How to use a chia seed…

There’s a lot of talk these days of “super” foods. The term gets thrown around in health blogs and books regularly (chia seeds, spirulina, sprouting), although most of us don’t know where to begin with this stuff. It can feel overwhelming, right?

I am working to find that intersection between incorporating these wonderful foods, and yet owning up to the fact that we have a fairly typical western diet that also includes meat, dairy and sweets. We will not be going vegan.

I’ve written about smoothies here before. It’s where we incorporate stronger vitamins and chia seeds and protein into our breakfast.

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Recently, we read through (okay, mostly me) the PlantPower Way by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. Roll has achieved quite a bit of recognition for his athletic feats (multiple iron mans, etc) and for doing it all on a vegan diet. The book gives a great overview in the first few pages of how to utilize these super foods and explains what they actually do for your health.

What I appreciate most about this book is how the authors discuss their lifestyle approach as a family effort. How many of us have made a nutritious kale-based something or other – only to see our families turn up their noses? It’s not easy.

As I stumble across interesting books, I like to share them. This one is available at our public library and might be worth checking out if you’re starting to dip your toes into the waters here. There are so many interesting resources out there right now, right? But finding something that speaks to you is a very personal thing.

Are there other books or blogs you’ve found helpful? Do tell, friends! Tips and tricks are always welcome.

How to use a chia seed…

Getting my fiction mojo back

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Reading for fun has fallen away for me lately. Over the last couple of years, I’ve found that I gravitate towards non-fiction books. There’s a part of my brain that always wants to know more – to uncover the secrets to mysteries I’m obsessed with: spirituality, organization, paleo cooking.

Good old-fashioned fiction has completely been shoved aside. I won’t be giving up non-fiction; however, over winter break I specifically checked out some fiction works that I’ve heard good things about and made it a goal to get through only those books.

What a ride! It felt good to actually read a page-turner again. My book club has always been a great source for me, but I really didn’t make it very often this year. So I went straight to the book titles that I suspect everyone in the world has read but me. The BIG names.

If you haven’t already picked these up, I highly recommend:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I think every book club read it this year and I know why. Talk about a crazy messed up set of characters. Each one draws you in and makes you want to scream, pull out your hair and pick their psyches apart. I lost a lot of sleep trying to get through this one because I wanted figure out what the heck happened.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Yes, I’m several years late to this party. But I hadn’t seen the movie and felt like it was worth reading. Again, glad I did. It’s been a long time since I had read a book where I truly wasn’t sure who was good and who was evil. Also, I did decide after reading these two books that I need to take a break from books about horrible, rotten marriages, which brings me to…

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Now, I’m not actually finished with this one, but given how fast I’m flying through it, I will be soon. Set in a futuristic world where civilization has taken a nose dive and everyone lives through a virtual program known as OASIS, the main character walks you through how he solved the greatest puzzle of all time. The book is filled with 80s pop culture and video game references. Recommended originally by M, who gets so many more of these references than I do (we didn’t own an Atari, people), it’s a really great read.

 

What are you reading that’s good? What should I read next? Tell me!!

Getting my fiction mojo back

Book-worthy

IMGP6627Lately, I’ve stumbled upon a few books worth sharing. I love to read and read all the time, but I tend to read non-fiction because my brain operates in such a manner than when I become interested/focused on a topic (gardening, spirituality, gluten free cooking, parenting), I head straight to that section of the public library and tunnel into the subject.

Today’s book recommendations are TOTALLY UNRELATED! One fiction, two non-fiction. But they’re all fascinating to me and so I’m going to share.

10% HUMAN – How your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness – Written by a science writer and PhD Alanna Collen, this book is a incredible look at the science behind your gut bacteria. The topic is hot right now as the public becomes more aware of how the health of your gut is connected to brain health. If you’ve struggled with food sensitivity and/or allergy issues, you know how confusing the world of digestion can be. I found myself riveted by just how important it is to take care of your gut health. The book walks through the ways health and mental health (including anxiety, depression, ADHD) can be affected by your microbes. It’s fascinating.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter– This is not a new book, in fact, I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for a year or so and never got around to reading it. What a mistake. Beautifully written, the story weaves together modern day characters working in the film industry in Los Angeles who discover a secret story. When an elderly Italian man walks into the production office one day, asking for the whereabouts of an unknown actress whom he knew as a young man in a small Italian village, a web of secrets is slowly revealed. It’s a glimpse into the minds of actors and producers caught up in the world of sex and power in the film world in the 1960’s, living with decisions that weigh heavily on their consciences. I found myself desperately wanting to know… so what exactly happened?

Deliciously Ella – I stumbled upon the food blog DeliciouslyElla.com via Instagram. Because we eat gluten free, I’m always on the look out for snacks and breakfast items that I can incorporate into our diet that are full of nutrients. A lot of gluten free snack food doesn’t have much nutritional value. I don’t forbid snack bars, by any means, but I also like to insert nutrition where I can. Ella Woodward is a food blogger who discovered gluten free and plant-based cooking while trying to heal herself from an auto-immune disease.

We’ve made three batches of her Almond and Chia Energy Bites already and we loved the recipe for Avocado Banana Chocolate Pudding (though I believe it tastes more like a chocolate-covered banana than a traditional chocolate pudding). I’ve also loved her Creamy Coconut Porridge (a really pumped up oatmeal with add-ins like almond butter and coconut oil). After a couple of weeks, I’d flipped through this library book enough that I decided to bite the bullet and order a copy myself.

What are you reading? Share in the comments anything good you’ve discovered lately!

Book-worthy