I’m usually not one for "it" foods, to be totally honest. Other than my love for kale, the rest of those things have never impressed me in taste or noticeable effects until I started messing with chia. I love chia. Being generally vegetarian, I need extra omega-3 as I really can't get enough with my typical diet.
I saw a dramatic decrease in acne and eczema when I stuck to getting that extra omega-3 daily. I'm known to cart a jar of chia pudding or chia fresca with me to beaches, film sets, rooftop parties, and pretty much anywhere I am when I remember to grab it. I make it myself, my way, and it rules.
Sometimes when I am brainstorming more ways to be healthy and take care of myself, "Aha!" moments happen. For example, I figured out that when you add supplements to chia you can pre-make a week’s worth for the easiest dosing possible. It's been a really positive shake-up for me!
I set out to try different things that I can add to my usual chia to boost my overall wellness. I'm gonna break this down into two categories: water-friendly supplements and milk-friendly supplements.
Since I like to make hyaluronic acid gel and add to drinks, why not make my chia gel pre-mixed with the stuff? Here’s how I upgraded my basic chia gel recipe to include supplement powders:
To prepare a chia fresca for a single day, scoop ¼ cup of gel into a glass and top with cold water. You can also add a squeeze of lemon, a splash of juice, or sparkling water to further enhance your drink.
I used this water-based chia gel to test out Sparkle’s Collagen Peptide supplement and NeoCell’s Super Collagen powder. With Sparkle, I was nervous about the orange flavor and stevia, but it tasted really good! It's packed with vitamin C and it was not overly stevia-y. NeoCell’s powder is flavorless, so I liked it better mixed with a little juice than plain, but flavorless is a good thing for sneaking into more than just water.
Collagen supplementation is a star when it comes to aging skin. Consumption of collagen is linked to healthy and full hair, supple skin, and marked wrinkle reduction and hydration. It’s simply a must for some, and since it is from kosher and halal grass-fed cows, I don’t have to feel guilty about it.
I tried powdered coconut water for the first time, which looks like salt (that makes so much sense), but it was not awful! It tasted slightly more sweet than regular coconut water, but was tasty as a base liquid for the gel.
Chia pudding is as easy as mixing a liquid with the seeds in a jar overnight. I suppose you can use dairy milk to make this, but I’m not super-into that idea, especially when plant-milk formulas can last up to 10 days when stored properly. Mine is typically almond, hemp, coconut, or sometimes soy milk. I always top with chunks of fresh coconut that I've chopped up and frozen; it makes chewing the little seeds much more pleasant.
With this method of eating chia, you can add protein powders, powdered vegetables, and other supplements. I tried Sibu’s Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn fruit oil, and it was not as horrible as some YouTubers have claimed. It’s got a faint leathery, almost carrot-like taste, and doesn’t overpower the coconut and vanilla flavors in the pudding. Supplementing Omega 7 is still new and needs more research, but it supposedly helps with inflammatory skin issues, aka something I struggle with and will do anything to ease.
Then we have two protein options: Plnt by the Vitamin Shoppe and Powerella’s Sha-Glam powder. Both are vanilla-flavored and stevia-sweetened, and even my wheatgrass-averse ass didn’t hate the taste. Plnt is a vegan source of plant protein and nutrients and was super yummy in my chia pudding. I am really happy that something so alt-diet suitable also is delicious.
Powerella’s Sha-Glam is a bit more complicated, the taste is a little bit more harshly stevia-ed BUT it’s also got collagen in addition to protein. As a protein-building and beauty-boosting powder, it’s one of the more unique offerings as almost no one has both in a single product.
I thought I would HATE this plant powder by Garden of Life that I grabbed from The Vitamin Shoppe. I was honestly crossing my fingers and praying to Gaia that it wouldn’t taste like wheatgrass. It was surprisingly barely flavored at all. There’s a distinct "green" taste, but it’s not bitter or overpowering. It was decent in pudding, but I think it performed much better mixed into a shot of grapefruit juice.
The powder is juiced and dehydrated vegetables, grasses, and probiotics, which are so important for healthy skin. Even with my quasi-healthy diet, I could still use a few more servings of veggies, and this makes it super easy to do so!
So now that I have all these things to mess with, I can say that I should and will likely incorporate some them into my daily chia fix. Others I will probably shoot back with a bit of juice to get it over with, since stevia isn’t my fav. I feel like if I didn’t look at all of these studies regarding collagen and healthy hair, skin, and nails, I wouldn’t have felt like I was missing anything, but knowing that I certainly don’t get any in my usual diet leads me to consider adding it semi-regularly.
- What do you mix in your chia pudding?
- Do you take supplements of protein, collagen, greens or omegas?
Photos: Maria Penaloza