15 Benefits of Meditation

benefits of meditation

I’ve just finished day 10 of Headspace meditation, and I’m dedicated to sticking with it! I’ll post more about Headspace and meditation apps in my next post, but first, I’m going to tell you all about the benefits of meditation.

I spent some time researching meditation, which is why I decided to try it out. There are so many good things it does for our bodies! I read articles from Emma Seppala Ph.D., Forbes, Stepping Stones Mental Health, and Headspace to compile the following.

I feel extremely relaxed immediately after meditating, but I’m not sure if I’ve experienced any long-lasting effects. Some people say they’ve noticed effects immediately, but others say it’s gradual and takes time. Just like any physical exercise, mental exercise takes time to perfect too! Some articles say it takes a couple days, some say a couple weeks, and others say a few months. I’m just being patient and looking forward to some (or all!) of these benefits listed below.

EMOTIONAL

Increases optimism and resilience in hard times

Increases life satisfaction and sense of wellbeing

Reduces self-referential thoughts (thoughts that are typically associated with being less happy)

Reduces worrying and rumination

Increases self-awareness, self-confidence, self-understanding, and self-control

MENTAL

Increases attention span to stay on task longer and switch tasks less often

Reduces mind wandering and makes it easier to focus on current task

Increases creative thinking

Improves concentration, attention, focus, memory, and cognitive skills

PHYSICAL

Reduces stress, anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and pain

Helps with addition recovery to help people effectively manage cravings

Restores a sense of calmness, balance, and peacefulness

Improves sleep quality and increases energy

RELATIONAL

Improves communication with others to increase marital/relationship quality

Improves empathy and compassion

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10 Natural Remedies to Alleviate Anxiety

Image from anandamarga.org.

Image from anandamarga.org.

Have you been feeling anxious and stressed lately? Me too, don’t worry. After scouring the Internet for ways to ease anxiety, I found lots of natural ways to help you feel more relaxed.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 18% of the adult population. Anxiety is characterized by nervous behaviors, such as ruminating thoughts, worries, and fears. These behaviors often cause muscle tension, poor concentration, restlessness, and fatigue.

There are many ways to treat anxiety, including counseling, therapy, prescription medication, and natural remedies. Due to unpleasant side effects of anxiety medication, many sufferers turn to natural, holistic approaches to manage their anxiety. Here are 10 natural remedies that can help ease anxiety.

Acupuncture

This ancient Chinese method restores the body’s energy force, called Qi. According to acupuncturists, Qi regulates your body’s overall health and restores balance. Acupuncture causes the nervous system to produce chemicals that jump start the body’s natural healing ability to calm your brain and relieve tension.

Chamomile

Whether you prefer chamomile tea or a chamomile supplement, this ancient medicinal herb can help to relax your blood vessels, smooth your muscle fibers, and improve your sleep, all of which contribute to anxiety relief.

Exercise

Exercise causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Any physical activity helps, especially those that get your heart pumping and increase blood flow to your brain, such as yoga, jogging, or walking.

Deep Breathing

There are many deep breathing techniques, but they all center around the same idea: breathing deep into your abdomen. Take a slow breath in through the nose, hold for a couple seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Just a few deep breaths can have a lasting feeling of relaxation.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s are a type of essential fatty acid that promotes cardiovascular health. These fatty acids increase your brain’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is lacking in those who suffer from anxiety. Good sources of omega-3s include fish, seeds, nuts, and green, leafy vegetables.

Meditation

This relaxation technique eases anxiety by quieting overactive minds and relieving stressful thinking. Meditation helps you become more aware of the present moment, eases muscular tension, and promotes deep breathing techniques.

Lavender

This soothing oil acts as a sedative with the brain centers (amygdala and hippocampus) that regulate emotion. Just add a few drops to a hot bath, put some in an oil diffuser, or dab a tiny bit on your temples.

Sunlight

When you are exposed to sunlight, your body produces vitamin D. This allows your brain to produce more serotonin, leading to a calming effect in your body. If you are on anxiety medication, be cautious of getting too much sun. Some medications may make you more sensitive to light, so be sure to use sunblock and talk to your doctor.

Hot Bath

Not only will a hot bath allow you some time to yourself in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere, but it is also a great place for some aromatherapy. Add a few drops of oil to your bath for the ultimate stress-relieving experience. Some relaxing oils include lavender, sage, rose, jasmine, and sandalwood.

Keep a Journal (or a blog!)

Set aside some time each day to document your thoughts. This helps you become more conscious and aware of your thought patterns, so you can see how thoughts cycle through your mind. It can be soothing to write and spend some quiet time reflecting.

These natural remedies should help you manage your anxiety and relieve stress. However, they might not work for everyone, so if your anxiety symptoms persist, see a doctor or counselor.

What do you do to reduce your stress and manage your anxiety? Let me know your tips in the comments! 🙂

Free Weights vs. Weight Machines

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In December, I bought myself a year-long membership to my local Planet Fitness gym. If you’ve ever been to a gym, you know they have cardio machines, free weights, and weight machines.

I’ve been going to the gym about 4 days a week, mostly using the cardio machines. I use the free weights and weight machines once in a while, and it got me wondering.

What’s better: free weights or weight machines? So, I’ve done some research, and as usual, I want to share with my readers!

Before I get into the nitty-gritty about the differences in the actual weights, we need to talk about fitness goals. Different fitness goals mean different fitness needs and training.

Structural Goals

These are goals pertaining to the structure of your muscles, like building mass or losing fat. Free weights are the optimal tool for structural goals, but weight machines are a good second choice.

Performance Goals

These are goals that focus on improving the function of your muscles, like training for a competition or sport. Free weights or body weight exercises are best for performance goals.

Now, we can focus on the weights themselves. I’ve used BodyBuilding.com and AWorkoutRoutine.com for the following information.

Free Weights

  • More versatile for different exercise moves
  • Stimulate the total body
  • Help your balance and core strength
  • You can train anywhere, even at home
  • Allow for natural movement
  • Use additional muscle groups, not just the one you’re targeting

Weight Machines

  • Can target a specific muscle group
  • Can isolate one muscle
  • Are easier and quicker to learn for beginners
  • Have less potential for injury
  • No spotter needed
  • You can lift heavier without as much risk of injury
  • Good for bodybuilders to use after a free weight workout

From my own personal experience, I feel like free weights give me a better, harder, more effective workout than weight machines. When I do a free weight routine, everything is tired, and I even get a really good cardio workout. I feel like I get more done in the same amount of time.

However, I do like the machines when I want to try squatting with a really heavy weight. I can’t squat much with free weights because I don’t have the upper body or back strength to hold a barbell that weighs more than I do. But with a machine, I can easily attempt squatting more than my bodyweight without the fear of hurting myself. The machines are also quicker and easier for adjusting the amount of weight.

Overall, I’d say it really depends on personal preference, fitness goals, weight lifting ability, and overall strength. Let me know in the comments whether you prefer weight machines or free weights!

Sleep, Snooze, Nap, Doze, and Dream

sleeping puppies

These dogs know what’s up! (Photo: PicPetz.com)

We’ve all heard people say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” but what you might not know is that you’ll be dead a lot sooner if you skimp on sleep. You might think you’re getting more ‘life’ out of your day by going to bed late or waking up early, but even though you’ll have more time for the moment, you’re cutting your life short.

I came across and article recently that really made me realize how important sleep is. I always heard it was important, but I never knew sleep was that important. I’ve compiled lots of research to help you understand how important sleep really is. Health isn’t just about diet and exercise; it’s also about living a healthy lifestyle. This means taking care of yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Sleep plays a role in all three!

So let’s start with the basics. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting fewer hours of sleep can lead to stress, irritability, moodiness, poor concentration, grumpiness, and sluggishness. You might even experience slowed speech, poor judgement and decision making, impaired memory, and the inability to multitask. This is common sense. We’ve all had days when our brains are foggy from lack of sleep.

Here’s where it gets really scary. According to the Huffington Post, just one week of getting 6 hours of sleep per night can lead to over 700 genetic changes. If you only get 6 hours of sleep for one week, you’ll have four times the risk of stroke and a 48% higher risk of dying of heart disease when compared to someone getting adequate sleep. Lack of sleep also increases your risk for osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Healthline explains in great detail how a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. If you don’t get enough sleep, your hormones get thrown off, particularly leptin and ghrelin. These hormones help regulate your appetite by telling your brain when you’re hungry and when you’ve had enough to eat. Those who average only 6 hours of sleep per night are 27% more likely to be overweight. Not only is this because your hormones are confused, but also because you’ll be lacking the mental and physical energy to exercise.

Have you ever noticed that after a late night or early morning, you want food? Whenever I don’t get enough sleep, I always want carbs. I also want to sit on the couch and be lazy, but that’s beside the point…

Food cravings + poor judgement from lack of sleep = unhealthy food choices (and ultimately weight gain if repeated over time).

Now you’re probably thinking, “well, I can always catch up on sleep during the weekend or take a nap later.” This is true, but only to a certain extent. Don’t get me wrong – naps are my best friend, and if I could, I’d nap every day. Sleeping in on weekends and napping will help, but they won’t fix the problem. Think of it like debt. Naps are like paying only the minimum monthly payment on a credit card. It’ll keep you afloat, but you’ll never be fully caught up. I’m definitely not telling you to stop napping – I’m a HUGE fan! Just remember, playing catch-up on sleep isn’t the best.

Now that you know the facts about lack of sleep, you just need some tips to help you get enough shut-eye! My next post will give you tips on how to fall asleep faster, get enough sleep, and sleep better throughout the night.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to nap today!! I’ll be taking my own advice 🙂

 

Say NO to Osteo…porosis

OSTEO

I few days ago, I was contacted by a woman who asked me if I would help spread awareness about osteoporosis because it affects over half of the total U.S. adult population. Of course, I was very willing to help. I like to do anything I can do to help my readers stay healthy! After researching more about osteoporosis, I became concerned that I, like many of you reading this, could be at risk for this disease.

Again, I want to reiterate, that I am always willing to help raise awareness about diseases and other health issues. Just leave me a comment, a Facebook message, a tweet, or send me a direct email. I will do whatever I can to help all my readers stay healthy! Now, back to the reason we’re here. The following information comes from the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the American Recall Center.

What is osteoporosis?

It is a bone disease that makes bones brittle, weak, and porous with low bone density. It can cause broken bones, especially in the hip, wrist, and spine. (For more interesting information about hip fractures and replacement, click here.) It can lead to chronic bone pain, height loss, and poor posture. There aren’t really symptoms of osteoporosis because it sneaks up on you without warning.

How common is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is extremely common. Statistics say that one in two women and one in four men (age 50 and older) will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Sound scary? Just keep reading.

Here is a direct quote from the National Osteoporosis Foundation: “A woman’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. And a man age 50 or older is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.”

See that? All these years, doctors, media, and other people have warned us about these types of cancers. I don’t know about you, but no one has ever brought up osteoporosis, and it is even more common.

What puts us at risk for osteoporosis?

Some things you can’t control that can put you at an increased risk for osteoporosis:

  • being a female
  • being age 50 or older
  • having a family history of osteoporosis
  • going through menopause
  • having a low body weight or being small and thin
  • having certain health issues (click here to see the list)

There are risk factors you can control, however:

  • not getting enough calcium and vitamin D
  • not eating enough fruits and vegetables
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • smoking, losing weight
  • eating too much protein, caffeine, and sodium
  • not getting enough exercise
  • taking certain medications (click here to see the list)

What can we do to decrease our risk of osteoporosis?

Eat foods that promote bone health:

  • milk (dairy, soy, almond)
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • vegetables
  • fish
  • fruits
  • calcium-fortified foods (cereal, bread, juice)

Do exercises for strong bones:

  • high-impact weight-bearing exercise (dancing, running, tennis, jumping)
  • low-impact weight-bearing exercise (speed walking, elliptical, stair-stepper)
  • strength training (weight lifting, resistance bands)
  • balance exercises (yoga, Tai Chi)

And to finish off this post, I will include some of my recipes that have bone-strengthening foods!

Please raise awareness and spread the word about osteoporosis!

There is NO such thing as PERFECT

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Read that title again. Memorize it. Repeat it. This is what I tell myself multiple times per day so I don’t drive myself completely crazy trying to be something I’m not.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to remember that there is no such thing as perfect. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. It’s our so-called “imperfections” that make us truly beautiful. Don’t let anyone ever convince you that you need to be perfect, because it simply doesn’t exist. We are all perfectly imperfect.

So why have I been struggling to remember that there is no such thing as perfect? Well, after making the switch from clean eating to healthy eating, I relaxed a bit on my healthy eating and my exercising. I took a couple weeks off from working out, and I treated myself more often than I normally do. I spent more time relaxing and watching tv, and I napped more often. I was in need of some stress relief, so I relaxed for a while.

Well, obviously, when you spend hours each day watching Netflix and taking naps, you’re bound to put on a few pounds… especially if you just started re-introducing foods into your diet that you haven’t eaten in a while (for me, it was cheese, milk, cereal, and bread). So, I gained a few pounds. Nothing serious. My jeans fit a bit snug, and my shorts are too tight. But it really got me concerned – way more than it should have.

At first, I was all upset, and I wanted to go back on a strict eat clean diet and exercise it all off. But then, I realized that I’ve been happier, more relaxed, and less stressed now that I’ve been less strict with my dieting and exercising. I tried to remind myself that moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle. And then, I reminded myself that there is no such thing as perfect.

There is no perfect body type. Even though society and the media pressure us to have a “perfect” body and “perfect” appearance, there isn’t one specific body type that is desirable for everyone. We are all different, and we all should embrace our unique bodies!

There is no perfect personality. I try to get along with everyone and be nice to everyone, but no matter what, there will always be people who don’t like me. And that’s totally fine. No one’s personality can be compatible with everyone.

There is no perfect diet. No matter what, you can’t eat a perfect diet without driving yourself insane. Try going even a week without one so-called “cheat” food. No salad dressing, no store-bought bread, no mints, no cheese… can you imagine??

I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Your best friend isn’t perfect. Your significant other is not perfect. Your family isn’t perfect. But does that make you love those people any less? No? Exactly! So they love you the same whether or not you’re perfect. (Which is good, because none of us can be perfect!)

So, keep this in mind: there is NO such thing as perfect. Don’t go trying to make yourself perfect; just surround yourself with people who already think you are.

 

Whey Protein Could be Causing my Acne!?

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Sorry in advance if this post grosses anybody out, but today, I’m gonna talk about acne! I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always had bad acne. I started getting pimples in middle school (just like everyone else), but I always thought once I got older, they would go away. I assumed once I was an adult, I’d have clear, pimple-free skin. WRONG. I’m 22 years old, and I still get acne!

Before I talk about the connection between acne and whey protein powder, it’s important to understand that people don’t get acne from “not washing your face enough.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d have enough money to pay off my college debt.

Since middle school, I’ve washed my face every day (usually twice a day). I tried prescription acne medicine. I tried Proactiv. I tried different kinds of makeup. I tried changing my pillow case every 2 days. I tried almost everything, but I still have pimples! Luckily, my acne isn’t near as bad as it was back in middle school, but it’s still worse than most people my age. It’s embarrassing, and I won’t leave the house without covering up my face in makeup.

The other day, I stumbled across an article on Reddit that said whey protein could contribute to acne, so I did some research. Here’s what I discovered.

Why could whey protein cause acne?

According to AcneEinstein, a growth hormone in whey protein known as insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is thought to accelerate muscle growth, as well as acne production. The higher the IGF-1 levels, the more sebum (oil) your skin produces. This could set off hormonal acne.

Is this a problem for everyone?

AcneEinstein explains that whey protein can increase your risk of getting acne, but it won’t give acne to everyone. You might be at a high risk if you experience the following:

  • oily skin
  • insulin resistance with elevated blood sugar levels
  • aggravated acne after eating sugar and simple carbohydrates

Is the acne worth it?

According to AboutLifting, whey protein can help with fat loss and muscle gain, so acne might not be that big of a deal. Bodybuilders probably won’t mind acne because they’ll be seeing muscle gains, so it’s not that big of a deal.

Is whey protein the only cause of my acne? 

Nope. AboutLifing explains that whey protein might cause acne outbursts in some people, but diets high in calories, sugar, and chemicals put us at risk for acne (and other worse health issues).

How can I cut back on whey protein?

There are lots of other sources of protein out there besides whey. Meat, poultry, legumes, nuts, tofu, quinoa, and eggs are all excellent sources of protein. If you are still interested in supplementing protein, try vegan protein, such as hemp protein, brown rice protein powder, and pea protein.

After doing all of this research, I decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to cut whey protein from my diet. I figured I’ll give it a try for a couple months and see if I notice a difference in my acne. I won’t change anything else because I want to know if whey protein is the real cause for my acne. Today is the first day I’m going without it, so I’ll keep you guys updated on my results!

Have any of you experienced acne related to whey protein?

 

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What if you only had 300 days to live?

Photo Courtesy of Natasha In Oz.

Photo Courtesy of Natasha In Oz.

Tomorrow marks the start of Asbestos Awareness Week 2014. To learn more, visit Mesothelioma.com/Heather/Awareness.

I was recently contacted by a man whose wife, against all odds, recovered from mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She is a loving mother and wife, and her family wants to raise and spread awareness about asbestos and mesothelioma to save lives.

Her husband asked me to help spread awareness, and I couldn’t be happier to do so. Visit their website to learn more about mesothelioma, so we can work together to spread awareness this week.

Each year, about 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, and they are usually given 300 days to live. 300. Let that sink in. that’s about 10 months – less than one year. Could you imagine?

Mayo Clinic defines  mesothelioma as “a rare cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.”

For most, there is no cure, so they have to make the most of their 300 days. Luckily, mesothelioma is preventable.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled asbestos. Others are exposed to asbestos in their homes without even realizing it. I want to help Heather and her family spread awareness. Again, please visit their website to help save lives.

Here are some important facts about asbestos:

Did You Know Facts

 

Read those facts again. No amount of asbestos is safe. Just because there are no immediate effects, doesn’t mean asbestos is not dangerous and harmful. Please help spread the word and save lives.

My blog is all about helping you guys stay healthy, and I hope we can all spread awareness this week to keep each other healthy forever! I am always open to post suggestions, and I love hearing from you readers. Please feel free to contact me anytime with suggestions, and I will try my best to help you!

How to Exercise at Home without Equipment

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Working out at home is a more convenient alternative than making a trip to the gym, but we don’t always have the equipment we need to do our workouts. I have a few sets of dumbbells, an exercise mat, ankle weights, and some exercise bands, but they take up space (and cost money) that I don’t have!

I’m still in college (it’s my last semester!!), so finding space for my exercise equipment is hard since I live in the dorms on campus. We have a couple fitness centers here on campus, as well as a weight room, but it’s so much easier to exercise in my own room. Not only do I feel more comfortable working out without a bunch of my peers watching, but it’s convenient and MUCH cleaner. I don’t have to trek through the snow and below-zero temperatures to go to the gym.

I love getting my exercise done at home, but I don’t always have the equipment I need to get an effective workout. Here are some ways you can exercise in your dorm room, office, living room, backyard, basement, or anywhere else you want if you’d rather not make a trip to the gym.

Cardio

Zumba 

There are tons of free Zumba workouts on YouTube. Some users have posted full hour-long routines, and others post individual songs so you can create your own routine. Sharee, who blogs at Funeral for my Fat, has awesome Zumba videos! Click here to check out her routines.

HIIT Workouts

There are also tons of free HIIT workouts on YouTube. My favorite channel is FitnessBlender, but there are tons of others! Usually, HIIT workouts are all bodyweight exercises, so you won’t need any equipment.

Aerobics

Again, YouTube is the best for these too! Gotta love finding free videos online. Denise Austin has some that won’t bore you to death!

Kickboxing

Visit YouTube yet again to find free kickboxing videos! This Tiffany Rothe video is a good workout, and it definitely beats running on a treadmill.

Strength Training

Makeshift Weights

There are tons of things around your house that you can use as weights! Try using water bottles, soup cans, gallon jugs, small children, bottles of laundry detergent, a sledge hammer, a bag of sugar/flour, buckets of water, shopping bags, bricks, a book bag filled with books, two liter bottles, or a boombox. Just be careful not to drop anything that’s shaped weird or might get slippery. And don’t break anything important, like your boombox! Or your children for that matter.

Ankle/Wrist Weights

To make some temporary, cheap ankle or wrist weights, fill an old sock with beans, sand, or pebbles. Glue the open end to keep the filling in, and tie it around your ankle or wrist.

Chair Exercises

You can use your desk chair or even a table to do tricep dips, step-ups,or push-ups with your feet on the chair.  And if you’re feeling really strong, go ahead and lift the chair!

Body Weight Exercises

Get back on YouTube and find some awesome body weight workout routines. Again, my favorite is Fitness Blender, but there are tons of other workouts you can do with absolutely no equipment but your own body!

Muscle Toning

Pilates

The only thing you might need for pilates is a mat, but you can simply use a towel or blanket. My favorite website for pilates videos is Blogilates, but I know there are a ton of other free pilates routines on YouTube.

Yoga

Gaiam Fitness has some free yoga routines on YouTube, and there are tons of others too! You can also buy the yoga DVDs at Walmart (and probably any other store that sells movies).

The-Best-Home-Workouts-Without-Equipment-Jump-Squat-300x204

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Can I Flax for You??

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I love flexing, and I love flaxseed! So can I flax for you?

Flaxseed is amazing. I eat it every day, and I love it! It has tons of health benefits, it’s not very expensive, and it doesn’t go rotten. You’d think since it’s such a healthy whole food, it would be crazy expensive, go bad within a week, and be really difficult to find at the store, but that’s not the case!

I buy my flaxseed at Walmart for about $3 per bag, which lasts me months depending on how many recipes I make that call for flaxseed. I buy Bob’s Red Mill whole ground flaxseed meal. It’s certified gluten-free, has no preservatives, and has no chemical additives. Ok, enough about the product itself… 

Let’s talk about all those health benefits!

  • It can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. According to WebMD, flaxseed’s omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber are three components that make flaxseed so healthy.
  • It can reduce inflammation from illnesses. Again, WebMD says it can decrease inflammatory reactions caused by asthma attacks, plaque buildup in the arteries, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • It can cut hot flashes by half! This doesn’t really affect me yet, since I’m only 22, but menopausal women who ate 2 tablespoons of flaxseed each day for two weeks had half as many hot flashes as those who didn’t, says WebMD.
  • It has antioxidant benefits. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, flaxseed is a good source of manganese, which wards off oxidative stress in the body.  Oxidative stress can initiate cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis, says The Atlantic.
  • It has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and regulate blood pressure, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods.
  • It can reduce your risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. The World’s Healthiest Foods explains that this is due to the high lignan content in flaxseed.
  • It is a great source of fiber. One serving of 2 tablespoons has 4 grams of fiber; that’s 16% of your daily value just from 2 little tablespoons of flaxseed!

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Ok so this flaxseed stuff is good for me, but how the heck do I eat it?” There are lots of ways to eat it, and there are TONS of recipes online. You can add it to almost anything. The bag says it has a nutty flavor and great taste, but I’ve never noticed it having a taste. Even when I put a lot of it in my oatmeal, I can’t taste it, so feel free to mix it in almost anything.

Here are some common ways to use it:

  • Stir it in your oatmeal, yogurt, pudding, cereal, spaghetti sauce, or soup.
  • Add it to your casseroles, meatloaf, baked goods, meatballs, and smoothies.
  • Add it to your pancake or waffle batter, cookie dough, muffin batter or bread dough.
  • Sprinkle it on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pizza, toast, or tacos.
  • Substitute it for an egg. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then, just use it like you would use an egg!
  • Choose ground flaxseed instead of whole flaxseed. If you eat them whole, they will pass through your digestive system whole, so you won’t get the maximum health benefits.
  • Store it in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh and maintain all of its health benefits.

So, tell me in the comments below, what’s your favorite way to eat flaxseed?

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