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Shop so you don’t drop

Now that we’re out on our own a great thing to learn is how to shop for ourselves. The most important part of grocery shopping is budgeting. Healthy foods tend to be more expensive, but if you save money in other areas you can splurge on that healthy treat. There are some great ways to save without sacrificing quality. Here are some great hints:

  • Buy generic. In my food preparation class we did a blind taste test between the national brand and store brand, in 5 of the 6 I actually preferred the generic. And in all cases they were significantly less expensive.
  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Everything looks more appealing when you’re hungry.
  • Read the ad’s. It seems like every time there is an Ad in the Daily Universe it is always left behind in the stack. Students need to pay better attention to what the great sales are. If your favorite snack food is on sale, stock up on it. Macey’s and Smith’s both have their weekly ads online.
  • Make a shopping list. Then stick to it. I’ve found whenever I make a detailed list of what I need before I go to the store I really do follow it and am not likely to add other items to my cart.

Once you get these key things down you’re on your way to becoming a wise shopper. Don’t let the supermarkets trick you into buying their overpriced products, find them cheaper somewhere else. Shop at a few different stores if you need, price check. College is the time to sacrifice, but you won’t have to if you shop smart.

Sugar Sugar

Have many of you read the nutritional content on wrappers lately? Do know how much sugar is in most of our products? Even if you read them, do you realize how significant that is? People are taking in so much sugar in snack foods. Pretty much any food in the vending machines on campus is packed with sugar. Take a look at some of these:

340x_sugar_stacks

sugar_cubessugar_cubes_food_32

Check out this site for more pictures, or visit their blog where they go more into depth on the goal to exploit the sugar content of various foods.

While some of these are snacks we all turn to while we’re cramming for our tests, or a late night snack, too much sugar is not a good thing. Too much sugar can play havoc with your weight. It may also cause fatigue, increased hyperactivity and tooth decay. Refined sugar provides empty calories and if a lot of your food contains sugar, there’s no room for the good nutrients you need to stay healthy. When sugar isn’t needed, it’s stored as fat, and by eating sugar, you’re also raising levels of the hormone insulin in your blood. Insulin stores fat, a risk factor of diabetes, and can damage artery walls, making it easier for cholesterol and fat to build up and cause heart disease. Some sugar is ok, but just think twice before you keep going to the vending machine every day.

Eating Disorders

eat!

Each year eating disorders continue to be on the rise among college students. An eating disorder is a condition that affects an individual’s eating habits. There are two main types, anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia is a deliberate sustained weight loss driven by a fear of distorted body image. It is 10 times more likely in females than males. It has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness because its victims literally starve themselves to death. Even those who recover from it can end up with lasting damage to their digestive system, heart and more. People with bulimia seek out binge and purge episodes — they will eat a large quantity of food in a relatively short period of time and then use behaviors such as taking laxatives or self-induced vomiting. For those who suffer they seek these two methods as ways to regain control in their lives, something that is often missing in college life.

If you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder seek out help, this is a very serious disease. Visit this site to look at the list of warning signs and suggestions. It is critical that these victims get help, and they sometimes are too far down to get it on their own. While you may think they have the perfect body, they may not be able able to see that. Most importantly talk to them, and let them know you are there; an eating disorder is a scary thing to live with, help them know you love them no matter what. Don’t judge them for what they are doing, it is a disease.

If you would like to learn how to get help for an eating disorder, or donate to help others visit the National Eating Disorders Association.

Quick and delicious

Sometimes it’s hard to make good meals with the limited time we have as students. I went to the Eating Well website to find something healthy and quick. I found a recipe for these delicious Salmon Pinwheels. They look great and taste just as amazing. Another great thing is they have such a quick prep time, and that really is key for me.

salm

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rinsed capers
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut lengthwise into 4 strips
  • 4 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, capers and thyme in a small bowl until combined.
  3. Working with one at a time, spread 1 teaspoon mayonnaise on a salmon strip. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture over the mayonnaise. Starting at one end, roll the salmon up tightly, tucking in any loose filling as you go. Insert a toothpick though the end to keep the pinwheel from unrolling. Place in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining salmon strips.
  4. Bake the pinwheels until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

The great thing about this recipe is that fish like salmon are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in heart health. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week. For those who don’t like fish there are fish oil capsules that offer many of the same nutrients. So for those of you looking to cook just look up something that interests you, or something you’ve been wanting to include in your diet and go from there. There are tons of websites with lots of great and simple recipes.

 

Start Counting Calories

New York City passed a law requiring restaurants to post calorie information alongside menu items. Other nutritional information, like fat content, sodium and carbohydrates, are posted somewhere in the restaurant, but is not required to be right next to the item since there isn’t room for everything. Some people are seeing that this is having a great effect on their food choices.  Almost guilting them away from their favorite snacks.

The bill was passed because many people underestimate how many calories they are taking in. This is a great reminder to them. There is a health care reform bill being considered that would require restaurants with at least 20 locations throughout the country will have to post calories on menus.     I think this is a great idea. BYU should consider this move to help the student population make informed choices about their lunches in the CougarEat.

For example, did you know the Cheesy Double Beef burrito, my favorite from Taco Bell because of it’s price, has 470 calories, with 20 grams of fat?

Look up more nutritional content from Taco Bell on their page.

Most restaurants provide similar nutritional guides on their websites, it’s a great idea to look things up before you go out to eat.

You are what you eat

I just read an article from Yahoo Health on foods that help you stay young. What we eat really can affect us and these foods have great nutrients that can have major impacts on us.  There is more to eating right than just weight loss.

Here are some of the foods that help to keep us young:

Eggs. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and these eggs hold a high amount of protein to help keep you going until your next meal.egg

Avocados. While this food is high in fat, unlike popular belief some fats are actually good for us. Studies have shown that monounsaturated fats both improve you cholesterol profile and decrease the amount of triglycerides in our blood.ava

Almonds. These treats help keep you full longer than most snacks. They also have been shown to improve memory.

almonds

If this interests you and you’d like to know more foods that can help, try reading the book “Eat This Not That” It lists some of the best and worst foods for you.

Y-Be-Fit

There is a wonderful program on BYU campus that helps students assess their fitness and health through a series of tests, it is Y-Be-Fit.  The program offers one-on-one assessment and counseling from trained staff and students. They are used to identify and target the specific needs of each participant.

 

This service is a great way to help acknowledge unhealthy habits that may go unnoticed. It calls for you to keep a food diary to see how what you eat affects your daily health. From there the counselors break it down and help to work with you on what is healthy.

Other tests available through the program include:

  1. Bod Pod (% body fat) – $15.00
  2. Blood Lipid Profile (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) – $15.00
  3. Glucose Test – $5.00
  4. Nutritional Evaluation – $15.00
  5. Treadmill Test – $15.00
  6. Skinfold (% body fat) – $1.00
  7. Osteoporosis Screening – Full body $130.00, Hip Scan $65.00, Spine Scan $65.00