The “Friends” You Have That Bring You Down


Feeling bummed or sad lately and not sure why? Part of staying happy and healthy is to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the right kind of people. Below are three types of “friends” who you should watch out for, and may need to reconsider if they truly deserve to be a part of your life.

1. The Drama Queen

Most girls will agree that drama is something we only like to see on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and not in our own lives. But the Drama Queen doesn’t feel the same way about that… Watch out for the friend that gets mad at you because you don’t agree with her that Bobby is so into her or claims you were ignoring her calls the other day. This “friend” can easily be spotted and dealt with. If you find yourself thinking that your friend group always seems to be in some sort of conflict, ask yourself why the last few fights have started. What’s the main reason behind all of this arguing? You might have a Drama Queen on your hands.

If you have the type of friend who ‘hates’ drama but seems to be the cause of most of it, you have a few options: either confront her, accept her, or ignore her. If you’re not willing to confront her about this, you at least have to come to terms with the fact that this is who she is and you can’t let it bring you down anymore.

2. The Mooch

Notice your bank account dwindling? Or pairs of shoes from your closet disappearing? Either you need to learn to lock your doors or you have a Mooch in your life. A Mooch can leech anything off of you: money, clothes, sympathy, and even your friends. This is the “friend” who can’t do anything for themselves, and use you for all the assets you’ve earned. Maybe it’s a suitemate who doesn’t have a job and needs to borrow a couple bucks to go to the mall every week. Or maybe it’s the girl down the hall that loves your style and has started borrowing your clothes for months at a time. Either way, the Mooch is one that needs to be dealt with before you go broke!

There is a huge difference between being a kind and generous person and allowing people to walk all over you. If you have a Mooch in your life, don’t be afraid to give a little tough love. Tell your suitemate they need to pay you back this time (and don’t give up asking them for your money back), or walk down the hall and ask the girl for your things back.. Once you start taking back control, you’ll feel a lot better.

3. The Green-Eyed Monster

This “friend” is the most hazardous of them all. Keep an eye out for the friend who is secretly jealous and envious of you. There is no shame in looking up to your friends. Your true friends are going to be naturally good people with a lot of positive qualities about them. The problem develops when you cross the line from admiration to full=on jealously. The jealous friend obviously can’t be outright with her jealously of you — 0therwise, you wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore. The reason why this “friend” is so dangerous is because the jealousy is so passive-aggressive and well-hidden. The jealous friend is the one who will purposely tell you that dress you tried on at Forever 21 looks amazing, when you thought it looked like a trash bag on you (and unless you’re Ke$ha, that’s probably not the look you’re going for). Or she might be the one who will flirt with the guy in your class you told her you thought was cute.

Unlike the Drama Queen or the Mooch, it might be tougher for you to discern if you have a friend like this in your life. As a tip, just go with your gut. If you hang out with a certain friend and feel uncomfortable, upset, or put off in any way, don’t ignore those feelings. Look into it and think back on some of the last few times you’ve hung out. This is a friend who seems like she is always in a competition with you or trying to ‘one up’ you. Dealing with the jealous friend requires you to confront her in order for their to be a change. Talking about it in a non-aggressive way could really open doors into why she’s jealous and help you two start to repair your friendship.

By Samantha DeTore

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Nutrition Labels: What You Need to Know


Think you’re “eating right” by reading the food label? Think again. We think we’re being healthy by choosing foods that are advertised as low fat, but the labels may not be telling the truth.

When a label says only 15 percent fat, is it 85 percent fat free? The answer is no. What many don’t know is that food companies advertise the percentage of fat by the weight of fat that is in the food, not the actual percentage of fat. We are almost being lied to, yet these labels hold some truth; the weight of fat is accurate, allowing companies to get away with misleading advertising. We think we’re consuming a lot less fat then we actually are, a sad and scary thought.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends not exceeding more than 30 percent of calories in the fat content of your diet. In simpler terms, we shouldn’t exceed more than 30 percent of calories from fat in a day. To see if you are exceeding the recommendation, follow the method below.

Here’s how to beat these tricky labels:

  1. Look at the nutrition label on the back of the food and find the label that says total fat per serving, measured in grams.
  2. Take this number and multiply it by 9, to convert the grams to kcals. 1 gram of fat contains 9 kcal.
  3. Look at the total calories on the label. Take the kcals you just found and divide it by the total number of calories. Then take that number (it should be a decimal) and multiply by 100 to get the percentage!

A little confused? Here’s an example:
A snack package of Wheat Thins has 8 grams of fat and 220 calories in total. Multiply 8 grams by 9. It has 72 kcal (8×9=72). Take 72 (your fat calories) and divide it by 220 (your total calories), equaling .33 (72/220=.33). Lastly, take .33 and multiply it by 100, leaving you with 33 percent of fat calories. That’s above the daily recommended amount in just one serving! Yikes!

So next time you decide to munch on a “healthy” snack, do a little mental math and save yourself the extra fat!

By Aisling Williams

“Don’t Go Changin'”: Tips To Create a Healthy Body Image


by Heather McCoy, owner of Wellness from Within Holistic Health Coaching

“Don’t go changing, to try to please me”.  That was the song written by Billy Joel about a girlfriend, I’m sure.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all felt that way about our bodies?  It’s hard for most of us to have a healthy body image.  We’re constantly being bombarded with images of what we’re “supposed” to look like rather than encouraging us to be happy with ourselves the way we are.  Creating a healthy view of ourselves is hard work but it’s possible if we practice.  Here are my top three tips to create a healthier body image.

  • Create your identity based on inner strength and not outward appearance.  Most people put a lot of emphasis on looks instead of what is inside.  Taking time to focus on all of our amazing inner qualities helps to build a healthier view of our bodies because we aren’t constantly focusing on the “outside”.  When we start to tune in to our inner image we begin to see ourselves for who we really are, and that becomes what is important.
  • Take a media break.  I know, I know, how can we do this right?  Take a break from our phones, laptops, and magazines?  No way!  Being constantly bombarded with pictures of celebrities and models creates an unhealthy ideal that most of us cannot attain.  Taking a break, even once in a while, helps us to focus on being healthy rather than looking a certain way.
  • Have an affirmative conversation with yourself.  Most people don’t even realize the amount of negative things they say to themselves throughout the day.  “Why can’t I be thin like so and so, why can’t I have hair like that, why can’t I lose weight” are all things most of us have said to ourselves.  The problem with negative self talk is that it brings our self-image down instead of lifting it up.  If we take time to say one nice thing about ourselves everyday, we’d notice that we would start to feel better about ourselves.  When you hear that negative conversation starting in your head, try stopping and finding something really nice to say about yourself, even if it’s just, your hair looks nice today.  See if something positive doesn’t shift inside.

Creating a healthy body image takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight.  But, considering the direction we are headed, I think it’s important that we start trying to change it as much as we can.  The beauty of all of us is that we are different, amazing, beautiful and handsome all on our own!  We don’t need to look like or be like anyone but ourselves.  The more we try to just be who we are, the happier we will be.

I’m Heather McCoy, owner of Wellness from Within Holistic Health Coaching.

Wellness from Within offers a unique approach to health counseling.  Recognizing that no one diet works for everyone, I offer a personalized program tailor-made for you and your health concerns.  I can assist you in a variety of health issues with specialized knowledge in weight loss without deprivation and struggle, whole foods nutrition for hormone balance, especially thyroid health, and increasing vital energy. I also incorporate eating locally and seasonally into my clients’ programs, as I believe it’s the right thing to do for our health, the environment, and for our valued family farms

Heather McCoy is not affiliated with Syracuse University; this is a sponsored post.

The Guinea Pig: Summer Essentials! Lemonade and hot dogs


The semester is coming to an end, and soon many of us will be hitting the beach instead of hitting the books. For my last few posts, I feel obliged to prepare you for the warm weather with suggestions for a healthy, delicious break. Read on if you want some of the best food and beverages for your next barbecue or picnic!

Santa Cruz Lemonade, 32 oz.

You know it’s summer time when Santa Cruz Lemonade goes on sale. As soon as the temperature rises, it seems like every grocery store in the country starts practically giving this stuff away! When I worked at Whole Foods, you could get it for $2.50 at one point, and it stayed at that price until the leaves started turning brown.

But this isn’t your typical sale lemonade. This is the good stuff, tart and sweet, and organic to boot! Pour it over ice for a true treat, or experiment by freezing them into some truly awesome popsicles.

Applegate Uncured Hot Dogs, 16 oz. package

I can get behind a lot of meat substitutes, but hot dogs are another story. I find that tofu dogs taste synthetic and have a weird plastic-like texture. I need the real thing, a piece of mystery meat smothered in ketchup, yellow mustard and relish.

Thanks to companies like Applegate Farms, however, these all-American guilty pleasures aren’t such a mystery anymore. These dogs are made with organic beef and contain no cancer causing nitrites or nitrates, fillers or preservatives. Plus, they’re quite tasty. They might cost a little more than your average Ball Parks, but your stomach will thank you for not filling it with toxins.

Helpful grilling tip: Make sure to clean your grill thoroughly before using it. Residue on charcoal and hardwood based grills is highly carcinogenic and can stick to your food.

Bigger isn’t always better


by Erica Murphy, blogger

It’s that time of year again. Books and laptops are strewn across desks; the library is packed with frazzled students inhaling Insomnia Cookies; and professors are piling on those last projects simply adding to the stress of these last couple weeks.

But how do you plan to study for that final psychology test? What types of methods will you use to memorize those key business terms? If you’re that person that bolds all the important facts and increases the font size of the information you MUST remember, than you need some new memorization methods.

According to a study published in the journal Cognition and reported by The New York Times, font size has no effect on memorization. All this does is boost you’re confidence in thinking you know the information, but in reality it doesn’t effect how you learn those extra large words.

What will make you memorize information is changing the font type to something unusual. In the study, participants were split into two groups and given items to memorize. One group had facts in 16-point Arial font, and the other half studied facts in 12-point Comic Sans MS or Bodoni MT. The latter two are much harder for the brain to process and therefore take more time to comprehend.

After a short study period, the participants took an exam and the people who had the more difficult fonts scored higher, 85.5 percent to 72.8 percent, than the ones who studied the larger Arial font.

In order to make sure their results were legitimate, the researchers conducted a larger experiment in a classroom setting. They performed a similar study with 222 students at a public school in Chesterland, Ohio, and it resulted in the same discovery.

Daniel M. Oppenheimer, a co-author of the study said that their results make sense. He explained in the New York Times article that you can’t skim material in a hard-to-read font, so putting text in a hard-to-read font will force you to read more carefully.

Don’t worry, you still have time. Hit up a free font website and download a few intriguing fonts. Put all your finals material in something like Chalkduster and you will definitely get those coveted A’s.

Health & Beauty: 3 Easy Tips to Drink More Water


by Jada Wong, blogger

Now that the sun’s out, it’s T-shirt time all the time! After months of hiding your abs, guns and gams under chunky knits and sweatpants, it’s time to start hydrating your skin inside out and reveal a more beautiful you. You should be drinking eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water each day for optimal hydration, but that’s hard to keep track of when you’re a college student. So here are WTH’s top three tips on how to drink more water without making it a chore.

Continue reading

Heath & Beauty: DIY Facial Massage


by Jada Wong, blogger

(Courtesy of

A facial massage at a day spa can cost upwards of $50, but check out WTH’s tips for a DIY (and free!) facial massage. This 10 to15 minute routine can be done while you cleanse your face or anytime of the day, so tie your hair back and get your hands ready for some action.

Cleanse your skin. According to, wash your face with a creamy cleanser and rinse with warm water. This opens your pores and increases blood flow. Try Origins’ Cheeks and Balances face wash ($18.50, 5 oz.)

Pick a moisturizer or essential oil. While you can definitely give yourself a facial massage sans moisturizer or essential oil, using it will give your skin an extra boost and help the products sink in faster. has a huge selection of moisturizers and essential oils that can brighten, tighten and revitalize your face.

Get massaging. If you’re using essential oil, pour some onto your palms and rub your hands together to warm the product. Do the same if you’re using a moisturizer. The following steps can be repeated and be sure to use more product if necessary.

  1. With your fingers flat against the skin, start by massaging your neck in wide circles and don’t forget to massage behind your ears.
  2. Work your way up to your lower cheek and glide your hands along the jawline and up to the temples.
  3. Using your middle and ring fingers, start at the sides of the nose and glide out to the temples following the line of your cheek bones.
  4. Close your eyes and glide your index and middle fingers across the brow and out to the temples. Do the same under your eyes by following the natural contours of your eye shape. Press and circle your thumb when you get to the temple.
  5. Place all fingers on your forehead and massage in a circular upward and outward movements.
  6. With your fingers flat against your skin, glide them down and out across your forehead, cheeks, jawline and neck.

Bio-Individuality, and What It Means For You


by Heather McCoy, owner of Wellness from Within Holistic Health Coaching

What is bio-individuality?

The concept of bio-individuality is that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food is another person’s poison, and that’s why fad diets tend to fail in the long run. Working on the principle of bio-individuality, it’s important for us to make positive changes that are based on our own unique needs, lifestyle, preferences, and ancestral background.

It’s easy in our culture to feel the pressure to look like the hottest celebrity or pop star, but not only does that create unnecessary pressure on ourselves, it’s also unrealistic. The beauty of us is that we are all different. What I need to eat is different from you because we have different metabolisms, live different lifestyles and have different activity levels.

Bio-individuality teaches us to tune in to our own bodies and find out what we need to be happy and healthy. This may mean adopting a vegan lifestyle because that is how you feel your best. It may mean eating meat because you need animal protein. It could mean that you practice yoga because you need to feel calm and centered, or it may mean you practice martial arts because you need to be engaged in activities that get you moving. The important piece is that you find what works for you. This not only makes you healthy but helps you to become less concerned with outside pressures to look or eat a certain way.

Fad diets offer us a one-size-fits-all program, or a mentality of “eat this way and you’ll lose this amount of weight in this amount of time.” While that may work for quick weight loss, it won’t make us happy in the end because we haven’t figured out what we NEED to eat.

Learning how to truly nourish yourself means listening to your body. If you feel bloated after eating wheat, you may have wheat sensitivity. Or perhaps you feel gassy after you eat that bowl of Ben and Jerry’s. It could mean you have problems digesting dairy. Maybe you notice you feel anxious and have trouble sleeping at night. How much coffee do you drink during the day? Maybe it’s time to cut down. Caffeine can often leave us too amped up which leads to difficulty sleeping.

All of these are messages from our bodies and if we take the time to listen, we can achieve lasting health.

Heather McCoy is the owner of Wellness from Within Holistic Health Coaching.

Wellness from Within offers a unique approach to health counseling.  Recognizing that no one diet works for everyone, I offer a personalized program tailor made for you and your health concerns.  I can assist you in a variety of health issues with specialized knowledge in weight loss without deprivation and struggle, whole foods nutrition for hormone balance, especially thyroid health, and increasing vital energy. I also incorporate eating locally and seasonally into my clients’ programs, as I believe it’s the right thing to do for our health, the environment, and for our valued family farms. Check out my website,

Heather McCoy is not affiliated with Syracuse University; this is a sponsored post.

Say “Sayonara” to Springtime Allergies


by Claire McFarland, blogger

A Few Helpful Tips To A Healthier Spring

It may feel cold in Syracuse, but spring is finally here. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining and millions of people are…sneezing. To combat seasonal allergies that can keep you sniffling all day long and prevent you from enjoying the spring weather and sunshine, follow a few simple tips that will change your experience with the springtime blues. Put the Kleenex away and pick up a few of these methods to keep your sinuses clean and clear for the rest of the season.

The Pollen That Gets You Down

Tree and grass pollens can cause springtime sniffles; as they come into bloom with the new season, you may notice yourself sneezing and getting teary-eyed more regularly. According to recent research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, grass-allergy season starts in mid-May and peaks in June. Grasses such as Bermuda grass, bluegrass and rye are some of the most volatile allergens. Identifying which spring blossoms get you down through skin or blood tests can help track which ones cause the biggest allergy ailments.

Telltale Signs

A stuffy or runny nose that shows no sign of stopping may join your chain sneezing behavior. After days on end of blowing your nose, coughing or wiping those teary eyes, you may realize it’s not just a cold. Allergies aren’t associated with a fever, which can help you identify the cause of your sinus problems. Looking at the color of the contents of your tissue can also help identify if you’re an allergy candidate. Clear fluid is a telltale sign of allergies, whereas the tinted gunk is associated with sickness. It may be gross, but it’s a great way to identify symptoms earlier on.

Sleep in, shower and sneeze less

Recent studies conducted at the Mayoclinic show that for allergy sufferers, the worst time to exercise outdoors is between 5 A.M. and 10 A.M. Counts drop off by noon and are lowest in the evening. After your run, jump out of your clothes and shower and make sure to give your hair a good cleaning. Hair follicles can be magnets for certain pollens, often gripping to your pillow at night. This can keep you sneezing all night long and ruin your regular routine. If morning is the best time for you to work up a sweat, make sure to check and hit the gym on high-risk mornings.

Bahama Mama

Choose a beach vacation! Thanks to the shore’s lack of vegetation and that purifying breeze, you might feel better at the beach. The only risk of a vacation of sun and fun? People moving there from the East have brought nonnative, allergy-aggravating plants with them. Try to take your vacation in a drier climate and avoid the south if your pollen-sensitive. The humidity further down in the states can trap pollen, causing it to stay in the air longer.

Close Your Car Windows

Ah, the beautiful fresh air of spring. Who would have thought that the breeze you crave could harbor millions of pollen types during the new season. In order to prevent an allergy-attack in the car, close the windows and sunroof and pump the AC. Make sure to keep your car clean and vacuum regularly, as pollen rests in carpets and upholstered seats. Not only will your passengers thank you, your sinuses will, too.

Healthy & Beauty: Suncare


by Jada Wong, blogger

For those who were lucky enough to escape to someplace sunny for spring break, it must have been tempting to bake on a beach for hours to get sexy, tanned skin. But the unsexiest thing after baking in the sun is a sun burn. Be sure to check out these tips for safe and sun kissed skin.

The right sunscreen:

The key to choosing the right sunscreen is reading the labels for a broad-spectrum, hypoallergenic and waterproof product that has a moderate to high level of SPF. For prolonged sun exposure, be sure to choose a product with an SPF of 30 or more. The number represents the level of protection against harmful UVB rays and the higher the SPF, the more protection, according to the American Cancer Society. But don’t think that SPF100 would give you twice the protection as SPF50—it just filters a bit more than SPF50. If you’re prone to breakouts, choose a sunscreen that is specific to your face. And don’t forget to get a lip balm with SPF as well, many people don’t think of lip protection but the skin on the lips is actually really thin and is always exposed. Check out for a big selection of sun care products (and free shipping over $25!)

Before you bake:

Most people apply sunscreen while in the sun, but that’s a major no-no. The active ingredients in sunscreen take about 20 minutes to absorb into your skin, so applying while in the sun defeats the entire purpose of sun protection. Instead, apply about an ounce (or roughly a palm and half) of sunscreen while naked 20 to 30 minutes before you hit the beach. Your skin will still be protected even when your skimpy two-piece moves around, according to Don’t forget to apply some onto those hard-to-reach areas like the back of the neck, top of the ears, tips of the toes, and even parts of exposed scalp.

Getting your tan on:

Reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is the best way to keep your skin protected and sunburns at bay. Waterproof products should be reapplied at least every 80 minutes and more often if you’re swimming, sweating or after toweling off. Water resistant products should be reapplied about every 40 minutes.  If you feel your skin getting hot while you’re in the sun and haven’t hit the mark for reapplication, reapply anyway. It’s better to reapply than not when it comes to your skin. For more sun protection, wear a hat, UV-ray blocking sunglasses, or a cover-up.

Post-sun treatment:

If you’ve followed these tips, your skin is the perfectly tanned shade. If you haven’t – well, good thing you kept reading. To soothe a sun burn, apply a cool cloth to the area and then slather on soothing lotions that contain aloe vera, according to Taking an aspirin can also help decrease a sun burn’s pain or inflammation. Be sure to also stay hydrated with lots of water and stay out of the sun for a while. There isn’t much to do in terms of peeling skin but cool showers and lotions can relieve the itching.

Makeup Expires?


by Shweta Shreyarthi, blogger

(Courtesy of

Makeup may not have an expiration date specified on its packaging, but that doesn’t mean you can keep it forever.   According to CBS News, “it’s important to get rid of cosmetics every so often to ensure that you’re getting the maximum benefits, and also to avoid things like infections.”  The chances of infection increase with the age of the product. so if your makeup is getting old, it might be time to let it go. Click ahead to find out when it’s time to toss your products!  Continue reading

Thinking about studying abroad?


by Shweta Shreyarthi, blogger

(Courtesy of

We’ve all heard that studying abroad can be one of the most memorable experiences a college student can have.  When else will you have a chance to pack up your bags and move to the country of your choice?

But maybe it’s not as easy as it sounds.  You’re not just packing up your bags and leaving the country; there are certain precautions you have to take no matter where you’re going.

  • Get all the necessary vaccines: Some countries require more vaccines than others. Check with a site like to learn more about what you need for your trip.
  • Meet with a health professional to discuss risks: When you’re meeting with them, make sure to ask questions about any concerns you might have.
  • Make a travel health kit: Throw items like sunscreen, insect repellant, antibacterial, and any necessary medications in some sort of container and carry it with you whenever possible. You never know when you’ll be stranded and need it.
  • Research clinics and hospitals in the surrounding area: Know where to go if an emergency arises. The government also keeps a list of doctors and hospitals that are available to Americans abroad.

It’s best to follow these precautions if you want to be safe; nothing is worse than being sick abroad and having no medicine or clue where the closest doctor’s office is located.  By taking the time to do this, you can prevent many illnesses.

Another issue that often comes up that can make or break your trip is the prevalence of diseases in a lot of popular study-abroad countries.

Popular places to go for SU study-abroad program include China, Italy, England, Spain, Chile, Turkey and France.  Check out recent epidemics that have been floating around these countries!

  • China: The bird flu, (make sure to be careful if visiting a bird or poultry market, and don’t consume uncooked/undercooked products coming from birds, whether it be meat or eggs); Malaria (take the antimalarial drug, always use bug spray, and try to cover up as much skin as possible, use bed nets); Measles (get the readily-available vaccine)
  • Italy: TBE (transmitted through tics so when you go outside, spray some insect repellant with the ingredient DEET, wear long-sleeves and check for tics after being outdoors)
  • England: Hepatitis B (get the vaccine); rabies (get the vaccine if you will be an area with bats, if you’re going to work with any sort of wildlife, it’s best to get the Rabies shot)
  • Spain: Leishmaniasis (so you should avoid insects because they’re the carriers of this disease)
  • Chile: Typhoid (drink bottled water and avoid buying edible treats from street vendors; this disease occurs through contaminated food and water)
  • Turkey: Malaria and Dengue (spread through insect bites, so like a lot of these illnesses, avoid bugs!)
  • France: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob: (transmitted through exposure to horse meat)

It’s a lot to take in!  Anywhere you go, you’re going to be taking a risk, but knowing what to watch out for will put you in much better shape!  So pack up, and enjoy what the rest of the world has to offer!

But it doesn’t just end here— the CDC recommends keeping tabs on your health when you get back into the states.  If anything seems out of sync or you just want to be sure, appointments can be made with infectious disease doctors or travel medicine doctors to make sure you’re fine!

How sleep affects your memory—and grades


by Rachael Grannell, blogger

We are bombarded with information everyday. We get it from our classes, the media, and conversations with our friends. From the minute we wake up, to the seconds before we go to sleep our brain is processing those messages. When you wake up in the morning, you remember only some of that information. You can probably remember what your professor talked about in lecture, the assignments you have due, or maybe some assignments and not others.

So how is it that we can remember certain things while forgetting so many more?

A new study published in the Feb. 2 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience explains that the brain evaluates our memories while we sleep and decides which ones are most important to store in our long-term memory.

The study shows:

  • The more sleep we get the better our memory recall (yes, mom was right).
  • Our brain stores information that is most relevant to our near future (i.e. information that could be on an exam).

Instead of EEG results, here’s some things we can take away from the study:

  • Get in some zzzz. As  sleep-deprived students, many of us cram before tests, but according to this test (and psych 205) it’s better to study and sleep than trying to memorize everything and grabbing a cup of coffee on your way to the exam.
  • Prioritize. Since our brain gives special treatment to memories that we need in the near future, we should too. So instead of doing the assignments you want to do first, you should probably work on what you know you need to do for the next day of classes and get a good night sleep. If that good night of sleep isn’t a possibility, it’s probably best to be studying for that exam as the last thing you do before getting that one hour of sleep in.



Hydrating Headaches


by Erica Murphy, blogger

(Courtesy of

Three o’clock hits and the pain kicks in. Intense pressure behind the eyes, constant throbbing at the temples and blurred vision are just a few of the symptoms. Advil doesn’t cure the cancer, massaging only leaves bright red imprints on your skin, and pinching the brim of your nose just ignites your sinuses. That pesky headache just won’t lighten up.

Maybe you had a really stressful day packed with long exams, or maybe you spent class after class watching boring video clips. What if you were just dehydrated? What if drinking a glass of water would ease the blinding pain?

In April of 2010, Dr. Sonia Partap, a professor at Stanford University, conducted a study on the presence of headaches in teenagers. She determined that certain daily activities affected the brain in a negative way. Along with typical things like stress and exhaustion, another problem she discovered was that students didn’t drink enough fluids.

The brain is composed of about 75 percent water; this water is used to balance chemicals and transport these chemicals through nerve endings. Without water, the brain does not work properly, which creates serious tension and pain leading to a headache.

Dehydration also plays a factor in the infamous “hangover headache.” In a study conducted at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, researchers used rats to test the affects of dehydration after gulping down a few shots.  The researches gave the rats ethanol, which caused the water levels to decrease. After about four to six hours of observing, the researchers found inflammation, which can cause headaches. Their results showed that dehydration does contribute to the “hangover headache.”

Unfortunately, your alcohol education classes possessed a little bit of truth. If you hate waking up with that splitting headache, or popping Advil four times a day, then listen to WTH. Swap a few sips of jungle juice for a refreshing drink of water and bring a water bottle with you class every day. Your head will thank you, and so will your parents for drinking responsibly.

Health & Beauty: When to Ditch Makeup Products


by Jada Wong, blogger

Ladies, if you’re a makeup hoarder like me, chances are that you own too much make up—most of which is rarely used and taking up space. But while you tell yourself that your purchases are justified because you’ll use these products later, makeup products can actually come back to haunt you.  Since U.S. labeling regulations don’t require makeup to have an expiration date, most people don’t know that there comes a time to toss certain products, according to an article from Good Housekeeping.

Telltale signs that you should ditch your products are when the formulas separate, but it’s the not-so-obvious signs that you need to look out for. Germs and bacteria build up on brushes, inside cosmetics bags, and on the products themselves which can lead to skin irritations and infections. In addition to writing down when you purchased a specific product on the product itself, avoid storing your products in the bathroom cabinet. The heat, humidity, and bacteria in there only speed up the expiration dates.

Here are five handy rules to help you ditch dirty products:

Powders: In general, any powder foundation, blush, or eye shadow can last up to two years, according to Essence. These formulas are free of any water that would be perfect environments for bacteria and germs. Regular use of these products will result in a shiny film over the top layer; this is partially due to the pressure of the brush or your fingertips and the buildup of oils from your skin. To remedy this, lay a piece of tape over the eye shadow pain and just peel it right off. This will lift the top layer of germs and oil that could lead to skin irritation.

Pencils: Since lip and eye liners are sharpened often (which you should be doing), these products can last around two years. Sharpening the product will scrape off the top layer and any bacteria that is growing there. Also, be sure to sanitize the sharpener by swiping rubbing alcohol between uses.

Lips: The general rule is to toss lip gloss and lipstick when it starts smelling funny. A sure indicator that lip stick should be trashed is when you spot beads of separation on the side of the product—the product isn’t sweating, it’s separating. Since both products have a bit of water and are in housed in dark tubes, bacteria will begin to build up. Wallet-friendly tip: If you can’t resist buying a new tube, try buying mini or travel-friendly versions so you can actually finish the product before it’s time to dump it.

Eyes:  Mascara and liquid eye liner should be ditched every three months. Just like lip products, these products are in tubes that are dark and wet – perfect for breeding nasty germs and bacteria that can lead to eye infections. Cream shadows should be ditched after two years as long as you sanitize the product with alcohol, according to Wallet-friendly tip: Since the expiration date for mascara is around three months, try drugstore alternatives to expensive department store products. CoverGirl, Maybelline, and Rimmel have different types of mascara formulas that’ll fit your budget and work just as well as department store brands.

Face: Liquid foundation can be kept for six months. The preservatives in liquid foundations will begin to break down, the product will separate and double-dipping into the bottle will foster bacteria growth. Wallet-friendly tip: Pour liquid onto the back of your hand to warm up the product (which will help it go on smoother) and to eliminate the need to double dip into the bottle. This will help eliminate bacteria growth and potential acne breakouts, according to Good Housekeeping.

Be an Iron Man


by Claire McFarland, blogger

Are you a vegetarian or vegan finding yourself sluggish, low in energy or just plain burned out? Recent studies in the MayoClinic’s online directory show that these symptoms could be as a result of low iron count in your blood cells. The health benefits of iron mainly include carrying life-giving oxygen to human blood cells.

The health benefits of iron correspond to proper growth of human body and maintaining great health. It is an essential protein component for metabolism and is necessary to produce red blood cells. The human body can preserve only  15 percent of iron for future use, especially in the case of inadequate diet intake. Make sure to read up on these good sources of iron to keep your energy up throughout the semester and beyond graduation.

Deficiency Symptoms: Iron deficiency may often cause severe fatigue, body weakness  and related health ailments. People with lack of iron cannot perform normal functions to their best abilities. Women and children need more iron than the male counterparts. Since a person with low iron level is likely to be anemic, it is extremely important to be vigilant of iron intake, as definiciency may result in skin ailments such as brittleness of nails and extra smoothness in tongue area.

Important Sources: Iron is found in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. Both of these types provide two different types of iron, however it is extremely important to incorporate these foods into your diet especially if you are vegetarian/vegan. Legumes, lentils, soy beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, cereals, bread, spinach, turnip, sprouts, broccoli and dry fruits also have good iron content. You can also get iron tablets and supplements. People diagnosed with anemia are often advised by doctors to take iron tablets. Food items containing good level of vitamin C may also aid in absorption of iron by the body. Vitamin C can be found in acidic and citrus foods, including tomatoes as well as citrus fruits and juices such as orange juice or apple.

Benefits: Regular Iron consumption in a balanced diet, is efficient in providing a great number of health benefits. These include:

  • Muscle function: Iron is an essential element for muscle health, as it helps in supply of oxygen required for contraction of muscles.
  • Brain function: Development of brain is also one of the many benefits of iron. Since oxygen supply to blood is aided by iron and brain uses approximately 20% of the blood oxygen, iron is directly related to brain health and its functions, according to the 2010 study published in the MayoClinic.
  • Regulation of body temperature: Iron is a facilitator for regulating body temperature, an important thing especially in Syracuse. It has the ability to regulate as per the absorption capacity of the body.
  • Fatigue: Iron deficiency is a natural cause of fatigue since it is an important component of hemoglobin. So, the inclusion of iron in your diet keeps you both healthy and in shape.
  • Immune system: Iron also plays a key role in providing strength to the immune system of human body. Thus, the body is made proficient enough to fight against the common cold and other ailments spreading around campus
  • Energy metabolism: Iron is an important producer of energy metabolism in human body by which, the energy is extracted from the food consumed and distributed to different body parts.
  • Insomnia: Iron is also useful in treating insomnia in human body and also improves the sleeping benefits in the life of an individual.
  • Concentration: Iron, when consumed in sufficient amount in the diet, builds concentration amongst the students and professionals, according to 2010 studies in the Mayoclinic.

So, the next time you’re feeling exhausted, have a case of the sniffles, or unable to concentrate, check your diet and make sure to drink plenty of orange juice. Keep your iron count high for a happier and healthier you!


Super Bowl, Super Foods, Super Healthy


by Claire McFarland, blogger

Most of us know the traditions of Super Bowl Sunday: chips, dip and the occasional keg tap. Has your Super Bowl Sunday menu have you you feeling sluggish and guilt-ridden, rather than energized for the week? Let’s go through a ‘game plan’ so the next time you’re watching the big SU game or the Super Bowl, you know how to handle these scenarios and apply these simple substitutions to ward off feeling too hungry, too full or too slow the next day.

Situation #1: You’re at home watching the game. You’re a little hungry, but it’s not quite mealtime. You need something to take the edge off. A salty, crunchy, bite-sized snack is in order. The first thing that comes to mind is grabbing a few handfuls from the bowls of chips laid out on the coffee table.

Game Plan: Instead of the heavier, often fried potato chips and dip, opt for some popcorn! Air-popped (not microwave) popcorn is a whole grain, so there is your fiber. Let’s face it: No one wants to eat popcorn without that yummy butter flavor. Before you melt it down, consider using a butter alternative or experiment with topping your popcorn with black pepper, paprika or another spice instead of salt. This is the perfect healthy snack that will satisfy your crunch craving before dinner is served.

Situation #2: Half time approaches and the rest of your friends arrive with casserole dishes and pre-made SU cookies. Everywhere you turn there are carbs: between the creamy broccoli bake with onion strings and the cheesy penne, it can be difficult territory to navigate.

Game Plan: Everything is great in moderation! According to the Mayo Clinic online, everyone needs a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat to have a healthy balanced diet. Try picking up a smaller snack plate and spooning a lesser portion of each dish. For dessert, check out the serving size and try to stick with that. This way, you get a little bit of everything without feeling stuffed or deprived!

Situation #3: Game’s Over. If you’ve hosted a Super Bowl party or a SU watching party, you may have leftovers that could fill your cabinets for weeks. Although most of them will stay fresh in the fridge or tied with a twisty, consider clearing out the clutter and feeling better as a result!

Game Plan: Make sure your guests go home happy. Try to send everyone home with at least the dish they brought, if not more. The chips and snacks can be divided into little bags for party favors that guests can bring home. If all else fails and everyone refuses due to a sugar-induced coma, try bringing the leftover bags of chips to a local food drive for those in need. For your good deed, make sure to keep one or two of those basketball cookies!

You Make Me Happy, When Skies Are Gray…


by Brittany Fuino, blogger

In the summer I soak up sunshine like it’s my job.  Actually, it is my job. I lifeguard. Nothing beats the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from being outside all day.  It’s an addiction with severe withdrawal symptoms when the seasons change to winter.

Severe enough to cause SU students to wear their Ray Bans inside of buildings, because they’ve forgotten what real sun looks like. Severe enough to make them think, “Maybe I should buy that tanning package on Marshall for only $200—steal!”

My cure lies in my nightstand drawer, right beside my embarrassingly frilly eye mask (ironic, since we get no sun).  That’s where I keep my bottle of self-prescribed happy pills.  Prozac, you ask? Oh no no, much better. Vitamin D!

Unlike our ancestors, most of us spend a majority of our day living and working indoors.  That means we don’t get nearly as much sun as we used to.  And sunlight is our main source of vitamin D, since our bodies don’t produce it on their own.  That could be why 78 percent of Americans don’t get enough vitamin D for good health, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements in Washington, D.C.  The farther north you live, the more likely you are to be D-deficient.

The benefits of this vitamin are extensive.  Research suggests it’s helpful in preventing cancer, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. But the more noticeable ones are awesome, include putting you in a better mood, reducing inflammation (thereby easing muscle aches and pains), and preventing colds and infections, according to Mark Hyman, MD.

It’s pretty tough to get enough vitamin D through food alone.  How much is enough?  The RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for vitamin D varies by age; for most adults 600 IU is considered to be enough, according to the Institute of Medicine.  Recent research indicates that amount may be too low.  Oily fishes like salmon and canned tuna are good sources, along with fortified dairy products, orange juice, and some cereals.  Three ounces of cooked salmon provides 794 IU, and one cup of  fortified milk contains between 115-124 IU.

Boring stuff aside, what it comes down to is this: We live in the north. We get zero sunshine. Prescribe yourself a happy pill and start popping vitamin D daily, before you buy that $200 tanning package.  Your body and wallet will thank you!