Hello, turkeys! It’s almost Thanksgiving which means friends, family, and FOOD. To make your holiday recipe scouting a little easier, I’ve put together a list of some amazing and festive fall recipes for you to try out on Turkey Day. Enjoy!
Freshman. Foods and Nutrition Major. SDSU.
Happy Sunday, everybody! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which means two things: no school, and TONS of food. Thanksgiving (these days) is a holiday based around being with friends and family, sharing love, thanks, and delicious meals, which I absolutely love. I want to share some tips and tricks for having the best Turkey day you can have!
Thanksgiving is a lovely time for so many people, but I know from all my Thanksgiving experiences that it's super easy to overeat. Over-eating is extremely common among Americans who can afford to do so, especially around the holidays. According to calorie control.org, the average Thanksgiving meal is about 3,000 calories, and could be up to 4,500 (keep in mind that’s 1,500 calories more than USFDA recommends for an entire day). Overconsumption of calories is a major contributor to obesity in the U.S. today, and very easy to fall prey to. While the Americans who can afford to put food on the table often put too much, there were still about 15.6 million households in the United States that were food insecure as of 2015 (meaning they can’t afford nutritious food or that they can’t afford enough food the sustain the household at all). Foodforward.org, states that, “According to a 2014 EPA study, America throws away more than 38 million tons of food every year”, so of the American households that can afford enough food, a large portion of it is simply thrown in the garbage. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to not let that tryptophan get the best of you, and eat just until you’re satisfied. In addition, you can donate canned goods and even Thanksgiving leftovers to those in need! If you’re looking to donate leftover Thanksgiving food, most food pantries will take them, and you can find one near you by following this link: https://www.foodpantries.org/.You can also look into donating leftovers, canned goods, or other food to your local food bank! You can find the nearest one here: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/.
Giving back is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Get some friends and family together to donate food or volunteer (here’s a website to find some awesome non-profits in your area:https://greatnonprofits.org/categories/view/homeless-and-housing?gclid=CMqoofGOybgCFcqe4AodiWoA9A). Give thanks this year by spreading the love and helping someone out! I hope you all have a happy, healthy, lovely Thanksgiving!
Foods and Nutrition Major. SDSU.
Hey SNO fam! Today I wanted to share something a little different that has really been igniting my passion lately: Health at Every Size.
If you haven’t already heard of the "Health at Every Size" movement, it was started by Linda Bacon who wrote the book Health At Every Size which is has now essentially become “a website and a social movement whose purpose is to encourage bodily acceptance and self confidence with one's body, often by the rejection of dieting. Proponents aim to improve the standard of living for people who are overweight or obese by promoting healthy lifestyles and anti-discrimination efforts. Generally, these efforts do not include weight loss as a direct goal.” (Wikipedia) A lot of people are probably thrown off by this title and think, "Well, what about the millions of Americans and people worldwide who are obese? And what about people at the other extreme? They certainly aren't healthy at their size."
And you might be correct, depending on the individual circumstances.
But the point of Health at Every Size is that health shouldn't be limited to weight or an appearance of health, but rather the feeling of health and the existence of health...even if it isn't visible. A thin body may be diseased and an larger body may be in top-notch health, but sadly our society makes associations and assumptions that are often scientifically incorrect, equating body type with the presence or absence of health. Health is so much more complex than weight and calories and nutrients...it's about the little things that you are doing each day to take care of yourself and make sure your needs are met: nourishing your body, moving your body, engaging your mind, connecting with loved ones, savoring the things that bring you joy, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when you need them. If all of these are habits that make a person healthy...then why are our assumptions about health determined, judgmentally, by how much space we take up?
Of course unhealthy lifestyle habits lead to lifestyle diseases...but these diseases can occur in any sized body. Until current and future health care providers start looking past the number on the scale and looking toward patients’ self-care practices, it seems that society will always be waging a war against weight.
That being said, I don't expect every health care provider to drop what they're doing and switch to a HAES approach. My hope is that even if all health care providers can't adopt HAES, they can at least learn from it, and see why America's obsession with weight is anything but healthy. And for all of you future dietitians, nurses, doctors, psychologists/psychiatrists, counselors, and other health care personnel, I hope that HAES might open up your mind a little more to the ways in which we can create a culture that embraces bodies of all shapes and sizes and acknowledges the ways that they can be healthy, happy, and nourished.
Here is Dr. Bacon's book. Take a look if you are interested in learning more about Health at Every Size:
Freshman. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition.
I'm back for part two of my series on gut health. If you haven't already read my post on why gut health is important, go ahead and read it here:
Now that you have an idea about why gut health is important and all of the things it can do for our mood and optimal functioning, here are some tips to get your gut on track! I have personally dealt with gut issues off and on for the past few years, but once I discovered these health habits, I saw radical changes in the way my gut functions and the way that I feel overall!
2. Eat sprouted grains
While eating sprouted grains doesn't necessarily introduce more bacteria into your gut microbiome, it does ensure better digestion and makes the grain’s nutrients more readily available. Soaked and sprouted gluten is easier to break down in the digestive tract, which means it’s easier for the gut to do its work. In addition, sprouted grains tend to have more fiber and be more nutrient dense than regular non-sprouted grains. If you're looking for a good sprouted bread to try out, I recommend Alvarado Street Bakery!
3. Cut down on stress
I cannot emphasize this enough y'all!!! Managing stress is a hugely important component of optimizing gut health, as you can probably tell from my previous post. Stress can wreck havoc on the little guys in our gut and alter digestive processes via the gut-brain axis (the connections between the gut and the brain) which can lead to anything from indigestion to full-on digestive disorders such as IBS and leaky-gut syndrome! Cut down on stress by:
Exercise not only promotes peristaltic contractions to occur in the gut which can promote digestion, but it has also actually been found to increase the number and diversity of microbial species in the gut! This doesn't mean that you have to go out and run 10 miles every day because #guthealth...this implies that moving in any way that feels good to you could actually go a long way as far as promoting healthy gut flora. Walking, running, biking, hiking, rowing, yoga, swimming, dancing...whatever way it is that you like to move, do that! There is no "right" way to move...simply getting some movement in each day can have amazing effects on your microbiome, and not to mention your mood, energy, and focus.
I hope you find this guide to a healthier gut useful and that you are able to apply a few of these suggestions to your life. As I mentioned earlier, I can attest to each and every one of these...since developing these practices, my gut has changed phenomenally and let-me-tell-ya, it feels amazing. Here are the sources I consulted when compiling these tips...feel free to visit them for more information on gut health!
SDSU. Freshman. Foods and Nutrition Major.
It seems like fall fell overnight here in sunny San Diego. The weather went from 107˚F one day to brisk and foggy the next. I don’t know about you, but I’m super into it. Changing of the seasons from summer to fall is one of my favorite things on earth, especially because it means there is a lot of good autumn food in store for the next few months. Since we’re still a little bit away from Thanksgiving and a long, long way from Christmas, I’ll spare you the holiday recipes until another week. This week, I present to you one of my absolute favorite warm & satisfying comfort foods: coconut curry. The best part about it is that you can improvise as much as you want and it will always be delicious; that’s why I’ve included a list of my favorite ingredients in addition to a yummy and reliable recipe that I like. Put it in your repertoire for the next time it drops below 65˚F in San Diego!
My Simplified Adaptable Autumn Coconut Curry Recipe
For the sauce:
A Completely Detailed Coconut Curry Recipe
Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Coconut Curry
A few other good recipes for inspiration:
Junior. SDSU. Foods and Nutrition major.
So a lot of you have probably noticed the jargon on social media, whether on wellness websites, health podcasts, or related platforms, about the gut: the microbiome, the second brain, the gut-brain connection, gut flora. At least one of these probably sounds familiar.
But what's the big deal?
It's just your gut, right?
Actually, the gut is a lot more important than you think it is, in that yes, it functions to help us digest what we consume, but more extraordinarily, it participates in a mutual interaction with our sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system as well as our brain that can affect not only the way that we digest (or rather the quality of our digestion), but also the way we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It's pretty cool. But how does it work?
The mechanisms of the gut can be altered by the brain, and the brain can also be altered by the mechanisms of the gut.
Let's start with the influence of the brain on gut health. When we are in a high-stress state, we are said to be in sympathetic mode, meaning our bodily functions perform in such a way as to allow us to most effectively respond to the stressor. This includes dilation of the pupils, constriction of the blood vessels, increase in heart rate, decreased production of digestive fluids, and decreased gut activity. This means that if you're in a high-stress state for prolonged periods of time, your gut will not be functioning optimally since your body is trying to "perform", or feels that it is in the flight-or-fight response 24/7, and by inhibiting gut activity, your body can respond to the stressor more effectively. No wonder so many Americans have digestive issues, given the high-stress state in which we are constantly living, with everything from work to school to obligations. The American hustle culture is the gut microbiome's worst nightmare!
In contrast, if we are in a low-stress state, we are in parasympathetic mode, which causes the pupils to constrict, the blood vessels to dilate, the heart rate to increase, digestive fluid production to increase, and gut activity to increase. This is why it's so, so, so important to figure out ways to manage your stress daily so that you can be kind to yourself and to your gut, because digestive issues are serious business.
So now you see how the brain can influence the gut, but how can the gut influence the brain?
Aside from the fact that your mood tends to be better when your digestive system is on point and worse when it's less than optimal, healthy bacteria in the gut has been proven to alter one’s mood, and a gut bacteria imbalance has even been linked to conditions such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. The gut has its own communicative system called the enteric nervous system (ENS), which consists of about 100 million nerves lining the gut. I guess that's why the phrases "you've got guts" and "you've got a lot of nerve" are so interchangeable! The gut communicates to the brain via the vagus nerve, which is one of the major nerves bringing information to the brain from all over the body. So basically, the gut and the brain are true homies, so closely linked that they influence each other in profound ways. This has been shown in various studies in which the bacteria found in anxious animals' guts have been replaced with calmer animals' bacteria and vice versa, producing an exchange in anxiety levels between the two that corresponds with the type of bacteria found in the gut (good bacteria balance = good mood, dysbiosis = not so good mood).
I don't know about you, but a smoothly running digestive system and a happy brain sounds like a pretty freakin' nice existence to me, so gut health has really become a priority for me. Stay tuned for part two. Next week, I'll teach you how to improve your gut health, and how I've improved mine.
The sources below will show you more about why the gut is a much more vital part of your health than you think.
San Diego State University, Foods and Nutrition Major. Freshman.
It’s recipe week, my dudes! This weekend I got the lovely opportunity to fly home to San Francisco to see my family for a few days and celebrate my dad’s birthday. In lieu of birthday celebrations I’m bringing out my TOP SECRET WEAPON: the best vegan chocolate cake you will ever have. I would not lie to you, guys, this cake has been described by many as: fluffy, moist, decadent, life-changing, and “the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had”. Now that I’ve sufficiently raised your expectations to the point at which you might actually be disappointed no matter how good this cake is, here’s the recipe. Taste the magic.
Disclaimer: This beauteous recipe was conceived by my friend, Jenna Jayasinghe. I just modified it a bit. Her blog is below.
((**=see note below))
For Chocolate Cake:
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup neutral oil (I used canola, but you could use coconut, vegetable, etc.)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 6 tablespoons water (mix the flax and water and set in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until it gets a sticky, egg like consistency)
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar (mix the milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes before adding into the bowl)
2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups boiling water
Chocolate coconut cream frosting (premade or homemade--homemade requires 24 hours of chilling coconut milk):
Premade: SoDelicious coconut whipped topping (you can find it here: http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-frozen-desserts/cocowhip-original)*
Coconut cream (recipe below)
¼ cup cocoa powder
Powdered sugar to taste
*Homemade coconut cream: To make your own you’ll need one can of full fat coconut milk (I find that the brand Thai Kitchen works the best). Let it sit in the fridge for a full 24 hours before making the frosting. Once chilled, scoop out the solidified cream on top and leave the water on the bottom of the can alone (use it to make a smoothie or something). Because of this, the frosting needs to stay relatively chilled.
1. Preheat oven to 350º
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside
3. Beat the oil, flax egg, almond milk mixture, and vanilla until combined (~1 min)
4. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined (be careful not to over mix)
5. Add in boiling water (batter will be very thin)
6. Spray 3 9-inch pans with nonstick spray and fill with batter evenly. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
7. Let cool completely before frosting.
`1. Place coconut cream into a chilled mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat for about 2 minutes to expand.
2. Add in cocoa powder and beat until combined
3. Add in powdered sugar to taste (I used about 5 tablespoons)
4. Let chill in the freezer for 15 minutes before frosting the cake
Junior Foods and Nutrition Major
‘Tis the season...for apple cider, finally breaking out the sweater collection, and pumpkin spice everything under the sun. For some of you, Halloween probably doesn’t mean much more than watching a few scary movies and (maybe) attempting to throw together a last minute costume, but for others, Halloween entails extravagant parties full of creative costumes, on-point decorations, and lots and lots of FOOD! As with any holiday, it can be hard to balance wanting to be a crowd-pleaser while still keeping your cool, having fun, and staying healthy. Here are some of my tips for a successfully spooky Halloween:
1: Meal Prep
Ah, meal prep, how I love you.
Sadly, as a freshman in college living on campus, meal prep is not as practical (R.I.P. beloved roasted vegetables and chicken), but if you have the means, I highly suggest it, as it reduces a lot of stress around meals. Especially in October, when midterms are in full-swing and there are fall activities galore, the last thing anyone wants to do is divert time away from studying and socializing to put together extravagant meals. Prepping food once a week to keep stored in the fridge for easy on-the-go meals saves so much time and effort. I recommend roasting up your favorite vegetables, prepping your favorite protein source, and maybe trying a side dish or snack recipe or two to keep your meals exciting. My favorite meal prep options are sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini and squash, turmeric spiced chicken, and fun-flavored hummus to put on everything!
2. Get Outside
Fall is such a beautiful time of year, so take advantage of it by getting outside, unplugging from social media, opting for outdoor events and festivities, and putting your stressful tasks and obligations aside for a few moments each day. Taking some time outdoors to refresh and recharge can give you the energy you need to attack your to-do list and channel your productivity into all your fall projects!
3. Sleep...as much as you’re able to!
I always emphasize how vital sleep is to well-being, boosting your mood, and maintaining an optimum energy level throughout the day, but let’s be honest...8+ hours of sleep a night is not a reality for everyone. Especially with all of the Halloween festivities going on, late nights tend to be pretty common this time of year. Try prioritizing late-night events and then choose one or two days to stay out late. One night of less-than-optimal sleep is far better than being sleep deprived every day during the middle of the semester or missing out on all the things you were looking forward to doing.
4. Make Your Party Food Palatable (and Healthy!)
Fall activities are not the best places to find healthy food options, but you can put your own healthy spin on your favorite party foods while still keeping them appetizing for your guests. If you’re having your own fall get-together, here are some tasty and festive recipes you can try:
2. Pumpkin Hummus
3. Pumpkin Spice Freezer Fudge
4. Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
5. Have Fun, Stay Safe, and Make Some Memories
So while this may seem like three tips instead of one, they go hand in hand. Making sure that you’re spending time with people you trust (especially on late nights) ensures that you not only have a great time, but also don’t get yourself into a dangerous situation without a loyal friend by your side. Whether that means assigning a designated driver for Halloween night, staying away from places/people you know will lead to trouble, or simply deciding to forgo the party scene altogether and have a low-key Halloween night with your closest friends, it’s all about looking out for number one (AKA your health and safety). At the end of the night, make sure you’re taking care yourself in every way possible...and having a good time in the process!
I hope that you all have a healthy and happy Halloween full of great memories, great friends, and great food! Now excuse me as I go scout around eBay for a kale costume...
Freshman Foods and Nutrition Major
Hello my healthy homies!
Thought I would share with y'all today a little guide on how to make my favorite breakfast of all time…
The sweet potato bowl.
Now being the health nut and nutrition nerd that I am, I have to first give you some background on why exactly this breakfast is freaking amazing (besides that it involves sweet potatoes, which automatically makes it amazing).
First of all, sweet potatoes in themselves are full of nutrients that our body loves...vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, carbohydrates, and even tryptophan (that stuff in turkey that is notorious for making you "sleepy") which helps to elevate your mood.
Not to mention that even more nutrients are added on from yogurt (packed with protein and digestive enzymes and bacteria), nut butters (full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals), and berries (antioxidants for the win).
So there you have it, this breakfast is pretty much the best.
Now enough of my sweet potato praise, how do you actually make the perfect bowl?
Step 1: Pick Your Potato
I personally just go with a good old-fashioned yam (often synonymous with sweet potato and orange-ish in color), but you could do absolutely any kind of sweet potato, it's all up to you. You could even mix it up and use a purple sweet potato, which are very pretty I must say.
There are numerous ways of cooking the potato: you can bake them whole, roast them, slice them up and sprinkle them with cinnamon, steam them, or simply microwave them (disclaimer: I almost always end up microwaving them in their skin for about 5 minutes...it's just so much quicker). Microwaving is perfect if you NEED that damn potato bowl ASAP but of course roasting is probably a more wholesome way of cooking it. Meal prep some sweet potatoes on Sunday so you can make sweet potato bowls all day long!
Step 2: Choose Your Yogurt
Any type of yogurt will do; use what you like: Greek, non-fat, low-fat, whole milk, Sheep's milk, goat milk, non-dairy...the options are endless.
Although, I do recommend the more natural brands of yogurt, as you will get more nutrients from milk that has been produced by more humanely raised animals that feed on grass. Also, look out for sketchy ingredients...try to find a yogurt that is hella simple! My go to is Siggi's...more protein than sugar in each container, made from wholesome ingredients, and from grass-fed cows. Perfect.
Step 3: Berry It
I'm sorry my puns are cringe-worthy.
But seriously, don't be afraid to add all the berries you want. People nowadays often avoid sugars to the point of avoiding fruit, but I can assure you the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in fruits (especially berries) make them worth adding to your meals.
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries...they're all full of antioxidants to keep your immune system strong, fiber to fill you up and help ease your digestive system, and have even shown to have anti-cancer and anti-aging properties
So yes, I'll have all the berries please, thank you.
Step 4: Go Nuts with Nut Butter
Nut butter honestly makes the bowl.
If you haven't tried nut butter and sweet potatoes together, you're missing out.
Of course you can go with classic peanut butter or almond butter, but there are so many other options, such as cashew butter, walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, or even tahini or coconut butter.
Ultimately, I try to look for nut butters that have as few ingredients as possible, because nut butters that live up to their names (butters made out of nuts) just make me feel satisfied as a consumer. Here's a few of my favorites:
Artisana Organics cashew butter...ingredients: raw organic cashews.
Once Again almond butter...ingredients: organic unblanched almonds.
Step 5: Enjoy!
There you have it: the perfect sweet potato breakfast bowl built just how you like it. If you try it out, let me know, and if you need more breakfast inspiration, make sure to follow me on Instagram @kaceyrunsonkale. I have had my share of sweet potato bowls!
Pictured: organic sweet potato (yam), Siggi's mixed berry and acai yogurt, organic blackberries, and Artisana Organic cashew butter...and my favorite cold brew!
Freshmen. San Diego State University
A few weeks ago, Kelsey Peterson spoke at our SNO meeting. Not only is she is an incredibly accomplished and knowledgeable registered dietitian with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from CSU Long Beach, but she is very personable and open to answering our questions about the field ahead of us. Her presentation peaked my interest particularly because she has a private practice in addition to being a registered dietitian/nutrition therapist at Nutrition Instincts in Sorrento Valley, and she focuses all of her work around the principle of “Intuitive Eating”.
Eating intuitively in a sense is being at peace with food, and a big part of this is that you reject the “diet mentality” (the idea that you should restrict yourself to limited types of food, or ignore your hunger in order to lose weight quickly). Eating intuitively plays a huge role in rehabilitation from eating disorders, which is why it is so intertwined with Kelsey’s work. On the whole, girls statistically are more likely to develop eating disorders, though it is only known that “a growing consensus suggests that a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors come together to spark an eating disorder” (nationaleatingdisorders.org), and some people forget that it is in fact a mental illness and should be treated as such. Not to compare myself to people suffering from severe eating disorders or victimize myself, but I know I struggled with my weight and constantly compared myself to others growing up which led me to develop many forms of disordered eating throughout my life. I definitely learned that food and mental health absolutely go hand-in-hand.
It’s taken me from as long as I can remember until now to get to a comfortable place with food so I for one know you can’t just flip a switch and be able to eat intuitively. One of the best things to do, first of all, is know that you are not alone. There’s literally always someone who is either going through the same thing, or who you can talk to even if they’re not. I love my parents, but when I was younger I often felt like they didn’t understand what I was going through at all, so I found friends who had similar experiences and we started trying to work it out together.
Kelsey also mentioned a book that she said changed her life, entitled Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. I did some research on the philosophy of intuitive eating and I realized that those practices were heavily correlated with a lot of things I struggled with, and it was something I hadn't known about before she came to our meeting! I know a lot of people obsessively avoid carbs, or limit their calories to dangerous levels, without understanding the damage that a lack of certain foods will cause. Carbs power everything in our bodies and regulate blood glucose levels, and we need enough calories to get through the day, not to mention any extra exercise we may be doing. A diet lacking in essential nutrients like natural sugars or fats is one that could cause low thyroid function, low serotonin levels, stunted growth, etc. This is only the tip of the iceberg of eating disorders. There is a spectrum and every disorder is valid. This is why eating intuitively is so important and so intriguing to me. I’ve linked a page that outlines 10 steps of intuitive eating. I highly recommend giving them a read.
Buy the book:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intuitive-eating-evelyn-tribole/1125544905?ean=9781250004048&pcta=n&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Textbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP245&k_clickid=3x245
Steps of Intuitive Eating:http://www.intuitive eating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
Get the down-low on Kelsey!: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelsey-peterson-ms-rd-10695254
Junior. Foods and Nutrition major at SDSU.
Hello hello hello!
This week I bring you not one, but two recipes to add to your recipe radar: chickpea almond butter cookies and sweet potato brownies. The best part? They are only made from whole food ingredients and taste absolutely amazing! Not to mention that they require minimal ingredients and time (what every college student wants to hear!).
I could go on forever about my undying love for real food or I could just give you the recipes...so here they are!
Chickpea Almond Butter Cookies
Adapted from Further Food: https://www.furtherfood.com/recipe/chickpea-peanut-butter-cookies/
1 can chickpeas
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips
1 scoop protein powder of choice (I used collagen peptides)
Sweet Potato Fudge Brownies
Adapted from the Big Man's World: https://thebigmansworld.com/2015/11/27/4-ingredient-flourless-sweet-potato-brownies-paleo-vegan-gluten-free/
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup natural almond butter (I used Once Again brand...one ingredient: almonds!)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup cacao powder
Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips (for topping)
1 scoop protein powder of choice (I used collagen peptides)
I hope you enjoy these super nutrient-dense and freakin' delicious dessert recipes! The great thing about real foods is that they nourish our bodies in so many ways while still being extremely flavorful and satisfying. I'll take chickpeas and sweet potatoes and almond butter over modified corn starch and high fructose corn syrup any day.
Freshman at SDSU. Foods and Nutrition Major.
WELCOME BACK, IT’S RECIPE WEEK, LADIES AND GENTS.
Ok, last week I wrote a little blog post about myself and introductions, this week I’m coming at you live with some super tasty recipes for your favorite day of the week. That’s right: TACO TUESDAY. Now I know it’s Saturday and you may not be thinking about Tuesday yet, but you’re definitely thinking about tacos (or at least you should be), so why not be prepared?? Here are some recipes I adapted so they’re super easy and most of the stuff you can get at Trader Joe’s #BlessTheTJsOnCollegeAve
Recipe #1 - Healthy Re-Imagined Lettuce Wrapped Tacos
(given the stamp of approval by my roommates)
These are modeled after the flavors in a popular Korean meat dish called “Bulgogi”. I’m not Korean, but my mom would occasionally serve Bulgogi for dinner growing up and let me tell you, it’s incredible. Now that I’m vegan though, I have to find alternate routes to get those lovely flavors, thus, a re-imagined korean-style “taco”.
What you’ll need for the taco filling:
3 C Brown rice
2 C sliced Shiitake mushrooms
2 C Crimini mushrooms
½ C sliced sweet mini peppers
½ C raw coconut aminos (← major key alert)
3 garlic cloves, minced (or about a tablespoon of pre-minced garlic)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
What you’ll need for the saaauuucceeee:
¼ cup raw coconut aminos
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tsp Yuzu hot chili oil
1 Tsp toasted sesame oil
What you’ll need for the wrap:
1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed and separated
Broccoli slaw aka “jullenned” broccoli and carrot strips (for topping)
1 - Put 3 cups of rice and 6 cups of water in a pan, let cook until done.
2 - Place sliced mushrooms and peppers in a bowl with coconut aminos, garlic and chili oil, set aside to marinate
3 - In another bowl, stir together aminos, tomato paste, chili oil, agave and sesame oil until well combined.
4 - pour contents of the bowl into a pan over medium/high heat, stir occasionally until all the veggies are cooked to your liking (veggies should be soft, mushrooms should get a little darker)
5 - Pour contents of the pan back into the bowl (keep or drain the liquid, it’s good flavor so I recommend saving it to pour over any tacs that are not moist enough!)
6 - Fill a romaine leaf with brown rice, mushroom pepper mixture, top with broccoli slaw and sauce.
ET VOILA delicious, slightly abstract tacos :)
Recipe adapted from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/mushroom-bulgogi-lettuce-wraps/
If you’re looking for a more traditional taco, I recommend using this recipe for Quinoa “taco meat” https://minimalistbaker.com/quinoa-taco-meat/ and adding black beans, mango salsa, and avocado! Simple, yummy, eco-friendly :)
And with that, you’re ready to impress all your friends for Taco Tuesday!! Get cookin’!!!
Junior. Foods and Nutrition Major.
Looking forward to my freshman year here at SDSU, I was initially a little perplexed as to whether or not the good practices I have developed over the past few years could persist. I thought it was going to be difficult to maintain healthy habits in a new place with a new schedule, but I've actually been surprised by how easy it's been. Here are my tips for how to stay healthy in college...physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
1. Track down healthy food options.
Eating healthily is important in general for overall well-being, but especially in college, when you're constantly working, moving, and flexing that brain muscle, getting adequate nutrients becomes essential for optimal functioning.
Find which places on campus, such as dining halls or restaurants, have healthy options like fresh produce and protein options and utilize these places to build simple meals. Making sure that your meals are simple yet substantial means including good carbs such as grains and vegetables, proteins, and fats. For example, I built the simple bowl pictured above using greens, roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, zucchini, and chicken, all from the dining hall.
Another way to make sure you're eating healthily in college is to track down the best places to get healthy snacks. Snacks are so, so, so important to keep you energized and focused throughout the day, so check out places on campus such as convenience stores, coffee shops, and markets to see what natural and nutrient-dense snacks are available to you. My go-to healthy snacks lately have been roasted chickpeas, kale chips, Perfect bars, and Health-Ade kombucha. If there aren't that many healthy options on campus, see what grocery stores or markets are located close to campus so that you can pick up a few things every now and then to keep stocked up in your dorm.
2. Move in whatever way that you want to/can.While it may seem like college can be pretty hectic between classes and homework and extracurricular activities and work, moving in a way that works for you is an extremely important way to stay healthy physically--and happy mentally. There is no one way to move, so figure out what works for you and your schedule, what makes you feel best, and what makes you feel empowered.
Try out classes at the campus gym, go for a run, practice some outdoor yoga, join intramural sports, or simply go for a relaxing walk. Whichever way it is that you enjoy moving, set aside time for yourself each day to engage in that activity. I've personally found that my mornings at the gym boost my energy and mood before classes and generally lead to a much more productive day.
3. Find a hobby and engage in it weekly.College can be very demanding at times, but doing things that make you happy every single week can really reduce stress levels and make those long reading assignments and essays less draining. It can be as simple as writing, reading, hiking, listening to new music, or finding inspiration on Pinterest; pursue whatever it is that you truly enjoy and allow yourself to enjoy it.
I personally struggle with this a lot, because I have the mentality that "work is play" and often forget how much of the day has been taken up by schoolwork until the day is almost over! So even though school is always a priority, you are also a priority and deserve to have a few blissful moments every day. Sometimes some ‘booch and some Netflix is all I need for a relaxing night after a long day of school work!
4. Get involved in a club!Feeling alone in college is a seriously sucky feeling, so try to branch out and make those connections that can make you feel more integrated on campus. The majority of you reading this are most likely already members of Student Nutrition Organization...which is awesome! I encourage those of you who are to treat the club not just as a club, but also as an opportunity to get involved and get out of your comfort zone. You can also try something you've never tried before, or join a club that relates to something you're already extremely passionate about. Whatever the case, clubs are a great way to relate to like-minded people and establish new friendships, as well as to do activities that feed your soul. I just recently joined SNO...so who knows, I might meet some other kale-loving kiddos to nerd out about nutrition with!
5. Sleep, sleep, SLEEP!It took me soooo long to actually start sleeping. Six months ago, five hours of sleep would have been the norm. Now I'm averaging eight hours per night and thank goodness I made that transition!
Sleep is a vital part of storing and processing the information that you received during the daytime, so if you're only getting four, five, or six hours of sleep a night, those eight hours of studying may have gone to waste. Sleep is also when essential hormones, such as growth hormone, are released to keep your endocrine system running effectively, so if you're depriving yourself of sleep, your hormones can become imbalanced and nobody wants that! Additionally, if you are sleep deprived, your body will produce cortisol, which is a stress-inducing hormone which has all kind of negative side effects (including loss of the menstrual cycle, for all ma lady friends out there).
Aside from the scientific reasons behind getting adequate sleep, let's face it, being well-rested just makes for an overall better day! Sleeping well keeps your energy levels, mood, and metabolism in check so that you can function optimally without crashing or crying or all of the above (been there, done that wayyy too many times). Try to aim for 7-10 hours of sleep per night. Personally, eight is my "happy" spot. It also helps to establish a routine bedtime and wake-up time so that your internal clock stays on track.
I hope you found my list of five ways to stay healthy in college helpful for discovering what works for you in this new phase of life! College is an extremely exciting time where you can study what you're passionate about, explore new places, and make connections that can last a lifetime, so remember to take extremely good care of yourself so that you can fully enjoy everything that college has to offer.
Freshman at SDSU. Foods and Nutrition Major.
I’ve never been good at introductions, which is tough, because first impressions are almost impossible to shake once they’re made. Did you know it usually takes about 7 seconds to make a first impression? And a tenth of a second to make an assumption based on appearance? So, I’ll make this brief: My name is Oona, I’m a third year student here at SDSU and I’m a Foods & Nutrition major. I love working with people and food, and hate doing anything half-way. I hope this tendency will serve me well when I’m shoved into the scary adult world after college.
That introduction probably took about seven seconds to read, and hopefully if you’re following the SNO blog, you know what I look like, which, by the way, accounts for about 55% of your first impression of me, according to a communications study done at Harvard.
Here are three tips I’ve found and gathered from 20 years of experience, (not that I was shaking hands with potential employers at the ripe age of zero, but you get the idea) that I think are important to keep in mind when interviewing for a job:
I hope you enjoyed this little blog post. Come back next week; I’ll be posting a blog post or a recipe every Saturday! I’m excited to share ideas, advice, food obsessions, workouts, current events, pop culture, and everything in between (all relating to nutrition, except this one, which is more career oriented). Some posts will be light-hearted and short like this one, but I also want to touch on some serious topics like mental health/holistic health that I think are extremely important. I’m super pumped to have a creative outlet that gives me the opportunity to talk about my passion for food and nutrition, and I hope you all enjoy reading it!
P.S. I’m vegan so look out for some dank plant-based recipes and knowledge!!
My name is Kacey and I’m a freshman here at SDSU majoring in Nutrition. I’m SNO excited to be a blogger for this organization (prepare yourself for plenty of puns).
Nutrition is not just my major. It is also my passion. I am a dedicated long distance runner, so I strongly believe that what you put inside of your body helps you to get the most out of it. I’ve spent the past few years independently learning--through lots of research, lots of reading, and lots of trial and error--just how amazing the human body is and the ways in which we can take care of it. What I discovered from my investigation is that being healthy is not a complicated mystery at all. In fact, it’s really quite simple; eat what makes you feel good, move in a way that empowers you, focus on what ignites your passion, and be around those who enhance your life. What a relief!
That being said, I try to use my nutrition knowledge, which is expanding each day, to advocate for holistic health and natural wellness methods, and to empower those who are typically disempowered by the media and the wellness industry. I believe that ingredients matter more than calories, that how you feel matters more than how you look, and that you can have health at any and every shape, size, color, age, and gender.
So be ready for lots of good eats, tidbits of inspiration and information, and plenty of produce puns. I’m thrilled to be KALE-laborating with SNO and can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
Written by: Elle Teitelbaum
I hope this can help you feel at least a little more prepared than I did. Don't feel too overwhelmed, there are many options and opportunities open for you if you just take initiative.
Marketing and Media Manager
San Diego State University
ABOUT THE SNO BLOG:
The goal of this blog is to present nutrition facts and advice in a fun and interesting way! We want to get our members involved in a healthy lifestyle as well as share articles that shine a light on nutrition and health.