Happy Sunday – I hope your weekend is relaxing, fun, and healthy! I have lots to talk about today, including a recap of yesterday’s Tour de Cure and an opportunity for YOU to win one of my favorite products! Because this is a monster post, I’ve divided it into 4 sections – Motivation to Ride, The Ride Itself, Fueling During the Ride, and Chia Bar Giveaway. Of course, I hope you read them all, but just in case, this will make it a little easier to find what you want!
Motivation to Ride
Yesterday, I rode in a metric century (100K, or 61.5 miles) bike ride called the “Tour de Cure.” Although my first love is running, I also really enjoy cycling … my road bike ends up collecting dust for a lot of the year, and once I get back on it I always regret not using it more often! But this ride (it’s specifically not called a race) inspires me to get back in the saddle every year, so if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen pictures of my rides for the past several weeks, gearing up to this event.
So why do I participate in the ride? It’s definitely a personal challenge, because 61.5 miles is no joke, and you know I love pushing my body whenever possible. Plus, like I said, I really enjoy cycling! But there’s one real reason I participate …
My younger sister Lindsey was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2003, just as I headed off to college. I remember getting that call and not really knowing what it meant for Lindsey’s future. Sure, diabetes didn’t sound too great, but I was sure a strong girl like Lindsey could get through it. Little did I know at that time what a burden diabetes would be on Lindsey’s every day life … not only does she have to give herself insulin shots several times a day (or wear a “pump” that helps administer insulin), but she constantly has to check her blood sugar levels, think about what she is eating and the impact it will have on her body, and worry about maintaining her health in a way that most of us don’t have to deal with. She is a true champion and handles this all with grace and composure, but not a day goes by when I don’t wish that we would find a cure for this frustrating, awful disease. Clearly, I know that going on a bike ride or donating a small sum of money will not actually find the cure to diabetes, but I believe that every little step we can take to fund research or show support for those with diabetes is a step in the right direction. (picture source)
The Ride Itself
So yesterday, I hopped in my car bright and early, and drove to the starting line, where I got my number and geared up for the start. I’m pretty comfortable biking on my own, but the idea of starting in a pack of hundreds of riders still makes me a little nervous, so I decided to give them a few minutes’ head start and take off on my own (incidentally, I missed a turn right at the beginning since I wasn’t with the pack, so I ended up riding 62.3 total miles – oops!).
Within a few miles, I caught up to a bunch of riders, and was so impressed by how friendly everyone was on the road. There were so many riders with diabetes, and yelling out “Go Red Rider!” to them made me smile every time. I passed several packs since I started a few minutes late, and eventually settled into a nice groove. I spoke with a nice guy named Ferdy for almost 10 miles, but mostly enjoyed zoning out by myself. When I wasn’t talking to others, I tried to think of something I was grateful for each time my Garmin clicked off one more mile – a fun exercise!
The course was an out-and-back, and I had forgotten how hilly the middle half of the course (miles 15-46) was! The roads were pretty rough at this point, too, but in general it was a great course. I got to see lots of Texas farmland, horses, and cows, and had to deal with very few cars. Of course, it was HOT – “felt like” 99 degrees when I finally got back to my car.
Like I said, this wasn’t a race, and even though I’ve been cycling 40+ miles the past few weekends, I’ve really only gotten in 5 or so rides since the Tour de Cure last year (sad, I know). I knew my running endurance, leg strength, and general fitness would carry me through the ride, but I wanted to maintain a pace that was slow enough to be manageable for the whole distance without “crashing and burning.” Due to the hills, I was going anywhere between 6 mph (steeeeep hill!) and 32 mph (same hill!), but my goal was to finish the 61.5 miles in 4 hours. Well, I’m nothing if not determined, and look at my final finish time … 3:59:48! That’s 15.6 mph … pretty slow relative to my times when I cycled more frequently, but given the hills, heat, and road conditions, I’ll take it! My legs were getting tired towards the end, but the biggest trouble was my neck – so sore from the bent over road bike position that I’m just not used to anymore! Overall, it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning – motivating, fun, and sweaty :).
Fueling During the Ride
Because it was so hot, I knew I’d have to focus on hydration. I have two big water bottles on my bike, and I refilled them each three times. I used one packet of Hammer Heed (a more natural electrolyte powder that I use frequently), and the rest was straight water. Aside from the few pretzels and 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I snagged from the fuel tents, my main source of energy was Health Warrior Chia Bars.
You know about my love for chia seeds, so it should be no surprise that one of my go-to energy bars lists them as the #1 ingredient. These bars provide a steady source of energy, taste great, and are really easy on my sensitive stomach, so I tucked a few in my jersey pockets, and consumed two on the ride. (Note: I probably consumed about 400-450 calories total throughout the 4 hours. I’ve seen many people argue that you should consume up to 800 calories per hour on the bike, which seems like major overkill to me! I believe that each person’s body is different, and we can find the right fueling balance for ourselves through experimentation. I’m happy to answer questions on this if you have them!)
Chia Bar Giveaway
So now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! I want to give YOU an opportunity to try some Chia Bars for yourself! I mentioned on Facebook last weekend that I was going to reach out to a few companies to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring giveaways. Because I’m a new blogger, I only want to promote and give away products that I really do believe in and use myself, so Health Warrior was one of the first companies I asked. Luckily for me – and for you! – they offered to send four boxes of Chia Bars – one for me to review, and three to give away!
I’ve mentioned that I love the taste of Chia Bars, and the way they give me long-lasting energy with a nutrition label I can feel good about. And get this – Health Warrior let me know that chia seeds (pound for pound) provide more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, more fiber than oatmeal, more protein than tofu, and more magnesium than broccoli! The bars are all natural, vegan, dairy- and soy-free, and just 100 calories each (with 1000mg Omega-3s and only 5g sugar). Until yesterday I hadn’t tried the new flavors, and they are delicious!! I was given a box of Coconut, Banana Nut, Apple Cinnamon, and Coffee flavors, but I want the winners to be able to try them all! So I’m going to mix up the flavors and send three winners a box of Chia Bars with all four flavors represented!! (Don’t worry, the bars are individually wrapped). There are several ways to enter – just use the Rafflecopter widget below to get started. You have until Wednesday at 11:59pm CT to enter, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday. If you have trouble, feel free to email me, and note that if you’re reading this by email, you’ll have to click through to the post, and the widget may not work with Internet Explorer. And check out Health Warrior on Facebook and Twitter!
click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
So tell me in the comments …What is your favorite way to use chia seeds? Which of the new flavors of Chia Bars sound best to you? What health/ wellness/ nutrition question would you like to see answered on the blog?
As I am reading this my chocolate chia pudding is soaking…15 more minutes and it will be ready! I have never tried chia bars, but they sound great
Awesome, Katie! I hope you like it – just love that you’re getting into chia seeds :). If you see the bars, pick one up and try it … I bet it would be a good snack between classes as you’re teaching!
I usually love chia seeds mixed into yogurt or oatmeal. Or even sprinkled on my toast for a good crunch. These bars look great!
Thanks – great ideas!
I’m so excited to know that I won!! THANKS!
I don’t yet use chia seeds. My husband was actually just reading up on them to learn more about using them. He is a vegan who just started gluten-free and was reading up on new food and nutrition options
I think coconut sounds best!!
I would love to have more articles/posts about different food plans, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free. etc
Thanks for the comments, Jenny. For vegans and vegetarians, it can be hard to get enough Omega-3s, since the most common naturally-occurring source is fish. So, chia seeds would be a great addition to your husband’s diet! I hope he tries them (and you, too!). Good suggestion on the posts – while I don’t follow any strict restrictions myself (e.g. gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free), I’m happy to share what I know and will add this idea to the list!
i love to use chia seeds in my oatmeal/overnight oats! the coffee flavor sounds interesting!
I would love to try the Coconut ones!! Those sound awesome
They are awesome, Gabrielle!
I like to blend chia seeds into smoothies. The Banana nut bars sound good.
I do too, Jennifer!
I’m totally going to put chia seeds in my chobani! I’d love to try the banana nut:)
Yay, Amrita! I’ll slowly convert you to all my ways :).
Love the little seeds in my yogurt.
Me too, Julie!
I have only ever tried chia bars
Glad you’ve already tried them, Julie!
I would like to try the coffee flavor, because I’m a coffee fanatic, and think it would make a great chia bar. As for questions on the blog, from what I’ve read tonight(I’m a new follower), it seems like you’ve answered most of my questions. I do enjoy the tips you have on here also!
And thanks for being a new follower! Glad to have you on board :).
I just tried chia seeds a couple of months back. I’m weird. I put them in my oatmeal, in my granola, and in my greek yogurt. I definitely feel a kick from them.
That’s not weird, Gigi – I love chia seeds in oatmeal, granola, and Greek yogurt, too!
I want to add to smoothies the yogurt sounds good
i would like to try the banana nut. I’ve never really used chia for anything yet but would love to try some new recipes.
Thanks, Linda. If you go to the homepage of The Lyons’ Share (www.thelyonsshare.org), and type “chia” into the search bar on the right side of the page, you might find a few more uses!
I like chia seeds on my salads and smoothies. I would like to try the Banana Nut flavor of the bars.
Thanks, Yona. Just clicked through to your blog – funny post!
I would love to try the Coconut ones. I like to add chia to my smoothies. email@example.com
Me too, Pam!
we love to sprinkle them on all of our salads. my daughter puts hers in yogurt overnite to make a kind of porridge. thanks for such a great giveaway!
I love letting them soak in yogurt, too, Amy! Thank you for stopping by!
I have never try them. My family are trying to eat more healthy and looking for healthy snacks.
Good luck with your family’s mission to be healthier, William! Hope you find some good tips on The Lyons’ Share!
Coconut flavor sounds best to me!
It sure is a good one, Beckee!
I have never tried them.
I hope you try them now, Marie! They’re a great healthy addition to so many things!
I love making pudding with chai seeds and the Banana Nut flavored bar sounds delicious.
Me too, Kylie!
My favorite way to use chia seeds is to add them to coconut oil/cocoa “candy” and also to add to yogurt.
thanks for hosting the giveaway!
Wow, I’m intrigued by coconut oil/ cocoa “candy”! Sounds great
I add them to my smoothies
Me too, Donna!
I like to sprinkle them in cereal and on peanut butter toast. I would like to try the banana nut flavor. I’d like to see a post on alternative protein sources and how to use them daily.
Good suggestion, Wendy! I’ll add alternative protein sources to the list.
Chi in oatmeal is nutritious. I’d enjoy the new Apple Cinnamon to try and I find new recipes for quick easy dinners that are healthy too very helpful. Thanks!
Thanks, Ray! Hope you find some recipes that you enjoy here on The Lyons’ Share!
The Banana Nut sounds good, but I would also like to try the coffee flavor.
I think Coffee bar sounds wonderful! I love to use chia in salads and smoothies.
In smoothies! The coffee flavor sounds very good to me. I don’t have a specific question but I love reading your posts about healthy food.
Thanks for reading, Amy! I hope you continue to enjoy it!
I put chia seeds in alot of things.
Like my Oatmeal and yougurt..Yum!
Good uses, Lisa!
The seeds are great in breads or salads, I would love to try the apple cinnamon, I’m sure they are as good as the rest.
When I use chia seeds it’s sprinkled in my yogurt with some all bran.
I love them on yogurt, too, Kathy!
Love the enthusiasm, Debra 🙂
Honestly, i have never used them but am extremely interested
I hope you end up trying them, Kathy!
i love adding them to smoothies
Me too, Cassandra!
I like to use chia seeds in smoothies. Thanks for the giveaway!
No problem, Pary! Thanks for stopping by!
I have never had Chia seed before but if I did I would put them in my smoothies, that I drink every day. I would like the Apple Cinnamon bar. (actually they all sound good). I was wondering if a person allergic to peanuts would be able to eat these.
Hi Darlene, I’m not a doctor, but I have never seen any evidence that those with peanut allergies should not consume chia seeds. Here is one study I found confirming this (link here). However, like I said, I’m not a doctor, so if you do have an allergy, please contact one before you consume chia seeds. Also, some of the chia bars contain various nut types. You should check their website here for more information.
I usually just throw them in my smoothies 🙂
I do the same, Courtney!
I have used chia seeds in smoothies, but I know that they are sooo good for you and would like to find more uses. I liked reading what other people use them for. I think the coconut bar sounds really good. As far as what else I would like to know, anything that has to do with recipes or ideas that pack a lot of good stuff into small easy meals. I work full time and have a 4 month old and am constantly looking for things I can make on the go that will help keep me going and give me energy.
Glad you enjoyed the comments, Kelly. So did I! I got some new ideas like using them as a salad topper! Wow, I give you tons of credit for trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a 4-month-old … I’m sure that’s really tough! Hopefully you’ll find some tips you can use on The Lyons’ Share blog!
love them in smoothies!
Me too, Diana!
I love chia in smoothies and I’ve never tried chia bars before! The Apple Cinnamon would be good and I enjoy reading blogger’s fitness tips and routines!
Thanks, Georgiana! I have been wondering whether people would like to follow along with my workout schedule if I posted it on a separate tab on the blog, so that’s a good suggestion!
I like to use Chia seeds in my oatmeal and yogurt. The coconut flavored bar sounds delicious. Thanks for the giveaway, and congrats on the awesome ride!
Thanks for the congrats and the comment, Pam! I like them in oatmeal and yogurt, too :).
I’ve only had them in fruit bars but I’d love to try adding them to lots of things because of their nutritional value. All of the flavors sound good but the coffee flavor sounds especially interesting to me. I don’t have a specific question but I love reading about healthy food.
Thanks, Shannon! Look through these comments for some great ideas on how to use chia seeds, plus I’m sure you’ll find some in following along with my blog!
I’ve never tried them but the coconut sounds great!
1. I’ve never tried chia seeds yet, but hope I will get a chance if I win these bars
2. I think my favorite flavor would be banana nut with coconut as a close second, but they all sound yummy!
3. I like to read anything about weight loss and fitness, especially reviews on products regarding those things and even more so if a giveaway is involved too.
I hope you get a chance, too, Yvonne! Those are two of my favorite flavors, also. Hopefully you’ll like the reviews and fitness information you’ll find on the Lyons’ Share!
I almost always throw some chia seeds in my granola. They also make a natural pudding if you let them soak in milk (add flavor with flaovred protein powder!)
Thanks, Kaitlin! I love a chia “pudding” like you said – one of my recipes is at this link!
i have only had the seeds in a shake i would love to try these
I love chia on top of my rice or in salads, when mixed into a vinaigrette!
Rice is a great idea that I haven’t heard yet – thanks!
Never tried the chia seeds, but hear so many great things on them , I need to incorporate them and try those bars also….coconut…
Hope you try them soon, Kendra!
I use chia seed in salad in drinks
How much chia should you intake in a day
In my opinion, Amanda, it would be pretty hard to “overdose” on chia, so you should use as much as you want (as long as you’re working it into a balanced diet and accounting for the calories). There is no official RDA for omega-3s, as far as I know, but I’ve seen estimates anywhere from 500mg per day all the way to 9,000 mg per day if you’re using it to treat a condition (like heart disease, mood disorders). I believe the most common is 1,000 mg/ day as a minimum. So go ahead and enjoy a Chia Bar (1,000 mg) AND some chia seeds on your yogurt/ salad/ oatmeal/ whatever else!
I have heard so much about chia bars would like to try them and see how good they are thanks
Glad you’ve already heard about them, Amanda!
We use Chia Seeds in smoothies and cookies. The Coconut Chia Bars sound the best to me. I don’t have a particular question at this time. Sorry. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.
No problem, Kristie! Glad you’re already hooked on chia seeds!
I would love to try the coconut bar! I use chia in smoothies and baking all the time!
Great, Jessica! Thanks for commenting.
I have never tried Chai seeds, but my husband puts them into smoothies. I think the banana nut flavor sounds the best!
Hopefully you try (and enjoy!) some of your husband’s smoothie one of these days, Nicole!
I use chia seeds in juice! the banana nut sounds like a yummy flavor
Banana nut is a yummy flavor, you’re right!
i mix them in my refrigerator oatmeal.
Sounds interesting – wonder if that is similar to what I call “overnight oats”?
I love no bake energy bars with chia in them
Those sound delicious, Kellie!
What is your favorite way to use chia seeds?
I like using it for pudding
Which of the new flavors of Chia Bars sound best to you?
I like banana nut. Sounds good.
What health/ wellness/ nutrition question would you like to see answered on the blog?
How to cook with different types of healthy oils.
Healthy oils is a great idea – thanks, Joanna!
I’ve never had chia before, but the coconut bars sound good
They are good, Julie! Hope you get to try some chia seeds!
I’ve just recently come across the idea of adding chia seeds to my diet. I had been eating whatever I’ve wanted and now my weight and waist line are showing it. I just bought my first bag today and plan on adding them to my yogurt, smoothies, and any baking. The Chia bars sound good and I would like to incorporate them into my diet, perhaps after running. All the flavors are sound good to me. If I were to pick the first flavor to try, I’d go with apple cinnamon.
Congrats on deciding to make a healthy change, Shawndra! That’s great news, and you’re on the right track! Let me know if you have suggestions for blog posts that might help along your weight loss journey, and enjoy the chia seeds!
I love to make coconut chia bars!
Those sound delicious, Dolly!
i have only tried them in chia bars.
Glad you’ve already tried the Chia Bars, Ann! Try tossing them in yogurt – that’s my favorite way to enjoy chia seeds aside from the bars!
I usually add them to smoothies or on my salads.
Good uses, Christina!
I love putting them in green drinks!
I love Chia Seeds in Nutritional Bars. The Apple Cinnamon and Banana Nut sound awesome.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Sure, Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by!
*blushing* I’ve never even heard of chia seeds…
You don’t have to blush, Mya! Chia seeds have gained a lot of popularity in the past several months (or a year?), but until then almost no one had heard about them! Hope you try some out!
I would love info to help me improve my already healthy lifestyle!
Congrats on living an already healthy lifestyle, Darby! Hope you can find some useful info here!
We use Chia in baked items. And the coconut bars look great.
I agree, Deb – a great way to boost nutrition and ensure a great consistency (even without eggs) in baked goods!
I love to put chia seeds in my smoothies and with my oatmeal and yogurt
Littlemamameow at gmail dot com
Those seem to be popular ideas, Carolina!
Thanks you for stopping by my blog. I look forward to following you. I definitely could use some healthy tips!!!! I have a lot to learn.
Blessings always, Diane Roark
Thank you, Diane! We all have a lot to learn :). This is just a place for me to share a few of the things that I know, and to learn from you all as well!
I like chia seeds in granola bars, but sometimes I chuck them on top of cereal, too.
Great idea, Kate! Me too!
The coconut sounds pretty good.
I like making my own power/granola bars with chai seeds in them
Awesome that you make your own power/ granola bars! Good for you!
I put chia seeds in just about everything! Lol
That’s great, Alexandria!
I love chia smoothies.
Me too, Tabitha!
Oh ya and I think the coconut would be awesome.
I like them all kinds of ways, in smoothies, in orange juice, in pancakes. My mom turned me on to chia seeds several years ago and I’ve been in love with them ever since.
Great ideas, Elizabeth! I don’t drink much orange juice, but I think adding chia seeds to any juice is a nice way to add some healthy fats and limit the blood sugar spike. And I’m sure you can’t go wrong with adding them to pancakes!
I love chia in my oatmeal
Me too, Rachel!
the coconut sounds super tasty!
They are tasty!
I like using them in cereal. I would love to try the coconut bars.
I sometimes add chia seeds (or almonds) to my cereal also, to add in a bit of healthy fats. Good idea!
I would love to try the coconut. Thanks!
They are delicious, Katie!
I like chia seeds tossed on top of salads. Then they’re a lot like poppy seeds.
Thanks for the idea, April! Enoch also commented that he puts them on salads, so I think I’ll have to try this out!
I love adding Chia seeds to smoothies and my yogurt. The banana nut and coffee would be my first pick to try.
Me too, Jennifer! Banana Nut is delicious. I love coffee, but I’m usually not a fan of coffee-flavored things (strange, I know), so I haven’t tried the Coffee Chia Bars yet. Maybe they’ll change my mind!
This is for my sister. I stick with basic veggies.
That’s so nice of you to enter for your sister, Arik. But you should give chia seeds a shot :).
I like to use chia seeds on my yogurt. Yum.
Me too, Meaghan! You can see my favorite breakfast at the link here.
I use them in smoothies.
Me too, Laura!
We actually had an amazing chia salad for which I can’t find the recipe and it’s driving me insane. I want to try it again so bad. I think we got it from emeals!
Oh, bummer! Let us know if you find the recipe – would love to see it! What else was in the salad, do you remember?
I love putting em in my oatmeal!
Me too, Claire!
chia is great baked in breads
I don’t think I’ve ever done that – great idea, Sharon!
I’ve never used them!
Brandy, you should try some! They’re such an easy addition to yogurts, oatmeal, smoothies, or anything liquid-y, and they add a great nutritional boost!
the apple cinnamon looks amazing! we use chia seeds in smoothies!
I love my green smoothies!
Here’s a link
to a post I did on green smoothies if you’re interested!
I haven’t even tried Apple Cinnamon yet, but I’m excited to do so!
I’ve never tried chia seeds but now I think I should! The coconut flavor sounds delish.
Chia seeds are such an easy way to boost nutrition of a lot of foods without changing the taste. I hope you give them a try, Cyndy!
I put chia seeds in my oatmeal.
That’s a good one, Marilyn!
Go, Megan! Congrats on the ride – quite an awesome accomplishment!
Thanks, Laurie! It was a lot of fun!
I like to put chia seeds in my yogurt. The banana nut flavor sounds yummy to me.
I do too, Ani! Banana nut is delicious, you’re right!
The coconut sounds best to me! Yum!
You’re right – it’s delicious!
i keep chia gel in the fridge and use it as an egg replacement. Works great!
I’ve used the chia gel in baking before as an egg substitute, but I’ve never thought of just keeping pre-made gel in the fridge – great idea!
I’ve just used “chia shots” in water. It doesn’t taste great but is a quick way to eat them.
Valerie – If you’re just going to mix with water, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice or a few drops of other fruit juice to give it a little flavor!
Congrats on the ride! You’re really incredible and I appreciate all your support so very very much! Last night I made “overnight oatmeal” with old fashioned oats, soy milk, Greek yogurt, berries, and chia seeds. The oats and chia seeds soaked up the liquid and its delicious this morning!
Thanks, sis! YOU’RE really incredible! I also like overnight oats … thanks for sharing your mixture! Try adding some cinnamon and/ or pumpkin in – it’s delicious!
I love chia seeds in yogurt, especially if they’ve gotten to “marinate” awhile. These bars look delicious!
I agree, Amelia! I usually let mine soak in a tablespoon or two of water before adding them to my yogurt. And like I said on your blog, your Chocolate Chia Pudding looks great!
I love chia seeds in my yogurt and oatmeal!
Those are my two favorite uses, too, Amanda!
I’ve never tried these Chia bars before but I look forward to getting some soon. Since my diet is mostly vegetarian I’m always looking for ways to get more protein and Omega-3 fatty acids so I’ve been trying to eat more chia seeds. I’ve been putting them on my salad everyday and I love the crunch they add.
Enoch, I often hear of people sprinkling then on salads but I’ve never done so myself – good idea! Have you read Born to Run?
I love your post on health and fitness. I learn a lot ! Thank you
Thanks for following along, Jennifer! Glad it’s helpful!
I LOVE Chia Bars!!! I found them at Sprouts a few weeks ago and save them for special treats! They taste SO good, are super filling, and still very healthy! I’ve had the apple cinnamon and coconut flavors so far!
Glad you like them too, Rachel! Hope you get to try more flavors – the banana nut was great, and the chocolate peanut butter tastes like dessert :).
Chia seeds are great in smoothies.
I agree, Nancy! I often throw them in my smoothies as well!