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grilling. so easy a frat boy can do it.

July 15, 2012

Prior to this summer, I never went near a grill as the steady trail of burn scars running from my elbow to my pinky finger prove that I am not apt at handling open flames or  really any surface that is remotely hot. However, sockeye salmon and Canadian sunshine can turn anyone into a regular Bobby Flay, and my small, portable propane grill and I have become ready ol’ chums.

Grills, if you are willing to settle for function and not fashion, can range anywhere from 50- 100$, but can be a great investment. The BBQ is traditionally associated with cheeseburgers and sausages. But chicken, fish and turkey burgers are great, healthy choices that can all be given some char’ lovin, but take advantage of your open flamed friend; the BBQ will cook, roast and sear almost anything that comes near it, even lettuce and peaches!

Cracked pepper bison burgers topped with grilled onions, mushrooms and with avocado and a grilled lettuce “bun”

Burgers are one of the easiest things to grill, which is obvious to anyone that attends a day-drink and sees a 21-year old Delta Chi manning the grill with his stack of fifteen empty beer cans next to the tongs. However, they get a bad wrap due to their high fat and caloric content.

Enter the bison burger. An animal often associated with cowboys, indians, and a city to the north of the Big Apple, bison is leaner and more satisfying than beef, pork, and even chicken. With 1/3 of the fat and half the calories of beef, this meat packs 22 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of iron.r, Grass-fed bison tastes similar to beef but is juicy and great for grilling. Either pack your own patties with ground bison, or pick up grill-ready burgers at your local butcher.

Grilled Bison: Heat grill on medium and cook about five minutes on each side. Remember, when grilling meat, flipping less is better! Also, never push down with the spatula or tongs, this will push the juices right out.

Grilled Mushrooms & Onions: Mushrooms and onions are fantastic on the grill. There are several ways to grill them, from putting them directly on the grill, to skewering them, but I prefer wrapping them in foil. Marinade them in a bit of olive oil and pinch of sea salt. You know that “duck of leftovers” Joey and Rachel get when they go on a date in Friends? Pretty much replicate that, creating a “basket” for the vegetables. Place on medium heat at the burgers and cook until soft and a bit darker than their natural shade, 10-15 minutes.

Lettuce: Wash and peel a head of romaine lettuce. Dry thoroughly. Turn grill on high heat, and place individual leaves on grill for about 2-3 minutes, turning halfway. Make sure not to leave on too long, otherwise the lettuce will wilt.

Honey-Lime Shrimp Skewers with grilled mango & avocado 

Shrimp, at around 10 calories per piece, can be an excellent source of protein and be filling as well as yummy! I love picking up skewers of shrimp from Whole Foods, as they seem to be the only thing under 5 dollars, but making your own is a cinch. I like to keep my recipes simple, and usually only like to use ingredients I have in my cabinet, and they always turn out awesome. If you are a seasoned chef and feel like spicing it up, feel free!

Shrimp: Whisk together a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of a lime and the zest of the lime rind, a dash of sea salt, pepper, and a tsp of honey in a bowl. Peal, de-vein (if not done already) and wash shrimp and place shrimp in bowl and let marinade for thirty minutes. Preheat the grill to medium and grill for 3-4 minutes, turning halfway, or until the shrimp are pink.

Mangos and Avocado: Avocado is a staple for me as I’m lactose intolerant and therefore like to substitute it to add that creamy goodness that is lacking without cheese. I’ve also recently discovered mangos- they are tangy like peaches but still decadent. Cut your avocado and mango in half and brush with olive oil (prevent stickiness). Cook each about five minutes, or until it has nice charred marks. This gives both excellent texture, and make the traditionally messy fruit easy to cut to put in salad.

I created a salad made with spinach and topped it with quinoa and black beans to make it a fiesta, and made a bit more of the marinade to use as dressing. Also, added sweet potatoes, as no meal is complete without them!

Guest Blog: A Word from a Yoga Queen

February 20, 2012

College can be the most fun and exciting yet stressful and confusing years of your life. There is so much going and on and so much to balance. Making it to class on time, group projects with people you can’t stand, studying for exams for classes you can’t even comprehend (cough finance), pulling all-nighters at the library and ending up spending the whole time stalking the cute boy in your class on Facebook, trying to make healthy food choices than winding up eating your roommates left over mac and cheese, making sure your socially accepted, date parties, formals, parties, relationships… the list is endless. You are only one person and can only do so much! We tend to jam pack our schedules and our social calendars until we burnout and collapse.

How often do you find yourself getting sick or just feeling exhausted all the time? Maybe you have trouble falling asleep at night. Relying on those frequent Starbucks runs to get you through your day. I can tell you right now I spent many days in bed missing class because I over-did myself trying to do it all. I could never find that perfect balance… that place of bliss where I could just sit still and let my thoughts settle and just simply be. I often found myself becoming so frustrated, and breaking down wondering why I couldn’t balance it all. I feel as women, we tend to put a lot more stress on ourselves to just naturally and gracefully be able to balance it all.

It’s your life and you are the keeper of your true happiness. The key is finding ways to release stress and tension versus keeping it all in until you just lose it. I have found that the best way for me to work through these times when my schedule is more jam-packed than I would like is to try to eat a healthy balanced diet and do yoga. I want to focus on the benefits of yoga for college students and how you can use some of the wonder philosophies of yoga to find your inner Zen and balance it all! How yoga can enhance your college experience and get you real world ready… or just help you focus on that math test next week!

So if you are completely new to yoga just know that anyone can do yoga and college students are exceptional candidates for yoga! I suggest you tubing some yoga videos and looking for some 10-20 min videos. All you need is yoga mat, which you can find fairly cheap at Target, Wal-Mart, or online at Amazon and a fairly open space for you to spread out your yoga mat.

I think it is important to start your yoga practice off by centering yourself. So just sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position. Sit up nice and tall and then softening the eyes. Take a few moments to calm your mind and let your thoughts and worries of the day disappear. For some people this might sound silly… if it was really that easy we would all be so much happy. I can tell you it really is that easy! Just have an open mind and take the time to sit still and let everything else go. Now as your thoughts start to disappear start to bring your attention to your breath. Notice how long and deep your inhales and exhales are. Then start to deepen the inhales filling the belly and chest up with air. On the exhales slowly let the air out and draw the naval to the spine. Pressing out all the stale air… anything you do not need anymore.

Just doing this deep breathing in and out of the nose calms the mind and the nervous system. It helps balance your mood and energy levels. You can do this type of breathing just about anywhere…. Sitting in class, in your dorm or at the library. After you have centered yourself with your breath you can slowly move into your more active yoga practice. I have found that doing just 20 minutes of yoga a day or a couple of days a week puts me in a better mood. I feel less stressed. I sleep better at night. My body doesn’t ache or hurt as much. I also find that I am more patient with people. More open to change. There is so much change going on in your early 20s and having an open mind and heart is so important. Through my yoga practice I have been able to find a more blissful life. I hope that you too can use yoga to enhance your life and your college experience.

Yoga Queen was founded by Ashley Fehrmann who discovered her love for yoga and natural health after traveling to India with her family and Deepak Chopra when she was only 13 years old. In October 2011 Ashley decided to deepen her practice and further discover her inner goddess by attending a 200 hour yoga teacher training. Ashley is trained in Classical Hatha yoga, which combines asana (postures), pranayama (breath work) and meditation to help develop the union of mind, body and spirit. Her teaching style focuses on mindfulness (freeing the mind to experience greater happiness and better health), improving lifestyle habits and quality of life, stress reduction and management, breath awareness, proper alignment, and of course having a fabulous time celebrating YOU!

Visit Yoga Queen’s website and Facebook page for more information
yoga-queen.com and http://www.facebook.com/yoga.queen1 

5 Reasons to Take a Swig

February 1, 2012

By now, we have been told how many glasses of water we should drink per day so many times that we could answer “eight” in our sleep. But apparently we should be drinking even more than we thought! According to The Institute of Medicine, men should drink roughly 13 cups of water per day, and women should drink nine. Why is this necessary? Healthy in College lists just a few reasons.

 

1. Water Fixes What You Did the Night Before

College students are known for their thirst-inducing diets; it is estimated that an average American college student drinks more than 34 gallons of alcohol a year, more gallons than the Hummer H2 holds in its gas tank. In 2008, the National Coffee Association stated that the average person of college age consumed 3.2 cups of coffee daily. Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, causing dehydration, which can lead to hospitalization and even death. Sip down water when you are suffering an alcohol or caffeine-induced hangover to help your body out.

 

2. Water Makes You Less Cranky

Notice that you’ve been snapping at everyone and your mood swings are worse than usual? Try gulping down some water. Recent studies have shown that when you are even slightly dehydrated, you are crankier.

 

3. Water Can Make you Skinny

            You ate what you thought was a well-balanced and filling meal, only to find yourself ravenous by 3p.m. What gives? It probably means that you are thirsty. It is proven that thirst can sometimes be mistaken as hunger pains. Next time this happens, gulp down a glass of water before grabbing for the Pop Chips.

4. Water Rids Your Body of the Nasty Stuff

Let’s face it: as college students, we aren’t always putting the best things in our bodies. Water is your kidneys’ best friend; it flushes your body of the waste that can build up and cause kidney stones.

 

5. Water Gives You a Glow

Skin can look more dry and wrinkled when dehydrated. Skin also loses elasticity when a person is severely dehydrated. Drinking that extra cup can make you look fresh-faced and more awake.

How to: (try to) stay healthy abroad

January 23, 2012

We’ve all seen it – the students that return home after spending a semester in Europe looking like puffed-up versions of themselves. But how do you balance living out this one-time opportunity of having arguably the best foods at your fingertips while not turning into a blimp? Healthy in College debunks common beliefs students have while studying abroad.

“People stare at you funny when you work out in Europe.”

Staying fit isn’t just a trend. There is a reason that the Olympics are international; every country knows the importance of athletics and fitness to the body. There are athletes in every city around the world; just how they practice their athletics may be different.

An Ironman competition in the South of France

Whether you are spending your semester Prague, Perugia or Paris, there is always a place you can jog. Go to the office of tourism and ask if there are any local parks to run, or if there are any running groups.  Double check the areas to avoid when running, and always run with a friend. If you know the area you are running in is safe, don’t be afraid to get lost for a little bit! The best way to find the hidden treasures of your temporary home is to lose yourself in it.

Joining an intramural athletic team is a great way to meet new people while staying in shape.  Although the language barrier may be intimidating, the language of sports is universal. Playing for a team will force you to mingle with locals and other international students alike, which will be an invaluable experience in itself.

“I’m only abroad once, I need to taste everything!”

No blames you that you can't resist this...

No one blames you that you can't resist this...

            When you return home, it will seem like it passed faster than the montage of Eat in Eat Pray Love, but spending three months abroad means forcing yourself to make 90 days of conscious health decisions. It is true that you will be on a trip of a lifetime, and tasting this delicious food comes with the territory. But remember, eating local delicacies is an experience, and abusing this makes it less of a special memory. Although portions tend to be smaller in Europe, try splitting carb and cream-heavy dishes with a friend.

The scent of fresh bread wafting up to your window each morning will be tempting, but daily baguettes are not a necessity. When you arrive, remind yourself you have three months to try everything; you do not need to stuff yourself silly everyday. Also remember: “carbs+dairy-exercise= 10 lb. weight gain in 8 weeks.”

“The gym is so expensive! I can’t join.”

            Gym memberships can be pricey both in America and abroad. Before you leave, talk to former participants in your program about gyms in your future home. Most international schools and study abroad programs offer student deals on short-term memberships at local gyms, so do your research before you arrive. Many gyms in cities with a high number of international students target these schools and are happy to provide information on their memberships. If you are lucky enough, some universities offer reimbursements for gym memberships while studying abroad.

A market in Italy

“If I want to eat healthy abroad, I will blow my budget.”
You will find that delicacies that you dream about- pain au chocolat, focaccia, crêpes and kebabs- are usually the cheapest options. But just because McDonald’s is cheap and available on every corner in America doesn’t mean you need to eat it for every meal, right?

Take advantage of the open-air markets that are available in most cities across Europe. Fresh, locally grown produce is available for less than a euro at most of these markets, and if you have your own kitchen, take advantage of this and cook some meals with these ingredients. Adding fruits and vegetables into your diet to balance out the baguettes and pizza is key to keeping healthy while abroad. Remember: an apple typically costs less than a croissant, so when you start to notice hunger pains, go for the former.       

“I don’t have to work out, I do so much walking here.”

            In most circumstances, this is true. Walking can be a great way to stay in shape while abroad. Walking at 2.5 mph for an hour burns about 200 calories, and some students have to walk an hour just to get to their school.

But if you are a physically active person before leaving for abroad, cutting out higher-intensity workouts can have negative consequences on both your body and mind. For one, everyone has heard the phrase “you are just one workout away from a better mood.” There are times abroad when you can feel lonely and isolated in a country where you may not understand the language, or feel that you are judged for looking differently. Going for a run or bike ride can help you put things in perspective, clear your head and make you a happier person.

I don’t have time to work out! I’m abroad, I have to live in the moment!”

Hiking in Europe 

         While abroad, it is crucial to not get caught up in trivial things, but 30 minutes is all it takes to put in a good work out. Professors abroad are aware of the fact that you are studying in a foreign country and that the experience outside the classroom is just as, if not more, valuable than inside it. You will find yourself with a lot of free time, and you will be tempted to squander it away in your room catching up on your favorite American TV shows. Instead, take 30 minutes and do a quick workout. Hiking with friends can also be a fun way to spend a lazy Saturday morning, and finding trails can be easy. Consult your local office of tourism or the Traildino.

Staying healthy abroad is by no means easy, but it can be done. Live free and easy and if you gain a couple of pounds, it is not a problem. Finding a perfect balance can be a challenge, but it is essential to your happiness and well-being that you do not put your health on the back-burner while abroad.

Getting Your Just Dessert… Healthy Takes on Summertime Treats!

June 1, 2011

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, the days are finally being filled with sun and our morning commute to our respective babysitting jobs, internships, or life-guarding chairs are blessed with a warm breeze. With summer comes fresh fruits, vegetables, and the smell of a charcoal grill, but the longer hours of daylight mean more opportunities to indulge.

How do we resist the temptation of cold creamy ice cream on a sweltering day or fresh-baked apple pie at a picnic? Well, first of all, do not resist completely. Denying yourself yummy summertime foods will only make you grumpy and more likely to over-indulge later on, so have that small slice of pie or single scoop of ice cream, but in moderation.

For healthier takes on summertime treats, see below. They are so easy, even a co-ed could do it.

The Banana Split Alternative: Banana Boats

This version is almost as bad as a real banana split, but by replacing the milk chocolate with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and the marshmallows with protein-packed nuts you get a healthy treat!

Banana Splits are a summertime classic, and honestly what could be better than a combination of bananas, ice cream, chocolate, nuts, whipped cream and a cherry on top? Well, grilled banana boats can be made with a number of things available in the cupboard and only take minutes. Plus, little kids love putting the toppings on, so test it out next time you are babysitting to score some extra Cool Babysitter points.

To Make: slice a banana down the middle. Put whatever toppings you would like into it. Some healthy toppings include:

  • dark chocolate chips
  • honey
  • cinnamon
  • nuts
  • peanut butter
  • nutella

Wrap in tinfoil and place on the grill or in an oven (preheated to 350 degrees) for 7-10 minutes. Unwrap, top with low-fat frozen yogurt or frozen Lite Cool Whip, and enjoy!

 

 

The Ice Cream Pie Alternative: Pistachio Pie

Try topping it with heath bar, for a more delectable treat, or halved pistachios, to add an extra crunch!

Frozen ice cream pies seem to encompass all the great foods in life: ice cream, pie, and whipped cream. But these seemingly innocent buggers can breach the 800-calorie-per-slice mark. So how do we get all that cold, creamy goodness we crave in the hot summer months? Frozen Pistachio Pie. This is a Healthy in College Family Recipe, but tinkered to make it almost guilt-less. This skinny pie comes in at around 150 calories, and 7 grams of fat, but with all the satisfaction as the real thing.

What you’ll need:

  1. 1 1/3 cups crushed low-fat graham cracker
  2. 2 tbl melted Smart Balance or reduced-fat butter
  3. 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  4. 1 package sugar-free instant pistachio pudding mix
  5. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  6. 1 (8oz) thawed container Cool Whip Lite
  7. 1 cup dark chocolate shavings

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 
  2. Crust
    1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter
    2. Coat the mixture on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan, pat evenly
    3. Bake for 10 minutes, then put in refrigerator to cool
  3. The Insides & Top
    1. Whisk milk, dry pudding mix, and almond extract in a bowl for 2 minutes until thick.
    2. Fold in 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip Lite with a spatula into the mix
    3. Spread the remaining cool whip on top of the mixture
    4. Sprinkle dark chocolate shavings on top
    5. Chill in Freezer

The Sheet Cake Alternative: Angel Food Berry Cake

Summer is full of birthdays and celebrations. From Memorial day to Fourth of July, cakes are a standard at every special occasion. The sugary moist cake coated in frosting can be delicious, especially when topped with ice cream, but repetitive abuse can make the jeans fit a little tighter come fall.

Put that college edu-macation to good use and create your own masterpiece.

Angel Food Cake is low in calories in fat, but its fluffy goodness can cure even the most critical sugar craving. This recipe (if you can even call it that) is so easy, if you have wheels, or even legs, you can put it together.

What to get:

  1. One pre-made angel food cake (available at most grocery stores)
  2. Berries of your choice (we like pairing it with raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries)
  3. Cool Whip Lite topping
  4. Hershey’s Lite Chocolate syrup (optional)

Spread Cool Whip on top of cake. Top with berries and syrup. If you really want to impress your Grandma, make a creative pattern with the berries!

Home for the Summer? Living in Chicago? Scream for some healthy ice cream!

May 23, 2011

It is the summer, and with the growing temperature, there is no better treat then a frozen treat to cool off a hot Chicagoan! We gathered up the places in Chicago offering the tastiest and healthiest frozen treats!

Tropical Sno- Willow Springs, Oak Lawn Hardin, Burbank, Tolono, Fairview Heights. This Hawaiian shaved ice is better than most hard, crunchy snow cones. The ice is the closest to snow that you can get in the dog days of summer and with a myriad of flavors, it appeals to people of all ages. Plus, only 25 calories per 8oz serving!

Red Mango- Oakbrook Terrace, Naperville, Lakeview, Glenview, Evanston, Chicago O’hare (coming soon). 100% all-natural, nonfat and around 100 calories, with probiotics, no artificial sweeteners, live cultures (400 million live cultures per gram!) and gluten-free. Flavors include: original, pomegranate, tangomonium and Madagascar vanilla and toppings from mangos to organic Newman-O’s.

Berry Chill- Chicago (Lasalle, State St, Ogilvie, Belmont (coming soon)). No artificial chemicals, all natural, lactose-free, with live active cultures and it is open until 4 a.m.! The original flavor and rotating flavors of the month of Hot Chocolate, Pina Colada and Passion fruit.

Cloud 9- Chicago (Belmont). Snow Ice is a cross between ice cream and shaved ice,  made with a blend of fresh fruit, cream, milk, water and sugar and it was originated in Asia. The fact that there are no added preservatives, healthy, low-calorie, and low-fat and with flavors such as mango,chocolate, original, strawberry and green tea, it’s no surprise this place is garnering attention and a small fan base. Also a wide variety of toppings from the popular condensed milk to the interesting red bean topping!

Starfruit- What makes Starfruit unique is that it uses Lifeway Kefir, which contains 10 active probiotics, which encourage the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system and is easily digested. We stated the importance of probiotics  here, and this frozen yogurt is full of them! Flavors are original, peach, blueberry, pomegranate, strawberry-banana, green, strawberry, chocolate and raspberry and toppings varying from whey protein to Goji berries.

Yoberri- Lincoln Park, IL. Owned by a young woman, this small, locally owned shop features one flavor filled with live and active cultures and many tasty toppings available. The taste speaks for itself, and we love how it is owned and operated by young Chicagoans much like us!

Forever Yogurt- Chicago (coming soon) Lincoln Park (coming soon) and Wicker Park. Forever Yogurt is self-serve and top-it-yourself so that you can decide how much you want… of everything! This yogurt is all natural, gluten-free, kosher and offers non-fat (with flavors vanilla, banana, strawberry, pomegranate-rasberry tart, original tart, cable car chocolate and  new york cheesecake,), low-fat (red-velvet cake, reese’s peanut butter, coconut), non-dairy (mango-tango sorbet, strawberry kiwi sorbet) and no sugar added (vanilla, chocolate).


Freshberry- Chicago (Ontario St.) All natural and offering not only the typical frozen yogurt and smoothies, but also Fresh Pops, which are made with all-natural yogurt and fruit and under 100 calories. Flavors of frozen yogurt include: decadent dark chocolate, FreshBerry Tart, Vanilla No Sugar Added, Acai Berry, Strawberry, Mango and Pomegranate.

Do you love any other delectable but healthy frozen treat places? Let us know at healthyinchicago@gmail.com!

Fro-yo Nutrition Showdown: Elon Edition

March 18, 2011

Given that the majority of Healthy In College’s followers thus far are students at Elon University, this post is geared towards them.

In the past two months, Elon has welcomed the addition of two new frozen yogurt shops. Before, the closest we got to frozen yogurt was a one dollar waffle cone at TCBY on Wednesdays or a watery wannabe fro-yo substance in Octagon. Now we are down right spoiled with two decadent frozen yogurt places within five minutes of campus.

Which shop is superior is a hotly debated topic among Elon students. The pros and cons range from price, location, and quality of yogurt. We are not going to promote one or the other, but rather just bring you the facts.

Yo! Zone

Located in the newly renovated Holy Mill Mall, the pioneer frozen yogurt place attracts both Elon students and locals. People are drawn to this place because of the self-serve machine: a multitude of flavors of both yogurt and sorbet and toppings are offered, allowing customers to master their own creations. Price is based on weight of the final product.

Now, the toppings range from strawberries to cookie dough to hot fudge, so nutritional value will obviously depend on the individual product, but the yogurt itself is fat-free, low-calorie, cholesterol-free, kosher, non-dairy, and gluten-free with live and active cultures.

But how does the nutrition value of the yogurt add up? Below are the nutritional listings for the yogurt for three popular flavors. Remember, 88 grams is around 3 oz, which means filling about 1/3 of the big white cup with yogurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Yogurt

The newest addition to the town of Elon, this yogurt shop began in Durham and prides itself on using only local ingredients and toppings. Unlike Yo! Zone, Local Yogurt is independently run and offers a variety of toppings from  organic and gluten-free granola to Ruffles Potato Chips. Pricing depends on the number of toppings and the size of the treat, either petite, small, medium, or large. Both the original and “flavored” yogurts contain live and active cultures and all-natural ingredients. The yogurt also contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and is certified kosher. The nutritional information listed below are for 4 oz, which is between the petite size which is 3 oz, and the small, which is 5 oz.


 

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