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.

Remember:

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!

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.

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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)
  • REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

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!

It’s a Wrap!

April 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Wraps are an easy, healthy and fun spin on your usual meal staples. Unfortunately, wraps can also be totally deceiving when you don’t pay close enough attention to ingredients.

Here on campus, we have the choice of Whole Wheat, Spinach or Sundried Tomato wraps for our sandwiches. Thinking that the wrap is the healthier option, many people chose these over a bagel. Want to know the tricky part? The wraps weigh in at over 300 calories with 8 grams of fat, while the bagels weigh in around 250 calories with an average 2 grams of fat. And that’s just the bread!

 

The same goes for many other restaurant or fast food locations. If you’re trying to stick to healthier fare and don’t have ready access to nutritional information, you might as well go with slices of whole wheat bread to play it safe. Make your sandwich exactly how you’d make a healthy salad: lots of vegetables, go easy on the cheese and stay away from thick, creamy dressings.

If you have the time and enjoy eating wraps, make them for yourself. Flatout Flatbread wraps are available at most supermarkets and in bulk at Costco. Worried you won’t eat them in time? Freeze them and only defrost one at a time (less than a minute in the microwave). Wraps don’t have to be just for lunch sandwiches, check out the breakfast I put together this morning:

grilled bananas

Tortilla "french toast": Wheat tortilla, egg white, stevia & cinnamon

Wrapped with peanut butter=Gooey Deliciousness

Happy Wrapping!

Things to do:

Curious about your other campus or restaurant favorites? Check out the nutritional information on their website in your spare time! If you go to JMU, here’s the link.

Weekly Wellness Update:

Woke up after 8 hours of sleep and this morning I’ve already hit the gym, ate fruit with my breakfast (above) and downed 24 oz. of water. My “me” time today? Planning on giving myself a manicure.

Slowing Down to Catch Up: Weekly Wellness

April 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s been a little over a week since you started packing those extra fruits and vegetables into your diet. Hopefully you’re all hungry for another Weekly Wellness Challenge. As always, details are on the “Weekly Wellness” tab above, but here it is in a nutshell:

Take 20 minutes each day to wind down and do something for yourself. Whether it’s enjoying a bubble bath instead of a rushed shower, walking at the local park instead of pounding out miles on the treadmill or sitting down with a book instead of staring at the computer screen, make sure the time is relaxing and enjoyable for you alone.

While you’re at it, check out this book:

Talk about it:

  • What has been the hardest challenge for you so far?
  • How do you manage to make time for yourself?

Time Saving Tricks to Please your Palate

April 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hope you all are having a fabulous Wednesday! Although it’s pretty windy, the weather is beautiful here in Harrisonburg…anyone considering moving their daily exercise requirements outdoors today?

As for this weeks challenge, I’m doing pretty well so far this afternoon:

 

Rice & Veggie “Bowl”

Since mornings are usually notoriously hectic, this lunch wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for a bit of prep-work on my part. Preparing ingredients may seem like a pain, but it’s a great habit if you want to stick to a nutritious diet.

For example, if you like carrots, red onion or mushrooms in your salads, why not chop up enough for 4 days at a time? Rice, oatmeal or quinoa can also be pretty time consuming yet they keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Another easy way to always have a quick lunch is to make an extra serving of your dinner the night before! Some of you may turn your nose up at the idea of eating the same meal within two days, but it’s definitely a time saver. Even using just a part of your dinner (cooking extra chicken, chopping extra vegetables, cutting yourself a little more cheese) will pay off.

 

remember to cover them too!

If you have time to get crafty with your cooking, check this site for tips on how to speed things along. Remember: personal wellness means making time for yourself too.

 

Happy !

Amelia

 

Is Your Plate Half-Full?

April 4, 2011 at 2:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

You can’t live a half-full lifestyle if your plate isn’t following suit. Don’t believe us? Take on our Weekly Wellness challenge and see for yourself!

Even toddlers know the drill...

This week we’ll be turning the food pyramid into a pie chart in order to better understand daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables. Add some cherry tomatoes into your pasta or mix mushrooms and onions into your ground beef when you’re grilling out. However you choose to do it, just make sure produce is half of your meal. Simple enough, right?

Something to talk about: How do you live your life half-full? Is it easy for you to fit fruits and vegetables into your meals? Do you have any suggestions for incorporating Weekly Wellness into your everyday routine?

Healthy Fast Food? I’ll take it.

March 31, 2011 at 11:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eating out can be tough to do. If a healthy option even exists on the menu, it’s definitely not the most affordable (you won’t see a grilled chicken breast sandwhich on the dollar menu at McDonalds).

 Restaurants are required to have nutritional information accessible, but unfortunately  accessible is a loose term. Then there’s the risk of making a complicated order…Bon Qui Qui

Enter Ally at HerCampus.com Ally put together a list of 10 healthy fast-food (and restaurant) choices that range from Chipotle and Wendy’s to P.F. Changs. Regular Chipotle is something I could definitely get behind. Interested? Check our her post here!

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