My Failed Attempt at Chia Protein Bars & the Benefits of Eating Them Anyway
Baked jelly pudding?
I was meant to continue with the second factor to consider if you want to balance your hormones, however, I woke up today and felt like I needed to go and be creative in the kitchen. Creative does not always mean successful, and as it turned out, this is not the day where I get famous for my superb chia seed protein bars. Although it did not turn out the way I wanted it to, it is totally edible and tastes quite good. It is more like a baked jelly pudding though and I think less chia seeds/less water is the way to go for future experiments.
Most people I know suffer from food cravings of different kinds. My cravings are almost always for sugar, whilst my partner’s cravings are often for savoury foods. This seems to be a common difference between women and men in general. Most of the time I tend to curb my cravings with fruit, nut butters (mixed with stevia and dark chocolate drops), or plain dark chocolate. Sometimes I turn to less healthy sugar free alternatives which may involve rice flour or similar. Today’s experiment was an attempt at a healthy gluten and dairy free protein snack containing collagen powder and goji berries. Since all of these have health benefits which go beyond hormone balance, I decided to share my failure with you and the reasoning for using these ingredients.
Traditionally chia seeds have been used to create a type of “sports drink” called chia fresca or iskiate. It is typically made out of chia seeds, water, sweetener, lemon or lime juice. The gel coat that the seeds make will prevent the water from being released instantaneously and you will stay hydrated for much longer than if you consume plain water or the same mixture without the chia seeds.
Chia seeds are often referred to as superfoods. They are nutrient dense, rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, alpha-linolenic and linolenic acid. Consisting of 37% fibre means that they are beneficial for the digestive tract by encouraging frequent elimination and support food for healthy gut bacteria. As you may remember if you read my last blog post; a healthy gut is key if you want to balance your hormones. If you do a google search on chia seeds you will find a myriad of health benefits ascribed to them. To keep it short, some of the benefits are: antioxidative, low carb (since almost all carbs are fibre), anti-inflammatory, blood sugar stabilising, and improved insulin sensitivity.
Chia can be eaten as they are but it is always best to soak them to break down certain enzyme inhibitors that naturally protect them. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes in 6-10 times the amount of water. If you choose to eat them without soaking them, make sure that you drink plenty of water since they may absorb water from your gastrointestinal tract, which can make you dehydrated.
Almost 65% of the protein in our bodies is collagen. It is essential for our skin and joints and it is one of the beneficial components which can be found in bone broth. It is also present in slow-cooked organ meats, whole crustaceans and whole fish. Unfortunately, very few people eat these kinds of foods nowadays and therefore our diets are deficient in collagen.
You may associate collagen with skincare products since it is known to make your skin more flexible and reduce wrinkles. Unfortunately, it needs to be used by your body to build up your own skin and therefore be supplied through your diet rather than applied to your skin. Collagen has also been found to make your joints more flexible and decrease join pain, which is something that most people will experience at some point in their life (1). It is also rich in the amino acid glycine and may therefore help you sleep better, support in healing leaky gut, and help the liver eliminate xenoestrogens and other toxicants. Lastly, it also supports healthy thyroid function and balances our major stress hormone; cortisol.
Goji Berries (wolfberry)
I bet you have not missed hearing about goji berries and their health benefits. Another super food which contains plenty of fibre, anti-oxidants, zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, and 500 times more vitamin C than oranges (weight for weight). Their anti-inflammatory and liver supporting properties are being researched as a means to fight cancer (particularly hepatic cancer), stabilising blood sugar, support and enhance the immune system.
When purchasing goji berries; make sure that you get the organic variety without added sulphites. It is also good to know that goji berries are nightshades, avoid them if you have sensitivities to nightshades.
Update on the 6-week Coaching Program
In my last blog, I mentioned that I am about to launch a new 6-week online group coaching program. It is with regret that I have decided to postpone the launch until after the summer holiday. I want my program to be as comprehensive as possible and benefit everyone taking part equally, which is a lot trickier than working with clients one to one. I do not want to rush things just to get something out there so I decided to take my time to tweak things a bit more and test a few things on a few selected Guinea pigs. If you have any questions with regards to the program or working with me one to one, do not hesitate to get in touch.
1. Bello, Ae. And Oesser, S. (2006) Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Current Medical Research and Opinion. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17076983