January is National Oatmeal Month!
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January is National Oatmeal Month!

Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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Bowl of dried oatsA breakfast favorite nationwide, oatmeal is not only a versatile grain that can be enjoyed in many different recipes, but it’s also really good for you! In celebration of January being National Oatmeal Month, here is a little guide explaining the health benefits of oatmeal as well as a few ideas on how it can be used to make a face mask, to treat poison oak and more!

Oatmeal contains a special strand of fiber that has been shown to help lower bad cholesterol levels. It also is high in antioxidants that are good for your heart, is rich in fiber, which can help lower blood sugar levels, can lower your risk of diabetes, and can even lower your risk of breast cancer. You can enjoy oatmeal in the morning topped with your favorite fruit, or you can add it to your favorite recipes throughout the day. For example, when added to meat, oats can help your meatloaf or hamburger patties hold their shape.

In addition to being really good for your body on the inside, oatmeal has calming and soothing properties that can soothe everything from dry skin to a rash from poison oak. There are many recipes for an oatmeal scrub or facial mask on the internet. You can use it to exfoliate or get rid of itchy, dry skin. If you’re looking to treat poison oak or any other bothersome rash, simply soak oatmeal in water until it becomes a paste-like consistency. If you’d like to make a smoother paste that’s easier to rub on your skin, simply put the soaked oats in your blender and puree them before applying.

Oatmeal is also good for your dog’s skin. When your pooch’s skin becomes inflamed or itchy, he or she may only make the problem worse with excessive scratching. In some cases, they’ll even pull out their fur to try and treat the condition. Avoid this and potentially expensive vet visits by simply washing your dog with an oatmeal shampoo. The oatmeal will naturally soothe any irritation caused by dry skin or bug bites. Special shampoo formulas for dogs are available at your local pet store. You can even take it a step further and buy a soothing oatmeal conditioner to use after you’ve washed your pup. This will be extra soothing, and their fur might just end up being softer when you pet them!

If your kids are stuck inside on a rainy day, you can create oatmeal clay to ease their boredom for a while. Simply mix 1 cup of oatmeal to ½ cup of flour and a ½ cup of water. This will create a bumpy clay your children can form into their favorite shapes. If you want smoother clay, simply put the mixture into your blender before giving to your little ones. Eventually, the oatmeal clay will harden and your little ones can decorate their oatmeal sculptures any way they like!

How will you celebrate National Oatmeal Month?

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.