Thursday, January 26, 2017

What You Eat Matters

All of us need to eat to live. So, every day we have a choice to use each meal as an opportunity to do something good for ourselves. What we eat matters because we can improves our lives by eating a more nutritious diet.

Eating healthier foods gives you more energy.  As college students, we need as much energy as we can get to make it through each day of classes, internships, studying, and socializing. Our food can fuel us to do our best in all these endeavors. If you find yourself feeling tired and sluggish every day, try updating your diet. Some ideas for food that can provide you more energy:
  • Eat lean proteins like turkey and chicken
  • Healthy carbohydrates like whole grains (brown bread, brown rice, barley, etc.)
  • For a quick pick-me-up throughout the day, snack on high-protein, whole foods like nuts and seeds.  

What you eat can also affect your mood. While foods high in sugar can give you an initial jolt of energy, they will lead you to feel sluggish and have more cravings throughout the day, which can cause a negative mood. Instead, try eating foods that will boost your mood:
  • Foods high in Omega-3s, like salmon, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, are proven to make you feel happier and give you more brainpower.

Our food choices today have a direct correlation to our long term health. Fast foods and highly-processed foods are high in calories, sugars, and unhealthy fats, which can lead to health problems like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. These chronic diseases can make us unable to work, have a poor quality of life, or even worse, cause death.
  • Incorporating healthy foods in your diet, especially fresh vegetables and fruit, can help prevent health issues and help you to live longer.

Transforming the way you eat can seem overwhelming, but it is possible by taking smaller steps toward an overall healthier diet. You can gradually make healthy swaps in your diet. For example, choose whole wheat pasta or gluten-free bread instead of their refined white flour options. Use veggies to scoop up your favorite dip instead of chips. Got a sweet tooth? Fruit is nature’s candy. Always keep fruit on hand for dessert or a quick snack. If you make a conscious effort to make these small changes in what you eat, you will see positive benefits immediately and in the long term.

By Tiffany Rivera

Monday, January 23, 2017

School is starting and I'm not ready!!

School is starting and I am not ready!!

What do you do when you don’t feel ready to start school? You had 6 weeks off and it just didn’t seem long enough! This happens to everyone after a vacation or even a weekend. We have so much to accomplish on our “mental” list for our time off of work and school. So what can you do? Well, these tips might help you prepare yourself for the semester.
1.      Think positive! It is only a 16 weeks of school with a spring break thrown in there! It will be over quicker than you can imagine, just like all the rest of your past semesters.

2.      Make summer vacation plans so you have something to look forward to when you are amidst the stress of school. How about camping on the beach or a road trip to Las Vegas? Planning a trip can always help you feel better.

3.      Start preparing this weekend. It might get you more excited about the new semester. The beginning is always the best!
a.      Print your syllabi
b.      Google your professor and see how awesome they are!
c.      Order or buy your books
d.      Get your school supplies
e.      Organize your backpack
f.       Align your school schedule
g.      Look for a job/internship/volunteering opportunity

4.      Go for a hike or walk in nature. Being out in nature can really clear your mind and help you gain perspective. El Dorado Nature Center, Bolsa Chica wetlands, and many more are right around here. Take a friend, a family member, or a date!

5.      Make a list of intentions for the coming semester. What do you want to accomplish? Better grades? Make more friends? Join a club? Volunteer? Exercise more? When you write down your intentions you are more likely to achieve these goals. Put the list next to your bed or next to your mirror in the bathroom so you see it all the time and it will encourage you. If you are ready to start making changes, check out our Wellness Wednesday workshop series. The first workshop on February 8 will deal with setting goals and creating a wellness vision for yourself. 

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