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Healthful snack tips  January 24th, 2013

Isn’t the beginning of the term the best? For me, there’s hope that my classes, if not easy, will be interesting. Plus, there’s slack time while everyone adjusts to their schedules (instructors included). Still, I can’t escape the impending doom of midterms and finals. There’s always too much to do; besides my regular life (friends, family, job) extra homework, projects, and studying await me. As you can see, I’m already experiencing emotional and physical symptoms of stress!

I want it to be different this term. While I can’t prevent the looming deadlines, I know I can be better prepared.

I’ll start by figuring out a routine to help me eat well. Why? A surprising fact about stress is that it can cause unhealthy changes in food preferences. Several studies have shown people increase their consumption of certain foods, especially high-fat and sweet snack foods, when under increased pressure. I can relate. When I’m stressed, I crave cookies and brownies. These simple sugars help me feel better temporarily, but I’m often hungry and irritable when the sugar rush ends so I reach for another goodie and… yep, I repeat the cycle. And what do I end up with? A less-than-productive study session for sure, but I also feel a little bad, both physically and emotionally.These eating habits don’t reflect my desire to be healthy.

So, what’s my plan?

1. Eat regular meals, including breakfast.This will help keep my blood sugar levels more consistent throughout the day and, as Natasha’s breakfast post tells us, may help avoid unhealthy snacking. To help me put together balanced meals, I read April’s post on the MyPlate guidelines.

2.Have healthful snacks on hand. Fruit, nuts, and low- or non-fat dairy products are nutritionally dense snack choices, meaning they offer loads of nutrients for the amount of calories they contain. Nuts do contain a significant number of calories but are a great source of protein and healthy fats when enjoyed in moderation.

Check out my video on Heathful snack ideas for more ideas:

3. Know my tendencies. When I’m running late, I’ll plan ahead by having on-the-go foods to bring with me (once again, take a look at my video for ideas). I can also make extra dinner and take it for lunch. When I don’t want to cook, I can eat on campus. I just learned that the dining halls offer some really healthful fare for reasonable prices.

None of this is new information, but maybe you’ve been stuck in a rut like I’ve been. Sometimes, a little focus and a few ideas are all it takes to develop a new, improved routine that’ll set you up for success. Tell me what you think of these ideas and share with me (and other readers) what works for you. Take good care and BeWell on your journey to continued success!

– Tracy Beckmann, Dietetic Intern

References:

  1. Hopson J, Donatelle R and Littrell T. Get Fit, Stay Well! 2nd Edition. (2012). Benjamin Cummings. Chapter 2; pp. 31-60.
  2. Wallis DJ & Hetherington MM. Emotions and eating. Self-reported and experimentally induced changes in food intake under stress. (2009). Appetite; 52:355-362.
  3. Houghton JD, Wu J, Godwin JL & Neck & Manz CC. Effective Stress Management: A Model of Emotional Intelligence, Self-Leadership and Student Stress Coping. (2012). Journal of Management Education. 36:2; 220-238.

Gold or Platinum? Beyond the (Incomplete) ‘Golden Rule’  May 31st, 2012

 

The so-called Golden Rule, “Treat others as you wish to be treated” is something we probably heard from teachers, parents, peers, etc. The rule was a way for us to think about how our actions or words impact other people.

I recently read a philosophy excerpt titled “The Moral Insight” by Josiah Royce. It explains how we do not see other people as real as ourselves. We come from a selfish self-centered point of view where we see other people as objects whose feelings are not as powerful or real as our own.

Royce explains how pity and sympathy are not enough to gain moral insight. When we hear of someone else’s experience we never really take it in as our own; instead, we may hear their experience but quickly forget it as if it really never existed. Sometimes we may feel their pain or joy in the moment but this quickly dissipates. The only way to gain true moral insight is to acknowledge others and their experiences as real as our own. Royce explains the moral insight:

 

“If he is real like thee, then is his life as bright a light, as warm a fire, to him, as thine to thee; his will is as full of struggling desires, of hard problems, of faithful decisions; his pains are as hateful, his joys as dear. Take whatever thou knowest of desire and of striving, of burning love and of fierce hatred, realize as fully as thou canst what that means, and then with clear certainty add: SUCH AS THAT IS FOR ME, SO IS IT FOR HIM, NOTHING LESS.”

This passage is very true for me. Would there be so much violence and hatred if we understood that the people we hurt are as real as we are? Would someone be able to bully and pick on others if they understood the pain they were inflicting, especially if they have experienced that same pain? Would it be as easy to use derogatory words like “gay” and “lame” as part of our everyday speech if we felt or understood the hurt these words caused? Just because these examples may not hurt you directly, the pain others feel from these experiences is as real as the pain you have experienced in other ways.

Understanding this makes it impossible to excuse our actions by simply saying “I don’t know why this word offends “them,” it’s just a word!” or my favorite “But that’s not how I meant it”.

The reading from Royce was very insightful; it completely changed my way of viewing the “golden rule”. I began to reflect on: What if someone doesn’t want to be treated the same way I want to be treated? Like Royce stated, our viewpoint comes from a self-centered experience and the pain one feels might not be the same pain another feels.

I grew up hearing the golden rule but it wasn’t until I began learning about how I can become a better ally, that I realized the golden rule was incomplete. I learned that treating others as they wish to be treated is a better “rule”; people often call this the Platinum Rule. One experience that helped me realize this rule happened my first year in college. I said a joke that hurt the LGBTQ community. I am not proud of this experience looking back but I was fortunate to have a friend of mine confront me about it. He explained to me how the joke was offensive and had the power to hurt people. I became very defensive; I told him that I saw no harm in my joke and to stop being so sensitive. I walked away feeling bad but not understanding why I felt that way. I kept thinking about the incident and realized that I did not need to “understand” why it hurt my friend, but simply that it had. I realized that just because I couldn’t understand his pain it did not make it untrue. Thankfully, I had the courage to speak to my friend about the joke and my reaction. I apologized for invalidating his feelings and this allowed us to have a very good conversation that taught me a lot about his experience in the LGBTQ community at OSU. I know that if I remained defensive I would have never learned all that I have from him.

Through my development I learned that the Platinum Rule is especially crucial when working towards becoming an ally to a marginalized community. The targeted community knows best what I can do to be an ally. I learned that I cannot approach allyship it thinking: “I know what to do and how to fix things.” I am not part of the community and do not know the experiences and pain they may feel. As an ally, you are coming from a point of privilege, so it may be hard for you to understand some of the feelings a targeted community may have. Acknowledging those feelings as true and valid as your own is the first step in becoming an ally.

Miguel Arellano, Community Relations Facilitators

 


The “Hispanic” or “Latino” Question  May 15th, 2012

Hispanic. I hear this term a lot in the media to describe people that look and sound like me: brown skin, Spanish speaking, ancestry from Latin American countries, or, simply someone who has a Spanish-sounding last name.

However, I also hear the term Latina/o to describe the same people. So what is the “correct” way to refer to a person like me? I have asked myself the same question because a lot of people are now confused of the difference is between Latino and Hispanic. To even begin to understand this topic we need to ask the real question: Where do these terms originate and why?

Well according to an article entitled The Origin of the Term ‘Hispanic’ it all got started in the 1970’s when Grace Flores-Hughes worked as an assistant in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Flores-Hughes created the term “Hispanic” to categorize people for governmental data. The category was created for people that spoke Spanish as their first language. Ten years later in 1980, the term Hispanic was used in the U.S. census to define a group that was hard to determine by other factors such as race.  From my understanding, the term was only created to artificially categorize people.

As I did my research on the terms, I found in an article called Latinos or Hispanics? A Debate About Identity by Darryl Fears. This is what the article had to say on the matter:

“Hispanics derive from the mostly white Iberian peninsula that includes Spain and Portugal, while Latinos are descended from the brown indigenous Indians of the Americas south of the United States and in the Caribbean, conquered by Spain centuries ago.”

The source of each term has a very different root and is often interpreted in different ways. So, again I ask, who is Hispanic and/or Latino? Well it depends how each person identifies. For example, I see myself as a Latina. I always thought of the term Hispanic as something “bad”; probably because I associate the term “spic”, a derogatory racial slur for the Latino community.

What I have learned is that your identity as a Hispanic and/or Latino also depends on what region you live in the US. For example, in my personal experience, people that live on the east coast are more acceptable toward the term Hispanic, while people on the west coast see themselves as Latinos. I’m not sure why this occurs, but I imagine it has to do with cultural legacies and norms in that particular region. The use of either terminology is a hard topic to discuss due to the influence of the media and the stereotypes people create in their mind about the terms as well.

The question still comes up, who is Hispanic or Latino? I don’t really think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. No one individual or authority can really factually say who is or isn’t Hispanic and/or Latino; people see themselves differently and identify as such. The important thing to remember is to pay attention to how people identify. The best way to learn more about this subject is to bridge a conversation with individuals. You may ask, “I heard you describe yourself as “Latino”; what does that mean to you?” You may be surprised and learn much by their answer.

Thank you for reading,

Angelica Perez, Community Relations Facilitator


Weatherford resident travels to Guatemala with SIFE team  May 2nd, 2012

OSU SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) is a member of an international service organization dedicated to using business skills change the World. OSU SIFE is ranked in the top 20 nationally and has 3 major projects including work on solving world hunger, helping people with disabilities, and working with entrepreneurs in Guatemala.

One first year resident, Abigail Dahl, had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala with the OSU SIFE team over winter break.  Here is her perspective about the trip:

“As a freshman from a small town, there aren’t many diverse cultures. However, traveling to Guatemala this year with OSU SIFE has given me a different perspective. I had the chance to help families start up businesses and tour coffee fields where they work every day. For anyone who loves coffee, you have no idea how hard these people work to make it! The experience has given me a look into another society and a way to appreciate the “small things,” like tap water.  I would encourage anyone to try this experience and look at life through someone else’s eyes.”

To learn more about SIFE and how to get involved, email Jennifer Villalobos at Jennifer.Villalobos@bus.oregonstate.edu.


Language is Power  April 18th, 2012

Have you ever found yourself using words you don’t completely understand? As a Community Relations Facilitator I have used and heard words really new to me, and although I have looked them up several times, I still don’t really understand their real meaning. I also tend to confuse the meaning of words with other words. For example, I always confuse the words race and ethnicity.  So, you ask yourself, what is the difference? Well, According to a book titled Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (2007):

Race is a social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly skin color), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation or history, ethnic classification, and/or the social, economic, and political needs of a society at a given period of time.

Ethnicity is a social construct that divides people into social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history, and ancestral geographical location. Members of an ethnic group are often presumed to be culturally or biologically similar, although this is not in fact necessarily the case (Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 2007).

I always try to separate both by thinking that race is the thing you check off on an application such as the census. On the other hand I like to think of ethnicity as the culture and traditions you belong to.

I know my first year of college I was very confused by all the terms, vocabulary, and acronyms that were thrown at me. So, I have decided to provide a list of vocabulary words that are used a lot and are also commonly misunderstood. I have also included words that I have recently learned that I find very useful. I think this is very important because these words come up in everyday conversations. You might hear it in class or at workshops. By knowing this information you can prevent miscommunication and prevent unintentional prejudice and hurt feelings. Language has power to express your identity and life.  You can also educate others about the definitions. Hope you find these definitions helpful.

Culture: A social system of meaning and custom that is developed by a group of people to assure its adaptation and survival. These groups are distinguished by a set of unspoken rules that shape values, beliefs, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors, and styles of communication.

Oppression: The systemic and pervasive nature of social inequality woven throughout social institutions as well as embedded within individual consciousness. Oppression fuses institutional and systemic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry, and social prejudice in a complex web of relationships and structures that saturate most aspects of life in our society.

Discrimination: (unfairness + power) An action against other people on the grounds of their group membership, particularly the refusal to grant such people opportunities, access, or resources that would be granted to similarly qualified members of one’s own group. There are many forms of discrimination including: racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism etc.

Horizontal hostility: The result of people of targeted groups believing, acting on, or enforcing the dominant system of discrimination and oppression. Horizontal hostility can occur between members of the same group or between members of different, targeted groups.

Internalized oppression: The result of people of targeted groups believing, acting on, or enforcing the dominant system of beliefs about themselves and members of their own group.

Social Constructionism: A perception of an individual, group, or idea that is “constructed” through cultural and social practice, but appears to be “natural,” or “the way things are.” For example, the idea that women “naturally” like to do housework is a social construction because this idea appears “natural” due to its historical repetition, rather than it being “true” in any essential sense.

Social power: Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs or influencing others in order to lead a safe, productive, fulfilling life.

Feminism: The valuing of women, and the belief in and advocacy for social, political, and economic equality and liberation for both women and men.

Ally: A person from a different racial, gender, religious, sexual orientation etc. group that acknowledges the oppression and who will committee and who will commit to working on his/her own part that may contribute to that oppression, continue to increase knowledge and awareness, and who will commit to supporting people who are suppressed through action and stands.

LGBTQ: “LGBTQ” is an acronym that originated in the 1990s and replaced what was formerly known as “the gay community.” The acronym was created to be more inclusive of diverse groups. LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (and/or questioning) individuals/identities.

Transgender person: A person whose self-identification challenges traditional notions of gender and sexuality. Transgender people include transsexuals and others who do not conform to traditional understandings of labels like male and female or heterosexual and homosexual.

Transvestite: Men and women who enjoy wearing the clothes and appearing as the other sex. Most are heterosexual. Some gay individuals enjoy dressing in “drag” and view it as liberating and sometimes humorous.

Transsexual: A person, whose biological sex does not match their gender identity and who, through gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatments, seeks to change their physical body to match their gender identity. Transsexuals’ sexual orientation can be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

Now when you go to workshops or when you are in class and you hear these worlds you will be able to understand. I know there are several words that are still confusing but I challenge you to start including this type of vocabulary in your everyday conversation.

I found Racial Equity, Purchase College, and The Welcoming Project web pages to be very useful while writing this blog, most of the definitions come from these websites and from the book Teachings for Diversity and Social Justice (2007), which is available in the UHDS Multicultural Cultural Resource Coordinator’s Office (UHDS Central Office).

Thank you for reading,

Angelica Perez, Community Relations Facilitator

 


MyPlate: Nutrition Made Simple!  March 1st, 2012

Are you, like so many others, confused by all the recommendations out there on how to have a healthy diet? I understand how complicated nutrition information can be, which is why I was thrilled with the unveiling of a food guide symbol with a very simple message.

The Department of Agriculture recently replaced the iconic Food Guid Pyramid with an image of a place setting for a meal, called MyPlate. This self-explanatory visual encourages us to consider proportions when planning meals and to eat foods from each food group. It’s a simple reminder to think about what goes on our plates – and our cups and bowls! Interested in servings recommendations? Go to ChooseMyPlate.gov where you’ll also find other useful resources to aid you in creating your own plate.

One look at MyPlate and you’ll notice the emphasis placed on fruits and veggies, which is no surprise when you consider the great benefits attributed to eating them. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium. Their high fiber content can help to keep you full and assist in weight maintenance. Vegetables are also a great source of vitamin A, keeping your skin looking vibrant and helping to protect you from infections – something we are all concerned about this time of year!

Perhaps you find that getting enough fruit in your diet is easy enough, but vegetables can be an entirely different matter. Well, here are a few easy (and tasty!) ways to load up on this colorful stuff at many of the campus dining centers:

Arnold Bistro

*        Sandwiches at the Deli and Grill come with all the fresh veggies you want

*        Indulge your senses with flavor-packed veggie specials for .95 cents at Global Fare

*        If you haven’t tried the zesty seaweed salad at Nori Grill, you’re in for a treat

McNary Central

*        At Boardwalk Café it’s veggie central! Whether you choose the potato bar, the salad bar, or create your own stir fry special, there are plenty of opportunities to grab some delicious veggies

*        Pair your Calabaloo’s burger with the Signature Pacific City Salad (spring greens, dried cranberries and crisp apples) for $1.95

Marketplace West

*        Pick from a variety of specialty salads at Cooper’s Creek BBQ. Try out my personal favorite, the Grape & Goat Cheese Salad.

*        At the Ring of Fire, you can’t go wrong with a Vietnamese Pho bowl filled with all the best veggies

Bings Café

*        Pack a Bing’s classic calzini with vegetables like artichokes, spinach, and tomato and you’re bound to leave the café full and happy

With a large selection of vegetable options available on campus, “your plate” possibilities are endless! So BeWell and happy eating.

By April Strickland, Dietetic Intern, OSU

 


Blocking, deflecting and disarming hurtful words  March 1st, 2012

Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation where someone said something about race, relative ability, gender, sexual orientation etc. that you didn’t agree with but you didn’t know how to address the person or situation?

I personally have been in many situations where someone said something I didn’t agree with. I didn’t know to deal with these situations. I never liked stirring things up or being a “buzz kill” so I would change the subject or if it was a joke I would give them a fake chuckle. There were times when I left the situation feeling uneasy or resentful, feeling that I should have addressed the situation differently. A common place for this is when I go home and I hear my cousins, and even nephews, using homophobic slurs and racist jokes. It was always hard for me to say anything in those situations. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I learned skills and became confident enough to properly address these situations. I am still a work in progress but I think I am much more prepared.

A few weeks ago, I was nominated to attend a 2.5-day retreat titled “Racial Aikido”. The retreat, originally founded at the University of Vermont, addressed how many students of color may be ill-prepared to deal with issues of race and racism, the lack of necessary tools to maintain a positive image, and the skill to respond to racially charged situations. This idea dismantles the stereotype that assumes students of color are experts on the concept of race simply because they are students of color. What is Racial Aikido? I offer the following information taken from materials at our retreat:

Aikido is called “the way of peace.” One would never seek to attack some one with Aikido; instead one will seek peaceful resolution of the conflict while continuously working toward self-improvement. A key principle of aikido is to not fight force with force. Racial Aikido is meant to help combat and defend against the many forms of racism by directing negative energy away from the core while maintaining a maximum of positive energy for ones self. There is absolutely no physical aspect to racial aikido; it is meant to help people of color to mentally prepare and verbally respond.

Although the skills discussed during the retreat pertain to racially charged situations, many of the skills and tools can also be used to address other identities and topics like religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender, class, ability, etc. The core of the retreat focuses on three techniques used in aikido: blocking, deflecting, and disarming.

Blocking is a technique used to defend one’s self by blocking an attack either verbally, emotionally, or cognitively. This technique is exactly what it sounds like; you can ignore a comment that is hurtful or simply cut off the conversation to indicate that you do not agree with the content. This technique is a good option when you are caught off guard by a comment and do not have a lot of time to respond. Sometimes a hurtful comment takes a lot of energy to respond to, blocking allows you to preserve some of that energy to heal after the comment is said. If I were using blocking to react to a situation, like the example of my cousin’s homophobic slur I mentioned earlier, I would walk away from the conversation until I composed a better response.

Deflecting is a technique used to redirect the person’s energy back onto them by asking questions and making it their issue to work on. Using this technique encourages the person to clarify their statement or comment. An example of deflecting is saying something like, “hey, what do you mean by that?” or “do you really think all people of Latino community are like that?” If I were to respond to my cousin by deflecting I would say, “What do you mean when you say “that’s gay”?

Disarming is a technique coming from an educational angle; it asks the person why they made their comment and then follows up with more accurate information. Using this technique disarms people of their ignorance and possibly provides them with alternative way to think about a specific issue. An example of disarming is saying something like, “why do you think that’s funny?” or “do you understand the meaning of that word and how people can be affected by it?” If I were to disarm my cousin and his homophobic slur I would say “So what’s wrong with being gay?” or if I have some knowledge and I wanted to disarm him of his ignorance I would say something like “Do you understand how hurtful that word is, and did you know people from the LGBT community have the highest attempted suicide rate which is linked to heterocentric cultures and institutionalized homophobia?” or “Do you understand you are using someone’s identity to say something is negative? How would you feel if others used one of your identities to describe something as bad?”

When responding to a situation, there is not a technique that is better than the other. The key is that you feel like you addressed the situation the best way you could at that moment. However, the more you practice reacting to these situations the better you will become at addressing hurtful and prejudice comments. By using these techniques, hopefully the situation is not at the back of your mind, affecting you throughout your day and sucking your energy.

I challenge you to think about how you can help make your community a more inclusive environment by using these techniques yourself! Hopefully these techniques can be useful tools for when you feel the need to address a situation that you encounter. Remember the key principle of aikido is to not fight force with force, rather redirect negative energy.

Miguel Arellano, Community Relations Facilitators


Remember the hungry; take action  February 1st, 2012

I started to notice my social class for the first time at the age of ten. This all happened after visiting my elementary school friend. Her house was twice, or maybe three times bigger than the little apartment I lived in. She had her own room, while I had to share rooms with my siblings. She had a yard, two dogs, and a cat. I longed to have a pet, but was not allowed to, due to the small space in our apartment.

That day when I went home, I started to notice how small our apartment was; for the very first time, I felt poor. I know I had everything I needed. I never went to sleep hungry like my parents did when they were little, but I knew that I was “different.” In my ten year-old way, I began learning about social class.

This experience brought to mind a time when my mother took my siblings and myself to Guatemala.

Some children there had no shoes and were begging for food. I remember there were children that worked cleaning car windows. According to the World Food Programme website, “There are more hungry people in the world than the combined population of U.S., Canada and the European Union.”

Visiting Guatemala opened my eyes. It was shocking to me to know there are so many people living in poverty and it made me more aware of the plight of the hungry in the U.S. as well.

Even though poverty in the US is not as visible in most communities as in other countries, this doesn’t mean we don’t have people living in poverty. The poor live in all countries, but there is one thing they share in common: the feeling of hunger.
Growing up, I never faced hunger, like my parents did when they first arrived to California from Mexico.

At the time they had difficulty finding a job and struggled to survive by only eating inexpensive ramen noodles. Like my parents once did, there are a lot of people here in the United States that struggle to put food on their table.

Poverty can even be found close to home in Benton County. Benton County reports that 18 percent of people are living below the poverty level according to a census taken in 2009; that is almost 1 in 5 people. These numbers represent people living in our community and many students.

Did you know that in 2010, 17.2 million households(approximately 1 in 7), were food insecure; the highest number ever recorded in the United States according to the latest government report released by Hunger Notes in September 2010.

There are many things we can do to fight against hunger. Even small things such as can drives in schools, jobs, and communities can make a big difference.

If you are interested in helping out you can visit our local campus OSU Emergency Food Pantry located in the Snell Hall International Form on campus. To learn more please visit their website or follow them on Twitter @FoodPantryOSU and be sure to check out the OSU Food Drive events happening this month.

Angelica Perez, Community Relations Facilitator


The importance of breakfast  January 18th, 2012

As college students, life is sometimes a little rushed, often un-predictable, and usually stressful. During times of uncertainty one thing is for sure, we need to eat. We need to nourish, refuel, and replenish our bodies and minds in order to tackle life as college students. When schedules get a little crazy eating is sometimes overlooked or pushed to the side. Remember when your parents would say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” Well if you do, there is substantial research that provides evidence that this saying is accurate when it comes to health, weight maintenance, and cognitive function.
Upon awaking after a night of sleeping there is a physiological need to replenish the body’s energy or blood sugar stores. By consuming breakfast the body is able to replenish its diminished stores, as a result, providing it with energy. But when breakfast is skipped your body cannot replenish itself and may try to get energy elsewhere such as your muscles. As some of you know from experience which I can attest to as well, having a reduction in energy may lead to decreased ability to think and remember clearly and energy to engage in physical activity.
Researchers suggest that when breakfast is skipped there is a tendency to overeat later in the day or consume an unhealthy snack. Studies have gathered a correlation between breakfast skippers and their body mass index (BMI), an indicator of body fat, being higher than those who consume breakfast. In other words, if you are trying to maintain or loss weight skipping breakfast is not a healthy solution. By eating more frequent meals it can assist the body’s ability to utilize energy and lower BMI. No one enjoys that rollercoaster feeling of high and low energy spurts; keep your energy levels coasting by eating 3-5 small meals throughout the day.
There is a slight catch, not all breakfast foods are made equal, and the type of breakfast can have a difference on the overall quality of the diet. Choosing a carbohydrate dense, moderate-high fiber food such as a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal or cooked cereals (like oatmeal, cream of wheat, or grits) paired with fruit is a great way to keep you satiated and full longer. Fiber is a beneficial part of a healthy diet that may prevent the development of certain diseases and keep things moving smoothly. It is recommended that women get 28 grams and men get 35 grams of fiber a day. Look for cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and less than 5 grams of sugar per serving such as cheerios, raisin brain, and shredded wheat-originals. In addition to cold and cooked cereals some great breakfast foods include:

  • Low fat yogurt with fruit or granola (check the label and look for low fat, low sugar varieties)
  • String cheese and crackers
  • Pancake or waffle with peanut butter
  • Whole wheat bagel with fruit spread or nut/seed butters
  • Veggie omelet (the more veggies the better)
  • English muffin with a poached egg
  • Made to order breakfast burritos at Arnold and McNary (choose ham + lots of veggies)

All these foods can be found at any of the campus dining centers. With the start of the new year make it a priority to eat breakfast. You are not only energizing yourself but you are creating a positive health behavior for life. Refresh, refuel, and BeWell.

By Natasha Luff, Dietetic Intern, OSU


Works Cited

1. Breaking the Fast; The Timing and The Contents of Breakfast Make it Perhaps the Most Important Meal of the Day. (2011). Harvard Health Letter. Retrieved from www.health.harvard.edu.
2. Cho, S., Dietrich, M., Brown, C., Clark, C., et al (2003). The Effect of Breakfast Type on Total Daily Energy Intake and Body Mass Index: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(NHANES III). J Am Coll Nutr (22.4) 296-302.
3. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010
4. Healthy breakfast: Quick, flexible options to grab at home. (2011). Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic Online http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/NU00197


Managing mood with healthy behaviors  December 1st, 2011

As we have all experienced, college is a busy time of life. It’s important to make the most of your time in college, enjoying freedom and friends and accomplishing your goals and graduating. With so much going on, it’s understandable that many people deal with stress and anxiety over piles of homework and midterms or relationship stress from friends, family and boyfriends or girlfriends. Some may also feel more depressed being far from family or loved ones and as we enter into the darker, colder months of the year.

The good news is that it’s easier than you think to combat these moods and feelings! It’s not a gimmick or quick fix pill, just three healthy behaviors you can easily and slowly incorporate into your schedule: exercise, sleep, and healthy eating.

Exercise releases our feel good hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine and can also improve your sleep.1 Some great choices are walking, yoga, or Tai chi. OSU offers yoga, tai chi, and walking PAC classes2 and Dixon offers yoga classes. For those who desire more interactive forms of exercise some options include joining an intramural sports team, taking a team sport PAC class, or going to a fitpass class at Dixon.3

Sleep and mood have been found to be closely associated: sleep can affect your mood and your mood can affect how you sleep.4 Although it may be challenging, try making it a priority to sleep at least 7-8 hours a few times a week. As you have probably experienced, a good rest can take your mood from sluggish and cranky to refreshed and confident, leaving you ready to tackle your day!

Here are some Good Sleep Habits to ensure a restful sleep: 5

  • Create a pre-sleep routine to relax & prepare your body for sleep
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep
  • Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule
  • Avoid napping close to your bed time
  • Refrain from eating or drinking too much before going to bed

Healthy eating can directly affect how you feel: a balanced diet can help you feel mentally alert & energized, but a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can make you feel drained. Incorporate these mood boosters into your meals to provide you with consistent energy throughout the day: whole grains, foods with fiber, like fruits and vegetables, and lean protein.

Try to limit sugar and refined carbohydrates like white bread & bagels, cookies, cake, candy bars, and crackers. These mood killers may give you instant energy, but not consistent energy, making you crash and burn.6

Some healthy eating suggestions:

  • Whole wheat sandwich with turkey & cheddar.
  • Whole wheat tortilla with beans, guacamole, & salsa.
  • Low fat yogurt with whole grain granola
  • Apple slices or celery sticks & peanut butter
  • Oatmeal with sliced banana

Everyone has their own busy schedule and everybody is unique, so try out the different tips and find out what works for you. Incorporate them into your week until they become healthy habits that will improve your mood!

Danielle Swearingen, Senior dietetic student volunteer