Chia Star Beverage

Super Seed Your Journey!

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Organize for a Healthy Diet – Be Ready for a Snack AttacK

Be sure to plan for snack attacks – we all get them! Try not to go to long between meals. When you do, it can cause a drop in blood sugar, setting off cravings and causing you to overindulge.   And be sure your hunger is not from being a little behind in your fluid intake…its easy to confuse thirst for hunger.

If you’re craving salty, try some toasted nori sheets, lightly salted nuts and seeds, or olives; if you’re really hungry, a green tipped banana with peanut or almond butter works well, and if you’re in the mood to graze, try hummus with organic rice, veggie sticks, or buckwheat crackers. Try whipping up a smoothie with the milk of your choice, a green apple, and kale.  Of course I’m partial to grabbing a Chia Star – my favorite is an icy cold Lemon Berry. It gives me a boost and hydrates without chemicals or sugars.   Just keep in mind that the food you choose can either be fuel for your body or poison -sounds harsh, but so true.  Stay mindful of what you consume!

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Organize for a Healthy Diet – Reading, Reading, and More Reading….

It does take planning and time to stay on track with healthy eating.  It’s important to set aside time to plan your menu, your shopping list, and to do some cooking in advance.  In addition, submerge yourself in good books that you keep out in the open and marked to favorite pages.  Try to read every morning and evening for at least 10 minutes each time.  This always helps keep what I’m learning and working on in the fore front of my mind.  Make a book list of whatever you think would be good – Dr. Amen, Michael Pollans, Dr. Furhman, Jillian Michaels…there are so many to pick from!  Don’t focus in on whether or not it’s vegetarian or vegan or Paleo…they all have a common thread – non processed foods, low sugar, contained calories, eating organic, Non-GMO – there is so much out there! It’s empowering to be an educated consumer.  Once armed with new knowledge, you can set out to plan.

First, create a list of meals for the week.  Once you have everything planned out, you’ll be less likely to take out or be tempted by a drive thru.

Next up, check your calendar. If you’ll be coming home late or rushing out to get the kids to practice, plan to use left over’s that night or use the crock pot that day.

Schedule a prep day. If you’ll be home for a couple of hours one day, make up soup stocks and bone broths and freeze them.   Cook in big batches – there’s nothing like a big batch of vegetarian chili that can be made in advance and put into smaller containers for the nights you’re really in a time crunch. And it freezes beautifully! Chop up any veggies you need for the week, and plan on making up any dressings or sauces for your dishes.  This is a good time to sprout beans as well. Soak and sprout beans – it’s super easy and makes them more digestible.  (If you’re not familiar with how to soak and sprout beans, you can look online – the technique is the same; the only variable is the time it takes a particular bean to sprout)

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Organize for a Healthy Diet

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The best way to get started or to get back on the path of healthy eating is to first get planned & get organized!  Thorough planning and strategizing can be used to set up your days, your environments and your mind to prepare and set up the elements that you will need to be successful.  Think your life through in detail, and keep adding to your plan as you realize the things that trip you up.    Keep your meal planning simple in the beginning and have quick snacks on hand that give satiety (like nuts and seeds).  This is about a lifestyle change – not a fast weight loss program.   Developing new habits is a key factor in changing the way we eat.

Start with some spring cleaning in your pantry and refrigerator. We’re all guilty of buying comfort food now and again, especially this past winter (it was a rough one to say the least!)  But if it’s not at your fingertips, you can’t eat it. Get rid of anything that doesn’t support a healthy diet and a healthy body.…that means anything processed, anything with high fructose corn syrup, and anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce…if it’s not real food, show no mercy and get rid of it!

Next, purchase storage containers like Oso Fresh to use for leafy greens and other veggies, the silver impregnated boxes will keep your veggies fresh for weeks!  Your fridge should be brimming with vegetables, a critical component of a healthy diet … but they can be time consuming so plan to shop, wash, prep & store all your veggies once a week .  Now salads, stir frys and sautéed veggies are all set to go! 

Pick up some ball jars to store bulk grains, lentils, quinoa, nuts, seeds, etc. If that’s not in the budget, wash out jars you’ve saved and use those.  Keeping your items in clear jars helps keep track of when you run low on a staple food.

Next in our mini series – Timely Tips and Reading!

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A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Body – What are the Elements of Success?

For me, Spring conjures up images of fresh starts and healthy living.  And for some, that sounds easier said than done!  We’ve compiled a few points to get you on the path of successful, healthy eating.

Inspiration, Commitment, Experience, Discipline….Where does this come from? How do we get it? Start by filling your brain with knowledge.  You’ll find this new knowledge will start to influence your food choices and decisions you make about having a healthy body. Start by checking out Michael Pollan, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz, Dr. Amen. Read every day and write out what you’ve learned even if it’s a simple paragraph. Note your insights. Understand the importance our diet has on our entire living experience.

Make a plan and keep it simple…Make a commitment of time to plan your diet for the week and note how your choices will impact your health. Food can be medicine or it can be poison. Plan carefully. Depending on your lifestyle, it can be done on a weekend day, or split over a couple of days.  Just carve out a little time and you’ll be surprised at what you come up with!

Get support…This one is really important! Whether it’s a friend, coworker, or family member, it helps to have someone to journey with. Meet once a week to share the new knowledge you’ve learned, share recipes, tips, head out to the farmers market together. It can even mean shopping and prepping the week’s food, or even cooking together.

Have patience and endurance…It takes a little time for new habits to develop and become a consistent part of who you are. Be gentle on yourself and note the improvements you have made, no matter how small they may seem. They will build over time!

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What other beverage contains as many Antioxidants, Omega 3s, Calcium, Protein, Fiber, and is non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, and Kosher!? 

What other beverage contains as many Antioxidants, Omega 3s, Calcium, Protein, Fiber, and is non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, and Kosher!? 

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Product Certifications – What’s It Mean and Should You Care?

Welcome to the age of product certifications! Pick up a product at the grocery store today and really look at how the labels have changed – you’ll notice all kinds of letters indicating various certifications for that particular product. But what exactly does all that mean to you? Let’s take a look at each one and by the end of this blog, I’m hoping you’ll have a better understanding of each one of them.

Gluten Free Certification:   

This is a big one and it affects millions of people. Gluten is a protein found in foods processed with wheat and it gives elasticity to dough. It’s also found in cosmetics, beer, soy sauce, ketchup – the list is pretty extensive. 

There are 3 organizations that can certify a product as gluten free. The Gluten Intolerance Group (GFCO), the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), and the National Foundaton for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).

The US Food and Drug Administration’s gluten free label requires foods to have a measurement of less than 20 ppm of gluten; the Gluten Intolerance Group and National Foundation for Celiac Awareness tests foods to 10 ppm of gluten, and the Celiac Sprue Association, to 5 ppm of gluten. In addition, these organizations require yearly certifications that include reviewing ingredients, testing the product, and inspecting the manufacturing plants where the product is made.

When a company is applying for a gluten free certification, as a consumer you should know it costs time and money – therefore the companies that seek this certification tend to be very committed to serving the gluten free market.  If a manufacturer has gone to the trouble of being certified, it’s very likely they will adhere to the strict standards once the inspectors have left the building!  Remember to use the certifications as a guideline but use your body’s reaction to the product as the final verdict as to whether or not you can tolerate it.

Vegan Certification:

This shows the product does not contain animal or byproducts that have not been tested on animals.  The vegan logo is administered by “The Vegan Awareness Foundation” which is a 501 © nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about veganism and to help out vegan friendly businesses.  To be vegan, the product must not contain meat, fish, fowl, animal by products (which includes silks or dyes from insects), eggs or egg products, milk or milk products; no animal testing; it must show verification that no animal products were used in manufacturing of ingredients, and that no animal derived GMO’s or genes were used to manufacture the product.

Kosher Certification:

This certification refers to not only a strict compliance with food laws pertaining to cleanliness, purity, and quality, but also refers to a set of laws that detail the types of food a Jewish person may eat  and the ways in which it may be prepared.  There are 3 categories; meat, dairy, and pareve. (what is pareve you ask….foods that are neither meat or dairy – like eggs, fruit, veges, pasta, candies, snacks, etc)

Non-GMO Verified:

This is the big one everyone is talking about and with very good reason!  GMO’s or ‘genetically modified organisms’ are plants or animals created through gene splicing techniques or genetically engineered – in other words, it merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plants, animals, bacterial, or viral genes that do not occur in nature.  The Non-GMO Project is the ONLY third party verification program and label in the United States for non-GMO food and products.  Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified butterfly on the label – it shows strict standards and compliance with transparency and consistency!  Most cereals, snacks bars, cookies, processed lunch meats, and crackers contain large amounts of high risk food ingredients…over 80% of our food contains GMO’s! (I was even floored to learn that fact!) Common GMO foods include soy, cotton, corn, sugar beets, squash, alfalfa, papaya, and canola to name a few.

Organic vs Natural:

Sounds like the two should be synonymous but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Organic food production is regulated by a third party government accredited certifying agency who’s job it is to be sure  farms and processors follow a strict set of federal standards that promote sustainability and that avoid substances that are hazardous to the environment or human health.  The USDA administers and regulates the Organic Seal under the National Organic Program. When you see this label, you know the product contains at least 95% of organically produced and processed ingredients.  A label that reads “100% Organic” contains 100% organic ingredients. “Organic” contains a minimum of 95% of organic ingredients and the remaining 5% are produced using no GMO’s or irradiation.  “Made with Organic Ingredients” means a minimum of 70% of organic ingredients are used while the remaining 30% are produced using no GMO’S or irradiation. 

A “Natural” label, on the other hand, is not regulated. There isn’t a set of standards to adhere to and is used as a marketing tool to try to appeal to health conscious and environmentally aware consumers.  Can you believe foods that contain high fructose corn syrups or GMO’s can be labeled “Natural”? The only time the USDA steps in is when that label is applied to meat, poultry, and eggs. If you see “Natural” on those products, it means it has no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed. Beware though, it does not mean antibiotic or hormone free! (We’ll save that one for another day!)

So be aware, pay attention to the labels on the products you’re purchasing, and support those that go the extra distance to be sure they’re fully certified and transparent to you, the consumer.  Chia Star is dedicated to health and transparency to the consumer, and we’re very proud to display our certifications!

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Artificial Sweeteners – What Do You Need to Know?

I recently attended an event that brought together people interested in general health and wellness and was shocked at how those in the medical community that were present at this event viewed artificial sweeteners.  

We hear so much about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and are encouraged to use artificial sweeteners instead.  But are these any better for you?  The short answer is to avoid them like the plague!  The University of Texas did an 8 year study on diet soda and found a 41% increase in the risk of obesity for every cup of diet soda you drink daily. So much for saving calories! And that’s just the beginning.

The list of health problems linked to these artificial sweeteners are staggering – from cancer, hearing loss, seizures, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, headaches, nausea, depression, fatigue, and weight gain, each one is more toxic than the next and very dangerous to the human body.  And they’re found in over 4000 products – mainly diet or sugar free foods including soda, desserts, sugar-free gum, beverage mixes, baking goods, sweeteners, cereals, breath mints, chewable vitamins, and even toothpaste!

Here’s what you need to know about the three main culprits that are on the market today:

Aspartame: AKA Equal and Nutra-Sweet and come in those little blue packets.  The main chemical found in this product is phenylalanine. There are more complaints to the FDA on Aspartame than any other food additive in existence.  In fact, there are 92 officially recorded side effects according to the FDA.

Sucralose: AKA Splenda and come in the little yellow packets. This one starts off as real sugar but than it’s chemically altered to make it calorie free. Here’s how that’s accomplished….. they add chlorine, methanol (you know this one as antifreeze and windshield washer fluid), acetone (yes, the nail polish remover), benzene (used in oil and gas production), and formaldehyde (wish I was kidding on this one!).  These are all linked to depression, joint aches, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer…the list goes on and on. 

Saccharin: AKA Sweet’N Low and come in the little pink packets.This concoction was created back in the 70’s and has zero food value. It was created by chemists in the lab and contains ammonia among other toxic substances.  The body has no idea what to do with these chemicals.

Also be wary of “all natural” sweetener claims as well. Honey and Agave may seem like a healthier choice, but they are loaded with fructose and many are highly processed.  And it’s the fructose that causes the most harm.

Agave syrup can be considered worse than HFCS because it has higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener, ranging from 70-97% depending on the brand.  HFCS by comparison, averages 55% fructose.  Agave ‘nectar’ or agave ‘syrup’is nothing more than super condensed fructose syrup without a drop of nutritional value. 

Honey averages 53% high fructose, but can be used in moderation especially in its raw form. (very important that it’s ‘raw’) 

Regardless, fructose will cause weight gain by turning off your body’s appetite control system so you eat more and develop insulin resistance.  It also activates a key enzyme that causes cells to store fat. It decreases the good cholesterol (HDL) and increases the bad cholesterol (LDL) along with elevating blood pressure, blood sugar, and trigylcerides. 

So what to do?….stay away from those little blue, yellow, or pink packets of artificial chemicals!  And look at Stevia and Luo Han Kuo as a safe alternative.

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gobeyondyourselftoday asked: This sounds like a great cleanse, more sound than ones I've done in the past ... I'd like to try it - will I have to be near a bathroom all day? Sure sounds like a lot of fiber :)

Sorry for the delayed reply! We just saw your question (new to tumblr:)

No worries on that ‘end’ - gel fibers are very gentle and act as a coagulant rather than a stimulant - they are soft and gel like and form beautiful bowels - you will be pleasantly surprised!

Good luck on the cleanse, please write us with anymore questions or feedback

Thank you for your support
Sara