Thursday, 2 July 2009


So I'm wondering...if I eat chia seeds will I sprout green stuff on the top of my head or on my body??? Things that make you go hmmm...
My friend Tina had mentioned chia seeds to me a few of weeks ago. Or rather she'd asked if I'd heard about them. The seeds? No. Chia pets??? Undoubtedly! I spent the next few hours singing the 'ch-ch-chia!' theme.
Then last week she lent me her book 'Born to Run' by Christopher McDougall. I'm not finished it yet, but so far it is an absolutely brilliant book and I encourage anyone that has anything to do with running to read it.
The gist of it is that the author had killed his feet running. He also noticed the majority of people who took up this wonderful sport also suffered from a variety of injuries...hmmm, can any of us relate right now?! So enter stage left the Tarahumara tribe from the Mexican Copper Canyons. These guys run like the friggin wind and they do so for days. Yes, that's right, DAYS. Even the 90 plus year olds!
Well I'm not going to spoil the rest of the book for you - just go get it. One of the tidbits in this book though are that the Tarahumara drink this stuff called iskiate for energy. It's made up by soaking chia seeds in water, then adding a little honey and a squirt of lime.
Let me get this right...they run for days and get energy from something as simple as a pre-chia pet? Well now I gotta try some of this stuff! I did a bit of research on the web, just for fun, and learned some interesting facts. Apparantly chia seeds have super high concentrations of Omega 3, fibre, protein and a whole host of other goodies. They are nutrient dense but easily digestible and contain no gluten.
If it can work for these guys, it has to work for me!
Turns out my friends Esther and Tina were all over this information. They'd bought some and were testing it out. So I got to as well!
Yesterday Esther and I went for a run, but before we left she gave me a couple of tablespoons of the gel, which forms when you add water to the seeds, and we combined that with a little agave nectar and lemon. It doesn't look like much, well, actually it's kind of snot like with little black bits. The taste was good though - tasted like the lemon we'd squeezed in.
Armed with our chia gel (aka iskiate) we headed out for a 90 minute run. Seeing as we wanted to keep it a chi kind of day, with our chi-a gel and all, we also decided to practice our chi running!
Esther had taken a class in it before, with the same instructor that I will be learning from, so she was able to give me some tips.
What was hilarious was we were like two synchronized chi runners... We'd stop, align our shoulders/hips/feet, align our heads, pull our shoulders back, tuck our arms into 90 degree angles, lean forward and go! Both at the exact same time. I can just imagine what we looked like.
I do think there may be something to this running - the jury is still out yet though. I don't necessarily feel as though there is less impact, however, by having my legs under and behind me, rather than picking up my knee, I do feel it's a bit easier to run. And when I remembered to relax my limbs - as you are supposed to - it felt a little less jarring.
What I did notice was how straight up and down I am when I run my 'normal' way. I did this a couple times to see if I could feel a difference, and I did. My legs could feel the run more too as I then had to pick up my knees.
The run itself was wonderful! We ran along the pathways and followed it to a trail towards the Ranchehouse. As we had a bit more time, when we came to Doctor Fosters road, we decided to cut across and follow this other trail we'd spotted. I think it was on the Fransican Monks property, but I'm not sure.
It was gorgeous in there! We were surrounded by trees and a little stream that went by. All you could hear was the trickle of water and birds singing. It was heaven. On the way back we saw two deer who'd run across the path and stopped to munch on some leaves.
When we'd got back on the trail a teeny snake crossed our paths. Although it was only about 1/2" in diameter and a few feet long, it scared the beejeebers out of Esther and I. I'm not totally afraid of snakes, but take issue when they move super fast. Which it did when we started jumping up and down, running in mid air and squealing. Poor little guy. We probably scared it more than it did us!
We laughed for a long time after that one!
Finally we were back home. I had taken in the iskiate the whole way and enjoyed the taste of it. I did feel hungry when I got to Esthers though so maybe I didn't have enough?? (Although I'm pretty sure there is a story in the book about some explorer dude who had two tablespoons and was able to climb his way out of Copper Canyon in no time after being near death before....) So I don't know. It's worth experimenting more with it. Even if it's not an energy booster for racing, it's still packed with awesome nutrients so still worth gulping down.
Tomorrow I'm heading out for my Lochend Loop ride. This time it will be a solo ride as most folks I know are heading up to Stoney Plain for the Great White North Half Ironman. I will be joining them up there on Saturday and cheering my heart out on Sunday. I expect not to have a voice on Monday...
To all those racing up there have a brilliant day!!
Peace out my chia friends!


  1. see you at stoney chia pet susi!

  2. OK, you need to stick with the Chia 'thing' and keep us posted. If I can run for days on end, that would rock out. Enjoy your ride today.

    Cheering isn't done right unless you've lost your voice.

  3. Now I have the commercial stuck in my head. Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia. Too funny....I'm curious to hear if you continue with the gel (seemed to work).

    Very Interesting Susi!