Tag Archives: health

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Wow, long time no talk you guys… well, at least for me (Alison).

There is a lot I need to fill everyone in on.

I never realized how little I cared about my health during my first year of college.  Physically, emotionally, and mentally, I did a terrible job of keeping everything healthy in my life.  The good news is that my second year of college is the complete opposite of that! That bad news, I’M SO OVERWHELMED. I did it, I admitted that I am so extremely overwhelmed.  The huge jump from the way I was freshman year to now is so completely different in that I don’t think I knew what exactly I was doing.  At the start this year (sophomore), I joined way too many clubs, studied for my classes way too often, worked out on way too many days of the week, socialized with people living in my apartment on way too many occasions (I’m not talking about parties though), etc. I was given this idea when I was moving out and to a new college that I seriously needed to get involved with everything and put myself out there.  All of that crap left me feeling like this when it came to test time…

So after using this week to take a break (of course after finishing my tests), I’m here to inform you that it’s okay to not be insanely busy!  I’ve always said that school comes first. You’re paying money to come to college so you should focus on your studies. Extra curricular activities can be awesome, but it is so easy to get overwhelmed.  If you’re extremely tired from studying then take the night off from working out or hanging with friends. It’s okay to take those breaks!

Vegan Eating

I can’t believe classes start tomorrow! With all the brewing anxiety, I know it’s important for me to start this semester off on the right foot – and that means with a happy mind and body. So yesterday (Mon. 8/27) I decided to see if I could eat a whole day vegan while sticking on campus, as vegan-eating tends to be gentler on my stomach and give me more natural energy.

My mother is someone who recently began a vegan diet, and has maintained such for about 7 months now! But, just as I mentioned, she as well does it for the health benefits and not necessarily as an animal rights activist. So, for a month this summer, I tried it myself! It was strange at first, and it was my first ever “diet”, but I stuck to it for a full 30 days and was proud of myself for that. However, a couple of factors made it difficult to maintain: A) I live in a very commercial suburb, with lots of not-so-vegan restaurant chains, and B) I worked at one of those very restaurants! Even though there were slightly healthier options, either I had to purchase those (not included in an employee meal), or it was just too busy to get something like a salad. Therefore, after the month was up and I returned to eating animal products, I decided to take what I had learned and apply it here in school!

One of the biggest things that I learned about eating vegan was that just because something does not contain animal products, does not mean that it is healthy. I ended up eating a lot of potato chips and french fries and way fewer fruits and veggies than I should have! Another important fact to remember is that as long as you pile on those greens, your concern for how much protein you are intaking is lessened significantly. Green foods are GREAT for you, and building meals around having a colorful plate is an awesome jumping point!

I’ll give an example of a very non-vegan and unhealthy meal I got on Sunday.

No good! While a meal at McDonald’s might be technically “worse”, that’s still not the right track for my eating given that I have a tendency to get this plate often here at school. Rather than playing the “well I could be eating THIS” game, I would prefer strictly being proud of what I’m putting in my body! So thus, I changed my habits for Monday.

Breakfast: cereal w/ almond milk and black coffee

Lots of sugar, but filled me up ’till lunch and helped curb any cravings for sweets for quite a while.

Lunch: wheat wrap w/ hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, and green peppers – small side of balsamic vinaigrette and a golden apple

Sodium content in the wrap and the hummus is apparently high (according to my school’s online nutrition calculator) but I know the veggies were really good to have and this filled me up nicely. (Plus, green pepper – YUM.)

Snack: pretzels and hummus

This is the same hummus  that my school uses for the wraps. I bought a container from the market downstairs and ate it with the pretzels I already had in here. It was so perfect as a midday treat!

Dinner: Veggie “beef” taquitos with black beans, rice, and a side of salsa

The salsa was necessary to add flavor, but other than that I was excited to see that there were vegan faux-meat options in the cafeteria! My friend even tried the taquito and agreed that it tasted just like real beef.

And…not pictured…okay, I had a few pieces of chocolate for dessert. I couldn’t resist! So my day was not 100% vegan, but what I view personally as the “important” things (no meat, cheese, few products containing milk/eggs) were covered. And even if the nutrition calculator is telling me there is an exorbitant amount of sodium in the vegetables I ate, I don’t care – they are veggies! I feel so good about the choices I made (even with a treat for dessert) and I am excited to continue them into the year. By avoiding overly-processed foods, I made myself feel better, and that means a better sleeping schedule and more energy for studying or exercising.

Something I may try to maintain is a 5-days-a-week vegan diet: Monday thru Friday vegan, and Saturday and Sunday I am allowed to have meat/dairy if I want it! As a money-conscious college student (who am I kidding, who isn’t?) I already limit myself to one non-campus dine-out a week (not including groceries). This could fit in nicely to my fitness plan!

I’m still trying to figure everything out, but it’s days like these that help me realize that I have the willpower to push myself in the right direction, health-wise, and so does anyone else.

The Stresses of Moving

Hey everyone! I originally started this post out with “I packed, I moved, and I died”.  Honestly, that is exactly what happened to me. EXACTLY.

These past few weeks have been nothing short of insane.  A week ago I decided to lease at a new apartment and the process of moving in has been crazy.  I moved all of my kitchen tools/appliances last weekend and this weekend I moved the rest of my things.  I had so much more to unload this time.

When my dad saw how packed the car was he said, “You aren’t going to need half of what you are bringing.”  I wondered if I did have way too much but after unpacking everything last night I realized how I needed it all.

I think you really just have to go through what you use on a daily basis and bring it with you.  Just go with your gut feeling and also bring what you think will aid in your healthy lifestyle in college!  I knew that bringing a juicer would help me to get more fruits/veggies worked into my diet.

Even though moving in can be stressful, I feel that you should just stay positive and try not to let everything that is going on (moving in, meeting roommates, saying goodbye to family) overwhelm you.  Move everything in and then go out and explore the area! Go for a jog outside, find your classes, meet 5 new people, etc.  Your new dorm/apartment will be your home for the next 7-8 months so enjoy it!