Happiness Rx: Practice patience and stay faithful to your commitments even if the progress isn’t as speedy or visible as desired. Bringing our best selves to the world requires deep dedication, patience, and persistent work.
Daily Cup of Yoga
"Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with their imagination."
I have been reading all the recent hype about flaxseed, and so I decided to try it for myself - and here's why:
Omega-3 - This plant source is a great way to get essential fatty acids in your diet. They are essential because our body does not make them, therefore we must consume them. However, the chain of omega-3 is different than the chain found in fish oil. So, flax should not be consumed instead of fish oil, but in addition to fish oil. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains approximately 1.8 grams of omega-3s.
Lignans - The lignans alter the way your body metabolizes estrogens in safer forms. They are reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostrate cancer in men. Flaxseed contains 700-800 more lignans than other plant foods.
Fiber - Each tablespoon of flax consists of 8 grams of fiber. Meeting the recommended consumption helps to keep bowels regular.
If you use flaxseed oil, it will eliminate most of the benefits, including fiber and lignans.
Side note: Flax has been proven to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women - and it can normalize the menstrual cycle. To reap the benefits, it requires a daily dose of 2 tablespoons per day.
If you are not used to consuming enough fiber, you may experience a bit of bloating at first, but other than that, no side effects!
Flaxseed can be found in foods, such as crackers, oatmeal, and waffles. I did not grind my own flaxseed, but I did buy the pre-ground flaxseed. So far, I have used a tablespoon or so in my smoothies (I can't even taste it!), but I plan to include it in a muffin recipe soon. You can also add it to oatmeal or yogurt - or anything you like!
Avocado & Banana Smoothie Recipe:
1 cup almond milk (or regular if you prefer)
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
1 pinch cinnamon
3 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately, and ENJOY!
Continuing the series discussing some of my favorite apps...
When I first created my customized profile on MyFitnessPal, besides entering my age, gender, and activity level, I was also able to add how much weight I wanted to lose. Based on my profile, MyFitnessPal set a healthy time frame for me to do so and offered the number of calories I should strive to eat every day to meet my goal. Besides tracking calories, I like that MyFitnessPal tracks more than just calories. With charts and graphs, the app easily displays my nutritional breakdowns and exercise habits. All of this makes it easy to see where I am overdoing it and where I need to step it up — whether that was exercising more or eating less carbs.
MyFitnessPal has over two million food entries in its database, and it is easy for me to find the foods I eat. It even includes some restaurant foods! If something isn't already in the database, it is easy to add it. I simply plug in all the stats from the nutritional label, and MyFitnessPal automatically saves it in the database for future use.
When it comes to workouts, over 350 forms of cardio and strength-training exercises currently exist in the database. To log exercise, you add the amount of time you spent doing the specific activity or the number of reps. Then, MyFitnessPal generates the number of calories burned and adds it to your log for the day.
Overall, I have found that MyFitnessPal has made me more aware of the foods I put into my body (and portions!) as well as how much exercise I need to do in order to meet my goals.
There is also an option to join the community of MyFitnessPal for added motivation, however I have a private profile and choose to only share my profile with a few select people :)
You can sign up for an account online (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) and download the app for FREE!
"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful."
"Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture."
One of my favorite times of the month - my May Birchbox arrived! Let's check out what's inside...
Cargo Water Resistant Blush - The waterproof pigment in this blush stays put and gives skin a gorgeous flush look.
COOLA Classic Face SPF 30 Cumcumber Moisturizer for Face - This mineral sunblock is infused with organic anti-aging ingredients, such as evening primrose extract and borage seed oil.
Kerastase Bain Chromo Captive - Kerastase has a targeted 3-step system, and the first step is this gentle shampoo. It is designed to boost color-treated hair and dry strands. Bonus: built-in UV filters keep highlights from fading.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive - This effective peel uses organic, fruit-derived hydroxy acids to exfoliate and brighten skin.
Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons - It sounds to good to be true... These decadent treats are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and made with only organic and natural ingredients. The best part? They are so YUMMY!
I am more and more convinced with every Birchbox opening that it is totally worth $10 a month to be able to test all of these fun products before deciding to buy the full-sizes!