Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sometimes It All Comes Together

This is a year of challenges.

One - Eat vegan once a week.
Two - Sept 11-12, in Santa Barbara, CA I will participate in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. It's not an easy one. 26.2 miles on day one and 13 miles on day two. So I'm in Training. Yes, with a capital T.
Three - Turn a yard of weeds into a CA native plant garden.

When you start a challenge, you have no idea where it will lead. You talk about it and soon friends are joining you, rooting for you, offering suggestions. You find articles and classes and lectures and like minded spirits. It's fascinating really. 

Many weeks ago I attended a lecture on Chumash Ethnobotany  at my local native plant nursery.  The Chumash harvested, roasted and pounded chia seeds into meal. It was one of their staples. Their chia is Salvia columbariae.  

My nephew suggested I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It's a book about a tribe in Mexico who live deep in Copper Canyons and can run hundreds of miles. They drink Iskiate, a drink made from chia seeds, sugar, water and lime juice.  Their chia, from what I can find online is Salvia hispanica L.  (PS. I'm convinced that I'm born to walk, hike, stroll.) Iskiate is an energy drink. Packed with omega 3s, omega 6s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants.

So today, of course I am hunting down Salvia columbariae seeds for the native plant garden and shopping for salvia hispanica L seeds to prepare Iskiate. If I add Iskiate to my diet, will it strengthen my body for the Sept 11th challenge? I don't expect Iskiate to be a substitute for my workouts, but it could make my workouts more beneficial.

Chia was easy to find in my health food store, I bought a one pound can.

Now for a little experimenting.  I used the seed whole in the first batch. Christopher McDougall said the Tarahumara dissolve the seeds in water. Maybe I didn't soak them long enough. Mine slimmed up similar to flax seeds but didn't dissolve. I found myself chewing little seeds. How could I get nourished from whole seeds?

For the second batch I decided to grind a few tablespoons in my coffee grinder and use less water. The result is very drinkable. You can find you tube videos showing you exactly how to make Iskiate. (I can't figure out how to get one of them into this blog. BEN. Help. )

So. There it is. My challenges melding. I find it down right motivating. Another ancient grain in my life.

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