Two Books That Make Healthy Eating Easier and (Yes!) Fun
Can you spot the missing word in these recipe titles?
Citrus Scallops and _ Veggie Stir Fry. Southwest _ Bean Burgers. Sunny Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip _ Muffins. Gluten-Free Peanut Butter _ Cookies.
Feeling hungry yet? Now that you’re imagining mouth-watering food, I’ll tell you: it’s chia. If you’re already a devotee of this amazing seed, the recipes probably just grew even more appetising. And if you only know a little about this phenomenal food source, here’s a quick summary of why it’s so good.
All about chia
Chia is a relative of the mint plant and is grown in Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Australia and Guatemala. It produces an oil in its stems and leaves that repels pests, meaning it can be grown without the use of pesticides. Its gluten-free seeds are known to have dozens of health-enhancing properties too. Full of antioxidants and fibre, they help to balance blood sugar, prevent diseases such as diverticulitis and diverticulosis, and contain the essential fatty acid omega-3, which lowers hypertension and benefits your heart. It contains large amounts of B vitamins and calcium. It’s hardly surprising that Chia is the Mayan word for strength!
Cooking with chia
The Chia Seed Cookbook, from Skyhorse Publishing and available at the Medicine Wheel, contains over 100 wonderful recipes, including those above. You can learn how to include chia in your cooking for breakfasts, appetisers, snacks, main dishes, sandwiches, desserts and drinks. Using the seeds in cooking is easy: when you combine them with water, they can be used as a replacement for butter or oil. They take on the flavour of whatever ingredients they’re mixed with, so can only enhance the results of your baking.
So, there are many good reasons to add chia to our diet. There are just as many if not more reasons to eliminate a lot of sugar. Do you know that our children consume 28% more sugar than they did only 16 years ago? That’s truly frightening.
Getting our kids off sugar
In the book Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids, physician Jacob Teitelbaum MD and paediatric nutritionist Deborah Kennedy outline studies that reveal children who eat a diet high in sugar are more at risk of many conditions, including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, decreased immune function, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes. At the lower end of the scale, you can include dental cavities, and chronic sinusitis and ear infections.
Worried? We should be! Even mainstays of diets are awash with sugar – for instance, sugary cereals, flavoured milks, juice drinks and burgers. Then there are the obvious sources, such as cookies and lollies.
Removal of sugar can lead to withdrawal-like symptoms and behaviours. Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids gives you a proven 5-step, day-to-day plan for getting and keeping your child off sugar. It’s a tool to help you avoid common pitfalls such as feeling guilt and being on the receiving end of tantrums, while getting your child emotionally as well as physically unhooked from sweet and ‘hidden sugar’ foods. (Note: there’s a ‘grown-up’ version of this book too.)
The Chia Seed Cookbook and Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids are both available at the Byron Medicine Wheel.
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Did you know we have eight qualified massage therapists working at the Byron Medicine Wheel? No matter what your preference when it comes to massage, you can probably find a practitioner to meet your needs. Next time you’re in Byron Bay and looking for a massage for relaxation or pain-relief, or both, drop into the Medicine Wheel.