Posts Tagged 'Lifestyle'

So long Marquette

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, flower, plant, outdoor and nature

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

 

Be the difference: reduce

adventure, ball-shaped, blurEarth Day is coming up next weekend, so I am a little bit early with this post. But it’s never too early to start doing our part to save the earth. Earth Day is just one day and while doing something resourceful on that day is great, it is not enough to combat all of the problems that we are experiencing with the environment.

One way for us to be the difference for our earth is participating in cleanups, planting trees, or doing other “Earth Day activities.” However, we can do so much more that will make a greater difference in the end. And surprisingly some of the actions we can take to combat pollution lies in making very small changes in our everyday lives. On average, Americans produce 1,606 pounds of trash a year. That is a lot! And while we can do our part by picking up maybe 10 pounds of trash during a highway cleanup once a year, that doesn’t even make a dent in the amount of trash we are producing during that year.

A lot of the trash that we make comes from everyday things such as water bottles, plastic bags, paper products, coffee cups, straws, and the list goes on and on. The thing about all of these products is there are better options out there.

Instead of using plastic water bottles everyday just to throw them out, go our and buy a nice reusable one. I for one believe that a reusable water bottle has the added benefit of helping you drink more water too. Instead of asking for plastic bags at the grocery store every time, buy a few reusable canvas bags and bring them with you every time you shop. They also hold up better, so you can fit more items in less bags, meaning you will have less trips from the car to the house to bring your items in with you. Instead of using paper towels, get reusable rags that will do the same trick. Instead of taking coffee in a to go cup every morning, get a nice thermos or mug that you can reuse. Plus, you can hold a lot more coffee in these and it will stay hot for a lot longer. You can’t say no to lots of hot coffee. Instead of using disposable plastic straws in your drinks, buy a reusable plastic or metal straw. Another pro tip is that drinking from a straw also helps you drink more water. So go out and get yourself some awesome reusable products so you can start reducing the amount of trash that you make.

I want to see you all out doing great things on Earth Day, but I also want to see a lot more reusable products in all of your hands around campus. Be the difference to the earth today.

Alicia Diedrich

 

Fast to last

Image may contain: text and food

With the season of Lent being over, we finally get to indulge on what we gave up on after an excruciating 40-day period. Going without our guilty pleasures for a long period of time sounds crazy, right? Should we be even complaining if Jesus fasted without any food for 40 days? Realistically, going to the extent of 40 days without food is nearly impossible, but there are factors that contribute to how long a person can survive such as how hydrated they are prior to fasting, whether you have access to water, your current location, and fat accumulation. I wanted to go beyond a life or death situation and dig deeper into whether “fasting” is a quick dieting option and weigh out the benefits and risk it can bring to your health.

The method of fasting has been around for thousands of years, but its practice has always been under controversial debate. The thought of it sounds so appealing, and simple – say no to food for quick weight loss results, right? It’s not that easy. Many confuse that the practice results in losing weight, but instead you are opting for quick fluid loss, which is easy to get rid, but just as easy to get back. It has the ability to lower your metabolic rate, that has fattening results after the process of fasting. Muslims who practice Ramadan are highly recommended to consume plenty of water before fasting periods, due to the high risk of dehydration because their bodies are not gaining fluid from foods. Fasting can disrupt sleep, which results to overall stress that eventually leads to a constant cycle.

Now despite all these risks, there are surprisingly benefits to the practice of fasting. For this diet to result in the least amount of risk, the subject must already be in a healthy state prior to fasting. The liver, kidney, and spleen, are meant to remove toxins, which if the body isn’t being introduced to any, makes it a lot easier on these organs. It is believed that fasting once a month has the potential to reduce heart disease and diabetes. In a rodent study published in July 2016 in the journal Cancer Cell, the team found that a fasting diet with the chemotherapy, allowed for the immune system to immediately recognize and attack the cancer cells, in addition to

slowing the rate of cell division. Researchers have linked calorie restriction to healthy brain function but has not found corresponding studies in humans. All these factors are potential studies that could possibly make the thought of fasting more appealing to the general public.

Everything is best in moderation. Studies show that possibly dedicating a day within every month could progressively showcase benefits overtime. Fasting as a daily diet, on the other hand, doesn’t seem practical at all. Food is what unities us all together, whether it be a family during dinner, or a country with all its delicacies they have to offer. I personally see food as a time to take a break for myself in order to fuel up for the long day ahead, or a treat as a sense of motivation if I am trying to get work done. Either way, a diet should cater to our lives. It shouldn’t be seen as a hassle, but more like a lifestyle choice.

 

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

Image may contain: food

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

Say Hello to Allergy Sneeze-on!

No automatic alt text available.

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


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 541 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Hours & Info

414-288-5607
Mon-Fri 8 am to 4 pm