Category Archives: Health

Mercado Monday: Chia Seeds (Cha Cha Cha Chia)

The infamous Chia Pet that magically grows green fur in a matter of days might be the first thing you think of when hear the word chia, but these tiny seeds are actually full of nutrients.

And the good news is you don’t actually need to sprout chia seeds on a silly little terracotta tchotchke to enjoy their health benefits. Chia seeds are similar to the more nutritionally famous flax seed, but are superior in many ways.


Chia seeds can be found in every Nicaraguan market and are not considered a trendy health food product, rather just a normal Nica staple. One pound of chia seeds – which is enough to last me six months – cost just $7 USD at the local market.

Chia seeds are very similar to flax seeds in a number of ways – but unlike the flax seed – chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate, which means they can be stored for long periods of time without becoming rancid.

Chia Seeds

– Chia seeds purchased from the local market in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


There are three ways to eat chia – dry seeds, sprout it or make a chia gel.

The dry seeds are crunchy and slightly nutty. They are good in cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, salads or just about anything you want to add a slight crunch to.

To sprout chia follow the basic steps on the video. The use of a Chia Pet is not required, but does add to the fun factor.

Chia gel is made by stirring about three tablespoons of seeds into a cup of water. Thirty minutes later you have a gel that will last up to a week in the fridge. Chia gel can be substituted for half of the butter in baking recipes. Ground seeds can be used to thicken soups and sauces. Chia has many uses…these are just a few to ignite your imagination.

Nicaragua Health Food

– Getting ready to make some chia gel.


Chia Gel Nicaragua

– Thirty minutes later and voila…the magic has happened!


When eaten on their own chia seeds have a slightly nutty flavour, but when combined with other foods they are virtually flavourless.


Eating chia is an easy way to inject a little extra nutrition into your diet without even noticing.

  • Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Your heart will thank you for eating them.
  • A 1-ounce shot glass of chia seeds contains a third of your daily recommended fibre intake. That same shot glass holds between 20% and 50% of your daily recommended dose of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese.
  • Antioxidants are so high in chia seeds that they have a shelf life of two years. Imagine what it does for your body?
  • Chia seeds also pretty good at making you feel full. Once you’ve tried putting a few tablespoons in a cup of water you won’t have to ask why.
Chia gel for baking

– Chia Gel


No matter how many times I watch the Duck Dynasty Chia Pet video I laugh out loud.

Volunteering with World Vets: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Sweeping the floor, assisting with registration, replenishing cold drinks and snacks along with crowd control were some of the tasks I performed as a volunteer at the recent World Vet clinic that was held here in San Juan del Sur. 

A total of six veterinarians participated in the program. Three from Nicaragua, two from the United States and one from England.  There were fifteen volunteers in total.

Over the course of three clinic days  – in two different communities – the team performed 119 sterilization surgeries. 344 consultations and preventative health treatments (including flea and tick application, vitamins and deworming) were also administered.

All at NO CHARGE to the pet owners.

As I helped with clinic tear down at the end of an exhausting day I felt a complete sense of satisfaction. What an honor it was to be a part of such a worthy cause while helping make a difference in my community.

Thanks to World Vets and their amazing team of volunteers these animals will live happier, healthier lives.


To learn more about World Vets click hereTo make a one-time or recurring donation that will help animals around the world that would otherwise have no access to life-saving care click here.


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: