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: Fruit Sushi

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When you think of sushi, you probably have one of two reactions. Either you’re extremely excited for the raw fish and sticky rice, or you’re totally grossed out. For lovers and haters alike, this new take on sushi may be just up your alley. Fruit sushi is the bold, new twist on the classic meal that is taking it to the next level in our minds and in our mouths.

According to PBS, sushi originates from Japanese folklore. The new fruity wraps may not be exactly what the lore stated, but they’re equally as delicious. Originally intended as a use to hide food from thieves, use these fruit sushi rolls to hide your daily dose of fruit in a tiny, adorable, tasty package.

FRUIT SUSHI

A fan favorite, fruit sushi is taking our hearts by storm. Get a healthy dose of sweet in your diet with the customizable rolls of sweet sticky rice and delectable fruit.

Servings: 24 pieces

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups short grain rice

2 cups water

3 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup coconut shreds

Fruit of your choice (we recommend pineapple, mangoes and kiwi)

Assorted berries (for dipping sauce)

Directions

Combine the rice, water, sugar and salt in a pot. Cook on low heat until all the rice absorbs the water (about 20 minutes).

Add the coconut milk and vanilla. The rice should be a moldable consistency. If it is too runny, cook for a few more minutes.

Lay down a bamboo rolling pad and cover with wax paper. Spread the rice 1/2 inch thick over the paper into a rectangle.

Slice fruit of choice into long pieces.

Use a potato peeler to shave thin slices off the mango.

Toast coconut shreds in the oven for 3 minutes.

Lay the fruit pieces on the rice, and roll up carefully. If rice sticks to the paper, try spreading it thicker.

Coat the rolls with the mango slices and toasted coconut. Feel free to mix and match if you don’t like one or both options.

Slice each roll into 6 pieces.

Blend berries with 1/4 cup water to make a dipping sauce.

(Recipe courtesy of Food.Com.)

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If you’ve never been adventurous enough to try sushi, take this as your first step into the wonderful world of Japanese cuisine. While it may be a stretch to officially call it sushi, it certainly has the delicious aspects. Mix and match whatever fruits you like to make the perfect fruit sushi roll for your taste buds.

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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

asparagus bottomDirections

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.

 For more great articles, please read:

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Five Signs You’re Too Stressed

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How to Make Homemade Pizza Healthier

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Love ordering pizza, but hate the guilt? Making pizza at home can be just as delicious as ordering out, plus it is way cheaper! You can customize the pizza however you like, and you won’t have to skimp on any of the decadent toppings. There are tons of ways to spice up your homemade pizza while also making it healthier.

Adding vegetables to your pizza is one of the simplest ways that you can make it healthier. ChooseMyPlate.Gov says that ½ a cup of vegetables is considered a serving size, so plop at least a cup on top of your pizza pie to add to your daily intake of veggies. Choose various colors of vegetables to make sure that you are reaping all the benefits that you can.

Want to spruce things up? Try a tasty dessert or fruit pizza. Lay out your crust and top it with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sauce. Dice up all of your favorite fruits and toss them on top. This delicious dessert pizza can be served cold or cooked to make the fruit tender. If you aren’t in the mood for a dessert pizza, just try adding some fruit to your normal pizza. Pineapple and apple both make great additions to most traditional pizzas.

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Sauce is probably one of the main components to your pizza, but have you ever tried it without the sauce? Many people like it better that way. If you’re too attached to your sauce, try adding less to the pizza. A thinner layer of sauce will mean fewer calories in the long run while still giving you that sweet and tomato-y goodness.

Take a peek from the vegan recipe book and try making a tomato pie instead of a full-fledged pizza. Tomato pie is essentially pizza without the cheese. You may not realize it but loading on the cheese adds tons of saturated fat to your pie with every ounce. Lighten up on the cheese or skip it in general for a new twist. The more healthy toppings you add, the less you’ll even notice that the cheese is gone!

It’s almost the weekend and most of you have dining out and relaxing on your minds. This weekend, try relaxing at home with a delicious and hearty slice of guilt free pizza. Throw a pizza making party with your friends and you can each make a piece just how you want it! That’s a deal you’ll never find at a pizzeria.

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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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Middle image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Healthier Alternatives for Cream Sauces

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Pasta is a simple staple dish for all college co-eds to have under their belt. There are many varying types of sauces including varieties of both red sauces and white sauces. Unfortunately, many white cream sauces come packed with a high fat content. Try making these alterations to your pasta routine to shake things up and keep things healthy.

Low-Fat Milk

Of course, cream sauces require an aspect of creamy and delicious goodness. Most cream sauce recipes call for heavy cream. Heavy cream comes at the cost of having a high fat content. According to LiveStrong.Com, using low-fat milk instead of heavy cream can drop the fat content down to less than 3 grams. Keep all of the creamy goodness while losing the fat? Sounds like the perfect compromise.

Cauliflower

You’re probably wondering how cauliflower can be alternated for cream sauce. Many vegan recipes for cream sauce call for using cauliflower and nutritional yeast as a binding agent. Cook down the cauliflower until it has been boiled and is tender. After the cauliflower is tender, mix it with nutritional yeast and other spices. Put everything in the blender and pour over pasta for a much healthier and delicious alternative to cream sauce!

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Butter Alternatives

Butter is traditionally another key ingredient in cream sauces like alfredo. When making a roux as the base of your cream sauce, try using a butter alternative mixed with flour, rather than traditional butter. Use reduced-fat butter, olive oil spread or vegan butter. All of these alternatives will still serve the same purpose, have a similar taste and make a great cream sauce.

Low-Fat Cheese

A lot of cream sauces also call for the addition of cheese. If you aren’t into cheesy cream sauce, then you are in the clear! If you’re like me and a fan of adding loads of cheese to your pasta, try using lower fat cheeses. Many cheeses now come in reduced-fat versions that can allow you to get the same familiar flavor and decrease the saturated fat.

Your staple dish just got a little bit healthier. Now you’ll have a wide array of different variations on traditional creamy pasta sauce. Mix and match the ingredients to find your favorite combination to put your own spin on healthy cream sauce.

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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

Quick and Easy Breakfasts for a Busy Day

Intern Kitchen: Potstickers

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Intern Kitchen: Potstickers

a The year is coming to a close and now is the time to throw the best end of the year bash that you can. If you want your party to be the best it can be, you’ll of course have snacks. Potstickers are a classic party favorite even endorsed by Alton Brown of the Food Network. With these savory sensations, your party is sure to be a hit.

POTSTICKERS

Potstickers are an appetizer staple. The beauty about these potstickers is that they can be made in so many ways! While LiveStrong.Com recommends chicken because it’s packed with essential nutrients, try variations with beef, pork or turkey to mix it up. Cater the recipe the way you like it to make it a staple in your recipe book.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup of pre-packaged slaw or finely sliced cabbage

1/2 tsp. salt

6 oz. ground chicken

3 scallions (finely chopped)

1 tbsp. fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 package wonton wrappers

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Soy sauce (for dipping)

Directions

Mix slaw with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and set aside.

Add pork, 3 finely chopped scallions, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Mix well with a fork or use your hands.

Work with one wrapper at a time, and keep the rest covered with a damp towel.

Add a spoonful of filling in center of the rolled out wrapper. Be careful not to overfill or the wrappers may rip.

With dampened fingers, wet the four edges.

Fold wrapper in half over filling to make a triangle, making sure the ends meet and filling is centered; press edges down firmly to seal.

Transfer to an oiled plate and over with a damp towel to keep moist. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

In a nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.

Add half the wontons and cook, turning once until lightly browned (about 1 minute per side).

Carefully add 1/2 cup water (oil may sputter), cover and steam until translucent and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and wontons.

Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

(Recipe courtesy of Food.Com.) s The origins of potstickers stem deep. According the TheKitchn.Com, potstickers were a version of traditional Chinese dumplings. Not into Chinese food? Mix up the ingredients to put a fun twist on this traditional dish.

Whether it’s time for a party or a relaxing night in with friends, consider these delicious potstickers to serve at your next get together. Have it as a snack or eat them yourself to make it a meal. These wonderful bites of tangy goodness can be eaten any way, so eat up!

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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.

For more great articles, please read:

Which Activity Tracker is Right For You?

Five Simple Outfits for Getting Dressed in a Hurry

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Which Activity Tracker is Right for You?

CL Activity Tracker Article Header From FitBits to Jawbones, activity trackers have become all the rage. These handy devices are the new craze for a good reason. They can keep you in shape, help you set fitness goals and even help you get the most out of your day. All activity trackers are not made alike and many can be more useful for people who have different activity levels.

Jawbone

If you’re a couch potato and not looking to start hitting the gym every day, the Jawbone line of activity trackers are right for you. They track your daily steps and give you tips and tricks to boost your step count. You set the step goal so that it’s just right for you! An added bonus is that the Jawbone comes enabled with a sleep tracker. Now you can maximize your sleep for an even more restful night (or nap).

FitBit

If you’re looking for the best activity tracker to step towards getting fit, take a look into the FitBit. The FitBit comes in a variety of styles ranging from minimalist to extreme. Depending on the style you get, the FitBit can track your steps, heart rate and sleep cycles. PC Magazine raves that it is “reliable and easy to use” for those of you new to the fitness world. Download the FitBit app on your phone to keep track of all of your daily movements.

MisFit

Looking to stay fit and stay in style? The MisFit line of activity trackers are chic and comfortable with a touch of flare. Check the time or your step count on the MisFit, which looks impeccably like a watch. Fashion with function is the main goal of MisFit brand activity trackers. CL Activity Tracker Article Picture

Mio

Runners seem to find the best luck with activity trackers as many are geared towards step and mileage counts. If running is your game, try the Mio. Rated by Runner’s World as one of the top activity trackers for runners, the Mio keeps you on top of your heart rate while you’re running. With a glowing LED screen and vibrating reminders as you change heart rate zones the Mio can help you optimize your run.

Moov

If you’re a swimmer, you may think that activity trackers aren’t for you. Think again! Moov is specifically designed with swimmers in mind. Wareable.Com says its claim to fame is its versatility in helping you excel with your training plan. Whether you’re swimming or spending the day doing dry land workouts, the Moov will get you moving. ‘

Activity trackers have been changed and adapted for people of every lifestyle. From the gym rat with a busy schedule to the bookworm who spends her days indoors, there’s an activity tracker to appease the needs of everyone. Do some research and give one a try for a more invigorated and motivated lifestyle!

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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!

For more great articles, please read:

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Eat This, Not That: McDonald’s

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While we all like to believe that we eat healthy on a regular basis, we can’t always be saints. Whether it’s because you’re in a rush, on a long car trip with no other options or you’re just looking for a quick meal, these helpful, healthier alternatives will guide your menu choices.

Salad

Eat This: Premium Bacon Ranch Salad (without chicken)

Not That: Premium Southwest Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken

Without the chicken, the bacon ranch salad has only a measly 190 calories and is still packed with 14 grams of protein. Add the chicken and the salad is bumped up to 310 calories. The experts at EatThis.Com appraise it highly as it is a good source of protein and iron to keep you fuller longer. Stay away from the buttermilk chicken. The chicken alone is a steep 300 calories and the whole southwest salad will cost you 510 calories.

Burger

Eat This: Hamburger or Cheeseburger

Not That: Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

With a whopping 780 calories and over a half a day’s worth of sodium, the double quarter pounder with cheese tops the calorie chart of burgers. LifeHacker.Com rated it #2 for the unhealthiest things at McDonald’s, so it’s safe to say that this meaty monstrosity is one to shy away from. Instead, try ordering yourself a basic hamburger or cheeseburger. These sandwiches have only 250 and 300 calories respectively and way less sodium and fat.

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Breakfast

Eat This: Egg McMuffin

Not That: Big Breakfast with Hotcakes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start it out the best way possible. BuzzFeed included the Egg McMuffin in its article of “23 Fast-Food Breakfasts That Are Actually Healthy.” It only has 300 calories and is a nutrient dense way to start your morning. Avoid the big breakfast with hotcakes. Total calories for the meal are 1,050. While it may come with more items, it’s not worth the calories, carbs, fats and sodium you’ll be getting in exchange.

Dessert

Eat This: Kiddie Cone

Not That: McFlurry’s with M&M’s

If you’re looking for an ice cream fix, stick with a basic kiddie cone. It’s a simple classic that’s only 45 calories and 6 grams of sugar. The M&M McFlurry on the other hand is a hefty 650 calories with and 89 grams of sugar.

Don’t feel guilty when you’re standing in line or pulling up to the drive-through. Splurge if you want, but keep these ideas in the back of your head. You’re armed with the tips and tools you need to make an informed and healthy decision.

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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.

Is it Just a Cold, Or Something Else?

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Spring has sprung and for many of you, that may mean that it’s just about time for you to catch your yearly cold. Many illnesses mimic the same symptoms as the common cold. Before you jump to any conclusions about what illness you have, consider all of your options.

Cold

It happens to most of us every year. At one point, everyone around you seems to be getting sick and in little to no time you end up sick too. According to The New York Times, approximately one billion people in America get the common cold each year. Think that you might be one of them? The Mayo Clinic says symptoms of the common cold include runny or stuffy nose, itchy or sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches, mild headache, sneezing, watery eyes, low-grade fever and mild fatigue. The vast array of symptoms shows that your “cold” could actually be an indicator of a different illness.

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Allergies

Seasonal allergies are extremely common, especially in the spring when there is pollen in the air. The Mayo Clinic reports a shocking similarity between having a cold and having allergies. The symptoms are all the same, but there are differences in the frequencies of each symptom.

Sneezing, runny nose and stuffy nose are present for both a cold and allergies. Coughing and sore throat are generally always present with a cold, while only sometimes present with allergies. Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but not a cold. Muscle aches and pains are a common symptom of a cold but not allergies. There’s a fine line between having a cold and having allergies, so check with your doctor before heading to the drugstore.

Flu

Hopefully, you took initiative and got your flu shot this year. Unfortunately, the flu shot does not protect you from all strains of the flu. WebMD stresses the importance of knowing the difference between a cold and a flu because it could save you a lot of trouble.

The symptoms of the flu are sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches, muscle soreness, congestion and a cough. These symptoms generally present themselves with a lot more severity than that of a cold. If you have a troublesome sore throat that makes it hard to talk or eat, it’s time to see a doctor.

Of course, it’s never great to self-diagnose. Remember whenever you are feeling sick, your first priority should be to head to the health center or a doctor. Use these tips to keep you on track at the first sign of illness to avoid being sick for too long.

Top image courtesy of Aubrey Redd.
Middle image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

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.

 For more great articles, please read:

Five Pains You Shouldn’t Ignore

Intern Kitchen: Easter Bunny Cake

How to Make Your Own Jellybeans

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Bottom image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

 

CL Interviews: Sammie Schools, President of Sigma Alpha Iota at West Chester University

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While we all try to stay active in campus affairs, some people truly dive in and run for leadership positions. Sammie Schools is president of Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional music fraternity for women. Through Sigma Alpha Iota, her excellence and passion shines as she takes charge of the sisterhood.

College LifestylesTM:What’s it like to be a campus organization president?

Sammie Schools: It is a lot of work! Balancing school with leadership positions can be tough, but overall it is very rewarding.

CL: What are some of your responsibilities as president?

SS: I am the main contact between any outside sources and our organization. I sort through tons of emails every day. A lot of it is spam, but some of it is useful for us, such as service and performance opportunities.

CL: What is the most rewarding part of being president of Sigma Alpha Iota?

SS: The most rewarding thing for me is seeing how things have changed since I was initiated. I think that positive change has made the organization blossom even more than we could have ever imagined. I love watching the younger sisters grow into leaders who will hopefully fill the executive board shoes someday.

CL: What is the most challenging part of being president of Sigma Alpha Iota?

SS: The hardest thing is dealing with conflict. Whether it’s personal, professional or logistical, you will always run into some sort of conflict. It’s hard to find that fine line between being a leader and being a sister to the rest of the members. I think that I have done a pretty good job with this, but I have run into some issues. It is important to think about how others perceive you based on the way you address the group. You need to gain respect and encourage the group to succeed without being a dictator.

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CL: What were some of your goals this year as president? Did you succeed?

SS: My biggest goal was getting the sisters more involved. I took every opportunity to get our sisters involved! I gave gift cards to the two sisters who attended the most events last semester, and I will be doing that again this semester.

I also really wanted us to grow as a chapter. We generally do the same types of events, but I wanted us to move past that and work on bigger projects. This year we are doing a fundraiser called “Mr. SAI” to raise money for a music-related cause. With some pushing and hard work, we were able to start organizing it and break expectations.

On a larger scale, we are making a very large donation to our charitable arms, SAI Philanthropies Inc., to benefit failing music programs. This is due to our chapter’s hard work with fundraising and service events.

I absolutely think our chapter is moving in a different direction (in a good way!). It’s easy to get stuck in the same routine, but switching things up is very good for growth and overall morale.

CL: What would you like to see future presidents accomplish?

SS: I would love to see our chapter do more things outside of the music building. It is hard to organize large events because of low interest, but I think if future leaders worked with the borough and surrounding areas, they could accomplish many great things.

CL: How has taking on this leadership role helped you grow as an individual?

SS: I have grown leaps and bounds since I first joined this organization! I was Vice President of Membership last year, and holding that office along with President this year has made my confidence shoot through the roof. I was a very shy person, never believing I could achieve anything. My anxiety held me back from doing great things in the world. After I joined SAI and was encouraged to run for these positions, I learned so much. I have had a lot of issues; I’ve cried from stress [and] I’ve spent late nights going through paperwork for the organization, but it was all worth it. I am very thankful for what this organization has given me.

CL: What is some advice you would give to future presidents?

SS: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! At first I was hesitant to ask for help, and I thought that I was supposed to deal with all the problems by myself. You can’t do it all alone. Asking for help doesn’t make you look weak, but makes you manage your organization better. There are ALWAYS people willing to help you out!

As hectic as it may be, Schools is truly passionate about her role in Sigma Alpha Iota. It is extremely commendable to see her devotion and professionalism exemplified through her presidency. Keep up the great work, Schools!

Images courtesy of Sammie Schools. 

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!

For more great articles, please read:

Intern Kitchen: Homemade Pasta

Should You Worry About GMOs?

Pretty Girls Lift Too

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Bottom image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

 

Five Pains You Shouldn’t Ignore

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Luckily for us, cold and flu season is at its end. That means it could be something even more serious if you’re feeling pain or discomfort. It may be a burden to make time to go to the health center in your busy schedule, but some pains can’t be ignored.

Pain #1: Nagging headache

A severe or persistent headache could be a sign of something much more serious. Health.com warns it could be a sign of something as serious as a stroke, aneurysm or even meningitis. Headaches happen to us all but when it gets to the point where you’re in so much pain that you cannot function, you should consider seeking medical attention.

Pain #2: Lengthy backache

It’s inevitable to overwork yourself sometimes. If you’re feeling back pains after moving boxes into your new apartment, then you could be facing some serious trouble. Slipped discs are common and treatable issues, but need to be addressed right away. If you’re still feeling aches and pains in your back a week after you moved in, it’s time to go to the hospital.

Pain #3: Tight chest

We’ve all heard to never ignore a sharp pain in your left shoulder as it could be the early sign of a heart attack. What many don’t know is that the warning signs of heart attacks in women are very different than of those in men. Many women report hot flash-like symptoms with severe sweating as well as a tight pain in their chest. Even if you think it’s nothing, be on the safe side and get it checked out.

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Pain #4: Leg pain and swelling

Feel a twinge when you’re walking or notice your leg swelling up? Inflammation is the body’s defense against major issues. Blood clots can cause these pains and swelling in your legs and if left untreated, they can really cause you major damage. Women’s Health magazine recommends heading to the doctor’s at the earliest signs of pain to get a CT or ultrasound.

Pain #5: Sharp side pain

Stomach cramps are one thing to worry about, but a sharp pain in your side is a common sign of appendicitis. Appendicitis is a serious disease that needs to be treated immediately. Waiting until the pain really sets in could mean that your appendix burst. Your mother always said “better safe than sorry” and in this case, she’s totally right!

Moral of the story is that if you’re feeling any kind of pain, you should really head to the doctor’s. While taking the time out of your schedule might be hard, you could end up thanking yourself later if it turns out to be something more serious. Your health is important, so take care of your body and read its signals!

Top image courtesy of Aubrey Redd.
Middle image courtesy Stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

 

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!

For more great health articles, please read:

Intern Kitchen: Omega Packed Raw Fruit Crisp

Intern Kitchen: Guilt-Free Oatmeal Cookies

How to Eat Less Salt at Breakfast

Top image courtesy of Abbigale Golden.

Middle image courtesy of digitalsource/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

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.

Intern Kitchen: Guilt-Free Oatmeal Cookies

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Oatmeal cookies have been a family favorite for decades. These cookies remind you of home, hanging around with your family laughing and sharing stories. If you find yourself missing your family at school, try making these tasty oatmeal cookies. They’ll take you home without the long commute.

Even better, oatmeal cookies are significantly healthier than most other cookies. Southern Living magazine even rates them among some of the best recipes along with chocolate chip and sugar cookies!

GUILT-FREE OATMEAL COOKIES

What’s better on these last cold days of winter than a warm and gooey cookie? There isn’t much that compares. If you’re hankering for a sweet treat but are concerned about the calories, try these guilt-free oatmeal cookies. As opposed to flour, they’re bound together with healthy bananas. Medical News Today raves about bananas heart health benefits. So when you’re looking through the pantry for something to snack on, take half an hour to whip these up!

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup canola oil or coconut oil
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, walnuts (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork or potato masher until smooth and void of lumps. Stir in oil, oats, vanilla and other desired ingredients (i.e. chocolate chips or raisins). If the batter seems dry, try adding a small amount of milk.

Spoon out cookies to desired size onto a greased or lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool and serve.

(Recipe courtesy of Food.com.)

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Never fear because these cookies are coming to your rescue. According to WebMD, oatmeal has tons of health benefits. It lowers bad cholesterol, improves overall heart health and contains fulfilling fiber. Feel free to eat as many cookies as you want without any of the guilt!

The truth is, cookies are cookies. These days there are tons of ways to take the nutritional value of cookies as far away from traditional cookies as possible. Don’t feel bad about making these cookies, because they have so many great qualities. Grab your friends, a bowl and get ready to bake!

Top image courtesy of Aubrey Redd.
Middle image courtesy of Prasaeng/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Five Healthy Snacks for Your Oscar Viewing Party

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It’s that time of year again! Oscars are just around the corner on February 28th at 7 p.m.. Grab some of your friends and huddle around the T.V. while you root for your favorite stars in all of this year’s best movies. To make the night even more enjoyable, serve some of these healthy snacks to keep up the energy level.

Hummus and Vegetables

We’ve all seen this picture before – a lonely carrot left on the vegetable platter. Obviously everyone loves to eat their veggies! Try making your own vegetable tray with your personal favorite vegetables and hummus for a practical party favorite.

There’s tons of options on the market for hummus now. You can get anything from original hummus, to roasted red pepper and beyond. For a little bit of a twist try edamame hummus instead of hummus from garbanzo beans. Whatever you choose, it’ll surely pair well with a wide variety of vegetables.

Bruschetta

Some people enjoy the finer things in life and like to throw their parties with a glimmer of elegance. If you’re in that boat, then bruschetta is the way to go. For a fresher taste, grab a fresh baguette from your bakery the morning of the Oscars. Spread a bit of olive oil, chopped tomatoes and the seasonings of your choice on the baguette and lightly toast in the oven for a classy party appetizer.

Fruit Platter with Yogurt Dip

If you’re craving something sweet then make a fruit platter. Pick out some seasonal fruits at your local grocery, making sure you have a wide variety of options. For an added sweetness, try making some yogurt dip to go with it. Mix some of your favorite yogurt with some honey to taste. Add some fresh berries from the tray as garnish and serve!

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Trail Mix

Trail mix may seem like a bit of a stretch as a party snack, but it’s extremely versatile. With sweet and salty aspects, it caters to everyone’s taste buds. Try making your own or buy some if you’re in a pinch. It’s the perfect snack to pass around while you’re glued to the screen and it requires little to no set up.

Popcorn

When you think of the movies, you immediately think of popcorn. It’s been around for ages and it is a seriously underrated party snack. Pop up a quick bowl and relax on the couch with your friends. If you want to be bold, try adding some flavors like dark chocolate or sriracha. To keep it healthy, consider using less butter and salt if you make it from scratch, or buy the lightly buttered kind from the store.

The beauty about all of these party snacks is that they’re extremely easy to make and as customizable as you want. When you’re getting ready to whip up something for your Oscar’s viewing party, keep in mind these quick crowd pleasers.

Top image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.
Middle image courtesy of Naypong/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.

Gobie friends

 

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.™  

Intern Kitchen: Onion Dip

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Parties are happening left and right. It’s just after the Super Bowl and now we’re entering award show season. For your next party, think outside of the store when deciding what to bring along.

Everyone loves good home cooking. Try this delicious homemade onion dip recipe. It has a sweet, creamy taste that everyone loves. Pair it with chips or an assortment of veggies and it is sure to be a hit.

ONION DIP

When you think of party snacks, your mind immediately focuses on chips and dip. Taste of Home Magazine includes various dips in their list of the top ten party snacks. Onion dip is an extremely simple and flavorful classic. Usually, you’d pick it up from the grocery store in a can or a jar, but this recipe is extremely quick and easy. Soon you’ll be on your way to making this onion dip on your own to impress your friends.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups diced onions
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt

Directions

Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add oil.

Heat oil and add onions and ¼ tsp salt.

Cook the onions for 20 minutes, or until caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, white pepper and remaining salt.

Stir in onions once cooled. Refrigerate and stir again before serving.

For a healthier alternative, try using nonfat sour cream and fat free mayonnaise for the recipe.

(Recipe from FoodNetwork.com.)

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So simple and so quick! Think that it’s not worth the effort? Reviewers from Bon Appetit Magazine stated that homemade onion dip is “more refreshing” than store bought. Sure to liven up your taste buds. Making it at home is both fresher and healthier! Try the substitution of nonfat or fat free dairy products in your recipe to ensure you cut the fat and the calories.

If you’re curious just how popular it is, both Alton Brown and Guy Fieri from the Food Network have created their own version of the recipe. Ranging from extremely simple to challengingly complex, you can find just about any variation of onion dip out there. Kick it up a notch at your next party with this tasty snack!

Top image courtesy of Aubrey Redd.
Middle image courtesy of Photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

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.