopping order now? I’d love to hear if you make any of these awesome recipes! I am particularly excited to make the chia seed jam and the mocha brownies!

Ziplining in St Lucia

Ziplining St Lucia

Ziplining St Lucia

I’m not a very good girlfriend at times. Tom is a little scared of heights, something I didn’t really think about when I signed us up for our two day activities in St Lucia- hiking the Pitons and zip lining. Luckily he is a good sport and agreed to both of them without much fuss.

We had a brilliant group from Sandals in our zip lining tour, which made it a lot of fun. The girls were all very supportive of each other, it definitely felt less scary. The lovely guides took our cameras to snap pictures and video as we went round the twelve lines, each of varying height, speed and length. The highest elevation is 150ft, with an 800ft cable running as the longest cable line.

Ziplining St Lucia

Ziplining St Lucia

I was a little nervous on the first few lines, as there was definitely no practise run before our first line. We were hooked on, one hand on the line behind us to control speed and stopping, and one holding on to the harness to keep straight. I did regret wearing short shorts, they weren’t the easiest to wear in the harness, nor the most flattering.

I cannot recommend Treetop Adventures  enough, we had a brilliant time, with plenty of water and laughs provided along the way. It’s actually the number one voted activity to do in St Lucia on Tripadvisor!

Ziplining St Lucia

Ziplining St Lucia

Ziplining St Lucia

Insaniacs Class Review

Insanity workout

Insanity workout

Yes you have to be a little insane to willingly get up at 5.40am in the pitch dark to exercise outdoors in the cold.

But it can be so worth it!

This Insanity workout pop-up was organised by the lovely Tanya and held in the very trendy Kingly Court (also located conveniently about 12 steps from my office!). The weather co-operated with us, unlike for the Tuesday class who got drenched. I was worried about being cold, but warmed up within minutes, throwing off my jumper and sweating a lot!

Insanity Workout

Insanity Workout

Insanity Workout

We wore wireless headphones that pumped out a great playlist, and through which we could hear Tanya giving instructions during the class. We started with a warm up, that was hands down one of the hardest warm ups I have ever done. We completed 3 rounds of 6 moves of 30 seconds each, with a 30 second break between each round; jogging, double scissor runs, mummy high knees, heismans, jack flys & shuffle taps.

Our first block of high intensity intervals were focused on plyomentrics and endurance, completing 3 rounds of 2 minutes on, 3o seconds off. We completed ski downs, frog jumps, single leg burpees, and tuck jumps. At the end of the round we completed a 60 second power move which for this round was power lunges.

Insanity Workout

Insanity Workout
Block two focused on strength and balance. We started with spider lunge chest presses which were hard. I can tell I’ve focused mostly on legs recently and my arms are so weak! Next up we completed mountain climbers, squat hops, tricep dips to single leg balances for 3 rounds of 2 mins with 3o seconds off. The power move was a walking press up to squat hold- talk about muscle burn!

We finished off the workout with a quick stretch. The 30mins flew by, and although it was a really tough workout that had me questioning my fitness levels, I really enjoyed it. Check out the bags under my eyes despite being awake for over 2 and a half hours!

Insanity WOrkout London

Moosh Green Juice

Moosh treated us to fresh juices to refuel after the workout, complete with fully stocked goody bags. I tucked into the chia seed flapjack immediately.

If you want to try one of Tanya’s classes she runs regularly in West London- check them out here. Charlie and I are definitely going to try a full 50 minute class soon.

What to do When You’ve Lost Your Running Mojo?

Running in Hyde Park London

Running in St James park London

I’ve lost my running mojo.

I’m pretty sure I lost it around mile 19 of the Berlin Marathon, and I haven’t seen it since.

I haven’t run since the Berlin Marathon nearly four weeks ago. It may well be the longest I’ve not run since I first started running over four years ago. I gave myself a week off from running after the marathon, then planned a few gym sessions in St Lucia which didn’t happen. I’ve now been back from hols for two weeks and have worked out a measly three times.

I’ve been busy. I’ve been ill. I’ve been recovering. The excuses don’t really fly anymore. The truth is I just haven’t been feeling it, but I’m hoping that will change soon.

Running in St James Park London

Here’s my advice for getting your mojo back (advice that I’m trying to follow myself!)

Start out short- even though the last run I did was 26 plus miles, doesn’t mean the next one has to be on the same scale. It doesn’t have to be a long run, or even double digits. Start short, with a 2-4 mile run. Every little helps as they say.

Sign up for races- I love races, whether I’m running for fun, aiming for a new PB or using a race as a training run. There’s just something about running around an organised course and guaranteed medal that makes it more fun. It also gives me something to train for, even if it’s just to make it round the course.

I’m signed up for a couple of races between November and February to keep me ticking along.

Reach for another goal- It can be hard to keep motivated when you don’t have a goal you’re working towards. Having a reason to go for a run or complete a training session is great incentive to make it happen. With a marathon off the cards for next year, I’ve got my eyes on a brand new half marathon PB in the new year. I’m looking up flat half courses to enter in March- perhaps the Reading half as my goal race.

Run with friends- Running with friends can take the pressure off pace and ensures that the miles fly by. It doesn’t matter if you run 2 miles then stop for coffee and cake, or run 12 miles whilst nattering away. Having someone to meet and chat with helps get me out of the door when I’m struggling. I’m excited to see of my blogger running buds this evening at the Osterley Night Run. Tom’s running too!

Try a different run-If you always run half marathons, why not try a 5K or an obstacle course? I’ve signed up for Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest in November to try out something new, and to run with Tom and my step-brother. I was supposed to be running Tough Mudder today, but a full day of lectures means that I had to postpone until May. Bring it on.

Don’t stress about it- It doesn’t matter if you’re not running as long as you’re moving. Take the time to try out some classes or new exercises until you get your fitness and running mojo back!

What are your tips for getting my mojo back?

Running in Hyde Park London

Back to School

how to become a registered dieticain

 

It’s been my dream for a while now to become a registered dietician although I’m not sure I fully recognised how much I wanted to do it until I took a workshop with Lululemon in January 2014 where we had to envisage ourselves 5 years and 10 years from now. Then work backwards to the present day to work out how we were going to get there.

I saw myself in a warm kitchen in a nice town near a body of water, just back from a run, fixing myself a healthy breakfast before going to work. A work that I loved that involved teaching people about food and getting the most from it. A job that helped people become healthier and happier.

I wanted to become a nutritionist.

However the more research I did, I discovered that you don’t have to have a degree to be a nutritionist, in fact many online courses gave you the right to call yourself a nutritionist without a huge amount of proper training. This sounded sort of great except for the fact that I didn’t want to limit myself- I wanted the option of working in a hospital or with athletes to enhance their performance naturally, which you can’t (as far as I am aware) do without an accredited degree. I didn’t want to cut myself off by not having the right qualifications. So I started researching dietetics and speaking with those that I knew already working in the field.

It soon became clear that to become a Registered Dietician I would need to study chemistry and biology before I could even apply for a place on one of the respected dietetics courses. I had been recommended the Certificate of Higher Education in a Life Sciences for Subjects allied to Medicine by a friend and sent an application in March. I had an interview in May and enrolled to start the year long evening course in September (the day after the Berlin marathon).

how to become a registered dieticain

how to become a registered dietician

I’m a few weeks in to the course and it is heavy going. The twice weekly 3 hour classes are fast paced with plenty of homework and extra reading. Our labs remind me of why I dropped chemistry aged 15 in favour of humanities subjects. But I will keep working to achieve my goals.

I’ve been revising this week for a quiz as well as writing up my chemistry practical to hand in. My social life has already taken a hit but I’m hoping to find a balance between work, study, blogging, exercise and seeing friends (those with relevant science skills may be seen a little more often!!)

It’s going to be tough but anything worth having is worth working for.

If you could study again, what would it be for? Is there anything you really want to do/learn? Do you have any advice for studying as a mature student? (that makes me feel old!!)

how to become a registered dieticain