Keeping Away the ‘Freshman Fifteen’

Making healthy choices when it comes to food is probably not too high on the priority list for the majority of you college students. As far as to-do lists, it might fall somewhere in between washing that mug that’s been sitting on your desk since last week and organizing your sock drawer. And who can blame you, there’s an all you can eat buffet waiting for you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s late night dining serving up pizza and burgers. And of course when it comes time to cram for midterms and finals what better way to stay awake than mindlessly munching on candy and Doritos washed down with a sugar laden energy drink? We’ve been there. We’re here to help you stave off the infamous Freshman Fifteen and hopefully spark some good eating habits that will benefit you long after you move out of the dorms. Here are our top ten tips to navigate the murky nutritional waters that is the college dining experience.

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1) Go for the Green:

When faced with a multitude of tasty options in your dining hall start at the stations with fresher choices, these include the salad bar or any fresh veggie sides. Fill your plate to your heart’s content; remember to go light on the dressing (balsamic vinegar and olive oil make a great, more healthful alternative). Besides offering a good range of nutrients, the fiber in the veggies will help you feel full and can keep you from feeling the need to fill up on heavier options.

2) Portion Control:

When choosing other options in the dining hall don’t feel like you need to completely ban certain food groups. Carbs, such as brown rice, whole grain pastas and breads as well as healthy fats, like those found in avocados, walnuts, salmon, and peanut butter are important for a balanced diet.  Just be aware of how much you’re putting on your plate.  For the figure- conscious a general portion size of rice or pasta is ½ cup which is about the size of a hockey puck. For fats, depending on the type (olive oil, butter, nut butters) the general range for one serving is one to two teaspoons.

3) Say No to Social Eating

Food is a common thread in many outings whether it’s for a club event, after an intramural sports game, or just hanging out with friends. Pizza, late night fast food runs, grocery store bought cookies and chips seem to be favorites. Basically, if you’re not hungry don’t eat just because everyone around you is. If you know that you’ll be in this situation eat something more substantial beforehand. Enjoy the company sans empty caloric intake.

4) Your Liver is Your Friend

We are not condemning alcohol. What would college be without it? A lot of studies have actually shown that moderate consumption of alcohol may lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, dementia, and even aid in weight loss. The key word however, is moderate consumption. Red wine is the most beneficial for the prevention of certain heart diseases and dementia. One glass a day is sufficient for women to reap the benefits. If your drink of choice is beer go for lagers or wheat beers (examples: Heineken, Blue Moon, Shock Top), or light beers, all of which contain about half the calories and carbs of their original counterparts, ales, porters, and stouts.

5) Smart Snacking

When hunger strikes in between meals reach for snacks that will help keep you full without weighing you down. Some good options are hummus and fresh veggie sticks, popcorn (not of the extra butter variety), apples or another favorite fruit with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, a cup of lightly sweetened Greek yogurt topped with berries or some sliced bananas.

6) Have a Glass of Water

Keep hydrated throughout the day so you don’t confuse your body’s need for hydration with hunger. Keep a reusable water thermos with you while on campus and keep it filled. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.

7) Just Chew It

Sugar cravings are hard to shake. All you want is a red velvet cupcake or a rich, gooey brownie. Instead of giving in, chew a piece of sugar free gum. Yes, it’s ludicrous to think a piece of gum can completely satiate your overwhelming inclination to inhale anything chocolate, but it might just give you that burst of sweetness that will help you walk on by instead of tearing open that bag of M&Ms.

8) Late Night Dining

Don’t do it. Ideally, try not to eat two to three hours before you go to sleep.

9) Partner Up

Setting goals and sticking to them isn’t easy. Find a like-minded friend who wants to make her health a priority and keep each other accountable.

10) Start Cooking

The best way to avoid unhealthy fast food and heat and eat meals is to get used to cooking. When you cook you can control exactly what goes into your meals and snacks. When you don’t see all the hydrogenated oils, sodium, sugars, and preservatives going into store bought meals you don’t think twice about them.

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kd 5Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/portion-control/NU00267&slide=8

http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/truth-about-wine-beer-and-liquor-and-dieting

http://laurenconrad.com/blog/post/get-fit-it-s-bikini-boot-camp-time-exercise-diet-plan-tips-lauren- conrad-summer-2013

http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/dementia/alcohol-and-dementia-risk.htm

 

The Super Seed You Should be Adding to Your Diet

Author: Eugene Sung

In Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run, the author briefly discusses an energy drink that the Tarahumara Indians consume before they embark on their ultra-long runs. For those who have not read the book, the Tarahumara Indians are known for being able to run up to 200 miles in one session…..in sandals. You may think that this mystical energy drink is loaded with taurine or Panax ginseng (e.g. Red Bull or Monster); however, the main ingredient is a tiny seed that became famous in the states for another reason.

 

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No, the Tarahumara Indians did not eat Chia pets. Instead, they made an energy drink using chia seeds, called iskiate. Chia seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, omega-3 fats, manganese and phosphorus (good for your bones and teeth). They also have a very low glycemic index and may help stabilize blood sugar levels (when chia seeds are soaked in liquid, they develop a gelatinous coating that helps prevent spikes in blood sugar).

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Chia seeds can easily be added to your diet. Try sprinkling the dry seeds onto Greek yogurt, in your cereal or in your salad. Some of my favorite chia seed recipes are:

Mexican Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding:

1/3 c. chia seeds
1 c. non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp. cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne (optional)
-Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight for at least 8 hours. Transfer mixture to blender and blend until completely smooth. If pudding is warm from blending, return to refrigerator until chilled.

Chia Breakfast Eggs:

1 egg
1 Tbsp of chia seeds (preferably white seeds)
half a small onion
handful of baby spinach
about 2 teaspoons of milk
-Whisk the egg and milk and soak the chia seeds in the mixture for 15 minutes. Chop the onion finely and gently fry in a non stick frypan with a little butter or oil until soft and slightly brown. Add the egg/chia seed/ milk mixture to the pan and stir until set. Add the baby spinach leaves and stir the mixture until leaves are slightly wilted. Season to taste, (great with a little sea salt and ground black pepper).

Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl:

1 1/4 c. almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 c. frozen strawberries
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. chia seeds (plus more for garnish)
1 large handful fresh spinach
-Pour almond milk into blender and top with remaining ingredients. Blend on high until smooth, thick texture is achieved. Pour into a bowl, garnish with chia seeds and enjoy.

And of course, the famous iskiate:

about 10 oz of water
1 Tbsp dry chia seeds
a few teaspoons lemon or lime juice
honey or agave nectar, to taste (optional)
-Stir the chia seeds into the water; let them sit for about five minutes. Stir again, and let sit for as long as you like. The more it sits, the more gel-like the seeds and water become. Add citrus juice and sweetener to taste.

 

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<a href=”http://kairosclinic.net/2013/06/21/the-super-seed-you-should-be-adding-to-your-diet/”>Source</a>

<em>Post reprinted with permission from the author. </em>

About the author: Eugene Sung is a chiropractic physican based in Los Angeles. His specialties are evidence-based protocols for musculoskeletal injuries and nutrition therapy. He can be reached <a href=”http://kairosclinic.wordpress.com”>here</a>.

Dynamic Duos: Powerful Food Combinations for Your Health

Author: Eugene Sung

Mario and Luigi. Batman and Robin. Calvin and Hobbes. Hall and Oates. Sometimes two is better than one. Nutrition can work the same way as food scientists have been touting the benefits of food synergy (when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits). Try these simple combinations to maximize your nutrition potential.

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Onions + Black Grapes: Onions contain quercitin, a powerful anti-oxidant, which has been shown to provide cardiovascular protection and relieve allergy symptoms. Catechin, an anti-oxidant found in grapes, may help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurological disorders. Combining these two can be a powerhouse for your cardiovascular system by inhibiting blood clots and boosting overall heart health.

Oatmeal + Blueberries: Whole grains, such as oatmeal, contain phytochemicals that can combat inflammation and disease. They also contain avenanthramides, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol (oxidized LDL is more likely to encourage plaque buildup in the arteries). Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties.

Blueberries have long been praised as a cancer fighter because of their concentrations of ellagic acid. They also are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and K and manganese. A study published in the The Journal of Nutrition showed that the amount of time LDL was protected from oxidation increased from 137 to 216 minutes when vitamin C was added to oat phytochemicals.

Fish + Garlic: Fish is a good source of omega-3 fats and selenium, low in saturated fat and high in protein. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and triglycerides; improve blood-vessel function; and reduce inflammation. Remember, avoid farmed fish and opt for wild caught fish.

Garlic has been shown to be a cancer fighter (a study from the National Cancer Institute found that eating approximately 2 teaspoons or more of garlic was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of prostate cancer for the participants in the study), a detoxifier and it may lower cholesterol.

Researchers at the University of Guelph tested the effects of garlic and fish oil supplements, taken alone and together, on men with moderately high blood cholesterol. The combination lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Salad Greens + Almonds/Avocados: The plant pigments found in brightly colored vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and cancer. However, they need to be eaten with a small amount of absorption-boosting monounsaturated fat, which can be found in almonds or avocados.

An Ohio State University study measured how well phytochemicals from a mixed green salad were absorbed when eaten with or without 3.5 tbsp of avocado. The avocado’s fatty acids helped subjects absorb 8.3 times more alpha-carotene, 13.6 times more beta-carotene, and 4.3 times more lutein than those who ate their salads plain.

Green Tea + Lemon: Green tea contains catechins, which has been associated with lower incidences of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, catechin breaks down quickly in a non-acidic environment and roughly 20% of catechin is available for absorption after digestion. A study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that adding lemon juice to tea increases the level of antioxidant utilization in the body more than 5 times.

<a href=”http://kairosclinic.net/2013/06/11/dynamic-duos-powerful-food-combinations-for-your-health/”>Source</a>

<em>Post reprinted with permission from the author. </em>

About the author: Eugene Sung is a chiropractic physican based in Los Angeles. His specialties are evidence-based protocols for musculoskeletal injuries and nutrition therapy. He can be reached <a href=”http://kairosclinic.wordpress.com”>here</a>.

Sleep Deprivation Links to Higher Risk for Breast Cancer?

I was always considered the night owl in my family. Ever since college, my sleeping patterns consisted of multiple nights burning the midnight oil (in addition to a couple of all nighters). Simply put, my body was pretty programmed to function better at night because it was the time of the day where I was least distracted and I could be very productive. However, a couple of months ago, I decided that I needed to improve my quality (and quantity) of sleep by adopting a normal sleeping schedule (aka, sleeping earlier and waking up earlier). It’s definitely helped with my mood and skin (well, I think it appears better).

However, I’m sure you all know there’s health benefits to getting more hours of sleep daily, but apparently, according to this NYT article, six or seven hours of sleep is still not enough. The article states that poor sleep does quite a number to your mood, productivity, and physical health (including your metabolism and weight control — this could add up to 10 pounds in a year!), among some factors.

However, one of the more alarming things that I came across in the article for women? A higher risk for breast cancer:

The risk of cancer may also be elevated in people who fail to get enough sleep. A Japanese study of nearly 24,000 women ages 40 to 79 found that those who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who slept longer. The increased risk may result from diminished secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. Among participants in the Nurses Health Study, Eva S. Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School found a link between low melatonin levels and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Hear that ladies? Keep the hours of sleep you collect daily in check – and your boobies will love you!

Source

Asian Women Don’t Get Breast Cancer?

Photo by Richard Cavosora, courtesy of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s “A Book of Hope: Stories of Healing to Honor Asian American & Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors.”

We may be nearing the end of October, but that doesn’t mean breast cancer awareness stops here. The most commonly diagnosed cancer among Asian American women is something we have to be vigilant about year-round. Here, a personal story about one woman fighting for awareness in the Asian American community.

“Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

What if you heard these words from a medical professional? Susan Shinagawa did in 1991 after finding a lump in her breast during her monthly self-exam. Today, it’s those words that drive the work she now does. Shinagawa wants to make sure that no other woman of Asian descent will hear these words and that all women regularly get screened for breast cancer.

A decade ago, Shinagawa was working as a program administrator at an academic cancer center in San Diego, Calif. She says that, at the time, she knew very little about cancer even though she worked at the center. A friend of hers was giving breast self-examination (BSE) workshops and asked Shinagawa to attend. So she went to support her friend.

At the workshop, Shinagawa’s friend mentioned several risk factors for breast cancer that caught her attention. She had a couple of those risk factors and decided that she should start doing BSE. She began doing monthly BSE and recorded what she felt each month on a breast map.

“After several months of doing monthly self-exams, I felt something completely different in May 1991 than I’d ever felt,” Shinagawa says during our phone interview. “It was really obvious and just underneath my skin. I could even look straight down and see this lump sticking out.”

Shinagawa was preparing to take a leave of absence from work to join her naval pilot husband in Florida for a year. Before she left, she decided to get the lump checked out.

Her mammogram came out negative. However, says Shinagawa, at that time, 40 percent of all pre-menopausal women had false negative mammograms. The diagnostic radiologist decided to do a sonogram, which showed Shinagawa’s lump to be a solid mass, and not cystic. So Shinagawa went to see a surgical oncologist, who told her that she had fibrocystic breast disease, a.k.a. lumpy breasts. He told her that she had nothing to worry about, that she was too young to have breast cancer, she had no family history of it and besides, “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

“At that time, I really didn’t know anything about breast cancer or cancer statistics. So his comments really didn’t hit me,” says Shinagawa. “All I was thinking was, ‘I’m young and this is what I want to hear.’” But a little voice inside Shinagawa’s head kept telling her that something was going on.

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