Friday, August 20, 2010

Iskiate & brain health

Recently my son-in law sent a text asking where I get my Chia seeds? . . . I replied our health food store carries them - over in the seeds for sprouting section. When I was at their house a few days later, I noticed a recipe for Iskiate posted on the fridge, & when I got home I made a batch - yum!
  • 8 oz water
  • 2 T whole chia seeds
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (maple syrup, honey...)
Mix together & let sit 5-10 minutes. You can experiment with the liquid; coconut milk, sun tea, water kefir . . .

Matt's a runner, & recently hired as the Assistant Track Coach for the HS (he also manages the local Starbucks) - sounds like he'd been seeking a more 'natural' high electrolyte recharge drink - this is a great one! Inexpensive & easy to make it yourself.

Another friend recently mentioned the book Born To Run, about the Tarahumara Indians 'a Meixcan group of super-athletes,' & how they run barefoot. They also drank Chia Fresca or Iskiate; which has been making the 'circuit' in the running world since the book's publication. Today I picked up some Grade B Maple Syrup to use instead of sugar (I've also used a bit of honey or agave nectar) & here's another 'take' on the recipe.
I sometimes use ~ 1/4 C of my water kefir in the mix, I tend to drink more of my coconut milk kefir, so it's nice to find a new use for the water kefir! Already tart, & with herbs added in a second 'culture,' the water kefir is also high in probiotics.
Chia seeds are high-fiber, omega-3, high-protein, antioxidant, & anti-diabetic. Myelin, the 'white matter' of the brain, is the insulation that surrounds the brain & nerve axions. Omega 3 oils support the recovery & regrowth (re-myelination) of the myelin!

This week I was invited to a talk
on keeping our brains healthy as we age, by Roger Anunsen. I felt lucky to get a 'booster shot' from this expert on keeping our brains flexible & alert. This was an hour long overview of 'what's new' & a refresher on the info he presented last year. Roger is working on web casts, as he constantly seeks new info on optimizing brain health! He comments that he & a few others are working on translating the research into 'plain English' so more of us can access & utilize the info! The 'cogwheels' that support brain health are:
  • Pysical exercise
  • Mental exercise
  • Socialization
  • Stress Management
  • Nutrition & healthy diet (inc. plenty of antioxidents & Omega-3 fats)
  • Adequate sleep, including naps (ideal naps are: 23 min, 45 min, 0r 90 minutes)
I was tickled that dance provides the first 4! & calling square dance is a particularly good form of mental stimulation & social activity! He commented that some 'stress' is good - & encourages taking on the challange of learning something new fairly regularly.

Another 'brain health' expert, in his talk on 'Movement is Medicine' commented that ballroom dance has an Altzheimer's
Risk REDUCTION factor of ~ 75%! He & his wife began taking ballroom lessons shortly after learning about the mental health benefits! His formula for "Optimal aging" includes: life satisfaction, social participation, self reliance, coping ability, setting new goals.
& a reminder for anyone who hasn't heard how great coconut milk & oil are for enhancing brain health, check out Mary & Steve Newport's story of reversing Steve's early onset Altzheimer's with the help of coconut & MCT oil!! Steve's last MRI (April 2010)
"was reported as "stable" compared to the previous study." (June of 2008, about the time they began using coconut oil!) I use coconut oil for all my cooking, mixed with olive oil in salad dressing, & drink ~ 10 ox of coconut milk in the form of kefir daily.

I love this summer season of abundant fruit & fresh veggies - though with our longs cool spring, home crops are a bit limited. I am also thinking of how to 'revamp' my back yard - want to make some new raised beds, & clear more of the tall grass! I currently have apples, pears & a loaded fig tree! I dried some of the figs, as I couldn't eat that many fresh, & the grandkids who LOVE them are 2 hours away.

In good health!


chiativity said...

Nice photo, but I think your recipe is wrong. 2T chia in 8 oz water would turn to a pudding like consistency. 1 T in 8 oz would be better. For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website:

Dia said...

I've just discovered another lovely use for chia seeds - chia pudding!! Basically, add that 2 Tbsp to a smoothie (I used 1/3 C coconut milk kefir, 1/3 C OG apple/apricot sauce, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 tsp Grade B maple syrup & 1/3 C shaved frozen raspberries. Let sit 30 minutes for the chia seeds to 'gel' the mix! Enjoy

Dia said...

Catherine over at Fit Armadillo's blog has some fun Brain Gym exercises & great links in this post: