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    An Expert Says You Should Take These Supplements in the Summer

    From dining alfresco all season to sundresses on repeat, absolutely nothing can put a damper on summertime–except incessant bloating, an embarrassing breakout, or an annoying runny nose. Enter supplements to help address all of your summer wellness concerns. But the last thing you want to do is cramp your Hot Girl Summer era by being bogged down by countless supplements (anyone else overwhelmed AF by all the powders and pills TikTok tells us we need?). So I turned to Dr. Nicole Avena, a nutrition expert and member of SmartyPants Vitamins’ Scientific Advisory Board, to share which supplements and nutrients to hone in on for summer.
    PSA: Every body is different with unique needs, so be sure to consult your doctor to create a personalized supplement routine that works best for you. That said, use the following list as a jumping-off point to help address some common summer wellness woes, alongside a nutrient-dense diet. Ahead, five expert-approved supplements to upgrade your summer routine. Health goals? Check. “That Girl” status? Check.  

    Meet the expert
    Dr. Nicole Avena
    research neuroscientist and nutrition expert
    Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of childhood nutrition, diet during pregnancy, and food addiction. In addition to a number of best-selling books, including What to Eat When You Want to Get Pregnant, and over 90 scholarly journal articles, she regularly appears on a variety of television and radio programs.

    Vitamin C
    Whether your summer bucket-list plans include jet-setting to Italy or soaking up the sun at your local beach, consider vitamin C a must-have essential. “Vitamin C is a great immune booster and can help with any bugs on your adventures,” Dr. Avena affirmed. “Vitamin C also helps to maintain skin health throughout the summer and heal sunburn, as it is a great antioxidant.” Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals which are molecules produced when your body breaks down food into energy, or is exposed to air pollution or ultraviolet light from the sun.
    Because our bodies don’t produce vitamin C, we need to depend on food sources (think: citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, red and green peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli) or an oral supplement to load up on the nutrient. For an adult woman, the average daily recommended amount of vitamin C is 75 mg.

    Vitamin A
    While most people can get enough vitamin A from consuming foods such as meats, fish, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, and green leafy vegetables, people with cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease are more prone to vitamin A deficiency. “In the summer, vitamin A is especially important, because it helps protect against sun damage to the eyes and allows you to see colors brighter and clearer,” Dr. Avena explained. “Vitamin A is also anti-inflammatory, which can help with any extra stress from the environment.”
    Vitamin A dietary supplements usually come in the form of retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A) and beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of the two. As for how much vitamin A adult women need, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 700 mcg daily. 


    Let’s be real: There’s nothing worse while traveling than dealing with digestive drama, especially bloating and an upset stomach (OK, flight delays rank high up there too). And a top bloating offender is an imbalanced gut microbiome (read: an imbalance of good versus bad bacteria in your gut). Cue probiotics, or living microorganisms that promote gut health—whether in supplement form or from food sources—which can tip the balance in favor of less gaseous bacterial strains, resulting in less gas and bloat. “Probiotics help support a healthy gut microbiome and can prevent GI upset,” Dr. Avena echoed. But it doesn’t hurt to load up on fermented, probiotic-rich foods, including sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and sourdough bread.
    Newsflash: Not all probiotics are created equal and how each individual will respond to them will vary. To keep your digestive system in check, opt for high-quality probiotics and take them as directed. When researching the best probiotics for you, consider the types of bacterial strains used, which strains and/or brand names have been studied for their effectiveness, and how the probiotics need to be stored. Check out the US Probiotic Guide to steer you in the right direction for the best probiotics for your needs and goals, and always choose one that is free of additives.

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    We’re typically more active in the summer (Pickleball, anyone?), and we need our bodies in tip-top shape if we’re going to achieve any of our health goals and make the most of summer 2023, right? Our bodies need omega-3 fatty acids for many functions, especially when we’re active, because it helps with everything from muscle activity to cell growth to increased energy. But that’s not all. Dr. Avena explained omega-3 fatty acids are great for hydrating and protecting the skin, thanks to their anti-inflammatory benefits. Research has shown that fish oil supplements can even reduce sun-induced inflammation and may provide sunburn relief (but no, that is not a reason to ditch the SPF). 
    Omega-3 fatty acids can’t be produced by the body, so we have to source it from foods like mackerel, salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts or supplements such as fish oil, which comes in liquid, capsule, or pill form. In our research, we found there is no official established recommendation on the amount of fish oil you should take; however, many health organizations have set their own guidelines for omega-3 intake that generally range between 250–500 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA daily.

    Melatonin acts as the body’s naturally-produced hormone that tells the body it’s time to go to sleep. In supplement form, melatonin can help you feel sleepy, which can come in handy when you’re off your normal sleep schedule or battling jet lag. “If you’re switching time zones or even spending extra time watching late-night movies at home, melatonin is a great supporting player for sleep,” Dr. Avena conveyed. “Sleep plays a big role in our energy levels and mood, so getting enough is essential.” Studies show that melatonin can lengthen total sleep time, shorten the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, and enhance sleep quality.
    The right dosage can vary from person to person, so speak to your doctor before implementing the sleep aid. If you’re using melatonin to improve sleep quality, Healthline suggests taking it 30 minutes before bedtime for maximum effectiveness. Also, it’s typically recommended to use melatonin on an as-needed basis (i.e. when you’re struggling with jet lag while traveling or if it feels harder to fall asleep at your regular bedtime when the sun sets later) rather than daily. Your body should produce the melatonin it needs on its own, so discuss more long-term solutions with your doctor if you’re continually having difficulty with sleep. 

    Please consult a doctor or a mental health professional before beginning any treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

    The Trendy New Supplement Everyone’s Talking About for Insane Health Benefits More

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    The Best Life Lessons ‘Ted Lasso’ Taught Me

    Well, friends, the time we’ve all been dreading has finally arrived. The series finale of Ted Lasso has aired and I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t really know what to do with myself now. This show, quite literally, became one of my absolute favorite pieces of media the moment I watched the first episode. If you’ve been following The Everygirl for a while, you might already know this about me—I wrote this article in 2021 practically begging you all to watch the show.
    Since then, Ted Lasso has garnered quite a fanbase. But it’s not just your average TV viewers who can’t get enough, Ted Lasso is also critically acclaimed, having won eight Emmy awards with more certain to come this year. What is it about the show that’s so universally compelling? If you ask me, it comes down to one thing and one thing only: its heart.
    Yes, Ted Lasso is a comedy. But even though it has its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments (maybe even more than its fair share if I’m being honest), the show is really about redemption, growth, what it means to be human, and, in the end, the power of kindness. That sentence, in any other context, would be entirely eye-roll-inducing, but when it comes to Ted Lasso, it’s true and somehow not a total cringefest.
    With season three now behind us and the future of Ted Lasso uncertain at best (I’m holding out for a spinoff, OK?) and nonexistent at worst, I’m looking back at the best life lessons I learned along the way that are certain to stick with me for the rest of my life.
    Note: spoilers for the whole series ahead. 

    1. Forgiveness is freeing
    Forgiveness is the driving force of season three’s penultimate episode, “Mom City.” In it, Ted encourages Jamie (who feels as if he’s “lost his Red Bull wings”) to forgive his dad when he reveals that being angry at him is no longer a sufficient motivator. When Jamie replies that forgiveness is the last thing he wants to give his father (which is fair given their history), Ted replies, “No, you ain’t giving him anything. When you choose to do that, you’re giving that to yourself.”
    Jamie, feeling freer than he has all episode, goes on to have a phenomenal game, helping lift Richmond to victory. That win is great and all, but it’s not what I’m going to remember. Instead, I’m going to remember this lesson on forgiveness. Anger can only take you so far, but forgiveness can set you free.

    2. Be curious, not judgemental
    “Be curious, not judgemental” quickly became one of the show’s most memorable lines back in season one. The scene in which it was said is also one for the history books. In it, Ted and Rupert, the ex-husband Rebecca is hell-bent on getting revenge on in the first season, place a bet over a game of darts. The details of the bet aren’t important, what is important is the lesson Ted weaves into his final throw of the game.
    Rupert views the game of darts as an easy way to get what he wants and asks Ted only one question before agreeing to the deal, “Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?” If Rupert had paused for a moment and been curious rather than judgemental, he might have asked better questions and realized playing darts with Ted was never going to go his way as Ted has been playing darts for his entire life. Instead, Rupert believes he has Ted completely figured out, which is an experience Ted reveals he is all too familiar with.
    During the scene, Ted reveals that when he came across the quote, “Be curious, not judgemental,” something clicked for him. The guys that used to bully him never learned the importance of curiosity and instead judged everything and everyone. In Ted’s case, his bullies, and later Rupert, underestimated him, believed they had him all figured out, and judged him based on that perception. In life, being curious allows you to get to know someone for who they really are while being judgmental holds you back from making real connections.

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    3. We should care
    In season three, Colin comes out to the team and truthfully, it goes as well as a person could want. Instantly, the Richmond team tells Colin that his sexuality doesn’t matter to them, that they don’t care, and that they still love and respect him. Sounds great, right? Ted then steps in and announces that actually, no, they do care.
    In true Ted fashion, he then launches into a personal analogy that only Americans can truly get, but his point is clear: We should care about our friends, their identities, and the things they care about. Ted says, “The point is Colin, We don’t not care. We care very much. We care about who you are and what you must’ve been going through. But hey, from now on, you don’t have to go through it all by yourself.” Offering support in this manner not only validates a person’s experience but also is a marker of true friendship.

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    4. Revenge isn’t the answer
    I’ve been a Rebecca apologist from day one, but in the spirit of the show, I have to admit: Her revenge mission was never going to be as personally satisfying as she hoped it would be. Sabotaging Richmond, the “one thing” Rupert really loved, would have brought Rebecca a brief feeling of triumph, but along the way, she had to hurt and use a bunch of people who were just trying to do some good for the team. When Rebecca finally comes clean, it’s clear the guilt from following through with her plan would have eaten her alive.
    So while getting revenge may seem like the only way to make yourself feel better after you’ve been hurt (we’ve all been there), the high will always be short-lived. Truly, moving on and healing on your own time to the point where the person who hurt you no longer holds power over you is more powerful than revenge will ever be. If I wasn’t trying to apply this show’s life lessons to real life, though, you better believe I’d be rooting for Rebecca to take Rupert for every single thing he has.

    5. Everyone can benefit from therapy
    In season two, Ted Lasso introduces sports psychologist Dr. Sharon Fieldstone to Richmond. Throughout the season, Dr. Sharon meets with the players and helps them work through their off-the-field stuff so that they can be better players on the field (and, you know, have better mental health all around). Somewhat uncharacteristically, Ted is the one who is most reluctant to visit Dr. Sharon. He’d much rather talk to the people that really know him (like friends) when he needs advice. Suddenly, the Diamond Dogs start to make a whole lot more sense.
    However, the lesson Ted learns, which I believe many can take away from the show, is that, no matter how much you think it won’t work for you, therapy could be exactly what you need to finally work through and heal from the things that life has thrown your way.
    Later in season two, we learn that Ted’s dad committed suicide when he was 16, and Ted has thus far coped by focusing all of his attention on others, spreading positivity left and right, and burying his own emotions. When Ted finally seeks Dr. Sharon’s help, therapy proves to be the thing that finally helps him confront the deeply rooted issues he’s spent the better part of his life pretending don’t exist. While Ted works tirelessly to help everyone around him become the best version of themselves, therapy helps him finally do the same for himself.

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    6. Be a goldfish
    Shortly after Sam Obisanya makes a mistake during a training session, Jamie relentlessly mocks him (this was pre-redemption arc, mind you). While Roy takes a more confrontational approach and shoves Jamie away from Sam, Ted pulls Sam aside and tells him to “be a goldfish” as their short-term memory makes them the happiest animal on the planet. Though Sam looks baffled by Ted (again, this was early days before Ted’s philosophy fully made sense to everyone), the message is clear: Don’t dwell on mistakes. Instead, be a goldfish, forget about them, and move on. Keep this in mind next time you fail to catch a typo in an important email.

    7. Don’t judge someone by their lowest moment
    I’ve gone back and forth on whether this one should really be “everyone deserves a second chance.” There are a whole lot of second chances in Ted Lasso; Rebecca, Jamie, and Nate all receive second chances from Ted. And it’s a valuable lesson to keep in mind—second chances should be given, but I don’t believe that rule is as universal as this one (Rupert, I’m looking at you). Instead, I believe the lesson about second chances really has to do with judgment, when you pass it, and how you decide whether someone is deserving of that second chance.
    This comes into play in Ted Lasso when Ted shares the full video of Nate destroying the team’s “Believe” sign. As with many of Ted’s analogies, it’s not clear where he’s going, but at the end of his speech he tells Beard, “I hope that either all of us or none of us are judged by the actions we take in our weakest moments, but rather for the strength we show if and when we’re given a second chance.” We later learn that Ted gave Beard a second chance many years ago, and now it’s Beard’s turn to extend that courtesy.
    This is why I think the overall lesson Ted Lasso is trying to teach us isn’t that everyone deserves a second chance, it’s that we shouldn’t judge a person by the things they do when they’re at their lowest. Instead, give them grace, maybe a little forgiveness, and offer a second chance from there… unless they’re Rupert. More

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    50 Therapy Dupes That’ll Send Your Serotonin Skyrocketing

    I’m a longtime proponent of talk therapy. But the ability to share thoughts and process experiences with an objective professional is a privilege. When the dupe trend expanded to therapy, I was intrigued, but also cautious. It felt insensitive and even harmful to propose that a candle, bubble bath, or silky sheets could provide the same mental clarity and support as speaking with a therapist.
    But since diving deeper into the trend—which currently stands at 95.4 million views on TikTok—I’ve learned to think of these “dupes” not as true replacements, but as mood-boosting strategies that can be practiced alongside traditional talk therapy. In an article for Mental, Shelby Castile, LMFT defines the difference between therapy dupes and psychotherapy: “In-depth psychotherapy helps people deal with issues related to their mental health, which in turn affects the rest of their lives long-term. Therapy dupes seem to be more focused on the short term. They can be a fun way to increase motivation and get people started on a more authentic approach to self-improvement.”
    Bottom line: Always seek out professional therapy, especially if you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, boundary setting, etc. But if you’re looking for tips to get a little mood boost, keep reading. These are my favorite “therapy dupes” for finding calm, expressing gratitude, and connecting with joy.

    50 Therapy Dupes for an Instant Mood Boost
    1. Take a mindful girl walk. Ditch the AirPods—and your phone—and connect with the sounds, sights, and scents around you. Instant grounding.
    2. Pet a pet. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or hamster, spend a few minutes with your fur baby and feed off their inherent comfort.
    3. Do your nails. You can immediately feel put together, but doing your own nails can also act as a mindfulness practice. And if you’re really going for the dopamine, opt for bright colors.
    4. Swap around your space. Situate your favorite reading chair in the spot that gets the most sun. Clean off your desktop to help clear your head. Move a side table next to your bed and stack it high with your favorite books. Let your home reflect the joy and inner peace you want to cultivate.
    5. Call a friend. Obvious, but effective. When I’m feeling down, I notice that stepping outside of myself and asking about a friend’s day is the easiest way to shift my mood for the better.
    6. Eat something colorful. Whether it’s a smoothie, a seasonal salad, or baked goods with colorful frosting (recommended), take the adage to heart and taste the rainbow.
    7. Get outside. I don’t care how you do it—whether you’re swimming, hiking, or exploring a local park—just don’t forget the SPF.
    8. Take a nap. The simple act of giving yourself a break can do wonders.
    9. Light a candle. Aromatherapy is real. Soak it up.
    10. Make your favorite comfort meal. Despite the many rom-coms that have tried to convince us otherwise, Ben & Jerry’s won’t fix all of your problems. But when I want to feel like a kid again who had a bad day at school, I mother myself and stir up a little stovetop mac & cheese.
    11. Turn off your alarm. If it’s the weekend or you have a day off, try letting your body sleep until it naturally wants to wake up. Yes, consistent sleep and wake times are important, but so is rest.
    12. Play a game. They’re the ultimate escape. Make it social and invite friends over for Monopoly, get outside and play pickleball, or go down the rabbit hole that is The New York Times “Play” section. A rousing round of Wordle, anyone?
    13. Leave your home and get a “treat.” I love calling my Starbucks runs, library finds, and thrifted gems little “treats.” It’s such a joyful mindset shift.
    14. Play with clay. I’ve recently rekindled my love of making things with air-dry and oven-dry clay. Try this minimalist trivet, these jewelry dishes, or these cute polymer clay earrings.
    15. Learn a new skill. This one can be tricky because if you’re in need of a therapy dupe that gives instant gratification, this might not be it. But long-term, learning how to sew, roller skate, or bake something pretty can bring so much meaning and fulfillment to your days.
    16. Take a day trip. Download podcasts, make a playlist, and get in the car or hop on the subway. Shaking up your routine and changing your environment is one of the most effective ways to transform your experience.
    17. Go to the library or visit a bookstore. Did anyone else love doing the summer reading challenges as a kid? There’s truly nothing quite like a fresh stack of books to make you feel inspired. Find a few faves and enjoy updating your TBR.
    18. Have a girls’ weekend. Whether it’s a sleepover chez toi or renting a cabin with your besties, plan an overnight full of food, time outside, deep conversations, and plenty of cute photo ops.
    19. Jam out. Siri, play “Lavender Haze.”
    20. Organize one thing. It can be your junk drawer, beauty cabinet, or closet. Nothing lifts my mood quite like a satisfying before and after. And if you don’t have the energy to do it yourself, there’s always HGTV.
    21. Make a friendship bracelet. Pay a visit to the craft store, press play to your favorite show, and turn your living room floor into your dedicated DIY station. I love sending bracelets to friends far away and delivering them in person to my local pals.
    22. Orient your routines toward joy. I used to think about my morning and nighttime routines simply in the context of how I could be the most productive. But now, I’m learning to see this as my time to simply be. That can mean finishing my current read, journaling, moving my body, or scrolling through my favorite accounts. Remember: what brings you joy is deeply personal and entirely unique.
    23. Find a body of water. Bathing suit, sunscreen, beach read—check.
    24. Upgrade your H2O. Romanticize hydration by mixing in an electrolyte powder, DIY ice cubes, or sliced fruit. It’s pretty, it’s tasty, and yes, absolutely necessary.
    25. Visit a craft market or fair. I just went to Renegade Craft in Chicago this past weekend and not only was the experience inspiring, but it helped me feel more connected to my local community. Research fairs in your city or stay up to date on where your favorite makers are popping up next.

    26. Makeover your books. Want the Penguin Classics look for your romance novels? It’s possible! Watch this tutorial for tips.
    27. Brainstorm your biggest dreams. I love doing mind dumps—it’s a fun way to get all of your hopes and wants for the future out on the page. I find that writing my goals, no matter how lofty or seemingly impossible, helps them feel one step closer to being realized. And if you haven’t done it before, prepare for how energized and inspired you’ll feel after.
    28. Create mood lighting. My mood used to drop a little in the evenings, but when I started making my home cozier at night (lighting a few candles, turning on some jazz, making a cup of tea, and never, ever using the “big” light), it became something to look forward to and a nice way to transition to my after-work routine.
    29. Take a Target trip. If you’re a true Target girlie, then you know: you don’t even need to buy anything to experience the retail-adjacent joy.
    30. Pair your workouts with community. Brands like Outdoor Voices and FORM host regular workouts, walks, and community events in cities across the country. Do a little research and get moving!
    31. Clean out your inbox. Let tools like Unroll.Me do the hard work and clear out the clutter. Once you’re unsubscribed from the emails you don’t want, start researching and signing up for newsletters that’ll bring you weekly joy. Some of my faves? Slow Brew Sunday by Jules Acree, On the Rocks by Olivia Noceda, and Intelligent Weekly by Intelligent Change.
    32. Indulge in escapism. Y’all, I’m in my #cottagecore era and I can’t recommend taking a deep dive into the Jane Austen-esque hashtag enough.
    33. Take an “Everything Shower.” It’s luxe, it’s lengthy, and it’ll make you feel amazing when you step out. Consult this list for everything you need.
    34. Schedule a free day. Every so often, I love intentionally having a “no-spend” day. With the goal of zero dollars spent, I’m inspired to connect with simpler joys. Walks, reading, catching up with friends, making something, writing—you’ll be surprised by how expansive the experience can be.
    35. Update your wardrobe. In the spirit of the therapy dupe above, try doing this without buying new pieces. Have you ever noticed that, no matter how many clothes you have in your closet, you often gravitate toward the same couple of pieces? With the items you have available, select a new capsule wardrobe collection. You’ll rediscover dresses, find new ways to style your shorts, and maybe even uncover a few tees that’ll infuse your current style with more personality.
    36. Re-watch your favorite movies or series as a kid. Couldn’t get enough of Kim Possible? Craving the ultimate Y2K inspo à la Lizzie McGuire? See what’s available on your favorite streaming platform and cue the nostalgia.
    37. Organize your saved posts. There’s a reason you flagged them! Go through your Instagram saves and delegate them to folders that’ll make them easier to reference. By making a “workout” folder, I can easily access videos that have inspired me to switch up my gym routine, making exercise all the more enjoyable. (Yes, really!)
    38. Go on an ice cream date. There is nothing I love more in the summer than texting a friend to see if they’re up for a cone walk. I haven’t been turned down yet.
    39. Experiment with a trending food. I won’t say that I was obsessed with cottage cheese before it became cool, but… I do feel seen in its recent rise to TikTok fame. I use it to make banana bread, a quick lunch, or a protein-packed dip.
    40. Make a bouquet. With Trader Joe’s blooms, wildflowers, or whatever you can find. Nothing delights quite like bringing nature indoors.
    41. DIY art for your home. Art can be pricey, but good news: you can make colorful, joy-sparking prints yourself! Here’s all the inspo you need to unlock your inner artiste.
    42. Start a scrapbook. I’ve been keeping a scrapbook since I was 14. Not only do I like looking back on my treasured memories over the years, but I love having a space of my own that I can curate and personalize. It brings me joy just to flip through its pages.
    43. Make a mocktail. Skip the glass of wine and opt for a hangover-free sipper. Try one of our favorite zero-proof recipes.
    44. Wear your favorite outfit. Whenever I need to boost my mood, there’s only one dress that will do. She’s loose but flattering, pretty but comfy. A nap dress is my go-to for making me feel undeniably amazing—what’s yours?
    45. Change your phone/computer background. You know where to go.
    46. Use a disposable camera. I love the trend of capturing life through analog devices. If you want to spend less time on your phone but still want to document your experience, stock up.
    47. Hug someone heart-to-heart. With your partner, a friend, or anyone you feel safe with and want to express love for, try what’s called hugging “heart to heart.” It’s an intentional way of experiencing close, physical connection and truly being present with someone you love.
    48. Learn to embroider. I’ve been looking for more ways to personalize my style and make my clothing feel entirely and uniquely my own. Adding sweet details on your jeans pocket or along a sleeve is a fun way to infuse your wardrobe with personality.
    49. Write affirmations on your mirror. If saying positive affirmations out loud feels uncomfortable, write a few on a sticky note and keep it somewhere you’ll see every day. Even just reading them daily can go a long way in shifting your thought patterns.
    50. Feel your feelings. It might sound counterintuitive, but when your emotions feel heavy and overwhelming, let them flow. Cry if you need to. The experience can be uncomfortable, but it can also feel cathartic and powerful. And the more we practice leaning into our feelings, the more we can welcome them with kindness and grace.

    Experts Believe “Joy Snacking” Is the Key to Consistently Feeling Happier More

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    The Surprising Connection Between Posture and Sex

    We all know posture is important. We grew up with at least one parent whose favorite pastime was to jab their thumb between our shoulder blades and remind us to stand taller (Just me? Cool, cool). We know posture is helpful to ensure proper muscle function, and it’s important for proper alignment of joints and bones. But did you know your posture can make or break your sex life?
    Because I didn’t—and I’ve never been so motivated to stand up straight.
    After having a baby in 2021, I started following various pelvic floor therapists on Instagram. When I connected the dots between posture and vaginal flexibility, I started to pay more attention to the way in which my shoulders slump when I’m at my computer, or how I tuck my pelvis and lean back when I’m holding my 30lb toddler. One follow I’ve found helpful is Jesse Truelove, a pre-and-post-natal trainer who specializes in women’s corrective exercise and pelvic floor work. Her reels on posture have helped remind me to move more consciously, whether I’m at my desk or dead-lifting the little one.
    So I decided to reach out to Truelove to see if she could speak directly to this connection between posture and sexual pleasure. And from what she told me, it’s a widely unknown issue. “Something a lot of people aren’t thinking about is tension in the pelvis and how that impacts sexual pleasure and orgasms,” she explained. Read on to find out how posture affects sex and Truelove’s best tips for improving your sex life (BTW, these tips apply to everyone with a uterus, whether or not you’ve had–or intend to have–a child).

    Meet the expert
    Jesse Truelove, CPT, WFS
    Core & Pelvic Health Specialist
    Jesse Truelove is a pre/postnatal trainer and creator of the MomCORE app, which helps women recover from common dysfunctions post-pregnancy. She is certified in pelvic floor corrective exercise and kinesiology, and has coached thousands of women to heal their pelvic floor.

    In this article

    How Posture Affects Sex
    According to Truelove, when you sit all day with your pelvis tucked under you or if you tend to clench your butt while standing or walking, it can actually shorten the muscles in both your glutes and your pelvic floor. “When this happens over an extended period of time, blood flow is reduced, and we need blood flow for a clitoral erection.” Translation: not paying attention to your pelvic floor muscles and posture can actually impact clitoral stimulation. What’s more, Truelove adds, “We need to be able to contract and lengthen our pelvic floor muscles to allow for penetration and the ability to orgasm.” Basically, poor posture can constrict the muscles in your undercarriage to the point where you can’t easily lengthen them, which can lead to pain during sex or difficulty achieving orgasm.

    Signs That Your Posture Might Be Affecting Your Sex Life
    Your body’s default is to slouch
    One red flag that indicates you might start to see muscle imbalance or chronic pain in the future (and less-than-ideal intercourse) is when you notice your body default to a position where your shoulders round, head juts outward, and pelvis tucks under, as Truelove told me. My shoulders are constantly rounding—to a point where that rounded position feels like a relief. My back starts to get tired if I’m holding a straighter posture. Truelove suggests it’s because my body has learned that the slouched position is my default. “Our bodies are very smart and want to conserve our energy,” she said. “Sometimes at the expense of our [long-term] comfort.”

    You’re chronically stressed
    Sitting all day isn’t the only reason your tailbone might be tucked, leading to poor posture and pelvic floor function. “A tight pelvic floor and tucked pelvis can also be a symptom of chronic stress,” Truelove emphasizes. “If you think about a dog that gets yelled at, it tucks its tail to protect its most vulnerable space, and so do we. We tuck under, clutch, and protect.” It’s wild to think about how subconsciously our body language operates, but it makes sense. Our bodies are always communicating with us. And when we are constantly stressed, our bodies constrict and create tension. “The body is more connected than you may think,” Truelove notes. “Even tension in the jaw translates to tension in your pelvic floor, too.”

    It’s hard to find a comfortable standing position
    Another, more surprising, red flag is when you notice it’s hard to find a comfortable standing position. “You may not be able to find comfortable upright positions and [as a result] are constantly looking for your next seat for relief,” Truelove says. If any of these signs makes you wince a little because they’re too real, I’m right there with you. There’s good news, though, if you (like millions of us) are tied to your desk chair all day and are operating under chronic stress, you can absolutely rectify pelvic tightness in your body. Truelove reassures that taking the time to notice and shift your habits around posture and even your breathing patterns can have a major positive impact on your sexual pleasure.

    Expert Tips To Improve Posture and Support Your Pelvic Floor
    1. Breathe into your pelvis
    “When you inhale, imagine filling a balloon that’s sitting in your pelvic bowl,” Truelove explains. By breathing in a way that feels like you’re pushing your hip bones away from each other, you’re activating and stretching the deep core muscles that support your pelvic muscles. “Most people inhale and their shoulders come toward their ears, [but] this is not deep breathing,” Truelove says. Timing yourself for just a few minutes at a time and breathing deeply into your pelvic bowl can shape your breathing habits over time.

    2. Release your glutes
    We often don’t know that we’re tightening a muscle (like clenching our jaws) when it’s an engrained habit, but taking a few minutes to check in with yourself—while you’re brushing your teeth or waiting in line somewhere—could make all the difference. “Butt tucking and tension can restrict blood flow to the pelvic floor area, (goodbye orgasms and pleasure),” Truelove warns. And although it’s a tougher habit to break, it’s doable. It’s just a matter of starting to be aware when you’re tensing up your glute muscles, and then releasing. 

    3. Go barefoot when you can
    Yes, wearing shoes may be hindering your ideal posture. “Our feet are our foundation,” Truelove explained. “What you put them in is absolutely impacting your pelvic health. Jamming your toes into narrow heels or trendy athletic shoes or even flip flops is sending tension signals to your pelvic floor that you don’t even realize.”
    If you need proof, try scrunching your toes together really hard right now. You might notice tension in your pelvic floor. Or it might feel like you’re clenching as though you’re trying to hold back some gas. It’s subtle, but it’s all connected. Does this mean it’s time to say goodbye to heels forever? Not necessarily. “Try going barefoot more often, and opt for more foot-shaped shoes,” Truelove suggests. If you’re really attached to the trendy footwear that smashes your toes a bit, try striving for balance. The danger is when those toes never get to splay.

    FYI–You Don’t Need Perfect Posture To Have Great Sex
    When I asked what kind of posture to shoot for, Truelove reminded me to manage my expectations. “Perfect posture doesn’t exist,” she said. “We are all unique and different, and life was meant to happen in all different positions.” Varying lifestyles are going to require slightly different postures to support different types of movement. “With that said, alignment is important for great breathing, pelvic floor function, and more. Problems start to arise when we get ‘stuck’ in one posture and have trouble getting into certain positions without pain or compensation.”
    The best thing to do to “enhance” your posture is to focus on aligning your spine by shaking up your habitual movement patterns. For example, “If you lead with your pelvis [while walking] and lean backward with your upper body, try to stack your pelvis under your ribcage and then your head over your shoulders,” Truelove suggests. She acknowledges that it may feel very unnatural, but that’s OK because with more awareness and practice it will all feel more natural. Our muscles can unlearn old habits with time. Discomfort in the short term will lead to major physical relief in the long run (80-year-old future you will thank you!).
    If doing it on your own feels tricky or you need a little extra support, think about setting some goals with an accountability buddy or look into programs like Truelove’s MomCORE app, which offers a one-week free trial, one-on-one coaching, and a community of women like you who are all reaching for the same goal.

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    5 Green Flags You Have Healthy Boundaries

    For years, I thought I had healthy boundaries. I’ve always been pretty good at saying no, so I figured I had it all down (because I genuinely thought that’s all a boundary was). But recently, I started to notice a pattern of irritability throughout my day, and I realized I was spending so much time cleaning up everyone else’s messes that I didn’t have time for my own. It turns out, I wasn’t setting clear boundaries at all! And how could I, when I didn’t even have clarity around the strategies that would meet my needs for support? It got me thinking: how many of us are actually tuned into our boundaries? How many of us know what it feels like when our boundaries are set and working properly? So I decided to reach out to Elisabeth T. Lilja, a licensed therapist based in Salt Lake City who specializes in trauma, to shed some light on what healthy boundaries look like and how to know if you have them in place.

    Meet the expert
    Elisabeth T. Lilja, LCSW MSW RYT
    Lilja is a therapist and private practice owner of Salt City Therapy based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She specializes in trauma and helping people strengthen their relationship with their body and self-trust.

    What is a healthy boundary, anyway?
    Boundaries are more than just saying “no” to the things that don’t serve you (although that is a healthy component as you’ll read about soon). Lilja defined boundaries as “the needs, limits, and rules we set for ourselves.” That means you understand where your limits are, but you also understand what your needs are—and you’re able to create strategies (rules) to meet them. “Healthy boundaries within relationships are often informed by a healthy boundary relationship with ourselves,” Lilja said. “In relationships, we may look at healthy boundaries as created with connection over protection in mind.”
    Lilja reminded me that there will be times when protective boundaries in relationships are necessary, but a signal that your boundaries are serving you both is when they help build a sense of connection with one another. You are both clear on what you need, you know each other’s limits, and you respect each other’s rules.
    So now that we have a working definition of a healthy boundary down, let’s dive into the signs that you—and those you have a relationship with—are, in fact, working those boundaries the right way.
    Green Flags You Have Healthy Boundaries

    1. Your “no” is respected
    When you’re clear on what’s a “no” for you and you respect and support that “no,” that’s a healthy boundary you’ve created for yourself. And when the people in your life respect it too, that’s a healthy relationship boundary. Keep in mind, “respect” doesn’t necessarily mean no questions asked. The people in your life may still ask for clarification around your “no.” “What this means is we aren’t pushed, bullied, or manipulated into a ‘yes,’” Lilja clarified.
    When someone else has opinions surrounding your “no,” (which can often happen) it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t respect it. “How these feelings are communicated and responded to can indicate the health of our relationships,” Lilja explained. If you are able to hold space for someone else’s feelings about your “no” while still feeling grounded in clarity around your “no,” that’s a major green flag that your boundaries are in the healthy zone.

    2. You engage in conflict with curiosity
    You’re showcasing healthy boundaries when you “are able to be in respectful, healthy conflict that doesn’t move into name-calling, abuse, manipulation, or harmful actions like stonewalling,” Lilja said. And one way to avoid participating in those behaviors is by engaging in curiosity. “Curiosity is a way we can establish healthy relating,” Lilja explained. When you’re curious about the other person’s experience, you’re less likely to make assumptions about their experience that would lead to blaming or shaming. 
    Some questions Lilja offered to check in with yourself about whether or not you’re engaging with curiosity were: “Am I inviting room for clarification over conclusions, assumptions, and defensiveness? Am I asking questions to seek clarification? Am I aware and able to communicate in a respectful way what I am feeling or experiencing and may need?” When you engage with curiosity, it gives you space to feel confident about your own boundaries while respecting the boundaries of another.

    3. You can express your needs and boundaries clearly
    “Needs, or boundary expression, indicates that we are able to advocate for ourselves, that we value our worth and getting [our] needs met in a relational space,” Lilja said. In other words, you know your boundaries are in a healthy zone when you feel safe expressing what you need. When you’re grounded in what you need because you know it’s what’s best for you, it’s a lot easier to feel confident in the ask, even when it can’t be met in the moment.
    “Again, this doesn’t mean that understanding and clarification can’t be wanted around the need or boundary expressed, or that the boundary or need will always be able to be met,” Lilja stated. “Rather, there is space for you to have and express your boundaries. And for persons you are in a relationship with to have the same.”

    4. Repair is important to you
    Even in the most well-meaning relationships, boundaries get crossed. “Ruptures happen in relationships—yes, even healthy ones,” Lilja said. When you prioritize repair after one of those ruptures, you’re setting yourself up for healthy boundaries in the future. Think of it as healthy boundary maintenance.
    According to Lilja, repair looks like learning how to extend an apology (this isn’t just saying the words, “I’m sorry”), taking accountability for how you might have harmed someone, and acknowledging what you will try to do differently in the future. “Repair is a critical part of a secure relationship and healthy relating,” she said. “It’s a good sign if you and someone else can seek repair in a relationship.”

    5. You’re consistent in your follow-through
    Something that’s always stuck with me is the concept that healing requires time and evidence. When you receive consistent proof that something is serving you over a period of time, you begin to believe in it. You start to feel safer in your experience. In the context of boundaries, Lilja noted that consistency is when we do what we say we are going to do. And if something needs to shift, we communicate.
    Having the experience of predictable follow-through builds and maintains a sense of trust that our boundaries will be consistently respected. “While it may not seem like it, follow-through is us upholding a boundary with ourselves,” she said. “Practicing boundaries with ourselves can lead to establishing, upholding, and maintaining boundaries with others.”

    Expert Tips To Help Strengthen Your Boundary Skills

    1. Notice when you are saying “yes” when you mean “no” 
    “Part of learning to find our ‘no’ is understanding why we might be saying ‘yes’ to something we want to say no to,” Lilja said. Getting to the bottom of what’s stopping you can help you shift out of this pattern. “A practice for this is to notice what belief may be coming up for you when you aren’t honoring a ‘no.’” For example, ask yourself what would happen if you said no. Are you worried the other person would feel let down, disappointed in you, hurt, or like you less? Maybe you feel unworthy to set that boundary?
    Then ask yourself if the outcome you anticipate is the outcome that would actually happen IRL. “While [your] feeling or belief is real, is it true?” Lilja asked. “Are there times you have said no and what you fear might not have happened? It can be scary to gather different information, and this is something the body needs to start to make changes.”

    2. Learn how to apologize and repair
    Having healthy boundaries is not just about setting our own boundaries, but respecting the boundaries of the other person. And a key piece of respecting others’ boundaries is apologizing when we (inevitably) cross a boundary. “This can be incredibly challenging for many reasons,” Lilja empathized. “Repairing is also something that can get easier with practice.” Also, apologizing is always important, even if you didn’t have bad intentions or didn’t mean to hurt someone. An apology invites empathy, or acknowledgment that the other person’s experience is real. 
    If you’re curious what an actual apology looks like, Lilja offered phrases you can use below, which she calls the anatomy of an apology. Each one is important when you’re genuinely apologizing and attempting to repair.

    I am sorry for…: The “for” is important here. Name what you are repairing or apologizing for. Think of this as the why. Why are you apologizing? This is how you take accountability for your actions.
    I could have done things differently by… or Moving forward I will…: This shows that you not only understand what you’re apologizing for, but you know how to change your actions moving forward. This is critical for repairing the relationship in the future.
    How are you feeling? or What do you need to feel better about this?: Checking in allows the other person the space to communicate with you what they need, and what you both can do to truly repair.

    3. Practice follow-through
    Following through with your boundaries is as simple as sticking to your promises. Do what you say you are going to do, and communicate when something needs to change. When you show up consistently for yourself, you build trust and a better understanding of which commitments are and are not serving you. Lilja suggested starting small, like making one promise to yourself that you can follow through with on a daily basis. This might look like a morning or nightly ritual (think: journaling or meditating) or setting a time to finish something on your to-do list. Notice how you feel when it’s time to follow through with something, and how it feels to actually do it. “Keeping track of your follow-through can be helpful,” Lilja said. “If you don’t follow through on what you have selected, what happened? What is this telling you? Are you noticing a pattern?” All of this information can help guide you to shift your habits toward more consistent follow-through.

    4. Seek therapy
    If you’re looking for extra support as you flex these skills, therapy is an excellent way to practice with a third party. “Therapy can be a wonderful way to learn how to strengthen boundaries with ourselves and others—creating the space to be curious about what we learned about being in a relationship with ourselves and others,” Lilja confirmed. It can also be a safe place for you and a partner to practice engaging in healthy boundaries with each other to ensure you’re setting up a framework that will support you for years to come.

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    The Trendy New Supplement Everyone’s Taking About for Insane Health Benefits

    There’s no denying that collagen has been riding a wave of popularity over the last few years, but a new supplement that’s hit the wellness scene is giving it a run for its money. Cue the drum roll, please… Introducing colostrum, the superfood that protects and strengthens your body’s defenses, guarding against infections, inflammation, everyday toxins, allergens, and processed ingredients (sounds pretty magical, if you ask me). 
    While you may know of colostrum in the context of the nourishment given to newborns by their mothers, we’re honing in on the bovine variety that delivers benefits adults can get in on—from improving gut health to enhancing athletic performance (stay tuned for more health perks). Read on to find out what doctors and dietitians have to say about what colostrum is, its benefits, and how often it should be taken to get the most out of it. 

    In this article

    What is Colostrum?
    Often referred to as “liquid gold” for its health benefits and nutritional value, “colostrum is a natural superfood produced by all mammals in the first 48-72 hours after giving birth,” explained Dr. Sarah Rahal, MD, a board-certified neurologist and the CEO and Founder of ARMRA. “It’s the first nutrition we receive in life and contains 200+ essential nutrients, like antibodies, prebiotics, peptides, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants, and other natural immune factors, that our bodies need to thrive and work synergistically to enhance all facets of health. For 300 million years, colostrum has served the vital function of protecting and strengthening the mucosal barriers—a barrier of protection lining your mouth, sinuses, lungs, and gut—by creating a tight seal around them, blocking modern-day threats like air pollutants, agricultural pesticides, and chemicals in our food, water, home, body products, medications, and processed food ingredients.”
    So what’s the difference between human and bovine colostrum? Dr. Rahal explained that human and bovine colostrum (which, FYI, usually come from cows) are highly similar in terms of their bioactive components. Translation: They’re both packed with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, disease-fighting proteins, growth hormones, and digestive enzymes that give our bodies a boost in preventing disease. However, because of the differences in physiology between the species, there are key differences in the relative amounts/concentrations of nutrients. “For example, there are different ratios of prebiotics, which serve to optimize the growth of different species’ microbiomes, in human versus bovine colostrum,” Dr. Rahal conveyed.
    In supplement form, bovine colostrum is pasteurized and dried into capsules or powders that can be mixed with liquids, such as coffee or smoothies. And research shows that taking bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections, and improve gut health throughout life, according to Healthline. 
    What Are the Benefits?

    Supports immunity
    Cold and flu season or not, reducing your chances of coming down with the sniffles or a virus is a win. Enter: colostrum. “Colostrum works by strengthening the immune barriers along the entire inside surface of the body, our first line of defense against everything inhaled and ingested from the outside world,” Dr. Rahal explained. “This creates a tight seal that guards against the everyday environmental toxins and pollutants that can threaten health and drive inflammation, the underlying root of almost all modern diseases.”
    Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, a nutritionist and ACE-certified trainer, also revealed that colostrum contains high levels of antibodies, immunoglobulins, and other immune-enhancing substances that can help fight off infections and reduce the severity of allergies.

    Fortifies gut health
    Real talk: Digestive discomfort is all-too-common (looking at you, belly bloat) and can be a real party pooper (pun intended). The good news? Colostrum could be the answer to a happy gut. “Colostrum contains growth factors and bioactive compounds that can promote the growth and repair of the intestinal lining,” Sabat stated. But the gut goodness doesn’t stop there. Katherine Gomez, a registered dietitian, cited that colostrum may encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria, enhance gut barrier function, and aid digestion and nutrient absorption. 

    Fuels athletic performance
    Could colostrum be the new pre-workout to give you an edge in your workouts? “Some studies suggest that colostrum supplementation in adult athletes may enhance exercise performance, increase lean muscle mass, and support post-exercise recovery,” Sabat affirmed. “It contains factors like growth factors, amino acids, and cytokines that may contribute to these effects.” Consider the 25-7-2 StairMaster Workout crushed. 

    Promotes anti-aging 
    If the Hailey Bieber glow is something you’re after (who isn’t?), colostrum may be the beauty holy grail. “Colostrum includes a variety of antioxidants and growth factors that may have anti-aging properties that could help minimize oxidative stress and enhance tissue repair and regeneration,” Gomez noted. Hello, radiance and skin plumpness. Goodbye, fine lines and wrinkles. 

    Reduces inflammation
    PSA: Chronic inflammation is the invisible culprit of many health woes (think: diseases, gastrointestinal issues, depression, and anxiety). The silver lining is that colostrum is particularly high in lactoferrin, AKA a powerful inflammation moderator that rises in our bodies during times of increased inflammation. “Colostrum contains anti-inflammatory substances, including cytokines and growth factors, which may help reduce inflammation in the body,” Sabat echoed. “This could potentially benefit adults with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.”

    What Dosage Is Right For Me?
    As with most (if not all) supplements, the recommended dosage and frequency of colostrum intake for adults can vary depending on factors such as the specific product, individual needs, and health goals, Sabat voiced. “The dosage recommendations may range from a few grams to several grams per day,” she continued. “It’s important to start with the lower end of the dosage range and gradually increase as needed. Some individuals may benefit from taking colostrum daily, while others may find periodic use or cycling more appropriate.” For that reason, consult your doctor on the best course of action for you. 
    The main takeaway? Because colostrum supplements can differ in composition and quality, look for reputable brands that source colostrum from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows or other mammals that are free from antibiotics and artificial growth hormones.

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    Please consult a doctor or a mental health professional before beginning any treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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    A Registered Dietician Swears by “The Sleepy Girl Mocktail”–Here’s Why You Should Try It Too

    If you’re struggling to get more shut-eye at night, you’re not alone. According to the Casper-Gallup State of Sleep in America 2022 Report, one in three American adults (about 84 million people) describe their sleep as “fair” or “poor.” It’s no secret that sleep is important, and we’ll try any and all hacks to make sure we get enough of it. Enter the Sleepy Girl Mocktail. Created to send you into a deep slumber, this buzzy wellness drink has taken over TikTok. But the real question is: does it work? As a registered dietitian, I’m always interested in ingredients, so I took a deep dive into the mocktail to see if it can actually grant you those coveted eight hours of sleep. Keep reading to find out what you need to know before mixing it up for yourself. 

    What Is the “Sleepy Girl Mocktail?”
    Maybe you’ve already seen the viral video, but if you haven’t, I’ve got you covered. Createdx by TikToker Gracie Norton, she shares that combining tart cherry juice and magnesium is a “match made in heaven for good sleep.” Here’s how to make the mocktail: Combine one teaspoon of Moon Juice’s Magnesium-Om and a cup of Lakewood Organic Tart Cherry Juice in a glass, then froth them together with a handheld frother, we recommend this one. Transfer the mixture to a wine glass filled with ice and top it off with a splash of Lemon Lime OLIPOP. The result is a great-tasting, fizzy drink that aids in sleep.

    Will It Help You Get Better Sleep?
    Short answer: Maybe. Magnesium can help activate neurotransmitters that aid in relaxing your body for a good night’s rest. Additionally, some research has shown that magnesium may help reduce insomnia in older adults. When it comes to using a magnesium supplement for your own Sleepy Girl Mocktail, make sure you’re choosing the right kind. There are different types of magnesium, which have different side effects. Magnesium glycinate can aid in sleep, whereas magnesium oxide is used as a stool softener, so it’s best to opt for magnesium glycinate if your goal is better sleep. 
    Tart cherries contain two sleep-inducing components: tryptophan and melatonin. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body produce the hormone melatonin, and melatonin is secreted in the body when it is time to transition to sleep. Additionally, tryptophan enables the production of serotonin, which allows us to relax. Bottom line: Cherry juice is a great choice for a nightcap.
    While OLIPOP doesn’t have any additional benefits for sleep, it does include a great nutrient profile with nine grams of prebiotic fiber, making it a notable choice for digestive health. It also comes in a ton of yummy flavors and adds a little fizz and fun to the mocktail.

    Final Thoughts 
    There are a few things to keep in mind before implementing the Sleepy Girl Mocktail into your regular nighttime routine. As with all health and wellness trends, it is not one-size-fits-all. What works for some may not work for everyone. And if you do struggle with trouble sleeping, please consult your physician before beginning any supplements. 
    From a health standpoint, there’s certainly nothing wrong with combining the three ingredients for an evening drink, especially since there is research to back up its sleep-inducing benefits. That said, 8 oz. of tart cherry juice contains a large amount of sugar, so choose a juice that is pure tart cherry juice and be mindful of how much you pour into your glass. To avoid having a sugar spike before bed, consider drinking the mocktail 1-2 hours prior to falling asleep. This will also help prevent having to get up to use the bathroom while you’re getting those much-desired Zzzs.

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    Is Cottage Cheese the Ultimate Healthy Snack? We Analyze TikTok’s Favorite Food

    One nostalgic dairy product has had a surprising comeback thanks to #FoodTok: cottage cheese. While the trendy, versatile dairy staple once had a bad rap (you either loved it or hated it), the 252 million views on #cottagecheese say it all—#FoodTok is converting the curdled milk cynics into fanatics. Aside from its health benefits (more to come on that), TikTokers are redeeming the once-overlooked snack by transforming it into endless recipes—from mac and cheese to toast and pancakes to ice cream (yes, you read that right). But is cottage cheese in fact good for you? I asked dietitians what they think of the now-viral ingredient, plus I break down the health perks of adding it to your diet and the must-try recipes to give a whirl.  

    In this article

    Blended Cottage Cheese 101 “Blended cottage cheese is always gritty” or “I can’t get blended cottage cheese completely smooth” – As simple as it sounds – you simply need to blend it longer. 2-3 minutes should do the trick. If needed, microwave for 30-45 seconds before blending to make the process easier “Blended cottage cheese sauces always separate when I add them to pasta” – Most of the time – this is caused by 1 of 2 things. Either your pasta is way too hot, or the water content is too high. Fully strain cooked pasta, and let sit for 2-3 mins (so it isn’t extremely hot when adding sauce), then add desired amount of sauce to the warm pasta. – Avoid heating the sauce in an excessively hot pan. I recommend just adding straight from the blender without heating in a pan, and if needed microwave for 30-60 seconds BEFORE blending so that it is warm – IF the sauce does “separate” when you add to the pasta, remove from heat and let it sit for ~5 minutes. Then, stir the pasta continually and the sauce will actually re-constitute. Again, the separating issue typically is caused by excess heat or water content, but is resolved as it cools down a bit and thickens. I have countless blended cottage cheese recipes on my page – and they’re a great starting point to learn how to work with the ingredient. My favorite aspect of it is that it’s quite simply the easiest cheese sauce you can make – no sauce pan or flour needed, simply throw everything in a blender and you’re good to go. Done every time in 2 minutes or less. And of course – it also works great for “cheesecake” style desserts (which I have a few of on my page as well!) Entire batch of sauce 840 Cals 100g Protein 36g Carbs 40g Fat Makes enough for ~1 pound or 16oz of pasta! Ingredients: 450g 2% Cottage cheese 80g 2% cheddar (or cheddar of choice) 20g Parmigianno Reggiano* 30g Cheddar Powder** 150g milk Salt/Pepper to taste #blendedcottagecheese #whippedcottagecheese #cottagecheeserecipe #blendedcottagecheeserecipe #cottagecheese #cottagecheesesauce #cottagecheesepasta #stealthhealth
    ♬ Spanish Wine by Butter – Tom Walsh

    What Is Cottage Cheese?
    First, a little history lesson on cottage cheese. While it’s unclear when it made its debut (people have supposedly been eating variations of the dairy product for thousands of years), cottage cheese is believed to be the first cheese made in America. It came about as an economical way to make use of excess milk from the butter-making process. Fast forward to the 1970s when it gained popularity as the “it” diet and health food.  
    So what is cottage cheese really? “Cottage cheese is a type of cheese made from the curds of cow’s milk,” described Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, a nutritionist and ACE personal trainer. “The curds are formed by adding an acid or rennet to milk, causing it to coagulate and separate into curds and whey. The curds are then drained and often rinsed to remove the whey, resulting in the creation of cottage cheese.” Stroll down any dairy aisle and you’ll see that the product comes in three varieties based on its milk fat content: nonfat, reduced-fat, or full-fat. Whatever floats your boat, just beware of any with flavors—they’re likely laden with additives. 
    While cottage cheese has a mild, slightly sweet and salty flavor (making it an ideal complement to countless dishes without compromising taste or flavor), its lumpy texture is often what puts people off. If you were once apart of the won’t-touch-cottage-cheese-with-a-ten-foot-pole camp, (it’s me, hi) or you’re hesitant to jump on #FoodTok’s latest sensation, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it because there’s major FOMO to be had (spoiler: the recipes are that good). 
    What Are the Benefits?
    With the resurgence of retro food, you’ve got to wonder if there are cottage cheese benefits to back it up or whether it’s just another food fad that we’ll be saying see ya! to in a week. The final verdict? Dietitians give it a thumbs up for its high-protein, low-glycemic-index, probiotic-rich, and vitamin B-packed profile.

    It’s high in protein and other nutrients 
    “Cottage cheese is a good source of high-quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids necessary for the body,” Sabat conveyed. “Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, producing enzymes and hormones, and providing a feeling of satiety.” Help yourself to a one half-cup serving of low-fat (1% milk fat) cottage cheese and you’ll rack up 14 grams of protein (more than what two eggs serve up!). BTW, to pack more protein into your diet, check out these hacks.
    Cottage cheese also provides essential nutrients like phosphorus (regulates the normal function of nerves and muscles, including the heart) and selenium (boosts immune function, improves hair and nail health, and supports a healthy thyroid) that help ensure your body systems are fine-tuned.
    It has a low glycemic index (GI)
    PSA: Following a low-GI diet may help you lose or manage weight, balance blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, decrease total cholesterol levels, and lessen the risk of diabetes and heart and blood vessel diseases. “Cottage cheese has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause spikes in blood glucose levels compared to other dairy products,” explained Edibel Quintero, a registered dietitian and medical advisor with HealthInsider.

    It can help improve gut health
    Some cottage cheese brands include fermented or live cultures (read: probiotics). Consuming probiotics, or living microorganisms that promote gut health can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, thereby improving digestion and gut function.
    It may aid in reducing inflammation and boosting energy 
    “Cottage cheese is also packed with B vitamins, especially vitamins B2 and B12,” Quintero stated. “Vitamin B2 helps with reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, whereas vitamin B12 is required for the healthy functioning of the nervous system, the formation of red blood cells, and DNA synthesis.” What’s more, vitamin B12 helps the body metabolize the food you eat into glucose, which gives you energy. Translation: The old-school provision just might give your body a leg up in maintaining tip-top shape.

    It reinforces strong bones 
    It turns out milk does do your body good. “Cottage cheese is a rich source of calcium, making it highly beneficial for maintaining stronger bones and teeth,” Quintero affirmed. For that reason, she cited that cottage cheese may be a nutritious addition to a healthy eating routine for those with osteoporosis or who want to prevent bone-related disorders.

    So, is Cottage Cheese Healthy?
    The short answer? Yes, but it also depends on your own body and lifestyle (i.e. whether you are lactose-intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or follow a vegan diet) and how the cottage cheese is made. “Whether or not cottage cheese is considered healthy depends on an individual’s dietary needs and preferences,” Sabat pointed out. “As a protein-rich food, it can be beneficial for those looking to increase their protein intake or maintain muscle mass. Of most concern is that cottage cheese is an animal-based product and should always be organic.”
    If there are other ingredients such as flavoring, additives, or other artificial preservatives present, or if it’s high in sodium, cottage cheese can quickly go from a nutrient-dense snack to a not-so-healthy option. Sabat also mentioned taking into consideration that many people have trouble digesting the sugar in dairy while some have issues with the casein in dairy being inflammatory. Bottom line: If dairy tends to give you digestive drama (ahem, bloating), it may be best to exclude cottage cheese from your grocery list. Otherwise, it can be a healthy way to stay satiated and load up on essential nutrients in all its forms: a nibble eaten solo, dip, topping, substitution, or addition to your favorite fare. Consider it a food chameleon. 
    Recipes You Need To Try
    There’s no shortage of food influencers and wellness girlies alike showing mad love for cottage cheese on #FoodTok, but don’t just take their word for it. Try these cottage cheese concoctions for yourself. 
    1. @rachlmansfield‘s Cottage Cheese Blender Pancakes

    4-ingredient COTTAGE CHEESE PANCAKES! the pancake recipe we go to over and over again and the most popular pancake recipe on my website🥞 #cottagecheese #cottagecheesepancakes #breakfastideas
    ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

    2. @bakedbymelissa‘s Cottage Cheese Toast 

    On repeat #food #recipe #fyp #fypシ #asmr #viral #learnontiktok #easyrecipe #tiktoktaughtme #foryou
    ♬ original sound – Baked by Melissa

    3. @dzaslavsky‘s Zucchini Cottage Cheese Lasagna

    Part 2: Zucchini Lasagna healthylasagna cottagecheese cottagecheeserecipe zucchinilasagna
    ♬ original sound – danielle

    4. @nutritionbykylie‘s Cottage Cheese Dip 

    If there’s one recipe you ever try from TikTok, let it be this one because it takes #cottagecheese #easyrecipe #highprotein #healthyrecipes #dietitian
    ♬ original sound – Kylie, MS, RD, LDN

    5. @brittanyraetoday‘s Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce

    He’ll hate me when he finds out but at least we have an honest review of the cottage cheese pasta sauce hack!!! #highproteinrecipes #lighteneduprecipes #nutrientdense
    ♬ Call Me Maybe x Whitney Houston by DARCY STOKES – darcy stokes

    6. @feelgoodfoodie‘s Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

    Have you tried the viral #cottagecheeseicecream? There are so many fun flavor options you can do with it. What flavor should I try next? #highproteinicecream #cottagecheeserecipe IB: @lainiecooks
    ♬ original sound – Feel Good Foodie

    7. @jakecohen‘s Cottage Cheese Cookie Dough

    COTTAGE CHEESE EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH. I’m unwell, I know, but I need a steady stream of sweets throughout the day and lots of protein so I’m actually vvvvvvvv into a few spoons of this magic whenever my sweet tooth is acting up!! Very easy! Don’t try to bake it! Hope y’all are getting swole!!!! 🥰🥰🥰🥰 Cottage Cheese Edible Cookie Dough 1 pound low-fat cottage cheese 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups almond flour 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder 1 cup dark chocolate chips In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla, then purée until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the almond flour and protein powder until well incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    ♬ original sound – Jake Cohen

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