It’s been 2 months since the semester started and you know by now that college presents challenges to healthy living: late nights, stress, and unlimited soft serve at the Dewick. Try one of these tips – your body will thank you!
1. Walk. Walking is an easy way to get moving. Do a loop around campus with a friend, or throw headphones on and walk for a few songs as a study break.
2. Embrace the snack. Healthy snacks keep you focused, energized, and less likely to overeat at meals. Some good choices are popcorn, nuts, fruit, bars, yogurt, and instant oatmeal.
3. Keep your coffee coffee. As you get your java boost, keep in mind that loading a cup with cream, sugars, and syrups turns a drink into a dessert.
4. Be colorful. Seek out vegetables and fruits of all hues to maximize their nutritional value. Sorry, Skittles don’t count.
5. Eat for the right reasons. Eat when you are hungry and not because you are sleepy, stressed, or homesick. Take a walk, drink tea, or listen to your favorite music instead.
6. Eat your vitamins. Most nutrition experts agree the best way to get the vitamins and minerals is via food! Getting nutrients is crucial since lack of sleep, stress, and close contact with other people can be a recipe for illness.
7. Get savvy with the microwave. Master some quick and easy recipes for cooking in a room. A couple of simple ingredients, mini-fridge and a microwave and you’ve got the potential for quesadillas, mini-omelets, baked potatoes, beans-and-rice, and tuna melts.
8. Don’t think extreme – balance your life! Being healthy doesn’t require green juices and marathon gym sessions. Good health relies on balance – focus on small choices, one day at a time.
November 4th, 2014
Thanks to all who attended and had a great time at the cooking class featuring hearty, healthy fall foods! From healthy chicken parm with fresh tomato sauce and penne to homemade pita chips and guacamole, everything was delicious and nutritious!
Check out our great intern Linda’s Blog as well http://lettucespoon.blogspot.com/2013/11/balance-your-lifes-cornflake-crusted.html
Here’s a link to the recipes Cooking class2
November 14th, 2013
Ever wondered what superfoods are? Looking to boost your diet a little more. Check out this article on some of the best foods to eat!
October 3rd, 2013
We already know veggies are good for us. First, vegetables are packed with fiber, which helps us stay regular and shuttle cholesterol out of our system. Secondly, veggies offer an array of essential vitamins and minerals; sweet potatoes have potassium, necessary for electrolyte balance while beets are rich in antioxidants, hence their purple color. Thirdly, eating vegetables is associated with decreased risk for chronic diseases. For example, increased intake of cruciferous veggies, like brussel sprouts and cauliflower, may be inversely related to the risk for lung cancer (Lam, et al 2009).
Okay, so what about frozen veggies- are they better than fresh? Ask Michael Pollan, author of the popular Omnivore’s Dilemma, and he’ll tell you that: “Frozen vegetables and fruits are a terrific and economical option when fresh is unavailable or too expensive. The nutritional quality is just as good — and sometimes even better, because the produce is often picked and frozen at its peak of quality.” (Pollan, 2011)
Eating veggies in college is hard. Those of us who live on campus only have a microwave or access to campus eateries. Sometimes, we don’t have options we enjoy, or we get tired of the offerings on campus. That is why learning to cook veggies in the microwave is a great idea. If you get one trip to the grocery store each month, you can stock up on some frozen veggies. Steam, and then enjoy with hummus or white bean dip for a snack. And, if you have a kitchen in an off-campus apartment, you still may not have the time to steam veggies on the stove or have adequate pots and pans. By using the microwave method for steaming, you can save time, money, and lock in the nutrients available from the veggies!
Spice up your vegetables with these easy tips:
Add cinnamon, cloves and ginger to vegetables. While these spices are typically reserved for sweet foods, these spices can enhance the flavor of carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.
- Spice up steamed broccoli with lemon, olive oil and a pinch of salt. If you prefer eating broccoli raw, add paprika, yogurt, garlic and chives to enhance its flavor.
- Add a little olive oil, garlic powder and lemon to asparagus, peas or spinach to add some flavor.
- Looking for some real spice? Try adding hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the mix!
By: Kate Sweeney
Editor: Toby Beckelman
Lam, T.K., Gallachio, L., Lindsley, K., Sheils, M., Hammond, E., Tao, X., Chen, L., Robinson, K., Caulfield, L., Herman, J., Guallar, E., and Alberg, A. 2009. Cruciferous Vegetable Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review. 2009. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 18; 184
Pollan, Michael. Oct 2, 2011. The Food and Drink Issue: Mysteries Solved, Riddles Explained and Readers’ Questions Answered. New York Times. New York, NY.
October 30th, 2012
How often do you pull an “all-nighter” for exams and assignments? Do you find yourself exhausted the next day and reaching for the first item of fattening food that you see? Sleep deprivation not only affects your ability to function throughout the day, but it can also pack on the extra pounds. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans every year, and the health effects of these issues are staggering.
Most adults need a recommended 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and these hours spent sleeping improve your energy levels, concentration, and mood for the next day. In terms of health, a lack of regular sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, and heart disease. Hormones released during sleep help control the body’s use of energy during the day, so the less sleep you get at night, the more likely you are to be overweight from eating high-caloric foods in order to boost your energy levels. Another reason for this overeating is due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which rises with sleep deprivation and thus causes hunger. Essentially, a person will compensate for the energy they did not receive from sleep by eating more…and it usually won’t be anything healthy!
Fortunately, there are many ways to sustain (and improve) your sleep health:
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
- Avoid caffeine for 8-12 hours before bedtime in order for it to fully leave your system. The same goes for alcohol, which might assist you in falling asleep, but it won’t help you to stay asleep as its sedative effects wear off.
- Don’t exercise 2-3 hours before your bedtime. You need time to “cool down” and relax your body in order to sleep.
- Avoid naps after 3:00pm and keep them under an hour. Late and long naptimes will only keep you up at night.
- Take time to relax before bedtime – read a good book, listen to calm music, or soak in a hot bath.
- Make sure you have a sleep-friendly environment – this includes a dark room, cool temperatures, little noise, and a comfortable bed.
- Maintain your usual healthy eating and exercise routine, and don’t forget to start your day with a balanced breakfast to keep the hunger away!
- Avoid big meals before sleeping to decrease stomach discomfort and acid reflux.
- If you feel your sleep troubles are not alleviated by the above suggestions, contact your doctor right away. You might have a sleep disorder.
Sleep is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, and it is closely tied with nutrition, emotional well-being, and productivity. To learn more about this topic, go to the National Sleep Foundation website at http://www.sleepfoundation.org/ . Sweet dreams!
- Bell, Vaughan. Don’t Neglect the Obvious: Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise. (2006). Accessed at http://mindfull.spc.org/vaughan/Vaughan_MPH_SleepNutritionExercise.pdf on March 25, 2012.
- Berkowitz, Myra. The Sleep and Nutrition Connection. (2008). Accessed at http://www.gannett.cornell.edu/cms/pdf/sleep/upload/sleep_nutrition_connection.pdf on March 25, 2012.
- Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Sleep and Health. (2008). Accessed at http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/health on March 25, 2012.
- NHLBI Health Information Center. In Brief: Your Guild to Healthy Sleep. (2011). Accessed at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep/healthysleepfs.pdf on March 25, 2012.
By: Julia Canfield
Editor: Kate Sweeney
April 23rd, 2012