“You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you?” Mike jokingly asked me the other morning when he saw me pouring chia seeds and cinnamon into our boy’s pancake batter. If you’re familiar with Kodiak Cakes, this pancake mix comes with protein already added to it, making it already leveled-up. But who I am to pass at the chance to power it up even more? lol

I love sending my boys to school with the antioxidant help from cinnamon and the brain-boosting nutrition from chia seeds. 

In fact, cinnamon, chia seeds and clean protein powders are my favorite way to provide a little more nutritional balance to many carb-heavy foodslike oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, and muffins.

Here’s why!
CINNAMON – aside from making things taste amazing and being loaded with antioxidants (toxin neutralizers), cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory and also helps make us more sensitive to the hormone insulin. This means insulin actually does its job, which is to bring sugar from the blood into our cells to be used. This is especially great news for those who are insulin resistant diabetics. Cinnamon also helps with heart health and is antibacterial and anti-fungal and may have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. source

CHIA SEEDS – these tiny seeds have been toted as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Boasting an incredibly high nutritional profile compared to their low total calories, it’s been said the Aztecs could run hundreds of miles from the energy provided by chia, a staple in their diet. Aside from super-brain-healthy Omega-3 fats, Chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants plus vitamins and minerals like manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.

Chia Seeds are tiny enough to be eaten without grinding them up beforehand (unlike flax seeds) and, because they expand into a gel-like texture when met with liquid, dissolved chia seeds are nearly undetectable to the texture-terrified child (ha) and can help balance blood sugar, making you feel more even keel. Add a sprinkle…or few Tablespoons!…to your next oatmeal, pancake, smoothie or muffin batch and boost your brain power! 

PROTEIN POWDER – adding a scoop of vanilla or any/unflavored protein powder slows the digestive process down, which means a steadier release of sugar (carbs) into the bloodstream. In turn, you’ll feel fuller longer and have a more favorable insulin response, which means a more favorable fat-burning response. Increasing lean protein is also essential for muscle recovery and growth in addition to helping repair and build all the other tissues of the body (hair, skin, nails, etc). 

In our house, Juice Plus+ Complete is our kiddo’s choice when it comes to flavor (and parent’s choice when it comes to real food plant protein sources) and Ancient Nutrition Collagen Protein wins when it comes to a gut-healing source that is so very good for you. I like to keep jars of these ingredients in my spice cupboard so they are close by to grab and pour.

What will you try these in next? 
Jess + Team Valeo

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