Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Choose to Eat Mindfully this Holiday Season

It’s already mid-November, which means finals week and the holidays are right around the corner. During this time of the year, the last thing we might be concerned about is proper nutrition. However, nutrition plays an important role in keeping our immune system strong to prevent us from getting sick. You may be thinking; how can I eat healthfully while still enjoying my favorite holiday foods? Here’s the answer: Mindful eating!

So, what exactly is mindful eating? Mindful eating is being aware of the amount of food you are eating, while using all your senses to choose satisfying and nourishing food, and acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral), as well as hunger and satiety cues. Overall, mindful eating encourages a positive relationship with food.
During the holidays, we can become overwhelmed with the abundance of food served at parties. By using mindfulness and incorporating light exercise, maintaining weight and enjoying the parties will be possible!
How can I eat mindfully?
  1. Remain in the Moment: Sit down and put away or turn off electronics
  2. Use Nonjudgment: Notice when you feel guilty and interrupt negative thoughts with positive self-talk
  3. Be Aware: Taste what you are chewing
  4. Savor: Identify the texture and flavor of foods, such as sweet, spicy, smooth, or crunchy
  5. Observe: Recognize what your body is telling you. Are you full? Satisfied? Stressed? Rumbling stomach?
Other helpful tips!
  • Look at all the food options and choose your favorite
  • Choose a smaller plate
  • Take smaller portions (you can always go back for more!
  • Put down your utensil(s) between bites
  • Resign from the "clean plate club)
  • Eat until you feel satisfied--your body will thank you later
  • Skipping meals before a party may cause you to overeat

Healthy Holiday alternatives you’ve got to try!
Instead of sweet potato casserole, try roasted sweet potatoes!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly scrub potatoes before cutting into cubes.
  3.  Add sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl and combine with remaining ingredients.
  4. Lay sweet potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until fork tender.
Instead of green bean casserole, try oven-roasted green beans!

Oven Roasted Green Beans
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and prepare baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until blended. Spread beans onto baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes. At 15 minutes, remove to stir. Serve immediately.
For more information about nutrition and the nutrition services provided by the Health Education Resource Center, please visit http://www.eiu.edu/herc/nutrition.php or contact the Nutrition Promotion Coordinator at herc-nutritioned@eiu.edu or (217) 581-7786.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Exercise: Healthy Habits for a Better You

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Several benefits of exercise include:
  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
How much exercise do I need?
How much daily exercise you need depends on your age. Research recommends that 2 to 5 year olds get approximately 3 to 5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Similarly, 6 to 17 year olds need about one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise activity per day. Research also suggests that 18 to 64 year olds exercise for one hour per day, alternating between aerobic exercises and strength training. The key is to make exercise a habit!
Making Exercise a Habit
·         Find a variety of activities you enjoy

·         Exercise with another person

·         Exercise in the morning or after class

·         Keep track of your progress by logging all of your exercise routines

·         Make exercise a priority

·         Reward yourself

Types of Exercises Aerobic activities are those that increase your heart and breathing rate. These activities can be either moderate or vigorous in nature. Some examples of aerobic activities include: cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, dancing, and kickboxing.

Muscle-strengthening activities are those that strengthen your muscles. These activities can work all different parts of your body including your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. Some examples of muscle-strengthening activities are: push-ups, squats, pull-ups, weight lifting, burpees, lunges, and crunches.

 Bone-strengthening activities are those that strengthen your bones. These activities are especially important for children and adolescents, as these exercises promote bone growth and strength. Jumping, tennis, dancing, and jogging are all examples of bone-strengthening exercises.

Balance and stretching activities, such as stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts, and tai chi, enhance physical stability and flexibility. These exercises help keep your joints flexible, prevent stiffness, and potentially help reduce your chances of injury.
Can you over-exercise?Compulsive exercising, or over-exercising, is a problem that is seen on many college campuses. Although it may seem harmless, it’s actually just as harmful as an eating disorder. If you or a friend show any of the following signs, please seek the attention of the Health Service, or other professional provider.

·         Maintains a high level of activity and is uncomfortable with periods of rest or relaxation

·         Depends on activity for mood stabilization and self-definition

·         Schedules their life around exercising

·         Misses class or work or ditched friends to workout

·         Prioritizes exercising over relationships

EIU Student Recreation Center
The mission of the Student Recreation Center is to provide EIU students, faculty, and staff with both formal and informal recreational activities, regardless of ability. The Student Recreation Center wishes to promote a safe and enjoyable environment, encourage participation, and promote healthy lifestyles. Visit www.eiu.edu/campusrec for a complete list of individual fitness options, group fitness classes, and intramural sports. If you have additional questions or would like more information, contact the Rec at (217) 581-2821.

Additional On-Campus Resources
Health Service
(217) 581-3013

Health Education Resource Center
(217) 581-7786

Counseling Center
(217) 581-3413

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nutrition Analysis

It’s never too early to start caring about your health. Recent statistics show trends in the typical college students’ diet includes frequently skipping meals, lack of fruits and vegetables and high consumption of calories from fat. College is often the time when stress can influence when and where we eat, as well as our physical activity habits.  
Nutritional Analysis
Do you feel your diet is unbalanced, and you’re not sure how to make it better? Check out the Health Education Resource Center’s FREE Nutrition Analysis program! You can meet one-on-one with the Nutrition Promotion Coordinator and address any of your nutritional concerns. Whether you are looking to lose or gain weight, improve the quality of your diet, or need help with meal planning, she would be happy to guide you!
 Benefits of completing the Nutrition Analysis program
  • You will get specific results about the trends of your diet
  • The information will be individualized for your goals
  • Setting goals is the first step in changing a nutrition behavior
  • The atmosphere is friendly and non-judgmental
  • It’s FREE
Visit the HERC's webpage to preview the Nutrition Analysis packet that will be used for your appointment.

What is a Registered Dietitian?
A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who specializes in nutrition for wellness, as well as disease. The Nutrition Promotion Coordinator is a graduate student studying to be a registered dietitian. She looks forward to meeting and assisting fellow Panthers in reaching their nutrition goals for a healthier lifestyle.
To set up an appointment, please contact her via e-mail at herc-nutritioned@eiu.edu, call (217) 581-7786, or by requesting a consultation through our webpage.