Health

Healthy Broccoli and Pasta Casserole Recipe!

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This is a recipe for a delicious casserole that can be made in a surprisingly healthy way.  Now that we are heading into the colder months, you might be craving some heavier comfort food and this will definitely satisfy that!  This is also a proven crowd pleaser even amongst the pickiest of eaters and while it is vegetarian friendly, meat eaters will love it too!

The trick to making this casserole more health conscious is to pick your ingredients wisely.  I usually go for low-carb pasta (whole wheat would work as well) and Smart Balance instead of butter.  This really cuts down on the calories!  A great low carb pasta is made by Dreamfields and can be found in many grocery stores.  For the broccoli I find that using frozen broccoli florets work best with this dish.

So here we go…

Ingredients

1 box low-carb pasta

1 package frozen broccoli

1 tub of Smart Balance (you won’t use all of it!)

1 package/tube of grated Parmesan cheese (again, you won’t use all of it!)

Directions

  1. Put water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Toss in pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Put several chunks of Smart Balance and the frozen broccoli in a frying pan over medium to high heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once done, drain your pasta and put it into an oven-safe casserole dish/bowl.  Then put several more (as much as you like) chunks of Smart Balance onto the pasta and stir.  Pour in your broccoli and stir until evenly distributed.
  5. Sprinkle on about ½ – ¾ cup of grated cheese and stir again.
  6. Put it into the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the top looks a bit crispy.
  7. Take out and serve.

Getting Sick Without Mommy

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Taking care of yourself is one of the many things you’ll need to worry about when you leave for college. Making sure you have all the necessary tips for prevention during the cold and flu season as well as habits for optimal health can keep you looking and feeling wonderful throughout the school year.

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How to prevent illness:

  • Wash your hands regularly- This is common knowledge as the first way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Keep your hands out of your mouth, nose and eyes- germs are easily spread through contact with
  • Tissues, Tissues, Tissues- use them to open doors in the bathroom to keep hands clean as well as wiping your mouth (as opposed to using your hand, gross!) and catching a sneeze.
  • Have Vitamin C handy- Luckily, you can get your daily dose of Vitamin C through orange juice, oranges, and lozenges. Halls makes tasty Vitamin C drops that not only boosts the immune system but also sooths sore throats.
  • Hand Sanitizer- some areas at your college will have stations with free standing hand sanitizer machines. If you are unable to get to a bathroom to wash your hand, the next best thing is your own personal hand sanitizer. It will kill most of the germs on contact.

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If you unfortunately come down with the common cold, fever, or the dreaded flu, there are certain steps that you can take to get better quickly.

  • Drink plenty of fluids- liquids will help replace some of the fluids lost due to a fever or other ailment.
  • Sleep and rest as much as possible- the body needs time to recuperate and while you sleep, your body works to heal itself.
  • Take over the counter pain relievers- this can include Tylenol or Advil. It’s helpful for reducing fever, pain and body aches.
  • Eat and drink healthy- you can help your body recover by boosting the immune system to fight the infection. Tea, especially green tea, with organic local honey (for nutritional benefits) will sooth your throat and help heal the body.

It’s important to note that not all infections can be treated in this manner. Only illnesses that are bacterial need antibiotics prescribed for your doctor. Unfortunately for viral infections, you will need time for your body to fight them naturally.

The Fitbit Killer – Apple Watch’s Health Benefits

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“Is that your cell phone or your living room TV?”

This is a taunt my Android using friend Jill is more than familiar with as a courteously remind her about the ridiculous size of her Samsung Galaxy at every football tailgate. Last week however, I had to eat those words as Apple jumped on the bigger is better bandwagon with the iPhone 6. Despite the larger breadth of the phone, all is not lost for those of us who prefer our technology compact.

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The big news out of Cupertino last week was the reveal of the much anticipated Apple Watch. Rumors of this device have been swirling on the interwebs for some time, but on September 9th Tim Cook unveiled the first new Apple product since the passing of Steve Jobs. A live demonstration showed many of the device’s functions which include access to emails and texts, the ability to control Apple TV, GPS through the Maps function and even a cool feature that tells you what time of the day it is. It would seem that the only thing missing is a line of piano wire needed to disable rival KGB spies à la James Bond.

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While these features already make the Apple Watch worth its $350 price tag, the item that most interested my wife and I was the watch’s functionality as a health and fitness device. The party starts with the set of sensors on the back of the watch that monitors vital statistics such as your heart rate. From there, Apple Watch comes with two apps built in to measure your liveliness. In the Activity App, three different aspects of movement are tracked on various rings. The “Move” ring reports how many calories you’ve burned for the day and alerts you when you have achieved your daily goal. Of course this comes in handy for strolls on the treadmill with your sorority sister in the student gym, but if you’ve ever inquired how many calories you burn walking to your daily classes or back from Penny Pitcher Night, you’ll now have a picture of just how active you truly are. Second is the “Exercise” ring which captures your rapid movements and alerts you when you’ve reached the widely recommended time of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Lastly, there is the “Stand” ring (seemingly geared toward us nine to five desk jockeys) which motivates you to do just that; stand for at least one minute per hour in a 12 hour period.

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The Workout App allows you to select your favorite exercise and set calories and time goals for yourself. With just a swipe of the screen, the watch will give you up to date results on your current exercise campaign from the length of your run to the intensity of your yoga session. Once done, you can send your data to your iPhone’s Health App (Which we’ll have in tomorrow’s iPhone upgrade) as well as various third party fitness apps such as Lose It.

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From late night White Castle runs to pizza for every meal, college is a hotbed for poor heath choices. Many of us enter our undergraduate careers feeling invincible, only to discover after graduation that four years of keg parties, fast food runs and passing the gym without batting an eye has taken a toll on our once trim physiques. Though we’ll have to wait a few more months to get our hands on this device as it won’t be out until early 2015, it certainly seems that Apple is giving us a prime weapon to battle the Freshmen 15 with.

Healthy Studying

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We all know how important it is to spend time studying, but how effectively are you spending that time? If you aren’t using healthy study habits, your time could be wasted. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your study break.

 1. Keep Highlighters Handy

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Sometimes you don’t have time to rewrite what you’ve read in a summarized form. This is when highlighters come in handy. Having at least two different colored highlighters on hand while studying can make note taking faster, more efficient, and allow you to color code as an added bonus.

2. Skim

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Knowing how to skim a reading can be very useful during exam time. You should read the material thoroughly the first time of course, but when you want to review it it’s better to have a quick summary to recall facts. One way to do this is to read the introduction paragraph, the first and last sentences of each body paragraph, then the concluding paragraph. This should give you a broad overview of the reading.

3. Keep Neat Notes

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It’s important to keep your notes neat and readable, otherwise they can be next to useless as it will take you longer to decipher your notes than it would have taken to reread everything. If you must write quickly to keep up during lectures (who doesn’t?) then try setting aside time later on to re-write your notes legibly. It will pay off in the long run.

4. Be alert

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Pay attention to what times during the day you feel the most energized and motivated. Try to tailor your study sessions to these times during the day. Nothing is worse than trying to study with drooping eyelids! Plus, you probably won’t remember anything you read while you were tired anyway.

What are your sure-fire study tips? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Healthy Breakfast Options

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1. Greek Yogurt, Granola, and Berries

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 Greek yogurt is low in sugar, fat, and calories and is high in protein.  Adding granola and berries keeps it healthy and fulfilling.  This breakfast will keep you satisfied until lunch and is really good for you!  You’ll feel more alert and healthy with this in your system.

 2. Egg whites, avocado slices, and tomatoes on multigrain toast

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 Using egg whites eliminates a lot of the cholesterol in eggs, but you still get some good protein.  Avocado has a lot of nutrients in it and it’s delicious!  Avocados go great with eggs and tomatoes and the multigrain toast is a healthy alternative to white bread.

 3. Whole Wheat French Toast topped with Fresh Fruit

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 Use whole wheat bread brushed with egg wash (just whisk an egg together with cinnamon and a splash of vanilla) to make this French toast on a stove.  Top with cinnamon and your fruit of choice and light syrup and you’re good to go!  Using cinnamon for taste instead of sugar cuts the calories and cinnamon is pretty healthy.

4. Fruit, Yogurt, and Coconut Water Smoothies

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 Put fresh or frozen fruit in a blender with low fat or nonfat yogurt, ice, and coconut water and blend together.  This is a delicious and healthy option and it can be very filling.  The best part is that you have an endless amount of flavor options, so get creative!