Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chia seeds, coconut oil, ground flax, Magic Bullets, etc.

After reading Born To Run, and how the Tarahumara Indians from the Copper Canyons in the most jagged mountains of Mexico used concoctions made from chia seeds for rocket fuel, I have given much thought to trying them. Five Hour Energy drinks work for--well--five hours, although it seems they lose their effectiveness after the third or fourth dose. That could be because of the enormous amounts of caffeine I consume in the 1.5 gallons of daily coffee I drink. And no, it's not that light brownish watered down crap you get at the greasy spoon either. I like coffee with an attitude--coffee that you can smell in the air the night before when you set the timer the night before on the Cuisinart Automatic Grind and Brew machine we got from JC Penney two years ago with that gift card from the in-laws--we forgot to send them a thank you card??? Wait, where was I? Coffee. I like it strong. Coffee that takes two teeth brushings and one flossing to get the taste out of your mouth, although why would anyone want to do that? Oops, actually, I was talking about chia seeds. I was reminded once again of chia seeds when I was reading the instructions on a Chia Cat Grass Planter we got our cats for Christmas. See, Sassy eats grass when we let her outside, and promptly comes in the house and throws up. An attempted suicide? A kitty anorexic diet plan? An attempt at vegetarianism? Well, to appease her, we thought this chia grass would be a better roughage choice for her since it was designed for cats. In going through the Chia Cat box, I found the sack of seeds. Hmmm...might be worth a try. I should have got the scissors to cut a slit in the bag, but instead tried to open it like a bag of chips, and when it ripped open, 1/2 of the contents were instantly planted--right in the dining room carpet. So, hurriedly (before Dana got home) I cupped up as much of the seeds as I could and put them in a fake-Tupperware bowl, and vacuumed up the rest. Poor sassy will have less chia grass now, the carpet got a free vacuuming, and I got a taste of chia seeds, licking up what was scattered across the dining room table.

I then sat on the couch, turned on the TV, looked at my watch, and waited, thinking in a matter of minutes, I'd experience an amazing transformation--energy levels rising, slow twitch muscles becoming fast twitch, a pre-run runner's buzz at least. But nothing, except a funky taste in my mouth. Maybe I had not eaten enough, so I wandered back into the kitchen for another dose. Then I read the WARNING: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Yikes. A day later however, I am no worse off; so hopefully no harm is done.

Dana had read some articles on the benefits of coconut oil. I followed up with a Google search on the subject in between reading email, beating Danny Gasaway in Words with Friends, and drinking my 5th, 6th, and 7th cups of coffee. So, on our date night, we visited Whole Foods and stocked up on miracle foods. I was nearly out of Udo's Oil anyway, and while there, bought a small jar of unprocessed unrefined organically grown naturally pressed virgin coconut oil because that's what some Google website said to buy. And wouldn't you know it--right over in the bulk dry goods wall, they had chia seeds. So, I bought some. I only wanted just a little, and put the 3 gallon plastic bag, tried to get it opened up and spread out under the hopper, and very slowly pulled the lever down. WHOOSH!!!! Instantly I had nearly filled the bag full with enough chia seeds to plant a couple dozen of acres of it. Lucky for me, chia seeds are cheap at only $1.99/lb, as the things are surprisingly light. I had better luck getting a smaller quantity of flax seeds (another thing Google said I needed.) Snagging a bag of frozen organic fruit and we were headed for the check-out counter, gave the checker $76.89 for two small sacks of health food, and we were on the way home to make a SUPER-SMOOTHIE!!

Dana is an infomercial sucker, and we got us one of them Magic Bullets. We had the first one that was out a few years ago, and used it so much it fell apart. This one is a new bigger improved one, that actually does a great job. So, I started with Flax seeds, and used the grinder blades pulverize the flax seeds to powder. Then, I added orange juice that somehow through miracles of modern technology has only 50 calories, and then added the chia seeds. Next, I tossed in a couple handfuls of frozen fruit, and finally a glop of the coconut oil, which was in a solid form kind of like wax. It was moderately difficult to scoop the coconut wax out of the jar, and in fact I read that some people heat it up first. This all blended together made a sorbet that tasted like tropical sherbet which was very tasty, and the flax seeds gave it a very slight nutty taste which I like. The coconut oil produced subtle hints of a great pina coloda I had in Playacar Mexcico a few years ago (which probably was only good because of the warm Dos Equis I had drank just before and anything would have taken the foul taste out of my mouth.) The chia seeds seemed to swell, and were a bit chewy and slightly slimy--not in a bad way though. I actually liked them a lot.

The energy boost? I slept well last night in spite of downing the super-drink before bed. I woke up feeling refreshed, and this morning had a good run. The ingredients do have other effects. The expanding chia seeds gives you that feeling of being full--so much so that I really did not want a bag of Kettle Corn that Dana offered me as we watched the rest of the OU massacre. And one more benefit: the oil coupled with the expanding seeds have paved the way for more bathroom time. I'm all caught up on reading the last three issues of Trail Runner, and have started an old issue of a Women's Health. At the risk of TMI, let's just say I feel cleaned out.

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