How healthy is your relationship? Take the quiz

Reading Time: 5 minutes Is your partner’s behavior normal or a big red flag that they might be controlling or abusive? Take our quiz to see if you’re in a healthy relationship.

6 reasons to go to the career center today

Reading Time: 4 minutes How the career center can help you get a job.

Quiz: How much sugar are you actually consuming?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Take this quiz to learn which of your favorite food items have more sugar than others.

Upgrade your sleep: Simple bedroom solutions

Reading Time: 9 minutes From decor, to temperature, to white noise, fellow students offer their tips on how to make your bedroom a sleep-happy space.

UCookbook: Beans and greens burger

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rate this article and enter to win

Did you know frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh? We’ll show you how to use your frozen peas for more than icing down sore knees—like making a simple veggie burger that’s big on flavor and short on time.

Before we begin, let’s clear the air: Frozen vegetables are real vegetables. Besides being just as nutrient-rich as fresh vegetables, according to recent research, they’re also way more affordable, require less prep, and can hang out in the back of the freezer without turning all sorts of moldy. Now that’s something we can get behind. 

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, drained and squeezed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup diced onion, frozen or fresh
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Optional

  • 2 teaspoons your favorite herbs or seasonings (suggestion: thyme, parsley, or sage)
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs, plus extra if needed to bind the burger together
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whole-wheat hamburger buns

Directions

  1. Defrost spinach, strain out excess moisture, and squeeze dry with paper towels.
  2. Mash drained and rinsed beans with a fork to make a thick paste.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and form mixture into 4–6 patties.
  4. Lightly coat a skillet with oil. Cook patties on medium heat for 3–4 minutes each side, until browned.
  5. Serve on whole-wheat hamburger buns. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

defrosted spinach

Those wonderful white beans are fiber filled and protein packed. The spinach contains high amounts of Vitamins K and A, and the onions add Vitamin C to your diet.

mashed chick peas

ingredients in bowl

patty in skillet

plated veggie burger

Recipe review

Scott V.Scott V.
Third-year student at St. Louis University School of Law, Missouri 

Finding a low-sodium, high-nutrient meal that still makes me excited for dinner is not easy, but this recipe meets the criteria. I especially appreciate the level of flavor because of how healthy it is.

Cost?
star rating: 1 out of 5
The total cost was about $20, which is fairly expensive, but you might have many of the ingredients on hand already if you cook regularly.

Taste?
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I added some different seasonings (sage and parsley) to play with the flavor profile. Next time, I want to try a more Southwest style, with red pepper flakes, cumin, cayenne pepper, etc.

Prepared and photographed by Joanna Carmona

Adapted from:
https://naturallyella.com/chickpea-and-spinach-veggie-burgers/
https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012989-white-bean-burgers

[survey_plugin]

How to have an actively awesome summer: Turn your fitness dreams into reality

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Rate this article and enter to win
We tend to anticipate summer as if it’s a magical stress-free season in which we finally get to do all the things. In a recent CampusWell survey, nine out of ten students who responded said they plan or hope to be routinely physically active through the warmer months. But reality happens (even in this fantasy season), and unless you look out for your fitness, it may accidentally fall off your to-do list.

Behavioral research shows that when we make a plan, we’re more likely to meet our goals. What else helps? Doing what we enjoy. Involving friends or accountability partners. Anticipating obstacles and how we’ll get around them. Setting realistic goals. Here’s how to get into a summer fitness mindset that sticks:

Print the potent, powerful, practical plan for an actively awesome summer

  • Click the buttons below. Fill out your plan, thinking about the possibilities. As you do this, you’ll have ideas and gain clarity about what can work for you this summer.
  • Go back through your plan, highlight your best options, and figure out what needs to happen first (e.g., reservations, research, or getting gear).
  • If your summer divides into phases—e.g., six weeks interning, one week of vacation, four weeks working—fill out a plan for each phase.

Think about your summer surroundings and how you can use them to be physically active:

  • Will you be near the beach?
  • Is there a park with biking or walking trails nearby? Frisbee golf? Basketball hoop?
  • Climbing wall or adventure playground for grown-ups?
  • Will you have access to a pool? A public one? Or your nice neighbor’s pool (the neighbor who works all day so it won’t be weird)?
  • How about a river or lake? A horse ranch? Maybe a trampoline studio?
  • Or is there only farmland and vast nothingness?
  • Working in a cubicle with room (just) for bodyweight moves, like tricep pushups against a cabinet? Can you walk or bike to your job or internship?
  • Do you have any equipment—e.g., weights, an exercise ball, yoga blocks, a treadmill?
  • Do you have a summer gym or club membership? Can you go with a friend or family member as their guest?
  • What about weekends? Will your options expand? Will you be going on vacation this summer? What does that offer (e.g., fitness classes at a resort, or access to trails)?

Will you have lots of time, some time, or basically no time at all? Even if you have just a few minutes each day, you’ll still benefit from making a plan. Always put your fitness plans onto your calendar to protect that time.

My summer is…

  • Sporadic: I can likely manage 20 minutes in the morning and/or half an hour later in the day.
  • Inconsistent: My schedule will vary, so I need to look at my availability in those different circumstances.
  • Completely scheduled: GRE prep at 9 a.m., internship at 11 a.m., and then work from 3–8. (I live and die by my iCal.) I need ways to incorporate physical activity into my work day and the transitions between activities.
  • Hectic: I could heroically multitask while watching TV or making my English-muffin pizza, and I can make sure my time with friends and family involves physical activity.
  • Chill: I’m going to have time on my hands, and need to figure out how not to squander it.
  • Time out: I’ll have more time on the weekends or when I go on vacation, allowing for more ambitious plans.
  • Hazy: I don’t have firm plans yet, so I’ll keep my fitness options open and collect ideas.
  • Unconventional: I’m working night shifts; I’ll need to incorporate physical activity into that.

What do you actually like doing? Which physical activity has given you a smidgen of pleasure in the past?

  • Fitness class? Which one?
  • Swimming? Lake, ocean, or pool?
  • Weights? Jump rope? Tug of war? (fun fact: it used to be an Olympic sport)
  • High-intensity stuff, like Insanity® workouts?
  • Biking? Roads or trails?
  • Rollerblading?
  • Hitting your daily step goal?
  • Running? Roads, trails, or treadmill? With or without your neighbor’s dog?
  • Creative workouts at home (e.g., marching and lunging while watching TV)
  • Hiking? Backpacking? Climbing? Getting rugged?
  • Group sports (e.g., Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, softball, soccer)
  • Nothing. Help me.

Is there an activity that you’ve wanted to try? Can you give it a go this summer? (Yes, you probably can.)

For example:

  • A ropes course with zip lines and whatnot
  • Bouldering or rock climbing
  • A zombie run, Color Run, or obstacle race (maybe one that routes you through a sprinkler)
  • Outdoor yoga, hot yoga, or a yoga retreat
  • Boot camp or Frisbee golf in the park
  • Beach volleyball? Ultimate Frisbee? Flag football? Kickball?
  • A sprint triathlon, 10k, half marathon, or other event
  • A lifting or dance contest
  • Stand-up paddleboarding, water skiing, kayaking, surfing, whitewater rafting, sailing, or other cool watery thing
  • A hut-to-hut or tent-to-tent hike over several days
  • Aerial or pole fitness classes
  • Something that gets you out into the hills, like horseback riding, trail running, or geocaching
  • Throwing on 1980s ankle weights and rocking out to YouTube workout videos by Richard Simmons

Think about how much money you’ll realistically be able to spend on fitness this summer.

  • Can you afford a summer membership to a gym or club? (Don’t forget about student discounts.)
  • Could you purchase a wearable tracker? If not, you can probably manage a fitness app that tracks your activity and encourages you along the way.
  • What’s the cost of that yoga weekend or race entry fee?
  • Will you need gear? Would it make sense to acquire some free weights for those TV workouts, or can your cat serve as a 12 lb dumbbell?
  • Does your YMCA have classes at reduced prices for students?
  • What’s the rental fee for a paddleboard or kayak?

What has helped you be active in the past? What or who could help you this summer?

  • Can you recruit a friend or acquaintance to do this with you?
  • Will posting workouts on social media or blogging about your fitness adventures help keep you off the couch?
  • Are you into color-coded spreadsheets with daily or weekly goals?
  • Would it help if you had a reward system? What kind of rewards?
  • Do fitness trackers or apps work for you? Do you respond to a daily step goal, goofy award badges, and a leaderboard?
  • Have you embraced calendar reminders and alerts on your phone?
  • Do you follow physically active people on Instagram or Twitter?
  • Would committing to a race or other event help get you out there?
  • Do you need a group (e.g., a team or fitness class) with a set schedule?
  • What are the local options for making this social? Check out Meetup and the November Project. Ask your social media networks about informal teams and groups. Look at outdoor organizations for guided hikes and explorations.
  • Have you checked out online fitness videos ranging from Insanity® to yoga?

November Project

Appalachian Mountain Club

Meetup

What do you want to achieve this summer?

And what can you realistically achieve this summer?

Which moderate goals will help you get into a groove you can maintain in the fall?

For example:

  • Train for a specific race in late summer or fall (don’t wait to sign up for your spot)
  • Learn 5–10 new yoga poses
  • Be active every day (active can be a 10-minute walk)
  • Swim the width of the lake and back
  • Complete a set of 10 pushups without stopping
  • Get to 10,000 steps, five days a week
  • Skinny-dip in a high-altitude lake
  • Go for a bike ride every weekend
  • Try a new HIIT routine every week
  • Run four track laps without stopping
  • Make it up and down Mt. Washington in a day

What demands or inconveniences could get in the way of your summer fitness plan? How can you keep moving anyway?

  • Do you often stay up late? Could you go to bed earlier and wake up for a quick morning workout?
  • Has your bike been neglected in the garage for a year? Does it need a tune-up, lights, or a lock?
  • How can you safeguard your time for staying active?
  • Did you want to try backpacking but don’t have cooking equipment? Could you borrow or rent what you need? Or sell your old gear to fund new stuff?
  • Working all summer? How can you use the workspace (desk, floor, stairs)? Can you walk, bike, or run to work (even part way)?
  • You’ll be tired by the end of the day and may look for excuses. Can you arrange a squash game or hoops session with friends in the evening?
  • Are you caring for someone else this summer? Can you swing a half-hour to do yoga in the yard or run a few laps around the block?
  • Will your summer involve transitions? What fitness goals and activities can help you keep moving through those phases?
  • Do you live in a zombie-infested neighborhood? Could you whip up a stronghold around your house to keep them out?

Which activities? We know what you’ll do this summer

Activity + % of students who expect to do this frequently or regularly in summer

Hiking or walking 70%
Bodyweight moves (e.g., crunches, squats) 64%
Strength training 56%
Cardio machines  56%
Running 51%
Swimming 44%
Yoga/martial arts/gymnastics 44%
Team sport (e.g., soccer) 42%
Dance 37%
Biking or cycling 33%
Boating or water activity 33%
Solo/pair sport (e.g., tennis) 33%

Source: Student Health 101 survey, February 2016. 1,500 students answered this question. Not representative of students nationally.

Students’ stories: Students tell us what they’re up for

“Summers are great for hiking (to a camping spot, a fishing hole, or just for the view at the top), swimming (in a lake, in a pool, to get to an island to hang out on for the day), water sports (water skiing, wake-boarding, tubing), beach volleyball, surfing, body boarding, scuba diving.” —Olivia W., fourth-year undergraduate, Montana Tech of the University of Montana“I picked up archery a couple of summers back and have returned every summer since. This year, I already have plans to pick up paintball/airsoft, and the way I’ve been introduced to that was very physical. I’m excited!”
—Max S., fourth-year undergraduate, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota

“I had a summer internship near campus. I started rock climbing at the indoor gym, and I loved it! It was physically demanding but really fun, and that kept me going back. For the first time, I started to see my muscles grow, and I felt good about myself and about my physical wellbeing. I got to know a lot of people. That summer was so important to me because I finally found a physical activity that I loved and that helped me learn to love and take care of myself.”
—Nicole H., first-year graduate student, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York

“I want to learn to surf, but I’ll also be stacking hay bales for work as well as going for a family run, playing some pickup sports with friends, working out with my old football team, or finding a trampoline park or gym to mess around in.”
—Bryson S., first-year undergraduate, Old Dominion University, Virginia

“I have tried hiking more, and I incorporated fishing. Instead of getting in a boat, I decided to hike to a stream or river into the woods, stopping to fish now and then. The breaks give me downtime that is positive. I really lose track of time and distance that I have gone.”
—Emily L., third-year undergraduate, University of New England, Maine

“Freeletics [individualized high-intensity training via an app] has been an awesome thing. It helps me work out in my lab. It just needs 2×2 meters of space and you’re good to go! It is quite literally a community and we help each other out.”
—Rishabh T., second-year graduate student, Creighton University, Nebraska

“Obstacle course races! I do quite a few of them over the summer now, after [getting] hooked two summers ago!”
—Rachel S., fourth-year undergraduate, Oregon Institute of Technology

“I’d like to get back into the routine of doing outdoor boot camp workouts. Being around other people really keeps you motivated. Running events are fun, whether a 5k or half marathon with friends and family.”
—Ben G., fourth-year undergraduate, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Pennsylvania

“I have joined a Bikram yoga studio. I began commuting [by bike] to work last summer (6-mile round trip). I even joined a CrossFit studio. I’m training for a half marathon, and this summer I would like to focus on building muscle.”
—Vikas B., third-year undergraduate, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

Protein-packed pancakes

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (if cottage cheese gives you the creeps, substitute Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

The egg whites are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, the cottage cheese adds calcium to your diet, and the rolled oats are full of fiber.

Optional toppings

  • ½ banana or a cup of berries
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter, fruit spread, Nutella (don’t overdo it), or another spread

Directions

  1. Place all of the ingredients (minus the toppings) into a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth-ish.
  2. Heat the frying pan on medium heat with 2 Tbsp. oil or a nonstick spray.
  3. Measure out about ¼ cup of the pancake batter and place it on the frying pan. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn the pancake over. When it’s cooked on both sides, move it to a covered dish to keep warm. Keep pancaking until the batter runs out.
  4. Stack up the pancakes and serve with sliced banana and almond butter on top—or whatever toppings work for you. Take your pics for Instagram, but don’t get so carried away with your artistry that your food gets cold.

Place all of the ingredients (minus the toppings) into a blenderHeat the frying panPlace the pancake batter on the frying panStack up the pancakes and servePrepared and photographed by Joanna Carmona

Recipe review

Pancakes are a delicious way to start the day (or end the day) (or add an enjoyable diversion to any part of the day). Pancakes needn’t be all about the carbs. This easy, high-protein recipe uses whole foods, avoiding protein powder (which can be high in sugar and additives, and more expensive than actual food).

Katrina FlandersKatrina Flanders
fourth-year graduate student, University of Victoria, British Columbia

“I try to eat as healthy as I can but that doesn’t always happen. This recipe seemed easy enough to make with very little prep. Plus it’s cost effective and tasty—and healthy (besides the chocolate chips I added). I’ll definitely be making these again!”

Cost
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I had almost everything I needed already, but even so, this is a pretty inexpensive breakfast to make.

Taste
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I was a little skeptical at first, but they were very good! Not too dense, super filling, and very flavorful due to the vanilla and cinnamon. I used Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese.

Download this recipe now

Your perfect plate: All the things in one easy recipe

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Rate this article and enter to win
Every so often, a dish comes along that fulfills all your nutritional requirements in one go. This is that moment. Say hello to pineapple fried rice.

Pineapple fried rice offers everything you need for a balanced meal: fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, and healthy protein. It incorporates several foods from plants, along with a moderate serving of chicken—leaner and healthier than red meat. (Alternatively, use shrimp, tofu, or tempeh.) And it’s easy to make.

How to eat simply in a complicated food world

We live in a world full of competing nutritional claims, evolving scientific findings, and various pyramids, pie charts, and plates. How to filter all that info and translate it into simple, healthy meals isn’t always obvious. At SH101, these two guidelines helped us do it—and showed us, in the end, the glory of pineapple fried rice.

1. Avoid getting hung up on popular food dogmas

“Don’t get caught in the weeds by thinking healthy means non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, or ‘natural,’” says Dr. Christine Rosenbloom, nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. Instead, choose foods close to their original state: “an apple instead of apple juice, or lean grilled steak instead of bacon or hot dogs, and load up your plate with veggies and healthy carbs.” (Healthy carbs include brown rice, quinoa, seeds, vegetables, and whole fruits.)

2. Find a guide from a neutral source and get to know it

For example, to help us untangle the mess of nutritional advice out there, Harvard School of Public Health created the Healthy Eating Plate. This is an alternative to MyPlate, created by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our recipe for pineapple fried rice fulfills the criteria of the Healthy Eating Plate.

Why did Harvard decide to design a new plate? Because experts at Harvard noticed some gaps in MyPlate. In addition, they wanted to promote nutritional recommendations based fully in scientific research, free of food industry influence.

What changed and why? Check out the two plates side-by-side

How pineapple fried rice captures all the elements of the Healthy Eating Plate

Harvard healthy eating plate

Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Healthy oils
Canola, olive, coconut, or sunflower oil for cooking the veggies

Vegetables
Carrots, peas, bell pepper, onion, broccoli, and scallions

Fruits
Pineapple

Whole grains
Brown rice

Healthy protein
Chicken, tofu, or tempeh

Experts and students: “Simple strategies for eating well”

Swap out ingredients

“Instead of saying, ‘I’ll give up pizza,’ try leaner meat toppings like turkey pepperoni or lean ham with lots of veggies such as peppers, tomato, or mushrooms. Better yet, watch YouTube videos on how to make simple meals and learn how to cook,” says Dr. Rosenbloom.

Step up your pasta

“Invest in a spiralizer ($20 from large chain stores) to make nutrient-packed noodles from vegetables like zucchini, sweet potato, carrots, turnips, and more. Another option is to buy pre-packed pasta made from other ingredients, such as corn or beans, which can pack in more protein, fiber, and nutrients,” says Sonya M., a third-year undergraduate at Northern Illinois University.

Snack healthy

“Make trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and wholegrain breakfast cereals. This is a great snack that you can carry with you that will help decrease the urge to stop and buy candy or chips,” says Dr. Koch.

Get colorful

“When I was in Katimavik [a Canadian volunteer program], we had to cook using the ‘five-color’ rule. There had to be five different-colored foods for each meal, and two foods that were the same color wouldn’t count (e.g., cauliflower and pasta are both white). We’d use things like red onions (purple) instead of white; yellow, orange, and red peppers instead of green; and sweet potatoes instead of regular,” says Ashe M., second-year undergraduate at Lakehead University in Ontario.

Eat before eating

“I may have an appetizer and drink water so I don’t overeat when I get my meal,” says Martin M., a second-year undergraduate at San Bernardino Valley College in California.

The meal that has it all: What works about pineapple fried rice?

“Pineapple fried rice is a nutritious recipe because it has so many different foods from plants and a small amount of healthy animal protein from the chicken,” says Dr. Pamela Koch, executive director, associate research professor, and registered dietitian at the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy at Columbia University, New York.

Plate of all the ingredients: Pineapple, chicken, brown rice, onion, peas, red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, and scallionsChicken: Lean protein containing the building blocks needed to form lean muscle mass and help us feel full

Pineapple: High in Vitamin C (for tissue growth and repair)

Carrots: Rich in beta-carotene, converted into Vitamin A in the body (for immune function, reproduction, vision, and cell activity)

Peas: Quality carbs (for energy and for fiber, which lowers disease risk) and additional protein (to repair and build cells)

Red bell pepper: High in Vitamin C and Vitamin A

Onion: Rich in sulfuric compounds and antioxidants (various health benefits)

Scallions: Good source of Vitamin C and potassium (various health benefits)

Broccoli: Contains Vitamins A and C

Precooked brown rice: Wholegrain, with more nutrients and fiber than white rice

Print or save your step-by-step guide to pineapple fried rice

[survey_plugin] Article sources

Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN, nutrition professor emerita, Georgia State University.

Pamela Koch, EdD, RD, executive director, associate research professor, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Columbia University, New York.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2011). Healthy Eating Plate & Healthy Eating Pyramid. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate/

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2011). Healthy Eating Plate vs. USDA’s MyPlate. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate-vs-usda-myplate/

Senyei, K. (2013, July 31). Pineapple chicken fried rice. [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.justataste.com/easy-pineapple-chicken-fried-rice-recipe/

Next-level grilled cheese (and you’ll want fries with that)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Rate this article and enter to win
Are you a master or disaster in the kitchen? Most likely, you’re somewhere in between. If the thought of moving beyond the microwave creeps you out, that’s all the more reason to get the hang of basic cooking techniques and quickie recipes.

Your healthier, prep-it-yourself options go way beyond salads (not dissing salads—just saying). Want some grilled cheese with those fries? Here we demo a revamped version of the classic American comfort meal.

Gooey cheese melted between two slices of bread: Can it get any better than that? Actually, it can.

How we made this grilled cheese healthy

Veggies
The fresh tomato adds a burst of flavor, Vitamins A and C, and lycopene, an antioxidant. We’re sneaking in a bit of spinach too, because it’s packed with nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, Vitamins A and C, folate, and fiber. You can hardly taste the spinach, so even if greens aren’t your thing, this likely will be.

Bread
Go for a whole-wheat or wholegrain bread. This crisps up nicely like a grilled cheese should, provides a sturdy base to balance the melting cheese, and adds fiber and antioxidants. Look for bread that has wholegrains or whole-wheat flour listed as the first ingredient and contains at least 3 g of fiber and 3 g of protein with little to no added sugar (aim for less than 3 g of sugar) per serving.

Cheese
What’s not to love? Cheese is flavorful, it melts into ooey gooey glory, and it tastes ridiculously good. It’s got protein and calcium, but it falls a little short on the healthfulness factor due to the high fat and calorie content. The solution? Choose a strongly flavored cheese, so a little goes a long way. Our favorite for grilled cheese is sharp cheddar. Other options: Swiss, pepper jack (for a spicy kick), goat (if you’re feeling adventurous), or crumbled feta. You can also use dairy-alternative cheeses made from soy or almond.

Directions

  1. Rinse the tomato under running water because you never know.
  2. Cut it into slices.
  3. Assemble the sandwich. Use two thin slices of sharp cheddar (or whichever cheese), tomato slices, and a handful of baby spinach leaves.
  4. Spray or spread a thin layer of oil in the frying pan. Turn a burner on to medium-high heat and let the pan heat up for 1–2 minutes.
  5. Place your sandwich in the pan. Using a spatula,  press down on it to ensure the underside is crisping up.
  6. Periodically check the bottom of the sandwich. You want it to turn brown but not burn. Once it’s a crisp brown color, flip the sandwich and reduce the heat to medium-low. If you find that your bread is turning brown very quickly, turn the heat down further. Once the second side is brown, flip the sandwich over again and heat for another 30 seconds, or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Remove the sandwich from the pan, slice it in half, and artfully arrange it with the oven fries for your Instagram pic.
  8. Eat. Savor. Be happy. Watch those likes accumulate.

TomatoSlicing a tomatoUncooked sandwich assembledGrilling the sandwich on a frying panFinished sandwich on plate with french fries

Oven-baked fries

Who doesn’t love their french fries soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside? But that frying thing is so 10 years ago. Try this much- better-for-you baked version.

This recipe is what you’ve been looking for—the ideal way to recognize World Cancer Day (February 4) and National Wear Red Day (February 5), organized by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Right? Way to let those awareness days keep you alive and kicking (as in kickboxing) longer.

Make these fries at home or school, and bake instead of fry them. Baking your fries removes that whole restaurant-trans-fat situation (the worst type of fat for your health) and reduces the amount of fats and calories overall. Deep-frying foods in oil—the way most french fries are cooked—adds a load of fat and increases your risk of chronic health issues, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Also, you won’t set the kitchen on fire.

Ingredients

Serving size: 2

  • 1 Russet potato (the long brown kind) or sweet potato (higher in nutrients than a regular potato)
  • Canola or olive oil (the spray cans work great, or you can use the regular liquid version)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • Spices & herbs if desired (try any combination of rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or oregano)

Supplies you’ll need

  • A sharp knife for chopping
  • Chopping board
  • One large baking sheet
  • An oven (toaster or conventional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. A toaster oven works for this too (use the conventional oven or bake setting).
  2. Rinse the potato under running water, and scrub with a clean brush or dish towel.
  3. Chop the potatoes into matchstick shape (as shown).
  4. Lightly oil a baking pan with olive or canola oil. Alternatively, line the baking pan with parchment paper (no oil needed) or aluminum foil (needs oil). Spread the fries out on the pan.
  5. Drizzle a small amount of oil (1 Tbsp.) or spray oil over the top of the fries, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if desired). Mix the fries around so they are evenly coated. Spread the fries into a single layer so that they aren’t touching—this helps them crisp up more.
  6. Bake for 25–30 minutes. Halfway through, use a spatula to flip them over and make sure they are cooking evenly. The fries are done when the edges are browned and they’re as crispy as you like.
  7. Remove the fries from the oven. If desired, toss them in your favorite herbs or spices, such as garlic powder and rosemary. Serve them with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

Slicing potatoesSlicing potatoes furtherA potato half slicedFully sliced ptotato

 

 

Sliced fries going into ovenSliced fries on panFinished plate with grilled cheese and fries

[survey_plugin] Article sources

Photography by Joanna Carmona

American Heart Association. (n.d.). Trans fats. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Trans-Fats_UCM_301120_Article.jsp#.Voq4smQrIsk

Cahill, L. E., Pan, A., Chiuve, S. E., Sun, Q., et al. (2014). Fried-food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease: A prospective study in 2 cohorts of US women and men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(2), 667–675.

Colorado State University. (2015). Colorado spinach. Retrieved from https://farmtotable.colostate.edu/docs/spinachfactsheet.pdf

Harvard Health Publications. (2015, February 3). The truth about fats: The good, the bad, and the in-between. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good

MedlinePlus. (n.d.). Food label guide for whole wheat bread. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/19343.htm

TeensHealth. (2014, September). Which bread is better: Whole wheat or whole grain? Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/grains.html

United States Department of Agriculture. (2012, October). Tomatoes, fresh. Household USDA Foods Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_TOMATOES_FRESH_Oct2012.pdf

University of California Berkeley. (n.d.). Is cheese bad for your health? Berkeley Wellness. Retrieved from https://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/slideshow/cheese-bad-your-health

Bean burrito bowl

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This quickie lunch is all about whole foods. No, not the grocery store chain. We’re talking ingredients that stay as close as possible to their natural state. Here, we’re featuring a vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, veggies, and rice. Eating whole foods ensures we get the maximum amount of nutrients without the additives found in processed foods.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce (any variety)
  • 1 cup microwavable pre-cooked brown rice (choose one that has no additives)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ avocado, cubed
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne (ground red pepper)

Toppings

  • 2 Tbsp. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro

Alternatives

Add chicken, use kale instead of lettuce, swap brown rice for quinoa, or roast your vegetables instead of leaving them raw. Not into cheddar? Sprinkle on some Cotija or Monterey Jack instead.

Directions

1   Chop up the lettuce, bell pepper, and avocado.

2   Drain and rinse the black beans. Add the cumin and cayenne pepper. Sauté on low heat until the food is warm.

3   Heat the brown rice in the microwave.

4   Combine the warm ingredients (the black beans and rice) with the lettuce, pepper, avocado, and salsa.

5   Add your toppings (cheese, lime juice, cilantro, and so on) and mix everything together.

Nutrition tips: Those black beans contain fiber and protein to keep you satisfied. The bell pepper gives you a big dose of Vitamin C, and avocado is one of those fats that tastes amazing and is good for you.

Ingredients laid outBlack beans
Bowl of ingredientsFinal bowl


Recipe review

Richard

Richard Buote

PhD candidate in medicine (community health), Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador

 

These black bean burrito bowls are a great solution to those nights I don’t feel like cooking. This recipe is super quick, satisfying, and delicious. As a health-conscious student on a budget, this is a perfect weeknight meal.

CostRating: Three out of five stars

This recipe gives you about three meals for $20, but there are ways to reduce that. Dried black beans and rice are cheaper than the prepared versions.

TasteRating: Four out of five stars

So yummy; I will definitely be making this again. I’d like to try it with the addition of some other vegetables like red onion and roasted sweet potato.

Photos and text by Joanna Carmona 

Rethinking salad: How to eat happy

Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Rate this article and enter to win
Happiness is…a salad? Before you count us out as weirdos with a concerning affection for kale, let us explain. What we eat can affect our moods for up to two days afterward, research shows.

Undergraduates who ate foods high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium reported feeling moody and blah in the aftermath, said Dr. Helen Hendy, a psychologist at Pennsylvania State University, in the journal Appetite (2012).

But students who ate fruits and vegetables felt happier until the following day, even after other influences had been ruled out, according to “Many Apples a Day Keep the Blues Away” (2013), a British study.

So go ahead and get your greens on with our Ultimate Easy Happy Salad. We’ll tell you what to do and why it works, and you’ll be a believer in no time.

Click each to learn more:

Typical cost

$1.50 per 16 oz. pack

How they work

Vitamin E stimulates dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of reward and pleasure. Pairing complex carbs (e.g., veggies) with a healthy source of protein and fat (e.g., hummus) allows the natural sugars to release slowly, enabling blood sugar levels to remain stable and keeping you satisfied longer.

Happy bonus

Vitamin A is here too, and is good for our skin.

How to eat

Dip in hummus or ranch dressing; add shredded carrots to stir-fries or salads.


Typical cost

$2.50 per 8 oz. pack

How it works

Vitamins B6, B9, and C, and omega-3s help synthesize mood-boosting brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Happy bonus

Antioxidants help us resist disease.

How to eat

Sauté, add to smoothies, or use in our Ultimate Easy Happy Salad.


Typical cost

$1.25 for a navel orange

How they work

Vitamin C boosts energy levels by aiding iron absorption; Vitamin B6 and B9 (folate) appear to protect us from depression; thiamine is linked to improved mood.

Happy bonus

Vitamin C protects the immune system (but won’t cure your cold).

How to eat

Peel, chomp, wipe fingers.


Typical cost

$6.00 for a 6.5 oz. tub

How they work

Zinc and omega-3 fatty acids promote calm. Vitamin B9 (folate) appears to protect us from depression.

Happy bonus

Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation and disease risk.

How to eat

From the packet—or crack ’em open. One serving of nuts is approximately 1 oz. (a handful)—about 14 walnut halves.


Make it: Ultimate Easy Happy Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. spinach, washed, trimmed, and dried (1 bunch)
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • Orange vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Directions

  1. Mix soy sauce and walnuts. Roast for 15 minutes at 350° F (175° C) or until golden.
  2. Mix spinach greens, shredded carrots, and roasted walnuts together.
  3. Toss lightly in vinaigrette.

Orange vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • Juice of two navel oranges
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Peel oranges and squeeze juice into a mason jar or small container with lid.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake until combined.
  4. Store the excess, or use as a marinade.
Download the recipe

[survey_plugin] Article sources

Carol Landau, PhD, clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior and medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Abou-Saleh, M. T., & Coppen, A. (2006). Folic acid and the treatment of depression. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 61(3), 285–287. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2006.07.00

Coppen, A., & Bolander-Gouaille, C. (2005). Treatment of depression: Time to consider folic acid and Vitamin B12. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 19(1), 59–65.

Hakkarainen, R., Partonen, T., Haukka, J., Virtamo, J., et al. (2004). Is low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids associated with depression? American Journal of Psychiatry, 161(3), 567–569. Retrieved https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14992986

Hendy, H.M. (2012). Which comes first in food—mood relationships, foods or moods? Appetite, 58(2), 771–775. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.11.014

Hopf, S.M. (2011). You are what you eat: How food affects your mood. [Blog post.] Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. Retrieved from https://dujs.dartmouth.edu/fall-2010/you-are-what-you-eat-how-food-affects-your-mood#.UzluXleqSFh

Hvas, A. M., Juul, S., Bech, P., & Nexo, E. (2004). Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 73(6), 340–343.

Kimiecik, J. (2011). Exploring the promise of eudaimonic well-being within the practice of health promotion: The “how” is as important as the “what.” Journal of Happiness Studies, 12(5), 769–792. doi:DOI 10.1007/s10902-010-9226-6

Peet, M., & Stokes, C. (2005). Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Drugs, 65(8), 1051–1059.

Prices from Peapod/Stop&Shop. Retrieved August 2016 from: www.peapod.com.

Sawada, T., & Yokoi, K. (2010). Effect of zinc supplementation on mood states in young women: A pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64; 331–333. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.158

Swardfager, W., Herrmann, N., & McIntyre, R. S. (2013). Potential roles of zinc in the pathophysiology and treatment of major depressive disorder. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, 37(5), 911–929.

White, B., Horwath, C., & Conner, T. S. (2013). Many apples a day keep the blues away—daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults. British Journal of Health Psychology, 18(4), 782–798.

Wyatt, K. M., Dimmock, P. W., & Jones, P. W. (1999). Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of PMS. British Journal of Medicine, 318(7195), 1375–1381.