Chia Seeds in Green Smoothies

chia seeds dry

Chia seeds are packed with Omega-3 & antioxidants

I have been doing some research on Chia seeds… (pronounced “chee-ya” – Yes, as in “cha-cha-cha-CHIA PET“) and discovered some amazing things about them.

History:  Chia seeds come from a flowering plant belonging to the mint family. “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Chia is native to Mexico and Guatemala and was cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayans many years ago. One of the major Chia farms today is located in Australia (The Chia Co.). There are black Chia seeds and white Chia seeds. It doesn’t matter what color they are, they have the same nutritional value. This ancient superfood was used by running messengers, who would carry a small pouch of it on their runs. It’s been called “Indian Running Food” and provides long lasting energy. It’s no wonder runners are  taking Chia seeds daily, including Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run. It provides the energy and endurance, nutrition and hydration runners need to get though a race.

Health benefits of Chia seeds:

2 times the protein of any other seed or grain

6 times the calcium of milk

2 times the amount of potassium as bananas

3 times the antioxidants in blueberries

3 times more iron than spinach

packed with huge amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 (100% more Omega-3 than salmon!)

41% of your daily fiber

6 times more iron than spinach

More Niacin than corn, rice and soy

It’s a gluten green whole grain – Perfect alternative to grains like wheat, barley, rye and oats. (great for baking!)

Daily Chia seed consumption can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure

More benefits: 

Increased energy levels, improved digestion and better complexion. It’s known to tone your muscles, boost mental sharpness and allow you to sleep better at night.

Chia Seeds can help you lose weight: Because of the high fiber and density from the way it absorbs water, Chia gives you a long lasting fullness to help prevent over eating. Less likely to get the muchies or cravings for junk food during though out the day! Great tip: Take 1 tsp Chia seeds in your drinking water 30 minutes before each meal. You won’t over eat at meal time. It’s also great in the evening to prevent those night time cravings for snacks.

Natural aid in controlling diabetes: If you soak the seeds in water, it forms into a gel form resulting in a soluble fiber known as mucilages. Science believes that this gel like texture is created in your stomach. This gel would create a barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, slowing the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar.

Chia seeds - Chia Gel

Chia Gel

How to make Chia Gel:

1/3 cup of Chia seeds

2 cups of water

Wait 10 to 30 minutes and to see the Chia seeds transform into a gel

Stir it up a bit, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Use it in recipes and begin enjoying the benefits of Chia seeds! What’s great is it has very little taste to it. You can sneak it in your kid’s food, too!




Chia Fresca

The perfect before-the-gym endurance drink. Try it 30 minutes before your workout!

1 cup spring or filtered water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey

Whisk the chia seeds into the water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Stir in lemon or lime juice and agave and whisk well. Drink immediately. Makes 1 serving.

Tiffany Lee Bymaster  (makeup artist, health nut and fitness enthusiast) loves Chia seeds… “I’m cuckoo nuts about Chia seeds! I first learned about it from a local ABC news story last year. What caught my attention in the story is that Chia seeds help make you feel full/satiated & I’m always fighting night time munchies so I had to try it out. I soak 1tablespoon of chia seeds in 1/2 cup of water for 1/2 hour. The chia seeds will bulk up & turn into a thick gel. I mix in 1/4 cup of pomegranate or acai juice & it’s my evening cocktail. It really does work to make you feel full & of course there’s a lot of other health benefits to chia seeds like the high omegas & fiber.

Since then I’ve found you can add (sneak) Chia seeds into just about anything, turkey burgers, Paleo “meatzza”, smoothies, steel cut oatmeal, sprinkled on top of yogurt, added into protein pancakes.”

Tiffany’s favorite Chia treat – Chia Pumpkin Bread

One box of pumpkin bread mix, 1 can organic pumpkin. Mix those two things together, the canned pumpkin replaces the oil & eggs. Mix chia seeds into batter & bake!

Candice Cendaña (PR & social media consultant, health advocate, vegan & runner) uses Chia in: Green smoothies, granola, parfaits, oatmeal before long runs, nut mixes for nut bars to carry while racing, and as part of fruit and veggie flushes (cleanses). “Chia seeds are a GREAT source of omegas, protein and fiber!” – Candice.

Chia seeds are my new daily staple. You can sprinkle it on your salads, in your yogurt or oatmeal or put them in your smoothie. I even added Chia gel to my jelly in my PB & J sandwich the other day. It makes for a great pre-work out drink and an evening anti-night-munchie potion. So healthy and nutritious. I look forward to my green smoothies every morning, to the point where I don’t even care for coffee anymore! I think the Chia seeds combined with the veggies and Vanilla Fit Frappe protein powder by Big Train is an awesome combo!

green smoothie w/ spinach, vanilla fit frappe & chia seeds

Spinach Smoothie w/ Vanilla Fit Frappe & Chia Seeds

 Here’s my latest favorite green smoothie:

6-8 ounces apple juice


1 handful of washed spinach leaves

1 stick of celery (I always have sliced celery in the fridge, soaked in water)

1 banana

1 scoop of Big Train’s Vanilla Fit Frappe protein powder

2 teaspoons Chia seeds

Blend. Enjoy! It tastes sooo good. Don’t let the green color scare you. You don’t even realize you are drinking veggies because of the fruit and vanilla protein powder. I’m not kidding you, it tastes really good and it’s such a great way to start the day. If you haven’t tried a green smoothie, I highly recommend it!

Cheers to a healthy life!



P.S. Where did I buy my Chia seeds? I found my Chia seeds in the dry bulk area at Sprouts!

More info & sources:

Dr. Oz – Chia: Ancient Super-Seed Secret

How to Make Green Smoothies With Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds Superfood

The Chia Co.

My Chia Seeds 

Huffington Post article by Christina Pirello: Change You Life With Chia

Tiffany Lee Bymaster – Visit her blog or you can find her on Twitter: @CoachGlitter

Candice Cendaña - Visit her page or find her on Twitter: @CandiceCendana

Categories: fitness, food, nutrition | 2 Comments

My first green smoothie

green smoothie with Big Train Fit Frappe

Green Smoothie w/ Vanilla Fit Frappe

It’s Monday. I decided to start my week of right with my very first green smoothie. I’ve had the pre made ones from the grocery store, but haven’t made my own green smoothie before. I just started reading Beth Aldrich’s book “Real Moms Love to Eat“  and I must admit, it’s the first book I’ve read in a long time and the first book that actually got me excited about eating healthy.

One of the things that Beth talks about is getting the day started with a green smoothie. I was a little concerned about how this was going to taste, but I knew with a little apple juice and a scoop of Big Train Vanilla Fit Frappe for my dose of protein it was going to be okay. Well, it was more that just okay. I was pleasantly surprised how good it tasted and how good it made me feel to drink my veggies!

The book suggests:

1 frozen banana or 1/2 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
1 cup fresh organize juice (apple orange, pineapple, etc.)
1 scoop powdered raw greens (find them in a health food store) or 1 handful fresh greens (i.e. baby lettuce, kale, spinach)
1 scoop protein powder (whey, rice, hemp or soy are good choices or you can buy plain or flavored)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
A few ice cubes

You can use optional flavoring: 1 tablespoon of peanuts or other nut butter, 1 tablespoon raw cacao or cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavored extract, dash of cinnamon

Optional sweetener: 1 tablespoon agave nectar, real maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or granulated raw sugar

You can experiment with all kinds of different combinations and use your creativity!

Here’s what I used this morning:

Apple juice
A handful of romain lettuce
Ice cubes
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed (I love this stuff!)
1 scoop of Big Train Vanilla Fit Frappe (My favorite protein powder. So yummy!)

I’m out of fruit at the moment so I had a green smoothie with just veggies. I can’t believe how delicious this smoothie was! I drank it down in just a few gulps. I feel great! Can’t wait to explore more combinations with fruits and veggies now.

I am really enjoying Beth’s book. I highly recommend it! The perfect book for busy moms that enjoy eating and isn’t interested in taking away the things we love. It allows me to have fun with food without the “can’t eat this or that” regimen that really isn’t for me. Loving all kinds of food and enjoying eating it all and making healthy choices along the way… that’s for me. :-)

Have a great week, my friends!


Categories: fitness, food, green smoothies, nutrition | 2 Comments

Real Moms Love to Eat by Beth Aldrich #LuvToEatandRead

Author Beth Aldrich and MaryAnne Wendt

My friend Marcie Taylor hosted a gathering for social media moms to meet author Beth Aldrich at Paradise Perks in Irvine yesterday. Beth Aldrich just launched her book Real Moms Love to Eat and started her book tour in New York earlier this month.

When I received the Facebook invitation from Marcie, I knew that based on the title of Beth’s book that I had to attend. Real Moms Love to Eat. Hmmm. I’m a real mom. I love to eat. I had to meet this woman! The tagline of the book: How to Conduct a Love Affair With Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous. This is something I think all moms would love to live by!

The event was sponsored by Naked Grape wine, Flatout flatbread and Meringue Bakeshop (yummy Pushcakes!) And thanks to Paradise Perks for providing a fun venue for us!

Marcie Taylor on Twitter: @SuburbanMama
Paradise Perks on Twitter: @paradiseperks
Real Moms Love to Eat on Twitter: @RealMomsLuv2eat

It was a pleasure to meet the author and learn more about her book. I can’t wait to read it!


More photos on my Flickr:

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My Early Birthday Present #MacBookAir

My new 11" MacBook Air

I have been enjoying my early birthday present from Jim – the new MacBook Air! I opted for the 11″ since I have a 15″ MacBook Pro. I also have the iPad2 which I just got for Christmas. I guess you can say I’m in Mac heaven right now! I have always been at least 2 generations behind on Apple technology. New iPods come out, new iPhone (I still have the 4, not the 4S) and MacBook Air came out shortly after we got the MacBook Pro 3 years ago. This is the first time I’ve been this current w/ Apple products. For me, it’s really not a big deal when I’m “behind” on the products. I’m just happy to have working Macs. My MacBook Pro needs some serious work. In the 3 years that I’ve had it, so far the battery has died (I’m always chained to an outlet), the DVD/CD drive is out (I transfer files to my iMac G5 to burn discs) and iPhoto has been crashing for a year and I can’t access my photos. (And I can’t reinstall the OS until I get a new DVD/CD drive). As you can see, many issues with the MacBook Pro. Having down time and going without a computer in our household simply isn’t an option. Ok, we have the iMac G5 but it is slow. It’s hooked up to the cable modem and M-Audio Mobile Pre w/ killer speakers for Pandora and that’s about all it’s good for – Our Internet source for WiFi and Music. So, now I can slowly deal with the MacBook Pro issues while banging away on the MacBook Air. Mac Mac heaven!

What I love about the MacBook Air:

1. Tiny 11″ Screen = true mobility and weighs just over 2 pounds! This thing can fit in my purse and I can be connected anywhere! Give me a hot spot and I’m good to go. This 11″ MacBook Air is so thin and light, I’m sure it will fit perfectly on an airplane tray at our next vacation, with room for a place to set my drink! Oh yeah. My #1 rule is “No drinks anywhere NEAR the computer.” So this tiny screen is great. Not so great on my nearsighted eyes, but I don’t mind. The dream is to dock this thing to a 27″ Thunderbolt. If you haven’t seen this bad boy, click here. Just another $999.00 and I’d be set LOL!

2. Fast: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. No spinning hard drive. You close the MacBook Air, it goes to sleep. You open it, it fires right back up.

I could go on and on about the specs.

3. Photos: Bottom line, I’m so excited to have a shiny new Mac and I can now get to work on managing 4,000+ photos from 2011. It’s been tough to organize photos all year without access to iPhoto. So happy to be able to do that now!

One thing that I had to get used to with this Lion OS is the 2 finger scrolling. When browsing, you have to use 2 fingers on the center of the touchpad to scroll up and down. It’s taking a bit getting used to. And when I jump on the MacBook Pro which is so 2 OS’s ago, I forget and try to scroll with 2 fingers on that touchpad. Doh. So with that 2 finger scrolling technique, I finally mastered pinning to different boards on my iPad. Apparently iPad uses the same technology on the touchscreen. I had no idea. Oh, and what’s pinning to boards? My latest addiction: Pinterest! It is so fun to pin interesting and inspiring photos onto various boards and sharing with others. It’s Instagram meets Twitter using bulletin boards to repin each other’s images. Very fun, easy and addicting! If you aren’t on Pinterest, try it!
Follow Me on Pinterest

I should have no excuses now for keeping up with my personal blog about our adventures and my latest #foodtrucking experience. I can pretty much blog from everywhere but the bathtub. Hmmm.. a waterproof MacBook Air case with floating lap cushion for bubble bath blogging? Nah, no technology should ever be in the bathroom.

Have a great day, my friends!



Categories: personal, Technology | 4 Comments

Congratulations Marissa! She landed her first solo!

Marissa looks for her name

The kids rushed to the school window to see the posted cast list. The energy was electric as the kids jumped and screamed with joy as they discovered what part they got. “YESSSS!!!” and “WOOO HOOOO!” were the top two words yelled into the air. Some kids just smiled as they saw their name on the list. Others were crazy loud. I couldn’t wait to get there and see what Marissa got. I peeked. I kept it to myself so that she could find out for herself. I saw Marissa in the distance, walking towards me, with her face looking curious. She looked at me. “Go and look for your name,” I said with a smile. She squeezed her way through the crowd of excited kids and looked for her name. Then, she turned around with a smile on her face and said, “I got a solo!” She was so happy. She has sang solo in the past 3 talent shows, but this is different. Her first time on stage in the school musical as a 4th grader, and she landed her first solo! She’ll be singing in “South Pacific.” We couldn’t be more proud of her.

It’s going to be an amazing production. So much awesome talent at our school. And we have the most amazing director. We are the luckiest school in Irvine to have her. You don’t get this caliber of theater at any other elementary school. Such a huge opportunity for the kids to be exposed to this at an early age. I’ll post more updates in the weeks to come. Break a leg, kids!

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Musical Auditions and Internet Safety Speech

Another hectic week for the Wendt Family… Marissa has been practicing the song “Honey Bun” from the musical “South Pacific” during her entire 3 week break. Our water bill must be up this month from all the extra long showers where she does most of her practicing. Ha ha! It’s like a concert in the bathroom. Of course, she also sings in her room. Constantly. We love that she’s so passionate about singing. Her voice has really developed this year. You can tell that her voice is more mature from last year. It just makes me happy to hear her sing. The reason why she was practicing “Honey Bun” so much over her Winter Break was because 2 days ago she had auditions for her school musical. They are putting on a medley of “South Pacific” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Lots of kids were at the audition! We were there from after school at 2:30 until at least 5:30PM.

The process was much like the shows you see on TV, “American Idol” or “Xfactor.” The girls are sorted out by song, the boys are sorted out by song, they are taught a quick dance choreography and are called out by number and lined up in chairs, 5 at a time. They go in the audition room with 8 judges sitting behind a long table. They go in the room as a group to do the choreography and come back out and sit in their chairs. Then each kid is called one by one to go in the room and sing their song. It’s quite nerve racking. I’m glad that Marissa’s commercial acting experience in Hollywood has helped prepare her from these moments. I can (somewhat) relax because I know that she’s relaxed. She is also prepared for the fact that she may not get a callback. And if she does, she still may not get the part that she wants. She understands that there is a casting process and the director is doing her best to place each kid with a particular part based on their vocals, dancing, overall appearance for the character, etc.

After Day 1 of auditions, Marissa found out that she got a callback! Yesterday was Day 2 of the audition process. The callback. She was assigned 2 new songs to sing. (Oh, and did I mention she had to a speech to deliver yesterday for a D.A.R.E. presentation for the 6th graders? I’ll get to that part in a few moments..) So… Marissa learned 2 new songs the night before AND practiced her Internet Safety speech for Officer Predney’s D.A.R.E. presentation. She sang “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” and “Paris.” This time the callback process was a little different. The kids were all in the main room together and had to sing in front of everyone. I enjoyed watching all the the kids. So much talent at our school! I don’t know how Bonnie (the director) handles this whole process. She’s just amazing. It was another long day. We where there from 1:30PM – 5:30PM! Whew.

After school today, the cast list will be posted on the doors of the multi purpose room. So exciting! Marissa is so anxious to see if she got a part. She has been in the Primary Chorus since the 1st grade. 1st – 3rd graders may participate in the school musicals in the chorus. (Because of the increased population at our school, it’s now 2nd-3rd graders in the chorus) 4th – 6th graders may audition for speaking/singing roles on stage. Imagine Marissa singing from these little bleachers since the 1st grade, watching all the action on stage. She has been waiting for the 4th grade to have these new opportunities! Wish her luck! We’ll find out today!

Yesterday Marissa was invited to speak at a D.A.R.E. presentation for the Irvine Police Department. She did awesome! She enjoys sharing everything she learned about Internet Safety with her peers. I’ll post the video below. We are just so very proud of her. I was not doing nearly as much as her at 9 years old. What a great kid. Keep it up, Marissa! We love you.

Up next: Jessie update! She has been such a supportive little sister. She’s my next blog post!

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Family Game Night: Crayola Guess My Picture


One of Jessie’s favorite gifts from Christmas was a board game by Crayola, “Guess My Picture.” It’s perfect for ages 4 and up. I love it because it’s fun for the whole family.

Here’s how we play:
First, we send one person out of the room.
Then we take 6 cards and lay them down on the board.
We pick 3 images to recreate using the colored shapes.
When we are done, we call the person back to the room.
That person has to guess all the pictures that we made!
Each person takes a turn leaving the room & coming back to guess.

It’s a fun family activity! There’s a set of cards with stars. We haven’t used them yet. I’m sure the rules explain how to use them but we haven’t gotten to that yet. We’re just having fun playing our own way with Jessie. (She just turned 4) When it’s someone’s turn to leave the room, that person is usually jumping on the trampoline or doing something silly to occupy themselves while the other family members are giggling & whispering while working with the shapes.

The kids got some fun gifts for Christmas. They love their gadgets! Marissa got an iPod Touch from Santa and Jessie inherited the iPhone1. Jessie also loves her Vtech InnoTab from Lola (grandma). But it’s the family board games the kids really enjoy the most. So put down the devices & have some unplugged fun!

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Original Apple Contract Sold for Nearly $1.6m

Wow! The original founding Apple contract signed on 1 April 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, sold for nearly $1.6m at a Sotheby’s auction in New York yesterday. The buyer is listed as Eduardo Cisneros, CEO of Cisneros Corp. and one of the wealthiest families in South America. This is an incredible piece of Apple history. Sotheby’s had estimated the contract at $150K.

The 3rd “lost” founder of Apple, Mr. Ronald Wayne sold his share of the company just 11 days after the company was formed. His withdrawal from the company included a payment of $800 and an additional $1,500. This share would be worth over $2 billion today.

Here’s a video interview with Mr. Wayne:

I have a copy of the Apple contract. You can download it here: clicking here.


About MaryAnne Wendt:

MaryAnne is a purple loving techie girl and has been an Apple fan since she owned her first computer, the Apple IIGS in 1986. She’s also a travel planner, social media enthusiast and enjoys Disneyland, foodtrucking & boxing. Follow her on Twitter @MaryAnneWendt.

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Secret Apple Contract Document Leaked

Image Source: Screenshot from

On December 13th the original “Apple Computer Company” founding partnership agreement will be up for auction at Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts sale for an estimated $150,000. The  contract was signed by “Stephen G. Wozniak”, “steven p. jobs”,  “Ronald G.. Wayne” and dated April 1, 1976. (Yes, April Fool’s Day) The two and a half page document was typed up by Ronald Wayne, co-founder and creator of the original Apple logo. He also wrote the manual for the Apple 1 computer.  The lot includes the Apple Computer Company Partnership Agreement and the Statement of Withdrawal signed by Ronald G. Wayne. He was paid $800, 11 days later. Mr. Wayne then received an additional $1,500. This share would be worth over $2 billion today.

“In a sense, both Wozniak and Linzmeyer are both correct. I have stated repeatedly—in my book I described in meticulous detail—that the ‘founding’ of which I was a part, was of the Apple Computer Company, which had nothing to do with the corporate entity that followed; a situation which makes Wozniak’s position precisely correct. Then at the same time, Linzmeyer—with whom I’d had many interviews—has postulated that the ‘company’ activities constituted the environment in which the original Apple I was physically built.” — Ronald Wayne

Apple logo by Ron Wayne
Original Apple logo was hand drawn by Ron Wayne

Since Steve Jobs’ passing on October 5, fans have purchased his black mock turtleneck for $175 and his favorite glasses the German Lunor Classic for $450. As stated in Computer World, Steve Wozniak will not be bidding on the document. Will Steve Jobs’ signature be worth $150,000? We shall find out on December 13th at the Sotheyby’s Auction. Look for Lot 241.

I was very lucky to have this special historical document fall into my hands. It’s an amazing piece of Apple history.

Would you like your very own copy of this document?

You can download it by clicking here. Download it now, while it’s still here!!


About MaryAnne Wendt:

MaryAnne is a purple loving techie girl and has been an Apple fan since she owned her first computer, the Apple IIGS in 1986. She’s also a travel planner, social media enthusiast and enjoys Disneyland, foodtrucking & boxing. Follow her on Twitter @MaryAnneWendt.

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Marissa Singing.

Marissa jumping

photo credit: Jim Wendt

Our recording project: 3 Tracks recorded so far!

Marissa loves to sing. We are so amazed at how much Marissa’s voice has grown since last year. Jim is having a lot of fun recording her tracks in GarageBand on the MacBook Pro. Here’s her most recent recording from last night… singing “The Christmas Song” in her own jazzy style:

The Christmas Song by Marissa Angelina (mp3)

She also re-recorded “When Christmas Comes to Town” from the movie Polar Express. Last year she sang this track for the backgrounds of our end of the year video. This song just suits her so beautifully.

When Christmas Comes to Town (cover) by Marissa Angelina (mp3)

In November Marissa performed one of her favorite songs by Adele, “Rolling in The Deep” at her school talent show.

Rolling in the Deep Adele (cover) by Marissa (mp3)

Categories: kids, marissa, music | Leave a comment