Posts Tagged 'healthy'

Feast for the Fourth

When any holiday rolls around, there always seems to be a common misconception that the food provided HAS to be unhealthy in order to enjoy the festivities with loved ones. In honor of Fourth of July being last week, preparing meals can be fun and patriotic without sacrificing flavor. Here are some healthy alternatives covering each course that will get the crowd satisfied, without feeling the guilt.

Appetizer | Watermelon Arugula Salad and Feta Salad

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and chilled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 7 oz arugula
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper

Directions

  1. Wash arugula and dry well.
  2. In a large bowl whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Main Entree | Grilled Blackberry, Strawberry, Basil and Brie Pizza Crisps

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound recipe of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 16 leaves basil chopped + divided
  • 8-12 ounces brie sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries chopped
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the dough 1-2 hours ahead of time.
  2. Well the dough rises make the honey balsamic glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  3. When ready to grill the pizzas preheat the grill the high heat.
  4. Add the blackberries to a bowl and add about half of the basil. Lightly mash the blackberries with a fork.
  5. Invert a baking sheet and generously dust with flour.
  6. Divide the pizza dough in half and roll each half as thin as you can, but make sure not to rip the dough. Cut the dough into 12 to 16 squares or circles (I did both). Add the olive oil to a small bowl and brush both sides of the pizza rounds with the olive oil and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Carefully add half of the pizza rounds to the hot grill and grill for no more the 2 minutes. The dough will bubble up, this is good! Remove the pizzas using tongs and repeat with the remaining pizza rounds. When all the pizzas are grilled, turn the heat on the grill down to medium.
  8. Top the grilled side of each of the pizzas with slices of brie, but make sure to leave a 1/2 inch border around the edges so the brie does not melt all over the grill. Then top with lightly mashed blackberries and the chopped strawberries. Carefully return the pizzas to the grill and grill another 3 to 5 minutes, our until the brie has melted and the pizzas are crisp. Top with the remaining fresh basil and drizzle on the honey balsamic glaze.
  9. To make the American flag pizza place the the blackberries in the left hand corner of a square pizza crisp and then push the strawberries into the brie in rows. Grill as directed above.


Dessert | Gluten Free Fruit and Yogurt Granola Cups

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 egg
  • 1 12-ounce bag Udi’s Gluten Free Au Naturel Granola
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Fresh berries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut oil, and egg; stir. Add granola and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon granola mixture into 10 muffin cups, filling each ¾ full. With your fingers, press the granola into the muffin cups and create a small indentation in the middle of each granola cup. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes in the muffin tin before removing.
  4. Once cooled, fill the muffin cups with yogurt and top with berries. Serve.

 

Drinks |  Blueberry Sangria

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Ingredients

  • 1-½ cups ready-to-serve blueberry juice
  • 1-½ cups chilled white wine or apple juice
  • ¼ cup orange-flavored liqueur, optional
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1-½ cups chilled lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite

Directions

  1. Into a 2-quart pitcher, combine blueberry juice, wine and liqueur, if used
  2. Add orange and lemon slices and fresh blueberries
  3. Chill until ready to serve
  4. Just before serving, stir in soda
  5. Serve in tall glasses over ice cubes, if desired

 

These patriotic-themed delights are not strictly reserved for the holiday season and can be implemented into any outdoor barbecue occasion. The light and fresh ingredients of each recipe are perfect to satisfy anyone this summer season!

 

Bon Appetit!

Diana Banzon

Benefits of the Beat

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In honor of Summerfest quickly approaching us, what better way to celebrate how music brings us together than acknowledge the impact it provides for our health. Music is often disregarded as a factor that contributes to overall health and wellness, but its effect and overall message are nothing but powerful. Something as simple as sound has the capability to motivate and inspire people into living their best life. Here are a list of the benefits it has on us and why we should be constantly jamming out to our favorite beats!

Strengthens Running Performance

Working out exerts an immense amount of energy and effort! It would only make sense to reflect that in your music of choice that pumps you up for the work you are going to endure. I personally could NEVER work out without music because I find that it gives me that extra boost of motivation that I need to pull through and finish off strong!

Enhances Sleep Quality

Unfortunately, about 30% of Americans deal with insomnia. Studies showed that students who listened to relaxing music before bed significantly experienced better rest in comparison to students who listened to an audiobook or didn’t change anything from their usual routine.

Limits Food Intake

Studies done at Georgia Tech University showed that dimming the lights and softening the music while people ate led to the consumption of fewer calories and an increase of enjoyment within their meals. Set up the ambiance and make the most out of every meal experience.

Reinforce Learning and Memory

Studies showed that music reinforces your memory but depends specifically on the person, whether or not they were a musician, and what type of music is being presented. As as a result of the research, subjects who were musicians learned and retained information better with more neutral music, as opposed to subjects who were not musicians that learned better with music of their liking. I always find myself associating songs with memories that occurred during the time I listened to that song, that it can only makes sense that one triggers the other!

Makes You Smarter

A study at York University showed that a month of music lessons involving rhythm, pitch, melody and voice contributed to an 90% increase in verbal intelligence among children between the ages 4 to 6. The music training implemented within the lesson has a “transfer effect” that enriches the children’s ability to comprehend words and their meaning.

Alleviates Pain

Music treatment such as softer genres such as classical pieces, meditative music, etc. is used for various patients that is said to reduce pain.

Ability To Shift Mood

Whether you are happy or sad, music has the ability to reflect your current mood. Various beats and messages really resonate with people and their life experiences, making the love for music so universal!

 

Diana Banzon

The Royal Treatment

Hello Marquette Employees,

Due to Alicia moving on to the next chapter of her life and finishing up her time with us at Employee Wellness, I am pleased to announce that I will be taking over for this summer season! It was gratifying to see her develop and grow throughout her wellness journey, and I am more than thrilled to continue sharing mine. I will be posting about all aspects of health and wellness motivated by what intrigues me and what I genuinely find useful. I could only hope that my content has the potential to let us all grow in our wellness journey together.

Anyways as promised, today’s blog is an inside look on the diet preparations Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to go through in time for their royal wedding that recently took place on May 19, 2018. Since June is just around the corner, that only means one thing. Wedding season is upon us! Whether you are attending a wedding this coming month or summer as a guest, a part of the entourage, or as the celebrant yourself, there has never been a better excuse to look your best, since the pictures that will be taken that day will remain as a long-lived memory for whoever takes part in it.

Meghan Markle is a firm believer in the concept of balance and moderation. Although she supports a more plant-based diet and limits her meat intake, she allows herself to a little more flexible in the weekends. In correspondence to her plant-based diet, she relies on fresh food to keep her fueled throughout the day such as smoothies, mixing it with beneficial ingredients such as almond milk, chia seeds, to really boost its nutrients. She likes to resort to green juice as alternative source instead of coffee to kickstart her day. Diet aside, she couldn’t have gotten into the shape she is today without sweating. The fitness routine she swears by is Lagree Fitness Method on the Megaformer machine. The regimen gives you a full body workout with quick and effective results that incorporates cardio, strength-training, and flexibility. To change her routine up a bit, she likes to alternate with yoga. Her consistency is responsible for how she was able to maintain the shape she has today, without feeling the need do much work in preparation for the big day.

As for Prince Harry, his preparation did not vary too much from Meghan, since she has been cracking down on staying within a routine. His diet involved a lower carb and meat intake and cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking. Meghan’s influence has led to his new smoothie obsession. He has been supplementing his diet by working out every day to stay toned and fit for the wedding.

Diet is not a one size fits all. You don’t need to be royal to have access to a life of health and wellness. Although Meghan has influenced Harry to make some improvements when it comes to eating habits, she encourages that “It’s not a diet; it’s lifestyle eating.”

Long live the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

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Diana Banzon

 

So long Marquette

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It is so hard to believe that I am writing my last blog to all of you right now. I remember writing my first blog almost two years ago when I started at Marquette as a transfer student. And now, it’s already all coming to an end. It is time for me to graduate!

Looking back over the time I have spent blogging for MU Employee Wellness, I realize how much I have grown myself. I knew right from the start that being well is more of a journey than anything else. It is not something you can just do overnight, but it is something we all have to work at. And although that can be hard sometimes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Being well means everything from physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and more. Basically, wellness is anything that you want it to be. To me, wellness is anything that gives you life, not just simply surviving. My wellness is eating healthy, exercising regularly, creating a balance in life, making time for friends and family, spending time with animals, making art, enjoying the outdoors, and yes, relaxing too. Sometimes my relaxation includes binge watching Netflix, don’t tell anyone. But the point is, wellness is not quite what it first seems to be. It is not just about eating healthy and exercising, wellness is anything that makes you a better you.

My wellness journey has been anything but smooth, but I always manage to somehow motivate myself to get back on track. Wellness has played such an important role in my life, especially when trying to deal with health issues. And I am so thankful for everything in life that lead me towards always trying to better myself and to be well. I am especially thankful for having had the experience of sharing my journey and everything I have learned along the way with all of you. I am looking forward to continuing my wellness journey after I leave Marquette.

It is so bittersweet to be leaving campus and this blog, but I am beyond excited at the opportunity to grow myself and my wellness even further. I will be staying in Milwaukee (at least for a little while yet), so I hope to see you all out being well and enjoying Milwaukee’s summer.

I am off to accomplish some great things in life, I leave you all in the very capable hands of Diana. So long Marquette, it has been a great, although very short, two years with you.

Alicia Diedrich

Brighten your days with balance!

White Blooming Flower Under the Tree during Daytime

Spring time seems to be finally here in Milwaukee! And it is exciting that the weather is finally warming up as the semester is coming to a close. With the end of the semester, I know I have been seeing a lot of stress in everybody on campus. There are so many great ways to relieve stress ranging from healthy eating, to exercise, or to spending time with friends and family.

When people think about dealing with their stress, they often overlook who bonding and spending time with others can work wonders on stress reduction. Spending time with others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Taking the time to be social and relax with friends or family can help us take our mind off of the parts of life that are stressing us out the most. I know it’s hard to think about carving out time to spend with the people we love when we have an important deadline at work, or when there are stressful situations going on, but it is so essential to make that time!

Surrounding yourself with positive people during the hardest times keeps us balanced. So many times during my time at Marquette and in my internship roles I have seen my students and colleagues that work too much (myself being one of them). However, as a person who is so passionate about wellness, I think I have done a great job of knowing when the extra work I am doing becomes too much. I have learned my limits the hard way, and since then have made conscious decisions to bring balance to my life. When I am in the middle of a bunch of work and I am extremely stressed out, I allow myself the permission to take a break! During crunch times it may seem impossible to take a break, but trust me, in the end you and your mind will be glad that you chose to have some down time.

Creating balance in our lives is important in everything that we do, but time is so difficult to budget in the modern craze of electronics and social media. This just gives us all the more reason to ensure we make time for those that we love. Spending time with friends and family builds our relationships and creates memories. And there are so many opportunities to spend some great, quality time with others, especially once it has warmed up outside. The warm weather invites us all to get out and go for a hike with our family, or to grill a healthy recipes and hang out in the sun, and in the end, it is the perfect opportunity for us to connect with others, create balance in our lives, and to take some of the stress away.

I encourage all of you to grab your friends and family, and get them all outside enjoying the weather, doing something active, grilling something healthy, and overall creating a balance in your life! Enjoy the last couple weeks of the 2018 spring semester, Marquette!

Alicia Diedrich

 

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


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