Super food: Chia Seeds

Hello all!

I’ve got another super food today! This time around its the chia seeds. I’m sure you see me mentioning and using chia seeds in the recipes on my blog but do you know that they are in fact a super food and have many many benefits.

What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are little black seeds which come from the plant ‘Salvia Hispanica’. Whilst they have only come into popularity within the last few year, chia seeds have been for a long time for health benefits.

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Why are they a super food?

Because for such a small amount, you get a whole lot of nutrients. Chia seeds are high in these main things:

      1. Antioxidants: Like the acai berry, chia seeds contain lots of antioxidants which help with preventing ageing and fighting off diseases.
      2. Omega 3: Chia seeds contain more Omega 3 Fatty acids than salmon! However there is a condition there. These fatty acids are harder to break down compared to the more important fatty acid ALA which fish like salmon has. So be careful there.
      3. Fiber (11 grams per 2 tablespoons): Chia seeds are 40% fiber! And they make up most of the carbs in chia seeds!
      4. Protein (4 grams per 2 tablespoons): Chia seeds contain 2 times more protein than any other seed. Protein can assist in weight loss by reducing appetite
      5. Calcium: Chia seeds have 5 times more calcium than milk. This is great for people who don’t eat dairy.

How can you eat it?

There are many ways you can eat chia seeds. They can be eaten raw, put in things like smoothies, drinks, salads and oats. However because of all the fiber, chia seeds can grown and expand when absorbed with water. That’s 10-12 times its size in water! Because of that, they are also great to make overnight oats or pudding with and makes it much more digestible!

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Whats the downside? 

Chia seeds don’t come cheap, they can get pretty pricey. Being branded as a super food doesn’t help either. It can cost up to $15 – $20 for a 500 gram bag, from Woolworths.

Mens Fitness
Authority Nutrition  
The stone soup 

Remember if you want to ‘Think like a beast, have your morning feast!’

E.C

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Easy recipes for students!

I cant say I’m a particularly great cook, but I’m a good enough cook. Hey who am I kidding, I cant cook. I can fry an egg and I think that’s a great achievement for me! In saying that, as much as I want to make fantastic complicated looking breakfasts, I cant. I need recipes that were made for people like you and me, made for students, who might not have the necessary skill or time.

Whether you can cook or not, there are some days where you just want to make something simple for breakfast, something that doesn’t require many ingredients or a lot of skill and time.

I have complied a list of breakfast recipes for whenever you are not in the mood to cook.

Wholemeal French Toast:
seventeen

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1 egg
½ cup skim milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon, to your taste
Nonstick cooking spray
¼ tablespoon butter (optional), plus extra for serving
2 slices whole wheat bread
Syrup (optional)

Its really as simple as mixing the eggs and butter, dipping the bread into the mixture and frying it off!

Paleo Pancakes:
aspicyperspective

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3 large ripe bananas
6 eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour
Coconut oil for frying

These pancakes are so easy to make, and plus they are guilt free pancakes!!

Sweet potato and eggs:
edibleperspective

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2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil, or ghee
1 medium/large sweet potato or yam, washed + ends cut
3 large eggs
shredded goat cheddar cheese, or other sharp cheese
salt + pepper

Feel like a hash brown? Well why not try this twist! Easy and simple to make!

Classic egg sandwich:
greatist

EggSandwich_0

Handful of spinach
2 eggs
Salt + Pepper
Cheddar cheese
2 Wholemeal muffins or toast

Eggs on toast, cooked the way you like! How can it get simpler?

Remember if you want to ‘Think like a beast, have your morning feast!’

E.C

No time to cook in the morning? No fear, read here!

If you are anything like me, getting up is already hard enough, let alone getting up early enough to make breakfast. What is the solution then? Make it the night before, or better yet, prepare for the whole week!

The two most popular overnight breakfasts include oats and chia seeds.

Oats

Oats are very easy to prepare but the time it takes to boil them can take more time than you have in the morning. That is why many people cook the oats overnight and just heat them up in the morning. Not only that, the oats quality will not decrease over the week if put in the fridge, then should remain the same soft and creamy texture when reheated! If you are feeling extra lazy, cook enough for the week and just separate them into jars! Oats can also be combined with such a large variety of things such as fruit, nuts, jam, honey and milk. That means that you don’t have to be eating the same thing everyday!

The Kitchn does a great recipe for creating overnight oats for the week!

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Ingredients

1 2/3 cups steel-cut oats
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional Mix-Ins

Milk or soy milk
Cinnamon or other spices
Raisins or other dried fruit
Fresh berries
Nuts or seeds
Jam
Honey

Chia

The reason using chia seeds are so popular for overnight breakfasts is that the seeds expand overnight. Chia seeds will expand multiple times when soaked in things like water or milk, this helps with feeling fuller for longer but also helps with your digestive track. This is because the seeds develop a gelatinous coating when soaked, allowing for easier travel through your body.

Guess what, its mango season again! What better way to celebrate then having mangoes in your breakfast. It will give it such a fresh and exciting taste!

Popsugar has this amazingly simple recipe for chia seeds overnight! Check it out!

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1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk, depending on preference
1/2 tablespoon honey

Just soak the seeds overnight and you are done!! Whats more, the seeds are similar to oats in a way that you can add whatever toppings you like on it! Don’t like mango? No worries, just add some strawberries!

But what if you don’t like oats or chia?

Breakfast frittatas is another food that is tasty warm or cold and can be made the night before!

bon appetit has an amazing broccoli and sausage frittata which would go perfectly in the morning!

sausage-and-broccoli-rabe-frittata

12 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup grated cheddar, divided
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ medium onion, chopped
½ pounds fresh Spanish chorizo or hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 bunch broccoli rabe, coarsely chopped

Or try these banana smoothie muffins by Popsugar!

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3 ripe bananas
2 cups packed baby spinach
8 strawberries
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Remember if you want to ‘Think like a beast, have your morning feast!’

E.C

How eating breakfast has changed my life

I’ve never really been a regular breakfast eater, don’t get me wrong I’ve always tried my best to grab something to eat before leaving the house, but it was always something very very little. Like a piece of bread. So whilst I might have had “breakfast”, it was never really a full meal. Boy was I missing out.

I went on holidays recently to the Gold Coast. I stayed at a hotel and in order to save money and time we paid for the breakfast buffet at the hotel. There were your eggs, bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, buttermilk pancakes, selection of fruits, yogurt, oats, selection of cereals, wholegrain toast, white toast, you name it! I made sure to eat really full at breakfast, partly because I had to get my moneys worth!, but because I knew i had a busy day ahead.11262567_1489012201394317_2119567815_n

I literally did not feel hungry until the late afternoon on those days. Besides from having plenty of water and maybe one or two other drinks, I didn’t have any snacks in between breakfast and lunch. Looking back at those days, it was actually quite amazing. I was full enough to last me until lunch and not once did I feel like I lacked energy.

It was 3 days of waking up at 7:30, eating at 8 and i could not believe the difference such a short period of regular full breakfast eating helped! It was great, and it really did save us heaps of money and time!

  • Like clockwork, we would wake up at 7:30 to get ready to eat at 8. Allowing us more time in the day as opposed to sleeping in.
  • We didn’t need to spend any extra money on food and snacks to keep up occupied during the day. Plus its a buffet and i definitely ate my moneys worth!

The result? I had so much fun!

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Breakfast really gives you that boost of energy that you need for the day. There are the days where I go to work and all I had was a little bit of toast. I feel the difference between having breakfast and not having breakfast. I get super tired and sleepy and there should be no reason for that. I slept early the night before yet I was still tired. All because I chose to skip out on breakfast. Same for at school, hunger was always a distraction for me. If i was hungry, that’s all I would think about, making sure that my stomach didn’t growl too loudly in class!

If i had known this earlier in my life, I would definitely have changed my habits way back in high school!

You know your parents always tell you to eat breakfast and you’re always hearing how important it is, but you don’t really believe. I was like that, but this accidental regular eating of breakfast really changed my mind.

So I encourage all of you to try the same, set aside a couple of days where you have a full breakfast everyday and see what kind of results you get!

Remember if you want to ‘Think like a beast, have your morning feast!’

E.C

Don’t let milk spoil your breakfast! Lactose Free breakfast ideas!

Many people are lactose intolerant, i know all too well because my sister and i have the same problem! (not so bad for me though!) Looking at the many breakfast recipes, there is almost always a dairy product there. Then we always get a fear that eating this or eating that will cause us stomachaches later in the day. (We stay clear of dairy well before an exam! That would be worse case scenario!)bottle-841433_1280

There are many substitutes available for dairy products. For milk you could substitute for soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. There are also diary free cheeses that are made from almond, soy and rice.
Not forgetting yogurt, there are also alternatives made from rice and soy. (fitday) For butter, there is something called ‘ghee’ which Indian butter which has little to no lactose! (livestrong)

Here are some breakfast ideas to get you started!

Classic omelette 
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2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
2 organic eggs
2 tablespoons of sparkling water (substitute with tap water)
salt and pepper
Fillings of your choice*

Baked eggs with spinach and toast
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100g bag spinach
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 eggs

Vanilla Chia Pudding with fruit
godairyfree

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1 cup lite coconut milk
¼ to ⅓ cup white chia seeds (can sub black chia)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Buddha’s hand or lemon zest
Generous pinch salt
2 tablespoons sweetener of choice, or to taste
¼ cup water, or as needed
Cut fruit of choice

Remember if you want to ‘Think like a beast, have your morning feast!’

E.C

Breakfast can Control Snacking Habits

Its a classic scene. You didn’t eat breakfast in the morning, its too early to have lunch and you are starving. You walk by a vending machine and what do you see? A chocolate bar that looks oh so tasty. Your brain fights your stomach, its so bad for you but you’re so hungry so the stomach wins and here you are snacking on a chocolate bar to fulfill your hunger.  6351053972_89e5aa0e14_m                                                                          (Gary Knight)

Skipping breakfast can lead to unhealthy eating habits later in the day. You are so hungry by the time its lunch that you overeat and snack more often than you would like to admit. During these times you are more likely to reach out the sugary and fatty foods such as chocolate and chips, which may give you a temporary energy boost but it will not last you very long. It would also increase your calorie intake much more, which could have been avoided by having breakfast.

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Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast, but in particular a high protein breakfast, can help control these cravings during the day. It was found that those who ate a high protein breakfast were less hungry and were fuller compared to those who just at a regular breakfast. Furthermore, the participants had brain scans done and the high protein breakfast eaters were found to show less activity in the areas that controlled food motivation. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Leidy, H)

If you think that eating a high protein breakfast might be a slow effect, then you are wrong, according to Leidy, it takes only 3 days of high protein breakfast eating for your snacking habits to adjust. Only 3 days! (Siddique, A)

Try these for more protein:

  • Eggs and meat
  • Milk
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Beans

Remember if you want to ‘Think like a beast, have your morning feast!’

E.C

Superfood: Acai Berry

You’ve probably heard all about these super foods that have become such fashion in the food industry these day. But what do we know about these super foods? What does it really help? A super food is described as a food whose health nutritional value greatly exceeds that of its calories.

This week i will talk about Acai Berries and Bowls.

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What is Acai? Acai Berries are found in Brazil and have high nutritional value and are well worth the hype. They are high in fibre, amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamin and minerals, which help with muscle development, digestion, heart health and more. However, what they are known for are their antioxidants. They are high on the list of foods that contain antioxidant, nearing to the top of the list and well above any other berry. Antioxidants help fight ageing, prevent diseases and contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Acai Berries are high in antioxidants called polyphenols and anthocyanins. These antioxidants provide vitality and are good for the heart and cholesterol control. (Victoria Health and The Healthy Chef)

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Not only does the Acai Berry have a whole lot of benefits, it also taste great! It is perfect for breakfast, as you can combine it with oats, fruits, nuts and many more, creating different flavours daily!

Here is a recipe to get you started with Acai!
Breakfast Criminals:

Classic Acai Bowl | Breakfast Criminals

Ingredients to Blend: (makes 2 large bowls)

  • Sambazon unsweetened acai smoothie packs
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 ripe banana (use the dotty ones!)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tsbp chia seeds

Topped with:

Remember if you want to “Think like a beast, have your morning feast!”

E.C

Breakfast on the go!

You’re a student, you’re late for school…again. With our busy schedule, its no wonder many students go to school without breakfast. Fear not! I have found some breakfast which you can grab and go, and not be late to school! (Because you cant wait to get there and learn, right?)

Peanut Butter, Strawberry, & Banana Quesadillas
ambitiouskitchen:

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Cooking spray or butter
2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
2 whole grain tortillas
1 large ripe banana, sliced
4-5 strawberries, sliced
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (if desired)

Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake
Onesweetmess:

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1 frozen banana (no substitute)
1/2 cup light vanilla or chocolate almond milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon agave or honey

Almond Butter, Yogurt, and Fruit Parfait
realsimple:

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3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup halved grapes
3 strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped roasted almonds

Black Bean Breakfast Burrito
fitnessmagazine:

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1 and 2 egg whites
1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 small whole-wheat tortilla

Remember if you want to “Think like a beast, have your morning feast!”

E.C

Breakfast and Academics

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Eating breakfast has been linked to better academic performance and cognitive function. How? Simple, the brain needs energy to function, like everything else in your body. Skipping breakfast deprives energy from the brain. Everything that the brain controls then suffers as a consequence of that.

Students who do not eat a regular breakfast and go to school hungry are found to be more restless and disruptive during school thus affecting their learning experience. I mean if you’re hungry, you aren’t going to be thinking of anything other than that sandwich at the bottom of your bag!

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There have been many studies, in particular from the National Institute of Nutrition, to show that having a regular breakfast can increase cognitive function. This includes concentration, attention, mathematics, reading ability, memory and grades. There are even studies to show that those who ate breakfast made less mistakes in standardized tests and mathematics. Anything to help with maths, am i right?

In this study by Wesnes et al, there were four groups tested, two with breakfast, one with a glucose drink and the other with no breakfast. Not surprisingly the groups which at breakfast showed an improvement in attention and memory over the other two groups. However s urprisingly, by the time it was noon, the cognitive function of the breakfast eaters increased while the non eaters and glucose drinker’s cognitive function was almost half of the breakfast eaters!

It is even more important for children and teenagers to have a regular breakfast as their brains are still growing. The brain needs enough energy supplied to the brain in order for it to grow and develop properly. A study shows that the brain doesn’t really stop growing until late adolescence, around 16 to 18 years.

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Besides from grades and academics which are improved, having breakfast means having more energy in the day to be active. This means that students are more likely to participate in activities such as sport, other physical activity or social interactions.

Overall, both academics and physical activity in a student can be greatly increased by having that first meal of the day before school.

Remember if you want to “Think like a beast, have your morning feast!”

E.C

4 High in Fiber Breakfasts Meals!

Having a high fiber and carbohydrate rich breakfast can help you increase your energy levels for the day!

Here are four meals for breakfast which are high in fiber:

Oatmeal: 

oatmeal

RedbookMag:

1/2 cup cooked oats
Milk of your choice
2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon chia
1 fruit.

Cinnamon and vanilla extract to taste.

Wholemeal Bread:

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Popsugar:

2 slices whole-wheat bread
2 tablespoons almond butter (peanut butter is also fine)
1 banana, sliced

Chia seeds:

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Thejollybeetroot:

1 1/2 cups (360ml) non-dairy milk (rice, oat, almond, coconut etc)
5 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maple syrup (or more/less, depending on your taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Your choice of topping(s) – I like blueberries, raspberries, coconut, pistachios, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, whipped coconut cream, chopped dates and/or goji berries.

Breakfast Cereals:

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FoodWatch:

Sanitarium Weet-Bix
Uncle Toby’s Vita-Brits

Remember if you want to “Think like a beast, have your morning feast!”

E.C