How to Find a Local Farmer’s Market Near You

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More and more people today are trying to eat healthier and looking for new ways to do so. Farmer’s markets are a great way to get fresh and healthy foods you want to be consuming. According to nutrition.gov, there are many benefits of choosing to shop at your local farmer’s markets, one being that the foods are freshly picked based on the season and are full of nutrients and flavor. Because of this and many reasons, it is good to know how to locate farmer’s markets near you so you have the benefit of going there whenever you would like. Here are easy and simple ways to get started in finding one.

USDA Farmer’s Market Search

The USDA Farmer’s Market Search is a very simple way to find a farmer’s market near you. According to ams.usda.gov, this search is an easy way to not only find where they are located, but also find out about the products, get directions and much more. Simply type in your zip code, choose how many miles you are willing to travel and click search. The market name and the city and state it is located in will all come up, making it convenient for you to get all the information you need with a click of a button.

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Local Harvest

Localharvest.org states that farmer’s markets have become a very popular marketing method for local farmers all over the country. This website allows you to simply type in your zip code based on your current location to see what markets are coming near you. It gives you a brief description of what each market will consist of and what it is about, as well as the exact location and the times that it will run.

Read Local Newspapers

Your local newspapers are a great source of information when it comes to farmer’s markets. For example, articles.latimes.com is filled with articles talking about what local markets are near you, about farmer’s markets in general and the purpose of these markets. Reading your local newspaper will allow you to occasionally find a read about farmer’s markets, whether it is a new discovery about them or one that is coming to your area soon.

Although it may seem like a difficult task to locate a farmer’s market near you, keeping these few tips in mind will help make the process easier. Once you locate one near you, take the next step and go. Farmer’s markets are up and coming and are a great source of healthy, fresh and delicious foods. It is one step in the right direction towards a healthier you.

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Intern Kitchen: Roasted Asparagus

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The most difficult part of eating healthy is finding ways to make the healthy foods you need to consume delicious and tasty. It is important to not load your healthy meats and vegetables with sauces that will defeat the purpose of consuming the food in the first place. Finding tasty ways to consume foods we dread to eat will make it easier to get the health benefits we need and help us to be more willing to consume them in the first place. With this in mind, here is how to make delicious, yet healthy roasted asparagus.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS

According to livescience.com, asparagus is full of so many health benefits, two being that it is high in Vitamin K and folate. Livescience.com also states that asparagus contains chromium, which helps insulin to transport glucose. Because of these among many other reasons, asparagus is a great food to consume. It is not always the most appetizing, so here is a delicious way to spice up the taste of asparagus and make you more willing to eat it.

Servings: 5 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

20 large asparagus

2 tablespoons olive oil

Black pepper

¼ cup lemon juice

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Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, preparing your ingredients by measuring out the proper amounts and placing your asparagus neatly on a baking pan.

Take the tablespoons of olive oil and lightly drizzle them all over the asparagus, so that they are completely coated on the pan. Leave sit for five minutes, allowing the olive oil to soak into them.

Take the black pepper and lightly shake it across the asparagus pieces, so each one is sprinkled with a little seasoning.

When the oven is ready, place the olive oil and black pepper-coated asparagus in the oven for 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes are up, turn the asparagus pieces over and leave in the oven for another 10 minutes, allowing the other side to get a brown crisp as well.

When your asparagus pieces have a light brown crisp coating to them, take them out and immediately use your lemon juice to pour over the roasted food.

You want to do this immediately so the asparagus is still hot and fresh, which will allow the lemon juice to fully sink into the asparagus to give it the full flavor.

After drizzling with lemon juice, let sit for five minutes and enjoy!

(College Lifestyles™ original recipe.)

This recipe is easy to make, takes little to no time to complete and makes plenty of servings. It is a great way to add zest and flavor to a food that has so many great health benefits. Clarke.edu states that a step in eating healthy is enjoying the food you consume. This recipe allows the asparagus to be a little bit more pleasant to eat. According to healthline.com, about sixty percent of college students find it difficult to afford and find nutritious foods. This recipe is an affordable way to receive the nutrients college students are lacking.

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Things You Aren’t Cleaning in Your Dorm or Apartment, But Should Be

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With our busy schedules, it is hard to find five minutes here and there to sit and relax, let alone clean our apartment or dorm. It is important to realize that cleaning regularly will help the place stay in good order as well as allow you to feel organized and clean.

According to enlightenme.com, cleaning regularly will allow you to feel less stressed because you will save time looking for things you can’t find through the mess and won’t have to spend hours cleaning when it is a built up mess. Here are some simple things you should be cleaning regularly in your dorm or apartment.

The Bathroom

Although this may seem like an obvious one, many people today don’t take the time to clean their bathroom regularly. They feel as if it looks clean and doesn’t need to be wiped down. Even though you may not be able to physically see them, your bathroom in your dorm or apartment attracts germs so easily.

It is important to take the time each week to wipe down the sinks, toilets, mirrors and counters with disinfectant to kill germs and prevent them from spreading more. According to cleaninginstitute.com, germs can live on moist surfaces, such as sinks, for as long as three days. Make sure you are taking this into consideration when deciding how long to wait until you clean your bathroom.

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Your Countertops

Another aspect of your dorm or apartment that is overlooked is your countertops in the kitchen. Many times our countertops look clean and shiny and you don’t find the need to wipe them down. The reality of the situation is that although they look clean, they are filled with crumbs and other foods that you aren’t even aware of.

If you bend down and turn your head sideways, you can easily see the buildup of crumbs covering your countertops. Each day, take the time to wipe the counter down after you make a meal to avoid this buildup. If you do this regularly, your countertops will actually be as clean as they look.

Your Bedroom Furniture

Individuals tend to overlook bedroom furniture when it comes time to clean their apartment or dorm. Since you don’t typically eat or drink in your room, people think that bedroom furniture isn’t full of germs or in need of a clean. This is not the case. Bedroom furniture is so easily built up with dust that we cannot see. It is vital to wipe down our furniture daily to avoid getting sick. Healthywa.wa.gov.au, states that dust particles can be inhaled and cause coughing, sneezing and irritation of the eyes, to name a few.

These are a few, yet not all, things that you should be cleaning regularly in your apartment or dorm. Cleaning these parts of your living space regularly will allow you to feel clean and healthy by eliminating germs and dust that you cannot see. Keep these aspects of your apartment and dorm in mind next time you are cleaning since they are typically overlooked, yet important to keep clean.

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Five Signs You’re Too Stressed

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With college classes winding down for the semester and everyone trying to finish out the year strong, our bodies and minds are tired and overly stressed. It is important to recognize these signs so that you can take proper precaution and do things to destress yourself before it takes a toll. According to helpguide.org, stress is our bodies’ response to threats or demands.

College.usatoday.com states that the idea of college-level work and how much students have to get done stresses them out and makes them feel overwhelmed. Here are five signs you are physically and emotionally way too stressed.

You Are Tired All the Time

When you are overly stressed, your body starts shutting down and you suddenly become too tired to take on any task. Whether it is going for a run or as simple as walking around campus, you feel fatigued to even do simple tasks. You feel as if you haven’t slept for days, even though you might have gotten plenty of sleep the night before.

You Can’t Sleep

Although your body and mind are so tired from a long stressful day, when it is time to lay down and go to sleep, you can’t. You are wide-awake and find it difficult to fall asleep each night. When you are so overly stressed and it is consuming your thoughts, it affects your sleep. Your body and mind are too stressed to wind down and relax.

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You Lost Your Happiness

When you are physically and emotionally stressed, you lose your drive and desire to do fun, adventurous things. Because your mind is clouded with so many other thoughts, you no longer feel happiness from things that once gave it to you. Whether it is going outside, reading a book or taking a road trip, you feel as if you don’t have time to do these activities.

Changes in Your Mood

Even when you have five seconds to spare to do something you enjoy and relax for a bit, you don’t want to. You experience changes in your mood, ranging from angry to depressed to experiencing anxiety. You can’t seem to control your feelings and emotions and they feel as if they are out of your control. According to mayoclinic.org, cortisol, the primary stress hormone, plays an active role in your mood and how you feel daily.

You Have Difficulty Concentrating

Stress tends to take over our minds and cloud our thoughts. When we are that consumed with a million different ideas in our head, it is hard to stay focused. For example, if you are sitting in class worrying about the two papers and huge project you have to get done by tomorrow, you are not concentrating on what you are currently learning because you are so distracted by what your mind is telling you.

It is important to recognize these signs of stress, among others, so that you can catch them before they get too serious and hopefully take action in reducing your stress. Whether it be taking ten minutes a day to meditate or finding a fun activity to rewind your mind and relax, it is important to pay attention to your mental health and take care of your body physically and emotionally.

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Intern Kitchen: Southwest Chicken Skillet

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Intern Kitchen: Southwest Chicken Skillet

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As college students, we tend to eat the same foods over and over again due to the simplicity of making them and our lack of time. It is important to get a balance of nutrients in our everyday diet. According to bestcolleges.com and the USDA’s My Plate, the five main food groups you want to be consuming are dairy, fruits, vegetables, protein and grains. This recipe for a southwest chicken skillet is not only a new taste for college students to enjoy, but also offers four out of the five main food groups we want to be consuming. The cheese, chicken, onion and rice allow us to hit almost everything we need in one simple meal.

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SKILLET

According to organicfacts.net, chicken has many positive health benefits, including a good source of protein and an essential supply of vitamins and minerals. Because of this, chicken is a great and easy meat to cook that will give college kids all the health benefits they need. In order to not get sick of eating this food, it is important to zest it up and add it to different dishes. A southwest chicken skillet is the perfect combination of a healthy and delicious dish, leaving you with a fiesta of flavors according to bettycrocker.com.

Servings: 4 bowls

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Uncooked brown rice

1 cup salsa

1 cup shredded cheese

1 cup frozen broccoli

1 can black beans

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Directions

Prepare your ingredients and equipment by heating a large skillet and getting your ingredients ready.

In the skillet, mix the rice, salsa, ½ cup of shredded chicken, drained black beans and broccoli together.

Put the skillet lid on top of the skillet, with heat turned up high and waiting for the ingredients to start simmering.

When the ingredients start to simmer, turn the temperature down slightly, leaving it to continue to simmer for thirty minutes.

When the thirty minutes are up, remove the lid and turn off the heat.

Put the other half a cup of shredded cheese on top of the dish, letting it sit on the stove. Heat until the cheese is completely melted on top.

Serve hot and enjoy!

(College Lifestyles™ original recipe.)

Although this recipe requires more time than simply making a sandwich or eating a bowl of cereal, it offers plenty of nutrients you need in a delicious new flavor. It is an easy and simple recipe, where you can start your ingredients and do some work while waiting for them to boil, simmer and be ready. You can also be creative and add new ingredients or take some out in order to fit your taste buds. This recipe leaves you with flexibility to make it your own and change it up every time you choose to make it.

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These Are the Parts of a Food Label You Need to Pay the Most Attention To

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Typically when viewing a food label, our eyes tend to go right towards the calorie portion to see how fattening what we are about to consume is. It is important to know that while calories are important, there are a lot of other important parts of the food label we need to be aware about. According to onemedical.com, observing food labels will allow you to be fully aware of what exactly you are putting in your body and help you gain nutrients you may be lacking. Here are some helpful tips to follow when considering food labels.

Serving Size

According to fda.gov, one of the first things your eyes should be drawn to on the food label is the serving size. This is located above the calories and will tell you the serving size and the servings per container. Fda.gov explains that looking at the serving size will help you decipher how much you are consuming and guide you to maybe limit that intake if it is over the normal serving amount.

Observe Bad Fats

The information below total fats is very important to keep in mind when viewing a food label. According to prevention.com, you want to be picking foods with low trans fat and low saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fat, such as potato chips, are not the healthiest choice. Trans fats will simply slow down your metabolism while boosting your HDL, or “healthy cholesterol” according to onemedical.com.

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Calories

You don’t want to make this your main priority when looking over a food label, yet it is important to be aware of this. Calories are located at the very top and are the first thing you typically view. Onemedical.com states that it is important to note the calories for the serving size to be aware if you’re using too much of your daily caloric intake on one food. It also helps you to know how much energy you are getting from consuming this food.

Fiber

Fiber is a great food to consume because it helps you stay full longer, which results in you eating less and snacking less. This is an important aspect to pay attention to on the food label when you are trying to watch your weight or even shed a few pounds. It is also important to keep in mind even without the need of weight loss. A few other benefits of fiber are that it helps blood sugar levels and lowers your bad cholesterol.

Although there are so many different parts of a food label to keep in mind while grocery shopping, these are a few of the most important parts to glance over. It is crucial to not stay focused on one portion or aspect, but take into consideration multiple parts. For example, a food could be low in calories, but could contain a lot of trans and saturated fat. Be cautious and aware of this when shopping and you are sure to consume the healthiest foods for you!

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CL Interviews: Melissa Martin from University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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With her bubbly personality and her hardworking nature, Melissa Martin took over the role of president of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority as a junior at UNC Charlotte. College Lifestyles™ got the opportunity to sit down with the communications major to discuss how she takes on this big role and why it means so much to her.

College Lifestyles™: What made you join Alpha Delta Pi in the first place?

Melissa Martin: I joined ADPi because when I met the girls, they were people I could see myself spending time with and looking up to! I also really connected with the philanthropy, which is Ronald McDonald House. I connected with it because when my dad was sick in the hospital for 6 months, my mom stayed in a home that was similar to RMH and I wanted to be able to give back to an organization that gave back to people like my mom!

CL: What made you want to run for president of Alpha Delta Pi?

MM: I wanted to run for president for a few reasons. One of which was I wanted to be a good role model for girls in ADPi. I also wanted to make a difference. I had a lot of really good ideas that I wanted to share and help people with, but couldn’t with a smaller position. Also, I have had a lot of leadership training so I wanted to really utilize that for the betterment of the chapter.

CL: What is your favorite part of ADPi?

MM: My favorite part is the sisterhood. I have so many girls who I know I can always count on. Whether that’s someone to eat lunch with, study with or do things on the weekend with, I have so many amazing girls I’m surrounded by that share the same values as me.

CL: What is your favorite memory so far of your time in this organization?

MM: My favorite memory would have to be Pie a Pi. This event is so special because we all come together and can all be so silly with one another!

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CL: What is the most challenging part of being president of such a big organization?

MM: The most challenging part is just trying to please everyone! That is never going to be possible, but just trying to make everyone enjoy their time in the organization is challenging. We only get 4 years, so I really want to make it as enjoyable as possible for everyone!

CL: What is your number one goal to achieve before your time of president is up?

MM: My number one goal is to get us closer to achieving golden lion, which is the highest award an ADPi chapter can receive.

CL: How do you balance being the president of ADPi with schoolwork?

MM: I balance it by really trying to get all my homework done before focusing on stuff with ADPi. It can be challenging at times but I really just try to make both a priority.

CL: What advice would you give to the next president of ADPi?

MM: The advice I would give is to have patience. I am quick to jump the gun on some things and think that it has to be done right away, but I am realizing that if you take the time you need to get things done and to wait on something it will all work out!

CL: What do you like to do in your free time?

MM: In my free time, I love to work out! Whether that’s cycle classes, barre or yoga, I love being able to relieve stress this way and just to forget about things that are going on!

CL: How has this leadership position changed you?

MM: This has changed me by really realizing that not one thing is going to work for everyone and really tailoring things to fit each individual person and to take a step back and to be okay with not pleasing everyone. I have always been a people pleaser but I am really trying to live by this quote: “Confidence isn’t caring what people think about you; it’s having enough confidence to not care what anyone else thinks.”

CL: What are three words you would use to describe the Zeta Gamma chapter of ADPi?

MM: Three words I would use are evolving, confident and resilient.

College Lifestyles™ could easily see the passion and hope Martin has for the Zeta Gamma chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. We cannot wait to see what is in store for the determined co-ed throughout the rest of her presidency. Best of luck to Martin and Alpha Delta Pi!

Images courtesy of Melissa Martin.

The College Student’s Guide to Affordable, Ethical Eating

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Being in college makes it very difficult to have the luxury and money to buy healthy and nutritious foods. On top of that, the task of grocery shopping becomes even more difficult when you are trying to eat ethically. According to vegetariantimes.com, getting rid of meat and having a plant-based diet reduces your chance of being obese, having high blood pressure and getting diabetes.

For these reasons and more, it is understandable why more college students want to eat ethically. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to start eating ethically when on a tight budget as a college student.

Shop at Farmer’s Markets Locally

According to pastemagazine.com, shopping locally is cheaper because less money was spent for traveling and storing foods. Getting foods where they need to be takes less money and these foods also avoid getting marked up by grocery stores. The farmer’s markets will provide all the ethical foods you want to consume fresh and cheaper than anywhere else. Shopping locally will also help you avoid having to travel far, and therefore save you money on gas or your other modes of transportation.

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Buy Only What You Need

Although it is tempting to stock up on ethical foods so that you do not have to go to the store multiple times a week, this isn’t the best choice. Fresh foods tend to go bad quickly: therefore stocking up could lead to a waste of many foods and your money as well. When grocery shopping, buy only what you will eat in the next few days or week. When you run out of those items, then go back to the store. This way you are purchasing foods you will definitely consume and not rushing to cook everything before it goes bad.

Grow Your Own Food

Although the dorms don’t give you much room to do this, having an apartment will give you the luxury of being able to grow your own foods. According to ethicalfoods.com, buying organic seeds has both short-term and long-term benefits. In short-term, you will be able to grow your own food in the convenience of your yard without having to buy them or travel anywhere as well. In the long-term, ethicalfoods.com states that these seeds replenish themselves, meaning you don’t have to keep buying them over and over again, which will help you save money in the long run.

Although it may take some extra work to eat ethically as a college student on a budget, these simple and easy steps will help you save the money you need while living out the practices you want. Affordable ethical eating will leave you feeling better about your budget while having the luxury of spending a few extra dollars on things other than grocery shopping.

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How to Make Your Own Jelly Beans

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According to gourmetgiftbaskets.com, sixteen million jelly beans are created solely for Easter each year. With Easter and spring quickly approaching, jelly beans are a delicious and popular food around this time of year. Fillyourplate.org states that jelly beans were originally sold by color, meaning you had to buy a bag full of red jelly beans, or any other color. By making your own at home, you can be as creative as you want and combine and mix coloring to create your own personal jelly beans.

HOMEMADE JELLY BEANS

Jelly beans are a great holiday and seasonal treat that everyone is sure to enjoy. Although it is simple and easy to go out and buy them, it is a fun activity to make your very own with friends and family. Creating your own jelly beans will allow you to pick how big or small you want them, while having control over how healthy you want to make them as well. This easy and fun recipe is the first step in getting started!

Servings: 20 jelly beans

Prep Time: 3.5 hours

Ingredients

Playdough and a ruler

4 cups corn flour

Shallow baking tray

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp. corn syrup

Food coloring

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Directions

Start by filling a baking tray completely with corn flour and evening it out so that it is completely flat on the top.

Using playdough, create jelly bean shapes and hot glue them to a ruler.

Take the jelly bean shapes and indent them into your tray of corn flour, creating jelly bean shaped molds into the pan.

In a saucepan, take ½ cup of sugar and corn flour and mix them together.

Add corn syrup and water and stir until well combined.

Place the saucepan of ingredients over stove heat until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid reaches 245 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a spoon, pour the hot liquid immediately into each jelly bean mold in the baking tray.

Leave to cool for a few hours, then remove each mold and place in a bowl.

To make the jelly beans colorful, put corn syrup into a bowl with your choice of coloring and flavoring.

Take two small scoops of coloring and pour into the bowl of jelly beans.

Take the colorful jelly beans and add ½ cup of sugar to them.

Stir thoroughly so that the sugar coats the jelly beans.

Leave to sit for five minutes, then take out and enjoy!

(Recipe from howtocookthat.net.)

Although the process of making these jelly beans can be timely, it is a great activity to do around this time of year. It involves easy ingredients that allow you to be creative. You are also free to add any flavoring to the jelly beans to create something new. However you choose to take this recipe, make sure to share with friends and family with the spring weather coming up!

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Intern Kitchen: Healthy Choco-Banana Bites

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Although it is important to eat healthy each and every day, it is more than okay to treat yourself to a delicious snack every now and then! Instead of ruining your whole week of eating nutritiously, there are some great healthy chocolate snacks that you can indulge in! Healthy choco-banana bites are a delicious, yet healthy snack that will feed your craving.

Although everyone knows bananas are a very nutritious food, some do not know the extent of benefits that come from eating this fruit. Foodmatters.tv states that bananas help aid in digestion, lower blood sugar and help with depression, along with many other things. Dark chocolate has its benefits as well. According to scientificamerican.com, dark chocolate consumption helps to lower blood pressure in individuals.

CHOCOLATE BANANA BITES

Chocolate banana bites are sure to satisfy your cravings for sweets by giving you that chocolate kick with a touch of fruit. To make this snack the healthiest it can be, you want to use a dark chocolate bar instead of milk chocolate to get the right health benefits. You also want to make sure the bananas are perfectly ripe. You don’t want them to be green, yet you want to avoid using bananas with any brown spots. Using these tips, you are ready to begin making your chocolate banana bites!

banana bites

Servings: 20 bites

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 perfectly ripe bananas

1 dark chocolate candy bar

Directions

Start by taking the bananas and slicing them into small pieces, preferably ten slices per banana.

Lay the slices of bananas in a glass pan dish and place them in the freezer for a total of twenty-five minutes.

After the twenty-five minutes are up, take the pan out of the freezer and lay on the counter.

Take the dark chocolate bar and break into small pieces into a glass bowl.

Place the bowl into the microwave to melt the chocolate for a total of 1.5 minutes.

Mix the chocolate in the bowl, then drip slowly and carefully over each separate banana bite, making sure to cover the banana fully for the full taste.

When you are finished covering the bananas, place the pan back in the freezer for ten more minutes.

Take them out after the ten minutes are up. Lay them on the counter for 5 minutes, and then serve and enjoy!

(College Lifestyles™ original recipe.)

According to caloriesecrets.net, bananas are even beneficial to eat at night due to them giving some extra B6 vitamin, which aids in metabolism. This benefit adds on to the perks of this snack that is healthy to consume no matter what time of day. Next time you are having a chocolate craving but don’t want to ruin your healthy eating patterns and get off track, make these quick, easy and delicious chocolate banana bites that are sure to satisfy your needs!

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Intern Kitchen: Easy Stir-Fry Meals

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With our busy everyday lives, it is hard to make time to make delicious, yet healthy meals that will give us all the benefits we need. It is easier sometimes to result in eating a quick bar or grabbing some fast food in between work or classes. It is important to keep in mind that there are ways to get the nutritious foods you need in as little as twenty minutes by creating delicious stir-fries full of rich flavor.

According to globalpost.com, the task of stir-frying is mixing chopped meats and vegetables in a pot together on top of hot heat. Thehealthsite.com states that a perk of stir-fries is that you can cook the food in bulk, which provides leftovers for later days. Here are two quick and easy dishes that will keep you feeling energized and healthy.

CHICKEN AND RICE

Servings: 3 bowls

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 tsp. olive oil

1 skinless piece of chicken breast

1 box of brown rice

2 tsp. teriyaki sauce

Directions

Start by turning the stove top on medium and pouring 1 tsp. of olive oil on the pan.

Wait a few minutes for the pan to heat up and then place the skinless piece of chicken breast on the pan.

When the chicken breast starts to get a brown crisp to it, use a knife to cut it into small pieces.

Pour the box of brown rice into the pan next, mixing it in with the chicken.

Drizzle the 2 tsp. of teriyaki sauce into the pan, making sure to hit the chicken pieces and the rice.

Mix the stir-fry together, waiting for the chicken breast to be fully cooked, with a crispy brown layer covering it.

Pour mixed stir-fry into a dish and top with a splash of garlic for a delicious, quick and easy meal.

(College Lifestyles™ original recipe.)

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CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

Servings: 3 bowls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 piece of skinless chicken breast

1 cup of chopped carrots

1 cup of shrimp

1 cup of broccoli

1 tsp. of olive oil

Splash of ginger

Directions

Start by turning the stove top on medium and pouring 1 tsp. of olive oil on the pan.

Wait a few minutes for the pan to heat up and then place the skinless piece of chicken breast on the pan.

When the chicken breast starts to get a brown crisp to it, use a knife to cut it into small pieces.

Dump the bowl of shrimp in the pan next, giving it enough time to cook and mix in with the chicken.

After about five minutes, add the bowls of broccoli and chopped carrots to the pan and mix.

While mixing, add in a splash of ginger to the stir-fry.

After mixing for about 5-7 minutes, pour your delicious stir-fry out of the plate, serve and enjoy!

(College Lifestyles™ original recipe.)

Although these two specific stir-fries are easy and convenient to make, it is also very simple to create your own! When creating a stir-fry, add ingredients that will mix well together and create a delicious and zesty flavor. The Los Angeles Times states that it is smart to add ingredients that take longer to cook first, so that your vegetables or rice don’t overcook and ruin the taste. When keeping these tips in mind, you are sure to create a delicious, quick and easy meal!

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Middle image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

CL Interviews: Golbahar Mohseni from University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Hardworking, brilliant, and determined, Golbahar Mohseni is a student aspiring to help others while living out a passion of her own. Currently studying at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she has already accomplished so much and has so many goals she plans on satisfying one day. College Lifestyles™ got the wonderful opportunity to ask the 23 year old originally from Persia about her dreams, accomplishments and her success in school thus far.

College Lifestyles™: What is your major and what inspired you to pick this?

Golbahar Mohseni: My major is exercise science. I picked this major because I love sports and I love medicine. Exercising is a big part of my life. I believe it is very important to keep a healthy lifestyle and take care of yourself in order to feel good. In my life I have always been active so when it came down to picking a major, I wanted something that I truly care about and want to better myself in.

CL: Why did you decide to choose UNC Charlotte to continue your education?

GM: Well, my first reason was because my dad went there. He really inspired me to want to attend Charlotte and to stay close to home. He loved his experience at the school and wanted me to have the same opportunity. I’m glad I listened to him!

CL: What is your favorite thing about UNC Charlotte?

GM: The campus is definitely my favorite aspect. I fell in love on my first visit because of the big brick buildings and the atmosphere the school gave off. It is truly a beautiful campus.

CL: What advice would you have for people looking into your major?

GM: Keep your options open. There is a lot you can do with exercise science, so don’t limit yourself.

CL: Who or what inspires you?

GM: My parents inspire me. From where they came from and everything they have accomplished this far, they really open my eyes to new opportunity.

CL: What motivates you?

GM: I want to be the best at everything I do and I am also very competitive so that motivates me a lot.

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CL: What is one of your lifelong dreams?

GM: I want to travel the world. Coming to America from Persia has made me realize that there is so much out there that I can’t wait to explore and see.

CL: Do you want to stay in Charlotte, or move somewhere else later on in life?

GM: I want to move, definitely. Since I have been in Charlotte for many years now, I want to see and experience new places. Like I said, coming from another country has made me realize there is so much out there. I want to be able to say I lived and experienced many different places.

CL: Did you study abroad in college? If so, where and how was the experience?

GM: I studied abroad for a summer session about a year ago. The experience was amazing. I went to London for a little over a month and got the opportunity to see so much.

CL: What advice would you give someone just entering college?

GM: Study abroad. Make time for it. It will be one of the best experiences of your life and really get you out of your comfort zone.

CL: How do you think being from Persia has shaped you into who you are today in America?

GM: It definitely has shaped me into the person I am today. I used to run away from the idea of where I was from and for the longest time I didn’t want to accept it. But as an adult I have finally taken it in and I am very proud of it.

Although Mohseni is only 23 years old, she has so much motivation and drive to be successful and achieve some amazing goals. College Lifestyles™ is excited to see everything she accomplishes over the years. Best of luck! CLassy graphic fixed

For more great interviews, please read:

Classy Interview: Ana Hererra from University of Texas at Austin

CL Interviews: Alexis Adams from West Chester University

Classy Interview: Future Journalist, Erin Drummond

Image courtesy of Golbahar Mohseni.

Graphic courtesy of College Lifestyles.™  

Should You Worry About GMOs?

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GMOs stand for “genetically modified organisms” and consists of the idea that an organism’s genetic material has been altered in a way. According to nongmoproject.org, more than sixty countries have abandoned the production and sale of GMOs, but this does not include the United States.

GMOs are found in most processed foods today. Shoppers are so concerned and worried because not only do GMOs have a great risk to human health, but also affect the environment as well according to gmoinside.org. The website also states that most soybeans and corn in this country are genetically modified. Although most companies are good at keeping it a secret that their product contains GMOs, individuals are asking if they should be worried about GMOs and what foods to shop for that do not contain them.

Should college students be concerned about GMOs?

Although college kids have a hard time as it is eating healthy and having the luxury of purchasing the right foods, it is important to keep in mind the idea of GMOs and the health risks. College kids have the choice whether to purchase foods containing GMOs or not, but they need to be fully knowledgeable of the consequences.

According to responsibletechnology.org, the genetically modified foods tested on laboratory animals have shown to damage every single one of their organs. On top of this, responsibletechnology.com also notes that these foods have also resulted in allergic and toxic reactions.

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Purchasing non-GMO products

Although not many people today consider the idea of GMOs when food shopping, it is important to take into consideration the dangers and risks of consuming these foods. A simple and easy way to avoid eating GMOs is to eat organic foods. According to cnn.com, the USDA National Organic Standards prohibits GMOs, so eating these foods will guarantee you are not consuming them.

As previously stated, most genetically modified foods don’t share this information of altering the process. A great thing to look out for in stores is the non-GMO-verified seal. This guarantees that the product you are buying and later going to consume is free of GMOs. Some brands that are known to have products free of GMOs include A.Vogel, Angie’s, and Apple and Eve. If worst comes to worst, you can now go to Chipotle and feel completely safe because according to cnn.com, they have removed all GMOs from their foods.

Although it is hard for college kids today to focus on the idea of GMOs and take extra time at the store to find the right foods not containing them, it is important to know the risks and information about GMOs. It is a topic you want to be knowledgeable about so that you can make the choice whether or not to consume them and try to become the healthiest version of yourself.

 For more great health articles, please read:

Five Workouts Good for Your Heart

Three Delicious Milk Alternatives

DIY Omelet in a Bag

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Bottom image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Five Workouts Good for Your Heart

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Working out is an important part of our lives that we should all consider doing a few times a week. Whether it is as simple as parking a little further on campus and walking the extra few minutes, it is vital to stay active and fit to promote and bring your good health. According to the American Heart Association, increasing the amount you exercise, preferably to five days a week for thirty minutes, can prevent heart disease and strokes from occurring. Here are five fabulous workouts good for you heart.

1. Running

For this specific exercise, it is important to know your limits. Although running is one of the best exercises out there for your whole body, it can also be dangerous. According to prevention.com, the adrenaline that comes from a workout you are not prepared for can result in a stroke or heart attack. With that being said, challenge yourself, but not too much. Take it slow and easy and work your way up to running more distance at a faster pace over time.

2. Brisk Walking

Running is definitely not for everyone and if that is the case for you, there are plenty more options. One of the best exercises for your heart is brisk walking. According to the American Heart Association, this exercise can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, resulting in a healthier heart. This exercise is easy to fit in your schedule because you are able to break up your walks into increments of ten to fifteen minutes throughout the day. Also, you can ask a friend to tag along to keep you company, or get some alone time and walk by yourself.

3. Swimming

According to Harvard Health Publications, swimming works both your heart and lungs and can help to reduce your resting heart rate. It’s a convenient and relaxing form of physical activity that is very different from running or walking. Whether it is taking laps in an indoor pool during the winter or jumping the ocean waves during the summer months, this exercise is sure to improve your heart health as well as strengthen your lungs.

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4. Rowing

Rowing is a unique and calming exercise because it can either be done solo, or with a team. With the rowing machines now offered in many gyms, individuals are able to perform this great exercise conveniently. According to Health Fitness Revolution, rowing helps to work the lungs and therefore is seen as a great cardio-respiratory exercise. This lowers individuals’ chances of getting heart disease.

5. Bicycling

Bicycling is a great and convenient cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart pumping and your muscles moving. Many gyms today have bikes available for their members to use, but this activity can also be taken outside. However you like to participate in biking, you will be getting a great exercise for your heart while improving your stamina and overall fitness.

Fitness instructor Jade at my local gym said, “There are so many great workouts out there for your heart. You just have to find the right one for you that is the most enjoyable and something you will stick to each day!” Whether it is biking, running or another exercise you personally find, start improving your heart health today while inspiring others to as well!

For more great health articles, please read:

What Happens to Your Body When You Start Doing Cardio?

How to Burn 200 Calories in 15 Minutes

How to Add Flavor to Baked Chicken Breast

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Bottom image courtesy of digitialsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Intern Kitchen: Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Chick Nuggets

The delicious taste of chicken nuggets has made this food an American favorite for years. Whether it is a quick stop at a fast food place or a nice lunch and dinner choice, chicken nuggets are an easy and convenient food that individuals of all ages love to consume.

Although nowadays this delicious food can be found prepackaged and ready to eat in as little as twenty minutes, they are not the healthiest choice. According to healthierfoods.com, these prepackaged nuggets are filled with salt and trans fat. It is great and beneficial to know how to personally make healthier homemade chicken nuggets.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS

This personal recipe steers you away from adding unnecessary fattening ingredients and helps you to stay on track while not having to sacrifice the delicious taste of nuggets. Remember to rinse off all meat before beginning the process and have all your ingredients ready to go. Now you are ready to begin making your very own homemade chicken nuggets!

Servings: 20 chicken nuggets

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Skinless chicken breast

2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. Olive oil

recipe ingredients

Directions

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees, cracking the egg into a bowl, getting a ziploc bag of flour and another bowl full of the breading.

Slice the skinless chicken breast into tiny little pieces, so that they come out as chicken nuggets.

Dump all the chicken breast pieces into the ziploc of flour so that they are immersed and covered in it. This will help the egg and breading to stick.

Roll the chicken breast pieces one by one into the egg bowl so that they are covered.

Take the chicken breast piece from the egg bowl and roll in the bowl of breading.

When the piece is completely covered with breading, place on a baking sheet.

Continue this process until all chicken breast slices are on the baking sheet.

Place them in the oven for a total of thirty minutes, or until they have a brown crisp layering.

Let them sit out of the oven for five minutes and then enjoy.

(College Lifestyles™ original recipe.)

Since you are on the right track with making healthier homemade chicken nuggets, make sure to choose the healthier condiment as well to make the meal that much better! According to precisenutrition.com, you want to stick to a low fat or low sugar ketchup, or even light honey mustard will do. Whatever you choose will be a great addition to your already delicious and unique chicken nuggets. Although the process may take more time than sticking prepackaged ones in the oven, it is worth the wait and effort when you are getting great healthy benefits with this new and improved recipe. Enjoy!

For more great health articles, please read:

Intern Kitchen: Healthier Grilled Cheese

How to Make Shakshuka

Five Food Trends to Watch for in 2016

Images courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes We Tried This Week

PB2Whether it is as simple as a PB&J sandwich or as delicious as peanut butter M&M’s, peanut butter has and always will be a huge ingredient in so many delicious foods. It adds flavor and zest to just about any food.

Along with the delicious taste it brings, it is rich in fiber and protein according to prevention.com. This allows you to feel full longer so that you eat less throughout the day and prevents you from aimlessly snacking. This week, the healthy peanut butter recipes we tried were healthy peanut butter cookies and peanut butter oatmeal bars.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

When choosing a peanut butter, it is crucial to pick the right one in order to get the full health benefits. Although Jiff and Skippy taste delicious, they have added and unnecessary ingredients. Try to pay attention to the labels and stay away from anything that has added sugar or oils. According to Livestrong.com, Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter is your best choice.

The peanut butter oatmeal bars are a simple mixture of Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter, honey, applesauce, vanilla and oatmeal. Mix these ingredients together in a bowl, pour in a baking dish, place in the oven for thirty minutes and you then have delicious and healthy peanut butter oatmeal bars! What makes these bars so healthy is choosing the right ingredients to add to them. Although you could use butter to hold the ingredients together, choosing applesauce instead is the healthier option. It steers you away from useless carbs and makes the recipe that much healthier. The unique feature of the peanut butter oatmeal bars is that they are a delicious dessert that not many people have tried!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Although the idea of cookies comes off as an unhealthy dessert, there are ways to make the delicious food a lot healthier. The ingredients I used were Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter, an egg, vanilla, brown sugar, whole wheat flour and half a cup of sugar. These supplements were mixed together in a bowl, rolled up in tiny balls on a cookie sheet and placed in the oven for fifteen minutes at 375 degrees to create delicious and healthy cookies. The healthy benefit of this recipe versus a normal peanut butter cookie recipe is the small amount of ingredients needed. Keeping it simple and choosing the right ingredients makes all the difference when making cookies. Even simply sticking to half a cup of sugar instead of a full one is improvement enough.

With these quick and easy recipes, you can still enjoy your love for peanut butter while staying fit and healthy. According to punchbowl.com, January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day. Make sure you celebrate accordingly by whipping up a batch of your new favorite recipes of peanut butter cookies and peanut butter oatmeal bars. You won’t be disappointed!

For more great articles, please read:

Five Vegan Christmas Eve Dishes

Intern Kitchen: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Three Twists on Traditional Homemade Hot Chocolate

 Images Courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

 

How to Burn 200 Calories in 15 Minutes

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With the holidays now being over and our busy schedules starting to resume, it is time to start getting our bodies back in shape and live up to our healthy New Year’s resolutions! A short, but hardworking workout is better than no workout at all. Here are a few ways to burn 200 calories in as little as fifteen minutes to help you stay in shape while keeping up with your busy life.

Before you start any of these vigorous workouts, make sure to hydrate and stretch so that your body can prepare for the physical activity. As much as you want to push yourself, do not overdo it. Only do what is healthy for yourself and what you feel you are capable of achieving.

Increase Intensity on the Treadmill

Although you could spend hours on the treadmill altering between walking and running to burn maximum calories, you can also reach a goal in as little as fifteen minutes. Start by warming up and getting your body ready for the exercise. This is a proper precaution to take before you begin any physical activity to avoid injuries. After walking on a 3.0 speed for a few minutes, begin to increase the speed of your running while also increasing incline. After running at this new speed and incline for three minutes, increase both again. By changing your speed and incline instead of sticking to the same one over the course of fifteen minutes, your body has to prepare the change of pace and therefore burns more calories. According to fitnessmagazine.com, individuals burn fifty percent more calories running and walking on incline than they would on a flat surface.

Pick up Speed on the Miles

While it is a great exercise to change your speed and intensity on these various activities, taking it slow is not for everyone. If you are someone who wants to pick up speed and have a high intensity workout for a straight fifteen minutes, there are exercise options for you as well. Running fast and vigorous miles in fifteen minutes will allow you to easily burn the 200 calories you want while also providing you with the high intensity workout you are looking for.

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Step up on the Stairmaster

According to Livestrong.com, the Stairmaster is a cardio workout made to burn calories quickly. It moves like regular stairs do, with pedals moving down as you climb up. Like previously stated, interval training, or moving your speed up and down on the Stairmaster, will also help you to burn maximum calories. Livestrong states that this interval training also stays within you throughout the day and helps you burn more calories even after your workout. By changing the intensity of your workout on this machine, you will be sure to lose those 200 calories in a very short fifteen minutes! Shape Magazine states that adding simple dumbbells to each hand with your arms to your side as you climb up the Stairmaster will also help you burn the needed calories while creating strength and muscle.

Although these are great exercises to quickly burn those extra calories without spending hours at the gym, make sure to take the proper precautions and recovery tips. After your workout, take fifteen minutes to stretch your legs and arms to prevent pulling a muscle or soreness later on. Also, stay hydrated throughout the day and eat within thirty minutes of finishing your activity. With these smart tips and vigorous exercises, you are sure to burn those excess calories while still keeping up with your busy schedule.

For more great health articles, please read:

Orange Theory Fitness Classes

Five Fitness Trends to Watch for In 2016

Five Anywhere Vacation Workouts

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Bottom image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.    

How to Eat All Five Food Groups in One Meal: Breakfast

How to Eat
In our busy everyday lives, sometimes it is a struggle to get all the necessary foods we should be eating. Between the various activities each and every one of us does, it is much easier to grab a bar to go or eat on the way to our next destination.

Breakfast sets our mood and energy level for the rest of the day, so it is important that we do not skip this meal. According to MyPlate.gov, the five food groups are fruits, protein, vegetables, grains and dairy. Here are some ways we can get all five food groups into our breakfast so that we are feeling refreshed and healthy for our day.

Fruits

The first main food group you definitely want to hit during breakfast is fruit. Fruits are an easy add-in to any meal, especially breakfast. It is recommended to stick to whole bananas, strawberries, apples or whatever fruit you like best. The more variety you have, the better. It can be as simple as peanut butter toast with banana on top, or a bowl of strawberries as a side to your eggs.

Protein

If you decide to have peanut butter on your toast, this will allow you to get a decent amount of protein to start. But, to fulfill a sufficient amount of this food group, it would be great to add in a side of eggs or an omelet with your toast and fruit. The eggs will provide the protein you need to keep you feeling full for longer and give you the extra push of energy you need for the day.

Vegetables

Vegetables are definitely the most difficult to hit during the breakfast hours. According to eatclean.com, over fifty percent of individuals say they are falling short of the recommended vegetable amount each day. It is hard to find a way to incorporate this food group into one’s diet. A great way to add vegetables into this meal is to add celery or spinach to your omelet or side of eggs. Adding these veggies will add zest to the meal and give your eggs the extra taste they need.

UnknownGrains

Grains are an easy food group to cover, since there are a variety of breakfast meals that offer this. Start your meal with having two pieces of whole wheat or whole grain toast with butter or peanut butter. The grain will provide you with fiber you need throughout your day and get you moving. Mixing this with your side fruit will make for a delicious start to breakfast!

Dairy

After getting your fruits, grains, veggies and protein, you now want to hit the dairy group. Dairy provides you with calcium you need for strong and healthy bones. It can be as simple as having a glass of milk with your meal, or finishing your toast and fruit off with a side of yogurt. Although cream cheese and butter provide calcium, the USDA states that they are not part of the dairy group because they do not provide significant and healthy calcium to individuals.

When trying to incorporate all five food groups into your meal, try and remember the variety of ways you can do this. Take the foods you love to eat and create new and healthier ways to eat them. With your peanut butter toast with banana, side of yogurt and your omelet filled with delicious veggies, you are sure to hit all five food groups while having a delicious breakfast to start your day.

For more articles like this, please read:

Five Simple, Healthy Snacks for Traveling Home

Five Healthier Salad Bar Picks

 College Lifestyles™ Healthy Eating Grocery Shopping Guide for College Students 2015

Images courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Introducing the Spring 2016 Health Team

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College LifestylesTM has a new team bringing you health, fitness and nutrition articles for the spring 2016 semester. We have six writers, two are returning in the same section and four are new to CL. Our editor is new to the section, but is a returning editor.

With three returning CL members and four new members, this team is sure to have a lot of fun bring you lots of fun articles. We want you to get to know the team before we start, so here are a few facts about all of us.

Elizabeth Pode, Returning Writer

Originally from Camarillo, California, Pode is a senior at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is double majoring in literature and writing. She let us know what her favorite winter recipe is: oatmeal, chocolate chunk and cranberry walnut cookies.

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Alexa Filipe, Returning Writer

Filipe is a junior at Iona College and is originally from Long Beach, New York. She is majoring in mass communication with a concentration in advertising and is minoring in English.

Filipe said, “My favorite winter recipe is chocolate crinkle cookies. They’re chewy, chocolately and topped beautifully with powdered sugar. My mom makes these every year and she has the recipe down pat!”

Jennifer Hernandez, New Writer

Hernandez is a senior at University of Texas at Austin and is originally from Dallas, Texas. She is majoring in nutritional sciences and is minoring in social inequality, health and policy with a concentration in public health. Her favorite winter recipe is a pear, candied walnut and blue cheese salad with a sweet and tangy homemade dressing.

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Aubrey Redd, New Writer

Redd is from Easton, Pennsylvania. She is a sophomore at West Chester University and is majoring in nutrition and dietetics and minoring in ethnic studies. Redd agrees with Filipe; chocolate crinkle cookies are her favorite winter recipe, too.

Bryanna Peace, New Writer

Originally from Turlock, California, Peace is a senior at California Polytechnic State University. She is majoring in nutrition with an applied concentration. Peace’s favorite winter recipe is homemade spicy vegetarian chili bean soup.

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Abbigale Golden, New Writer

Golden is originally from Langhorne, Pennsylvania. She is a junior at West Chester University. She is majoring in nutrition and dietetics. Her favorite winter recipe is chocolate oatmeal bars, which are “a mixture of oatmeal and peanut butter baked together with a layering of melted chocolate on top.”

Keegan Brewster, Returning Editor

Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, Brewster is a senior at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va. She is majoring in English with a concentration in literature and is minoring in journalism. Her favorite winter recipe is pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

The new health team can’t wait to get started writing awesome articles for you to read. Check back in to read some more CL articles.

Check out some past health articles:

Five Recipes to Keep You Warm This Winter

How to Plan Your Fitness Routine Around Chilly Weather

Three Pie Baking Tips Every Classy Co-ed Should Know

Polyvore set by Keegan Brewster.

Left second image courtesy of Elizabeth Pode.

Middle second image courtesy of Alexa Filipe.

Right second image courtesy of Jennifer Hernandez.

Left third image courtesy of Aubrey Redd.

Right third image courtesy of Bryanna Peace.

Left bottom image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Right bottom image courtesy of Keegan Brewster.

 

Introducing Elizabeth Pode, Health Writing Intern from Point Loma Nazarene University

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Everyone meet a returning College Lifestyles™ health writing intern, Elizabeth Pode. Elizabeth is a senior from Camarillo, California who is very involved with her major and on her campus. She is a hardworking college student who will be graduating next semester from Point Loma Nazarene University. This is her second semester writing for the health and fitness column and we cannot wait to see what else she has in store for her upcoming articles!

Name: Elizabeth Pode

College Lifestyles™ position: Health and fitness writing intern

Hometown: Camarillo, California

School: Point Loma Nazarene University

Major(s)/Minor(s)/Concentration(s): Double major in literature and writing

Organizational involvement: Elizabeth is an intern for the literature, journalism and modern languages department and assists with setting up for the annual Writer’s Symposium. Along with this position, she also is a receptionist for the tutoring center, participates in Spoken Word club and is the former editor-in-chief of the literary arts magazine, The Driftwood.

Pode is excited for this semester because: After six years of school, I am finally graduating this semester.

Pode’s absolute favorite thing about spring is: Getting to wear all of my cute dresses again!

Pode’s dream study abroad trip would be to: I studied abroad in London during fall 2013 and she would love to do that again! Greece, Ireland, Croatia and Portugal are some other countries I would love to see one day.

Pode’s No. 1 recipe for this semester is: Oatmeal, chocolate chunk and cranberry walnut cookies!

Pode’s No. 1 DIY project for this semester is: any kind of present wrapping.

Pode’s favorite movies are: “Atonement,” along with any kind of historical movie.

Pode’s celebrity dream date is: Jake Bundrick, who is a drummer from the band Mayday Parade. I am a sucker for musicians!

Pode gets her inspiration from: The books I have read over this semester as a literature major.

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Pode’s friends would describe her as: Edgy, a perfectionist and fun!

Pode’s favorite College Lifestyles™ article was: Three Healthy and Delicious Oatmeal Add-Ins

Pode’s definition of a classy co-ed is: A classy co-ed blends a balance of school, work and social life with grace.

Pode is excited to be a College Lifestyles™ team member because: I am excited about writing more fun articles!

Check out more about our amazing intern, Pode and her health and fitness articles at College Lifestyles™. You won’t be disappointed!

Images courtesy of Elizabeth Pode.

Helpful Holiday Hints

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With the holidays quickly approaching, we all can’t help but to think of the delicious treats and foods that come with it. Although it is hard to eat healthy around this time of the year, it is important to remember why we should.

Nothing is harder than trying to get back into the swing of things when January rolls around and a new semester begins. After eating badly for a solid two months, we find it difficult to train our bodies to choose the healthy chicken salad over the leftover holiday stuffing and cookies. That is why if we start now and eat in moderation, we won’t have as difficult of a time for the New Year. Here are five helpful and healthy tips we should keep in mind this holiday.

1. Know what makes you stressed.

By knowing what causes the most stress in your life, it can eliminate you overeating because of your worries. If finding gifts for all your friends and family is what stresses you out, set time aside early in the month to get the shopping done so it’s not last minute. Set enough time so you don’t have to stress and cram it all in one day either. By doing this, you are helping yourself not to become overwhelmed and preventing yourself from indulging in extra cookies and food to make you feel better.

2. Don’t drink your calories.

Although alcohol and other delicious drinks are a big part of the holiday season, try to limit yourself. If you are of age and want to have a glass of wine or beer with your family and friends, don’t over do it. Try limiting yourself with one glass and stick to water the rest of the night. This will help you to feel more in control with the foods you are choosing to consume, as well as eliminate the chance to drink your calories and add extra pounds you don’t need or want!

3. Make smart plans.

When family and friends come in for the holidays, everyone wants to get together and celebrate. This typically involves big meals with lots of food and dessert. Instead of bonding and getting together over food and drinks, try to suggest other plans. Maybe ask your family if they would want to go for a hike together, see a movie, take a beach trip or any other activity you enjoy doing with friends and family. By making smart plans, you are avoiding the chance to overindulge.

4. Stay fit and active.

Although it is not everyone’s first choice around the holidays to hit the gym every day, make this a goal for yourself! It is important that we remember to stay fit and exercise, even when the crazy holidays roll around and you have a lot of things to get done. By continuing to exercise throughout our busy weeks, we will be more encouraged and motivated to choose healthier foods to consume near the holidays.

5. It’s all about moderation.

Although this is the hardest part of all, moderation is key. It is okay to have a cookie here and there and some extra stuffing on your plate for Thanksgiving. It is about trying to watch how much you consume. If you want extra stuffing, try to stick to water the rest of the night. You can even promise yourself you’ll do an extra ten minutes at the gym tomorrow.

Whatever it is, try to remember the importance of staying healthy and learning limits. Now get to it and remember these helpful hints these coming months!

Abbigale Golden is a student at West Chester University.

Image courtesy of Keegan Brewster.