Many of you have been asking me for an ideal pre-workout food snack, especially in the late afternoon if you are planning on going to the gym, yoga or on a run after work, and need some “oomph” to give you energy and stamina to help you power through.

As usual, the best energy and beauty foods are found in nature. We need not turn to complex, soy protein isolate formulas or “muscle milk” drinks, or the products you get at GNC.  I’d rather look to nature to give me what I need, rather than a synthetic lab.  I urge you to do the same!

Without a doubt, one of the best workout foods I recommend for you is chia seeds. Yes, I’m talking about the same thing you may only have heard of from the “Chia Pet” phenomenon. Well the good news is that you need not grow a “Chia Ram” (admittedly, that is the chia pet I once had!) to get more energy, you just have to soak them and make them into a gel, which will serve as your power workout and beauty gel. You can get chia seeds at your local health market. They’re definitely getting more popular and are pretty common these days.

Chia seeds are an ancient, workout power food. It is said that the Aztec and Incan warriors used to eat them and run long distances between different tribal areas. It was well noted amongst these tribes that the chia seeds gave the warriors stamina and strength.

Today, chia seeds have been scientifically analyzed and we can see the specific nutritional reasons that chia is such an amazing food to carry us through out workouts. By weight, chia seeds contain more omega 3 vs omega 6 fats than salmon, and more calcium than whole milk (which we don’t really assimilate well anyway from dairy, but that is another topic!), along with antioxidants. Chia seeds contain all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. They also contain important minerals like magnesium and boron. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, chia seeds also helps promote fullness, without feeling too heavy, and ongoing cleansing.

Chia is an amazing Beauty Detox Food that balances your blood sugar levels and provides, steady energy for hours. I’ve experienced that its ability to keep you full and provide optimal energy has helped my clients ward off sugar and other cravings, especially later in the day when they are stalling to workout and want to eat a treat instead! Instead, I make them my Chia Seed Delight recipe, which is in the recipe section of The Beauty Detox Solution. Basically though, you can soak ¼ cup or so of chia seeds in unsweetened almond milk, and sweeten with stevia. It is delicious! You could also make it into more of a smoothie by adding more almond milk/water, and you could throw some hemp protein in there as well. As long as you wait at least 3 hours after your lunch, which may have some starch in it, it is a great Beauty Food Pairing combo. Seeds also tend to be lighter and less acidic than nuts, so it is okay to have a few hours before dinner.

Chia seeds do an amazing thing: they absorb fluids to swell to 10-15 times their size, creating a gel-like substance that will keep you full for hours. Yes, I said hours. I’ve been known to take a non-breakable container of dry chia seeds on a long hike, then when we get to lunch I soak them right in the container with water out of my water bottle, sweeten with stevia, then eat them like pudding. Guess who’s always charging ahead on the hikes??

Try the amazing chia seed out for yourself!

I just took this picture for you on my porch here in Albuquerque (yes there’s a big  movie shooting out here!). This is my favorite brand of chia seeds: The Chia Co. Their chia seeds are grown in my beloved Australia, and they are fantastic quality!