Desk Organization

During last week’s meeting, BYL members discussed about an article that points out the correlation between having a clean desk and living a healthy lifestyle. In the first paragraph, author Reynolds said scientists “have found that people blessed with innate conscientiousness, meaning that they are organized and predictable, typically eat better and live longer than people who are disorderly.” Based on this finding, now scientist is examining “whether neat environments can produce good habits even in those who aren’t necessarily innately conscientious.” The result was that people put in neat environments did act more self-consciously and ate healthily. On the other hand, disorderly environments seem to inspire “breaking free of tradition” and motivate imagination and innovation. BYL members found this news inconclusive and these researches cannot prove the causation (A leads to B) but only the correlation (A and B has a reciprocal relationship). However, we do feel that a clean environment gives us a good base to act responsibly.

 

What a Messy Desk Says About You

Cooking Class: Kitchen Basics

images This past Thursday we held our first cooking class of the semester. This class focused on kitchen basics, highlighting the basic equipment needed in any kitchen to create a variety of quick, healthy meals.

Knife – a good knife should feel comfortable or well-balanced in your hand. If you plan on cooking often, purchasing a quality 6-10” chef’s knife is suitable for slicing meats or cutting fruits and vegetables.

Cutting board – having a cutting board is important for any prep work that needs to be done in the kitchen. The right cutting board will protect the blades of your knives, prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, and simplify cleanup. There are many options, ranging from plastic and wood or glass. Features to consider: look for a board with two usable sides, nonslip edges that will keep the board securely in place during prep, and a groove that will catch liquids and prevent spills. Also, flexible boards making transferring items easier, handles allow for easy lifting and carrying, and color-coding helps prevent cross-contamination of ingredients.

Skillet with lid – a large skillet gives you the flexibility of cooking practically anything. You can poach fish, make sauces, stir fry vegetables, sear meats, cook pastas, and many more with just a single piece of equipment.

Spatula – a spatula can be used for mixing and blending ingredients and for scraping food from the sides of a bowl. Look for one that is made of heat-resistant materials so it won’t melt or burn your hand.

And that’s all you really need! For this class we made  Quinoa Vegetable Stir-Fry and Microwave-Baked Apples. Click to check out the recipes     Class handout

SUPERFOOD!

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!

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/28/health/gallery/superfoods-power-foods/index.html?hpt=he_t2

super-food-400x400

 

BYL’s 5-A-Day Challenge!

Image from http://raworganicfooddiet.wordpress.com/

 

It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but it can be hard to get the recommended five servings per day. During Tuft’s Healthy Week (Apr 1-5), BYL challenges you to eat five servings of fruits and veggies each day. Post up photos of two or more servings of veggies that you had at a meal, a description of what you ate, and enter in daily raffles to win cool prizes!

 

The Challenge:

Take a photo 2+ servings of fruits or vegetables that you ate at a meal that day and write a quick description of what they are. Post this on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/balanceyourlife.tufts?fref=ts) or Instagram (#Tufts5aday) to enter into our daily prize draw!

 

The Reward:

In the short run: At the end of each day we will randomly pick one of the entrees and, if you are lucky, you will receive a nifty prize! We will send you an email if you won.

 

In the long run: Fruits and vegetables provide numerous vitamins and minerals. Hopefully at the end of this challenge you will feel energized and motivated to maintain lasting healthy habits!

Tips to Stay Sane During Finals.

It has come to the end of the semester again. Group meetings for projects, reviews for exams, as well as endless papers are all starting to take up more and more of your time. Sometimes you may feel like you have to sacrifice your sleep, your exercise, you regular meal time, and thus, your health to make a final boost of your GPA.  But, sacrificing these things can actually be a detriment to your academics.

The following tips for finals month will not only help you find a balance between working hard and being healthy, but remind you that often times, they go hand in hand as well.

  • Relax and Release Stress.  One thing you feel at the end of every semester may be stress. Both physical and psychological stress can cause chronic inflammation in your body, with an immediate effect of dampening your brain and body function, as well as a long term effect of increasing your risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Your overall performance and wellness could be determined by how well you manage your stress. Getting adequate sleep, eating a balanced diet, and participating in regular physical activity are all effective ways of reducing stress, and have all been shown to reduce inflammation.
  • Keep a Regular Schedule. An irregular schedule can create metabolic stress in your body and affect your health and academic performance. Thus, staying on a schedule that is similar to your typical day is best. When you change things up- like staying awake later or eating late-night- your body is stressed by this and has to adjust, which requires you to use energy that isn’t directed toward your studies. Regardless of whether you are a “morning person” or a “night person”, if  you eat, sleep, workout etc at similar times day to day, you are minimizing the stress you put on your body.
  • Stop Skipping Meals. Regular meal time is also a part of your schedule, and an important one.  We all know that it’s bad to skip breakfast, and it’s actually bad to skip lunch and dinner too. Skipping meals can slow down your metabolism and cause your body to store the food you eat as fat since your body won’t know when it will get fed again. Therefore, try to have an apple, banana, cup of yogurt, or granola bar on hand so that you have something healthy to snack on if you get hungry and you’re in the middle of doing work.
  • Stay Hydrated. During periods of intensive brain activity, water serves as the primary media and reactant in the massive metabolic reactions going on in your body and brain. To maintain health and a high level of functionality, you need to watch out for dehydration. Oftentimes, thirst is a sign that you’re past the point of dehydration. Headaches and fatigue may come first. Water is the healthiest and most hydrating choice to replenish lost fluid stores. Sugary drink like soda and sports drinks do not provide as much water and can actually be dehydrating. Other healthy options include iced or hot tea.

Sources:

Nielsen, Forrest. March 15, 2010.Inflammation- Bad or Good. United States Department of Agriculture. Available online at http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=19563.

Shacter, E. and Weitzman, SA. 2002. Chronic Inflammation and cancer. Oncology. 16(2):217-229.

By: Xuan Qin

Editor: Kate Sweeney