Rich, creamy, and filling…you have to try this delicious, easy-to-make sugar-free chocolate chia seed pudding recipe!
Make it the night before and store it in the fridge for a ready-to-go breakfast. Easy peasy.
Looking for a great afternoon snack this will hit the spot without the afternoon sugar crash. Um yes, please!
Chia seeds will keep you feeling full until dinner and quell your sugar cravings without being harmful to your health.
All About Chia Seeds
If you haven’t already heard, chia seeds are being touted as one of the most nutritious, powerful “superfoods” on the planet.
They are an excellent source of fiber, loaded with antioxidants, full of protein and the richest natural source of Omega-3.
The chia seed, (Salvia hispanica L.), is a tiny seed with a lot of muscle. Each seed contains roughly 34% oil, 25% dietary fiber and 20% protein. The remainder of the seed is composed of important trace minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
Most of the oil within the tiny whole chia seed is heart-healthy ALA Omega – 3 and easily digestible.
They are easy to eat, tiny whole grain that can be consumed in many ways and by people of all ages.
Chia Seed powerful health-building benefits:
Super-energizing for increased endurance and sustained energy
Improves cardiovascular health
Stabilizes blood sugar
Reduces cravings for sweets and junk foods
Improved mental focus and concentration
High-quality protein promotes lean muscle mass
An ideal superfood
Super-hydration and electrolyte balance
Supports healthy elimination and detoxification
There is no need to grind up chia seeds in order to eat them. Sprinkle them on cereal, sandwiches, salad, soup, smoothies, cottage cheese, oatmeal or just about any other food.
Their taste is so mild that it hardly affects the flavor of the food it is being added to.
They have a shelf life of over 5 years because of their high concentration of antioxidants that keeps them from getting rancid.
The chia seed has been around for a long time. It was a staple of the Aztec diet.
Warriors relied upon the seed for nourishment during battle. It is hydrophilic, or water-loving and can hold up to ten times its weight in water, aiding in hydration.
They’re great for your health and are an easy way to make everything you eat more nutritious.
Do yourself a favor and give chia seeds and this chocolate chia seed pudding recipe a try!
Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
Our gut plays a huge role in our overall health
And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think.
And we’re not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We’re talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It’s here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body.
We’re just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of “the gut-brain axis”). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.
So, let’s talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I’ll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.
Our gut’s role in our overall health
Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.
This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.
For one thing, our guts can “leak.” Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins).
You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it’s not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can “leak.”
When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don’t seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.
FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.
A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.
The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients.
They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.
So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!
How to improve gut health
There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health.
Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with.
How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.
You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.
By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximize the chance for absorption.
These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colorful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.
The second pillar of gut health is our microbes.
By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.
Want to make your own fermented recipe that’s easy, delicious and is healthy for your gut? Check out the recipe below.
Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fiber. Not eating enough fiber increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fiber also helps to feed the friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fiber? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even cacao.
And don’t forget the extremely important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, dealing with stress, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.
In a nutshell
The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.
The main way to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, alcohol, dairy, and grains.
Here’s a recipe to help nourish and support your gut health:
There can be so much confusion and frustration related to what to eat on the Candida diet. My hope is that these ideas will help give you some relief, hope, and maybe even some excitement to try new foods!
Instead of looking at the diet as what you can’t eat, let’s shift this thought into the amazing amount of yummy things you can eat. These foods are going to boost your nutrition while being satisfying and delicious.
Everyone has different tastes and preferences when it comes to food so you’ll need to make choices that agree with you.
Deprivation, stress and overwhelm should not be a part of your plan when it comes to getting healthier be it the Candida diet or any other change you’re making with your food plan
These snacks will work for you if you are wanting to avoid the health-damaging effects of refined sugar, want to shed some excess “lb’s”, want to lower inflammation, and just want to feel better overall.
The Candida diet also forces you to get creative in the kitchen like never before.
Experiment with new ideas and you’ll be shocked by what you discover. Some of my all-time favorite recipes came from the creative discoveries I made when I finally chose to change my life and put my health first for once by ditching sugar for good.
Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?
Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism, and weight loss.
This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.
So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favorite new “go-to” sugar-free and Candida-diet friendly breakfasts.
Breakfast Food #1: Eggs
Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason!
No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual whole “eggs”.
Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.
Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time.
And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.
One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized. It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’s heart unhealthy.
Tip: Are you buying store brand organic eggs? You’ll be shocked to learn that these are not a healthy choice.
Check out Cornucopia.org and specifically this page for an organic egg scorecard to find the healthiest eggs in your area.
My favorite eggs are from Vital Farms…the yolks are a beautiful orange color which means healthy eggs and they’re oh so delicious!
Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.
Don’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butter, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.
Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings. Grab a small handful of organic almonds, walnuts, or sprouted pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.
Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut or seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.
Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter. Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter in your blender & blend until frothy.
Tip: Soak your nuts overnight and then use a dehydrator to make them easier to digest.
Breakfast Food #3: Veggies
Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies. You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?
Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water. You can’t go wrong adding them to every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!
And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don’t want to but you totally can! You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.
Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal. Including breakfast.
I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.
A quick and easy sugar-free, Candida-diet friendly breakfast that's healthy and delicious too!