Feel Great · Get Well

DIY Face Masks

As we slowly but surely, start to approach spring, it’s time to put some “spring” back into your step, and more importantly, back into your skin. Just because it’s still the dead of winter and pretty frigid out, doesn’t mean your skin has to look dead too. These quick and easy homemade face masks are the perfect products to brighten you up. With little time and few ingredients needed, these quick and easy homemade face masks will make your skin feel bright, fresh, and airy.

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Avocado and Honey
Winter can make your skin dry and cause it to peel, and sometimes no matter how much you moisturize, lotions can only do so much. Avocado is loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids which will reenergize your skin and help keep it smooth, while the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are key to reducing redness and swelling. This is something to keep in mind whether you’ve been battling the winter cold, or it’s just the morning after a rough night out.

Ingredients:

  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Simply mash and combine the ingredients in a small bowl and apply to your face.
  2. Let sit on your face for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse with warm water.
  4. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

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Organic Banana Face Mask
This face mask is for those who want the results without all of the work. With three basic ingredients that can be found in anyone’s kitchen, this mask has been praised for leaving skin silky, smooth, and glowing, and it works great on all skin types. It only takes five minutes to make, and the results are worth every second.

Ingredients:

  • ½ Banana
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Directions:

  1. Mash ½ banana.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of honey.
  3. Apply to the face and keep the mixture on for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.

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Egg White Mask
An unusual twist with something you usually have for your morning breakfast, egg white masks are quite common, and are known for their stellar results. They are great for reducing breakouts and clearing up those nasty acne scars from our teenage years. Even better, they help soak up excess oils on the skin and help rebuild damaged skin cells, so you can start your day off clean and glowing.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 egg whites 

Directions:

  1. Separate two to three egg whites from the yolks and whisk until frothy. Let them stand for a few minutes while you rinse your face and pat dry.
  2. Apply a thin layer with your fingers and allow it to dry a few minutes.
  3. Continue to apply layers until you have three or four in total.
  4. Let the mask dry for 20 minutes then rinse completely and pat skin dry.

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Baking Soda Mask
As odd as it sounds, baking soda is great when used on the skin. It cleans out bacteria in pores, dries up excess oils, and removes dead skin cells. Feel free to add drops of lavender or any other scent your prefer to help you relax or make your skin smell as yummy as it feels.

Ingredients:

  • Equal parts baking soda and water to form a thick paste

Directions:

  1. For an acne mask, mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a thick paste.
  2. Massage onto skin in a circular motion for 2 minutes, then let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat skin dry.

 

By Annie O’Sullivan

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Eat Smart · Feel Great

4 Low Calorie Alcoholic Beverages for the Holidays

Holidays are the best time for you to wind down, relax, eat, and do many people’s favorite hobby: drink. Everybody needs a little cocktail to celebrate the holidays and to rejoice their time off from work, school, and other responsibilities. However, if you find yourself trying to lose weight, it can be difficult to have your cake and eat it too (pun intended). If you’re in dire need of a little alcohol, there are easy switches you can make to still get your buzz on with little to no consequences later.

If you like Rum and Coke: According to glamour.com, an easy switch up to cut calories is to switch regular Coca-Cola to Diet Coca-Cola instead.

If you like Margarita’s: For all you Real Housewives of New York City lovers, here’s a brand name you will instantly recognize for her savvy alcohol empire. Bethany Frankel’s Skinny Girl margarita mix, which is only 37 calories for one serving. Skinny Girl also offers other low calorie drinks like sangria, mojito’s, pina colada’s, and wine. If you’re interested in looking for the nutritional facts or what flavors Skinny Girl offers, you can go to skinnygirlcocktails.com for more information.

If you like Mimosa’s: If you’re grabbing brunch with a couple of friends and are looking to treat yourself, you can do this easy switch up that will save almost half the calories. Fitnessmagazine.com recommends you switching to a low calorie fruit juice such as Minute Maid Light Orange Tangerine juice instead of regular fruit juice.

If you like Beer: Beer is an alcohol with one of the highest caloric intakes, but there are lighter options to go with if you’re a real beer lover. According to fitnessmagazine.com, Bud Light was nominated the best tasting light beer out there with only 110 calories per serving. The runner up was Sam Adams Light with 119 calories per serving and coming in third was Coors Light with 102 calories per serving.

Counting calories is never particularly fun, especially during the holidays. But if you make these easy changes and try to avoid the overly sugary alcoholic beverages, you’ll be able to enjoy your buzz guilt-free.

Eat Smart · Feel Great

Winter Squash for Beginners

Move over kale, winter squash is becoming the biggest produce fad of the season. Winter squash is known for its rich color and bursting flavors which will be a great staple to your autumn diet.  Little did you know that squash can actually be a great replacement for many high calorie ingredients. Read the article below on What the Health’s favorite squashes to find out how they can help you cut calories and survive the winter by keeping your skin radiant during the dry weather.

 

Carb-Free Spaghetti (Spaghetti Squash)

You wouldn’t believe how close this tastes to regular spaghetti pasta once you’ve tried it. To make it, start with cutting the squash in half and remove the seeds, then preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place the squash in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 20 minutes.  Then, uncover and continue baking for another 35 minutes.  Once the squash feels tender, use a fork to scrape out the strands of spaghetti. Heat up your favorite tomato sauce and add to your spaghetti squash and you’re all set for a Carb-Free Spaghetti dish! Check out even more benefits of this meal here.

 

Squash Salad (Almost any kind of winter squash)

Instead of using a thick and high calorie dressing, opt for just adding boiled squash (our favorite is acorn squash), a little bit of olive oil, and some spices for a creamy texture to your salad. The longer you heat your squash the softer it is!

 

Vegan Mac & Cheese (Butternut Squash)

So you’ve always wanted mac & cheese without all that heavy cream, butter, and cheese?  Butternut squash is so rich in flavor and creamy in texture that it can actually help replace all those unhealthy ingredients. Angela Liddon, the blogger behind her website ohsheglows.com, shows how you can make a totally healthy version to your favorite dish.  Click here for the complete recipe.

 

The best part about these squashes is that they’re perfect for the winter because they contain vitamins that give you healthier looking hair and skin while also helping you build a stronger immune system for the cold Syracuse weather. Butternut squash and acorn squash both contain significantly quantity of high vitamin A, which helps repair skin and produce sebum necessary to keep hair moisturized. Vitamin A also ensures that the skin looks young and helps eliminate blemishes and scars. The three squashes are also great for dealing with colds and boosting the immune system because they’re high in vitamin C. Overall, why wouldn’t you want to try some?

 

By Allison Leung

Eat Smart · Feel Great · Get Well

6 Unique Benefits of Mint

When most people think of mint, they think of its application as a breath freshener. Whether it be toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, or chewing gum, these products overshadow the other healthy uses of mint simply because of their popularity. Here are some unique ways to use mint that aren’t just for fresher breath!

 

  1. Headache. We all know the scent of mint is associated with fresh breath, but what you probably didn’t know is that the scent can also relieve headaches. By rubbing mint oil or mint base under the nose or on the forehead, it can soothe some of the inflammation and fever symptoms that people experience with migraines.
  1. Digestion & Nausea. Feeling sick to your stomach? Well, instead of grabbing any of those common indigestion medicines, consider trying mint tea first. The aroma of the mint can stimulate the release of digestive enzymes from the salivary glands, which contributes to faster digestion. Menthol oil produced from mint can also help motion sickness.
  1. Depression or Exhaustion. Stimulation from mint is an excellent way to recharge your body. Since you can get this feeling from inhalation, one of the best ways to use it is to put a few drops of mint essential oil on your pillow.
  1. Sickness or Allergies. Since it’s flu season, I am sure everyone is already stocked up on over-the-counter medications. However, before taking that cold and flu medicine, try using mint leaves. These leaves can be good to make teas, jams, or desserts. The soothing effect that they have can clear up congestion and relieve coughing. It can also help pesky allergies because the leaves have been shown to have anti-histamine properties to them.
  1. Skin Cleansing. Dry skin bothering you as the weather gets colder? Try using mint juice to soothe your skin and reduce acne. Mint also works to treat infections caused by insect bites, but if you put it on before any bites occur, it also works as a repellant.
  1. Weight Loss. Mint can help you slim down throughout the holiday season! If you keep mint candies on you throughout the day, it can help to cure persistent hunger and help you eat fewer calories throughout the day. As mentioned above, eating these candies can also help stimulate digestion.

 

By Courtney Rosser

Feel Great · Get Well

How to Protect Your Skin this Winter

As the trees become bare and the temperatures turn cold, it is important to make sure that your body and your mind are happy and healthy. With the change in season, it’s easy to neglect simple healthy habits, especially your skincare. Your skin takes one of the hardest hits when the weather becomes chilly and the air becomes cold. As the winter months approach, skin can become dehydrated, irritated, and dry, all of which lead to painful skin and an unhappy you. This winter, keep in mind these simple but crucial skincare tips to make sure your skin is soft, smooth, and glowing all winter long.

 

Moisturize Often

I cannot repeat this skincare step enough. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! While this is a key step in your daily beauty regime no matter what the season, it is critical to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized during the winter months. Dry skin can lead to cracking, peeling, and even bleeding, and nobody wants that! Use a daily moisturizer like Aveeno Daily Moisturizer or Cetaphil—a moisturizer made for acne prone skin—to keep your body silky and smooth all winter long. To get maximized benefits, apply moisturizer after showering or after washing your face before bed.

Cover Up!

It’s important to make sure you properly protect your skin as the temperatures drop, so make sure to wear warm outwear like hats, ear protectors, and gloves to minimize damage as much as possible. While it may mean covering up your winter manicure or your cute pair of earrings, there are so many cute and comfy mitten sets and beanies out there. You’re sure to find warm apparel you won’t mind slipping on for the snowy season.

Watch Water Temps!

As tempting as it is to take a scalding hot shower after a long, hard, COLD day on campus, be careful of how hot you make the water temperature.  Even though it feels heavenly, it dries out your skin quicker and will most likely result in skin peeling and cracking, something you definitely don’t want. If you can’t resist turning the shower nozzle to hot, remember to moisturize when you hop out to keep your skin from getting damaged and dry.

It Takes Two: Vaseline and Socks

When skin becomes severely damaged—and it starts to crack, peel, and bleed—skin can become easily irritated and extremely painful. Have no fear, Vaseline and socks are here, and this winter they are your two best friends. This combination works as a great overnight solution when the skin around your feet becomes painful and cracked. Before bed, apply Vaseline on feet, cover with socks, and in the morning, you’ll wake up with pain free feet!

Soap Substitute

We all know how important it is to keep clean during the winter so that germs and sickness don’t spread easily. One thing many don’t know, however, is that the constant cycle of washing your hands and body often deprives skin of moisture, leaving you feeling dry and sore. Substitute soap with hand sanitizer, which is less damaging but still keeps your hands clean, and don’t be afraid to invest in a hydrating body wash to lock in moisture while showering. Still afraid of carrying germs? If using hand soap, use a hydrating antibacterial gel.  For all areas of skin, follow with a good amount of moisturizing lotion to keep your hands and body from chapping.

 

By Annie O’Sullivan

Eat Smart

4 Best Healthy Holiday Treats

Christmas is right around the corner, and with it comes endless pastries, cookies, and candies—enough to fill hundreds of stockings. As Buddy the Elf so kindly puts it “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Although these food groups do sound tasty, constant sugar and carb intake will only result in a very upset stomach.

To enjoy the holiday treats, get all the fun of baking, and avoid the tummy ache, here are some What the Health suggestions for healthy holiday treats.

 

1. The Classic Gingerbread Cookie (Low-Carb and Gluten Free)

Ingredients:

Cookies: 4 cups almond flour, 1 cup Swerve Sweetener, ¼ cup coconut flour, 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon xanthan gum, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, 2 large eggs, ¼ cup Kelapo coconut oil (melted), 3 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing: ½ pound powdered Swerve Sweetener, 1 ½ tbsp. meringue powder, 1 ½ teaspoon arrowroot starch OR 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum, ¼ cup lukewarm water

For instructions, go here.

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2. Homemade Hot Chocolate (Dairy & Sugar Free)

Ingredients:

(For extra fun, coconut whipped cream or regular if you’re able to eat it!)

Instructions:  

  • Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk over low heat until combined and desired temperature has been reached.
  • Pour into a mug and enjoy!

For more information, go here.  

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3. Peppermint Bark (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 12 drops pure peppermint extract (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup OR stevia drops to taste
  • Optional: sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or other garnishes

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Spread the mixture onto wax paper
  • Put it in the fridge or freezer to harden. After just a few minutes in the freezer, it becomes delicious bark!

For chocolate peppermint bark: replace the coconut butter with homemade hot chocolate butter.

For more information, go here.

bark

 

4. A Christmas Staple, the Sugar Cookie

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites

Icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 6 tablespoons warm water

For further instructions, look here.

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By Haley Champion

Get Well

How to Prevent Seasonal Depression

Among other things, such as its wide variety of academic colleges and Division I athletics, Syracuse is known nationally for its infamously frigid and harsh winter season. Syracuse only sees 63 mostly-sunny days annually (1), much less than the whopping 211 sunny days seen annually in Phoenix, Arizona and 188 days in Sacramento, California (2).

This lack of sunshine is capable of causing physiological changes inside the body, sometimes leading to symptoms of depression. In extreme cases, this can progress to something called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which is characterized by “serious mood changes during the winter months,” manifesting as symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and fluctuations in weight (3). People living in the northern hemisphere, such as New York, are 2 ½ times more likely to experience SAD than those living in southern states (4).

While you can’t change Mother Nature’s forecast, there are strategies you can use to cope with the change in seasons to prevent developing symptoms of seasonal depression.

  • Expose yourself to as much light as possible during the day. Walk to class instead of taking a bus or shuttle, do work outside or sit near a window in the library, or even consider purchasing a light box to place on the desk in your room. Researchers believe that exposure to light increases the amount of serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter in your body which may help to prevent feelings of depression (5).
  • Laugh. Resist the temptation to hole up in your room with a cup of hot chocolate watching holiday movies alone. Make an effort to spend as much time with friends and loved ones as possible—a good conversation and laughter can work wonders to improve mood.
  • Increase consumption of vitamin D rich foods. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, many individuals suffering from SAD have low levels of vitamin D stores. Study subjects who were given supplemental vitamin D reported improvements in a depression scale test, suggesting that this vitamin may play an important role in the prevention of seasonal depression (6). Fill your refrigerator or dining hall plate with salmon, eggs (with the yolk!), and milk for a punch of vitamin D.
  • Choose carbohydrates An increase in cravings for carbohydrates is a common symptom experienced by those suffering from seasonal depression. Stay on track with your healthy diet by choosing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables over simple sugars to fulfill your carbohydrate needs.
  • Keep your exercise routine consistent. Regular exercise not only boosts mood but it also provides another opportunity to get outside and expose yourself to sunlight. Take a 30-minute walk outside or ask a friend to join you for yoga or other group exercise class.

The winters in Syracuse are rough, but with the right strategies it is possible to survive the bitter cold and clouds and make it until spring with a positive outlook! Focus on the things in life that make you happy… especially when you’re trudging through two feet of snow on your way to class wondering why you didn’t go to school in Florida.

 

By Julie Kameisha

 

References

1) “Days of Sunshine Per Year in New York.” Current Results. Current Results Nexus, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

2) Osborn, Liz. “Sunniest US Cities.” Current Results. Current Results Nexus, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

3) “Seasonal Affective Disorder: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

4) Silver, Rich. “What Is SAD Disorder? How Many People Have It?” Sleep Passport. Sleep Passport, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

5) “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

6) W, Alam, and Hollis B. “Vitamin D vs Broad Spectrum Phototherapy in the Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder.” Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging 3.1 (1999): n. pag. PubMed. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Eat Smart

4 Smoothies to Boost Your Brain

As the cold weather nears, it’s important to keep your mind and your body healthy. This means exercising, getting enough sleep, and incorporating well-balanced meals into your diet. One of the biggest mistakes students make is not eating breakfast, a BIG no-no! Whether you aren’t hungry or don’t have time to grab breakfast, research has shown that eating breakfast boosts your metabolism, increases concentration, and even improves your grades in the long run. Here are some simple smoothie recipes to make in the mornings for a quick and easy breakfast.

Brain Booster Trio Smoothie

With the brain booster trio, you get a smoothie that tastes as good as it looks. While sipping the yummy flavors of blueberry, bananas, and almonds, you are simultaneously protecting your brain cells, boosting memory and coordination, and getting a yummy breakfast that will help jumpstart your metabolism and get your day off on the right foot.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 of a medium frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 5 unsalted whole almonds
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey

Directions: 

  • Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, or about 1 to 2 minutes

Pomegranate and Strawberry Smoothie

The pomegranate and strawberry smoothie is especially good for boosting fiber intake, which affects the glucose levels in your brain. Boosting glucose levels has shown an increase in energy and concentration. With the yummy combination of flavors, this smoothie gives you a sweet treat that is low-calorie and chock full of good antioxidants to boost your brain power.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil
  • 4 ice cubes

Directions:

  • Whisk pomegranate juice and honey in a small cup to dissolve the honey completely
  • Combine the strawberries, yogurt, oil, ice cubes, and pomegranate mixture in a blender
  • Process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Pour into a glass

Banana and Coconut Power Smoothie

If you close your eyes while drinking this smoothie, it’s almost like your tanning on a beach in some tropical island far away from all the stress that is college (almost, though we wish it were true!) This smoothie—packed with the protein from bananas, a coconut, and a scoop of protein powder—will have you determined and ready to take on the hectic day ahead of you. Coconut is low in sugar and high in fiber and vitamins, which will provide long lasting energy and even help with memory retention. To add an extra boost of delicious protein, add a tablespoon (or two) of peanut butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk (hemp almond, rice, or organic 1% cow’s milk)
  • 1 frozen banana, slightly thawed
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend well

“Happy, Healthy Self” Smoothie

This smoothie is what I dub the “happy, healthy self smoothie” because it affects your emotions, motivation, and pleasure senses in your body. This smoothie is great if you have a long day ahead of you and know you need to focus—something all of us will be experiencing with finals coming up in a couple of weeks. The key ingredient in this recipe is milk, because it provides a healthy amount of protein to boost dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel happy and motivated. An added benefit? This smoothie keeps your blood sugar level steady and gives you a small amount of caffeine to help “kick start” your morning!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup small banana, peeled and frozen
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup soy milk (vanilla or plain)
  • 1 double shot (approximately 1/2 cup) organic espresso
  • 1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

Directions:

  • Combine all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth
  • Add the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated

By Annie O’Sullivan

Eat Smart

9 Foods to Strengthen Your Immune System

With cold and flu season quickly approaching, we need to do everything in our power to stay healthy. Here are 10 foods that will help boost your immune system and help you survive when your roommate and friends inevitably start coughing up a storm.

  1. Citrus

Vitamin C is essential for your health and can be found in citrus fruits. It helps produce more white blood cells, which fight off infections as well as helping you fight an illness once you have gotten sick. So try to eat about one citrus fruit a day or taking vitamin C to help prevent the likelihood of getting sick.

  1. Red bell Peppers

As well as citrus fruits, red bell peppers also have a lot of vitamin C. Red bell peppers actually have twice the amount of vitamin C that can be found in citrus fruits in addition to another nutrient called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy and is a provitamin to vitamin A.

  1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a super food packed with Vitamin A, C, E, and many antioxidants. It is one of the healthiest foods you could eat; however, the less it is cooked the more vitamins and nutrients you will get. Whenever available try to eat raw broccoli and it will prevent you from getting sick.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is a commonly used vegetable added for flavor in many foods and it also boosts your immune system. Garlic helps fight infections and has a large amount of sulfur containing compounds which boost your immunity. When cooking your next meal try to add garlic not only as a flavor, but also to boost your health.

  1. Ginger

Ginger is another popular flavor added to drinks, desserts, and other foods. Ginger helps your immunity because it has antioxidants and activates t-cells. T-cells are white blood cells that destroy other cells that are contaminated with a virus. Overall, ginger is a great flavor to add to your food because it builds up your body’s defense mechanism.

  1. Spinach

Spinach is another superfood packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta-carotene. All these vitamins and minerals help fight infections and viruses. Similar to broccoli, you get the most of spinach’s nutrients when it is cooked less.

  1. Yogurt

Some yogurts have live and active cultures which prompt your immune system to fight off viruses and diseases. Yogurt also has vitamin D which helps fight off infection. When picking your yogurt, be careful and make sure that you pick one up with live and active cultures, because not all yogurts have them.

  1. Almonds

Almonds are also good for your immune system because they have vitamin E. Vitamin E is soluble in the presence of fat and since nuts have healthy fat, the vitamin E can be absorbed properly. Almonds give you the perfect immunity boost and vitamin E, which is harder to get otherwise.

  1. Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants called flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). By drinking green tea you will receive amino acid L-theanine which supports the production of  germ fighting compounds in t-cells.

In addition to all these foods remember to have a balanced diet with, fruits, vegetables, water, and sleep. This way you get all the necessary vitamins to boost your immunity and the rest needed to fight off sickness.

By Lina Sullivan

Feel Great

Weight Loss Hypnosis

With the temperatures dropping below 50 degrees, the fall semester at Syracuse University is in full swing. We’ve only got a few weeks left until Thanksgiving and only a few months away from the freshman realizing what winter in Syracuse is really like.

Stuffing our faces for Thanksgiving is only the first step of gaining the notorious “winter weight.” Some people tend to gain a few extra pounds during the winter due to inactivity and seasonal affective disorder that can be hard to shed. Maybe it is the lack of motivation to go outside, or maybe it’s just because the plate of festive cookies is just too tempting. As a result, many turn to dieting. Perhaps surprisingly, the latest dieting trend is called weight loss hypnosis.

Weight Loss Hypnosis: How It Works

The first thing to understand about weight loss hypnosis is that it is centered around positive reinforcement. It recognizes that as a patient, in order for the hypnosis to work, and last, you must believe in what is happening. A client must believe that they have the power to positively make the change.

The hypnosis begins by a hypnotherapist putting you into a state of deep relaxation. Next, your unconscious mind will be accessed to explain why you might overeat or eat unhealthily. This is followed by imagery. Imagery includes incorporating new eating habits into your mind as well as visualizing yourself reaching your goal. Common visualizations will be imagining your goal body, imagining yourself getting there easily, and visualizing the confidence you will have after the weight loss. Finally, the repeated process of hypnotherapy will lead to positive eating habits that will eventually lead you to reach your goal weight.

Downsides of Hypnosis

The media craze centered around weight loss hypnosis has sky-rocked. However, some are still resistant to jumping on the bandwagon. One of the main contradictions is the nutrition aspect. Although the hypnosis incorporates good eating habits into a client’s diet, those eating habits aren’t always nutritionally correct. Eating less can cause a person to lose weight, but it doesn’t necessarily make a person healthy. Another factor that isn’t considered in hypnosis is exercise. Hypnosis doesn’t suggest that exercise is key to losing weight. Although it isn’t the only factor to losing weight, exercise leads to a healthy, strong body.

If you’re considering trying to follow some weight loss tips for this upcoming hibernation season, weight loss hypnosis may be the trick for you to lose a couple of extra pounds. However, remember that losing weight doesn’t always make you healthy. As always, when trying to lose weight, remember: the last cookie won’t kill you.

By Corrina Nichols

Eat Smart

5 Tips to Ace Flu Season

Water, Water, Water!

Put those orange water bottles to use! Water will flush all the gross toxins out of your body and rehydrate all your healthy cells. Add a tea bag to your warm water, which will be good for your throat and metabolism. Drink lots and drink often! Can you handle the 1 gallon a day challenge?

Take Advantage of Good Ol’ Health Services

Syracuse conveniently has a health care office right down the street. If you can’t seem to feel better or need a professional opinion, that’s where to go. Health services also offers free flu shots. Stop by room #110 (next to the Pharmacy) at the Health Center (111 Waverly Avenue) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on October 29th or November 5th, 12th, and 19th.

Sleep

This is the cheapest medicine out there. Allow your body to rest and recuperate to overcome that nasty cold or flu. Eight to nine hours is ideal when you are under the weather. To prevent future sicknesses, create a routine of at least seven hours every night.

Get Fresh Air

Take a walk. If you need a break from your room, or a have a jam-packed study day, schedule time to get outside. Walking and soaking in the sunshine is good for your health and will likely speed up your recovery rate.  Sweating out can clear your mucus and stuffy nose.

Wash. Your. Hands.

This simple task is the number one reason kids get sick.  Try washing after using the bathroom, before meals, and before bed.  An easy alternate would be a to-go hand sanitizer for any surprise germs. They’re a perfect fit for you backpack or purse.  Colleges contain thousands of germy surfaces with thousands of germy hands. Think library keyboards and elevator buttons. Another good habit to start is to avoid touching your face; it’ll help prevent bacteria from entering your body.

By Sydney Hughes

Feel Great

YouTube: Everyone’s New Favorite Gym

Have you ever wanted to workout but you didn’t think you had time to go to the gym? Or maybe the weather was so bad you didn’t want to risk your life to spend a few minutes on the treadmill? Here’s the perfect solution for a busy college student’s schedule, especially during the winter months.

My favorite way to exercise without leaving my room is by watching fitness videos on YouTube. They are quick, easy, and are the perfect way to fit a brief workout into the day. Some channels include Blogilates, BeFiT, Sarah Fit, and FitnessBlender. The workouts are short and there’s plenty of options to choose from to suit your needs and goals. Here are five reasons why you should try watching fitness videos on YouTube:

  1. Motivational and Fun

Cassey Ho, the host of Blogilates, is peppy and cheers you on throughout the entire video. She’s like your own personal trainer, but through a computer screen. She also makes workouts fun by creating song challenges, dance workouts, and movie themed workouts to push you to keep going.

  1. Variety

Another great thing about YouTube fitness is the diversity of workouts. It’s nice being able to pick what part of the body you would like to workout. In addition to the variety of workouts there are also different time ranges. Some videos are only three minutes long; others are nearly a half hour. This means you can always find a video to fit into your schedule. The last thing is that there is a mixture of workout difficulties. Blogilates features beginner videos all the way up through advanced workouts so there is a level for everyone.

  1. Seasonal and Special Occasion Workouts

There’s also workouts for specific seasons and occasions. For example, in the spring and summer Blogilates has a swimsuit slimdown series to help tone the parts of the body that we often worry about in the summer. She also has a cocktail dress series for when you need to get fit for a party. Even if you don’t want to do a video everyday, there’s a video for when it is important for you.

  1. Food Hacks

We all know that fitness isn’t just about exercising; diet plays an important role as well. On YouTube you can find all sorts of recipe videos, diet how-to’s, and tutorials. Many of the recipes are easy and give you healthy versions of your favorite foods like cake, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream.

  1. Helpful Components

Many fitness gurus on YouTube have lives outside of YouTube. This means you can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and even on their own personal websites for up-to-date fitness information all the time. After Blogilates videos began gaining more views, Cassey began an online site to post additional information. The site includes a workout calendar, meal plans, recipes, and an online shop. All this information is free; the only requirement is that you need to subscribe to her newsletter every month.

Fitness channels like Blogilates are the perfect mix of working out and learning about a healthy lifestyle. These videos can motivate you to follow your fitness goals without going crazy, works around your schedule, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. As the days get shorter and colder I recommend giving these videos a try!

By Lina Sullivan

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