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Spring recipe: asparagus and tomato skewers

Image result for asparagus and tomato skewersSpring is finally here! It is definitely marked by the rainy, grey weather today. Only one more day until another short break, Marquette. I am back today with my usual seasonal tradition, a delicious, healthy recipe.

For this recipe, I’m banking on a little bit of warm weather. You need to fire up the grill for this one! This recipe is great for any occasion, or just because you want something tasty and healthy. I want you all to try these asparagus and tomato skewers with honey mustard-horseradish sauce this weekend! Incorporate them into your Easter dinner menu to try something new.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup clover honey
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Wooden skewers soaked in water
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • Olive oil

Once you have all of your ingredients ready to go, preheat the grill. Stir together the mustard, honey, horseradish and mint in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let everything sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or more to allow the flavors to meld.

Next, push the tomatoes onto the skewers and add the asparagus. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the tomatoes on the grill and cook until charred on both sides. Grill the asparagus for about 2 minutes per side.

Lastly, put the vegetables on a platter and drizzle them with the mustard sauce. Serve them hot (my recommendation), or at room temperature.

The cool thing about this recipe is you could add in more veggies if you wanted. Try adding in carrots or potatoes, it would even be good with small bites of chicken too! I encourage you to try this new recipe and comment your thoughts on it below .I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break and get to spend some relaxing time with family and friends and healthy cooking!

Alicia Diedrich

The Pros and Cons of a Pescatarian Diet

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In the spirit of Lent, it is tradition that Catholics are expected to refrain from meat on Fridays. The tradition eludes back to the significance of fasting in correspondence to Jesus’ sacrifice when he died on the cross. Technically, “warm-blooded” animals were considered to be off limits, because they were considered to be an animal that was “sacrificed its life for us,” explains Michael Foley, an associate professor at Baylor University and author of Why Do Catholics Eat Fish On Friday? The importance of consuming fish for sacred holidays also plays a role as to why it is implemented in tradition, even during pre-Christian times. In regard to being forced to avoid meat every Friday throughout Lent leading up to Easter, I was curious as to the benefits and disadvantages of maintaining a pescatarian diet outside of purely religious restrictions.

It is widely known that consuming seafood provides numerous health benefits when implemented into any diet. Fish, in specific, is low in fat, yet high in protein, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids only do wonders for boosting the brain and helping encourage its development. It play a significant role, since our bodies are unable to produce these fats naturally and can’t live without them. It decreases our chances of dying from heart attack, by reducing inflammation, regulating the heartbeat, lowering blood pressure, relaxing the artery walls, and ensuring blood is less likely to clot. Heart problems are ranked as the most common way to die in the United States, with statistics showing that it is kills one in four people among men and women. Taking precautionary measures, is the best way to avoid falling into this common statistic and ensuring a longer, healthier life.

As for the disadvantages of a pescatarian diet, it is no surprise that is it will be more difficult finding ways to gain nutrients that meat is known to heavily provide. Pescatarians need to be more cautious in making sure they have enough protein, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12 implemented within their diet. Making sure that pescatarains are consuming the correct amount tends to be a more difficult task due to how expensive they can be in the market. It makes sense since the world’s supply is so limited. According to Dr. David Jenkins, University of Toronto professor who is a Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism, “If we continue to consume fish at our current rate “we’ll run out by 2050”. Farmed fish don’t always have the same benefits, due to having a bigger chance of catching disease, in comparison to wild fish who feed off of algae, as oppose to being fed fish meal. Mercury contamination is a bigger concern among larger fish, that is why it is advised to eat fish that lower in the food chain, such as sardines or anchovies, which rely on algae as a main source for their diet.

As you can see, not all diets are perfect. There will always be benefits and disadvantages, no matter how healthy the options may seem. It is a matter of choosing a diet that fits YOUR lifestyle. Most importantly, a diet that is easy to maintain that you know you are capable of keeping up with and having the constant motivation to stick with it.

 

Happy Lenten Season to All,

Diana Banzon

7 Ways to Wellness

Free stock photo of landscape, nature, red, love

It is spring break! (Almost). It is almost time for us to take a much needed break from our crazy-busy lives. Whether you are enjoying a break at home with family, or going to a beautiful, warm vacation destination (I am slightly jealous), this break gives us the perfect opportunity to work on our wellness. The cool thing about wellness is that it means something different to everyone, and being well can be accomplished in so many different ways. The other neat thing about it being different for everyone, is that means everyone can do it! Everyone can be well in their own way. The trick is to find a way that works for you. I want you all to try something new over spring break, something that will fuel your wellness. If you don’t know where to start, I have a list of 10 great options ready for you.

Read a book.

And no I don’t mean any old textbook that you’re used to. Step outside of your comfort zone and pick up something completely different. Try out a new genre. You may end up loving it, and if you don’t, hey, you learned something new about yourself!

Get some sleep.

This is so important! Most people do not get enough sleep, and that is so detrimental to our overall health and well-being. You are not the only one that has struggled with getting the right amount of sleep. If you need to, seek help from your doctor, or recruit a family member to hide your phone from you at 9 pm every night!

Go outside.

Fresh air is a beautiful thing. Even if you are not planning a trip to sunny Mexico over the break, get outside. Wisconsin weather is pretty unpredictable, but in the end your body will thank you. Get outside and get some exercise!

Talk to a stranger.

Make a new friend! There are so many interesting and wonderful people in this world. You never know what is behind a stranger’s face. Everyone has the potential to offer you something useful, whether it be a simple piece of advice, a hard life lesson, or an amazing friendship.

Make art.

Be creative! Now, I may be biased since I am an artist, but you have to give it a shot! Diving into the creativity of art frees your mind and lets it wander. It lets you forget about all of your worries for a moment in time. Give it a shot, be creative!

Volunteer.

Put yourself out there and give back to your community. I am a strong believer in the power of service for everybody. Helping is a great way to lift others up and a great way to lift yourself up too. Helping feels good and it makes a difference. Be the difference!

Relax.

This may be the most important one of all. Actually allow yourself to take a break. Everything these days is always GO, GO, GO. And while it keeps our lives exciting, it can be exhausting. So please, allow yourself some much needed relaxation.

 

I hope all of you have a wonderful break, and please, please, please, try something new from this list! I would love to see you all do something to kick start your wellness over the next couple weeks.

Alicia Diedrich

Say Hello to Allergy Sneeze-on!

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Warmer weather, longer days, no longer dreading the walk around campus…sounds all appealing right? In exchange for the spring season coming into full blossom, it is normal to expect those pesky allergies that come with the territory. Unfortunately, I am personally dealing with allergies right now, and it definitely is draining every drop of motivation in me. With the unsanitary environment we are constantly exposed to within a college campus, it is also very difficult to determine whether symptoms point to having a cold versus having allergies, since getting sick is so common. Both issues are meant to be treated differently, despite their symptoms being very similar. I am going to share ways on how to decipher whether you are up against allergies or dealing with those dreaded cold symptoms.

First off, it is important to address the obvious differences between how the common cold start, in comparison to how allergies do. The symptoms of a common cold is caused by a virus, versus the allergens tat obviously cause allergies to flare up. According to Laura Schwecherl of the Greatist, symptoms of a runny or stuffy nose along with sneezing is very common among those suffering with a cold and allergies (2012). Fortunately, the differences outweigh the similarities, making it easier to diagnose yourself between a cold and allergies. Usually an obvious indicator that gives away whether it is either one or the other, is the longevity of how it lasts, which can unfortunately blur the lines once the first symptoms come around at first. Colds last a little long than a week, as opposed to allergies that bother people for months. The time of year also plays a significant role, due to colds being more prominent in the cold seasons such as fall and winter, versus allergies that are known to flare up more during the spring time when everything goes into bloom and pollen is notoriously known to be more prominent around then. Since mucus plays an immense part in both symptoms, the different types that are present is another indicator as to what specially the person is dealing with. More of a thicker, yellower mucus is associated with the common cold, in contrast to allergies that deal with more of a watery consistency of snot that leaks uncontrollably every now and then. Both can be easily avoided by growing into the habit of washing your hands since colds are contagious, unlike allergens that can only be avoided indoors by shutting a window and being cautious around pets who often carry it due to constantly having exposure outdoors.

It is unfortunate that sometimes our health becomes the last priority when dealing with such busy schedules. It is important that during these situations, we take time for ourselves. We have the privilege of having one body, so why not take care of it to the best of our abilities? Making sure that our bodies are in the best shape they can be, will only ensure even more productivity within our fast-pace lifestyle!

Diana Banzon

Let’s Talk About Reflection

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I hope this picture didn’t give you any false hope of green grass and sunny days. In case you missed our social media post yesterday, I’d like to remind you all that Marquette has some great indoor walking maps so you can still get your exercise in while staying dry on this rainy day! In keeping with the scheme of things, I would like to ask us all to engage in a little bit of reflection.

No matter what your wellness goals are, there is one important step in making sure that you are meeting your goals, reflecting on them and setting new ones. The thing about goals is that they are meant to be achieved, and once they are we need to set new dreams. And if we do not meet our dreams, there must be a reason. Self-improvement comes first from challenging ourselves and then from keeping track of our progress. As you may remember, my advice for keeping yourself accountable for the goals you set is by first defining them, and then keeping track of them. Write them down, keep a wellness journal, bring your goals to life! And there is a second stage to sticking to our dreams.

The next step in achieving our wellness goals is through self-reflection. There’s a saying that there is always room for improvement, and I have to agree that this saying holds true for wellness as well. Nobody is perfect, but we can always strive for better health and wellness. Taking a step, even a minor one in the right direction is worth celebrating. This is exactly why I believe reflection is so important in the wellness process. Self-reflection is not just about identifying how far you have come in meeting your goals, but how far you want to come as well. In this way, reflection is an important part of mindfulness.

Being mindful of our choices, actions, and life around us means so much for our overall wellness. Mindfulness is what keeps us in the present. Mindfulness and reflection can be achieved in any way that you want it to. You could include this as part of your wellness journal, practice mindful meditation, or discuss your progress with other positive, motivational people in your life. Having goals and finding ways to keep yourself accountable are what keeps us on the right track.

Next time you find yourself in a wellness low, keep in mind that self-reflection is a vital step in recognizing your progress and goals. If you are not keeping track of where you have been, how do you know where to go next? Have a safe, dry day, and happy reflecting, Marquette!

Alicia Diedrich

Strawberries & Cream Pancakes

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As you all may knowFebruary is the season of love. Love can be interpreted or displayed in various ways, but it is no question that it contributes to overall wellness and healthMost say that in order to love, you must love yourself first. What better way to show yourself some love than by treating yourself? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start your day on a sweet note, without the guiltStrawberries & Cream Pancakes are the way to go!

All you need is:

1 Egg

¾ Oats

1 Banana

Dash of Cinnamon

Couple drops of Vanilla Extract

Strawberries

Whipped Cream

 

1. Heat a frying pan on a stove to low-medium heat.

2. Add the eggs, oats, and banana into a blender, I personally recommend using a Magic Bullet!

3. Season with cinnamon and vanilla. Continue to blend.

4. Spray a frying pan with coconut oil or other cooking spray.

5. Pour out the pancake mix onto the pan to your desired size (or even shaped if you want to go all out and make them heart shaped).

6. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the pancake.

7. Flip over and let it fully cook for 1-2 minutes.

8. Top it off with any desired ingredients! In honor of Valentine’s Day, you can never go wrong with shaping the strawberries into hearts and adding whipped cream!

This recipe is so quick and easy that it can be modified and applied to fit anyone’s daily routine. As you can see, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to indulge in a healthy manner. Go ahead, play your favorite love playlist to get yourself in the spirit, and get your cooking on, whether it be with yourself or with a loved one!

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!

Love,

Diana Banzon

Get Your Heart Pumping

Kettle Bell Beside Adidas Pair of Shoes

I hope you have all started moving for the Go Move challenge. If not, there is still time, the challenge is taking place throughout the month of February. Get started today, and recruit your friends and colleagues to move with you! Moving is so important to our overall health, and especially necessary to keep our hearts in good shape.

And when it comes to your heart rate, just like exercising, eating right, or anything else, you need to find your sweet spot. One of those cliche sayings that actually holds so much merit is, “everything in moderation.” There is a point where we can exercise too much, there is a point where we could be exercising too little (or not at all). There is a point where we can eat too much of one thing, even if it is healthy. When it comes to all of these things, there is a target we should all be aiming for. And just like these other parallels, there is a target spot for where our heart rates should be at when resting, and when exercising. The key to all of these “sweet spots”, is that they are different for everybody. It all depends on your age, gender, and of course any health conditions. The neat part is that you can find out where your heart rate should be while resting, and exercising, and then monitor it to ensure you are reaching your targets. And with modern day gadgets, you can use a smart watch or a Fitbit, or similar tool to monitor it for you, and of course you still have the option to accomplish this the old-fashioned way as well.

So, it’s great to know what your target heart rate should be, and that you can reach it with exercise. But maybe you cannot bring yourself to exercise, or you dread every single one of your workouts, or you make excuses. Hey, if this sounds like you, I promise you are not alone. It is great to be able to say that we understand we need to get moving and get our heart rate up, but it’s a whole different story to actually want to do these things. I would like to offer some advice: find something you love to do. There are so many options to getting in some physical activity, so there is bound to be at least one workout out there for everybody. Do some experimenting to find what works for you. There are fitness studios and clubs popping up everywhere, go to a class! Register for Try It Night, February 13th from 4 pm to 6 pm, to test out 3 different classes in one night. And don’t be afraid to experiment, love your body so that your body will love you back.

And trust me when I say grab a buddy! A lot of times it is easier to stick to something new when you have someone else there to encourage you, after all, we are all in this together. Let’s all set out on a mission to get moving, find what we love, and get our heart pumping! Have a wonderful, productive, and active week, Marquette. Go move!

Alicia Diedrich


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