Category Archives: flax seeds

Healthy Energy Drinks

It’s an all too true reality of life, noon comes and goes and takes with it your productivity and attention span. That’s when we reach for those liquid cures in hopes of actually getting some work done before the sun goes down. Be it your fifth cup of coffee, a fizzy sugary soda pop or the magic energy potion in the shiny metal can.

So I got to thinking, is there a way to get passed that afternoon sleepy slump without the sugar/caffeine? Well try these substitutes and see for yourself.

The Fire and Rain – 3-4 8oz glasses throughout the day

  • filtered water
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Sleep is the best thing you can do for you body in terms of keeping it functioning at optimum levels. But, let’s face it between work, family and friends and keeping up with hobbies, getting 7-8 hours every night is next to impossible. Staying hydrated is the next best thing and this drink will help you in this endeavor. It’s just water with a squeezed lemon slice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The lemon adds flavor and is alkaline, which helps your body maintain a healthy pH level. The cayenne pepper helps raise energy levels naturally and provides protection for your heart by helping to maintain proper cardiovascular movement throughout the body.

The Elixir Vitae – as needed, during the day, not before bed

  • hot water
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug. Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug. Add spices, fill your mug with hot water and stir.

This delicious drink is the closest thing to a non-caffeine/refined sugar pick me up. Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation. It also aids in the digestive process which can help stave off the post lunch coma that contributes to the afternoon slump. Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels. And Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Honey is mother nature’s equivalent of an energy shot and is one of the best kinds of sugars for your body.

The Preemptive Measure  – 1 glass in the morning

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds or 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop of high quality whey protein powder (low sugar content)
  • 2 washed kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup milk of choice

A deficit of protein in your die is often the reason for fatigue. A morning protein shake is a really easy and delicious way to make sure that you’re starting the day off well fueled. Pair this with a piece of whole grain toast and you have everything you need to give you a solid energy foundation for the day.

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Seed Showdown: Comparing Flax, Chia and Hemp

It’s Food Fun Friday and what’s more fun than talking about seeds? I can’t think of anything. It started with flaxseeds, and now that hemp and chia seeds are prominent players in the health food market I think it’s time to compare and contrast the benefits of these superfoods. It’s time for a Seed Showdown.

Here’s a Venn diagram

aaaaaand a table.

and now for some words…

Chia

Remember the “Ch-ch-ch-chia Pet“? Well these seeds are the same thing only you aren’t going to grow them into a cute hedgehog, you’re going to eat them. Chia, Salvia hispanica is a plant, which belongs to the mint family. It was so highly recognized by the Aztecs that it was often used as currency. It contains high levels of antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and iron. Studies show that chia has enormous potential to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. It can lower blood sugar (glucose) after a meal, reduce inflammation and blood pressure, help maintain hydration and is a natural blood thinner.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/eating-chia-seeds/story?id=18296119

My tip: fill a liter bottle with juice, tea, flavored water or lemonade and add 3 tablespoons. Shake every 5 minutes and enjoy throughout the day.

Flax

Flax or Linum usitatissimum is in the Linaceae familyHippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains, and the French Emperor Charlemagne favored flax seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption. Flax contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), dietary fiber, and lignans.

http://positively-healthy.com/a-beginners-guide-to-flaxseed/

My tip: Add 2 tablespoons to a glass of almond milk and drink within 30 minutes (or the milk will start to thicken). Flax is also well suited for baking, add 1 tablespoon to any recipe when you add flour.

Hemp

HempCannabis sativa L. and other non-drug varieties of Cannabis, commonly known as hemp were not previously commonly cultivated, but are becoming more popular. Technically hemp seeds are the nut of the plant. A diet rich with hemp has been shown to lead to increased energy, improved metabolism and immunity, reduced food cravings, and it can help lower blood pressure. Hemp also contain plant sterols that have been shown to reduce cholesterol.

**Interesting plant nerd side note** Two of Boulder’s favorite pass times find there origin in the Cannabaceae family: hops and hemp. #TheMoreYouKnow #DoHashtagsWorkHere?

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2013/05/26/raw-tabouli-salad-with-hemp-seeds/#i.1cj27pxv9fjy

My tip: Add 1 tablespoon to smoothies, 1 tablespoons to oatmeal, 1 tablespoon to everything you eat, ever.

Definitions

Lignans – antioxidant compounds found in plants that seem to provide extra protection against many types of cancer, are anti-inflammatory, and may also help lower cholesterol levels.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – anti-inflammatory. Read more about the importance of balancing omega-3s and omega-6s 

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber – Put simply soluble fibers (those found in chia and flax) absorb water, helping to slow the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from foods, while insoluble fibers (those found in hemp) do not. Read more here.


I hope that clears up some of the confusion if there was any. My conclusion: all of these seeds can be beneficial additions to your diet and can be used in so many ways so, if the budget allows, having them all on hand is a good idea. If you have to choose just one, the price for flax can’t be beat, hemp is probably the most well-rounded health option and chia is a very fun alternative to try.

Did I miss anything? What is your favorite way to eat these healthy seeds?