Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding Recipe

I’ve been surfing Pinterest lately while looking for some new recipes to try. Normally I pass over most dessert type recipes that are posted because I know that they will be loaded with sugar including those listed as naturally sweetened. Sorry but honey, agave and maple syrup are still sugars even if they are not the white granulated stuff that we have come to think of as sugar.

For a while now I’ve been noticing people posting recipes for pudding made with chia seeds but have passed them by as well. Chia seeds create a gel when mixed with liquids and all I could think of was how slimy or gooey this must make the faux pudding. At the urging of a friend I decided to give it a shot and I’m glad that I did. The chia seeds create a lovely creamy texture with no hint of slime or goo that I had expected. In the end the pudding has the consistency of tapioca pudding. While I started with this basic vanilla recipe I can see that there are just so many possibilities of flavor combinations once you start topping the pudding with additional items. If you’ve been avoiding trying chia pudding I would tell you to at least give it a try once. You might just be surprised.

Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding

Vanilla Chia Pudding

Basic Vanilla Chia Pudding Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This faux pudding can be eaten for dessert or it would make a great breakfast when topped with nuts and fresh fruit.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup plain low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar free maple syrup or Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extra
  • ½ cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In a bowl whisk together the almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup or Splenda and the vanilla extract.
  2. Stir in the chia seeds, cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator and stir well to evenly distribute the chia seeds.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night.
  5. To serve: divide the mixture between 4 bowls or glasses. Eat as is or top with sliced toasted nuts, diced fruit, unsweetened coconut shreds or your favorite topping.

While I used Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seed, which are dark, there is also a white chia seed
that is available as well. The difference between the two is the color. The lighter colored seeds blend into the pudding and aren’t as noticeable in color.

Food Apathy……When Food Holds No Appeal

I don’t really feel like eating!

bored cat

I’ve currently got a growing stack of recipes on my desk.

There’s also the latest issue of the Food Network magazine sitting there as well.

The holidays have passed and school has been over for several weeks which means I’ve got lots of time on my hands to do some cooking and lots of new recipes I’d like to try.

There’s just one problem. All thoughts of food have me feeling…..blah!

The recipes sound like they would be delicious but, once I start to think about it, nothing really seems like it would be good. It seems my rearranged guts have been having a private conversation with my head.  The final outcome of this chat is, once I start to think about eating the food, nothing sounds that appealing and I don’t really care what I eat. Welcome to food apathy!

You may have never heard of the term before but you’ve probably experienced it at some point after having weight loss surgery.  It’s that feeling where food, including things we previously enjoyed, suddenly loses all of it’s charm. Nothing looks good or even tastes good. You can’t think of anything you might like to eat. If you do start eating you may suddenly feel full after a few bites and give up eating.

For me there seems to be several triggers for food apathy:

- Being stressed out or having insomnia.

- Eating the same things over and over again.

- Having an episode of dumping or a low blood sugar reaction.

- Getting that “stuck” feeling after eating something.

One might think having food apathy would be a wonderful problem to have right? Just imagine the weight loss potential because you’re not eating! A few days of this might be fine but problems can start if it drags on for a longer period of time. I’ve noticed that as time goes on it becomes easier to pass on eating enough protein for the day. Not wanting to eat ends up affecting the types of food I eat and the meals I make. It’s easier to grab a premade, boxed, canned or frozen meal instead of making something. This often means that the meal will be high in carbs and low in both protein and vegetables which can then create problems with RH. Returning to old snacking habits also becomes a problem. I don’t know about anyone else but, even when nothing looks good, it’s always easy to eat a handful of crackers simply to say you ate something.

Here’s a few of the things I’ve been trying

- Deal with the sources of stress and insomnia…..easier said than done but that’s a work in progress

- Focus on getting in my protein and vegetables first. This might mean taking a few bites and then returning for more a short time later. While we are told that grazing is bad it’s not the same when I’m grazing on meat and veggies. Carbs are a whole different story and I could easily eat a few crackers every time I passed the box all day long if I didn’t pay attention. Can’t say the same thing for chicken, beef or salad greens.

- Mix up the food textures. While I love soup I find that eating food that has the same texture over and over again doesn’t help with the situation.

- Make something new even if it doesn’t seem appealing right now. My hope is that by adding in something new I will pull myself out of the food rut I’m in.

How about you? Surely I can’t be the only one who goes through this. Ever have this happen to you? What did you do to get out of that blah feeling about food? Why not leave a comment below and share some of things that you did to help with your own food apathy.

Picture by kimkeough

How To Make Spinach Chips

Here’s a short video tutorial on how to make spinach chips. If you’ve heard of kale chips before perhaps you didn’t know that you can also make chips using other greens such as spinach. While the method for making spinach chips is almost the same as kale there is a difference in the way they are handled due to their higher water content. Check out this video for some tips on making them.

Have you make kale or spinach chips before? What’s your favorite topping to sprinkle on them? Do you enjoy salt or have you used other seasoning blends?

Highlights Of Other Student Blogs

As part of a class project FSU nutrition students have created various blogs on a nutrition related topic of their choice. We were challenged with creating infographics, podcasts and even videos. Here are a few highlights from these new bloggers:

Simply Nutritious has a great infographic on visualizing the elements of good nutrition…..it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

While your there stop and listen to Rachel’s podcast on the benefits of fiber.

Noell’s blog has a great infographic on Understanding Whole Grains.

A Happy Life Starts With A Healthy Lifestyle includes a nice infographic on Family Exercise For Every Season.

At Fitness and Nutrition Is The Mission you can listen to a podcast on what this blogger eats before, during and after running a marathon.

Check out this infographic on some Disease Fighting Vegetables at the Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables blog.

Cooking Healthy Is Fun posted a great youtube video on using the idea of a taco or pizza bar to get picky eaters to eat more. Check out her quick video:


Why not stop by and say hello to these new nutrition bloggers.

Transcript of Podcast – Coping With Unwanted Feedback

food-police

Here’s the transcript for the podcast Coping With Unwanted Feedback – How To Deal With The Food Police And Food Pushers

Hi there….this is Penny. I want to welcome you to Remake my plate where I post about life after weight loss surgery. After spending the majority of my life overweight and trying just about everything to lose it I chose to have weight loss surgery in November of 2004. For the past 9 years I have maintained a 130 lb weight loss but it hasn’t been without its ups and down.

When people know you have had weight loss surgery they suddenly pay extra special attention to every bit of what you are or aren’t eating. And, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight before, no matter what the method you have chosen, the holidays seem to be when these people come out in full force to watch, comment and criticize every little morsel of food that goes into your mouth. If this has happened to you I’d like to offer a few tips that I’ve found helpful over the years when it comes to dealing with these people.

First it seems that those who offer unwanted feedback seem to break down into two different groups – the food police and the food pushers.

The easiest people to deal with are the food pushers. These are the people who keep offering you more to eat. Most of the time, when they keep offering food, they really mean well. Maybe they’ve noticed that you’re not eating your favorite dish and offer you some. Or they might have made something special for you and want to make sure you have a bit. If this hasn’t already happened to you then be prepared. Sooner or later it will. Rather than take what they’re offering and eat it when you really don’t want to here’s a few ways I’ve found that seems to help with the food pushers.

-       *  Offer a simple no thank you. Yes sometimes it’s that easy. Simply smile and tell them no thank you.

* You can say something like “oh that looks delicious but I’m full right now and I’ll try a bit later”. If the food pusher keeps coming back to tell you to try a particular dish you may even want to tell a white lie and say “I already had a bit and it was quite good”. Most of the time people just want to make sure you’re enjoying the food and if they see that you don’t have much on your plate it’s natural for them to offer you something.

-       * Another technique that might work is to accept whatever it is that they are offering. Just put a little on your plate but don’t eat it. Or, if it is something that you do want to eat, try just a bit or two. That’s usually enough to make the food pusher happy. You don’t have to finish all of it.

-       * Another great idea is to ask for it to go. Sometimes accepting the food is the only way to make the person happy and keep the peace during a family gathering. Why not tell them you’re full from eating all of their delicious food right now but you would love to take some home. Now you’ve complimented them, which always make people happy, and you haven’t turned their offer of food down. Once you’ve left the party there’s nothing that says you have to actually eat what you’ve taken home. While I grew up being constantly told that there were kids in other countries who were starving and would love to eat what I was about to throw out I’ve moved past that parenting guilt trip. If I don’t want to eat it I toss it out.

The second type of person I’d like to talk about is the food police. These are the people who seem very intent on monitoring what we put on our plates. They often pass judgment on what we are eating. Sometimes they are simply people who mean well and think that they are offering helpful advice on healthy eating. Other times they are being less then helpful and seem intent to keeping a watchful eye so they can point out a situation where they feel you are breaking the rules. While I’d like to think everyone has your best interests at heart when they are playing food police I will warn you that some do not. Eventually you will come across someone who is quite happy to point out the fact that they think you are eating something “wrong” or “bad”. They might even toss out a snappy comment saying that they just KNEW you would fail and eat things you weren’t suppose to. This type of person is the hardest to deal with because they usually criticize you in front of others, shaming you for your choices, knowing that you might not have the confidence to defend yourself.

For the food police who mean well here’s how I’ve handled them:

-       * Acknowledge what they are saying, tell them you appreciate their concern and educate them. If they say something like “Are you allowed to eat that?” You can respond with a simple yes. If you choose to offer more information you can say yes my dietitian or doctor said these are things I can eat. And then drop the subject.

* Dealing with the food police who are intent on trying to hurt you is a bit tougher. Sometimes they can be redirected and other times it might require calling them on what they are actually trying to do.    

-       * You can say to them “I appreciate your concern” and then ignore them or walk away. Sometimes the food police who are in the process of trying to publically shame you are expecting you to offer up and explanation. I’ve found that trying to explain my food choices to them just keeps them coming back with more things to say.

-       * Change the whole dynamics of the conversation by saying something like “I know you mean well but this really isn’t helpful” and then walk away.

I find that dealing with this type of food police is the hardest and my actual response is usually based on who’s making the comment.

In the end I find that having a few planned responses help with putting a stop to the food police as well as the food pushers. Just remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for what you do or don’t put on your plate and you certainly don’t need to eat something just to make someone else happy.

How about you? Have you ever encountered a food pusher or, even worse, the food police? How you have handled them? Why not leave a comment and tell others what ways you’ve found work best when dealing with these types of people.

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