Cheers to Chia Seeds

Omega 3 is the buzz word these days. And for good reason. It helps fuel every cell in your body including your brain and heart, while lubricating your joints and helping build lean muscle tissue. I love chia seeds because it is full of it!

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These tiny little seeds that look like frog spawn when soaked in water also absorbs 16 times its weight in liquid, making them really filling (think of the room these are going to take in your stomach) and full of nutrients.

To eat them, I’ve been soaking them overnight in filtered water. I then add them to my smoothie or juice in the morning.

Despite looking a bit slimy and gross, don’t be put off. They don’t taste of anything, yet will provide Omega 3, fibre and protein (which contains all eight essential amino acids), vitamins and antioxidants to power your body.

As well as adding to my juices, I’ve also tried making a breakfast chia seed pudding by simply tossing together chia seeds, coconut milk, blueberries, shredded coconut and sliced almonds in a bowl and letting it sit overnight in the fridge -it’s lovely and so filling and easy to eat!  It’s good for my growing baby too!
The omega 3 is great for a supporting my placenta, while the complete protein is essential for every cell in your baby’s body. The fibre helps things run smoothly too, especially as constipation can be very common in pregnancy.

Here are some more ways to include chia seeds in your diet;

Breakfast
Add a tablespoon of soaked seeds into any fruit or green smoothie, stir them into your porridge, sprinkle on top of granola or spoon them into nut butter  then spread the mix on toast, oat cakes or rice cakes. I sometimes add chia seeds to beaten eggs before I scramble them too. I love adding them to a Sunwarrior Protein shake too with 1/2 a frozen banana and some cinnamon.

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Lunch  and Dinner
Add them to either your salad or soup or if you’re having some brown rice or quinoa pop in some seeds just as it finishes cooking and give it a good stir. you won’t even notice them there!

Dessert
Stir into your yogurt or my favorite CO YO – a lovely creamy coconut milk yogurt, make a chia seed pudding like the one above or if you are making flapjacks or oat cookies, stir them into the mixture before cooking.

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What I eat for breakfast – my green goodness smoothie

Yesterday I went and saw my mid-wife she asked me how my diet was looking and seemed pretty impressed with my breakfast (and other meals for that matter). My juice is mainly bright green and full of vitamins, minerals and good fats. She definitely approved!

One juice I have most mornings is my turbo green juice.

It’s basically 1 x apple, a handful of kale, an inch of ginger, some cucumber, 3 stalks of celery and a lime or lemon.

I then blend it with some ice cues, a cup of water, a tablespoon of Lucy Bees’ coconut oil and a scoop of Bodyism’s Beauty Food. 

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I love adding coconut oil to my breakfast as it helps fill me up for longer and contains large amounts of lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of my growing baby. Coconut oil is also said to to increase the quality of the womb environment and breast milk – both things that are absolutely vital to me right at 19 weeks pregnant.

If I’m being extra indulgent and want to make my juice nice and creamy I will also add 1/2 an avocado or a dollop of CO YO, a dairy-free yogurt made with real coconut milk. It’s a real treat!

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It’s weird. These days I wouldn’t even think about having cereal or toast. I wake up in the morning craving the goodness of this juice. It sets me up nicely for the day and the benefits of it are evident. My irons levels are super high, I don’t suffer with lack of energy or constipation like many pregnant women at this stage in their pregnancy and I’m getting plenty of green, vitamin rich food even though i don’t fancy eating it as a meal. I’ve really gone of meat and veggies since finding out I’m pregnant and this is a great way of filling up on my greens without gagging 🙂

 

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Maca Power – Magic Baby Dust?

Have you ever heard of Maca powder? I hadn’t either until I read a book that sang its praises for helping to boost fertility.

So guess what – I went and got some and started added it to my daily morning smoothies and  sprinkling it on my granola and yogurt. Whenever I had the chance it was in my food and working it’s magic.

Maca is basically a root-like cruciferous vegetable from the Andes of Peru. It grows in some of the harshest farmlands in the world, where the soil is rich in volcanic minerals, experiencing freezing temperatures, fierce winds and intense sunlight .

It contains 31 different minerals and 60 different phytonutrients,and is extremely nourishing  for the endocrine system, aiding both the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands (all vital for fertility and hormone balance.)

It also has adaptogenic properties, which means it helps to strengthen the body so it is able to better resist disease and stress, support the adrenal glands and balances the body’s functions.

This wonder-food has been scientifically researched for the use of increasing fertility since 1961 and has been shown to contain specific compounds called glucosinolates which directly can affect fertility for both men and women.

I must admit I stopped taking it as soon as I found out I was pregnant because there have been no studies on the use of maca during pregnancy and as a safety precaution most manufacturers state that their supplements should not be used during pregnancy – it’s not worth the risk. But I’m pretty certain that this superfood really helped me regenerate my body and get everything back working again.

It has a bit of a taste to it – but it can be well hidden in smoothies etc so why not give it a go?

As always, I would recommend speaking to your GP if you are on any medication and treatment as you don’t want it to interfere with anything – just a safety measure – but you should be fine.

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