Monday, March 31, 2014
A weekly trip to the grocery store can sometimes turn into a battle with your wallet when shopping on a tight budget. It is often easier to choose off the shelf or frozen food items which require minimal preparation but typically do not have much nutritional benefit. It is important to fuel our bodies with the nutrients provided by a well-balanced diet to enable us to keep up with the demands of everyday life. If Easy Mac with a side of Ramen Noodles has become a familiar meal, then it might be time to expand your grocery list. Most individuals would like to maintain a well-balanced diet, but the cost of local, nutritious foods can be prohibitive. Eighty five percent of low-income parents report that eating healthy meals is important to their families. Despite common misperceptions, it is possible to maintain a healthy diet while on a budget! Food skills, like smart shopping, can help individuals to overcome financial barriers. Low-income families that regularly plan meals, write grocery lists and budget for food tend to make healthy meals from scratch more often than those who do not.
SPIN (Students Promoting Information about Nutrition) is a peer education program designed to provide nutrition education to enhance the well-being of UNH students. The students of SPIN organized a tour of the Durham Marketplace on April 14th at 6:30 p.m. The tour guides will provide information about healthy alternatives that won’t break the banks, as well as simple recipe ideas - not to mention the many delicious free samples! Grocery shopping can be daunting task while on a tight budget, but resources such as this will help to inform individuals about meal planning and direct them to nutritious foods that don’t have the high cost. Students can register online through the following link and there is no charge for the program.
Friday, March 28, 2014
During the month of April, the UNH community as well as many other communities across the nation will be participating in Sexual Assault Awareness Month.The National Sexual Violence and Resource Center states that the Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to “raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.”
This April, UNH’s very own Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) will be organizing programs and events to engage students and the UNH community in standing up against sexual assault and violence across the campus.
Be sure to attend and participate in these events run by SHARPP this April!
UNH Anti-Violence Rally & Walk
Thursday, April 10th 12:30pm -2:00pm- Great Lawn in front of DeMeritt
This event welcomes UNH students, faculty, staff and other local community members to raise their voice on sexual assault and "step out to end violence at UNH.” Meet at the Great Lawn in front of DeMeritt at 12:30 and participate in a rally that walks around the UNH campus, as well as attend a reading of UNH’s Community Proclamation Against violence and a student call to action to end violence at UNH.
SHARPP Film Series
Invisible War: Tuesday, April 15, 2013, 6 - 8pm- MUB Theater I
Rape in the Fields: Thursday, April 17, 2013, 12:40 - 2pm- MUB Theater I
Wear ribbons to show support for taking a stand against sexual assault and violence.
For everyone:Wear a teal ribbon to show your support for sexual assault awareness during the month of April
For Men:Join the White Ribbon Campaign and make the pledge to end violence against women and show support by wearing a white ribbon during April
Be sure to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month and share information with your peers by liking the UNH SHARPP Facebook page and following the UNH SHARPP Twitter page, as well as stay updated on news and events!
For ANY concerns or questions about sexual assault and violence for yourself or others, be sure reach out and contact SHARPP for 24/7 information, resources and support.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I often times hear how important it is to be a “smart health care consumer.” As college students it can seem like a topic that is not relevant to us, but within the next four years we will be gradating and eventually looking for jobs. You may end up staying in the area or what if you make a huge move and end up in California? Once you graduate you have many decisions to make include one’s about health care. Who will be your doctor? What hospital will you go to in emergencies? If you are new to an area or starting to make health care decisions a great resource to check out is Hospital Compare.
Hospital Compare is a website published by Medicare that aids people in making health care choices. You can compare hospitals based on different categories such as surgery, heart attack, and pneumonia outcomes. The service’s hospitals provide are rated based on these categories: patient survey results, timely and effective care, readmissions, complications, death, and more.
Hospital Compare continues to expand and look at more services provided. It was created through The Hospital Quality Alliance and Medicare, which “was intended to make it easier for consumers to make informed health care decisions”. It is also a great idea to talk to people in the area and their experiences with local doctors and hospitals. Word of mouth can be a great way to find out what facility would suit your medical needs.
Monday, March 24, 2014
As spring approaches it is nice to spend some time outdoors enjoying the warm weather. I often find myself walking around Durham or Portsmouth with some friends where we like to catch up at our favorite restaurants. Eating out at a restaurant can be challenging for someone who is trying to eat healthier because of the large portion sizes and the added condiments and dressings. However, there are many ways to maintain healthy eating habits while enjoying time with friends or family at a restaurant. The following are some helpful and simple tips provided by the USDA to make your meals healthier:
- Substitute white for whole-wheat bread
- Start your meal with a salad to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner
- Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side
- Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of fried or sautéed
- If you’re with friends, share appetizers instead of ordering entrees
- Ask the waiter or waitress for a takeout box with your meal
Visit the USDA website for more tips on healthy eating while at restaurants. After practicing some of these suggestions you will no longer have to worry about sacrificing your healthy eating habits when going out to eat!
Friday, March 21, 2014
You may have seen the sisters of SIS performing at local events, such as UNH homecoming, Relay for Life and Apple Harvest Festival in Dover.For those of you aren’t familiar, Sisters in step is UNH’s premiere all female hip hop and step team.Formed over a decade ago, SIS is a student run organization consisting of twenty girls who share the goal of promoting sisterhood and unity through step.Step dancing is general term used to describe any form of dancing where the emphasis lies in the footwork.A lot of people tend to automatically envision the traditional Irish step dance, when they hear the term.The form of step dancing that SIS performs is referred to as "stepping" and has African roots.I have been dancing since I was two years old and joined Sisters in Step three years ago so I could continue my love of dance.
Taking up dance is not only a great way to get involved on campus, but a study conducted by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent medicine found a positive relationship between dance and improved mental health in young adolescent females. Researchers studied teenage girls struggling with problems including neck and back pain, stress, anxiety and depression. They found that exercise in the form of dance has been shown to promote positive feelings, enhance confidence to cope with problems, and increase confidence and self-control. Of course, you don’t have to be an experienced dancer to reap these health benefits. Consider taking up a fitness dance class at the gym or getting involved with one of the dance groups here on campus! Sisters in step holds annual auditions at the beginning of every fall semester.
Sisters in Step will be hosting their annual semester show this coming spring on May 9th and 10th at UNH’s Johnson theatre. This semester’s theme is “Disney Gone Bad: famous fairytales with a twist” and promises to be an entertaining night filled with music, comedy and dance. So be inspired and come check the ladies of SIS rock it out on stage! Additional information can be found on the UNH SIS Facebook page.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Healthy, yummy, and cheap??! Impossible you think, I’ll prove you wrong!
As college students, sometimes food can become a lesser priority when you have tests, assignments, work, and etc. If you live in an apartment on campus I have some tips on how to eat healthy while not breaking your budget!
- Make your own coffee/tea at home, and bring a travelers mug with you to class.Coffee is often very over priced at college campuses, try making your own!
- Try having a “family dinner”, have everyone bring different dishes and eat with a group of friends!(Try assigning everyone a different food group to have a balanced meal!)
- Invest in a crock-pot!These are great if you have classes all day, you can come home and have a meal ready!
- Left-overs are your friend!Try making more then you need that way you can freeze foods and reheat them when you are pressed for time!
- Canned and frozen vegetables and fruit are great options.They are usually cheaper, last longer, and just as nutritious!Don’t believe me?Check out this ABC news article.
- Plan your meals.If you know what you are making for the week it will make shopping easier and allow you to plan around your meals.
- Compare prices!Always check the unit price and price per pound to make sure you get the best deals!
- Try buying in season!Usually getting foods that are currently in season is a great way to save money.Get fruits and vegetables that are fresh from local venders all while supporting local business!
- Shop clearance.Grab a flyer when walking into supermarkets and look at what is on sale.Often times produce will have weekly deals!
- Try my spaghetti sauce recipe! I use the leftovers for ravioli, eggplant parmesan, and even stuffed peppers.
- Simmer on low in a crock-pot for 4-6 hours in a crock-pot.
- Combine: 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 can of crushed tomatoes. Add the vegetables and meat. Season as desired.
- Brown 1 pound of ground turkey.
- Sauté: 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, and 1 red onion.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Most people are aware of the physical health risks associated with smoking tobacco, but research shows that smoking can also have significant effects on an individual’s mental health. Many people turn to tobacco for temporary stress relief, but recent findings prove that smoking has adverse long-term mental health effects. Nicotine only produces temporary feelings of pleasure. Once the feelings diminish, withdrawal symptoms rapidly set in. Anxiety, irritability, impatience and anger may develop because the smoker still has a need for the effects of nicotine. The UK Mental Health Association states that there is evidence to support that smoking tobacco leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety. This can potentially lead to long-term mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia. Although many people with mental health issues say that they smoke to manage their symptoms, they usually begin smoking before their problems begin. Research conducted by The Journal of American Medical Association found that 44.3 percent of all cigarettes in America are used by individuals who live with mental illness or substance abuse disorders.
Since smoking is often used as a coping mechanism, it is important that individuals find alternative methods of dealing with their mental health issues if they are willing to quit. There is evidence to support the use of methods such as meditation or breathing exercises, acupuncture, reducing alcohol intake, eating a well-balanced diet and developing a strong support system. So before you reach for a cigarette, consider how it may affect your mental health.
National Kick Butts Day is being held at UNH this coming Tuesday March 19th in order to support the fight against tobacco. Healthy UNH will have a booth with activities to help teach faculty and staff about the cessation resources they have access to. The event will take place in the MUB from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Health care is a hefty expense in the United States, and over the years has contributed greatly to our nation’s debt. According to the article written by John Ydstie, the Congressional Budget Office recently stated that the deficit is about to be one-third the size in 2014 than it was in 2009, which prompted the Great Recession. The high cost of health care also threatens funding to government assistance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This poses a huge problem because in a country with a troubled economy, many people depend on government programs that provide them with services such as doctor and dental visits and food stamps at minimal to no cost.
So as college students, why should we care about high health costs or government assistance programs such as Medicare? Medicare is a program that provides health insurance for Americans adults 65 and older and as well as others. So thinking about our parents and grandparents, we hope that they will always have the opportunity to see a doctor or medical personnel if need be, and Medicare has the ability to provide just that. Thankfully, due to the recent decrease in health cost, the cuts to Medicare and other government assistance programs were not as deep as predicted. Maintaining a low health cost is essential to the growth and stability of these programs. There are many working individuals whose employers don’t offer a health care plan and are therefore stuck paying high costs for medical and dental visits. Overall lower health costs allows for a steady flow of funding to government assistance programs for those who would otherwise go without doctor visits when they need them. We all need to stay informed, because health care costs effect everyone.
Monday, March 10, 2014
January gym crowds and early semester stress can make working out seem like more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. Going to the gym can be a fantastic way to get fit, but it’s not the only way. You can participate in a variety of physical activities at home or outside that will give you the same health benefits and make exercise a fun part of your everyday life. They key is to find activities that correspond with your personal interests. Incorporating exercise into a more meaningful activity will not only enhance your overall sense of well-being, but will help you naturally adopt fitness into your lifestyle. Check out these fresh ideas to get your body in shape without setting foot in the gym!
- Hit the slopes: Embrace the winter season and spend a day at the mountains skiing with friends. Skiing is proven to enhance an individual’s physical and mental well-being. The winter sport not only increases strength and flexibility, but has been found to improve overall heart health. Adrenaline and endorphins are released into the blood, thereby elevating mood and offering a general sense of contentment and well-being. The cost of lift tickets can be expensive, but several local mountains offer special student discounts. You can get lift tickets at Mount Sunapee with a UNH ID for less than sixty dollars.
- Channel chores into fitness: Think about physical activity as a lifestyle choice rather than a single task to check off your to-do list. Adding movement or activity in small ways can add up to some extra exercise to help us stay healthy or lose weight. Go grocery shopping, use the stairs to do laundry, or clean out that apartment. Dance while cleaning: make dusting and vacuuming fun, healthy activities. Throw on sneakers and put on some upbeat music. If you want to increase the physical challenge, do some push-ups or squats every time a new song starts to play. This way you will get all the benefits of exercise, plus you’ll feel extra productive after a job well done!
- Get involved: Incorporate your interests and talents into your exercise routine. Participating in a sport or activity that you enjoy will improve your sense of self and help minimize any negative feelings towards exercise. If you were a high school athlete, recruit some friends and create an intermural team. If you need a creative outlet, there are many local classes and clubs to check out. Three Bridges Yoga is located in Durham and offers a monthly student pass that includes unlimited yoga classes for only thirty dollars. Or check out the yoga classes at Campus Rec or through Health Services!
Friday, March 7, 2014
What’s better than enjoying a nice cup of tea to either jumpstart your day or wind down at night?
Your routine cup of tea not only gives you a boost of energy in the morning or helps you relax before falling asleep at night, but it can also be very beneficial for you health! Recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health has shown that tea is full of antioxidants and flavonoids that can be good for you health and help protect against disease!
Benefits one can receive from drinking tea include:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Protection from cancer
- Reduced risk of hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Improved memory
While any tea is a great beverage choice when compared to sugary drinks or juices, try sticking to drinking green, black, white or oolong tea. These teas are classified as “real tea” and contain the maximum health benefits!
Be cautious when drinking tea at coffee shops, cafés, restaurants or any tea that is pre-brewed and packaged in bottles. These could contain added sweeteners and other harmful substances that could reduce all of the benefits that tea has to give. Always buy tea that can be brewed at home and either enjoyed warm right away, or chilled for cold iced tea later!
- Key Resources
- Physical Activity
- Mental Wellness
- Health Care Consumerism
- Cost Variation
- Appropriate Emergency Room Use
- Avoid Duplicate Radiologic Testing
- Increase Generic Drug Use
- Use Independent Labs
- Healthcare Spending
- Establish a Medical Home
- Understanding Health Insurance
- Using the Health Education Benefit on Campus
- USNH Benefit Resources
- Contact Us