Since I love writing and voicing my opinion about health and fitness, it is important for me to try different things -- at least once.
This can be anything: new foods, workout routines, diet plans, exercise equipment, fitness attire, different workout locations and more. I also know that just because I like something does not mean that it is going to work for everyone and if I don't like something, it still may work for you.
One of the things I tried recently and absolutely love are chia seeds.
A friend of mine, who also loves to run, told me about them about a year ago and said they give her an outstanding amount of energy during her runs.
At the time, I had just injured myself in a fall and was just getting back to walking so it wasn't something I kept in my mind. As I got better and started running again, a co-worker of mine also mentioned chia seeds. She explained that incorporating them into her diet made a big difference in her fitness and health.
So I did some more research and bought a giant bag of my own. Chia seeds are a natural enhancement for athletic performance and are also known as the "running food."
Chia seeds are really high in omega-3 and do an excellent job supporting and promoting a healthy heart, good mental health, healthy skin and hair, healthy immune system, weight loss and joint function and
mobility. They are also very high in antioxidants.
They are also a complete protein, which means that all nine amino acids are present, and gluten-free. One serving is two tablespoons and I do know people that actually just pour the seeds in their mouth and eat them plain.
I prefer them mixed in food and this week I have some easy ways for you to add chia seeds into your everyday meals.
In the morning I usually have oatmeal or a protein shake, sometimes both, and chia seeds can easily be added to either one of those meals. The seeds are flavorless, so they aren't going to alter your meals that way at all.
I add the one tablespoon of chia seeds to my oatmeal after I cook it and to my protein shake before I blend it. The seeds in the protein shake kind of remind me of the seeds from the mixed berries I also add, so the added crunch of seeds doesn't bother me at all.
If it bothers you, add them to your pancake mix with some fresh blueberries and you won't notice them at all. You may not know this, but pancakes are my favorite food -- whole-grain pancakes. I love them because you can jam pack a lot of nutrients and ingredients, but they still taste amazing.
It's not all about chia seeds. There are a lot of heart healthy, nutritious foods out there that people are afraid to try. Want to try chia seeds, but don't want the entire bag? Have a friend split it with you.
Then you can try them together instead of feeling overwhelmed with this giant bag of seeds that some fitness chick named Lunden told you to buy. That's what I did with my mom. I gave her half of my giant bag, and I still have plenty left. I eat them pretty much every day.
Make 2013 the year where you try one new healthy food a month (or a week if you are feeling up the challenge). Chances are you will discover you come across something you really like.
It's the perfect time to step out of the food comfort zone and find ways to give your body all that it needs.
Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.