Review: In Defense of Food


I recently read a book for one of my classes called In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and it was one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. It focuses on the paradigm called “nutritionism” that America has fallen into.

Nutritionism is based off of the idea that a food is solely a sum of all its individual nutrients. Pollan describes how noticeable it is as you walk down the aisle of the grocery store: “Where the once familiar names of recognizable comestibles- things like eggs or breakfast cereals or snack foods- claims pride of place on the brightly colored packages crowding the aisles, now new, scientific-sounding terms like “cholesterol” and “fiber” and “saturated fat” began rising to large-type prominence.”

When I read this I couldn’t help but think, why is this a bad thing? America is becoming a more health conscious nation, which is a good thing, right? We are an unhealthy country, with our biggest killers being diet-related. But in this lay the paradigm: as we have grown more “health conscious,” we have become an even unhealthier nation. Separating nutrient from food has completely distorted our needs and priorities.

Pollan specifically talks about the low-fat fad. It was the biggest experiment in nutritionism history: the idea that dietary fat is responsible for chronic disease. He goes on to explain what an utter failure it was, and thirty years later we are even unhealthier.

All in all, Pollan boils down eating to seven basic words, which become the catch phrase of this fantastic book: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. It really is that simple, but he expands on it quite a bit. This book caused me to truly examine what I believe in regards to trusting scientists with my food choices and nutrition advice. It made me re-think my philosophy of food, but I believe it was for the better. I truly could go on forever about it, but I think it would be best if you heard it from him.

By Casie Popkin

4 Sleep Apps for a Better Slumber

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As college students, none of us have a regular sleep cycle. Sometimes we get to bed before 10 p.m., and well, sometimes we don’t. For those of you who would like to fall asleep every night as soon as your head hits the pillow, and wake up a little less groggy, check out these clever sleep apps created to help you do just that!

1. SleepCycle. This apps function is given away in its name. It is designed to literally help monitor and regulate your sleep patterns, allowing for a more normal cycle. It acts as a sleep alarm clock, deciding to wake you up when you are in a lighter sleep cycle than in a heavier one. It determines your sleep phase using the accelerometer built in to the iPhone, which can detect and record the amount of movement in your bed. Waking up in a lighter sleep phase will help you feel more rested, and lessen the desire for skipping that 9:30 class.

2. Sleep Pillow. As college students, it is tough to transition from our bed at school to our bed at home, and vice versa. Especially when it comes to the differences in background noise. If you are used to falling asleep to late-night chatter at school, the dead quiet can be hard to fall asleep to at home. This app provides a series of calming background sounds that create the perfect white noise to send you in to a slumber, from a babbling brook to ocean waves.

3. Yoga for Insomnia. This app allows you to get your ohm on before bed. It offers a variety of yoga poses and breathing exercises which help relax you and release some of the day’s tension from your body. The app offers lessons that range from beginner all the way to advanced for those who practice outside of the bedroom.

4. Sleepmaker Rain Free. Who doesn’t become sleepy on rainy days? This app provides sounds of rain falling on different things, from gutters, to canvas, to windows with a touch of wind. Sounds peaceful, huh? All the sounds come from real rain recordings, that have been proven to help even children and infants fall asleep!

By Aisling Williams

Is It for the Long Run?


imageIn college some relationships are just fun flings while others are in it for the long hall. Many times you know what you are getting into right from the start. However, other times, you may actually have no idea. It’s a scary and nerve wracking conversation to have with the other person. The where do we stand conversation. You know what you want them to say but is it what they themselves want to say? Well there are a few keys signs to help you try to know what is coming from this conversation. These signs help to distinguish those who will go the distance from those who just want to have fun.

1. A person who is in it for the long run won’t mind being the one to text first most of the time. The fun one will complain about it.
2. A person who is in it for the long run wants to know what you want in the future, and is willing to work your wants into theirs. A fun one won’t even bother to ask, why would it matter to them?
3. A person who is in it for the long run wants to actually talk to you. I mean know your opinions, know about your life, really get to know the real you. A fun one will only want to talk about superficial stuff like “hey, did you catch that show last night?” That’s okay sometimes but that is all they will talk about.
4. A person who is in it for the long run will know what you’re feeling or thinking even when you lie. They will know if fine doesn’t really mean fine or okay doesn’t mean you’re okay. A fun one won’t push your answer, they might not even ask the question.
5. A person who is in it for the long run will enjoy movie and dinner nights and just staying in. They will enjoy spending time with just you just hanging out. A fun one would rather go out and hook up with you at the end of the night.
6. A person who is in it for the long run will want to be seen with you: in public, with their friends, anywhere. A fun one probably will only want to be seen with you in a party scene.
7. A person who is in it for the long run will let you do funny things like steal their sweatshirts. A fun one won’t let you even stay in their room long enough to see wear the sweatshirts are.
8. A person who is in it for the long run will be honest with you, whether it is good or bad. They will tell you when you aren’t funny or even when you aren’t looking too hot. A fun one will whatever most things. Fake laugh at your not so funny jokes or say whatever to how you look.
9. A person who is in it for the long run won’t feel the need to snoop on you. They won’t look through your phone or log on your social media. They will trust you. A fun one will be constantly nervous that you are on the lookout for someone new. They will constantly be self-conscious.
10. Finally, a person who is in it for the long run will not be surprised by this “Where are we?” conversation. They will be relieved and make it easy. A fun one will be shocked and brush it off as if it means nothing and never happened.

While these signs are not the end all be all to if you are in it for fun or for a long-term deal, they are some signals that may get you thinking. This way when you go to have the “What is this?” conversation you can have an idea of what is coming. You will have an idea of what to expect.

By Samantha Breault

What to do Before the Semester Ends


With about a month of the semester – and the school year – left to go, it’s time to start thinking about tying up any loose ends with classes and making lasting memories with friends. Think of this as a to-do list, or even a sort of bucket list if you will. For some of you, you’re counting the days until you can be reunited with friends from home or vacation with your family. But once you’re gone, you might find that you miss the home away from home you’ve made here at SU.

• Turn in any extra credit assignments if your grade looks like it could use a boost.
• Start thinking about finals and plan a study schedule. Begin working on any final projects or essays that you may have.
• Fill out the FAFSA. Yep, it’s that time of year again. If you want to be eligible for financial aid next year, make sure you get this done!
• Start thinking about what you’re going to do with all the stuff that’s accumulated in your room. You might want to ship some of it home early or secure a storage space.
• Start planning for summer jobs and internships! While lounging around your parents’ house all summer may seem ideal, you’ll get bored pretty quickly. Earn some extra cash from a summer job.

• Go for a walk. It’s starting to get a little warmer around ‘Cuse, so why not take the opportunity to explore the city while enjoying nature? Head to Westcott Street, have a picnic in Thornden Park, or even just explore the areas of campus you haven’t seen before. Check out ESF or take the hike up to the Mount if you haven’t yet.
• Relax on the quad. You might’ve seen people sleeping with their face in a textbook or chilling in hammocks before, but how many of you have actually taken the opportunity to do so yourself? Sure, everyone stares at you as they walk past – but who cares? Get out of the stuffy library and study outside. Just make sure the grass is dry first!
• Do something you’ve wanted to do all year, but haven’t yet. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see a play, try pilates, or visit somewhere in the city. You don’t want to leave campus with any regrets, no matter how small they may be.
• Check out your new room! By now most of you should’ve selected your rooms for next year. Head on over to your new dorm or apartment, knock, and ask whoever lives there now to let you in for a quick tour. Trust me; they’ll probably be friendly and willing to help you out.

By Caleigh Gran

Well That Was Awkward…


We’ve all had them or will have them at some point in our lifetime. What am I talking about? Well, the inevitable infamous awkward hookup of course! Now, I’m not talking about the really bad hookup, I’m talking about one that went well but you have to see that person again and again. These hookups don’t have to be as awkward as we make them. Many times things can go on just fine, we just make them stranger than they need to be. Here are some tips on how to keep these hookups just hookups and not awkward.

Don’t Change How You Act
If you’ve never really gone out of your way to say “hello” to this person before, don’t do it now. If you always say “hey” when you see them, keep it up! Don’t switch how you’ve always acted around this person. A lot of times people change and it makes everything more awkward than it has to be. If you keep your relationship normal then chances are no one will ever know what happened. Everything will appear normal, keeping the awkward scale on the lower end.

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
Ok, so this hook up happened. Sometimes it’s better just not to talk about the fact that it happened. This means between the two of you and with others. First rule in avoiding the awkwardness is don’t tell anyone else what happened. If you want to keep it to a minimum do not spread it around so that everyone else can stare and be awkward and make you feel even more awkward. Next, ever think that not talking about your hookup with your hookup could help alleviate the awkwardness. Yes, we all know this hookup was fun and great but you don’t necessarily need to tell the other person that. Sometimes not talking about it may just make the awkwardness disappear. I’m not saying act like it never happened but don’t make a whole conversation off of it. That just is a buzz kill on keeping it normal no matter what.

Let It Be
The more you keep questioning it the more awkward it will be. It happened. That’s it. There is nothing you can do about it. If it was a good hookup, great! If not, oh well! We tend to hold on to these things and let them consume us for far too long. If we could just let them go and accept them as things that have happened, we would be able to avoid almost all of the awkwardness. Just let it be. I promise you, it will make a world of difference!

So while some awkwardness will always come along with these situations it does not need to get over the top. If we just accept what happened and try our best to act and stay normal then there should be no issues. If you are mature enough to get into this situation you have to be mature enough to handle it. So handle it wisely and it won’t turn into an awkward, inescapable nightmare. It could be just what it is: a hookup that didn’t change a thing.

By Samantha Breault

End The Trend Of Woman On Woman Hate

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While perusing the latest posts on Thought Catalog, I came across one that stuck with me. Entitled “29 Worst Things About Being Female” by Alexandra Venema, Venema considers some of the issues that women face today that seemingly men don’t have to worry about. Her first reason, the “lack of camaraderie between women,” really stuck with me.

Why is it that men seem to have no issue being friends with each other while women just can’t? Competition seems to be the root of the problem here. Men, competitive by nature tend to keep it to sports. Do they get insecure about their appearances and/or body sometimes? Of course! However, that insecurity usually isn’t translated into treating their peers, or even their friends, like they’re less than they are. While with women, it’s typical to hear hateful comments on the regular that stem from jealousy, even among close friends.

From young ages, girls are taught that how much people like you and how successful you are in life is directly correlated to how good-looking you are. That reason alone is enough to figure out why so many women hate on other women just for being up to a certain standard of beauty. It’s not uncommon to hear girls ripping apart other girls verbally just for being pretty.

Now that I’m done pointing out the obvious, I’ll let you in on my concern. In a world so up-and-coming in the department of equal rights for women, women should be more open and forgiving with one another. When it comes down to problems such as being paid more or issues regarding sexism, men can’t and won’t understand what we’re going through. While they can be helpful in our pursuit, they aren’t the answer. If our goal is to be treated as equally as the men in our lives, we need to take a cue from them and the way they handle their relationships with each other.

Instead of hating on the woman who looks good in that dress you almost bought but didn’t, tell her she looks good in it. Making little steps such as this will definitely reduce some of the drama that our gender is known for. Some of the best relationships I have are with women and I know that if they were replaced with a man, while they might still be fulfilling and meaningful, they wouldn’t be as honest as they are right now. Women relate to women on levels that opposite sexes just can’t. Next time you find yourself letting jealousy ruin your perception you thought was nice regardless of your newfound insecurities, take a step back and realize that she probably has insecurities too and you wouldn’t want to be disliked for that. Again with golden rule, treat others as you want to be treated.

By Casie Popkin

Healthy or Hazardous? : 3 Things We Once Thought Were Healthy

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Over the years, many there have been many products advocated that initially were deemed healthy, but then turned out to be just the opposite. We have been in this vicious cycle for years, as new things are discovered daily. Well, here are three items that historically were viewed as healthy at first, but now are seen as dangerous for our bodies.

  1. Cigarettes. Back in the day, these were quite the ticket item. They even had the endorsement of doctors, if you can believe that. Tobacco companies were behind physicians advocacy, like Lucky Strike who schemed with advertising executives. The companies knew that in those days (the 1920’s), people put full trust in their doctors. In the 1930’s health concerns about the product arose, the companies took greater action by actually having doctors featured in ads for cigarettes. It wasn’t until 1964 that the Surgeon General’s Warning first came on to cigarette packages linking them to cancer.
  1. Cocaine. Cocaine is one of the oldest stimulants on the market to date, which actually came from natural origins. The drug is derived from the coca leaf, which used to be chewed by Peruvian tribes during religious ceremonies. It was advocated by Hollywood celebrities in the early 1900’s who believed it to be a miracle drug. Sigmund Freud also endorsed cocaine largely, believing the drug could cure sexual impotence and depression. Turns out, it does just the opposite. The stimulant causes such a high that a person coming off of it can easily slip in to a depression, which naturally makes them crave the drug.
  1. Soda. Despite its negative connotations now, soda was also viewed to possess health benefits during its introduction. In the early 1800’s, pharmacists added herbs and medicines to the product and sold them as a health drink. Ginger ale was first sold in 1851 in Ireland. Then cola came around thirty years later, becoming a national symbol for America. These days, we know that soda is linked to diabetes and obesity, as well as certain types of cancer.

By Aisling Williams

Easy Exercises For Spring Break Abs

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In two weeks this campus will be basically empty for spring break. Going back to New Jersey doesn’t really give me any bikini time, but just because I’m unlucky doesn’t mean all of you are! Some of you will go home where it’s warm and some of you will go on vacation. Here are some easy exercises for spring break abs.

1. Bicycle Crunches: Lie face-up on the ground or a mat of your choice with your hands behind your head, supporting it. Start to bring your right elbow to your abdomen along with your left leg. Replace and repeat with your left elbow and your right leg. That’s one. Do three sets of sixteen.

2. Plank: Start with your face toward the ground, resting on your forearms and your palms flat. Push off onto your toes and ball your palms into fists, but keep your forearms on the ground, all shoulder-width apart. Make sure your back remains flat and your butt doesn’t stick into the air. Hold for sixty seconds. Do five sets.

If you are at a gym or have equipment available to you, adding a regular exercise ball to crunches can be very effective. Standing on a bosu ball while doing squats also engages your core because of how hard it can be to balance.

By Casie Popkin

Fight the Fad Diets

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South Beach Diet, Adkins diet, the cookie diet, the juice diet, the raw food diet. All of these are examples of “fad diets.” They are all the rage, claiming millions of success stories and guaranteed results. Then they fade out and you don’t hear about them anymore, until the next one pops up. The truth is, you want to stay far away from these fad diets because if they sound too good to be true, they most likely are. They make unrealistic and unsustainable claims that will only serve to hurt you in the long run. Here’s how to know what’s real and what’s just a trend.

Fast, Drastic Weight Loss

Most of these diets promote dropping a lot of weight in a short span of time, but gradual and steady weight loss is the key to success! This will increase your chances of keeping it off. Also, losing too much too fast can also result in muscle, bone, and water loss. Aim for ½ pound to 1 pound per week.

No moderation necessary

A lot of diets will restrict you from certain foods, but then allow you to eat as much as you want of others. This will not only become boring with time, therefore causing you to give up, but you will also miss out of key nutrients. Everything is allowed in a diet with moderation!

Specific Food Combinations

There is no scientific evidence that has shown that eating certain foods at certain times of the day or in combination with other foods will help with weight loss. Do not fall into the traps that claim they will.

No Need to Exercise

This is probably the biggest downfall of them all. Diet and exercise go hand in hand: you cannot have a healthy diet without 30-60 minutes of exercise at least every other day each week. The good news is, they go hand in hand! Usually if you begin to exercise and get your endorphins pumping, you will feel more motivated to eat right. Then, you will see results over time, which will encourage you to keep exercising.

Overall, they key to the perfect “diet” is actually not a diet, but a lifestyle change. Don’t worry about perfecting it right away, either. Small, sustainable changes are the key. Recognize that slip-ups do occur, and they are allowed! Don’t be too hard on yourself and truly believe that with time and persistence, these healthy habits will be second nature.

The “Munchies” Unmasked

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Whether you’ve said it out loud or not, you’ve always wondered it—what causes the munchies? With more states progressively legalizing marijuana, the question is becoming all the more relevant. Studies have recently uncovered the true science behind it.

Let’s begin with hunger. Our hunger is regulated by two hormones, ghrelin and leptin. The chemicals usually secrete from fat cells that then are sent to our brain’s hypothalamus, where it is processed as “hungry” or “full”. However, a recent study completed by European neuroscientists uncovered the answer to the fundamental question. When marijuana is smoked, the chemical THC is what effects our brain and feelings. Apparently their study proved that THC actually attaches to the brain’s olfactory bulb, a sector of the brain designated for any smell sensation.

So why does it make you hungry?

The brain already has a built-in set of receptors known as endocannabinoids, which control appetite amongst a slew of other sensations. The chemical THC intensifies those receptors, fitting in to our normal neural pathway and amping up the drive for hunger largely. Since the feeling hits the mecca of our sensations, we are bound to want to eat, regardless of whether we are hungry or not.

The scientists concluded that THC mediates our hunger through amplifying our reaction to smell, regardless of whether our body is actually hungry or not.

Guess that’s why they call it the munchies

By Aisling Williams

Is Your Stuff The Key To Your Heart?


We’ve all been there, the awkward break up or end to a
long-term hook up.  The feeling that you really just don’t want to see the person again, at least for a long time.  But there are always those feelings that feel like they are left open ended.  No matter how small there are those little annoying feelings that don’t go away.  Here’s where things get even worse.  You realize that other person still has some of your stuff.  Whether it is something as small as a hair clip or a sweatshirt, it still means something.  So why don’t you just ask for it back?  Just say I want my stuff back, it should be easy.  However, sometimes those five words are a lot harder to say than you expected.

While the other person still has your stuff there is an open line of communication.  You may not be using it but you know you always have something that you can talk to them about again.  However, once you get your stuff back, that’s it.  The line has been disconnected.  If you are really done and ready to shut your feelings out then it is easy to ask for your stuff back.  You’re ready to walk away and cut that line.  When you aren’t ready to be done it becomes harder to make the move.  You keep putting off asking for things back.  Those things keep the line of communication open as well as keep a part of you with them.  At this point our stuff becomes more than just stuff, it becomes a part of the relationship that is still in tact.  The part that hasn’t yet fallen apart.  If your stuff is gone sometimes you fear that the memory of you is gone as well.  We all know that when you look at something someone left you think about some of the times you shared, it’s hard not to.  When your stuff is still there so is a part of you.

Maybe your stuff is a way of telling you if you are really over someone.  If you are asking for your stuff back is nothing more than a simple question.  However, if there is even the slightest glimmer of hope that question becomes something to keep putting off.  So, are you ready to cut the line of communication and ask for your stuff back or do you want to keep it open?  It’s up to you to decide, and who would have thought that your stuff could help you figure that out.

By Samantha Breault

Book Review: In Defense of Food

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I recently read a book for one of my classes called In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and it was one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. It focuses on the paradigm called “nutritionism” that America has fallen into.

Nutritionism is based off of the idea that a food is solely a sum of all its individual nutrients. Pollan describes how noticeable it is as you walk down the aisle of the grocery store: “Where the once familiar names of recognizable comestibles — things like eggs or breakfast cereals or snack foods — claims pride of place on the brightly colored packages crowding the aisles, now new, scientific-sounding terms like “cholesterol” and “fiber” and “saturated fat” began rising to large-type prominence.”
When I read this I couldn’t help but think, why is this a bad thing? America is becoming a more health conscious nation, which is a good thing, right? We are an unhealthy country, with our biggest killers being diet-related. But in this lay the paradigm: as we have grown more “health conscious,” we have become an even unhealthier nation. Separating nutrient from food has completely distorted our needs and priorities.

Pollan specifically talks about the low-fat fad. It was the biggest experiment in nutritionism history: the idea that dietary fat is responsible for chronic disease. He goes on to explain what an utter failure it was, and thirty years later we are even unhealthier.

All in all, Pollan boils down eating to seven basic words, which become the catch phrase of this fantastic book: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. It really is that simple, but he expands on it quite a bit. This book caused me to truly examine what I believe in regards to trusting scientists with my food choices and nutrition advice. It made me re-think my philosophy of food, but I believe it was for the better. I truly could go on forever about it, but I think it would be best if you heard it from him.

By Katy Davis

Is Paleo Right for You?

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I’m very into health and nutrition and have certainly heard of the Paleo Diet. But I was never clear on what it exactly is. If you’re just as curious as I was, read what I am about to share with you about this healthful diet.

The Paleo Diet is based on eating wholefoods from the groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era. There is a long list of foods acceptable on this diet, but this is not simply another diet, it’s a new lifestyle to grasp. You really have to pay attention to everything you put into your body and consciously think about your decisions. The Paleo approved list:

  • Fresh meats (generally grass-fed or organically raised without hormones or antibiotics are preferred)
  • Wild-caught seafood
  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Raw nuts
  • Healthy oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseeds)

Foods not acceptable on this diet:

  • Dairy products
  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined sugars
  • Processed foods
  • Starches (no white potatoes, but sweet are fine)

Our ancestors didn’t’ consume any of the above foods and lived a very healthful life, which means that this diet is likely extremely beneficial to us. There are diseases this diet is known to potentially fight off: obesity, cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis), type 2 diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, acne, eye problems, Gout, varicose veins.

So if you’re seriously considering trying a Paleo Diet, definitely do your research and thoroughly plan your shopping list. A good book on the Paleolithic Diet do’s and don’ts could always come in handy, too.

By: Sarah Richheimer

You May Want To Write This Down

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These days, note taking in our classes is mainly done on laptops, with notebooks few and far between. It’s quicker and more organized, right? Though it may allow for more organized and neat notes that can be shared among classmates with ease, laptops may not be the best choice for an academic setting.

Studies have shown that students who still use pen and paper to record class notes have a better memory as well as an easier time retaining and understanding concepts. So, for those of you whom prefer the old-fashioned way of note taking, it may be helping your academic performance!

The study was done after it was reported that over 50 percent of college students use their laptops in class for note taking at least once a week.

The first study had a group of college students listen to two lectures, taking notes in the way they normally would. They were then tested on the material covered in the two lectures, a half hour later. The findings showed that both groups of students could memorize the same amount of facts, but those who took handwritten notes greatly outperformed the laptop users when they were tested on ideas. Why? Scientists believe that those who typed their notes took notes verbatim, which affected their learning negatively.

Then, a second group of students were tested given the same scenario, but instead were tested on the material a week later, giving them time to review. The students who hand wrote their notes still performed significantly better than those who typed theirs. Those who typed were even suggested to not to note take word for word, and yet they still did. Scientists think that typing your notes triggers more mindless processing, where handwriting them allows students to think beyond just listening and writing.

So, perhaps dust off that old notebook that you bought freshman year and never ended up using. It could have greater use than you think.

By Aisling Williams

Feel Summer-Level Energy, Even When It’s Below Zero

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I previously posted about the effect of S.A.D, or Season Affective Disorder. Right now, when it’s almost spring, but we know nothing warmer than 40 degrees is making its way to Syracuse, it can be kind of hard to not only walk all over campus to class, but to get out of bed. Being cold makes us irritable and definitely more tired. Ever notice how you seem to get cold when you get sleepy enough to nap? Yeah. Me too.

Well, here are some ways to get your energy up even when the temperatures are very, very low.

1. Walking from class to class in the cold might not be your idea of fun, but have you ever noticed how awake you are when you finally reach your destination? That’s right. Simply walking for ten minutes a day can give you up to two hours of extra energy.

2. Next time you’re sitting in the library feeling like you might doze off, pull up a funny video instead. Laughing wakes you up while letting you stay comfortable, instead of making you drowsy.

3. Need an extra boost before you head out for class? Pour some chia seeds into your morning yogurt. Chia seeds are packed with Vitamin B, fiber, and protein, which are all good for an energy and good for your diet!

By Casie Popkin

Tips to Prevent an Awkward Date


Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.01.34 PMAfter Valentine’s Day there are probably plenty of new sets of lovebirds around campus. Whether you’re in the awkward getting-to-know-you stage or transitioning from a friendship into a relationship, there’s bound to be some awkward moments between you and your new beaux. To alleviate that awkwardness or even to avoid it altogether, follow these tips and it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.


  1. Keep the conversation going! Ever hear of ‘awkward silence?’ Don’t be shy; just say the first things that come to mind. Ask questions to get to know more about them.
  2.  Make a plan. Nothing’s more of a turn off then having the “I don’t know, what do you wanna do?” conversation…over and over again.
  3. Dress appropriately. C’mon ladies, don’t show up to the movie theater in the sexiest outfit you own. Destiny USA is pretty awesome, but unfortunately it’s not a night club. Don’t be that girl.
  4. Don’t come on too strong. You don’t want your date to think you’ve already started on the wedding plans.
  5. Don’t act too disinterested. It’s perfectly okay to act cool and casual, but it’s important your date knows that you’re listening to them and care about what they have to say.
  6. Don’t reveal any secrets just yet. The first date is probably not the best time to tell your entire life story. It is way more rewarding to learn as you go.
  7.  Be kind. If your date makes plans to do something that isn’t really your cup of tea, just go with it. Otherwise you’ll seem ungrateful and possibly demanding. And who knows, you might even end up liking what he has planned.
  8.  Physical contact. The first time you hold hands or cuddle together is most likely going to be awkward, but just relax and be confident. The sweaty palms can be ignored! If it doesn’t feel right, then think about reconsidering the relationship.
  9. The tab. Ladies, never assume your date is going to pay for your dinner…and the movie…and everything else…. Have plenty of money on you just in case. Always offer to pay, even though you most likely won’t have to contribute anything more than the tip.
  10.  The first kiss. This depends on personal preference, but don’t be disappointed if you don’t get that kiss at the end of the night. Keep an open mind and stay positive.

Hopefully those tips will help you avoid experiencing awkward dates. If it does end up being awkward or doesn’t go as well as you had wanted, at least you’ll know that it wasn’t your fault. And remember, the dating stage is fun and exciting – it’s something you’ll only get to experience once with that special someone – so enjoy it!

By Caleigh Gran

The Truth About Weekend Weight Gain

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It’s finally Friday. After a long week of classes, all any college student wants to do is lie in bed, watch Netflix, eat pizza and drink sugary beverages. It becomes so easy to gain weight over the weekend between the lack of activity and poor eating habits. However, a new study done by Cornell reveals that it’s okay to indulge over the weekend if you want to maintain or lose weight. The most important thing to remember is to eat healthy during the weekdays.

The study examined 80 adults ranging from 25-62 years old for a period of days ranging from 15 to 330 days. The participants were told to weigh themselves at the start of each day to track weight fluctuation. After the study was conducted, adults who lost weight were adults who reported that they let themselves indulge over the weekend. These same adults also reported that their weight was highest on Sunday and Monday and lowest on Fridays. Adults who gained weight reported that their weight did not fluctuate over the week.

The findings of this study are consistent with previous studies that have discovered that weight management does not come from restricting food from a diet, but from allowing room for short-term splurges.

With this new information in mind, don’t feel bad if you indulge a little or don’t want to go to the gym over the weekend. However, make sure that when Monday comes around, you’re ready to resume a healthy diet and lifestyle.

By Alison Pang

8 Valentine’s Day Ideas

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It’s almost that time of year again, where if you’re single, you want the day to disappear, and if you’re coupled off, you can’t wait. Its Valentines Day — the holiday of love.

If you’re sick of the same old same old, try to get your man to do one of these ideas:

Reenact your first date: Throwback to your first date. Eat at the same restaurant and order the same food. Go back to where the love began!

Get Physical: Not “that” physical. This type of physical could be going to an amusement park, going water skiing or tubing. When you get those endorphins flowing, it’s proven to leave you both in loving moods.

Go for a massage: What woman would ever turn down a massage? None. Booking a couples massage would make both of you less tense, relaxed and set the mood just right for the day.

Be homebodies: Just chill at home together with no distractions: no phones, computers or answering the doors. Just you and your man with some peace and quiet–even order in some pizza and just enjoy the day.

24 hours of chocolate: Chocolate is the typical V-Day sweet. And there is nothing wrong with that. But have some fun with it; take your woman out to a few different dessert places and pick fun chocolate options at each! Show her your sweetness all day long.

Get away: If money allows, go on a weekend getaway or even a night away, somewhere far, far away. Make sure to give your girl options of places you’re thinking about going to so she can take time off of work.

Dress up: Make a dinner reservation somewhere nice and fancy—so that you and your woman can dress up. Dressing up always makes the time together special and you both look good!

Cook her dinner: Make the day all about her. Make her breakfast in bed, give the roses and heart shaped chocolate, cook her a nice dinner with some candles. Show your love and appreciation for her.

By Sarah Richheimer

Dealing with Iron Deficiency

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Iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in the United States. It is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. So the phrase “pumping iron” is accurate, but you don’t need to hit the gym to do it, you just need to breathe!

When your body does not absorb enough iron, you can develop iron deficiency anemia. This means that not enough red blood cells with adequate hemoglobin can be made. Therefore, oxygen and carbon dioxide cannot be transported efficiently. This can cause fatigue, weakness, dizziness, pale skin and fingernails, headache, and an inflamed tongue.

This mineral deficiency is most commonly found in the following populations:

  • Young children: As babies grow rapidly, their iron needs increase and must be met by breast milk and infant formula
  • Adolescent girls: This is another time of rapid growth that increases iron needs
  • Women of childbearing age: This is because of our little friend that visits every month. Women lose iron as a result of their menstrual cycles, and this puts them at constant risk of deficiency
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding: Because they are eating and metabolizing for two (or more!), iron needs increase in this stage of life

This “common” deficiency shouldn’t be so common, though, because iron is easy to get, and yummy! The best sources of iron are from animal sources because our bodies absorb 2-3 times more of it than iron from plant sources. This includes lean beef, turkey, chicken, lean pork, and fish. If you stay away from animals, though, have no fear! You can still get adequate amounts of non-heme iron, which is a fancy word for iron from plant sources. These foods are great sources of non-heme iron:

  • Beans, including pinto, kidney, soybeans and lentils
  • Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Enriched rice
  • Whole-grain and enriched breads

Because our bodies naturally absorb more iron from animal sources, you can increase absorption from plant sources by eating more vitamin C (see last weeks post!).

Overall, the most important thing is eating a variety of foods to ensure you get adequate amounts of all vitamins and minerals, not just iron. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and the benefits could go a long way!

By Katy Davis

How To Get Rid Of Cramps Without Pain Medication

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Being a girl sucks. Not only do we have to deal with the looming future of motherhood – should you decide that’s what you want – but we also have to deal with monthly periods until we’re in our 50s. Along with all the nasty things that come along with Mother Nature’s gift, some girls get cramps. These cramps can be minor, the kind that go away if you move your body in a different position, or they can be so painful that they’re physically exhausting and when the pain subsides, all you can do as a victim to this is sleep.

Here are some ways to rid yourself of just one more way the world tries to bring us women down without taking any prescription or non-prescription pain pills;

1. Exercise. I know this probably sounds stupid. You’re in pain and you can’t even lie down comfortably, let alone go work out, but it’s true. While your body is retaining the amount of water that it does during your period, working out helps to release some of that pressure building.

2. Place a heated water bottle or pad on your abdomen. Really don’t feel like moving? Find a hot water source and lie it on your stomach or lower back. As cold helps burns, heat tends to help with soreness.

3. If all else fails, talk to your doctor about birth control. Taking a daily pill might not be your thing, but if nothing else seems to work, the pill might be your answer.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside, But You’re Losing Weight Too

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Despite the extremely cold temperatures and tons (literally) of snow, there is some good that has come from this weather. I know it’s hard to believe, but stick with me here. Studies have shown that colder temperatures may actually help you drop a few pounds, which is beneficial when you’re already wearing six layers.

How does it work?

Well, according to research done in the Netherlands, in cold temperatures our bodies produce something called brown fat. This brown fat burns heat, helping to actually eat away at white fat in our bodies, or burning energy stored from good. Naturally, this diminishes overall fat content and allows us to lose a little weight.

The study noted that those who are thinner have more brown fat than those who are overweight or elderly. Also, if our body adjusts to living in colder temperatures, our body produces more brown fat. How wonderful it is to live in a place like Syracuse!

In the study, participants were adjusted to cooler temps over time, spending an average of six hours per day in the cold for 10 days. By the end of the study, participants had more brown fat in their bodies and shivered less at 59 degrees. Students at SU would be wearing shorts in 59 degrees, just saying.

So, as you sit growling at the sight of your breath in the air every day, just think—you could be building up brown fat, and more enticing, losing weight!

By Aisling Williams

Make Your Valentine’s Day a Bit Sweeter

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Cupcakes and chocolate may taste even sweeter this Valentine’s Day if you’re in love. A recent study shows that people who wrote about a personal experience of love before eating different types of candies ranked sour and bitter candies as sweeter than those who wrote about an experience where they felt jealousy. Even water tasted sweeter to those who talked about an experience of love before drinking or eating.

The study found that feelings of love do not affect the receptors of the tongue, but that taste buds are linked to the brain and make us more conscious of what we taste. Because of this, the brain can process tastes of foods differently depending on one’s mood, and confirms why people thought that even water tasted sweeter.

On the flip side, feelings of jealousy or depression can not only affect how you taste foods, but also have a direct effect on how much you eat. Various other studies have shown that feeling depressed or stressed can impair the amount of food eaten because of how food tasted. People who were depressed were unable to properly taste fatty foods, leading them to be unsatisfied with what they were eating and resulting in them eating more.

This Valentine’s, make an effort to remember a moment you felt loved. It may not only make your sweet treats taste a little sweeter, but also brighten up your day.

By Alison Pang

Apps for Students


​Most of us are all well aware of how glued we are to our phones and computer screens. We would be lost without them to provide a constant source of quick communication, entertainment, and information. We depend on them. With that said, as students there are certain applications available for iPhones and androids that will help integrate our schoolwork with technology. And I’m not talking about the obviously-necessary GoogleMaps, email, and textbook search engines. Essentially, the following are some apps made to make students’ lives better.

-BlackBoard: We’re all familiar with BlackBoard because it is one of the main platforms through which SU teachers can communicate with students and post homework assignments. However, some may not know that there is an app for BB that offers several customizable options. For example, you can change the colors of each class to distinguish them apart from one another and set certain ones as “favorites.” You can even get updates sent straight to your phone every time a grade is added.
-Grubhub: This app is perfect for foodies and starving college students. At any time and at any place in Syracuse you can use the map to find out which restaurants are open and delivering, and place your order straight from your phone in a matter of seconds. Convenience at its finest.
-Blogilates: There are tons of great fitness apps out there but one that’s especially fun, engaging, and informative is Blogilates. It’s created by a fitness expert who also makes YouTube videos. She has all her videos categorized on the app as well as meal plans and tips. Many of her workouts are to fun songs and target specific areas you’d want to work on.
-Sleep if U Can: This is an alarm clock app – which as we all know is crucial to making it to class on time every morning. What makes it special, however, is that in order to turn the alarm off you have to take a picture of an object that you have previously chosen. If you set it to be a picture of your refrigerator, then you have to get up out of bed and take the picture to turn it off. Genius, right?
-Self-control: This app is an organizer and to-do list of sorts. You can set alarms to things that you need to get done and create a calendar around your busy schedules. You can attach emotions and notes to each activity as you do them as well.

By Caleigh Gran

Do You Need Your Multivitamin?

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Do you take a multivitamin? Or maybe you don’t take one yourself, but you’ve considered them before or you know someone who is a religious vitamin taker.

Taking a multivitamin is all up to personal feelings and preference. I remember when I was younger and went to the doctor’s every year for my checkup, she would always reassure me to take my multivitamin.

I would ask my doctor why she thought it was necessary to take them and she’d say that they are simply an extra form of protection to keep you healthy and make sure you get all your required daily vitamins. However, my question was always: What if I eat a really balanced diet already? Why is there a need to supplement? Isn’t there a possibility of getting too much of some vitamins then? This is why I feel taking a vitamin very much depends on who you are and how you live your life and choose to eat.

I’ve done a lot of research on the topic of vitamin supplementation myself because it interests me. I feel that some people need to supplement their diets with certain vitamins they may not be getting; for example, a vegetarian or vegan may not get the required iron needed daily or calcium since these nutrients are found in meats and dairy products. Hence, supplementation may be needed.

I feel if you eat healthy most of the time, and are physically active as well, your daily required nutrients should come from your diet. Natural sources of nutrients are always smarter and safer.

In a major review of 31 vitamins and minerals, experts discovered that high levels of beta-carotene and zinc may have irreversible harmful effects when taken over a long period. There were also concerns that high doses of vitamin C, calcium and iron could harm health but long-term damage could be avoided if people stop taking them, according to the BBC.

So I say reevaluate your diet and lifestyle. If you think you eat relatively healthy, chances are you likely don’t need a multi. However, if you’re a vegan or iron deficient, a multi might be just what you need.

By Sarah Richheimer

The Best Things You Can Put into Your Body

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Nothing is magical, but these superfoods are the best things you can put into your body.

Spinach: Spinach is listed on practically every list of superfoods.  Not only does spinach have iron, fiber, and antioxidants, but it also has anti-cancer properties, lowers blood pressure and promotes healthy skin by allowing for moisture retention. The best way to get the nutrients out of spinach is to cook it. Either sauté it with lemon and onions, boil it and squeeze some lemon over it or steam it. Make sure to always pair spinach with a citrus like lemon or orange because vitamin C increases iron absorption.

Kale: Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. It is known for having a high amount of vitamin K — which can reduce the risk of cancer, vitamin A — which helps maintain healthy skin and teeth, and vitamin C — which protects against immune system deficiencies, and cardiovascular disease. I personally don’t like eating kale raw so I put it into a smoothie with water, an orange, an apple, almonds, and ground flax seed.

Green Tea: Everyone knows about the health benefits of green tea. It promotes weight loss, has natural antioxidants, and prevents cancer. Green tea, however, is not a miracle weight loss supplement; when paired with exercise and a healthy, balanced diet, it can increase weight loss, but just drinking green tea won’t help you lose weight. A lot of people don’t like the strong taste of green tea, so I would recommend the Tazo Zen tea. Because it is a combination of green tea and lemongrass, it looses some of the tea’s strong taste. Tazo Zen can be found at Starbucks or online at Amazon.

Blueberries: This small berry has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all fruits. Antioxidants are important because they counteract the body’s natural process of oxidation. The best way to describe oxidation is to compare the human body to an apple turning brown. No one wants their apple to turn brown. If apples consumed blueberries, they wouldn’t turn brown.

Apples: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This very cliché saying is true. What makes an apple so great is that it is high in antioxidants and fiber. Specifically for college students, apples detoxify your liver. They also help prevent a variety of diseases we don’t think about such as hemorrhoids, gallstones, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Almonds/ Walnuts: Almonds and walnuts are high in healthy fats. If you want to boost your metabolism, you need to consume foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Almonds are heart-healthy nuts in that they lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduce heart attack risk. Walnuts are packed with protein and vitamin B6, which improves cognitive function, PMS, and the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

Avocado/ Salmon/ Olive Oil: I grouped these three superfoods together because they all have the same function, to provide the body with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart disease overall. I love these foods because instead of promoting generic weight loss, these foods actually promote fat loss in the body. If you are trying to look fit instead of just skinny, foods high in omega-3 are the way to go.

Greek Yogurt: The Greek yogurt trend has only been in the mainstream media for about a year. The reason yogurt is so good for you is because it helps retain lean muscle mass, which allows for fat loss. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which are active cultures in your digestive tract that remove harmful microorganisms from the digestive tract.

Dark chocolate: When going for dark chocolate, a label simply saying dark chocolate is not enough because it can still have high amounts of artificial sugars similar to those in milk chocolate. Instead, opt for a bar with 85% [or higher if you don’t mind the bitter taste of cocoa]. This type of dark chocolate is high in fiber and antioxidants. It is also known to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Flax seed: Flax seed is known to have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Women who consume lignans have lower body fat percentages, making it easier to lose fat, instead of just losing weight. Flax seeds, however, cannot be digested properly unless they are ground or in the form or a liquid oil. Personally, I bought a container of organic ground flax seed on Amazon and I put two tablespoons of ground flax in my Greek yogurt.

Chia seeds: Chia seeds have recently become popularized as they help with weight loss. They not only make you feel fuller faster, but they also reduce food cravings so that you only eat when you’re hungry. They can help control your blood sugar and reduce blood pressure.

Water: Water is the best thing you can put into your body. Everyone knows that you need to drink a lot of water every day, but, being in college, I have not seen many of my friends drinking a lot of water. Because our bodies are 60% water, we need to drink a lot of water in order to maintain the balance of body fluids; if the body fluid isn’t maintained, the body will have a harder time flushing out toxins and will store fat more easily.

 By Ejona Murataj

Social Media and Technology: Good or Bad for Your Relationship?


We all know that social media and technology are some of the basic forms of communication in our culture today.  They make it easy to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world.  However, while this makes it easier to keep relationships up, is it hurting them at the same time?

Say someone messages you on Facebook or Twitter and the conversation starts from there.  Then it moves to texting.  So, now what?  You’ve had all of these great conversations online and now it’s time to meet face to face.  It’s a lot different having a conversation with someone face to face than it is through words on a screen.  Those words lack intimacy and emotion no matter how many emojis you put in them.  Through texts and social media messages you never see the look on the other person’s face or hear their tone when they say something.  Many times that is where the problems lie.  You don’t really know the context from where the other person is saying these things.

Not only can relationships start and be maintained through these outlets, they can be ended as well.  While we all know this is the worst way to end something it happens so frequently.  It’s hard to take in the full effect of what is going on when all you can see are black and white words on the page.  You don’t hear the tone in the person’s voice while they’re talking and they can’t see your reaction to it all.  No one knows how the other is truly feeling or how they are reacting.  Many times, we get so upset that we don’t even fully read the messages being sent to us.  We read what we want to and go off of that.  We can’t help it.  These forms of technology and media take the easy way of avoiding emotions, which can’t be done in a relationship.

While these outlets are great ways to stay in touch while traveling or living apart from your significant other maybe we should not use them as much as we do.  We need face-to-face contact to be able to fully tell how much of our emotions to invest into the other person.  We need this to know that the other person cares as much as we do, even when it is all coming to an end.  So while texting and social media can help certain relationships to survive, it can also bring some down a dangerous path.  This path, in some cases, may not be one of return.  So while it is so easy to use these devices, make sure to make time for the actual human contact, it’ll benefit you in the end.

By Samantha Breault

Get your Vitamin C without the Citrus

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The soundtrack of winter seems of consist of three basic notes: the cough, the sneeze, and the sniffle. Add lack of sleep and Syracuse weather on top of all that, and you’ve got the perfect cold.  Although vitamin C has not been proven to prevent the common cold, it has been shown to take a couple of days off of it.

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body cannot make it, so you must obtain it from your diet. Even though you bleed orange, you may not like oranges, but that’s okay! There are plenty of foods rich in Vitamin C besides the classic orange and orange juice:

  • Grapefruit: Add a little sugar on the top and you have a sweet, thirst quenching breakfast or snack. Don’t forget to squeeze the juice out at the end for an extra boost of vitamins!

  • Strawberries: Although they’re out of season, you can still enjoy. Throw some frozen strawberries in your smoothie or put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds, put them in your favorite yogurt, and enjoy a filling breakfast.

  • Broccoli: Great with any dish at dinner time! If the taste isn’t for you, try sprinkling a little bit of cheese on top (mozzarella and cheddar are my personal favorites).

  • Red or Green Bell Peppers and Tomatoes: Perfect with hummus for a snack, on top of salads to add a little sweetness,  or sautéed in with your favorite pasta, olive oil, and garlic.

The longer these foods sit in your fridge the more vitamin C they loose — even more reason to buy them frequently and eat them soon after. Also, consider steaming your vegetables to lock in and preserve those vitamins.

Besides helping you beat the sniffles, vitamin C plays a key role in the maintenance, growth, and repair of tissue in your body. It keeps your bones, teeth, cartilage, and skin strong and healthy. It also acts as an antioxidant to prevent certain cancers and heart disease. Vitamin C even promotes healthy aging, which we all need after that stressful Duke game! Don’t forget to add a little color to your plates with these foods at each meal —  it will go a long way!

By Katy Davis

Fresh, Organic, and Local: Strong Hearts Cafe

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When I first began my journey as a freshman nutrition major from the suburbs of Philadelphia, I knew I’d be immersed in SU’s college-student food culture filled with processed, dining hall meals and junk food options available on our famous Marshall Street. I am ashamed to admit that it was not until my sophomore year that I wondered off the hill for the first time and began to search for something more. It was not only good food I was after — I was on a quest for restaurants with a cause — ones that wanted to make a statement, and ones that strive to give back to the community — a standard I was familiar with from my upbringing, and a qualification that was pertinent in my dining options at home.

Strong Hearts Café was everything I had been looking for and more. This completely vegan café not only offers an eclectic menu, ranging from curried-mixed vegetable tofu “egg” scramble for breakfast, to a winter kale salad with walnuts, sweet potatoes, and beets drizzled in a light agave and mustard dressing for lunch- both are personal favorites, but it also offers over twelve sandwich options, over forty milkshake options, and over twenty pizza options as well. And if this is not one of the biggest vegan menus you have ever seen, they also offer snacks, sides, and organic, fair trade coffee- supplied from recess coffee, another wonderful, local café, located right up the street from the E. Genesee location.

This café — from personal experience, numerous recommendations, and a variety of positive reviews — not only offers an extensive menu, but provides something more — community support. Owners Nick Ryan, a Syracuse University graduate, and Joel Capolongo, an active member in the Syracuse Animal Defense League, are both experienced, practicing vegans who stress the importance of purchasing local ingredients from central New York farmers to execute their hefty menu, as well as support their immediate community. The cafe uses zero styrofoam and plastics, as well as no meat, dairy, cholesterol, high-fructose corn-syrup, artificial sweeteners, or trans fats. The owners take care that all food waste is properly composted. Their 100 percent biodegradable and compostable food packing speaks strongly to their care for our environment, and their relationship with the local community development credit union speaks to their devotion to locality and sustainability.

Stronghearts Café is truly music to my ears, an option nutrition majors focused in food studies, like myself, can only dream to discover. This unique café should definitely be welcomed warmly to our Syracuse University campus, and frequented regularly. Eating at Stronghearts Café is an impeccable way to support your community, eat mindfully, and of course, enjoy the most delicious, environmentally friendly cuisine on campus!

By Taylor Appel

How to Know When it’s Really Love

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We all know that guys aren’t the best with sharing their emotions, and sometimes they leave us women hanging with the question dangling over our heads —  “does he love me?” Guys can be weird sometimes and it can often be hard to read them. For me personally, I have been stuck on this road before, wondering if the guy I like really likes me back and is just awkward at showing it.

If you’re curious and want to find out if he’s actually falling in love with you, here are some tips to watch for:

He sends stupid texts: If his texts lack originality and are boring, he’s pretty love-drunk. If he texts: “I’m drinking a margarita,” or “I just saw a cat and he looks like yours,” he’s fallin’. He really means “I remember you said you like margaritas,” and “I don’t even mind that your cat hates men.” He also means that he really wants to be with you, your cat and margaritas all together.

He calls you and answers when you ring him: Guys usually don’t pick up the phone unless it’s for work, an emergency or to hear YOUR voice. Yeah, he’s falling hard if he answers the phone and he knows it’s not a dire emergency, or his boss on the other end.

He stops getting quite as many texts from others: All girls like when guys are good texters, right? I know I do. In fact, I complain and call guys out when they can’t keep a convo going. On the contrary, if a girl doesn’t want to text a guy, usually she stops and then leads him to end the convo too. So, if he can keep up with your lengthy conversations, he’s probably pretty into you.

He asks for style advice: I love when a guy asks for my opinion on a shirt to wear or what card he should buy for his moms birthday. It means he cares about your opinion and according to Women’s Health magazine, he’ll only asks if he’s “drunk on love hormones.”   

You hear his buddies giving him a hard time: A guy’s friends always know him best, right? So when your guy’s friends start picking on him and relating it to you, you can be certain they aren’t joking around. They are making observations about how their friend (your boy) has changed and these are things you may just be learning about through them. So let them tell you how HE really feels. 

Dry Skin? An Ode To Syracuse In The Winter

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Transferring into Syracuse, I honestly had no idea what I was in for this winter. My skin had always gotten a little dry during the cold months, but considering I never walked around a campus as much as I do now, I wasn’t even remotely ready for what this place had to offer me in the ways of itchy, flaky, and red cheeks.

When putting foundation on your face is difficult and basically pointless because you can see white bits of skin regardless, here are some things to keep the moisture that the wind here can take away from you.

1. If you aren’t moisturizing now — it’s time to start. Considering the temperatures are well below freezing even when the sun’s up, that alone can dry up any moisture your skin was retaining. Add wind to that. Sometimes the wind chill here makes it feel like -40 outside. Your cheeks will thank you if you buy a good, oil free (to avoid acne) moisturizer to put on before applying any makeup.

2. Use a humidifier at night. The humidity it gives off might be enough to replenish some of the skin cells lost to the freezing temperatures outside.

3. While that acne cleanser seems to be warding off those hated blemishes, while it’s this cold out, it’s really the wind that’s doing all that work for you. Instead of using it twice a day as directed, use it only once, or every other day. Acne washes strip away your face’s natural oils and can actually make your skin more oily and/or make you a new sufferer of severely dry skin.

By Casie Popkin

Why You Should Become a Morning Person

As college students, it’s easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. We tend to do homework and study late into the night and wake up at the last possible moment to get ready for class. But we’re groggy, sleep-deprived, and unprepared for class. There are actually a lot of benefits to becoming a morning person, and even more benefits to starting now while we’re still in school. For many, the thought of transitioning from a night owl to an early bird can be daunting – but here are some benefits and tips to consider:
1. Go to bed early. While fairly obvious and self-explanatory, it’s also very important. Close your laptop and put your phone down earlier than you normally would.
2. Once we graduate and get real jobs, we’ll be forced to become morning people. Despite some variances, the typical work schedule is usually 9-5. Management will be expecting you to be on time, alert, prepared, put-together, and, most importantly, ready to produce quality work. So you might as well get into the habit now while you have the chance.
3. Wake up at a set time everyday, consistently. This will get your circadian rhythm accustomed to waking up early.
4. You’ll have more time to get ready in the morning. Shower, do your hair, pick out a cute outfit. Dressing well will show your teachers you’re serious about learning. It also helps, of course, if you happen to run into your crush on campus. Not to mention, showering in the morning can help you wake up as well.
5. Give yourself motivation to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. It’s so tempting to hit snooze – just 5 more minutes, please – but it’s essential to get up and start your day off right. For motivation, try making plans with friends or promise yourself a yummy breakfast.
6. Studies have shown that the best time to exercise is in the morning before eating breakfast. It burns fat more effectively and definitely helps to wake you up. Exercising makes you feel good, so starting out your day with physical activity is something we should all look into.
7. Take care of your homework early. Do it between classes or when you get back to your room. Getting it out of the way early will not only allow you to go to sleep earlier, but it will also reduce your stress levels and help you stay relaxed and focused.
8. When you wake up, drink coffee. Having caffeine in the morning can ease your transition. It will trick your body into thinking it has more energy than it actually does to begin the day.
9. You’ll never have to worry about oversleeping or being late to class again. Gone will be the days of setting 10 alarms and showing up to class late – in pjs and bun no less.
By Caleigh Gran

Eat Better Brain Foods

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Classes are in full swing again, and that means it’s time to get back on the study grind. I don’t know about you, but my mind has been a little preoccupied. When I’m not thinking about beating Duke this weekend, I’m wondering when it will finally warm up around here (or at least stop snowing). Needless to say, it has been hard getting focused.

A recent study found a number of foods that boost memory and overall brain function. So the next time studying seems useless, or you just need some brainpower, give these foods a shot.

Berries. Full of flavonoids that boost your memory, dark berries (i.e. cherries, blueberries, and blackberries) are a sweet treat with great payoff. Although most berries are not in season right now, you can still enjoy them! Try throwing some frozen ones in the blender with Greek yogurt and fruit juice for a filling snack. Dried berries are another delicious option: buy or make your own trail mix, bake them into your favorite desserts, or put them on your salad.

Seafood. Fish such as salmon, Bluefin tuna, or sardines, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the same kinds of fatty acids that are most abundant in the brain, and studies have shown that diets rich in these may improve brain function. If fish just isn’t your thing, I encourage you to experiment with it. Recipes like fish tacos can taste like familiar dishes, but can add some variety to your meals.

Walnuts. Also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are a great way to add some crunch to your meal or snack. If eating them plain doesn’t do it for you, trying throwing them into your trail mix or onto your salad. They also taste great on top of oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or cereal in the morning.

Vegetables. It’s an overused phrase but it cannot be stressed enough — eat your veggies! It has been shown that getting enough servings of vegetables improves memory, and eating them doesn’t even have to be boring. Throw a couple of carrots and some spinach into your smoothie and you won’t even taste them. Pack some celery with peanut butter or hummus for a crunchy, refreshing afternoon snack. Add them to your favorite dishes like pizza, pasta, and chili for some added taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables — you may surprise yourself with what you like!

So the next time you notice your mind start to wander, get into the kitchen and whip up some brain food!

By Kathryn Davis



​So you broke up with your significant other and you’ve been a little down in the dumps.  We’ve all been there.  You have a feeling that you just can’t seem to shake.  It sits deep down in your stomach, lurking.  After a period of time, however, that feeling disappears.  You become strangely happy yet again.  Life feels great.

So now let’s let some more time pass.  You’ve moved on.  You’re happy with someone new.  Your phone rings and who is it…your ex.  Why are they calling now?  Why do they want to rekindle the fire now?  It feels like they knew you were happy and wanted to throw this confusing curveball at you for fun.  It’s like they have a radar on you.  The minute you forget about them and let it go they come right on back.  They try to wiggle their way right back into your heart by playing off of your happiness.  Telling you everything you want to hear.  They tell you everything that you used to love.

​Then there’s the other radar.  The one that goes off when you are vulnerable yet again.  The one that goes off when you have just ended things with someone else.  Your old ex knows just when to come back into your life.  Ever notice how you go through a different break up and within days your phone rings and it’s your ex?  They know all the right things to say and how to make you smile.  They know you need someone to listen and talk to.  They know what happened without you saying a word.

​So what is it?  There is no real radar attached to us — there isn’t some signal that gets transmitted to their cell phones.  What could it be?  Maybe it’s the original idea that your significant other can usually read you like a book.  Even though you aren’t together anymore doesn’t mean that the ability to read you goes away, it just isn’t used as much.  Even when they haven’t been your significant other in a while doesn’t mean that their senses about knowing you go away.  So while this radar can be frustrating and annoying, maybe it’s just a way of the person showing they still know you and still care.  While this isn’t always the case, sometimes it just might be.  Maybe this radar is trying to tell you something and maybe it isn’t, it’s up to your heart to decide.

By Samantha Breault

4 Guilt-Free Holiday Cookies Under 70 Calories

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What a better way to end the Fall 2013 semester than to bake cookies? The holiday season is among us, therefore we must pay tribute to a favorite holiday tradition, baking cookies. Did I mention that each of these cookies are under 70 calories? So step away from the books for a little, and give yourself a break. Go make some of these delicious, easy, and most importantly, health-oriented cookies this holiday season.

Gingerbread Sparkles-51 Calories (2 cookies per serving)

Start to finish: 3 hours

Servings: 85 (170 cookies)

2 cups white whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons sparkling sugar

Whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Once combined, add brown sugar, egg, applesauce, and molasses until smooth. Then add flour. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough on baking sheets, 2 inches apart, using a spoon. Sprinkle tops with sparkling sugar. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool.

PB&J Thumbprints-44 Calories

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 8 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter, not natural or old-fashioned

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam, stirred to loosen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl beat peanut butter, sugar, egg, ¼ cup water and vanilla until combined. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Pinch off a teaspoon of dough and roll into a 1-inch ball. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat, covering both sheets, spacing dough balls 1 inch apart. With end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in center of each ball. Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon jam. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool.

Mocha Nut Fudge Flats-43 Calories

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 24 cookies

1/4 cup hazelnuts, skins removed

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 large egg white

1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee, cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Toast nuts on a baking sheet for 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then chop finely. Mix confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, salt, egg white, and coffee until smooth. Drop teaspoons of dough on lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Raspberry-Chocolate Meringues-27 Calories (2 meringues per serving)

Start to finish: 2 hours

Servings: 54 (108 meringues)

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in sugar until mixture is glossy with stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. Pour in extract. Spoon meringue into a Ziploc bag with a small slit in one of the corners. Pipe onto sheet, 1/2 inch apart. Bake 1 hour 30 minutes. Let cool. Put chocolate in a bowl and in the microwave for 1 minute. Dip bottom of 1 meringue in chocolate, and set aside on a parchment sheet.

By: Marisa Malanga

Anything But Fish ‘N’ Chips: Holiday Feast


It’s beginning to be that time again. You know the one I’m talking about: the lights go up, the Christmas music starts, and everyone starts forgetting about school to focus on their present lists. It is easily one of my favorite parts of the year, and in London, it’s even better. Every single street you stumble across has lights strewn from building to building, and every single tree is lit up and twinkling at you. Christmas markets are open and bustling with tourists from across the world, and they offer hot mulled wine to warm you up on the frosty UK nights.

But while all of the holiday magic is enchanting and heartwarming, it’s the festive food that keeps us all giddy. That is why, and I’d like to take credit for this idea, my flat decided to hold a holiday feast. We’ve done enough take out from delicious restaurants around the London area, and we wanted to prove to ourselves that we had what it took to make our own meal. The hard part was finding good recipes; we scoured Pinterest for hours finding the perfect dishes, and finally, we came across what was surely perfect for our wintery dinner.

I decided to make a vegetable side dish, and my friend Amber chose to make our main course. I cut up asparagus and sliced potatoes, tossed them in olive oil, shook on some salt and pepper, and popped the tray in the oven for 45 minutes. Afterwards I took the pan out and sprinkled over Parmesan cheese and fresh Basil. Fact: you can never have too much cheese.

Amber took an equally tasty route by cooking brown rice, chicken, and sunflower seeds in a pan. Then she tossed in some goat cheese at the end and mixed the entire pan together. It was scrumptious! It was absolutely incredible, and we proved that we can make our own lovely London meal! I’ll definitely be bringing some of these recipes back to the US.

I can’t wait for my next meal, I’ll eat ANYTHING but fish ‘n chips!

By Lara Gould

Anything But Fish ‘N’ Chips: Churchill Arms


It’s actually impressive that I’ve managed to go this long without raving about my favorite discovery in London: Churchill Arms. “Wait!” You exclaim, “That’s not a food!” Ah, but that’s where you’re completely right: it’s an experience. It’s an adorable little pub that my friend and I stumbled across a few months ago. Tucked back on a tiny side street off the Notting Hill Tube stop is the most charming eating establishment I have ever seen. From the outside, you can already tell that Churchill Arms is a wonderland. It is completely covered in winding vines, glowing lights, and bright, blooming flowers even in the shivering cold winter nights.

Enter into the pub, and you’re equally as impressed. The pub is dimly lit, and there’s a warm, flickering fire in the corner. Being as it’s nippy outside, grabbing a mulled wine, cider, or even a red wine (anti-oxidant rich!) is always a good choice. But it’s not just the appearance of this pub that keeps me coming back week after week; it’s their green chicken curry that has my heart. I personally have never been a huge curry lover. I don’t know why, I think it’s because I wasn’t introduced to it until recently. But let me tell you, it’s heavenly.

The curry comes out in a very simple bowl, with a serving of rice on the side so you get to choose how much you would like to mix into the flavorful broth. The curry itself is made with a coconut milk, so it’s not too heavy. But it has an unbelievable kick to it that keeps you reaching for your water multiple times during the meal. Inside the comforting hug of broth is tender chicken, peas, cabbage, roasted peppers, spinach, and a variety of other vegetables. They are all perfectly cooked and placed together for a harmonious blend of flavor in every bite. I am actually sad that my words don’t do it justice. After my first time going, I have been returning at least once a week just to pay tribute to this wonderfully happy place.

When I leave England, Churchill Arms and it’s drool-enhancing curry are one of the things I will miss the most.

I can’t wait until my next meal, I’ll eat ANYTHING but fish and chips!

Microwave Meltdown: Is Your Food Losing Nutrients?

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The microwave is no stranger to convenient cooking. There is no doubt that microwaves have changed the pace of preparing a meal for people across the globe, and with the continual advances in technology, our lives seem to rely on fast paced mechanics now more than ever.

The harsh truth is that heat damages a percentage of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes in certain foods. Recent studies by Dr. Ed Bauman, founder of Bauman College, have shown that microwaving food has a greater impact on the percentage of these damaged nutrients than boiling on a stovetop.

Bauman’s results show some astonishingly disturbing results:

-Broccoli that is heated in the microwave with water lost up to 97% of its antioxidants
-Garlic’s active nutrient that aids in fighting cancer and other diseases, allinase, is destroyed when heated in the microwave for 1 minute
-Most vegetables lose up to 90% of their nutrient value including vital vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes because they are destroyed in microwaving cooking, while steaming on a stove only destroys up to 11% of the nutrients
-Microwaving creates radiolytic compounds that are not researched enough to know what they do to our bodies, but they are definitely not health-promoting and are most likely detrimental to our overall health

The best solution to these problems is to eat organic, raw vegetables and to add flavor to them without the addition of microwave heat. For example, dip vegetables in peanut butter, reduced fat ranch dressing, or reduced fat cream cheese, in which Philadelphia cream cheese now has delicious flavors such as Chipotle, Protein Honey, Garlic and Herb, and Pumpkin Spice. Just remember, moderation is key to a balanced diet. If you do have a stove and the time to steam your vegetables, then it is best to choose that option when it is available to you. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over any type of vegetable with a pinch of salt and pepper to make for the perfect side dish or snack.

There is also a tremendous amount of recipes for vegetable side dishes on that are simple. Just click on the “Quick and Easy” tab on the top of the Food Network’s homepage, and then the “Side Dishes” tab in the middle of that webpage. You will be introduced to many no-microwave, easy, side dish recipe options to add to a plethora of meals.

What to Think Before Getting Inked

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According to U.S. News, about 36 percent of 18 to 25 year olds have tattoos, but how truly informed is the young adult public? As college students, we often act on impulse and make decisions we later regret. So, just because you think a tattoo looks fashionable or represents something you like now, are you going to feel the same way about it in twenty years? Here are some things to consider before getting inked.

  1. Tattoos are permanent.

Just because there are tattoo removal services out there, doesn’t mean a tattoo is any less permanent. Half of people who get tattoos regret them later on; so seriously think about whether or not you want to permanently decorate your body. Tattoo removal is a slow, expensive, and painful process and can leave permanent scars and results are not guaranteed.

  1. Location is crucial.

It’s very important to think about where to get your tattoo. If you’re going into a professional career that discourages visible tattoos, your future could be affected by an impulsive decision. Face, neck, wrist, and hand tattoos are more difficult to conceal and typically advised against in the corporate world. It’s also important to think about how a tattoo will look 50 years from now depending on where it’s located on the body. Your chest and stomach are two spots especially susceptible to sagging and stretching, which can ultimately affect the way your tattoo looks.

  1. There are risks in getting tattoos.

It’s extremely important to look into the health credibility of a tattoo parlor. Make sure the parlor is registered and artist you’re going to is licensed. Make sure your artist verifies that everything that will touch your skin is single-use and unwrapped in front of you (ink cups, needles, gloves) and that the ink hasn’t passed its expiration date!

  1. Meaning is important.

Just because you love a quote or picture now doesn’t mean you’re going to like it 20 years from now. Seriously think about the symbolism behind a tattoo and what it means to other people and yourself. If you like a Chinese character as a tattoo, triple check that it means exactly what you think it does. If you want to tattoo song lyrics onto your body, think about what those lyrics will mean to you in the future. Lastly, never get a tattoo when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What may seem like a good idea drunk can lead to years of regret in the future.

By Morgan Chamberlain

Anything But Fish ‘N’ Chips: Breakfast Sandwich Heaven


Honesty hour: the UK has better food than people admit. Yes, there are some places where the culinary delights are a little unique, but hey, even America has tried to pass off some questionable foods in the past (I don’t feel the need to list specific things, but I think we all know that Mcdonald’s meat isn’t ACTUALLY real meat).

But something that surprised me here was how delicious some of the breakfast could be. Breakfast has never really been my favorite meal of the day — if it were up to me, I’d be having lunch for every meal. But something about the options in this country have really converted me into a morning-munchies lover. And quite frankly, I think it has something to do with a restaurant called Loaf right by my flat.

Situated about a five minute walk from me, Loaf is a tiny eating establishment that offers the most unbelievable list of pressed sandwiches, salads and juices. Their cappuccino’s are to die for as well, but I try to steer away from those if it’s a day that I’m watching what I put into my mouth. While I’ve tried their chicken pesto paninis and melted tuna sandwiches, it’s their breakfast sandwich that I like to pick up twice a week before classes.

So what makes my morning treat so scrumptious? Well I’ll let you know! The breakfast sandwich contains the following: mashed avocado, salt, pepper, lemon, tomato, and smoked salmon. These are all perfectly placed—in that order—on toasted brown bread. I’m telling you, it’s the absolute most incredible way to start my day. I usually remove the top piece of bread so I can enjoy what’s hiding underneath while saving a few calories, and it tastes flawless each and every time.

I can’t wait until my next meal; I’ll eat ANYTHING but fish ‘n chips.

By Lara Gould

10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat

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It is that time of the year again where tea bags and tissues become the central occupants in our backpacks and purses. The end of the semester is creeping up on us, and no one wants to be sick for finals. Also, who wants to be that annoying person continuously coughing on the silent floors of Bird library or during an actual final? Definitely, not me. Distracting much? Oh, yes.

If you feel a cough coming along, or a cough already crept up on you and your throat is quite sore, have no fear because I have 10 foolproof remedies that will have your throat feeling soothed in no time.

1. Anti-inflammatories. Taking an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as Aleve or Advil, will reduce the swelling in your throat as well as act as a pain reliever.

2. Gargle Saltwater. Studies have shown that gargling one cup of warm water with ¼ teaspoon salt 2-4 times a day will reduce swelling and aid in getting rid of bacteria in the throat.

3. Cough Drops/Hard Candies. Sucking on cough drops helps to keep the throat moist, but so do hard candies that contain menthol.

4. Cough Syrup. Over-the-counter cough syrups can help reduce soreness and supply short-term pain relief, but make sure you choose a non-drowsy type if you take it before class.

5. Water. I cannot stress how vital it is to stay hydrated when you have a sore throat. Drinking your recommended 8 glasses a day allows your cells to be better able to fight off and kill bacteria.

6. Tea. Drinking tea is a common sore throat remedy many of us are familiar with, but non-herbal-teas, such as ones that include black, green or white leaves, contain antioxidants that toughen the immune system.

7. Chicken Soup. This is the quintessential food to eat when batting a sore throat. According to studies, the sodium in the broth may have anti-inflammatory properties, and consuming food with a sore throat can be very painful, so sipping this soup also allows your body to receive sustenance to help battle that bacteria.

8. Marshmallows. Finally, indulging in some sugary goodness in a way that actually benefits your body. The gelatin contained in marshmallows coats your throat while also soothing it.

9. Sleep. As college students, sometimes an adequate amount of sleep seems foreign and unattainable to us, but it is essential in relieving that sore throat because it allows the body to fight off the infection faster.

10. Antibiotics. Sometimes a sore throat will test positive for strep throat and will require prescribed antibiotics, but there is no point consulting a doctor for them unless you have a fever and feel extremely fatigued.

By Marisa Malanga

Campus Study Spots

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We’ve almost made it to the end of the semester, but we don’t get to enjoy winter break without first surviving finals week. Studying for exams in general is stressful, but cumulative finals are the worst. You might start to think about how you are possibly going to cram so much info into your head in such a short amount of time, but don’t worry, there are things you can do to ease the process.

As a college student, you probably already figured out your own personal style of studying. Some need music, some need silence, some make flashcards, and others take the wait-until-the-night-before approach. Regardless of your method, here are some places around campus you can use to maximize your studying.

  • Dorm Room: This is the most obvious and most used option. It’s comfortable and you have all the resources you need in front of you. However, it’s also easy to get distracted. Tip: situate your desk so it’s facing away from your bed; that way, you won’t be tempted to nap.
  • The library: Being surrounded by books and academia amongst people who are also diligently studying is a huge motivator. It’s a popular option, so get there early to snag a table or computer. And remember, the upper floors are always quietest — the basement isn’t nicknamed Club Bird for nothing.
  • Starbucks: About 40% of students require caffeine while studying – so what better place to hit the books than a coffee shop? Check out Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Cafe Kubal and Recess on Westcott Street. None of them are open all night though, so plan your studies accordingly.
  • Schine: The upper level of Schine is a quiet, cozy place to relax and study. You’ll find that many of the buildings around campus have rooms and little niches available for this purpose.
  • Computer Clusters: Every dorm is equipped with one. It’s like having the benefits of the quiet, focused atmosphere of the library without having to trudge through the elements to get there.

According to a study done by Follet Higher Education Group, 59% of students have a designated study spot. Where will yours be during finals week?

By Caleigh Gran

The Weighting Game

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Everybody goes to the gym with one thing in mind — getting a lean, toned body. This is most definitely a possibility, but it takes work to get here. A lot of the exercises that people do aren’t the right ones for the goals they’re trying to reach. A very important part of getting “toned” and muscular is lifting weights.

Lifting is a great way to gain strength and muscle, and really make results visible. Sure, lifting a hundred pounds or more is impressive, but that’s not necessarily what you need to be doing. Taking it slow is a part of the weighting game — yes, it’s a play on “waiting” because it takes time for muscles and results to show.

Devoting time to weights at the gym is an essential step. Continue with your cardio, and cut out the lesser exercises. In place of these, add weights. If you’re just starting, there’s no shame in 8 or 10 lb. bar bells, otherwise you may risk injury. Add these into your ab and squat workouts. Do three or four reps of your usual routine with the weights. This will help strengthen the areas you’re targeting and bring about more visible results than before.

The key is to start small and work your way up. You have to find what’s good for you and what you’re capable of before you start going big. Find your target areas and keep working at them. If you keep at it and work your way to heavier weights, you’ll definitely be able to notice your body becoming more toned. No results will come about if you do the same things over and over with the same amount of weights, so be sure to put a lot of effort into going up a level each week, or however long it takes you to feel ready.

The most important thing is confidence and patience. Know that you’re capable of working out to your full potential, but that skill doesn’t come right away. Keep working and think positively. The weighting game is indeed full of waiting, so don’t give up hope before the finish line.

By Zoe Malliaros

How to Avoid SADness

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Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mental illness that occurs during the winter months. It is due to a lack of Vitamin D and actually is the reason the suicide rate tends to rise when it’s too cold to go outside. There are ways to avoid being SAD, even here in Syracuse, which seems to be the coldest place on the planet.

Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Seriously though. Go work out. If you have the blues, the best way to make yourself happy again is to push yourself out of bed and get some cardio in. Your endorphin levels will definitely rise, which increases your serotonin. It’s all chemical. Not only will you look better, but you’ll definitely feel better.

Tip: If you have warm clothes and can get past the chill, head outside for a run or a walk. Do it before class or before the sun starts to set. That way, you not only get that serotonin boost, but you get an increase in Vitamin D, which is what your body is after anyway.

Stay out of your room. Whether you’re just chilling or you’re studying, get out of your room. Personally, I know how easy it is to fall into a routine of lying in bed and watching Netflix while simultaneously falling in and out of a nap that seems to last all day. However, if you’re not lying in bed, it’s definitely not as easy to fall asleep — so get up. Go study in the lounge of your dorm, or in the library. If you’re chilling with your friends, go get some food in your system or take tip number one and go work out together.

If all else fails, watch a funny movie or TV show. If all you want to do is lie in bed, at least watch something that’s going to make you smile. Smiling, even if you don’t mean it, is actually proven to make you happier. Ever hear that expression “fake it until you make it?” Well, that applies here as well. Faking a smile can lead you to actually happiness, so give it a try.

By Casie Popkin

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With so many types of yoga these days, it’s sometimes hard to decide which one is right for you. Yoga has taken a lot of different directions in the past few years, but by looking at the benefits of each variety you can find the right form of yoga for you. Here are some you may want to consider:

  • Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga involves the repetition of athletic poses and is great if you’re looking for a high-intensity yoga. This type of yoga is vigorous enough to consider a cardio workout, and sessions include sitting and standing poses, back bends, and inversions (holding your head below your heart). Lori Brungard, who teaches Ashtanga in New York City says, “Advanced practitioners look like Olympic atheltes”. Brungard recommends an hour-long session five to seven days a week  to see wanted results.

  • Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar uses props such as blocks, bands, harnesses, incline boards, and blankets to help you bend into a more perfect position. Nicknamed “furniture yoga”, Iynegar allows people who are ill, stiff, immobile, or injured to improve strength, stamina, flexibility, and confidence. Iyengar has been found especially beneficial to women in treatment for or recovering from breast cancer.

  • Koga

Koga is a hybrid of kickboxing and yoga and works every muscle in the body. Koga involves kicking, assuming fighting stance, and throwing punches. Each set is then followed by a yoga pose that coincides with the same muscle group worked, enhancing the effect. Prepare yourself for a real workout, because you can expect to burn between 800 and 1,000 calories with each hour of Koga!

  • Bikram Yoga

Bikram, or known to many as “hot yoga”, is a 60 to 90-minute session involving a series of postures. This form of yoga gets its name from the 105 degree studio room with 60 percent humidity in which it’s performed in. Heat warms the muscles, allowing for greater flexibility, and you can expect to burn between 350 and 600 calories in one session while building both stamina and endurance. Bikram is arguably the most famous and widespread of new yoga varieties, and can be found in many studios across the United States today.

So whether you’re looking to de-stress and improve your flexibility or burn calories in a high-intensity yoga session, there’s a yoga variety for you! Just remember to always stay hydrated and stop a pose if you find yourself in pain, and you’ll be a regular yogi in no time.

By Morgan Chamberlain

Coupons on a Date: Savvy or Stingy?

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It is a known fact that college students are stingy at times. But because our frugalness stems from trying to fund an education, we have a valid excuse. However, when it comes to a first date, is it acceptable to be couponing — using coupons to save a buck or two?

An increasing number of men are using coupons and e-mail offers to cut costs according to a recent study by WSL Strategic Retail. Of a whopping 740 men surveyed, 53 percent regularly use coupons, while half of men ages 18-32 search for discounts online.

If you think about it, these numbers can be a positive trait in a man because it proves he is savvy and smart with his spending. On the other hand, it may also show that he is stingy, making the woman feel bad for having him pay.

So are coupons on a date a do or a don’t? 

Gawker lays out three possible opinions:

Yes, of course it’s okay, during these tough economic times, why not? Anyone who would judge you for that is a materialistic skank that you don’t want to be dating anyhow.

No, what? What are you fucking talking about, seriously? You’re going to pull out a bag full of coupons at our first date, at The Olive Garden? Get the fuck outta here.

Oh sure, I wouldn’t judge you for that. (JUDGES YOU.) (INSINCERE SMILE, YOU WILL NEVER GET LAID NOW.)

What do you think? Are coupons excused if you’re a (cheap) college student? Or are coupons never acceptable no matter how broke you are?

By Sarah Richheimer

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Different Oils for Different Cooking Methods

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Sometimes it can be very confusing to know which oil to cook with. Most people base it off of the flavor of the oil, but mainly stick to olive or canola oil. Well, there actually times when you should, and shouldn’t be cooking with certain oils.

Sauteing. When you are sauteing a food, go with olive oil. It is a pretty flexible oil that does well with medium heat on a stove top. Try to use a lighter olive oil(ie not extra virgin), that is lighter in color and works for any type of saute. If you are looking for a more pronounced olive oil flavoring, turn to the extra virgin section. With this type of method, you definitely shouldn’t be cooking with wheat germ or flaxseed oil that burns down too easily.

Baking. Be sure to use coconut, canola, or safflower oil for the best results, as they all do well in medium temperatures used for baking. Be mindful however of coconut’s nutty flavoring. Keep flaxseed and wheat germ oils away. Though healthy they are fragile and will break down in heat.

Frying. Frying can be tricky. You need an oil with a high smoke point that makes food crisp, not soggy, which means the food has taken in too much fat. Try peanut, safflower, or soybean oil, and avoid olive oil, which due to its low smoke point leads to soggy food.

Grilling. Try canola or safflower oil for your best results. Both of these oils can withstand temperatures close to 500 degrees, making them unlikely to oxidize in the presence of flames. Avoid olive oil, even though lots of recipes call for it. It just can’t take the heat.

Roasting. This depends a lot on cooking temperature. If you are roasting at high-heat, over 325 degrees, try canola which is heat stable. If you are cooking at low-heat for a long period of time, olive oil is a good choice. Either way avoid flax seed or wheat germ oil.

By Aisling Williams

Why You Should Pass Up the Soda Fountain

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Many of us fall into the slump of drinking soda and juice in college. Numerous varieties of each are offered to us daily in our dining halls alone so how could we not? Soda and juice are easily accessible for us, and sometimes it feels as though we really need that extra burst of sugary-infused energy to keep us awake at 2 a.m. when finishing that paper due the next morning.

Recent studies, though, are finding that excessive soda and juice drinkers are more susceptible to weight gain over a prolonged period of time. Researchers are even finding that children who began consuming one or more sugar-sweetened beverage, or “SSB”, by the age of 4 had more weight gain than their water-drinking counterparts. This weight gain followed many of those children who consumed more than one SSB a day throughout their childhoods. The study also found that parents were not truly, consciously aware that the SSBs were a substantial factor in the weight gain of their children. So maybe it isn’t our faults for wanting to consume SSBs such as soda and juice on a daily basis, maybe it’s because it has been ingrained in our daily routines since our first childhood memories.

Thankfully, with a little but of added effort, there is always a way cut down on the SSBs and add water intake without feeling as though you are extracting flavor from your drinks. Let’s face it, we not only love SSBs because of the sugar rush they give us, but also because they taste delicious. If you are not satisfied drinking a solid eight glasses of plain water a day, add some flavor to your water. Some fun and delicious additives to your water can be slices of cucumbers, half a juiced lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, or raspberries and mint leaves. If you feel as though you are still craving more flavor in your water than opt for the numerous amounts of non-sugar flavored water or seltzers in your local grocery store. Natural flavoring is added to these beverages without adding the sugar content and they taste delicious.

Now I am not saying to cut all SSBs out of your diet, but cutting down on the amount consumed, especially if you have more than one a day, will result in weight loss without much effort involved. For example, one of my best friends, Mark, a daily SSB drinker consuming at least 2-3 16 oz. bottles of Coca-Cola a day, gave up soda for 10 weeks and lost 12 pounds. Let me repeat that, 12 pounds! He did not change anything in his diet or daily routine. All he did was drink more water and stopped drinking soda for that amount of time. If he can do it, I have faith that you can do it, too! Just remember, drinking your recommended eight glasses of water a day doesn’t have to be boring, add some flavor.

Hooking Up vs. Looking for Love


Some students may be under the impression that college is all about hooking-up. If you were virginal and innocent in high school, you most likely aren’t after your first month or two at SU. It’s hard to ignore the rumors and whispers about who hooked up with who at what party, and of course the awkward interactions between floormates after a night spent together. You might even walk in on your roommate with a guy one night, and walk in the next to find her with someone different. But the lesson of that story is to knock before you enter.

Other students, however, come to college with the intention of finding their “soulmate.” The odds are likely; most people tend to meet their life-long significant other through school, work, or mutual friends. But is one option better than the other while you’re at college? Well, there are advantages and disadvantages to both hooking up and searching for love.

Hooking-up might be more suitable for those with commitment issues. A lot of students have busy schedules and just don’t have the time or energy to put into a serious relationship. Some use hook-ups for experimentation and bragging rights, but most of all it’s usually just the (seemingly) unavoidable result of a drunken night out. With hook-ups, you also have the luxury of a fuller wallet; everyone knows that having a special someone – especially a girlfriend – can break your bank. However, you are more likely to get STDs and experience stress.

Serious relationships, on the other hand, are for students who are, well, more serious. They still like to have fun, but they may have their priorities lined up more concisely. Having a steady boyfriend/girlfriend is comforting and provides a constant source of social support. Not to mention you don’t have to search for a cuddle-buddy every weekend – you already have one guaranteed. Sometimes though, this type of relationship can get too serious and you might feel held down. As you enter your twenties, conversations about marriage might start cropping up – and for some, that can be overwhelming.

With that said, everyone’s different and everyone’s college experience is different. This time of your life is all about discovering yourself, so you’ll eventually figure out which option is best for you – and who is best for you –even if it takes a couple of wrong tries. Some students might prefer to maintain their innocence and focus on their schoolwork, some might prefer long-term exclusivity, and others are just looking for a night of fun. You can even have the best of both worlds: hook-up during your first few years of college and start a relationship when you’re more mature. Either way, don’t let your peers or the media influence your behavior in college – just do what’s best for you.

By Caleigh Gran

The Pasta Swap — Spaghetti Squash

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As the leaves continue to fall and the chill in the air is felt more and more, it’s clear that squash season is underway. With Thanksgiving in a few weeks and Christmas soon after, squash is so versatile and can be cooked in countless ways—from yummy soups and salads to even noodles!

The noodle replacement that I’m referring to, in specific, is part of the squash variety– spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is that big, oval-ish shaped squash you’ve likely seen mixed in with the many other squashes, at Wegmans. But I think spaghetti squash is so different than many other types because it has a unique inside texture, very similar to thin spaghetti noodles. YUM — who doesn’t love some great tasting spaghetti?

But seriously, if you are trying to cut calories and carbohydrates, give spaghetti squash a try. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals and it fills you up! In only one cup of squash, you’ll find 31 calories, 7 carbs, .6g of fat and then some B-6, B-12, calcium, iron, magnesium and the essential vitamins A, C and D.

Along with the health benefits, it’s so easy to cook it too. Set the oven to 450 degrees and put the squash (cut vertically in half) face down on a cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil, and bake it for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when the skin becomes soft and a bit brown…oh and the house will smell luscious.

When it comes out of the oven, I like to put spaghetti sauce on it with some parmesan cheese and sometimes some chicken (for protein) or some Quorn meatballs (meatless meatballs).

To find other fun ways to cook spaghetti squash, check out this website:

By Sarah Richheimer

Photo courtesy

Are You Still You?


When first starting a relationship, we all know the feeling of wanting to be with the person all the time.  It’s the honeymoon phase — the phase that makes everyone cringe when they see the two of you.

However, what happens when this phase has come and gone and you still cannot be separated?  Did you lose yourself in your relationship?  Do your friends complain that they never see you anymore or that you are always with your significant other?  Do they say you’ve changed? If so, you may need to take a step back and look to see what is happening.

It is understandable that you want to spend a lot of time with your significant other, but something that many people forget is that you need to keep your old self as well as gaining your new relationship self.  Just because you are now in a relationship does not mean you can forget who you are as an individual.  Your friends still matter, and your individual life still matters.

Just because you have met your other half does not mean you can cut off your friends.  They need time with you, without your significant other tagging along.  Set aside time each week for just you and your friends.   Also, take time for yourself.  If you like going for long runs or taking car rides to clear your mind, don’t quit just because you are in a relationship.  You need to keep your old hobbies in order to keep yourself happy and sane.

When in a relationship it is hard not to become “we” all the time, but you need to fight the urge.  It’s not that you cannot spend time each day with your significant other, you just cannot lose yourself while doing it.  If both of you vow to keep the “yous” and only be “we” some of the time, then no one loses out on their individual life.  Another thing to remember is that you fell for each other based on your own individual “yous,” so why would you want to lose them?  It can be difficult to combine both worlds, but it is possible. Once you have struck the right balance, you will be left with a great relationship that will be stronger than ever.

By Samantha Breault

Your Brain on Blackout

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As we return from spring break, comparing tan lines and swapping stories, we remember some days and nights better than others. Oops. Those foggier memories may come from times where we had just a few too many, and caused us to black out for a small, or large, period of time. Regardless of what happened during the blackout, why do we have them?

Scientists believe blacking out is a form of amnesia that occurs, blocking us from forming long-term memories. That means during your time of blackout, you may remember something that happened five minutes ago,which is logged away in your short-term memory, but you certainly won’t remember it in the morning. Yikes!

This “amnesia” is caused by a domino effect. When our blood alcohol spikes, usually right after those consecutive tequila shots, it interferes with the receptors in the hippocampus, the area of the brain largely associated with memory. The hippocampus releases a chemical normally called glutamate that transfers signals between neurons. Alcohol prevents these signals from transferring, and activates other receptors. As a result, the neurons create steroids that fully prevent neurons from communicating with one another, blocking the process of long-term potentiation, a process needed for memory and learning.

Thus we can’t create new memories, but most of our normal functioning continues, like walking, and talking(or slurring). This means you could have partaken in all of the activities that occurred at the beach party, you just don’t remember them. Which is probably the scariest part.

The only way to avoid blackouts is by drinking on a fuller stomach, or drinking slower. Also, women’s levels of blood alcohol tend to spike more quickly than men’s, as we have less water in our system and less of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Not good. When you go to grab for that third tequila shot, keep this is mind.

By Aisling Williams