How Water Can Aid Weight Loss


When reflecting back on the weeks spent studying for midterms, many of us sacrificed healthy rituals. Whether it was stress-feeding on 2:00 a.m. Domino’s or replacing gym workouts with studying, many students agree that they could have demonstrated better pre-exam practices. Even though students may have felt relief after their last exams, they may not have felt the same relief after stepping on a scale. Unfortunately, college students tend to lead more sedentary lives, especially around the time of exams, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. However, there’s no need to lose hope. One easy practice that requires little time and energy can help aid weight loss is simple: drinking water.

We’ve all heard about the eight cups a day rule, but how much are we actually drinking? According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. With the cold climate rapidly approaching, we don’t feel as thirsty or sweat as excessively, but that doesn’t mean our bodies are any more hydrated. Although the human body requires at least eight cups a day to stay rejuvenated and drive efficient functioning of bodily organs, drinking water is also one of the easiest efforts students can incorporate into their weight loss or weight maintenance plan.

A popular belief about water involves its satiating qualities. Many diet and health books recommend drinking a glass of water before a meal or a social event, especially one that provides a wide assortment of food. The water ingested can make us feel fuller, explained by the way our bodies can mistakenly confuse the sensations of hunger with thirst. Located above the brain stem, the hypothalamus controls both hunger and thirst signals; therefore, when specific hormones are released as the stomach empties, we have trouble distinguishing what our bodies need: food or water. To solve this complication, try drinking a glass of water at the first indication of hunger before or after a meal. Rather than reaching for a snack right away, drink water and wait at least 15 minutes, as it might take that much time for the brain to tell the nervous system that the body was only thirsty. Reluctance to reach for a nosh can reduce the caloric intake of your diet. According to a study conducted at Virginia Tech, scientists followed a group of overweight subjects, ages 55 and up, on a low-calorie diet for three months. Half of these subjects were told to drink two cups of water before every meal and lost an average of 15.5 pounds, compared to an average of 11 pounds of the non-drinkers.

Most of the water in the body comes from our diet, 75 to 80 percent of it coming from fluids. It is our responsibility to maintain water balance, so try carrying around a refillable water bottle with you or set a goal to drink a cup of water or two at every meal. The taste of water may not always satisfy, but weight loss results definitely will.

By Allison Milch

7 Foods to Boost Your Immune System


With colder weather sweeping in, our bodies are becoming prone to colds and viruses. In order to avoid getting sick, below are several foods found in campus dining halls that can help boost your immune system.

  • Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits contain an immense amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been scientifically proven to reduce cold and flu symptoms by 23 percent. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are usually readily available in the fruit section of the dining halls.

  • Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been scientifically proven to boost the activity of white blood cells. Having more active white blood cells helps your body fight off infections, so add a handful to your stir-fry or salads during meals!

  • Teas

People who drink tea regularly have more virus-fighting interferon in their body, when compared to those who don’t drink tea at all. Interferon is a protein that your body releases to fight off pathogens in response to viruses and bacteria. L-theanine, the amino acid that triggers this reaction, is most abundant in black and green tea. So switch out your fizzy drink for a nice cup of warm tea, or swipe a couple of tea bags from the dining hall as you leave to make yourself some tea as you study in your dorm room.

  • Yogurt

Probiotics in yogurt are healthy bacteria that prevent disease-causing germs to survive your digestive system. Grab a yogurt cup to go for an afternoon snack as you leave the dining hall in the morning.

  • Oats & Barley

Oats and barley contains a type of fiber that boosts your immune system against the flu, as well as boost the activity of antioxidants in your body.

• Beef

Beef is a prime source of zinc. Zinc is very important for the development of white blood cells in your body – a major component of your immune system that fight against disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

  • Sweet Potatoes

A major part of your immune system is skin, which is your body’s first layer of defense against pathogens. In order to keep your skin strong and healthy, sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A, which plays a major role in the production of connective tissue and is a key component of skin.

  • Fish

Salmon, which the dining halls have occasionally, is rich in omega-3 fats that increase airflow and protection of the lungs, preventing colds and respiratory infections.

  • Honey

Honey coats your throat in a natural way that soothes throat irritation. It also contains antioxidants that help your immune system fight against infections. Putting a couple drops into your tea will help boosts its benefits.

With midterms still in progress and final exams coming up, adding a few of the foods mentioned above to your diet can definitely help prevent you from getting sick.

By Tammy Hong

Know Your Nutrition

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People often refer to the “Nutrition Facts” label on the back of their packaged food for nutrition information. But what does all of the information provided on the label really mean? There are several simple steps as to how to make healthier choices the next time you shop at your local grocery store.

This is the Nutrition Facts label from a bag of Tops Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.


  1. Always keep an eye on the Serving Size because it is the basis for the rest of the information listed on the label.
  2. Check the calories. In this case, there are 140 calories per serving or per 12 chips. Not bad for a small midday snack.
  3. Then go to the % Daily Value. Anything under Total Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium and Total Carbohydrate are nutrients that you should limit. Anything below five percent Daily Value is low and anything above 20 percent Daily Value is high. Again, not too bad here.
  4. Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron are all nutrients you should make sure you get a healthy dose of. Again, anything below five percent Daily Value is low and anything about 20 percent is high. According to this food label, this packet of Blue Corn Chips probably is not your best source for these nutrients.
  5. Pay attention to the “*” after the % Daily Value This is telling you to refer to the footnote at the bottom of the food label. Most foods have this footnote on their labels notifying consumers that of all the Daily Values are based off of a 2,000-calorie diet. The numbers next to each nutrient under “2,000 Calories” are the recommended intake of each nutrient. You should always aim to eat less than the suggested % Daily Value of nutrients like Total Fat and Cholesterol. Contrarily, you should aim get at least the suggested % Daily Value intake of good nutrients, such as Dietary Fiber.

Overall, the Tops Blue Corn Tortilla Chips are not healthiest choice in the supermarket, but a small amount of them is definitely a better solution for your munchies than a handful of other oily potato chips.

By Tammy Hong

Is IIFYM Right for You?


Five letters, IIFYM, seem to have suddenly made an awkward appearance in the world of fitness and nutrition. If you have seen this acronym and have absolutely no idea what it means, then you are not alone. Many people do not know that “IIFYM: If it fits your macros” is an acronym about one of the latest fads that many athletes and gym-junkies are talking about.

Basically, IIFYM is a scientific approach to eating. That is, measuring exactly how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats your body needs every single day. It can be very difficult and frustrating for people when they first try it because there are so many factors that affect what the body needs on a daily basis. Some of these factors include current weight, height, sex, and most importantly, level of activity each day.

So what are macros? “Macros” is short for “macronutrients,” or carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Some athletes choose to “bulk up” to put on muscle, while others want to “cut” to lose fat. In order to do either of these, they must adjust the amount of each macronutrient they consume each day. In order to just simply maintain weight, people can calculate their macros online at This website asks general questions about your daily life that will help figure out your specific needs.

Many athletes choose this approach because it not only allows them to adjust their weight, but it allows them to adjust what they are able to eat. For instance, if they track closely enough, they can fit some “unhealthy” choices into their diet without worrying about gaining weight. Every food is made of macronutrients, so it is up to the consumer to choose how they eat their daily needs.

Disclaimer: following IIFYM, just like any other diet plan, should be discussed with a health care provider first. Some athletes have been known to get too caught up in figuring out their daily macros by weighing everything they eat, tracking every morsel that enters their mouth, and falling into bad eating habits. Though IIFYM is a “scientifically proven” method of eating, it is not for everyone and should be approached mindfully. After all, it should not be “if it fits your mouth!”

By Liz Tosi

Eating Less isn’t Always Best


We hear it everywhere, things like “eat less and you will be able to fit into a smaller dress.” The idea of eating less has become a staple of diets, but sometimes eating less isn’t the key to successful weight loss.

Many people believe that if they count their calories, they should see the weight shed, but counting the calories won’t help if you aren’t eating the right foods. The fats on our bodies are stored energy and come from eating to many empty calories like sugar. If you are consuming less but eating empty calorie foods, then you are not helping your weight loss. You defeat the purpose of eating less if you eat unhealthy foods. Processed foods have simpler carbs, which are quickly digested and make you feel hungry sooner, so eating a small amount of unhealthy food will leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry.

Instead of focusing on how many calories we consume, we should be focusing on the nutrients we are eating. Nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats will allow you to eat larger portions but still feel satisfied. This will allow your metabolism to burn fat throughout the day and cause you to be less likely to eat excess food. Your meals should start off big and decrease in size as the day goes on. You want to eat more in the morning when you have time to burn it off during the day and less at night since your body burns less calories while sleeping.

Many people think that skipping breakfast is a good way to cut out calories but really they are just hindering their weight loss. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, because it is how you wake up your body and your metabolism. Without breakfast, you are more likely to overeat. A good breakfast will have foods that are high in starch and signal your body to use fat for energy. A great example of this could be found in oats, topped with a sliced banana. For all the coffee addicts out there, black coffee can also help your weight loss. The caffeine in one cup of black coffee can suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism, also enhancing the benefits of exercise.

In reality, eating less isn’t the secret formula for weight loss—eating smart is. Eating balanced meals of healthy foods with exercise will be the most successful route to your healthiest weight.

By Crystal Hawley

Eat Your Hangover Away


Sunday morning: the time of day that a groan inevitably follows the realization that the weekend is coming to an end. While last night may have been quite an adventure—maybe you drank a little more than you should have—food is probably the last thing you want to think of, your head pounding and stomach aching. A hangover can make you regret the previous night and diminish any chance you have of being productive during the day; however, there are certain foods and beverages that can help soothe your pain. Be warned: they might not be what you expect.

The foods people typically crave when they’re hung over, like pizza, grilled cheese, toast, fries, and Sunday morning bagels (of course), are usually very high in carbohydrates and grease, and do not actually help them recover. When it comes to recuperating from a hangover, you need to hydrate your body and recover lost nutrients. The best foods to ease your struggle include things like eggs, bananas, asparagus, ginger, and spinach. Though you might think the high-carb, greasy foods will soak up the alcohol in your stomach and fill you up, these healthy alternatives are full of vitamins that can make you feel better. While you’re forcing down that difficult morning meal, drinks like coconut water and tomato juice can also work wonders on your body. Coffee and orange juice may be tempting, but the caffeine in coffee will continue to dehydrate your body and the acidity in OJ may not blend well with a sensitive stomach.

Though it’s undeniable that hangovers can feel awful, they are manageable if you know how to handle them. Eating the wrong meal with a hangover can make or break the rest of your day. With an already touchy tummy, one bad bite can send you straight to the trashcan. Asparagus and spinach may not seem as mouth-watering as a bagel in the morning, but they are well worth it. Your stomach will end up feeling much better, even after tossing back those shots the night before. More importantly, you won’t end up regretting your night and you’ll be well on your way for next weekend’s fun.

By Jessica Levy

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

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.

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

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

How to Feel Fuller Longer

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We all have at least one day a week where it feels as though there is no break in our day for hours. When you finally sit down and have a meal, you probably go for some not-so-mindful foods like that extra slice of pizza or a few too many chocolate chip cookies. The high volumes of simple sugars found in these foods will make you become hungrier faster for your next meal and over time could contribute to weight gain.
Because of their high-fiber content, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts should become your favorite new snacks for before that long stretch of classes. Fiber tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you will stay full for a longer amount of time. Fiber is not digested by the body, but passes relatively whole through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of the body. High-fiber foods must be consumed with a substantial amount of water to allow for the fiber to pass smoothly along the digestive tract and be secreted out of the body. Women are recommended about 25g per day and men are recommended 35g per day of fiber. Overall, fiber helps you feel fuller longer, allowing you to help maintain a healthy weight, without the risk of an unhealthy splurge on your longest school days.
There is a plethora of foods that are rich in fiber, so your meal or snack will never feel dull or repetitive. You do not have to sacrifice taste or texture to maintain satiety. The next time you know you have hours of classes ahead and no time in between to eat, try to incorporate these high-fiber foods into your meal or snack beforehand.
Per cup
-Raspberries: 8g
-Blackberries: 7.6g
-Strawberries: 3.3g
Per 1 fruit
-Apple: 4.4g
-Pear: 5.1g
-Mango: 3.3g
Per cup
-Artichokes: 10.3g
-Squash, cooked: 5.7g
-Broccoli, cooked: 5.5g
-Brussel Sprouts, cooked: 6.4g
-Spinach: 5.1g
-Carrots, cooked: 4.8g
-Sweet Corn, cooked: 4.2g
-Peas, cooked: 8.8g
Whole Grains:
Per cup
-Shredded wheat cereal: 5.7g
-Quinoa, cooked: 5g
-Oatmeal, cooked: 5g
Per 1/2 cup
-Whole Wheat Spaghetti: 6.3g
-Low-fat Granola-5g
Per 2 slices
-Whole Wheat Bread: 5.2g
-Rye Bread: 5.6g
Per 1/2 cup
-Pinto Beans, cooked: 7.7g
-Kidney Beans: 6.5g
-Baked Beans, canned: 5.2g
-Lentils, cooked: 7.8g
-Black Beans, cooked: 7.5g
-Lima Beans, cooked: 6.6g
-Split Peas, cooked: 8.2g
-Almonds: 3.5g (24 nuts)
-Pistachios: 3g (7 nuts)
-Peanuts: 4.6g (56 nuts)
-Walnuts: 4g (30 halves)
-Pecans: 5.4g (40 halves)
By Marisa Malanga

Why Losing Weight Could Mean Losing Love

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Losing weight can be a wonderful thing, instilling self-confidence and a better self-image. Yet studies have shown it can be harming if you are in a relationship. Though seemingly contradictory, read below to learn why it might just not be.

The study was conducted using 21 couples who dated over 2 years. In that time, one of the partners had lost weight, either by diet, exercise, or medically. Most had lost about 60 pounds or more in the period measured.

Though the partner who lost weight was found to be much more communicative, especially in thinking in a health-conscious way and promoting healthy eating amongst themselves and others, the non-weight loss partner was not.

The partner who had lost weight also was more confident in themselves, yet their relationship was losing hope.

Many of the non-weight loss partners were irritated by their partner encouraging them to eat and live healthier themselves, leading to resentment. This caused less sex in the relationship and poor communication. Some partners were also found to be not supportive of the weight loss, feeling threatened and insecure about themselves. These partners were more likely to make critical comments, or tried to manipulate their partners weight loss by sabotaging their diets with unhealthy food to prevent their partner and the relationship from changing.

Overall, the study proved that in order to find success in a relationship where a partner is undergoing a lot of weight loss, there are few things to be noted. It changes the dynamic of the relationship, sometimes for good, other times for bad. In order for the relationship to stay strong, the partner who doesn’t lose the weight needs to be supportive of the one who does, without feeling threatened or insecure about themselves. Lastly, the study found that some who had lost weight during the relationship lost the weight due to an initial weight gain when first-entering the relationship, by approximately 14 pounds on average.

By Aisling Williams

Why Music Blurs the Strength of Alcohol

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Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 2.48.21 PMA recent study shows that women are more likely to drink alcohol faster when listening to music. Can you believe that?

Apparently, music distracts women from the strength of alcohol, causing them not only to drink faster, but also higher amounts. Uh oh.

Three studies were conducted, one involving taste, one involving volume, and one involving speed. The study took a group of men and women ranging from age 18 to age 28, and had them consume alcohol every day for a series of weeks. Each participant would take a sip of each different type of alcohol and then take a test measuring their attitudes and then reporting the taste of the alcohol.

For the volume study, the participants were tested on how much they drank, while listening to stimulating music, one on low volume and one on high volume. Those listening at a high volume reported the drinks in the taste test being much less strong.

For the speed study, the participants listened to slow speed music, moderate speed music, and fast speed music while drinking, and those who tasted alcohol during fast speed music drank quicker than those without.

So, these studies show us to be wary of where and what we are listening to when we drink!

By Aisling Williams

Food Instagrams May Not Be Such A Good Idea


instagramIconDo you constantly feel like you must take a picture of your food and upload it to Instagram right before you eat it? Well, studies have shown that maybe you shouldn’t, even if that pizza looks great in X-Pro.

A recent study proves that looking at pictures of food before you eat can actually make the food less appetizing. The study divided people in to two groups — a group who looked at salty foods, and a group who looked at sweet foods. The groups were asked to rate how appetizing the food looked, and then were given salty peanuts after. Those who looked at pictures of sweet foods found the peanuts to be much more enjoyable than those who looked at salty foods. Interesting, right?

Researchers believe it is because you think about the taste when you look at the photo, causing you to be tired of the food before you even eat it.

So, if you’re trying to keep away from chocolate or those potato chips, this could be a good trick. But, the researchers warn that one photo won’t be enough. You should look at multiple pictures in order to lose your appetite.

From now on, maybe Instagram your food a bit less, and those beautiful fall leaves a bit more.

By Aisling Williams

The Top Eight Foods That Can Make You Feel Not So Great

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Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 12.43.25 PMWe don’t often like to think about it, but there are foods out there that sometimes can make us sick. Food poisoning is no one’s friend, and certainly isn’t fun, so here are the top 8 foods to be cautious of due to their history with the bug.

Leafy greens. Yep, that means any sort of salad. Arugula, romaine, iceberg, they’re all guilty. To avoid sickness, wash your lettuce and prevent cross-contamination by washing your hands and using different cutting boards!

Eggs. Bacteria sits inside the egg, so make sure the egg is properly cooked to kill germs. Be sure to steer clear of products containing raw eggs(yes, even cookie dough…sigh)

Tuna. Tuna often is contaminated by scombrotoxin, a toxin that causes headaches and cramps. If the food is stored above 60 degrees after being caught, the toxin can be released. Once it is, even cooking cannot destroy it.

Oysters. Oysters, though a delicacy to us, are filter feeders to the sea. If the water they filter is contaminated, then they are contaminated. If the oysters are served raw or undercooked, the shellfish could contain germs like norovirus that can cause nausea and vomiting.

Potatoes. If a potato is well-cleaned and cooked, there is no illness to be had. But be wary of potato salad, who has often fallen victim to cross-contamination with germs like salmonella and E. coli.

Cheese. Cheese, especially soft cheeses, have been found to be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria.

Ice Cream. Yeah, this guy too. It has also been linked to the bacteria Salmonella and Staphylococcus, especially when making homemade ice cream which uses raw eggs.

Tomatoes. Like lettuce, they can be contaminated during cultivation. Be sure to wash the produce with warm water and soap, and of course use different cutting boards if cutting raw meats!


By Aisling Williams

Shopping Nightmare: When Grocery Shopping Is a Bad Idea


Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 5.29.07 PMYou go grocery shopping whenever it’s convenient, right? Even if it’s a 1 a.m. trip to Wegmans because that’s the only time suitable? Wrong. A new study has shown that depending on what time we go to the supermarket may determine exactly how it will go.


In short, the study showed that when we go to the grocery store at times we are deprived of sleep, we are more likely to skip the produce section and jump right in to that high-calorie stuff, like those mozzarella sticks in the frozen aisle. Uh oh.

The study, conducted in Sweden, used 14 participants of a normal weight and put the theory to the test. They were given $50 and were told to spend away in a grocery store simulated by the researchers. The group was tested when they were sleep-deprived, and then when they had received a full eight hours. The results? The group not only bought 9 percent more unhealthy food when tired, but purchased 18 percent more food in total! Whoa!

So what’s behind this? As you might have guessed, a lack of sleep means a lack of control. So you are more likely to give in to the craving for mozzarella sticks than reaching for celery sticks.

Worse yet, once you’ve purchased the not-so-great food, you have to eat it right? This means your diet will be thrown off for a week or even more! Yikes.

So in the future, make sure you go to grocery shopping when you are well-rested and have a full stomach to help stay on track!

By Aisling Williams

Captain Crash Diet


grapefruitAny fellow pinner can understand the powerful influence Pinterest can have over a person’s — okay, let’s be honest — a girl’s decisions-making process. SU’s campus proves to be no exception: not long after pins about the new “3-Day Military Diet” fad started to appear did grapefruits start to disappear from the produce section at Tops.

Promising a weight loss of 5-10 pounds over three days, buzz over this military diet has quickly spread throughout SU. It calls for three meals a day, barring all snacks and drinks, except for water.

Websites explaining the diet claim it is a plan used by the military and attribute its pound-shedding powers to the chemical composition of the foods being consumed. Sounds more like a glorified crash diet than anything, but the results of three SU students gauge its effectiveness more credibly than anything else:

  • Our first SU student successfully completed the diet and, at a starting weight of 133, lost six pounds. She is currently doing the diet again.
  • The next student lost 8 pounds by the end of day 2 and decided to call it off for fear she would lose an unhealthy amount of weight had she completed it.
  • Our final student made it all the way until the last meal before giving in. This student felt “cleansed” but did not see any change on the scale.

Because the caloric intake of each day is still around 1,000 calories, calling it a full-bred crash diet might be extreme, but there are more sustainable diets to be tried. If you are tempted to try this diet, it won’t kill you. However, the weight that you will lose, if any, will probably creep back onto the scale after day three is over… and is cottage cheese really worth that?

By Brigid Demko

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Cold Weather Food Remedies



Here are some food solutions to make you look and feel great during the long and harsh winter months.


Load up on Swiss chard, egg yolks, and whole-grains for smooth skin.

Swiss chard and egg yolks contain biotin which promotes the production of fatty acids (a contributor of smooth skin).

Lipids from whole-grain bread and rice help reduce dryness and redness.


Keep your immune system on the right track with:

Vitamin C from papayas, red bell peppers, oranges, brussel sprouts, and cantaloupe.

Beta carotene from leafy greens such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash.

Probiotic-rich yogurt with has good bacteria that strengthens the immune system. It is also associated with a 42 percent lower risk of getting colds.


Check out these unique recipes for feel-good foods to experiment with!

Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate

Gluten-free/Vegan Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

Hot Spinach Dip

By Isabel Sherman

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Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving


Here are some tips to relieve some of the guilt associated with your Thanksgiving meal. No need to sacrifice taste or happiness this holiday season.

1.    Walk it Out

Get moving and burn some calories! Go on a walk around your neighborhood while the turkey is cooking on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a great way to get your body moving and have something to do with your extended family that drove a distance to spend Thanksgiving with you.

If you are feeling more ambitious, sign up for a race for the morning of Thanksgiving! Use this site to find races in your area.

2.    Drink water

Choose water instead of sugary drinks and alcohol at  dinner. This could help save 200+ calories and will keep your blood sugar at bay. Drinking lots of water throughout the day might also keep you full and might keep you from binging at dinner time.

3. Don’t have the “last meal” mentality.

The leftovers will grace your refrigerator for at least a couple of days following the Thanksgiving feast. That’s at least four or five extra meals of turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pie. That means you don’t have to delve into seconds and thirds on the actual night of Thanksgiving night. All the food will still be there tomorrow.

4. Don’t sample

The calories from sampling the food you are cooking DO count, as much as we sometimes would like to think they don’t. Make sure you have breakfast before you start cooking so you are not starving and eating bits of all the food you are making.

5. Portion Control

Make sure your plate isn’t all stuffing and meat! Try and see if you can make at least 1/3 of your plate vegetables, and if you go back for seconds, load up on the veggies first.

Extra tricks that don’t sacrifice the taste:

Instead of marshmallow and maple syrup sweet potatoes, try adding fat free sour cream, skim milk and nutmeg.

Try making stuffing with whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.

Cook your veggies in a little bit of olive oil instead of butter.

Add less or substitute sugar with Splenda for cranberry sauce and desserts.

By Isabel Sherman

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