Posts Tagged 'healthy eating'

Healthy you, happy 4th

Happy 4th of July to everyone! I hope you are all planning to spend some quality time with loved ones today. As we spend today celebrating our independence day, we must keep wellness in mind, just like any other day. It’s a great day to get in some exercise or spend some time cooking a delicious, healthy meal for the holiday. The weather is supposed to be beautiful all day today here in Milwaukee, so make sure to enjoy it!

When it comes to holidays, it’s normally a lot harder to keep ourselves active and well since there always seems to be tons of unhealthy food around and plenty of excuses to put off exercise until later. But I encourage you to instead use those very reasons as motivators to get up, get in some exercise, and take pride in eating something healthy. Do something for the wellness of your mind and body. If you have some extra free time on your hands, that’s exactly why you should do something good for you.

Since you may already be spending time with family and friends, you can easily make it into a fun group activity. If you want to do something fun and active, get in a bike ride or a swim, or pick up a ball and toss it around for a game of catch. If you just want to relax, do some yoga and mindful meditation. You’ll feel more relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards. Cooking or putting together a healthy snack can even be a relaxing activity, and you get to fuel your body with plenty of vitamins and nutrients at the same time. Berries are a healthy, delicious, and easy snack to make into a 4th of July themed appetizer, but there are an endless amount of options for eating something healthy. 

Most of all, it’s good to keep a positive attitude and know that just because it’s a holiday, that’s no reason to forget about taking care of your health and well-being. 

Wishing you a safe and healthy 4th of July!

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

Fall Recipe: Lemon Crab Linguine

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So crab might not be what you had in mind when it comes to delicious fall foods, but if you haven’t tried to mix it in some of your everyday dishes, you might be missing out. Crab brings so many interesting tastes and options to the table. It’s super healthy, offers a bunch of protein with little to no fat. The sweet taste also compliments spicy dishes, flavorful dishes and light dishes. Here is a favorite crab recipe of mine, to get you started on the crab kick this fall. Before you know it, this seafood could become an everyday dish, too.

Ingredients

  • 13 ounces of spinach linguini
  • 13 ounces of  white crab meat
  • 1 long red chili, finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Grated zest (lemon peel) of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of torn basil leaves
  • Juice of half of a lemon

Make it!

  1. Boil a large saucepan of salted water. Add the pasta to the pan, stir well and boil on high for around 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the crabmeat, chili, crushed garlic and lemon zest in a bowl. Stir the extra virgin olive oil into the mixture, and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well with a fork to make the crab meet flaky.
  3. Drain the cooked pasta and put it back into the saucepan. Add the crab mixture, basil leaves and lemon juice, and stir well!
  4. Drizzle with a little more extra olive oil, if desired in order to keep moisture. Taste and add extra lemon juice if you want a more lemony taste. Dig in!

Wellbeing Biography: Ben Eccles

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Well-being: the state of being happy, healthy, or successful.

Since becoming aware of how important my wellbeing is, I have always found it interesting that we as humans constantly barter our wellness for some other medium of satisfaction. For example, I know that I love Chinese food. Not the traditional dish you would be served in China, but the greasy “Americanized” Chinese food. I love the smell, I love the taste, but the feeling I have the morning after a night of Chinese food is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. After an experience like that, you would think I would never return to the sweet and sour chicken I love so much, but you can bet that a few weeks later, I will be on the phone ordering that same dish. Why? Why would I subject my wellbeing to that torture?

While I admit that not everyone feels the same way about fried rice and egg rolls, we all have our own “Chinese food.” Most of us probably have multiple things that we do even though we know there is really no long-term positive affect to them (and possibly a negative long term affect!). It doesn’t take a nutritionist to tell you that your double fudge brownie adds little to no nutritional value to your diet, or that your daily Diet Coke isn’t really very good for you. We all make choices that are poor for our health, and my theory behind why we do these things is that we don’t value our wellbeing nearly as much as we should.

This became clearer than it has ever been for me during my freshman year of college. I, along with most college-aged people, didn’t value my wellbeing very much at all. I didn’t eat particularly well, my workout schedule started strong but fairly quickly I had eradicated the gym completely from my weekly routine, and I probably averaged around 5 hours of sleep per night. The affects of these choices didn’t hit me immediately. They were gradual, and once in action, they were very hard to counteract. My grades began to suffer, I started napping in class, and the Freshman 15 became a very real thing for me.

This was one of the most confusing times in my life. I was having all of these great experiences as a young college student living on his own for the first time. But at the same time, my mental, physical and emotional state was pretty severely damaged by the poor decisions I was making. I remember very clearly the night all of this truly dawned on me. I was in the McCormick basement studying for a chemistry exam and it was almost 4 o’clock in the morning. This wasn’t an every day thing, but it happened often enough that I just accepted the fact that a good night’s sleep wasn’t an option on a night before a test. Once I finished studying, I packed up my things, and dragged myself to my room to catch 3 hours of sleep before my 9 a.m. chemistry class. As you might have guessed, I bombed the test. It was almost like I hadn’t studied at all. My thoughts were so scrambled by my lack of sleep that I could hardly read the questions on the pages. After this experience, I was always more aware of how my current decisions were going to affect my future self.

The point of this story is not to make anyone (including myself) feel bad about the decisions made. I think it is important to indulge in ones personal pleasures every once in a while because I think that is how we get the most joy out of our lives. But hopefully after reading this article, you can more consistently say no to things that may cause some immediate satisfaction or relief but are detrimental in the long run. Awareness is truly only a small part of the battle, but acting in favor of your wellbeing will ultimately lead you to a better, happier life.

Everybody knows someone – how awareness can save lives

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Photo via thinkprogress.org

Hey everyone, happy last week of February. Hopefully this means that warmer weather is on its way, but either way, our chance for spring-break-escape will be upon us soon! As the need to fulfill the beach-bod stereotype closes in on us, this last week of February is National Eating Disorder Awareness week.

Let me hit you with some facts. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA):

– In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically
significant eating disorder at some time in their life.

– Nearly fifty years of research confirms that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.

– Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment.

– In 2011, research dollars spent on Alzheimer’s Disease averaged $88 per affected individual, $81 for Schizophrenia, $44 for Autism. For eating disorders, the average amount of research dollars per affected individual was $0.93.

– Medical dangers surrounding eating disorders include kidney failure, heart failure, osteoporosis, muscle loss and weakness, tooth decay, peptic ulcers and pancreatitis.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read these, I wasn’t all that shocked. In fact, I was more concerned about this information not coming as a surprise to me than I was about the content of the information itself. Clearly, eating disorders are no small deal. They affect millions of people across the country and have lasting impacts that can be seen years later. Here is the thing, though, prevention is simple – its education.

The goal of this week of eating disorder awareness is to help anyone displaying signs of early eating disorders get help so that full-on disorders don’t engulf his or her life. By getting counseling help, years of struggle and even lives can be saved. NEDA has many free resources on its website that can help individuals determine if seeking help is needed.

As for you and me, there are a few things that we can do in order to quit feeding into the destructive environment that pushes eating disorders to evolve.

Support. Doesn’t matter if you know that someone is struggling with an eating disorder or not, through supporting the loved ones in your life to look after themselves, value their body and strive to live healthy lifestyles, you are already making a huge impact. Being there for kids, friends or anyone, for the matter, and encouraging them to seek help if needed or open up about their lives keeps the conversation about body image, body shaming and eating disorders relevant.

Speak up. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “see something, say something” idea. Same thing here, except I want this to be a suggestion of positivity. No need to pass on the body-shaming magazine covers or laugh at a “fat” joke. Instead, spread compliments directed toward wonderful personality traits. Share images of strong, confident celebrities, not focused on how they look in a bathing suit or them scarfing down a hamburger. Say kind things to those around you. Body-negative media surrounds our daily lives and its up to us to counter it with positivity, love and awareness.

Smile. And quit body shaming yourself! When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, smile and recognize that you are fearfully and wonderfully made just how you are. Walking around on a day-to-day basis confidently will allow you to serve as a positive role model. There are few things more powerful then self-love. By loving yourself, your example could influence someone else to reach out for help and strive to love him or herself, too.

As members of the Marquette community, we have also been blessed with plenty of resources to help us out in the case that you or a loved one is facing an eating disorder. Checking out Marquette’s on-campus counseling center can serve as a good resource, as well as counseling through the university’s Employee Assistance Programs. Student-run Project HEAL, another on campus organization, aims to bring awareness and raise money for those in need of treatment but are unable to afford it. Project HEAL is involved with an on-campus speaker this week, Tuesday night at 7 in the AMU Ballroom C, there will be a registered dietician speaking about the myth of the Freshman 15 and how it can cause harmful thoughts and behaviors in college students. This information will be insightful to all audience members as it helps raise awareness .


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