Archive for the 'Diana Banzon' Category

Happy National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!


March marks National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

So what exactly is Colorectal Cancer?

It is cancer that starts in the rectum or colon and are often associated because their effects are synonymous with each others. Cancer types vary from Adenocarcinomas, which make up about 96% of colorectal cancers. Other tumors to look out for that start the process of cancer to occur include:

  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs)
  • Lymphomas
  • Sarcomas

What are the symptoms?

  • Change in your bowel habits (i.e. diarrhea or constipation)
  • Change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort (i.e. cramps, gas or pain)
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Although these symptoms are universal and pertain to other illnesses, there is no harm in going in for a doctor’s visit. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

There is no set way to fully prevent colorectal cancer, but there are ways lower your risks.


  • High in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Avoid red meats


  • Avoid large consumptions of alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Regularly take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)
  • Taking multivitamins (vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, folic aide, folate, etc.)
  • For women: Taking estrogen and progesterone after menopause

Physical Activity

  • Increasing your level of activity lowers your risk of colorectal cancer and polyps

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women living in the United States. Becoming more aware of one of America’s common killers can help reduce the amount of the lives it takes annually.

For more information, go to and start raising awareness today!

Diana Banzon


Spring Break Stress Relief


Spring Break is upon us and that can only mean one important thing – a week off dedicated to relaxation and giving yourself some “me-time” that you know has been way long overdue. What better way to make the most out of your upcoming week of de-stressing than to forget about your past worries and find ways to unwind. Take this precious time to freshen and rejuvenate your mind, spirit, and body in order to conquer for a bigger and brighter tomorrow – well, in this case, the following week to come once break comes to an end! 


Who knew finding your inner zen can lead to reduced stress, control in anxiety, promotion in emotional health, enhanced self-awareness, reduction in memory loss, and much more!


While you are in the process of trying to find your “center,” you are also increasing your flexibility and muscle strength, improving respiration and energy, maintaining a balanced metabolism, losing weight, an overall boost in cardio and circulatory health, improvement in athletic performance, along with overall protection from injury.


Writing expressively has been known to improve mood, stress levels symptoms of depression, blood pressure, the function of the lungs and liver, and overall well being. Who knew the simple act of writing was capable of benefiting your health in all these ways? You don’t have to be a professional writer to get started. Just pick up a pen and paper and let your mind run wild! 

Get Creative

There are many ways to unleash your creativity. Whether it be knitting, pottery, painting, etc. – the world is your canvas and the options are endless. It has the ability to improve your mood, reduce anxiety, boosts brain function, prevent disease, and increases immune health. Channeling your inner Picasso has never looked so healthy!

Read a Book

Nothing beats feeling like a child again in having time to unwind to your favorite book. Not only does it let you escape out of reality into your own world, but it has the ability to improve brain functioning which helps with your memory, reduces stress, and improves your critical thought while feeding into your emotional intelligence – which can be useful in many situations!

Warm Bath

Although indulging in a rushed hot shower is nice on daily basis, there is nothing better than dedicating some time to a bath. Your session can go from 15 minutes all the way to an hour long shower – it is all up to you. Your time in the bath in customizable to how you want to spend it – whether that be watching some Netflix, talking to a friend on the phone, listening to relaxing music, or even just reflecting in silence. Whichever way you choose to spend it can result in lowering blood sugar and blood pressure, relieving muscle tension, improves blood circulation, and positive skin benefits. It is the best way to reward yourself at end the night, since it relaxes the body into better preparing it to fall asleep.

Although these are life’s simplest pleasures, we often tend to take these for granted. Use this Spring Break to focus on you. If you feel good, you do good. Prioritize working towards your health and overall wellness today!

Have a fun and safe Spring Break,

Diana Banzon


Date Night Do’s


The month of February is unfortunately coming to an end, but what better way to celebrate than a little date night to keep that spark alive? Date night is not restricted to only the month of February, but it is a fun reason to celebrate the season of love! Here are some date ideas that will give you an opportunity to bond with your significant other, while making a positive impact on your health and wellness. Through sickness and health, right?

Romantic Bike Rides

Known to be one of the best forms of cardio, it will really get that heart pumping – from both the physical effort being put into the activity and all the love you will be receiving from your partner! The exercise itself isn’t too strenuous that conversation can be held during your time together. It’s a perfect opportunity to catch up, while getting a work out in. You won’t even realize that you are busting a sweat because you are in such great company.

Couples Yoga

For overall intimacy to be established, there must be a healthy foundation of communication to take place. Doing yoga with a partner requires both communication and trust to cultivate that sense of safety when proceeding to various pose styles throughout the exercise. The teamwork needed to get the most out of the workout will both be a bonding experience and an opportunity to share some laughs.

It Takes Two to Tango

Ballroom dancing is a great way to show off some fiery passion and chemistry, while burning some calories on the dancefloor. There are a variety of dance styles out there that you are sure to find something that both you and your partner will enjoy. Take a class or go to a Latin club, you can pretty much make anywhere your dancefloor!

Farmer’s Market Date

Dates often have this misconception that they have to be so fancy and elaborate. Who says that you can’t have some real quality time doing the tedious task of grocery shopping with a partner that might be boring otherwise? Taking a nice stroll down you local farmer’s market will not only allow a chance for some quality conservations, but it will get your heart rate going. Eating organically and locally grown both benefits your community and your health – what more could you ask for? Aside from singling out only going to farmer markets, having another person being accountable for your food purchases while grocery shopping might just be the push you need to be more conscious about what you end up taking home!

Stay In for a Dinner Date

Cooking with each other is often overlooked since it could be something you and your partner do everyday, but taking time out of your day to make a real dinner that is healthy will not only save your wallet, but your health since you are aware of everything you are putting into the meal. Dim the lights, light a few candles, and BOOM – romance is air! 

Keep the ones you love on this earth around for that much longer by inhabiting a lifestyle of health and wellness. Date night have never looked so healthy!



Diana Banzon


Get that Heart Pumping!

Cartoon heart character running on treadmill

In honor of American Heart Month, it is time for you to get your heart pumping! Any form of exercise is beneficial to your health, but for this month in specific, why not take the time to focus on your heart. People tend to focus externally on their bodies and get caught up on the physical appearance, that too often people forgot that it all starts from within. Staying active to benefit your health internally is the foundation you need to get a better workout overall. Here are some exercises that will really target your heart and give it the extra attention it deserves!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Swimming is known to be one of the best aerobic exercises you can partake in. You need as little as two and half hours of swimming a week to start seeing instant results. The exercise itself puts less stress on your joints and bones, that it could pose as beneficial for those who are overweight or suffering from joint conditions. The exercise really has no limitations and is perfect for just about anyone!

Stair Stamina

Whether you use a stair machine or actual stairs that can be found almost in every household or apartment, it is no doubt that it will give you a good workout. The incline embedded into every step helps you reach maximum heart rate in not time. It’s convenient, yet challenging!

Dance to Your Heart’s Desires

Who wouldn’t want to get up and bust a move when you hear a contagious beat? Dancing is by one of the most enjoyable ways to get in that cardio – simply because you don’t even realize that you are giving your heart a little workout in the process. Dance can range from so many styles – zumba, salsa, hip hop, etc. – that you can really cater it to how you are feeling and what music is inspiring you at the moment. The best part – you don’t need a fancy studio, you can do it at the comfort of your own home!

Tai Chi Chill Zone

Since we are focusing on ways to ensure that we are exercising ourselves from within, Tai Chi is a great option! It is a low impact exercise that uses slow body movements combined with deep breathing and concentration which benefits the mind, the body, and contributes to overall heart health. It is a win-win for your body internally, that you will start to notice a difference in how you tackle other exercises that target different parts!

Give your heart some love this February season!



Diana Banzon


Reasons to Love Love

Couple behind heart shaped balloon

Whether you are single or taken, love is a universal feeling that everyone should feel and express beyond just Valentine’s Day! That magical feeling is enough to do wonders on your mental and physical health that many don’t realize. You only have one life –  why not make it one where you are happy and healthy? It’s a free and priceless gift that you can give to anyone, and feels even better when given back in return. Here are reasons as to why you should always be spreading the love beyond the holiday!

Longer Life, Happy Wife

Studies show that married couples enjoy greater longevity than those who are single. The factors that contribute to this overall statistic doesn’t discriminate to solely just partners, but friends and family too! That caring constant interaction is enough to lower rates of substance abuse, lower blood pressure and less depression than single peers, so surround yourself with people that you love! 


Rates of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, lung disease, and other chronic ailments are all lower in married people than in unmarried people. Your ultimate cure to lowering the chances of these diseases and spending more time on earth with your soulmate is as easy as finding that special someone. 

So Long, Stress!

The honeymoon phase unfortunately comes to an end, but on the bright side, all of that dopamine starts to interact with another brain chemical called oxytocin that gives you those “warm and fuzzy” feelings for your partner that carries over to your health. Loneliness has the ability to increase inflammation and activate pain centers that eventually lead to anxiety. Cortisol and adrenaline levels rise when people feel insecure and threatened, but all that can be easily fixed with the comfort of a companion.

Cautious about Self Care

Consistent social and emotional support is motivation enough to be held accountable to live a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to that much needed push to work out, or pay a visit to the doctor’s office when there is denial for medical attention, loved ones will always be there to encourage these actions because they care.

Financial Stability

When marriage comes into the picture, financial factors comes into health and how much access you have to it. Being financially stable in the first place is enough to reduce stress and anxiety, since money restraints have the capability of contributing to it. Being in marriage increases your chances of getting health care, which is enough insurance to know that you will be taken care of in any health problems were to arise!

Valentine’s Day is just a day. Extend that love beyond just that. You will be not only be bringing more positivity in this world, but benefit from all the love you will be getting back.


Diana Banzon


Game Day Gainz

With the Super Bowl being all the rage last weekend, how healthy did you manage to eat at the preview party whether it be at a bar or at the comfort of a home? With National Marquette Day coming up, it is a smart idea to fuel up but in the healthiest way possible so you can ensure that you will have enough energy to last throughout all the fun festivities. Here are some recipes perfect for any game day weekend when you want to indulge, but without the guilt and sacrificing flavor!


This sets the mood for the party! What better than to celebrate with a punchful of jungle juice? It’s a party staple that is most convenient to serve to guests!  

Healthy Jungle Juice

  • 1-2 shots of vodka (that’s 1.5 – 3 oz.)
  • 2 oz. white wine like RIESLING
  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 4 oz. coconut water
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ice (optional)



You need a variety! Keeping these options solely to finger food is the perfect party favor to keep everyone satisfied and fed!

Baked BBQ Chicken Egg Rolls

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • 15 egg roll wrappers
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the BBQ sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cover with the sauce.
  3. Set the slow cooker to low, cover, and let cook for 4-6 hours or until the chicken is tender and shreds easily.
  4. Shred the chicken with 2 forks and stir in the frozen corn.
  5. If the chicken needs more BBQ sauce go ahead and add more now.
  6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Fill each egg roll wrapper with a couple tablespoons of the shredded chicken, being careful not to overfill them.
  8. Top the chicken with some of the shredded cheese.
  9. Brush all around the edges of the egg roll wrapper, then tuck in the sides, and roll it up tightly like a burrito.
  10. Seal the end of the egg roll with a little more water then place it seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  11. Continue the process until all of the egg rolls are made.
  12. Spray or brush the tops of the egg rolls with oil then place them on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown.
  13. Remove from the oven.


Skinny Zucchini Mozzarella Sticks

  • 1 Large Zucchini
  • 2 Individually Packed Light String Cheese Sticks, very cold
  • ¼ Cup Italian-Style Panko Breadcrumbs (Plain is okay)
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Flour
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • Cooking Spray
  • Toothpicks
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Remove the ends of the zucchini and cut in half and then into ½ inch strips. Remove string cheese from packaging and cut in half widthwise. Cut each halve into thirds. Each string cheese should yield 6 small pieces about the same length as the zucchini pieces. You should have a total of 12 pieces of string cheese In a shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, onion powder and pepper. Mix well. Place the flour in a separate shallow bowl. Additionally, beat the egg in a separate bowl. Take each zucchini piece and pair it with a string cheese piece. Secure in place with a toothpick. Dip the zucchini/string cheese into the flour mixture, making sure to shake off any excess and then into the egg mixture. Finally, dip into panko mixture and place on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the zucchini sticks one time during the cooking process and spray the tops with a little cooking spray. Serve with dipping sauce of choice.


Light Shrimp Cocktail Bites

  • 36 Triscuits your favorite flavor
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. water
  • 8 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. green onion diced
  • zesty cocktail sauce
  • 36 medium pre-cooked shrimp thawed, rinsed and patted dry
  1. Whisk together eggs and water and pour in a shallow dish. Soak Triscuits for 8-10 minutes in the mixture until they are just soft enough to press into mini muffin tins. After pressing all of the Triscuits into mini muffin tins sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake the Triscuits for 30 min at 350°. Remove from the tins and allow to cool to room temperature. (You can make the Triscuit cups ahead a day or two in advance and store in an airtight container.)
  2. In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Worcestershire sauce & lemon juice. Using a hand mixer, beat on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Scoop the mixture into a sandwich bag and snip the corner of the bag. Using the bag, pipe a Tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into each Triscuit, top with 1/2 tsp. cocktail sauce and one shrimp.
  3. Garnish the cups with green onions and serve immediately.




Homemade Peanut Butter Oreos


  • 3/4 cup spelt flour (Readers have reported success with Arrowhead Mills gf as well.) (120g)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp dutch cocoa powder (30g) (Regular cocoa is fine; the Oreo cookies just won’t taste as authentic.)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp xylitol or sugar (or coconut sugar) (78g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil (44g)
  • 3 tbsp milk of choice (45g)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or agave) (30g)


  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or allergy-free alternative) (110g)
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter (For a coconut-free version, see “nutrition info” link below) (110g)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • stevia extract to taste, or 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine first 5 ingredients, and stir very well. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients for the cookies. Mix wet into dry to form a dough, then refrigerate 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Put dough in a plastic bag, and smush into one big ball. Remove from bag, roll into a thin dough, and cut flat circles using a circle cutter or a circle-shaped lid. Bake on a greased cookie tray for 11-14 minutes (depending on whether you want softer or crispier cookies). They’ll still look a little underdone when they come out of the oven, but that’s ok. Important: allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the tray.

For the filling: first make sure your coconut butter is softened. Mix all filling ingredients in a small food processor (or very patiently with a fork, if you must. Texture might be a bit crumbly if you mix by hand; be sure to start with softened peanut butter). Divide filling among half of the cookie discs, then top with remaining cookie discs and fridge so filling firms up. Makes 20-25 sandwich cookies, depending on the size of your circle cutter and whether or not you bother to re-roll all the dough.


Be the MVP at your next game day get-together with these nutritious, but tasty recipes!


Have a happy game day!

Diana Banzon


Wellness Biography: John Brown

Meet John! I wanted to explore what the realm of physical therapy has to offer, so who better to ask than someone who is in Marquette’s PT program and have their studies revolve around all things health and wellness. John’s outlook has personally inspired me to become a better version of my self. Health is often taken for granted and he made me realize that it is the preventable measures we take now is what is key to living a long life of wellness. screen shot 2019-01-29 at 11.17.09 pm

Introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is John. Within my studies at Marquette I’ve learned a plethora regarding personal wellness and the vast components of the body. At home in Chicago, I live with my ma and keep close correspondence with friends that are close to me.

Tell me about your health and wellness journey?

I worked out in high school with a the baseball team and obtained the basics of hypertrophy, program training, and teamwork. A trip I took opened my eyes to the multitudes of lifestyles and directions one can take their persona, with their corresponding health.

How has your major affect your health and wellness journey?

It gives me the tools to really look at my body in a more advantageous and objective position. I try to take more care in everything I consume or interact with that may have long time effect on my body.

Do you consider your cultural background having an effect on your overall health habits?

Nope. Other than my mom cooks some quality cuisine and when my Italian family is around.

Is there anything you would like to improve on you health and wellness journey?

I think nutrition is the main variable that is left when thinking about improvements that I can make to my lifestyle. ‘Good’ nutrition is expensive to obtain without a large amount of time at your disposal. With that said, everyone is just trying to stay in the best position that they can be in. I work on my health in tandem with my personal life.




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