A College Student's Guide to Healthy Eating

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As a college student, I see first hand the poor choices college students make on a daily basis, and their direct effects on a person's health. The main reason college students make poor decisions concerning diet is the fact that they are uneducated on the topic. These poor decisions are heightened by the fact most college students don't exercise, and make other poor health choices.

For incoming freshman, college can be very intimidating and lonely. To help make the transition easier, students rely on those things that are familiar to them. More often than not, this is in the form of food. What types of food? Usually those defined as comfort foods, like deserts and other unhealthy options. This is the first step in starting a destructive eating cycle.

Another factor that leads to poor dieting is new freedom. In combination with a constant availability of food, this freedom can lead to a rush to consume unhealthy foods. This will also add into the habit of eating poorly at school. The main time college students make poor eating decisions is late at night. Most campus's dining facilities will close in the evening, leaving masses of hungry students looking for food late at night. Instead of a healthy meal, most kids will prefer to order food, especially pizza. They will feel pressured to join in eating because it's the "thing to do".

The first step for eating healthy is to make a commitment. If the student isn't serious about making positive changes, they stand little chance against the pressures and temptations of college. The next step is education. A person can't be expected to make the right decision if they don't know that that choice is. Because it is sometimes difficult to decipher between healthy and unhealthy, here are some tips. If something looks unhealthy, it probably is. Things to stay away from are fried foods, such as fries and pizza. Loaded with fat, these foods provide little nutritional value. Desserts should also be limited or cut out completely. These sugary and fatty snacks easily can make a meal unhealthy.

Staying away from the bad foods help, but the real differences are made in choosing the most beneficial foods. Start off with the beverage. The only healthy option is water. Everyday I see students drinking sugary soda, and it is perhaps the easiest part of a diet to fix. Next is the main "dish". Choose something balanced that is enjoyable but still healthy. An example would be lean meat or fish, or a sandwich made with whole-wheat bread. Pasta is a good choice too as long as it's whole grain. Additionally, every meal should be accompanied by a fruit or vegetable. Many students usually have a salad as part of their meal, which is excellent. However, this can be a trap for many students. Be smart in your choice of lettuce, because only some offer nutritional value (Iceberg lettuce is mainly water; spinach offers the most vitamins and minerals). Also, easy on the dressing. It kind of cancels out the point of eating a salad if it is drowned in fatty dressing. As for late night snacking, having healthier options in the room such as bread and peanut butter, or cereal will help students eat better around the clock.

Students also need to adapt a healthier lifestyle, including exercise and better daily choices. This will help maximize the benefits of eating healthier. Students need to use their best judgment when deciding which foods to consume. By developing good eating habits, students can continue a healthier lifestyle long after college.…

Healthy and Seasonal Eating This Spring: Asparagus

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With spring approaching, I tend to think more about healthy eating. After a long, cold winter of craving steaming bowls of soup and buttery rolls on the side, I find myself ready for something light and refreshing. The best way to get into the spirit of the new season is to eat the food that is in season.

One of my favorite spring vegetables is asparagus. It is naturally fat free and it's also low in calories and sodium. In most areas, the harvest begins in mid to late April. It can be eaten raw, or you may choose cook it using various methods. We will discuss some of these methods later on.

You may be wondering how to select asparagus at the market. The freshest stems are firm and you want the tips to be tight. They come in various sizes, from very thin to thick spears. The thin asparagus will cook through faster but the thicker ones are more tender. You will need to select based on the method you choose to prepare them. Regardless of size, be sure to wash them thoroughly and snap the ends off before you do anything else.

If you choose to have raw asparagus, select thick spears and use a vegetable peeler to first peel the skin off. Then use the same peeler to make thin slices. Toss the asparagus with a great extra virgin olive oil and rich balsamic vinegar. All you need is to season it with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and you have a great side for dinner.

Most people choose to cook asparagus. You have so many options here, from a quick saute to oven roasting to grilled. My personal favorite for all year round is roasting it, keeping it simple once again with olive oil, salt, and pepper. However, with warmer weather comes grilling weather. If you choose thin asparagus for this process, be sure to put down aluminum foil or you may lose some stems before you finish!

Asparagus is a very versatile vegetable and one of my personal favorites. I hope that if you haven't yet taken the time to try it in the past that you will take the opportunity to do so this spring!

Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, "Questions About Asparagus", http://www.asparagus.com…

Cheater's Diet: Why You Must Cheat to Lose Weight

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Yes, you heard that right! There is a fundamental logic behind the Cheater's Diet (aka the Cheating Diet or Cheat to Lose diet) that differentiates it from any other diet and makes it successful for you to lose weight. Many of the most popular diets out there work at first but then you find yourself feeling discouraged and gaining the weight back. Want to know how the Cheater's Diet works? Read on.

1) Let yourself cheat a few times a week with the Cheater's Diet. The basic idea behind the Cheater's Diet is that in any particular week, you're on a diet restricted to 1,100-1,300 calories a day. However, you get to replace 1-3 diet meals a week with a real and satisfying meal. For example, you may eat 1,200 calories on Monday and do the same on Tuesday. But say on Wednesday you know you will be having a dinner with friends so you select this as your meal to cheat on. Before the dinner you may consume around 500-600 calories for breakfast and lunch in line with the Cheater's Diet, but for your dinner with friends you can actually let yourself eat like everyone else at the table and forget you are on a diet! You will be on the 1,100-1,300 calorie per day limit for the rest of the week on the Cheater's Diet but can allow yourself to replace up to 2 more diet meals with a full meal. You shouldn't allow yourself to cheat with more than 3 meals in a week, but it is important for you to let yourself cheat at least once a week in order for the Cheater's Diet to work. There is a reason for this and keep reading to find out why!

2) When you let yourself cheat with the Cheater's Diet, that doesn't mean you just allow yourself to have a little cookie right after a salad, we are talking about letting yourself have those 2 slices of pizza followed by a chocolate cake! With the Cheater's Diet, it means go ahead and splurge on that bowl of cheesy and meaty pasta. Eat that burger with fries and down it with soda. You want to let yourself be absolutely satisfied. The only restriction you need with the Cheater's Diet is that you don't let yourself eat so much that you feel overly stuffed and start to get bloated or get a tummy ache. Other than that, enjoy your meal like how a non-dieter will!

3) Like I mentioned, with the Cheater's Diet you have to let yourself cheat at least once a week. The reason is that this is the surest way to make sure you keep your metabolism high and working for you. This is the key secret behind the Cheater's Diet. The problem with a lot of the other non-cheating diets is that you experience a lot of weight loss at first, but after some time you hit a plateau and find your weight stuck at the scale even though you're eating only 1,000 calories or less. The reason for this is when you put your body on a strict, low-calorie diet long enough, it starts to adapt to it and your metabolism slows down. Not only is this ineffective and can easily let you gain back the weight, it's also very discouraging. But with the Cheater's Diet, you're not giving your body a chance to adapt because every time you throw in one of the cheating meals into the mix, your body re-fires up its metabolism. With the Cheater's Diet, you will actually end up losing more weight in the long run even though you are eating more calories!

4) Something to look forward to: What also makes the Cheater's Diet different from the other diets is that you really have something to look forward to. When you let yourself have that satisfying meal, it really gives you the motivation and incentive you need to be good when you're not cheating and you're dieting. This really helps you to keep yourself on track. With the Cheater's Diet, you will be losing the weight slowly but at the same time it allows you to have a life! Save the 1-3 cheating meals a week for when you're out with friends and you won't have to feel anxious or deprived about just having a salad while everyone else eats the pizza and burgers. The Cheater's Diet will not only make you healthier and help you lose weight; it will also make you a much happier dieter.…

The Importance of Domestic Agriculture

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What would happen if the US didn’t have a domestic agriculture system? We as US citizens would be dependent on foreign countries much in the same way that we are for oil that comes from the Middle East. We have our own oil in the US, but rely on outside sources it is similar to what would happen without domestic agriculture. There would be some that would produce crops and livestock, but it would not be enough to feed the masses if foreign reliance on agriculture shut down.

The market on food without such a system would become unstable from year to year. Prices would fluctuate depending on the availability and imports of food. The agriculture program we have is set up to assist farmers with finances when market prices fall too low for them to make a living. When market prices are high they don’t need that kind of assistance, but either way they keep our food prices reasonable and stable.

Because of such a system we can rely on food grown and raised in the US to be safe. There is already a growing problem of the food imports coming from China into the US. They are not as safe to eat as we might like to believe. There is concern that we could become sick from food imported from China, but nothing has been done to ban imports considered unsafe from coming into the US. If nothing continues to be done frequenting farmers markets for healthy homegrown food is one way to support our farmers and avoid some of the potentially unhealthy imported food. Local farmers do sell to local stores. Many times you can find homegrown products in garden stores.

The US domestic agriculture system plays an important role in keeping currency value from dropping because of foreign trade. Through foreign trade agriculture can balance the deficit of the US trade. If the US falls short of what it owes another country it can use agriculture to balance the shortcomings.

Domestic agriculture keeps property taxes from drastically increasing by possibly half of one percent in some school districts where the main source of funding comes from ad valorem taxes.

Domestic agriculture insures that poor families can afford to buy food, food that is healthy. Nutrition programs paid for by farm programs to the sum of over half of its total spending budget also aids poor families. By learning about nutrition they can learn what to eat to maintain their health for fewer trips to the doctor.…

A Little Girl's Has a Dog in Her Bed

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I found a lizard in my bed.
It didn't bother me.
I found a snake in my bed.
It didn't bother me.
I found an alligator in my bed.
It didn't bother me.
I found an elephant in my bed.
It didn't bother me.
I found a dog in my bed.
It didn't bother me,
But,
It bothered the lizard, the snake, the alligator, and the elephant.
They all left my bed,
But,
My dog stayed by my side as I fell asleep.
I love my little dog,
And he loves me.…

How Governments Can Promote Agriculture

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Reluctance by governments to award agriculture a wider nod in their national budgets has already yielded the bad results we are already noticing. The global food shortage-just one of the many bad results has been geared by the failure to support farmers at the grass roots. Something there fore has to be done if planet earth must succumb to more of food production as opposed to the little currently on the markets. Here are some ways we can do it.

The structuring of farmer organizations can be another great idea .it’s working wonders in some countries in Africa. Most of these organizations operate on a value-chain phenomenon. The perfect example is Uganda. In Uganda, funds channeled in their national agricultural advisory services program reach the farmers at the grassroots. this money aid them in acquiring a grain miller for say a certain farmer organization concentrating on maize growing and a honey extractor for the bee keepers. This methodology enables farmers put more products on market.

Many of our crops on the planet will continually perish if we fail to write off ignorance. Taking thirty minutes off, I paid the nursery bed of another Were-a peasant farmer in my village a visit. He shocked me when he explained he was demising the bacteria that had attacked his nursery bed by the use of extreme hot water. He in fact made me notice his nursery was positioned under a big mango tree which he claimed was shielding his “babies” from the scorching sun. Don’t you many of our farmers still need in plenty agriculture information and advice?

It therefore necessitates not governments to incline to only industrialization and modernization when we are still not sure of the disappearance of the current food crisis. I believe if our governments remember and help out the prodigal son-agriculture through the above actions, trust me-this state of quagmire can be history.…

Late Night Eating: Healthy Substitutes for Unhealthy Cravings

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Some of us get the strongest cravings late at night before bed or in the middle of the night. Instead of choosing unhealthy snacks or foods to munch on in the late night hours, try replacing them with healthier substitutes. The benefit of eating healthier at night includes the negative effects of continuous weight gain. It is advised that you should not eat after a certain time of the day in order for food to be properly digested before you go to sleep. But sometimes you really want a snack and a healthy option is your best bet.

Instead of chowing down on greasy leftover pizza or anything else that you ate earlier that day, try fixing yourself a small deli sandwich. If you stock your fridge with deli such as turkey and whole grain bread, you can make a quick sandwich with a small apple on the side.

If you are craving sweets, steer clear from Reeses, bite-sized Snickers or any other kind of candy. Instead, go for some fresh fruits like strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples and pineapple. Fresh fruit can be more appealing if it is pre-cut and already mixed into a fun and fresh fruit salad. You can cut up a medley of different fruits before you go to sleep. Having fresh fruit already cut and waiting for you in the fridge is probably the best option for late night snacking.

Sometimes, you might be craving a nice bowl of your favorite ice cream late at night. Substitute ice cream with a cup of yogurt or applesauce. You can even add some fruit to your yogurt to make it interesting. Also, some people forget how delicious apple sauce really is. It could be the perfect snack choice at night if paired with a handful of pretzels to contrast the sweet flavors. Pretzels are also a great substitute for potato chip cravings.

The best way to satisfy for late night cravings is by preparing for them in advance so that you do not make unhealthy snack choices in the middle of the night. Just by having cut up fruit in your fridge, you eliminate possible bad food choices.…

Railroads and Cattle Drives: A Historical Look

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Movies have always made the cattle drives these exciting adventures. With the bad weather and the stampedes, it makes good drama. In real life, the cattle drive, short or long distances, was not that romantic. Most days on a cattle drive were boring, dust-eating hard work. Of course, for the young cowboy on his first adventure, it was a great trip. Most of these young hands were straight off the farm and had not been much farther than to the nearest town to get supplies for their families. So to drive a herd of cattle from Texas to Kansas or Montana was quite a trip.

My father made his first cattle drive from his home town in Texas to a railroad "rail head" about 40 miles away to ship the cattle to Fort Worth. He was about nine years old. He could still tell you every detail of the trip, even though he was in his sixties. He could remember the smell of the leather in the saddle barn down to the stink of many head of cattle plodding along in the dusty trail. For him it was a great adventure! And he loved eating out of the "chuck wagon".

Getting the herd to market had two main objectives; one to get them there period, without them dying on the trail, and to keep them as well as possible. Buyers did not buy sick cattle. So there were two dilemmas presented, to move the cattle as quickly as possible without killing them. This involved planning the trip to cross rivers at good places, find watering holes, and avoid as many Indians as possible.

When the railroads crossed the western part of the United States, cattlemen jumped at the chance to use them to move the cattle quickly and efficiently. It took less time and less cowboys to move cattle by rail. The cattle were loaded in box cars and then the cowboy's horses were jumped into a car by themselves. The cowboys either rode in the box cars or if there was one, joined the railroad people in the caboose. It also eliminated the chuck wagon for that part of the ride.

The problem was that the railroad only covered part of the country. So cattlemen still had cattle drives to get the cattle to the nearest railroad yard. A cattle drive included a lot more than just the cowboys and the cattle. Each cowboy had to have extra horses for the drive, usually about four each. So a herd of horses followed the cattle as the drive progressed. As mention, there had to be a wagon for a cook to feed the cowboys, and usually there was another wagon with all the cowboy's bedrolls and tarps and extra supplies. Both wagons carried barrels of water as water was scarce across the dry country.

At the end of the train ride, the cattle would be unloaded into giant pens at stock yards.The cowboys then saddled their horses and delivered the cattle to where ever the buyer wanted them. If they were headed on to another ranch the buyer would send his hands to get the cattle and drive them to their range. In that case the cowboy's would just catch another train and jump their horses back in the boxcar and head back home.…

Atlanta's Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle

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In case you have lost track of time 2013 is here. We have rung in the New Year and there is a chance that resolution you were certain to fulfill has already flopped. You are not alone. According to research from the University of Scranton, only 8% of Americans successfully achieve their New Year's resolutions. 80% of people have failed by January 20. We have already passed that deadline so to the 92% percent of you in Atlanta do not worry. If you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle I have your inside scoop.

 

Atlanta is a city with landscape. Amongst the sky rises in midtown and traffic in all corners of the city there is a 189-acre escape, otherwise known as Piedmont Park. I am not going to suggest the swimming, basketball, or tennis courts, although they are all kudos to the park, but the classes and groups to meet are the real advantage of this place. I joined the Atlanta Track Club over a year ago and have enjoyed the membership benefits. Their website lists upcoming events all over the metro Atlanta area. 5Ks, marathons, fun-runs, you name it. Other features include training programs and running spots with your 411 on routes and trails for all distances. The best offering is the page of Atlanta Weekly Running Groups where you can meet other local runners and form some accountability partners any day of the week in a handful of different locations including the Piedmont Park neighborhood. This is an inexpensive way to stay fit and meet new people.

 

My Red Hot Yoga membership has been one of the best additions to my new year. The peacefulness you get from yoga in 105 degree temperatures with a humidity of 40% is one of the best ways to relax and shed that extra weight. You leave every class as if you have just had a full body cleanse. It can be of use to detoxify, aide in circulation and cardiac health, skin care, stress, the benefits are numerous. There is always a Groupon deal as well – be sure to check it out!

In order to compliment your running and relaxation and to maintain that healthy lifestyle you desire, Café Sunflower is a must. Located in Buckhead and Sandy Springs, it is one of Atlanta's best vegetarian restaurants but appeals to everyone. The assortment of dishes catered to any craving makes Café Sunflower's offerings a healthy way to eat out and keep that figure.

 

Anna Elliott was born and raised in Atlanta, and has been a member of several organizations around the Atlanta Area. Although she works in marketing during the day, she is most passionate about encouraging a healthy lifestyle, friends and family, and exploring the ins and outs of her great city.…

Enjoying Extra Dark Chocolate Can Reap Health Benefits

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Recent research has shown that dark chocolate can have beneficial health effects. In a Britisg study, participants who ate 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate every day had a significant drop in blood pressure when compared to a group that did not eat chocolate. Chocolate has also been shown to useful in the treatment of mild to moderate depression and diabetes. Chocolate as a health food may sound contrary to everything you were taught about nutrition, but if you strip out the high amount of fat and sugar added to chocolate candy, you can enjoy the benefits of chocolate without damaging your waistline.

The recent glut of news about the benefits of dark chocolate has raised consumer awareness of high cocoa percentage bars. Milk chocolate contains as little as 20% cocoa. Regular dark chocolate contains as little as 35% cocoa, but the new super darks contain 70% to 99% cocoa. Higher cocoa content increases the health benefits and reduces the amount of chocolate you must eat to experience benefits. Super dark chocolate is an acquired taste, and different chocolate companies are known for different flavor undertones making it easy for chocolate lovers to find a bar to suit their taste.

To ease your way into eating high percentage chocolate, begin with a 65% to 70% bar like Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Bar. Widely available at mass retailers like target, the Lindt 70% bar is intense chocolate, but red fruit notes and slightly sweeter than other 70% bars. At $2.50 per bar, this is an excellent bargain and a good introduction to higher end chocolate. For a single origin bar, Pralus 75% Madagascar is an interesting choice. Slightly more tart than most Madagascar chocolates, it makes an interesting comparison for new chocolate connoisseurs. At $7.99 per bar, this is a pricers indulgence, and it can be difficult to locate in stores, but it is widely available for order online.

After you taste buds have been acclimated to a stronger chocolate, you may want to try higher percentage chocolates. Lindt's 85% Excellence bar is one of the highest regarded extra bitter chocolates, despite its wide availability and low price point. Like it's 70% cousin, it has strong red notes, but also a strong coffee finish. It is noticeably less sweet than lower percentage bars. It makes a nice counterpoint to a strong cup of coffee or red wine.

It is important to note that eating high content chocolate is different than munching your way through a Hershey bar. When eating high end chocolate, eat small amounts and allow the chocolate to melt and coat the tongue. This eating method allows the different notes of the roast to be enjoyed.

While high cocoa content fine chocolate is more expensive than milk chocolate candy, a smaller portion is necessary so you can enjoy health benefits without hurting your budget or your diet.…