Now that I'm off the oatmeal, I had sort of let the bag of chia seeds just sit there. But then my friend Mandi with an I sent me an article by Blogger Ironmom that talked about all the artificial ingredients otherwise healthy runners consume each year in energy gels and Gu's and snacks. I hadn't thought about that yet - what was I going to eat while doing my long training runs? I've only recently tried and become a fan of coconut water, which replaced my post-run Gatorade. (It took a few times and a heat exhaustion moment before I became a fan, but now I'm cuckoo for coconut!)
The article mentioned making your own energy gel out of chia seeds and coconut water. There wasn't a recipe, so I just sort of made it up and added a dash of natural agave nectar for a sweetener. (I've since read a recipe that says 1 part chia seeds to 9 parts water). You can use normal water as well, I chose the coconut for the extra potassium and electrolytes. I mixed it in a small tupperware and set it in the fridge overnight and then in the morning, I spooned it into a baggie to carry in my Camelback.
It's not the most appetizing-looking concoction -- it kind of looks like caviar. And eating some from a baggy is not as convenient as tearing open an energy gel and sucking it down. But if you don't stare at it and spend a lot of time thinking about the things it looks like and whether that's gross or not ... it's not gross. I'm kind of a conceptual eater so if my mind wanders I can easily gross myself into gagging. This did not happen this weekend. I liked it!
If I keep this up, I think I'll buy some refillable tubes like this: http://www.coghlanscampinggear.com/coplsqfotu.html
Did it work? I'm not sure. I only tried a little bit and quite frankly, I've had such a hard time lately with energy on my runs, I don't think I would notice if this gave me a boost or not. I plan to make more and give it a solid "go" on my next long run. I think my body is actually starting to turn around a bit and embrace this Paleo thing and so maybe I can feel some of that energy people who go Paleo keep talking about!
Health benefits of chia seeds:
- Good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (more than flax seeds), fiber, protein and phytonutrients
- Good source calcium, protein and are rich in boron (which helps the body assimilate & use calcium)
- They absorb water so when consumed the chia seeds can help you stay hydrated and retain electrolytes
- Easily digestible
- Increase stamina and endurance
- Help to slim you. They are filling but also bulk up and help cleanse your intestines of old "junk"