Grow Your Diet: Week 1

The title of this post may be confusing. Let me clarify, I am not talking about eating more food. I struggle with my diet and my weight every day, so I would be the last person to encourage eating more! What I would like to focus on the next few weeks as we talk about growth blog wide, is the idea of expanding your palette and finding food that will grow your health.

Dieting and diet are a daily struggle for so many of us. We want to eat better, look better and feel better, but all too often we start a diet just to fall off the wagon again. So how do we make a change for the better? How do we grow in the area of our health?

If you have ever seen the movie, What About Bob? Richard Dreyfuss plays a successful psychotherapist, at least he appears to be, until he meets Bill Murray's character, Bob. In the movie, Dreyfuss' character has written a best selling book called "Baby Steps." The book, though fictional, gives us a template from which to put together our own plan for making changes in our diets and lives. The movie is a hoot, a must see and leaves you with a satisfied feeling at the end. I came away from it with the term, "Baby Steps." Change can happen if we just approach it with baby steps.

For today's first baby step in growing our diet I am going to focus on flaxseed.  This tiny seed is said to be an excellent food having health benefits that affect cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Sounds good to me! I take flaxseed oil supplements, in addition to using the ground seeds in cereal. The verdict is still out on whether oils or ground are better for you, but my feeling is some is better than none. Adding supplements to your routine is easy for some, but not for others. If you have a whole foods approach to life then you will want to purchase the seeds and grind them yourself. The ground seeds can be added to oatmeal, breads, meat mixtures such as meatloaf or smoothies. You can also buy flax already ground, at a little higher price point per ounce.

flaxseed

This is the brand I buy and seems to be the most common. There is brown flaxseed and gold flaxseed.

grinder

This is a coffee bean grinder and it works great for flaxseed. I just throw about 1/4 cup of the seeds in, put the top on and then push the button. Voila! Ground flax. The ground flax can be stored in the fridge for a few days, but typically will last longer left whole in the fridge, so only grind what you are going to use for the next day or two. See this article on flaxseed expiration.  Flax does have it's own nutty flavor and while it is not offensive it may require getting used to.

Flaxseed and Grinder

I hope you found that helpful. Let me know in the comments section below, if you use flax and how you use it. I would love to hear other people's ideas.