Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cha Cha Cha Chia!

So before I left Mexico to come back home I bought a few giftsfor my friends and family, including the magical and amazing Chia seed! Figuring that since many are not familiar Mexican superfood, I thought I'd fill you in a little. After reading this, I'm sure you'll all want to go out and buy some chia! Here's part of an article I found online about it-

"Chia, or salvia hispanica L, literally means "strength" in Mayan and can be traced back over 3,000 years to Central America where the Mexica utilized it as one of their primary plant sources of food, notably their third most important crop (I've read first most important in other articles) next to corn and beans. Chia was considered more valuable than gold and was often used to pay taxes and tribute to the Mexica nobility.

When the Mexica civilization fell during the Spanish conquest, the Spanish banned chia and many other crops due to their close association with the religious systems of these ancient cultures and replaced the native crops with foreign ones such as wheat and carrots. Remnants of both the Aztec and Mayan civilizations remained in portions of Mexico where small communities continued using the seeds for making flour, oil, and drinks from the gel that forms when the seeds are mixed with liquid.

Though essentially obfuscated throughout many generations, chia would eventually reemerge as a popular super-food identified as being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

One of the primary benefits of chia seeds is their high concentration of essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are up to four times the concentration of other grains. EFAs are important for the respiration of vital organs, yet the human body is unable to manufacture them itself; they must be obtained through diet.
Chia is also touted as having the highest omega-3 content of any plant-based source, containing 64% alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Flax, another popular source of ALA, contains 55%. Chia is high in complete protein, containing about 23% per seed. All essential amino acids are present and appropriately balanced within the protein, making it complete and nutritious in and of itself. Packed with essential vitamins and trace minerals, chia is a phenomenal whole food for any diet. They also behave wonderfully when ground and used in gluten-free recipes.

High in fiber, chia is known for its easy digestibility. Its layer is a strong source of mucillois soluble fiber which aids in maintaining healthy digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Absorbing more than seven times its weight when placed in water, chia seeds form a gel that, when eaten, produces a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes in the stomach. This process effectively slows the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar, rendering chia a great addition to a diabetic diet. Similarly, chia consumption contributes to maintaining balanced hydration and electrolyte levels within the body, steadying water intake, assimilation and absorption."

Article taken from

Friday, December 25, 2009

Coming Back Home

I arrived back home to visit my family for three weeks and while its been very relaxing in many ways, it has also been a bit of a culture shock in the sense that I've come home in the middle of the craziest consumer frenzy of the year and its a bit overwhelming.

The grocery parking lot was packed, my dad and I spent five minutes driving around looking for a spot to park, almost getting hit a few times by crazy drivers not paying attention and driving much too fast. Some shelves were empty from the crazy non-stop holiday shopping while other sections of the store were overflowing with an abundant supply to feed the ham, turkey and stuffing crazed moms across town. Then there's ALWAYS the dreaded running into people you really don't want to see or that awkward greeting and two minute conversation with that person who's name you should know, but have no clue who they are........

I flip the TV on and I keep seeing commercials where AT&T is fighting with other providers for the most cell phone coverage nation-wide and the cooler, more hip phone that has the most gadgets we don't need. I saw an Android commercial literally saying "You'll fit right in" and "Everyone will love you" if you buy the new Android. I don't even know if I'll be able to buy a regular flip phone without a camera, built-in MP3 player and all those other things I don't need, when I get home!

All the stores are packed! People buying things like crazy, no patience or compassion, "get out of my way, or I'll run you over with my cart!" Ah hahah, I can't believe it, it's like people are possessed!

Luckily enough I'm glad I haven't had to participate too much in the holiday consumerism since my family only celebrates Christmas by having a large Mexican-American dinner with all the fixings' including turkey, ham, mole, pico de gallo, salsas, Mexican punche and spaghetti (my favorite) and pie.

It's good to be back home for a few weeks to rejuvenate myself, load up on all the food I've been missing back in Mexico and see my family before I start the next 1/2 of my journey.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I know I haven´t written much, I´ve been on my trip. Check it out on a map of Mexico....So far we´ve driven from Texcoco (near Mexico City) to Matezlan on the west coast, then took a ferry to La Paz (Baja Cal.), then drove down to Los Cabos. Since then we have been driving up all of Baja California, making stops in various places which I´ll describe in detail later when I have more time, and now we are in Tijuana for 4 days. I have 7 more day of this trip before I go back to Chapingo and get ready to back and visit the states for 3 weeks.

So far I have learned soooo much during the trip...The thing that stands out the most so far is how marked the development of the country is by two realities, the reality of those who have and have in abundance and those who have nothing. Mexico is a country of such contridictions....You see huge 5 star hotels owned by Mexican drug dealers next to house made out of sheet of metal and wood.

I have so much to tell you about this trip! Hopefully when I go back to Texcoco, I´ll have some time to sit down and describe my trip from the southern tip of Baja California all the way up to Tecate on the border and back down to Mexico.