Archive for the 'alicia diedrich' Category

How pets can make you happy and healthy

petsI cannot stress enough how much I would love to have about 20 dogs and 15 other animals living with me. Unfortunately, I live in a tiny little studio apartment, and I am only allowed to have fish. Maybe in a different lifetime this crazy dream of mine will come true. One can only hope.

While you do not need to be as crazy about animals (especially dogs) as I am, having even one pet will add something to your life you never knew was missing in the first place. Although, I have always had a pet at home since the day I was born, I know what it is like to live with and without pets, and my life is always better when there’s an animal in it. One thing for sure is that they make me a happier and healthier person.

One of the best benefits of owning a pet are the social and emotional benefits. While you can’t really take a cat or a fish to a park to socialize like you can with dogs, each pet will bring its’ own benefits to you. And with the recent emerging of things like cat cafes, there are options for you to get out in the world and socialize with a cat as well. I don’t think I can say the same thing for fish… yet. Along with improving your social life, pets can improve your overall mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Having my fish around my apartment definitely does help put me in a better mood. Another great thing about having a furry companion around is that they will encourage you to be more active. You can go for walks, hikes, runs, or bike rides (if you’re brave enough), my dog and cat will even do yoga with me when I go home to visit. Sadly, I haven’t yet been able to get my fish to do yoga with me. 

Having a family pet will put everyone in happier and healthier state of mind, and is a great step towards living a life of wellness. You can find more information on how pets will make you a healthier person here. If you decide that you want a pet, make sure you do your research on how to care for your new friend because they aren’t always easy, but they are always worth it.

Alicia Diedrich

Eggs aren’t just for Easter

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We all know that eggs are good for us because they are a great source for protein. And with Easter coming up this weekend, I have had eggs (and bunnies) on my mind. Besides their protein, there are plenty of other reasons to make sure eggs are a part of your diet on a regular basis. Since I am leaving for vacation today, I have spent the last few days trying to use up all of food at my apartment. All I have been eating is fruit, vegetables, and eggs. I even referred to myself as a rabbit the other day because I have been eating so many plants. So there’s the bunny rabbit thing again!

While trying to use up all of my food has seemed kind of like a chore, at least I know I am getting some crazy good health benefits from all of these ridiculously healthy foods. I always try to eat somewhat healthy, but it is not always easy. I have found that buying a bunch of healthy food that will go bad if I don’t eat it really helps. Anyways, the real reason I’m here is to share the other amazing health benefits that you will get from including eggs as a part of your regular diet.

Not only will eggs give you an awesome protein boost, but they will also provide you with vitamins a, b5, b12, b2, folate, phosphorus, selenium, and a handful of other nutrients. Long story short, eggs contain a little bit of all of your essential nutrients and vitamins. And despite common beliefs, eggs will not actually raise your blood cholesterol. It will actually work to raise your good cholesterol though. Having an elevated level of good cholesterol will decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke, along with other health conditions. One of these health benefits that surprised me is that eggs will actually help to maintain your eye health. This is because the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which build protein in the retina of the eye are found in eggs. These are only a few of the health benefits eggs have, and you can find more information about it here.

Bottom line is, eating eggs on a regular basis will provide you with a myriad of health benefits. Another awesome thing about eggs is there seems to be an endless amount of ways to prepare them, so you can’t really get bored from eating too many eggs.

 

Alicia Diedrich

 

Spring recipe: Stuffed avocados

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Over my spring break, I spent a couple nights making deliciously healthy recipes with my family. Along with what seems like everyone, we have had a slight avocado obsession in the past few months. We went from eating avocado toast, to turkey lettuce wraps with avocado, and even to stuffed avocados. Since they were so healthy and delicious I decided to share the recipe! I want to make this recipe again soon (because I may or may not have eaten five chocolate chip cookies while writing this).

 

To make these beautiful stuffed avocados, you need:

1 avocado, halved and pitted

1 (4.5 ounce) can oil packed albacore tuna, drained

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon of lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

 

When I made this at home with my family, we doubled the recipe because there was three of us eating, it worked out perfectly, so you can make this as a meal for your family, or stick to the original proportions above to make a healthy lunch just for yourself.

First, scoop the avocado out into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Then, add the tuna, red bell pepper, and jalapeno to the mixing bowl. (Pro tip: I added about twice as much jalapeno as I was supposed to and still did not find it spicy, so if you like some spice, do not be afraid to add more, a lot more.) Next, pour the lime juice over the top, and mix all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper (just like with the jalapeno, I was not shy with the salt and pepper. Then all you have to do is put your avocado and tuna concoction back into the avocado bowls and garnish with cilantro!

The best part about this recipe was that it was easy, fun, healthy and tasty! It was also filling, so there was no desire to munch on unhealthy snacks the rest of the night. You can easily customize the recipe by adding tons of jalapenos like I did, or substituting the jalapenos and red peppers for different kinds of peppers, onions, or whatever else you happen to have sitting around. One of my favorite parts of cooking and putting recipes together is experimenting with them and having some fun! I hope you enjoy the stuffed avocados as much as I did!
Alicia Diedrich

Take a break this spring break

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With spring break coming up at the end of this week, I sat here wondering what Marquette employees do during this time off, I realized it probably looks very different from most students’ spring breaks. Many of Marquette’s employees that work in the offices on campus may not have time off at all. While Marquette’s professors will likely be working on grading papers and midterms, and preparing for their classes after spring break is over.

While I do have a few papers to write and tests to prepare for after break, grading hundreds of papers and tests or working full time during my break does not sound appealing in the least. I wanted to offer a word of advice for Marquette’s employees that do not get a “Spring Break.”

You may be busy during the time off from classes, but you should not be so busy that you do not take any time for yourself. Make sure you carve in some personal time to work on your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness. Afterall, without having wellness in the forefront of your mind at all times, it can seem like a chore to do these things everyday.

No matter how busy my day is, I always make sure to take time to do something that betters myself in some way. Whether it is as simple as turning on my salt lamp, lighting a candle, doing some yoga and strength training, or simply eating an apple or a banana. These small measures have great effects in my life. I know that even if I’ve had a crazy busy day, I at least have one relaxing thing to look forward to at the end of my day. I want to encourage you to do the same. While you may be preoccupied during spring break, I challenge you to take some time for yourself, and your family. Set aside at least one day to work on your wellness. Do something that makes you happy. I don’t care if it’s binge watching a show on Netflix (everybody needs those lazy days), or if it’s taking time to spend with your family, or your pet. Book a massage for yourself, get your hair done, go for a walk, treat yourself to that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing up for weeks. Anything that will give your mind a break from the work is acceptable in my eyes.

I myself have used the excuse of not having time, but when it comes down to it, it was only because I was not prioritizing my well-being. Taking care of ourselves is so often seen as a burden, because yes it does take time, it does take determination. However, it doesn’t have to be this terrible burden. Taking care of yourself is a privilege, be glad to do something that is good for you. As I mentioned, it does not even have to be time consuming, if you absolutely have to, you can light a candle, drink tea, or eat an apple while you are busy with your day-to-day tasks, at least it’s a start!

 

Alicia Diedrich

 

Helping others helps you

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Wellbeing is usually a balance of a healthy diet, exercise and rest, but we all use different ways of getting to this well state of mind and body. For me, one of the biggest contributors to my own wellness is actually helping others!

Throughout my life I have dedicated hours upon hours of my time to volunteering. And while the amount of time I spent doing so may have been slightly unhealthy, it made me a happier, more positive, and passionate person. You always hear people say that volunteering has a positive influence on the community around you, but you do not often hear people talking about the tremendous impact it has on the volunteer. I can tell you first hand how big of an impact helping others has had on me. While I was in various community service clubs, I sought out other opportunities within the community as well. I have done everything – serving food at homeless shelters, raising money, tutoring kids, teaching tennis, working in a hospital and more. Looking back, these were some of the best experiences in my life, and I only wish everyone could share these same experiences. I was able to see the differences that my actions made on other people. Seeing the smile on the kid who finally got that difficult math problem right. Or meeting new people who shared my passion for helping. Each and every part of my volunteering opportunities has helped me move forward toward living a life of wellness.

With my chaotic college life, I have found that I spend less and less time doing these activities that I used to love. However, when I once again set aside some time to take part in serving my community, my mood improves, and I tend to forget about all the other worrisome aspects of my life. All of these trivial parts of life seem to melt away when you immerse yourself into the act of giving. Due to this, I encourage you to take on a new community service project, even if it’s only a one day thing. It will help your community and give you a new and different sense of wellness and connectedness with that community. Sign up with your spouse, your kids, a sibling or a few coworkers. This will make for a day of fun and adventure while making a difference in the community and your own life.

Seeing the impact that just one person can have on another person, a family, a community and the world is absolutely inspiring. And if my passion for helping others encourages just one other person to get out there and make a difference in their community and their own life, then I will consider my mission accomplished.

The impact that volunteering has had on me is everlasting, and I hope that my accounts inspire you to dive into these amazing experiences as well.

 

Alicia Diedrich

Wellbeing Biography: Alicia Diedrich

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Hello Marquette employees! My name is Alicia Diedrich, and I am junior transfer student studying Communication Studies and English, with a special interest in Spanish. I wanted to start off by saying that I am very excited to become part of the Marquette University Employee Wellness team. As I am joining this team, I thought I might share with you the story of why I am passionate about wellness.

When it comes to wellness and healthy living, my journey is just merely beginning. In November of 2015 when I finally discovered what had been causing me to go through life living like a zombie, my quest for wellness began. I had spent months, probably years struggling with undiagnosed hypothyroidism, and an iron deficiency. Now, both of these issues have many of the same symptoms, so I like to believe that my symptoms were just amplified. Once I knew, the weight that had been sitting on my shoulders for what may have been four or more years started to lessen. Of course, we threw medications at it, but it continued to get worse with each and every blood test, my symptoms returning sometimes even worse than before.

I had gone far too long just dismissing my symptoms as normal. I was too tired to function most of the time, getting out of bed was the most difficult part of my life every day (even more so than working 35+ hours a week and going to school full time). I had always written it off because I was a teenager, and a college student – I was supposed to be tired. But was I supposed to be so exhausted that I could barely function? Was I supposed to have no energy or passion to do the things I loved to do?

I was beginning to realize that I had to make a change in my lifestyle. I had to get out of this menacing cycle. I decided to take matters into my own hands. Alongside my mother, who has struggled with the same issues, I set out on a journey to regain control of my life. Endless amounts of research went into taking better care of myself.

Since then, I have taken pride in eating healthier, being more active and overall putting my well-being above everything else, yes, including work and school. It started to make sense that if I was not well, then I would not excel in the other areas of my life either. I have had uphill battles, and downhill battles with my health, but I’m glad to say that my new found sense of wellbeing has made these battles significantly easier. Since I have made an active choice to be well, I have no longer had to stay home sick while missing an exam, I have no longer skipped my morning classes because it was simply too difficult and terrifying to face the task of getting out of bed in the morning.  During this quest to be well I have encountered setbacks, but that’s okay. I am still learning about wellness.

I reinvested in myself, and in my future. Taking care of myself now means being happier and healthier in the future. It is never too late to begin taking care of yourself. I repeat, it is NEVER too late to begin taking care of YOU. Make yourself a priority.

Now, although this is where my wellness journey began, it is certainly not where it ends, and I am constantly searching for ways to improve my health and well-being. I am in this journey with you, and I cannot wait to share what I learn along the way with all of you.  
Alicia Diedrich


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