Healthy Miami

5 Tips to Eat Healthier on Campus

With limitless access to burgers and fries and no parental supervision, it’s not a surprise that many college students struggle to maintain a healthy diet. Although you can enjoy an occasional treat in the dining halls or a la carte location on campus, constant splurging will lead to more than just weight gain. Poor nutrition will make you feel lethargic and will make it difficult to concentrate on your studies. With a little planning, you can tackle the Miami Dining locations and emerge with a stomach full of healthy food.

Tip #1

Calculate what you need. Calorie requirements for college students vary because of differences in activity levels. Rather than worry over calories, eat to appetite and make sure your diet is mostly whole foods including low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein, fruits, veggies.

Tip #2

Avoid skipping breakfast. Many college students get in the habit of staying up late and rolling out of bed to rush to class. Without food to kick-start metabolism, energy levels will be low and will leave you to be very hungry. This hunger often times leads to overeating by the time you make it lunch. Stop into the market locations or commons locations and grab a piece of fruit, a granola bar, juice and/or a carton of milk to-go.

Tip #3

Make a plan. The dining locations on campus offer an assortment of foods. Get familiar with the layout of the dining hall and decide, before you walk through the doors, where you are headed. Walk straight to the salad bar or a certain station, so you won’t be tempted by the desserts (even though they are really tasty).

Tip #4

Divide your plate. Instead of loading up 5 plates, limit yourself to a single dinner plate at meals. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains and a quarter with lean protein. For instance, you might have an orange, a piece of grilled chicken, brown rice, a tossed salad. It’s all about the balance.

Tip #5

Look at the menu. You can’t eat salads every night of your college career. Review the MyTray online once a week and look for healthy, new foods to try. You might discover a new item you want to try or learn about our expansive vegan and vegetarian options.


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What is Falafel and Where Can You Get It On Campus?

Before the typical foods that are now staples in American cuisine, like the hamburger and french fry, there was a traditional Mediterranean dish called, falafel. With a distinct look and taste, falafel has made a name for itself over in America in recent years.

Falafel is made by ground up chickpeas and some spices (depending on what flavor you’re going for), then formed into a fritter or patty shape. What’s great about falafel is that it’s a meatless option for vegetarians that is full of nutrients like fiber, protein and folate. Chickpeas are also low in sodium and saturated fat.

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Call it a chickpea hushpuppy or whatever you want to call it, but falafel is unique in its own right. If you’re curious to try it for the first time or already a fan, it is now being served in a bowl and wrap at Haines’ Boulangerie on campus!

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Use Them.

Most people might be familiar with the traditional uses for lemons to soothe sore throats and add some flavor to foods. However, lemons are super useful in the kitchen and around the house and the following list will hopefully make you want to stock a few in your kitchen.

Prevent Browning

Potatoes and cauliflower tend to turn brown when boiling, especially when you’re having company for dinner. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice into the cooking water. You can also squeeze some lemon juice on apples to prevent them from browning while they are cut.

Clean Your Microwave

This clever lemon hack will eliminate the stench of crusty food in the microwave and make it easy to wipe down. Simply mix 1/2 cup of water, the juice of two lemons, and the leftover lemon rinds in a bowl and microwave on high for three minutes. Let that combination sit in the microwave for five more minutes before wiping down the sides of the microwave. The steam from the lemon water will loosen the gunk inside your microwave and make it easier to clean.

Keep Guacamole Green

Just imagine. You’ve made guacamole hours before a party and it turns brown before everyone can feast their eyes on the green goodness of it. To prevent this, sprinkle a pretty good amount of lemon juice over it to keep the guac fresh and green. The lemon juice is a natural complement to the avocados.

Refresh Cutting Boards

Onions, fish, garlic, raw meat, and so many other smells all on your cutting board. To get rid of the smells that linger on your cutting board, cut the lemon in half and rub it all over the board to eliminate those odors. You can also mix the lemon juice with water in a squirt bottle and spray it all over the board and wipe it down. Keep that squirt bottle under the sink for when you decide to cut raw fish on the cutting board.

Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp

Don’t toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for an hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.


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Why Snacking Is Good For You

To some people, the word snacking is associated with the act of eating processed and high calorie chips, cookies, ice cream, and candy bars. There is a difference between effective snacking and having a junk food snacking binge between meals. We are all guilty of splurging but eating smaller portioned snacks in-between meals is way more beneficial to your overall health.

Hunger is the main motivation behind snacking but factors like location, social environment, time of day, and food availability contribute as well. In fact, people often snack when there is appetizing food around, even if they’re not hungry. A recent study took a group of 55 adults and monitored their snacking habits to find that temptation and hunger were the reasons for eating unhealthy snacks. Replacing those unhealthy snacks with healthy options can make a difference when it comes to weight, metabolism, and energy.

 Good snacking may prevent you from overeating at meal time

Most of us get hungry about every 3 to 4 hours. So, if there’s a long stretch between meals, you’re likely to get hungry –– which is why a snack is appropriate. Without a healthy snack, there’s a good chance you’ll just make up for it by overeating at your next meal and eating more than you would have if you just had a small snack to help you get there.

If you increase your healthy snacking, you might reduce your overall calorie intake

Balance. That’s the biggest thing when thinking about snacking and planning what you are going to eat. If you have a snack to carry you to that next meal that you don’t eat as much at, then your overall calorie intake might be less if you plan correctly.

Gives you an opportunity to incorporate healthy food items into diet

It’s hard to eat healthy all the time. Snacking can help your diet become more well-rounded. Sneak those vegetables, fruits, and natural proteins in during snack time and your daily intake of those necessary vitamins and nutrients will be fulfilled.

Some healthy snack ideas to fill the gap between meals

  • Mixed Nuts
  • Greek Yogurt and Mixed Berries
  • Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
  • Veggies and Hummus
  • Piece of Fruit
  • Smoothie
  • Trail Mix

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5 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Whether it’s used as a remedy for a cold or a weight loss tool, apple cider vinegar can be used countless ways. It’s been around for hundreds of years and is sworn by those who use it. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from the grinding and fermenting of apples. The best ACV is generally unpasteurized, fermented, and naturally rich in enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids.

Salad Dressing

An easy way to consume Apple cider vinegar is putting it into a salad dressing. Salad dressings tend to be less in calorie and fat if ACV is included. Check out this recipe to make your own and learn the benefits of including it in your recipe.

Sore Throat

Next time you feel a sore throat coming on, try gargling with apple cider vinegar. Mix it with a bit of warm water and gargle every few hours. The acid in the vinegar coats the throat and creates a germ-proof environment.

Heal Sunburns and Bug Bites

If you find yourself with a sunburn, you can use apple cider vinegar to help healing, prevent blistering, relieve the pain and decrease the redness. Just combine a half cup of ACV with four cups of water and then dip a clean washcloth in the mixture and apply it to affected areas. Use the same method for helping the itch and pain of a bug bite.

Digestion

Raw apple cider vinegar has countless benefits, but drinking a shot of it everyday diluted in water will boost your digestion and improve your gut health. To see the best results, intake a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water around 15 minutes before a meal to stimulate digestive juices for better breakdown of your food.

Detox Your Body

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a liver and lymphatic boost which can help detox your body.  It helps balance your body’s pH and stimulates cardiovascular stimulation. Taking a ACV shot in the morning will kickstart your day. Those were a lot of big words, but basically it will help you get rid of bad things in your body and help you feel a lot better when it is apart of your daily routine.


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5 Foods to Fight Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes: summer’s annoying little companions. Mosquitoes might be small, but they have a strong sense of smell that attract them to their victims. Knowing how to defend yourself against these tiny creatures is key in surviving the summer months.

Chemical repellents like OFF! help repel mosquitoes, but not because mosquitoes don’t like the smell of these repellents. It’s because the chemical DEET is very effective at masking the smell of carbon dioxide and lactic acid. While DEET is effective, it can also be dangerous to your body. Foods can be used as a repellant and are healthier and more natural alternatives without the dangers DEET contains. Whether you consume it or apply it to your skin, these foods will help fight off those pesky mosquitoes.

Garlic

Not only can garlic keep vampires away, it can keep mosquitoes away as well. That’s because garlic releases a gas called allicin, which is toxic to bugs. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s smell. When you eat garlic, the smell is emitted through your skin, which messes with insects’ sense of smell and makes them steer clear.

Citrus

Citrus has a natural chemical called nootkatone. Nootkatone is a chemical compound found within citrus fruits that has proved to be effective in warding off mosquitoes. Grapefruit has the highest concentration of nootkatone, so eating plenty of grapefruit should make you less of a target to mosquitoes. Also, if you rub the inside of an orange or lemon peel on your skin, that also is an effective repellent and smells a whole lot better than garlic.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an old folk-remedy bug repellent that many people swear by. There isn’t an scientific evidence to back this claim up, but generation after generation has used it. Not only can you put some in a spray bottle (diluted with water) as a bug spray, ingesting a tablespoon three times a day is said to cause bugs to stay away from you.

Vanilla

Vanilla is a pretty appealing smell to most, except to bugs. Dilute one tablespoon vanilla extract with a cup water and wipe the mixture on your exposed skin to discourage mosquitoes, flies, and even ticks.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an excellent source of thiamine. Thiamine is a B1 vitamin that is rich in certain vegetables and foods. Not only will a diet that has tomatoes included in it make you less attractive to bugs, but rubbing tomato juice on a bug bite is said to reduce pain and itchiness if you happen to get bit.


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Trail Mix It Up

Trail mix is the perfect snack for a pre or post workout, a hike, a long class lecture, or if you want a healthier alternative to a bag of Cheetos. There are thousands of combinations to appeal to various taste buds or cravings.

Countless articles state there are four ingredients to make any trail mix great — nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a “fun” ingredient (popcorn, chocolate chips, M&M’s, etc.). Obviously it doesn’t have to stick to this formula, but your bound to find a combination that intrigues you within it. These four ingredients balance flavor and nutrition to make a well-rounded snack.

Nuts

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Nuts provide a solid base to add more ingredients to, while also giving texture and flavor. Trail mix nutrients generally come from nuts because they are packed with protein and fiber. While peanuts are inexpensive and classic to mixes, there are other options that have more health benefits such as, almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Tip: Go for raw, unsalted nuts or lightly roasted nuts with lower sodium.

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Including seeds into your trail mix adds an extra punch of nutrients and texture. Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds each have unique qualities that are beneficial to your health and make a great alternative to nuts if you are allergic.

Dried Fruitsdried-fruits

Dried fruits are a great source of natural sweetness and can be used to spruce up your trail mix. Dried fruit is filled with nutrients. One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package perfect for a portable trail mix.

Fun Ingredient

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Whether it be M&M’s, dark chocolate chips, or popcorn, trail mix doesn’t have to be boring! It’s all about balance between the healthy ingredients and the fun ones. Add a fun ingredient to fulfill that sweet or salty craving.

Build Your Own

After seeing the four key ingredients to elevate your snacking experience, it’s your turn to build you own trail mix! Trail mix is super customizable, so there might be combinations you like more than others, but try them anyway! Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Sweet & Salty – Almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, cinnamon

Energy – Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, dried apricots, dried cranberries.

PB&J: Peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, wheat cereal.

Classic: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt

Nuts for Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, raisins.

Beach Mix: Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, coconut flakes.


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Freezer Smoothies

“Fresh, healthy, easy-to-prep, and cheap” – four things that college students love to hear. Freezer smoothies start your day off right and are the perfect snack to cool off from the heat. To make it a “freezer smoothie”, divide or mix fruits in plastic bags, seal the bags and place them in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready, mix the ingredients plus some milk or water in a blender until the consistency is smooth.

Here are just a few simple suggestions and recipes to help your freezer smoothies go to the next level.

Buy Frozen

According to ABC News, the minute fruits or veggies are picked, they begin to lose nutrients, so exactly when it’s plucked, and how long after harvesting you eat them impacts there nutritional value. Most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen shortly after they’re harvested, which means a lot of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are locked in. Buy frozen fruits and veggies when prepping smoothies because it’s healthy and makes your prepping a lot easier.

Look at the Label

When you buy frozen, look at the label. A lot of companies like to sneak in extra sugars or substitutes to freeze their products. The ingredients should be whatever fruit or veggie you are buying. Fruits already carry natural sugars and your smoothie will be sweet enough without extra sugars.

Buy a Blender

If you don’t have some sort of blender already, purchasing a decent blender isn’t going to break the bank! Check Target or Amazon for some affordable options. This Oster Classic Blender will do the job. Whatever you decide, shop smart. You don’t have to drop $200+ for a good blender!

Recipes 

Smoothies are highly customizable and you can replace ingredients easily.  You would be surprised with how many combinations people come up with once you do your research. A great site to research smoothies (and other recipes), is Yummly. It has tons of filters so you can narrow down what you are looking for. For example, if you are allergic or don’t like bananas in your smoothies, you can filter that out of your searches. Check it out!

Here are few recipes to get you started with your smoothie game.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie – This three ingredient recipe is easier than trying to spell “b-a-n-a-n-a-s” (it’s tough without a little help from Gwen Stefani).

Pineapple Mango Banana – If you can’t go to a tropical island this summer, replicate it in your kitchen. This video includes the Pineapple Mango Banana smoothie recipe and a few others! 

25 Quick and Easy 3-Ingredient Smoothies – A creative chart of some ambitious and unique combinations.


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5 Foods to Help You Stay Hydrated

Summer is in full swing and staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to beat the heat. While drinking water and other hydrating liquids is crucial, foods can also play a part in helping you stay hydrated. Here is a list of five hydrating foods to help you out this summer:

Cucumbers

Fun fact: Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food. (96.7% to be exact). They are a great snack for a hot summer day and are available on salad bars throughout campus. Include some cucumbers in your next meal to help keep you hydrated!

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce tends to get pushed aside for options such as spinach or romaine lettuces, which both contain more vitamins and nutrients, but with 95.6% of water, Iceberg Lettuce is a great supplement and addition to your next meal. Use iceberg lettuce instead of bread for burgers and sandwiches, or instead of tortillas to make a lettuce wrap.

Celery

It may not have negative calories like many people believe, but with just 6 calories per stalk and 95.4% water, celery is a hydrating snack that helps curb your appetite due to it also being high in fiber. Add a little peanut butter or ranch, snack bliss without the dehydration.

Watermelon

Watermelon is 92% water. I mean, it has “water” in the name…

Various fruits (Grapes, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

All of these fruits are made up of 80-91% water. Having a sweet treat is needed on a warm day. Any of these will be good for you when you are outside and hangry from the sun. Pro-tip: Freeze some grapes (the best way to eat grapes) for a portable, nutritious and easy to eat to snack.

For more hydrating foods, click here!


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How to Survive Finals Week

  1. Plan out your meals ahead of time. Creating a meal plan for the week will keep you fed and energized. Having one less thing to worry about can also reduce some stress. Who wants to be trying to figure out where to eat when you can’t even figure out question one of the practice exam? Need some pointers on meal planning? Check out this post from a few weeks ago!
  2. Make a study schedule. While you’re coming up with a meal plan, go ahead and create a study schedule as well. This will keep you organized and make sure you have enough time to study for every exam. Want to make it more fun? Color-code it with your favorite, brightest colors to help keep everything straight.
  3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Jumpstarting your metabolism early on will help you stay focused throughout the day. Plus, who doesn’t love a good yogurt parfait?
  4. Choose a good studying location. While campus can get crowded during finals week, it’s important to find a study environment that works for you. If you can’t be productive if you’re around your friends, don’t study with them. If the second floor of King isn’t for you, don’t attempt to work there. Throw on some comfy clothes and find a quiet spot that is most your style and you’re set to crush that studying! As far as dining locations go, Maplestreet Station is a good study spot. If you study best in your dorm room, grab a meal to-go from Garden Market or load up on healthy study snacks at Market Street at MacCracken.
  5. Try meditating. Meditating for just 10 minutes can help you destress and focus on the task at hand. There are a bunch of apps for guided mediation and Spotify has a few playlists as well. If you want more tips on how to meditate and the benefits of practicing mediation, read this post!
  6. Workout. Much like meditation, exercise can help you clear your mind, destress, and re-energize you after a grueling study session. Endorphins released during your workout will perk you up, and get you ready for the next exam.
  7. If all else fails, coffee is your friend. Just make sure you’re also drinking a TON of water so you don’t get dehydrated and keep the caffeine intake under control to avoid getting jittery. Green tea is a great alternative.
  8. Let it go. Once the exam is over, it’s over. Don’t let the stress overwhelm you! Treat yourself after a hard exam with your favorite sweet treat, like ice cream from Miami Ice!

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