That old adage of “New Year = New Goals” is an opportunity for all of us to start afresh. I am not particularly fond of New Year resolutions; as we tend to go on the slippery slope of setting unrealistic expectations stemming from multiple resolutions. Not to say I haven’t been there, or done that myself. Exactly 3 years ago my New Year’s resolution would’ve read something like this: “I will give birth to Grace 2 months from now and loose ALL the baby weight by summer. Actually by springtime, because we’re going to New York & I want to look good in pictures. I will quit croissants & chocolate bars. I will try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night. I will cut down on my industrial coffee consumption. I will try to be the best mother I can be and order less pizza for my toddler. Oh and I will try to get my husband to eat healthier, too.”
Needless to say, none of the above actually happened. At least not immediately. The truth is I was hardly getting any sleep with a 2 year-old & a newborn. My placebo “decaf lattes” (a direct result of nursing) left me just as cranky & exhausted. The baby weight seemed permanent & I was still calling for pizza delivery more often than not. My autoimmune disease was flaring up, constantly. The first 2 months of this routine were actually a blur. I don’t even recall most of it. I was just trying to function & keep my head above the water. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks: Start making small changes. Small changes, Aleyda.
And so I did. I cut off gluten, that was the first thing I ever eliminated. I was surprised by the energy surge. I didn’t feel as exhausted or sleepy after a meal. I didn’t lose any weight from cutting off gluten. I just felt less bloated & far more awake. I then cut off dairy, and finally all white refined sugar. All my coffees turned into almond milk lattes; either unsweetened or sweetened with honey or stevia. My morning toast turned into gluten free toast. My evening pasta turned into brown rice pasta. But mostly, I ate real food. An avocado a day, salmon, eggs, brown rice, tofu & all the fruits & vegetables I could get in. Cheese was by far the hardest thing to give up. I still, to this day, eat goat feta.
Sugar withdrawal was rough. Headaches. Cravings. Crankiness. The first 2 weeks were the hardest. I am not sure how I still have all these wonderful friends. This is the part where the pounds started melting off. Like, melting. At an unprecedented pace. I did all my baking with coconut sugar, dates & pure maple syrup. I still ate sweets; I just made them differently. By the time December 2013 arrived, the baby weight was almost gone. And then some. I’ve received some emails on this subject and will address them on a separate post. But if there’s one takeaway from this post, let it be “Make small changes”. They go a long way.
This pudding is the perfect breakfast or dessert. Chia seeds are one my best allies when it comes to taking care of myself. They are a nutritional powerhouse; packed with calcium, fiber & protein. Not only that, but they boast wonderful antioxidants & healthy fats like Omega 3’s. By soaking them in liquid, they puff up and form a tasteless jelly. When I say tasteless, I mean “tasteless”. So I soak them in almond milk & add pure maple syrup to taste. It suddenly tastes like pudding! I love to add blueberries, bananas, strawberries and on occasion; almond butter. I am a convert. Besides, who doesn’t like to wake up to a ready-made breakfast?
Chia Seed Pudding
- 2 cups of almond or nut milk of your choice *carrageenan free
- 1/2 cup of chia seeds
- 1-2 tbsp of pure maple syrup (I use 1 tbsp) You could also sub with any natural sweeteners like stevia, coconut palm syrup, agave, or organic date syrup. Stevia requires a much smaller amount.
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- peanut, hazelnut or almond butter
- ALL the fruit; think raspberries, pomegranates, blueberries, bananas, strawberries etc.
- pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
- In a bowl, mix nut milk of your choice with vanilla & pure maple syrup. You could whisk or blend for better integration.
- Add the chia seeds & stir well. Let it sit for another 10-15 mins. Give it another stir, cover & let them soak overnight inside your fridge.
- Add the toppings of your choice & enjoy!
Budín de Chia
- 2 tazas de leche de almendras o leche de coco
- 1/2 taza de semillas de chia
- 1-2 cucharadas de jarabe de maple puro
- 1 cucharadita extracto de vainilla o polvo de vainilla
- mantequilla de maní o de almendras
- bananos, fresas, blueberries, granadas, frambuesas etc.
- una pizca de canela (y toma sabor a arroz en leche!)
- En un plato sopero agregar la leche, la vainilla y el jarabe de maple. Mezclar bien a mano o en la licuadora.
- Agregar las semillas de chia y mezclar bien a mano. Dejar reposar por 10 mins y luego mezclar a mano otra vez. Cubrir con papel de aluminio o ponerlas en un recipiente con tapa y meterlas a la refri toda la noche para que las semillas absorban la leche.
- Sacar de la refrigeradora y poner tu opción de toppings. Que lo disfruten!