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chia fresca // the muffin myth

Friends, can we talk about poop?

Not everyone’s favourite topic, but an important one in nutrition. The reality is, what goes in must come out, and for some of us that’s a struggle. I’ve had a number of people complain to me about this issue, and for many, after a quick chat about their dietary habits, it becomes clear that hydration is at the root of the problem.

The thing is, if you add extra fiber to your diet, which you should, you also need to add extra hydration to help your system process the fiber. Extra fiber without extra hydration ends up having the reverse of the intended effect, which results in an unhappy digestive tract.

chia fresca // the muffin myth

The Chia Fresca is simply a drink with chia seeds stirred in, left to sit while the chia seeds soak up some liquid, and then guzzled down. Because chia seeds hold up to 10x their weight in water, the little fiber bombs enter your system already hydrated. This means that rather than absorbing liquid from your digestive tract, the Chia Fresca provides liquid. This not only helps with hydration, which is great for athletes pre or post workout, or any of us on a hot day, but it can also help get things moving, if you get my drift (and I know you do).

But don’t think of this wonder drink as something just for when you’re feeling plugged up! I particularly like drinking a Chia Fresca if I’m fasting (a topic for another time) as the hydrated little seeds provide a sense of satiety. It’s wonderful on a hot day, before a long run, or just at any old time if you’re trying to get more chia into your diet.

And just what’s so great about chia? Read on for more info!

chia fresca // the muffin myth

One year ago: Mexican Black Bean Skillet
Two years ago: Raspberry Cornbread 

Chia Fresca Recipe:

Consider this recipe a jumping off point. I keep it simple with water and a squeeze of lime for my Chia Fresca, but you don’t have to stop there. Try using coconut water instead of plain old tap water. Want it a bit sweet? Stir in a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Don’t like lime? Try lemon, grapefruit, crushed up strawberries, or whatever else you’ve got on hand.

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1-2 cups cold water
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 wedge of lime

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In a large glass combine the water, chia, and a squeeze of lime juice. Stir well to avoid clumps, and set aside for 10-15 minutes. You will have to stir again as the chia seeds will settle with time. When the seeds are well hydrated (they should look sort of like a tomato seed with the jelly layer around it), give the glass a final stir, and drink immediately.

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Ch-ch-ch-chia! Chia seeds are a concentrated source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are rich in dietary fiber. They are an excellent source of essential minerals such as phosphorous, manganese, calcium, sodium and potassium. Due to the exceptional water-absorption properites of chia, it can help prolong hydration and help the body retain electrolytes at times such as during exertion. Whole, water-soaked chia seeds are easily digested, and their nutrients can be quickly absorbed by the body. Once soaked, chia seeds bulk up, then work like a cleaning crew in our digestive systems. As they move through the intestinal tract, they help to dislodge and eliminate accumulated waste in the intestines. Many people find their stools also become more regular once they eat chia.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

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