Lao Tzu said, “The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” May is Women’s Health Awareness Month, and we celebrate with a focus on wellness as a journey—a journey of many single steps… and one where we plant the seeds and integrate new practices to enhance our health, happiness, and wellness.
During this time, we are given not just a single day, but an entire month to pay attention, reset, and educate ourselves on how we can do more in our everyday lives to help improve our overall health.
If something as tiny as a grain of chia seed has shown to be powerful enough to sustain and even confer considerable benefits, couldn’t a similarly tiny shift—or daily practice—to our routine greatly impact our well-being?
Can May be themonth where we begin to take these steps toward shifting small seeds within our lifestyle: the way we eat, exercise, and rest? Dr. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RDN, shares her tips and guidance with 5 ways to seedthe journey toward our best health and get the most out of Women’s Health Awareness Month.
“Our mindset matters. How we frame our perspective about ourselves and our world can impact health, says Dr. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RDN. Being kind and showing love to ourselves can help empower us to take charge of our health. By making a mental commitment—the choice—to change even a small part of our routine, we set an actual intention that can help us move toward caring for ourselves and ultimately feeling better. This, in turn, can then boost our motivation, enhance our mood, and sets the tone for our wellness journey.
As the school year and college semesters start to roll toward their close, the month of May, sitting squarely in the spring where new beginnings and blossoming occurs, actually offers an opportunity to be curious and educate ourselves about fresh topics of interest—one of those being our wellness. While interest in wellness has been around for as long as humanity, scientific inquiry and research born from that in recent decades, has brought us a broader and more sophisticated lens on ways through lifestyle and diet to enhance both our physical and mental well-being, allowing us to live a vital and fuller life.
One important trend that’s also steeped in thousands of years of history and use, is by tapping into ancient grains in modern ways is an exciting place toto expand our knowledge and also nourishing the body. Dr. Bazilian explains, “One ancient grain that’s been around for more than 4,000 years—Chia—is getting renewed attention, in part because of knowledge of its impressive nutritional profile, and also because of the interesting and innovative ways we are able to find and enjoy it in our diets today. Along with a number of important vitamins, minerals, notable fiber and a host of phytonutrients, chia’s superpower is its excellent source of plant omega-3 fat, called alpha linolenic acid.” This plant omega-3 has been linked in research to helping lower inflammation, as well as supporting digestive, heart and immune health, all important issues from women today.
And today, we are starting to see more from chia than just the seeds—a step beyond the seeds like chia milk and chia oil. Who knew? Now you do! And that’s some new knowledge to get you started. “Healthy skin, hair, nails, digestion, and energy rely on regular, consistent and varied contributions of hydrating foods that are also nutritious, and you’ve got that in chia milk. It’s the perfect versatile plant-based milk that delivers both nutrition, hydration and a tasty option you can include in your diet in a variety of ways,” adds Dr. Bazilian.
There’s a little healthy learning and growth for you right there!
It’s for a good reason that breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. By making the healthiest choices our first daily priority, we give ourselves the sustenance needed to be resilient both mentally and physically.
For breakfast, Dr. Bazilian suggests including the pink refresh smoothie boosted with your favorite protein powder, noting that, “It’s quick and easy making it perfect for a fast, flavorful, fun on-the-go option.”
She further explains, “by making a smart swap to chia milk, you get the nutrition of chia without the seeds—plus the hydration from water—that’s smooth and creamy in your mouth, different than when you add chia seeds themselves. And chia milk also provides with it more protein and fiber than most plant milks and is low in calories, at only 20 calories per cup.”
A health and wellness journey doesn’t have to involve a drastic change with a move to a completely new lifestyle. It’s about balance. Opting for wholesome additions can be uncomplicated. Using chia milk as one idea toward this end, Dr. Bazilian recommends something as simple as, “adding creamy chia milk to your coffee (hot, cold, blended) or oatmeal.”
Every meal is an opportunity to make the choice to nurture our bodies and support our health. If we started out the day with less healthier food choices, it is always possible to make the next opportunity count, and to balance and nourish our bodies with the addition of nutrient-rich foods. For lunch or dinner, Dr. Bazilian shares her creative ways to incorporate Seeds of Wellness (SOW)Chia Milk into your already familiar recipes: “Chia milk is the perfect complementary flavor to leeks, potatoes, corn and butternut squash - so you can make your favorite soup creamy and delicious with this addition or swap.” She further shares, “If you have a late-night sweet tooth, chia milk can be used as a terrific swap for milk or water in your favorite brownie, pudding and muffin recipes with no nutritional value lost in the baking process.”
Mindfulness practices, such as breathing exercises, meditation, and journaling, have been shown to improve our mental and physical health. When these kinds of practices are infused even in small ways into one’s daily routine, a sense of personal empowerment along with less stress and worry can result.
Many people care about the environmental impact of their choices today, but it can be stressful to know what to do to actually make a real impact. One way to do that is by choosing foods that are easier on the environment like those grown with regenerative agriculture—that favors the soil, the farmer, us (the eater), and the planet. Chia seeds used to make SOW Chia Milk are grown with regenerative agriculture and no water input from humans—the only water used in production comes straight from Mother Nature herself, through rainfall. Not only are you doing something great this month to improve your overall health and wellness by incorporating chia milk into your diet, but you’re helping the earth by having a lower environmental impact.
Women's Health Awareness Month reminds women of ways to become more aware so they can take charge and realize improvements to their own health. We encourage you to start your wellness journey with the incorporation of SOW Chia Milk as one of those small steps toward better health.
Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RDN is a writer, educator, food enthusiast and award-winning journalist. A doctor of public health, registered dietitian nutritionist and American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist, Dr. Bazilian is author of several best-selling books. She maintains a busy private practice with individuals from CEOs, artists, and actors, to professional athletes, parents and children seeking to improve their and their family’s nutrition, fitness and health. Wendy is an expert consultant to the spa industry, to start-up and established food and commodity groups, and to the health care industry. A frequent nutrition and wellness presenter at scientific, medical, corporate, culinary and public conferences and festivals, Dr. Bazilian’s expertise is featured in and she also writes for a variety of national print and digital media. She has been an expert contributor and returning guest on NBC’s TODAY show and GMA for many years. She is the nutrition expert for and frequent guest on Live with Kelly and Ryan.