Where did you get the name ‘Chia’ Cheri?

1-Cheri looking up at kale bouquetDid you notice the greens in my photos are curly kale?! I juice and drink a big bunch of it everyday to help keep my body flourishing. And what about chia–do you remember those little chia pets we got as children? We sprinkled water on them and they grew a green ‘fur’ covering.  I learned there’s way more to chia than being a child’s toy.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I started taking medication. Increasingly I was feeling more and more pain and I took more pain killers. It got so bad, I ended up in the hospital for pain management. I was not functioning well however I did notice that the nurses were giving me anti-constipation medication. After four days, they  gave me an enema — and miraculously the pain disappeared! It wasn’t the cancer causing the pain, it was the constipation caused by the medication. That’s where chia comes in.

I learned from friend Anne Bullock that two tablespoons a day of tiny ‘tasteless’ chia seeds, soaked or ground, keeps the constipation away. This was such great news! My sister Kriss Avery started calling me Chia Cheri. I liked it and chia too. I put chia in soup, on salads, in my green smoothies, on my sweet potatoes–chia goes with anything–even frozen black cherries and coconut milk yogurt. Read on, there’s more!

It turns out chia seeds, super food extraordinaire, have become known as one of most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Chia seeds were once a staple food of the Aztecs and revered for their ability to give energy and endurance to whomever ate them. They are arguably the best survival food for emergency preparedness – you could live off them if you had to, since they have almost the complete protein spectrum (19 out of 22 amino acids) and the right kind of fat ratio (high in omega-3) necessary for the human body, and no cooking is necessary.

To eat, just add cold water, wait 5 minutes and the seeds become soft and expand. They contain more iron than spinach and more antioxidants than blueberries! They help with diabetes, insomnia, weight loss, constipation and nervousness. A little goes a long way – they are small in size but big in nutrients.

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