Get On the Chia Seed Bandwagon…

(…before The Man Makes Them Illegal)

I am a capricious person.  I will, for no good reason, decide that unknown, untried objects/persons/events are either acceptable or not acceptable.  Which “explains” why I dislike the entire state of California (despite never having been there and marrying someone who lived there for a fair portion of his childhood), but think that Zorb is the best touristy activity known to man (again, despite never having been in a Zorb nor knowing anyone who has).

I’m fine with this personality trait.  I find it endearing.  Other people, probably not so much.

Like poor Ken.  He’d gone on a “The Shocking Awful Truth About Every Food Item You Put In Your Mouth” documentary kick a while back, and started coming home from the health food store on a daily basis, wielding some new, exotic health food.

I immediately hated everything he brought home.

Nope, didn’t even need to know what it was.

I particularly hated these things called “chia seeds” that he came home with, going on and on about how they were this amazing energy source, high in amino acids and vitamins blah, blah, and blah.

I immediately hated them, and refused to touch them.  I justified this through Ken’s description of the seeds, which he said become “gelatinous” when wet.

He lost me at “gelatinous”.

Plus, he’s a weirdo wannabe hippy who is the only person in the world willing to ingest something dubbed “Aztec Superfood”.  Please.  The Aztecs?

But then, a day later, Grace over at Camp Patton posted this about chia seeds!  Since my knowledge of Grace is extensive (read:  I stalk her blog hourly and will continue to do so until the law comes up with blogstalker restraining orders), I know that she’s no wannabe Aztec hippy.  I thought maybe- maybe– I would reconsider my initial assessment of the things and give them a try.


Ash Wednesday came, and for the 10 millionth time since converting, I was pregnant for it.  I always feel like a slacker when it comes to the Church’s extremely gentle fasting obligations, so I thought I’d give the chia seeds a chance to prove that they were worthy of the “Aztec Superfood” status by putting them in the smoothie I made for one of my small meals of the day.

I tried following Grace’s recipe, but, as my exhaustingly detailed email to her later that day shows, I made several changes:

This morning, since I was trying really hard to actually observe the fast and not play the pregnancy card if it wasn’t absolutely necessary, decided to try chia seeds in a smoothie for my “breakfast”.

We had a jug of odwalla superfood (that disgusting-looking green stuff that resembles post-binge fallout), so I used 2 cups of that, 3 carrots, 2 servings of chia seeds (this gourmet delight was for Ken, myself, and whatever minions were brave/stupid enough to try it), a cup of organic vanilla yogurt, and probably 7 chunks of fresh pineapple that I found in the fridge and have no clear idea of where they came.
Remembering your instructions on throwing the seeds in the juice for a bit to let them gel, I threw the seeds in the the juice to let them gel.  Then about 40 seconds later, I was tired of letting them gel, so I chucked everything else in there and blended away.
The results were unlike any smoothie I’ve previously made.  It was kind of like drinking runny, mushy apple sauce out of a glass.  The texture was unpleasant, but the taste was tolerable, mostly because I told Ken that if he so much as LOOKED in the direction of his vile protein powder I was going to put his hand in the blender.
Ok, so that was the recipe.  Here were the results:
All day, I’ve felt energized.  Which, considering I’m old and pregnant and lazy, could absolutely not be attributed to a placebo effect.  But here’s the problem.  While the chia seeds give me a ton of energy, so much so that I’m convinced that today would be a good day to turn over all the earth in the garden AND expand said garden by six feet, the chia seeds did NOT change the fact that I’m 36, and pregnant with my 6th child in 10 years.  
In other words, those stupid seeds had me writing checks my body couldn’t cash.  So now my poor children are going to suffer when I make then rub my dirty, foul feet for a million years while I convince myself I’m NOT going to die today.  Or go into labor.
As far as my astounding anthropological background can figure- these seeds were the responsible force behind the Aztecs’ disgusting human sacrifice problem.  Do you have any idea how exhausting it probably is to sacrifice ONE living person a year?  And these folks were able to knock off 10,000 each year.  Sounds like the horrifying effects of chia seeds to me.
To sum up:  I’m TOTALLY going to have another chia smoothie tomorrow.  Those things are freakishly effective!

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Cari Donaldson lives on a New England farm with her high school sweetheart, their six kids, and a menagerie of animals of varying usefulness. She is the author of Pope Awesome and Other Stories, and has a website for her farm, Ghost Fawn Homestead.

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