I don't know about you, but my life is a series of lurches from this right way to that right way. In a sense I'm lucky, because unlike some people I haven't got stuck in one rigid belief system—belief about anything at all, you understand—but always seem ready to receive the next piece from the next person who catches my attention.
This openness (some might call it inconsistency and a lack of rigor) operates on many levels: I'll take up the piano again. No, I won't. Shall I eat more flax seed? No, flax was superseded by quinoa, which has now been shoved aside by chia seeds. Childhood religion moved to no religion and then to awakening spirituality and on to the quasi-Buddhist cafeteria that seems to serve me now. Or wait, what was that about the goddess?
Let's talk about chia seeds first, that being less controversial than, say, religion. You remember chia. Chia pets, those white ceramic heads or animals with grooves into which you sprinkled chia seeds and then watched as the seeds sprouted (watering takes place, too), making green hair appear on the head, green fur on the animal shapes. All the rage in the–whenever. Early 60's? It was a pretty lame fad and I'm proud to say I never had a chia pet.
Chia has been on the farthest back burner since then. Certain health foodies, I'm sure, have espoused its value, but in such a low-key manner that I never heard about it.
But recently a book has come out that may do for chia what the Canadian sisters' book Quinoa has done for quinoa. The two books are similar: many pages on the history and health benefits of the product, then a large section of recipes. By giving concerned consumers all this information in one place, the books greatly increase the likelihood that curious people will start buying the product. Now might be a good time to invest in the chia seed market.
An interesting fact I learned from Chia: a marathon runner often (while racing) slaps a tablespoon of chia seeds into his mouth, chews, and washes it all down with lots of water. The chia seeds provide the energy and stamina a marathon runner needs to finish the race (and presumably to win). And if he gets bored running he can focus on dislodging errant seeds from between his teeth.
Personal testimony: intrigued by the book's claim, we bought a couple of cups of chia seeds and began adding a tablespoon to each meal. I had been in the doldrums for months and was worried about my lack of energy, my willingness to ignore the things I could have been doing in favour of sitting and then sitting some more. The day after my first dosings of chia seeds, I hopped to it, put up fence ornaments in the back yard that have been in the basement for three years waiting for me to have the energy to collect the vintage hand drill, the ornaments, an assortment of screws, and screwdrivers to fit the various screw heads (Phillips, Robertson, and slot). Within an hour, I had transformed our fence into kitsch or art, depending on your taste. I then went on, that day, to complete half a dozen other projects I'd been avoiding.
When my husband and I compared our day's activities, we found that the chia seeds had had the same energizing effect on him.
So now it's bye-bye quinoa, good morning chia. Rather, I'll be using both. Who knows what other effects the chia seeds will have? (They are very rich in Omega 3s and fiber in addition to protein.) They are tasty—or at least tasteless and crunchy. They do tend to stick in your teeth, but we're supposed to floss after meals anyway, aren't we?
I could go on and on about chia seeds, but instead I'll suggest you look at the book and make up your own mind.
See, that's where I'm really going with this idea: it's all about making up your own mind. I suppose I've taken numerous wrong turns along the way, but the whole process has been a learning experience. Even my current approach to life (whether chia seeds or the Buddhist cafeteria) may be –probably will be—supplanted next year by something else. In the meantime, however, I'm off and running!