Taco Salad

April 28, 2011 at 11:01 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I know everyone’s busy with finals coming up, so I made something QUICK but also healthy today.

What you’ll need:

  • Ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • shredded lettuce
  • low-fat shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • Salsa (optional- I actually didn’t use it this time, but if you want some sort of sauce use this instead of sour cream)
  • Diced onion
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

What to do:

Cook your meat in EVOO.  Once brown, add red pepper flakes and the onions and cook a little longer.  Make a salad with lettuce, cheese and salsa, add the meat on top and you’re done!  Told ya it was fast and easy.

Weekly Wellness:  I’m working on spending less money this week, and the next, and next…  Since I don’t have a job while at school, my funds can run pretty low by the end of the year, so I’m going to try these last two weeks to spend the minimal amount of money possible!


Latte wishes and Frappuccino dreams

April 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring deadlines are crashing down around us, pressures building and we’re more strapped for time than we were before. Sound familiar? Specifically, I’m talking about the final weeks of the semester. Although the cause of your anxiety might be different from ours, the effects are often the same.

While wellnessU in no way encourages slacking on sleep hours (see our post about proper zzz’s here), sometimes there’s just no way to fit everything in despite our best intentions. Earlier this week, our very own Chelsea created a poll asking all of us how we get our extra energy for finals week, whether you’re having late nights, early mornings or a combination of the two. The majority of you selected Coffee as your go to for a quick caffeine fix, read on for the “do’s” and “don’ts” of healthy coffee consumption

Java City @ Market One

Java City at Market One

Coffee can actually be good for you, as regular coffee has little ingredients and very little calories, fat or sugar. The danger in coffee is when you start getting fancy (latte’s, fraps, capps, etc.). Instead of looking at flavored coffee beverages as your caffeine fix, realize that many of these should actually be put in the dessert category. Above that, plain coffee runs anywhere from .99 to $2.00 while your flavored addiction can turn your Starbucks into Sixbucks (and let’s face it, who has the money to support that kind of habit?).

Coffee tips:

  • Stay away from flavored syrups (if necessary, use the sugar free variety)
  • Favor skim milk over whole milk or cream (soy or rice milk if you’re vegan or just enjoy the taste)
  • If you insist on ordering a flavored drink, go with the smallest size possible. Usually the smaller size has all the caffeine you’ll need.
  • Carry around packets of your favorite natural, low calorie sweetener such as stevia or agave (also comes in handy for teas and lemonade too).
  • Be familiar with the nutritional stats at your local coffee joint. Finding out that your favorite drink is a diet bomb doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye, just think of it as a treat from now on.
Popular coffee company nutrition:

Weekly Wellness Update:

Breaking bad habits doesn’t have feel like work. I’m actually using this week to make more of an effort to have fun. As bad as it seems to make it my challenge for this week, with all the stress of the end of the year, it’s definitely something that needs conscious effort! 

Springing into Action

April 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The sun is out and it’s actually starting to feel like spring again (or summer, today is 83)! This weeks Weekly Wellness will be mirroring the theme of springs new beginnings by focusing on turning over any bad habits you currently participate in.

Here at wellnessU, we encourage all of you to practice self-control over the coming week to witness firsthand the power you have over your own decisions and actions. Start with one behavior, whether mental or physical, you’d like to change and commit to it for 7 days. Hopefully you can extend your goal further,  but by thinking about your change a week at a time, we hope that you’re able to find success through short term achievement.

Use the rest of today to brainstorm what you’re one behavior change will be. As always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you’ll be working on. Not only will others in the wellnessU community be able to help you along, but sharing it with others will help you to feel more accountable.


Check the Weekly Wellness page for more details about this week’s challenge and challenges from previous weeks. Try to keep with your water, sleep, self time, veggies, breakfast and exercise!

Who says Weights aren’t for Women?

April 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From the looks of the weight room, you’d be surprised JMU’s male to female ratio is 40/60…There’s no evidence of it here!

JMU's UREC Weight Room

The question is: why aren’t more young women incorporating weights into their workout? Is it due to the popular misconceptions circulating from female to female? I’ve heard:  “I don’t want to get bulging muscles” and “I’m not strong enough” to even the commonly stated, “Weights are just for guys.” As a frequent strength training exerciser, I’m here to prove you females otherwise. After incorporating weights into my fitness routine this past December, I feel stronger and look toner — not bulky.

If I can’t convince you, maybe the benefits might. Strength training boosts your metabolism, increases and restores bone density, increases muscle mass, prevents injury, increases lean muscle mass,  improves balance, decreases your risk of coronary disease, and finally, leaves you feeling better and stronger. Don’t get me wrong…cardio is great too, but why not do both?

If you’re not familiar with weight training exercises, learn about the basics and guided exercises here. Hope to see more ladies lifting!


Cravin’ Caffeine?

April 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Finals Week is approaching…what will you crave?

Egg-celent Easter Eating!

April 22, 2011 at 12:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
It’s Easter weekend!  I have a lot on my plate (no pun intended!) with Finals coming up, so I’m looking forward to a weekend away with some of my family!  Family get togethers definitely mean family meals!  Even if it’s hard to control what’s being cooked for you, you don’t have to feel guilty!
Here’s some healthy tips for meals together:
Watch your dressings and condiments.  Having ham or turkey?  Don’t indulge on gravy or thick sauce–pair with a flavorful side instead.  Starchy side?  Practice portion control. And don’t add extra butter or oil.  Egg and cheese brunch?  Have more whites than yolks. 
Overload on in-season fruits and veggies. Springtime fare is lighter and more flavorful–often without heavy dressings and add-ons.  Check out Hungry-Girl’s suggestions for incorporating some fresh fruits and veggies:
-Be choosey. Eating out?  You’re paying for your food, so don’t shy away from asking for items sauce-free, without butter, or with dressing on the side.  If you have a hard time avoiding the complimentary bread or sharing an appetizer, either have just one serving (on a plate!) or remind yourself of your health and wellness goals so you don’t overindulge.
-Ask for a healthier option.  If you’re friendly with the cook, suggest some lighter Easter fare from Eating Well. As long as you give him or her sufficient notice, it is perfectly okay to ask for a healthier alternative within the meal!  For example, ask for some Roasted Asaparagus.  It’s extremely easy and budget-friendly too!  
And this week’s Weekly Wellness challenge is exciting, because I love breakfast!  This morning, I had Fiber One cereal with skim milk and a 100-calorie can V8 Fruit Fusion This also reminds me of my favorite blogs to follow for wholesome breakfast recipes!—> The Fitnessista &  Kath Eats Real Food!
Enjoy your Easter and eat healthy! 

Surf on over to HerCampusJMU

April 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HerCampusJMU just posted a helpful article similar to an ‘eat this, not that’. If you’re a JMU student who enjoys on-campus eats at Chick-Fil-A, PC Dukes, Festival or Starbucks, take a few minutes to read Alexa Johnson’s post.


Stuffed Peppers

April 21, 2011 at 11:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What you’ll need:

  • 5 peppers, I used red and green
  • Brown rice
  • Diced onion
  • Ground chicken or turkey
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • Low-fat cheese (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 375 F.  Cook rice according to package, I used this: Cook your meat in a little EVOO until brown, add onions and garlic.  Turn off heat, add the tomato paste and mix the rice into everything.  Cut the tops off your peppers and take out the insides.  Cut the bottoms a little so they will stand.  Fill peppers halfway up, add cheese then fill to the top.  Replace lids and cook for 30 minutes.


Weekly Wellness:  I had a fruit cup from Einstein Bagels for breakfast today.

It’s all Greek to me

April 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

(*Author Note: the bottom of this post decided to have a mind of it’s own, sorry for the font, size and spacing issues!!)

For those of us here at wellnessU, the end of spring semester is coming in fast. There’s A LOT of school work piling up and a lot of social activities, but not much food left in the pantry. Whether your lack of ingredients has to do with a busy schedule  or loss of creativity, I hope this post will get you back on course in no time.

If you’re not familiar with greek cuisine, get on that NOW. Not only is mediterranean food delicious, but a mediterranean diet can be extremely good for your health (Disclaimer: please keep in mind that by “diet” I mean the types of foods that we eat, not any kind of intake restriction).

You dont have to live here to reap the benefits!

What types of foods are included in a mediterranean diet?

  • Lots and lots of FRESH fruits and vegetables
  • Olive oil as the replacement for other fats and oils
  • Fish, some poultry (limit red meat to a max. of 12-16 ounces per month)
  • Whole grain bread and pasta (limit refined white varieties). Potatoes & polenta
  • Non-fat to low fat cheeses and yogurt (try feta cheese and greek yogurt, both amazing)
  • Legumes (chick peas, white cannelleni beans, lentils, peas, etc.) & nuts
  • Beverages: Mostly water and moderate consumption of wine (1 glass women, 1-2 glasses men)

Courtesy of Table4five

Benefits of a mediterranean diet:

  • High in fiber and antioxidants while being low in saturated fat
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke  and cancer
  • Increased life expectancy
Eating out:
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a restaurant serving mediterranean cuisine (Harrisonburgers: Xenia and Dave’s) try it out, but stay away from anything deep fried, creamy, flakey or buttered.
Xenia Pick: Veggie Kebab ($6.99) has fresh yellow squash, zucchini, tomato, lettuce, red onion, spicy green beans and yummy sauce over a thin pita

Veggie Kabob

Dave’s Pick: The Acropolis Pizza ($12) was eaten before the camera came out, sorry.
At home:
Use the foods above as a grocery list for your shopping. Pick up some basil, sea salt, olive oil, lemon, chicken (or frozen shrimp which can be on the cheap too), feta and whatever vegetables you’d like and see what you can throw together in under 10 minutes. You and your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised!
Remember that calories and portions still count! Go easy on the olive oil and grains but load up on veggies, legumes, lean protein and fruit.
Weekly Wellness: Incorporate mediterranean foods in your breakfast. Try whole grain toast with almond butter, greek yogurt with fruit and honey, a hard boiled egg  and even a whole grain bagel with smoked salmon.

Breaking the fast

April 20, 2011 at 12:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

That’s literally what breakfast stands for! There’s a reason why we have at least three different meals a day, breakfast shouldn’t be optional. Our newest weekly wellness challenge is eating every morning. But don’t skip out on our past challenges either!

It could be as easy as cereal: 

Or as complicated as wrapped fruit french toast:

Maybe you don’t understand all the benefits, or maybe you have what seems like a really good excuse. If you’re in agreement with either or both of these, make sure to scope our our Weekly Wellness page to find some information that may change your mind (and your behavior).

What’s your favorite breakfast? I’d love to add to my options!

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