It was nice to have some time away from Neva for her first week of doggy training camp, but by the second week, we were really missing her and excited to have pup pup back. As I’ve mentioned before, I will have a dedicated post to our experience with a professional dog trainer soon, but I can’t fairly assess until we’ve had more time to work with Neva ourselves. I’m sure some people have an unrealistic expectation that they hand their dog over to a professional for some time then get a perfect dog back. We definitely got our Neva back with all her weird quirks and silly habits, but she’s been primed to learn and we’ve been given instruction and some extra tools to improve our ability to communicate with Little Miss Goofball. We are determined to give Neva’s training our best effort and are already seeing improvements over the old Neva.
she was so tuckered when we brought her home
continuing adult education (see how she’s looking at jeremy?)
After a month of unseasonably warm spring-like conditions in February, we seem to be getting even more of it in March. This kind of weather makes skiers nervous, and it makes those of us who live in the mountains anxious. The end of the month might be bringing some precipitation (possibly in the form of snow, too!), but this weeks-long warm spell is already taking its toll locally as a wildfire burns in a neighboring canyon bordering the city of Boulder. I’m the first one to wilt under the sun when it’s 30°F outside, but it’s been in the 60s here and I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when the sun drops behind the mountains each day.
we have had some fantastic sunsets
glowing streaks and puffs
In the last year, I’ve had to change my oncologist and my primary care physician (PCP) due to retirements. I was pretty bummed because I really adored and trusted both of these doctors who basically saw me through my cancer treatments. I’ve since met with my new oncologist and PCP, both of whom are great (consider me most fortunate to have great health care through my spouse’s employer since I am freelance and have a pre-existing condition). My PCP asked me what medications I take and if I take supplements. Since I am lactose intolerant, I take a daily calcium supplement in addition to eating dark leafy greens and other natural non-dairy sources of calcium. She said she’d like me to get more calcium through foods rather than a supplement. Okay, that shouldn’t be hard for me to do. Brassicas like kale, collard greens, and broccoli are already in rotation, but I would never say no to more! Tofu, almonds, edamame, spinach – easy peasy. What I didn’t know was that chia seeds are a great source of calcium.
teeny tiny little chia seeds
If you’re wondering whether these are the same chia seeds of “chia pet” fame, the answer is yes. I had chia seeds for the first time in a raspberry kombucha when I was trying to get the balance in my gut right after a course of antibiotics. They look like frog eggs and have the texture of tiny, slippery tapioca with a crunchy center. That might not be appealing to some, but I love it. When I’m on Instagram, I scroll past all of those oh-so-popular smoothie bowls because I actually prefer to eat my fruit with my teeth. But a local blogger, Joan of Grist and Greens, posted a chia seed pudding last month, which looked and sounded lovely.
vanilla extract, almond milk, chia seeds, honey
While I went with a different recipe, Joan was still my inspiration. I opted for an almond milk chia seed pudding instead of her coconut milk chia seed pudding because – double bonus: almond milk is a good source of calcium. Since I knew I liked chia seeds, I went ahead and bought the Big Bag of organic chia seeds from Costco. The pudding itself is just about the easiest thing you could make. Just stir everything together and refrigerate.
and almond milk
I read several warnings about eating chia seeds straight up and how it’s not a good idea to do so. These little guys can absorb up to ten (or more) times their weight in liquid, producing a mucilaginous gel in the process. I imagine if you downed a bunch of chia seeds dry, then chased them with a glass of water or juice, you could end up with stomach bloat, discomfort, or other problems (one guy got a big bolus stuck in his esophagus). You can let them sit in water for as little as five to ten minutes to create a chia seed gel, but an overnight soak increases digestibility.
cover and refrigerate
after chilling overnight
I’m perfectly happy eating the chia seed pudding plain, but it really gets a boost in flavor and texture when you add things like fresh fruit and nuts to it. Actually, you should add whatever you like to it. And Joan’s puddings were so cheery with happy fruity cutout shapes, I had to try it myself. Yup, the pudding definitely tastes better that way. I’m sold!
topped with mango, raspberries, and almonds
easy, delicious, healthy breakfast or snack
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1-2 tbsps honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir all of the ingredients together. Refrigerate covered overnight (or at least an hour). Stir before serving. Serve with fruit, nuts, or other toppings. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Makes 4 cups.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|quinoa, fruit, and nut salad
|steel cut oatmeal
|chinese chicken congee