I can't deny my relationship with food over the years, has been a strained one. I gain weight terribly easily & loathe the feeling when I'm carting about those extra few pounds, with my jeans cutting off the blood supply to my lower half & oh how I hate the site of my face when it fills out. Nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own skin.
Thankfully, I have always been able to lose weight very easily, I simply pack my diet with protein; poached egg on toast for breakfast, sushi for lunch & either mackerel or chicken thighs with salad for dinner. Boom, those pesky pounds drop off within weeks.
Unfortunately, since returning to veganism, consuming high amounts of fat burning protein hasn't been so easy. Although tofu may have, gram for gram, the same amount of protein as red meat, I sadly, am inconveniently intolerant, which means, my body absorbs none of the protein & instead, just bloats out.
So, the horrendous amount of weight I put on in Italy, through excessive pasta/gelato/formaggio/pane eating, was not shifting quite as quickly as I'd hoped, when I came back to England at Christmas for a break. I started to feel a slight wave of despair at my rotund middle & hugging thighs. I had cut out all processed products, cut my sugar consumption down to almost nothing, was eating plenty of raw food, gallons of water & yet, not much was changing.
Attempting not to land myself another eating disorder, I persevered, then one day, mère told me to try Chia Seeds. Sceptical at first, I didn't bother. Then, just before I flew back to Italy, mère bought me a pack. Within a week of consuming them daily, the weight just started to drop off & my energy levels increased tenfold.
Packed full of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins & minerals, these tiny little seeds from South America, are nothing short of being a superfood! They have six times the amount of calcium than milk, provide more omega-3 fatty acids than any fish out there, thrice the iron content of spinach, nine times the phosphorous content of whole milk, double the potassium of bananas, fifteen times the magnesium of broccoli, two times the dietary fiber of bran flakes & nine times more selenium than flax seeds! Phew.
That's not all! When added to water, its complex structure of dietary fiber, absorbs the water & turns into a gel. When this gel gets into your digestive system, it essentially scours & cleans your intestinal tract, improving your body's nutritional absorption & then coats the walls of your intestine, acting as a barrier for any carbohydrates you consume, therefore, slowing down & stabilizing the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. This results in the energy from this sugar lasting longer & being used more efficiently by your body, making it great for people with diabetes. The added benefit of this gel, is that its ability to hold water, makes you feel fuller for longer. Which is great for cutting down on excessive snacking, of which I am eternally guilty of.
I make sure to have two tablespoons a day, which I sprinkle over salads, or mix into my soup. They don't have much taste, just a crunch, so you can pretty much mix them into anything, yoghurts, porridge, even bake with them. Mexicans pour them into their water bottles & drink it down for an energy boost. I tried this method, but have to say, it tasted like frogspawn & so, I wouldn't recommend it.
Available to buy from most health food stores or online through amazon, they are sold by various brands & at differing prices. Mère bought me a 250g bag of organic Chia Seeds from Infinity Foods & as I only have two tablespoons a day, I still have half a bag left after nearly a month. It's best to shop around & get the right size & price.
I am happy to say, that since taking Chia Seeds, my Italian weight & I have parted ways & I can actually breath in my black skinny jeans once again. For an unnoticeable addition to my meals each day, I am now packed to the rafters with all my nutritional needs, which means that I no longer suffer from cravings & go off on snackathons. It has most certainly been a change for the better. Maybe I'll start listening to mère more often.