Happy February Sparkers!
Wheat Grass Shots:
Have you heard of wheat grass? It's basically young wheat-grasses ... think "sprouts" - but just a different plant. I've heard of it and was curious and thought "there's only one way to know for sure if it's for me." Since I live up north and didn't get my green house up last fall - I bought a container of wheat grass powder from my grocery store for about $18 for 30-ish servings. Not so cheap. Directions call for you to mix 2 teaspoons in 6-8 oz of cold water. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of thoroughly mixing the powder in. Wheat grass is possibly the worst tasting stuff I ever put in my mouth. I actually ended up working up to two teaspoons - and even then found the stuff totally awful tasting. But - I'd read that this is a completely normal thing - and that many people find the taste less horrible after time. Well ... 30 days later - I can say that it is less awful. This is the one drink of the three that I'm most like to drop - because the taste really is foul. Some of my students who've tried it call it "Polyjuice" - a drink in one of the Harry Potter films that the kids just thought was horribly foul. Polyjuice is right. But ... I follow it up with a bite of orange, or a granny smith apple or some such - and I'm all good.
Psyllium husk powder:
Psyllium husk powder is the fiber component of products like Metamucil. I did not try one of those products however because they also contain lots of other stuff such as sugar. Psyllium husk can be purchased as the husk - or powdered. I bought the above bottle of psyllium husk powder for about $8 - it has about 48 servings of 1 heaping teaspoon mixed with about 8 oz of water. I will not lie - though psyllium husk has almost no flavor ... it does have some whopping texture. Until I started doing the wheat grass shots I struggled at first to drink the psyllium husk - because it was so chunky and if you're too pokey about drinking it down - it gets really thick. Once I actually added it to some soup. Bummer! Just mix it with cold water - give it a few quick stirs and toss it back like a frat boy. I'm a pro at it now. I didn't start this because my diet lacks fiber (I eat mostly fruits and veggies and a fair amount of beans - so I already was getting daily fiber) but rather because fiber is so good for your GI tract and my whole family seems to struggle with GI issues ... it's a precautionary measure.
This one is my absolute favorite of these three - but come on ... how could it not be? Iskiate is apparently something of an international drink I've learned from my international students - though the name is from the Tarahumara language. I learned of this drink when I read "Born to Run". You make it by mixing 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with about 10 oz of water and adding lime juice and honey to taste. Again - I live up north and am pretty frugal so while purists make their iskiate with fresh limes - I use about a table-spoon of bottled lime juice and a scant teaspoon of hdoney. If you let chia seeds sit in liquid for a few minutes they swell and have a gelatinous texture and go down really easy. Iskiate is pretty tasty - but I will say that it doesn't have a very strong flavor ... but you can adjust it how you like pretty easily.
Now - if this were a purely scientific endeavor - I'd have done one of these at a time ... but while it is an experiment (still on-going!) my real goal is to really feel as awesome as I can - especially after having been sick for something like 5-6 years - I'm just really really ready to feel good - so an "ick-factor" won't really deter me at this point. Also - 30 days may not be enough time to evaluate these drinks - but here's what I've noticed so far.
1. My skin feels awesome ... like seriously ... people have commented. It's not that I had tons of blemishes ... my skin just feels smoother/silkier. I for sure like this benefit.
2. I feel really energetic. I've always tended to have a lot of energy - until I got sick that is. At the worst - there were days when I literally was wiped out from getting cleaned up for the day and doing breakfast dishes and had no choice but to go back to bed winded, achy and miserable ... so having tons of energy again makes me so happy.
3. I'm sleeping longer at night now than I was 30 days ago.
4. So - when I got sick - I noticed pretty quick that I couldn't just jump up and start walking ... I had to go slow - because everything was sore and stiff. Not being sick anymore reduced this - but it didn't really go completely away ... until about half way through January. I love this too and it makes working out much more fun.
5. I used to occasionally get migraines ... haven't had a single head-ache all 2016 so far.
There might be more benefits - but these are the big ones.
I realize that these are anecdotal results and that placebo's are a real thing ... BUT over the last 30 days I've really felt so great that I work out now much much more - and harder. The college group I run meets on the 3rd floor of a building on campus - and when I was sick - I had to pause at every floor to catch my breath ... last night I walked up the steps while talking - and though I was winded - I felt invigorated.
If you're already healthy and fit - you might notice different results ... but for me - crossing over from recovery - to pursuit of fitness - I like what these 3 little glasses do for me. I have heard that fresh wheat grass taste better and I will probably try growing some this spring. None of these drinks can hurt you ... if you're diabetic you'd probably want to really think about the honey in the Iskiate ... but the rest of what's in these drinks is good for you. My Dr. did recommend that I really watch my vitamin A levels as wheat-grass provides a hefty dose and vitamin A toxicity is a real thing you should seriously avoid.
Though there's definitely some cost to these - I'm thinking about the problems they help me avoid. Once my green-house is up - then some serious options open up to not only grow wheat grass, but grow more varieties of beans and such and get even more fiber. Chia seeds may be expensive - but they are absolutely packed with nutrients.
If you're the experimenting type too - and want to feel a little better - give it a shot - and/or share your experiences - or your other tips!
Thanks for reading my super long post!