Wednesday, October 31, 2012
EcoGastronomy is a word coined by the University of New Hampshire itself, just like EcoGastronomy is a program available only at UNH. Break the word “EcoGastronomy” down, and it basically means environmental eating. But what is that? There are a thousand ways to interpret it, and most of them describe the EcoGastronomy dual major.
Food is an integral part of our life- we kind of need it. Why do people interact with their food the way they do? That’s one of the focuses of EcoG. If the food we eat can cause pleasure or disgust, make us healthy or introduce toxins into our bodies, why do some of us eat so mindlessly? Our culture no longer allows us to easily know where our food is coming from. What can we do to change this? EcoGastronomy explores these questions and many more through active classroom time, assigned reading and exploration. The program requires participation in the student’s choice of a fantastic, food-focused study abroad, semester in Italy or France. As a dual major, EcoG allows students from almost any major to add a new field of interest into their lives and resumes and further their opportunities after graduation. To learn more about the program, follow the link to EcoG’s website and attend an information session: http://www.unh.edu/ecogastronomy/
Monday, October 29, 2012
There is rarely a time that I go through campus and don't see someone running. It is a really easy way to get in some exercise and bypass the crazy rush at the gym. But, for some of us who aren't that great at running or have injuries or even just get bored doing it, there is hope. I have really bad shin splints and want to be able to run long distances and do races, but my shins hold me back. So, when I heard about the Couch to 5k app, I bought it instantly. It is a 30 minute run that you do three times a week. During the run you alternate between walking and running. For example, on the first week you run 60 seconds and walk 90 seconds. The next week you up it to 90 seconds of running 90 seconds of walking. It is a really good way to introduce yourself to running slowly and gradually. Normally when I run for 30 minutes straight, my shins will be burning by the end, but being able to go in and out of running and ease my way into it has resulted in zero shin pain. After my success, I read the reviews provided for the app and there are thousands of reviews saying how it helped people start to run for the first time, or helped them ease their way into running marathons. So whether you are recovering from an injury, running for the first time or even training for a marathon, you NEED to check this app out! For more information about this app, check out their website.
Friday, October 26, 2012
With the 2012 Presidential Election quickly approaching, it can be nerve-racking for young adults between the ages of 18-25 to see where they will fall with either candidate if President Obama gets re-elected, or if Governor Mitt Romney gets elected. Below is the breakdown of what will happen to some health care costs access and the state of the Affordable Care Act depending on which candidate wins the Presidential Election.
Under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, young American’s are able to stay on their parents health care plans until the age of 26, allowing them to pay off student loans (assuming they have them) and start saving their own money to begin to afford their own health care premiums once they are off their parents plans. Also under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama is in the midst of stopping health insurance companies from charging women more than men for the same coverage. These costs are ones could potentially set females at a financial disadvantage than their male counterparts.
If Governor Romney gets elected, he proposes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which would leave many young Americans uninsured, and possibly unable to afford certain health insurance plans. Romney’s next move would be to have each state craft their own health reform plan, which will take many months to create, leaving many Americans uninsured for those times. However, leaving the decision of healthcare coverage to the state will allow each state to cater to individual needs that may be more prevalent in that area of the country. This would make for more efficient distribution of care across the United States.
Above are just a few issues that are hot topics in this presidential election, and ones that the voter should be fully informed about before casting their vote on November 6. Get the facts about both President Obama’s campaign as well as Governor Romney’s campaign, and find out how you and your health costs would be affected under each candidate.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
This past May, I completed one of the most physically challenging events in my life – it also happened to be one of the most fun events I have ever participated in as well. Tough Mudder came to New England with its epicenter at Mount Snow in Vermont. For three days, thousands of participants came out each day to compete in this 10-mile obstacle course up and down Mount Snow.
The Tough Mudder claims to be one of the hardest events on earth, and the website explains that “Tough Mudder events [is a] hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.” From first hand experience, I can attest that all the above are true. However, what this statement fails to recognize is how fun this race can be.
Not only is this race physically challenging and fun, but also it raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project, and has raised over 3 million dollars to date.
This is a great reason to start training for a physically challenging event, and Tough Mudder is coming to the Boston area in May (the exact location is still TBA). If you sign up now you can still register for the discounted price, but the longer you wait the more the price will go up. Don’t wait, sign up and start training today!
Monday, October 22, 2012
Microsoft Clip Art
The peer education group SPIN (Students Promoting Information on Nutrition) has started working with the Women’s Ice Hockey Team to help improve their knowledge on nutrition. This is the first program of its kind where nutrition students are educating their student peer athletes! They hope to continue working with other sport teams in the future, as of now, the women’s gymnastics team has also showed an interest. The peer educators’ goals are to debunk common health myths and to teach the team how to eat in order to reach peak performance.
The SPIN students involved in this program are very interested in sports nutrition and aspire to make it part of their career. At the first session, the team was given chocolate milk and trail mix as an example of a healthy snack. It was explained that chocolate is a great recovery food, such as after practice or a game, because it has the perfect 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Ice hockey is all about quick bursts of energy and sprinting, as opposed to a long distance race, so carbohydrates are the players’ main source of fuel. A typical college student’s diet should be 45-55% carbohydrates, 10-20% proteins, and 10-20% fats. In contrast, the diet of an athlete should consist 50-60% carbohydrates, 10-20% protein, and 20-30% fat! Carbs, carbs, carbs! This may come as a shock to athletes, women in particular, because our society tends to believe that carbohydrates are the source of weight problems. The amount of fats that an athlete should consume is also elevated which may come as a surprise, but it is important to eat the healthy fats and not those from fried foods.
The students received questions ranging from- if dairy caused weight gain, to what frozen foods were the best options. The peer educators look forward to their next meeting with the team where they plan on addressing gluten-free diets, vegetarianism, and smart ways to eat dairy.
For more information about sports nutrition check out AthletesAcceleration.com. This link is also great to look at to learn what you should eat before and after a gym workout! Your diet can really have an impact on your exercise because your food is what fuels you throughout your workout!
Every Monday night from 6-8pm SPIN hosts a table in the Hamel Rec. Center entrance, promoting a health snack or tip. Some of their upcoming tables include topics such as Folate, Vitamin C, and Fiber. Free snacks are provided during each table!
Click here to learn more about SPIN.
Every major is welcome to join the organization; however, no more applications are being accepted for the Fall 2012 semester. New applications will be reviewed for the Spring semester!
Friday, October 19, 2012
Fall is the air, and luckily that means some yummy and nutritious fare is back in season. The cooler weather and shorter days promote a growing season for some superfoods that you can’t always find in your farmers markets during the summer. The compiled a list of healthy fall food choices you and your friends and family can make in this crisp time of year.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Apples topped the list, and are in complete abundance this time of year. There are thousands of species of apples waiting to be picked, and if you take a trip to go apple picking, that’s a great way to sneak in a little exercise while having fun. The antioxidant quercetin resides in the skin of most apples and can help fight off a multitude of diseases.
Pumpkins, while great for carving jack-o-lanterns, also boast high values of potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin A. The taste and smell of pumpkin is pretty desirable in these autumn months, and more and more recipes are coming out to help satisfy that seasonal flavor craving.
Kale, a dark, leafy, and tasty green that has been showing up in more and more salads in restaurants across the country is a great way to change up your traditional salad and add some vitamin K and beta carotene into your diet. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can help shield your immune system from sickness as this cold and flu season picks up.
Get a delectable dose of pomegranates this fall and stock up the heart healthy antioxidants and fiber this pretty fruit provides.
All these foods and more can be found at your local farmers market or grocer. Don’t let this opportunity to try new foods slip away – Because just like the picturesque days of fall, these foods won’t be in season here for long!
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Ever feel like your moods are out of whack?
According to Woman's Day magazine, there are certain foods you can eat to tame your wild moods. Being a college student means you get your fair, or unfair, share of stress. In order to combat this stress, studies show that eating just a small piece of dark chocolate a day helps to reduce stress hormones like Cortisol and Catecholamine from flaring up, which helps to decrease overall stress. I'm sure you've woken up early for your 8 AM feeling super cranky because you only got four hours of sleep the night before; we've all been there. If that's the case, grab an apple and some peanut butter before class! The combination of carbohydrate and protein work together to give you extra energy and make you feel better throughout the day. Another effort to help you feel better and happier throughout the day is to nosh on some whole grain cereal and low fat milk. Studies show if you are feeling sad, this meal helps to produce serotonin in your body. Serotonin helps to release that happy, calm feeling throughout your body. In addition to regulating serotonin, eating this quick meal will also help to boost your amounts of vitamin D, which in turn can help regulate your mood as well. If these quick fixes are intriguing to you, check out the article for yourself to see even more ways to control your moods by clicking here.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Who makes you happy? Chances are it is someone that you spend a significant amount of time with. A study done by Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and Dr. James Fowler of the University of California in San Diego conducted a study on how an individual’s social network affects their happiness levels. They found that individuals who associate themselves with cheerful people have a happier demeanor and consequently a better sense of well-being. The effects of one person’s happiness influences another person’s mood which boosts another person’s mood. It is a chain reaction! The closer you are to these people emotionally, the longer the effect of their attitude will be on your disposition. The closer you live to a person, the stronger the effect is, because you are with them more, therefore the effect is nearly constant. It is also stronger between individuals of the same sex.
So surround yourself with people that make you happy. Life’s too short to spend it with miserable people. If there is someone that always brings your down, find ways to avoid them. Busy yourself with other things when they want to hang out. Go out tonight and have a “girls night” (or guys night) with your closest friends! Planning at least weekly gatherings with your friends is a good way to increase your happiness and theirs! Increasing your happiness can relieve stress and increase your sense of motivation and optimism so you can conquer the rest of your week successfully! Then, since you’ve conquered the things you needed to do, you will feel accomplished and even happier! It’s a chain reaction; you just have to push over that first domino!
Friday, October 12, 2012
One of the biggest complaints about organic food is that it is too expensive.
Well, in many cases that is in fact true. However, organic food may cost more, but that's because it is worth more.
One way I like to rationalize paying more for organic food is to think about all the good things it does for my health and the earth, and how the extra bucks really are worth it in the long run. Usually I run this list over and over in my head as I near the checkout aisles...
- It supports sustainable agriculture
- I won't be consuming any pesticides
- I won't be consuming and GMOs
- (If buying locally) I know the farm where this is coming from
- I'm eating food the way nature intended it to be
- I'm taking preventative measures for my health
- I'm taking preventative measures for the health of the planet
These sort of things help me realize that choosing to eat organic may cost more up front at the check out aisle, but if I continue to eat healthy organic food, I'm really taking preventative measures for my health. This, in turn, would allow me to potentially save money from doctor's bills in the future.
Many people find it easier to think about it this way:
"Would you rather pay your farmer now, or pay your doctor later?"
For me, I want to see my hard earned dollar in the mud-stained hands of my farmer.
The USDA has put together a great website to help consumers know their farmer and know their food, click here to be brought to the page.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
There are so many advertisements today about how to get brighter, whiter teeth, and who doesn’t want perfect pearly whites? From Crest 3D White mouthwash to the generic brands of whitening strips, the amount of money made off theses products is overwhelming. For 20 treatments of Crest 3D White Professional Effects white strips, it costs approximately $54! As a college student it may be difficult to find the extra money to get your teeth brighter, but luckily there are ways to prevent your teeth from stains and other erosion that may occur in your mouth!
According to Tips for Sparkling White Teeth, the darker the food or beverage the greater staining potential it has on your teeth. Black coffee is one of the biggest offenders, but when a splash milk is added to help lighten the color, less harm may be done. Coffee’s partner in crime is balsamic vinegar because of its extremely dark pigmentation; however, there is another quick fix! Items such as lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens help to create a protective barrier over your teeth. On a similar note, when eating tomato sauce try to combat the acidity with eating a salad before to create the natural barrier.
Eating food that you have to bite into, such as apples and carrots, are great for your chomps because they act as detergents and naturally clean them. The biting, crunching, and chewing allow these foods to brush up against your teeth and work their magic! Acid gets a pretty bad rap when it comes to teeth because we are told that it wears away at our tooth enamel, but it does have oral friendly benefits as well. The acid from the fruit aids in killing some of the plaque residing on your teeth, as well as, increasing saliva production.
As for alcohol, red wine in particular, after drinking a glass it is better to swish water around in your mouth instead of brushing. Why you ask? The acid from the wine wears away at the tooth enamel, eventually revealing the yellow underneath and opening up the pores in your teeth. By brushing, it is possible to allow the pigmentation in and further damage the enamel, so swish away!
For more foods to naturally enhance your smile or just for more information check out 7 Tips for Whiter Teeth and Food for White Teeth. Remember that eating smart is definitely something to smile about!
- Key Resources
- Physical Activity
- Mental Wellness
- Health Care Consumerism
- Cost Variation
- Appropriate Emergency Room Use
- Avoid Duplicate Radiologic Testing
- Increase Generic Drug Use
- Use Independent Labs
- Healthcare Spending
- Establish a Medical Home
- Understanding Health Insurance
- Using the Health Education Benefit on Campus
- USNH Benefit Resources
- Health Blog
- Contact Us