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Chia v. Flax, Casein v. Whey, Squash v. Spaghetti, Real v. Stationary Biking

Jonathan- Hey everyone, Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown coming at you with another Smarter Science of Slim podcast.  Actually, it’s a very special day.

Carrie-  It is?

Jonathan-  It’s a special day because Carrie and I have not been the dynamic duo in the studio for, I think, the longest time ever, actually – since we started doing this.

Carrie-  Is it really you?

Jonathan- Who is this blonde woman to my left?

Carrie- Can I touch you?

Jonathan-  Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Carrie-  Yeah, it is people – let me tell you.

Jonathan-  Well.

Carrie/Jonathan-  Moving on.

Carrie-  Hi, Jonathan!

Jonathan-  How are you, Carrie?

Carrie-  It’s great to be back.

Jonathan-  It is great to be back in the studio with you.

Carrie-  I’ve been running around all sorts of places – New Orleans- and it’s been fun.  But—I missed you.

Jonathan-  I know.  I think our listeners need a little bit of reassurance on both sides.  One – Carrie’s been traveling but has not forgotten about our listeners, you can be assured of that.

Carrie-  Absolutely not.

Jonathan-  And – I’ve been on all these podcasts with other people and that doesn’t mean I’ve forgot about our listeners or forgot about Carrie, for that matter.

Carrie- Are you cheating on me?

Jonathan-  We are here and we are excited.

Carrie- Yay.

Jonathan-  We are going to do a bunch of great questions.  These are questions from The Smarter Science of Slim support group, from a while back.  We thought they’d be useful to share here on the podcast.

Carrie-  I don’t even know what month we’re in right now.

Jonathan-  Where are we actually?… This question has to do with chia seeds versus flax seeds.  Let me give a little bit of context here – chia seeds and flax seeds are both recommended in The Smarter Science of Slim because they are excellent sources of Omega-3 fats.  They’re also great sources of fiber, therefore they’re very SANE.  They’re also very nutrient dense.  However, they are very different when it comes to how you use them, when you use them – that kind of fun stuff.  Carrie, tell us a little bit about chia seeds versus flax seeds from a cooking and eating perspective.  Then, I’ll do some science.

Carrie-  Chia seeds are way more fun.

Jonathan-  Just in general?

Carrie-  Yes.

Jonathan-  Because you can paint them on things.  They grow.

Carrie-  No, when you mix them in stuff, they swell up.  Kind of like tapioca, so they have a comfort thing going on.  Flax seed is more like wheat germ, and wheat germ never got me excited.

Jonathan–  To make sure I understand that right – you can do things (from a baking perspective) with milled flax seeds, that you wouldn’t use chia seeds for?

Carrie- No, no, no.  All my muffins that you love, have chia seeds in them.

Jonathan-  Oh, it’s chia.  And to be clear, Carrie is correct, it’s pronounced chee-uh, not ch-eye-uh  I actually told Carrie she was wrong and then she…I forget how you demonstrated…but you actually proved that it was chee-uh seeds.  I stand corrected.

Carrie- Yes.

Jonathan-  It’s ok, there’s a first time for everything.

Carrie-  I’m actually using chia seeds in the muffins and baked stuff now.  That’s working out really well.

Jonathan-  Ok.

Carrie-  For lots of reasons, I like chia seeds better.

Jonathan-  Yeah, they’re different tastes.  You can eat chia seeds whole.  You cannot      (well, you could, technically) eat flax seeds whole, but your body isn’t going to process them, they’ll just go right through.

Carrie–  Right.  I’ve actually started grinding chia seeds because if you soak them whole, they just swell and you actually get little lumps, like tapioca. But if you grind them fine enough and use it like flour, then you don’t necessarily get that texture.

Jonathan-  Nice, nice.

Carrie-  So they’re becoming more usable.  The more I use them, the more fun things I find to do with them.

Jonathan-  That’s cool.  Also, from a nutritional perspective, flax seeds are slightly higher per calorie in the Omega-3’s.  But, I wouldn’t get too hung up on that if you like chia seeds – excuse me…ch-eye-uh see… What is it?

Carrie-  Chee-uh.

Jonathan-  Chee-uh.  Ok, so I got it right that time!  There’s essentially three (this is a simplification) types of Omega-3 fats.  The types contained in both chia and flax seeds are not the best kind – meaning, our body doesn’t really process it that well.  They’re both good.  They’re inexpensive, convenient, delicious, and good sources of Omega-3’s.  Don’t let the fact that flax seeds are slightly higher deter you from using chia seeds.  Because, if you were really, really dialed in and wanted to do everything perfectly from an Omega-3 perspective – you’d want to be getting your Omega-3’s from seafood. That is going to be the purist, or most bio-available, source of Omega-3’s.

Carrie- We should all move to New Orleans.

Jonathan- Yes.

Carrie-  Seafood paradise.  That’s all I ate for ten days.

Jonathan- Ironic that living in Seattle, you have to go someplace else to get good seafood.

Carrie-  Yeah, well sorry – it was just a little aside there.  You mentioned seafood and I’ve just been ramming seafood down my gullet for the last ten days – which was fabulous.

Jonathan-  But extremely SANE.  Chia seeds and flax seeds, they’re both delicious, they’re both good options.  Chia is probably a bit more convenient because you do not need to mill it.  One thing that you do want to be careful of sometimes is if you mill flax seeds -and you leave them out- bad things are going to happen to them.  If you are going to mill your own flax seeds, use them immediately after milling them.  I would not recommend buying milled flax seeds and letting them sit out un-refrigerated, that’s just bad news all up.

Carrie-  Yeah, I don’t store chia in the fridge, but I do store flax seeds.  With all the other things you got going on in the fridge that’s another slight bonus in my little world for chia seeds – is that they don’t need to be refrigerated.

Jonathan-  Absolutely.  Awesome, awesome, awesome.  Alright, that’s chia versus flax.  Carrie, do you have any closing comments on chia versus flax?

Carrie- We love them both.

Jonathan- Yay, chia versus flax. Oh, oh!  I just closed the tab that had the other question on it – but I saw it very quickly.  We just talked about chia versus flax, now we will talk about casein versus whey.

Carrie-  Oh, clueless!  Jonathan, you’re up.

Jonathan-  Pass, pass!  You actually do know a little bit about casein because the UMP stuff that I give you to try with your recipes, that’s casein based.  Hopefully you will notice that that actually bakes a lot better than if you ever tried to bake with whey.

Carrie-  Ok – this weekend.  I’ve been gone for so many weekends now, I’ve forgotten how to switch my oven on.  However, that is going to be rectified this weekend, lovely people.

Jonathan-  Woo-hoo, the oven is back!

Carrie-  So if you’re on my Facebook, you’ll be seeing all sorts of baked wonders flying across your computer screen.

Jonathan-  Baked SANEity- I love it.

Carrie- And Jonathan’s ice cream that he asked me to make 300 years ago and I still haven’t  done it.

Jonathan-  Yes, and for friends on Facebook who are like, “Where’s the recipe?  Where’s the recipe?” – Please post, ‘Where’s the recipe?’ on Carrie Brown’s wall.

Carrie–  This weekend people, I will be doing ice cream experiments.

Jonathan-  SANE ice cream experiments, it’s quite delicious and quite promising.  In fact, when this airs it will probably already be posted – which is good.

Carrie-  Yes.

Jonathan- I love it, but back to the subject at hand – casein versus whey.  A little bit of background – both casein and whey are milk derivatives.  When you heard the nursery rhyme, “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”,  the whey they are referring to is actually the whey we’re talking about when we talk about whey protein supplements.  When you take a whey supplement, it’s just a dehydrated version of the whey in milk.  The other primary form of protein found in milk is casein, so they’re both milk proteins.  They are both very, very good for you – in the sense that they’re complete proteins.  They have very high levels of all the essential amino acids (all goodness there) and they’re very affordable.  They are very different in how you should use them, though.  Whey protein is an extremely fast digesting protein.  This is an oversimplification, Carrie, but for example – if you were to drink a whey protein shake right now, that protein will be in your blood stream and done it’s thing…

Carrie-  Building stuff.

Jonathan-  …20 minutes – it’s just BOOM.  That’s great if you’re about to do some smarter exercise and you need to get a shot of protein in to your body to ensure optimum muscle protein synthesis.  Whey before your workout and whey after your workout-phenomenal.  Generally we want to have (for lack of better term) less aggressive foods – foods that slowly filter in to our bloodstream so our body has time to process it.  With the exception of immediately before and immediately after our workouts.  So generally speaking, if you’re just going to drink protein shakes throughout the day in place of food (which is always a second option, food is always your first choice) using a casein based protein supplement is probably preferable.  But don’t throw away your whey protein, if you prefer the taste of whey better.  None of us will fail to reach our goals because we’re using whey protein versus casein protein.  If you have the choice, get some whey protein – use it before, during and after your workouts.  If it’s not involving a workout, use casein – and preferably use whole foods whenever possible.

Carrie– Ok.

Jonathan- Cool?

Carrie-  Cool.

Jonathan-  If folks are curious, because frequently I’m asked this – what whey and casein protein supplements do I personally use or recommend?  Do you ever wonder that, Carrie?

Carrie- No, because I know.

Jonathan- Carrie, I’m trying to make the show engaging here! (In higher pitched ‘Carrie’ voice) “Yes, Jonathan, I totally am curious, please tell me!”

Carrie-  Look Jonathan, you’ve known me long enough to know that I’m just incapable of lying.  If you ask me a question, I’m gonna be honest.

Jonathan-  Fair.

Carrie-  Our listeners love me for that, they love me because I’m real.

Jonathan-  I am gonna tell our listeners…pfft… Quick disclaimer, Jonathan Bailor does not work for any of these companies, I’m not getting paid for any of these endorsements – so know that straight out from the gate.  If you’re going to buy supplements, the best supplement company I have ever found in the world is a company called Beverly International.  You’ve never heard of them because they do not advertise in magazines.  They have been around since 1967, they’re very, very popular in the natural body-building world. They’re also very, very expensive.  But if you’re just, “What’s the best out there?” – Beverly International.  Their website doesn’t look like anything special because they don’t specialize in marketing, they specialize in producing very, very high quality nutritional supplements.  They sell a whey and a casein based protein.  If you are a little bit more budgetarily conscious, whey protein from a company called Optimum Nutrition has served me very, vey well and I believe has served Carrie very, very well.

Carrie- Yep.

Jonathan-  From a casein perspective, there is a product called UMP (which stands for Ultimate Muscle Protein) that Beverly International puts out – which if you can afford it, to me is this “wonder powder”.  You can bake with it, it’s spectacular.  You mix it with eggs…

Carrie-  That’s Jonathan’s baking though, not my baking.

Jonathan-  Yeah, Jonathan baking.  If you want to make Jonathan baking, it is the staple of Jonathan baking.  It is quite delicious.

Carrie-  We’ll put baking in quotes.

Jonathan/Carrie-  “Baking”

Jonathan-  That’s good, I like that.  So if you like “baking”, it is a good resource for you.  Fair?

Carrie-  You missed me, didn’t you?

Jonathan-  I did.  That was actually well played – I think I’m blushing slightly.  Moving on!  Next question is – oh Carrie, you’re going to like this one- what about these zero calorie “health” waters?  Such as…well, I’m not going to name any brands.

Carrie-  Oh, don’t get me started.  If you’ve listened to all our podcasts, you’ll know what I think about water.

Jonathan-  But they have NO calories and they’re water, Carrie.  What do you think about them?

Carrie-  I think it’s terrible.  I think the world’s gone mad.  I think all food marketers should be lined up and shot.

Jonathan-  Oh my goodness.  Goodness, goodness, goodness.  Or maybe attempted to rehabilitate first and then if all else fails.

Carrie-  It’s very difficult (when you’re on a long road trip) when you walk in to a garage for gas….Garage?… Is that the right word?  No, gas station, there we go – I’ve been hanging out with another English person all week.

Jonathan–  I guess.  Did you take the “lift” when you went to the garage?

Carrie–  We did.

Jonathan-  And have some bangers and mash afterwards?

Carrie-  No, because we were in New Orleans eating fish.  Yes, I’ve become very British over the last little while.  I’m going to have to re-Americanize myself.  When you go in a gas station to get water and you’re faced with 42 different brands…

Jonathan-…of water…

Carrie-  ….of water- and pretty much none of them are really water; it just makes me angry.

Jonathan-  Fair, absolutely fair.  The official party line – drinking water is fantastic.  Drinking water and green tea is really what we should be doing.  Right now, if you’re drinking soda and your choice is: continue drinking soda or drink something with artificial sweeteners in it – switch to the artificial sweeteners, it’s going to be better for you than soda.  I would then urge you to try a beverage that has natural, non-caloric sweeteners – something like xylitol, erythritol, or stevia.  Then wean yourself off of those on to water or green tea, because in some ways you’re stoking that sweet tooth fire.  But again, if you have a sweet tooth and you’re either going to eat a Snickers bar or a zero calorie SoBe flavored water – take the zero calorie SoBe flavored water.  Pick your battles.  Anything with these artificial brain toxins (which is essentially what a lot of these artificial sweeteners are), it’s difficult to recommend drinking them because they’re really not helping you.  Will they kill you?   No…I dunno….it’s hard…just use your best judgement.  I’m not going to tell you to drink them because they’re not good for you, but they’re not nearly as bad for you as what most people drink.

Carrie-  That’s another reason I missed you.

Jonathan-  What’s that?

Carrie-  My body is dehydrated because I drink waaayyy more water when I’m podcasting with you, than I do when I’m not.  Jonathan, you’re a very good influence on me.

Jonathan-  Oh, excellent.

Carrie-  Plus, you go and get it for me.

Jonathan-  I’m sort of the water-boy during our podcasts.

Carrie-  You are the water-boy.  You’re very good at it.

Jonathan-  I have to keep Carrie very….you know, you hear on the podcasts and it’s laugh, laugh, laugh – but Carrie is one of those people, she’s like, (in ‘Carrie’ voice) – “I asked for BRITA water and this is AQUAFINA!  Take this back to the kitchen, Jonathan!”  –Do you like my “Carrie” British accent there?

Carrie-  I am not South African, I am British – but that was quite a good South African accent.

Jonathan-  Carrie, I think you’re really going to like this next question.  It’s not really a question, these are more subjects – or maybe exclamations, if we get really excited.

Carrie-  Woo-hoo!

Jonathan-  Butternut squash.

Carrie–  Oh.

Jonathan-  Do you not know about butternut squash?

Carrie-  I’m British.

Jonathan-  Oh- and I’m thinking of spaghetti squash anyway.  Let’s talk about spaghetti squash.

Carrie-  I’m British, I have no idea what spaghetti squash is.

Jonathan-  You don’t know about spaghetti squash, either?  (gasp)

Carrie-  It’s all you, babe.

Jonathan-  Let me tell you about some baking now, Carrie Brown.  This is Baking with a capital B, because it’s actually legitimate.  You’ve really never used spaghetti squash?

Carrie-  No, I’ve never eaten it either.

Jonathan-  This is a moment that I think all our listeners should just savor.

Carrie–  I’m British, we don’t have these weird squash in England.

Jonathan–  Well you’re in America now, Sweetheart, so you’d better get used to spaghetti squash.

Carrie-  I’m working up to spaghetti squash.

Jonathan–  Alright.  Well, for those…

Carrie-  I’m still trying to get past the kale.

Jonathan-  Fair, fair.  For those who are not familiar with spaghetti squash, please let me introduce you to this delightful dish.  Which, when baked, essentially turns in to a spaghetti.  It’s a squash but you cut it longwise.  You’ve got to use, like an ax (because it’s very difficult to cut) then you bake it.  You hollow it out like you would anything else — I dunno, like a pumpkin, maybe.  It’s innards turn in to this wonderful vermicelli-type pasta consistency.  Really, anything you can do with pasta, you can do with spaghetti squash.  We made spaghetti squash with SANE meatballs the other day and it was spectacular.  Spectacular.  I even think it’s better than pasta because of it’s consistency- you can cook it al dente, you can cook it so it’s more well-done.  It’s just a wonderful, wonderful noodle substitute.

Carrie-  Have you been reading up?  Because you’ve got all of these cooking terms flying out of your mouth.  What’s going on?  Have you been doing secret stuff while I’ve been missing?

Jonathan-  You know, Carrie…

Carrie-  So you’re cheating on me with other podcasters. Now you’re doing weird things in the kitchen without me.

Jonathan-  This…no…this…I had made…

Carrie-  Explain yourself, Bailor.

Jonathan-  Explain yourself… I have made spaghetti squash with my brother, in Chicago, many moons ago.  I told you about that.  When my friend, Scott, was here – we made it.  This has been going on for months, Carrie, I think you’ve just been in denial.

Carrie-  And I’m the last to know?

Jonathan-  I think you’ve just been in denial.  But, yes, folks spaghetti squash is extremely SANE and it is a wonderful, wonderful option.  If you have children and you want to get them involved in the kitchen, it’s actually really fun because it’s fun to scrape it out of it’s little shell.

Carrie-  I’m going to have to go and buy some now.

Jonathan-  It’s super affordable.  You buy one spaghetti squash and it makes this giant mound.  It’s glorious because it’s a non-starchy vegetable.

Carrie- I like that, a giant mound of food.  I like that idea.

Jonathan-  Totally.  This is the crazy thing too – if you have a serving of this SANE spaghetti squash with meatballs, it doesn’t actually seem like you’re eating vegetables.  In reality, you probably just ate 3-4 servings of non-starchy vegetables – which is glorious.

Carrie-  Yay! Ok, I’m a believer.

Jonathan-  One more, Carrie – one more for this week.  Are you ready?

Carrie- Yes.

Jonathan-  It involves bikes and it involves smarter cardio, which is something you know all about.

Carrie-  I thought you were going to say something I liked.  Which would not have been true – but know about, yes.

Jonathan-  This question has to do with- Can you do smarter cardio on a regular bike, not a stationary bike?  Meaning, one you just peddle outside.

Carrie-  If you have a steep enough hill, yes.  That’s the resistance, right?  The hill is the resistance.

Jonathan-  Technically, yes, if you could find a hill steep enough and you were willing to peddle up it, then walk your bike back down, and peddle back up it.  You technically could.  Remember,  smarter exercise is just all about finding resistance so challenging, that you can only do it for 30 seconds.  However, the safety and practicality of that are not super, super high.  Can you do it technically?  Yes.  Can you do it practically?  It’s gonna be a challenge.

Carrie-  Right.

Jonathan-  That said, if you bike to work in the morning in bursts for a minute, go slow for two minutes, burst for a minute, slow for two minutes –  is smarter than biking to work at one consistent pace.

Carrie-  Right.  Even if you don’t have a hill.

Jonathan-  Exactly.

Carrie-  Just that flurry of activity.

Jonathan-  Exactly.  So it’s all about short windows of higher intensity.  Of course the higher the intensity can become (which at some point is only possible if you increase resistance because you can only move so fast before you hurt yourself) = more hormonal change = better results.   But, something is better than nothing.

Carrie-  You know, I also feel like if you’re really in that 30-seconds of resistance bit – I wouldn’t want to be having to worry about was a car going to hit me at the same time.

Jonathan-  Oh exactly.

Carrie-  My brain is just screaming.  I wouldn’t want to worry about being knocked over at the same time.

Jonathan-  That’s the key thing too, Carrie.  We’re doing these things to be healthier – so the principle of ‘first do no harm’ should always be in the front of our mind.  If peddling so fast that you’re going 25 miles an hour on your bike, and then you hit a pothole, is not ‘first doing no harm’.

Carrie– Right.

Jonathan-  Just keep that in mind.

Carrie-  Right.   I just love it when you give me reasons to not exercise.  I love that.

Jonathan-  Not to exercise in that way.  In that way, in that way.  Well, folks!

Carrie-  Was that it?

Jonathan-  That was it.

Carrie-  Are we done?

Jonathan-  For this week, but we’ll be back next week.

Carrie-  It was good to be back.

Jonathan-  It was good to be back.  We’re having fun, we’re living the Smarter Science of Slim.  We’re eating more.  We’re exercising less…

Carrie-  I’m off to make ice cream and eat spaghetti squash, apparently.

Jonathan-  …but smarter.

Carrie-  Yes.  It’s SANE ice cream, people, SANE ice cream.

Jonathan-  SANE ice cream.  General sanity to the listeners for this week – we wish you well and we wish you much SANEity.

Carrie-  Yes, we do.

Jonathan-  We’ll see you next week.

Carrie-  See ya.

Jonathan-  See ya.

– Which is better: chia seeds or flax seeds?
– Which is better: casein protein powder or whey protein powder?
– Which is better: spaghetti or spaghetti squash?
– Which is better: real or stationary smarter biking?