Am I on track?

Am I on track?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Product Review: Chia Pods (Mango)

Superfoods and surfing - what an awesome combination! No wonder I was powerless to resist when I saw the new ad on TV for Chia Pods being endorsed by surfing superstar Kelly Slater...!!

Buy whatever this man tells you to buy!!  ;-)

OK, well maybe I'm not that easily sucked in.  But the ad did enough to peak my interest.  I'm always interested in new things to try, and these new Chia Pods looked like they might be worth a swing past my local supermarket for a test run...

What is Chia?

Chia is a seed, and lays claim to being a superfood due to relatively high levels of Omega 3, fibre and protein compared to other plant-based foods. A quick google search shows its a huge favourite amongst health and diet personalities.

Does that mean its great and deserves its 'superfood' status? Well, I'm not a nutritionist, so you need to do your own research there.  But it does appear to at least be a nutritionally sound food that you could safely add to your diet.

What's a Chia Pod?

So onto the focus of this review!!  Chia Pods are a pre-prepared bowl of Chia seeds, mixed with coconut milk and (in my case) mango pulp for flavour.  When I ducked into my local supermarket, they also had banana flavour and vanilla bean flavour.

The Pods come as convenient single-serve bowls, and include a surprisingly sturdy orange spoon to eat it with.  Pop off the lid, and you are greeted with, well, I'm not sure how to describe it - so here's a picture:

Looks like, ummm, mango chia?

It looks a lot like a chia seed pudding.  The smell was definitely one of mango, but what made me happy was that its a very natural mango aroma - definitely not fake mango (which can be pretty distinctive!).

How does it taste?

More important than anything is the taste. Life's too short to suffer through inedible foods, no matter how good they are for you!  There are plenty of tasty and healthy snack options out there, so any new products need to hit the flavour mark.

The moment of truth... Incoming!

Let's get this out of the way first - I really, really liked the Chia Pod. Yummy, delicious, tasty. A double thumbs up from me!

Its a difficult texture to describe. It is definitely light, maybe a bit gel-like. Perhaps a little like tapioca, but in texture not taste.

The chia seeds themselves are very bland. They are one of those foods that are a great carrier of flavour without having any themselves.  So my mango-flavoured Chia Pod had a very pleasant, light mango taste. Very easy and enjoyable to eat.

Nutritional Info

For those that love their numbers - my mango Chia Pod had 149 calories.  This was made up of 9 grams of fat (including 3g of Omega 3 and 1g of Omega 6), 13g of carbs (including 11 g of sugar), 6g of fibre and 3g of protein.  A full analysis can be found here.

The Final Word

A small snack without too many calories that tastes great - all good.  But the best thing about this product is its incredibly simple ingredients list - chia seeds, coconut milk, and mango. That's it, nothing else. For me, that elevates it above many other 'convenience foods' that have added sugars, flavours and preservatives.

The only pressure point for this product is the price.  I paid $3.60 for my Chia Pod at my local Woolworths supermarket.  Not cheap, and possibly expensive depending on your budget.  If money is no object, then buying this is a very easy decision.  If you are on a tight budget - then use this as inspiration for buying bulk chia seeds and trying to 'make your own' at home!

The Final, Final Word!

Thumbs up!  Buy it and try it - you won't be disappointed.  Makes a fantastic mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack that is genuinely good for you.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A February Challenge... #everydayfeb

Its been almost two months since my criterium-racing accident, and so its been almost two months since I've done any meaningful exercise.  This simply won't do!

If I wait until I can actually get cycling properly again, a few months will have passed of inconsistent training and I won't have made any meaningful gains.  Common sense therefore dictates that I need to expand my repertoire to include other activities.

A challenge is born...

So for the month of February, in an effort to start getting back into an exercise and training mindset again, I'm setting myself a challenge - do some sort of exercise or physical activity every day for the month of February.

This activity really can be anything - cycling, running, power-walking, stretching, squats, planks, yoga, gym-work, long walks with the dogs, mountain-biking - pretty much anything that will have a positive effect on my body (and mind).

To keep myself honest and accountable, I'm going to tweet what I do each day with the hashtag #everydayfeb.  If I was smarter and wittier, I could think of something catchier. But I'm not, so I haven't...  If you think of something better, please don't tell me - it'll simply highlight my deficiencies in this regard...!!

Love love love this ad - it'll be my inspiration for #everydayfeb

Feeding the challenge...

As part of this month, I'm going to put some extra focus on clean, healthy eating.  I do eat pretty well normally - plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean meat a few days a week, not too much refined sugar or processed food - but I'll be aiming to raise it a notch and be a little more conscious of what I am eating.

I'm not going to be fanatical about it.  But I'll stick with my general principles and use this to support my #everydayfeb activity.

Baseline stats

I weighed in this morning at 84kg.  That's 3kg above what I was when I had the accident two months ago, and around 5kg more than I really want to be.  So I'll be aiming to slowly and gradually bring my weight back down to where I want it.

Let's go!

Feel free to join me.  Adjust and alter the challenge to include/exclude whatever you like, come up with your own goals and activities, and start the journey with me.  Best of luck, and let's see where this takes us...!!