Healthy UNH Blogger: Jenna Lindsey Channell, All Entries

How To Have a Safe Winter Workout

Friday, February 21, 2014
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

If you’re like me, you can’t stand being cooped up inside for a workout. When I go home for winter break, I do not have a gym membership and all I have available to me is a treadmill and bike in my dark basement. I crave the fresh air and even if the temperature is freezing, I will be outside running or walking. But working outside can put your health and well being at risk. You need to be safe, and if you have any conditions like asthma, heart problems, please contact your doctor for approval to work out in the cold weather

Make sure you wear layers. Don’t dress too warmly and don’t wear a tank top and shorts. You need a happy medium. Wear a tank top under a t-shirt, under a long sleeve, under a sweatshirt. If you dress too warmly, you can start sweating and you will eventually become chilled if you cannot remove layers to prevent profuse sweating. By wearing layers, you can prevent getting a chill. You can remove layers as soon as you begin sweating. Avoid cotton as it holds moisture. You can wear a scarf around your mouth as well to warm the air before you breath it in so that the cold air is not so harsh on your lungs.

Protect your extremities like your hands, feet and ears. When it is cold out, your body wants to keep your core warm, where your important organs are located. This leaves your hands and feet with less blood flow. Layer on gloves, and socks to prevent frostbite. Remember that layers apply here as well. Remove a layer of gloves or socks if you being to sweat. Make sure to wear a headband, earmuffs, or hat to protect your ears.

If the weather falls below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, please consider staying indoors to exercise. With wind chills, the cold wind can break right through your layers of clothing and hit your skin. The wind chill could affect any exposed skin like your face or nose and put you at risk for frostbite. 

Wear clothing that is reflective if you are exercising at night, shoes that have some sort of grip if you are running or walking on snow or ice, and wear a helmet and joint pads if you are skiing or snow boarding.  

Tagged In: Exercise, Fitness, gloves, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, layers, protection, wind chill, winter

Independent Labs

Thursday, February 13, 2014
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Have you ever been sent to a lab by your physician for blood work? If the lab is not affiliated with a hospital, it is an independent lab. Quest Diagnostics is one example of an independent lab. Independent labs have no association with hospitals. If you have blood drawn at an independent lab, the results will be sent back to your physician just like they would be if you were to get blood drawn at a hospital lab.

The biggest difference between labs is that a CBC (complete blood count) at an independent lab can cost $15 whereas a CBC at a hospital lab can cost around $150. That is a difference of $135 for the exact same test! What a savings!

Quest Diagnostics for example, offers over 3,000 different diagnostic lab tests and works alongside more than half of the physicians in our country. Not only does Quest Diagnostics provide diagnostic testing, but it also provides wellness programs to workplaces around the country to help improve the health of employees and reduce the use of illegal drugs to lower health care costs. By using an independent lab you can lower your health care costs dramatically. Quest Diagnostics has locations in New Hampshire and appointments can be made online. 

Tagged In: diagnostic lab tests, diagnostics, health costs, Healthy UNH, independent lab, Jenna Channell, lab, Quest Diagnostics, save, Savings

Soy, Oh Boy!

Friday, February 7, 2014
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Soy has been getting a lot of attention in the nutrition world. Not only is it delicious as chocolate milk, but also emerging studies are finding some incredible health benefits. Foods made with soy can potentially lower cholesterol, lower the risk of breast and prostate cancer, help with weight loss, and help prevent osteoporosis. A plant-made estrogen, called may be the magic ingredient that can help cause all of these health benefits. 

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, studies show that by eating soy, there may be a 20% reduction in the chance of getting cardiovascular disease; including stroke, or cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association says that by eating 50 grams of soy a day will only lower the LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by only 3%. This is a little extreme because 50 grams of soy protein can equal 1 ½ pounds of tofu! The AHA does say that even though it doesn’t lower LDL by that much, it does have a positive effect on the heart and blood vessels. This is due to their replacement of red meat like hamburgers and also because they are a great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamin and minerals. Soy is also very low in saturated fat.

Many friends of mine have asked whether or not they should avoid eating soy products because they have heard it has been linked to breast cancer. There are some studies that show that high amounts of soy consumption can promote the growth of breast cancer. On the contrary, some studies have found that phytoestrogens, a plant made hormone from soy, can block the action of estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone produced by the body that can promote the growth of cancer cells in humans. When phytoestrogens block estrogen action in the breast, it can actually LOWER the chance of breast cancer. One study found that the more soy a woman eats during adolescence, the lower her risk is for developing breast cancer. So my advice is this; do not avoid soy as it can provide many health benefits! Just consume it in moderation.  No food is healthy in excess.

Although there are some health benefits, there is still not enough concrete evidence that soy prevents cancers. Because this is such an emerging topic in nutrition, expect to see more and more studies about the health benefits of soy. 

Tagged In: estrogen, Harvard School of Public Health, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Nutrition, Soy

Health Care Costs: The Facts

Monday, January 27, 2014
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

I’m sure my fellow college students have some to little awareness about why health care costs are rising.This is such an incredibly important topic to understand because we are running full speed into this part of our lives.Soon, we will no longer be under UNH’s health insurance or our parent’s.Understanding where our health care system is at this point in time is crucial.So, did you know that by the year 2021, Health care spending in the United States will reach $4.8 trillion?That will equal one fifth of our country’s economy.In 2011, 49 million Americans were without health insurance.Employers could not afford health insurance premiums.Yes, the health care reform will provide insurance to millions of Americans, but the costs are continuing to rise.

So what are  six reasons these costs keep rising?

1)  Hospital care- The rising costs of goods and services, such as workers, information systems, and information systems.Also, 60% of patients are on Medicare and Medicaid, which may affect how much a hospital gets reimbursed for care.Also, many patients cannot pay for their care in which case, the hospitals view it as charity care, which they do not get reimbursed for.

2)  Doctor Visits- If you choose an out of network doctor, you will most likely have to pay more out of pocket expenses.However, the average cost of a doctors visit is $158 for existing patients, and $171 for new patients.

3)  Medical Technology- Robotic technology is becoming increasingly popular.36% of hospitals are performing robotic surgeries.They can improve quality of care but are boosting costs up for the patients.Advancements in technologies cost more.For example, a MRI costs more than an X-Ray.For example, some spine MRIs at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in NH cost, $3,693. In St. Louis the average cost of a MRI is $998. In New Jersey, the average cost of a MRI is around $470. The costs vary depending on the part of the body needing a MRI.

4)  Lab Tests- 51% of laboratory representatives believe that labs will be much more in demand in upcoming years.Why?Because the population is growing older and people are focusing on individualized lab data to adhere to their genetics. A complete blood count (CBC) test can cost between $15-$105. Prices can vary widely across locations.

5)  Drugs- 80% of prescriptions are generic drugs.It takes a while for a drug to go off patent and a generic version to arise, so people are forced to use the name brand until the generics arise on the market.The cost difference between generic and name brand drugs is substantial.I was prescribed a name brand drug once that cost $400 and it’s generic was only $70!

6)  Health Plan Administration- Insurers will set higher premium rates and deductibles depending on the number of insurance reimbursements they paid out the prior year if the reimbursements were higher than anticipated. 

Tagged In: generic drugs, health costs, Healthy UNH, hospital, Jenna Channell, lab tests, Medical Technology

TV Workout

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

You’ve been studying for a huge exam, and you finally take it.It’s over!You’re done and finally free to relax.But wait.You haven’t been to the gym in over 4 days and you feel guilty about just going home and sitting and watching a movie on TV.RELAX.You deserve it.The good news is, that you can get in your workout while relaxing and watching a tv show! 

Every time a commercial comes on try these few exercises provided to you by fitness magazine!

  • Couch Pushups target your chest, arms and abs
  • Remote Reaches that target your abs and obliques
  • Ice Skaters that target your abs, gluts, hamstrings and quads
  • Pillow Crunches that target your abs and inner thighs
  • Lunge Touchdowns that target your gluts, hamstrings and quads.

If these exercises do not work for you, try your usual stretches that you do at the gym.The most important thing is to take the time for to relax.That’s why an exercise like this is so great for stressed college students that do not always have the time or energy to go to the gym to work out. 

Tagged In: Exercise, Fitness, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, workout

Mindful Eating

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

You are sitting down at a table, with a huge plate of turkey, cranberry stuffing, corn, and mashed potatoes.I’m sure your mouth is watering just from reading those words.You can smell the aroma coming from the warm plate of food.You look at the colors, the texture, imagining the flavor, engaging all your senses.You put the food on your fork and take a closer look, imagining all the food as it was before it became this delicious meal.You place a forkful into your mouth and instead of chewing and swallowing right away; you savor the bursts of flavor, breaking down each individual flavor and texture into different components.You picture the salivary amylase, breaking down the carbs.Do you taste sugars?Fats?Salts?What does it feel like in your mouth?Is it hard, soft, chewy, sticky?And then, after deep contemplation, you swallow the food, picturing it traveling down your esophagus, into your stomach, where it gets broken down into fragments, to your intestines where all the nutrients that make up this delicious feast get absorbed for use by your body.Instead of putting another forkful into your mouth, you place it down on your plate and take a break.

So what did you just do?This practice is called mindful eating.An article by the New York Times claims that by practicing this at each meal, you can avoid binge eating. It is a new practice that encourages diners to mediate with their food and enhances consciousness by literally evaluating each piece of food that enters your mouth and keeps you in the present, focusing on just the meal, nothing else. You don’t focus on your next math exam, or the amount of homework you have to do, just the meal. Experiments around mindful eating have been performed at the Harvard School of Public Health all the way to the California campus of Google. This mindful eating technique could battle the fast pace lives that we live and combat fad diets that are not helping our obesity epidemic.

This technique is not dieting.Mindful eating is all about experiencing food.It creates a pleasurable and positive relationship with food.You are allowed to eat a cheeseburger and by practicing mindful eating you may discover that you actually don’t even like them, or that in fact, you enjoy them much more!You will give your body the time to decide if it wants to finish the entire cheeseburger or if it is satisfied and time for some leafy greens.A pediatrician and meditation teacher from Oregon, Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, calls it the anti-diet.She believes that we are completely unmindful or unconscious of what we are doing when we eat and that Mindful eating can create a healthy relationship with food.You must think, “What’s on my mind when I am eating?” The key to this practice is to just eat.Don’t watch TV, don’t study, don’t check Facebook, and don’t tweet all while eating.Just Eat.

When people binge eat, and just shovel the food into their mouths, you eat a lot of it and you will not feel full.Mindful eating is combatting consciousness . “So many people now have found themselves in an adversarial relationship with food, which is very tragic,” says Dr.Bays, “Eating should be a pleasurable activity.

Tagged In: binge eating, consciousness, control, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, mindful eating, Nutrition, pleasurable

Body Image During the Holidays

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Once November comes around, it is one holiday after another, starting with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas, etc. What is the one thing that all holidays have in common? Food. And LOTS of it. For someone battling with a negative body image, these cheerful and happy holidays can become sad, depressing and unappealing.  Food is the central gathering part of all the holidays. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are all served at Thanksgiving and are all foods that do contain a decent amount of fat. It is also the time when you are reunited with family members who may not have filters when it comes to comments. You might hear things like “you’ve lost so much weight!” or “Why did you cut your hair?” Try to refrain from asking these questions as it can truly inflict emotional pain on someone who may be dealing with negative body image issues. Talk to people about their recent job offer or how school is going. Refrain from talking about appearances as it puts the focus directly on that issue.

How can you avoid negative body images over the holiday season? Indiana University provides us with some tips:

1)     Around the holidays, the media goes nuts with fat diets that will help you lose those holiday pounds. Ignore these silly ads. Your body may change over the holidays, and it is inevitable. The change you experience over break does not mean that it will stay with you forever.

2)     Focus on strengths. Focus on how well you did in school this semester, or the amazing family that you get to spend the holidays with. Take the focus off of yourself.

3)     Change the subject if the topic of food or weight comes up. Also, if you start thinking negatively about your body, change the topic in your mind. Think about something positive about yourself.

4)     Remember that there are no good or bad foods. Eat for satisfaction, health and hunger. Eat when you are hungry, and stop eating when you are full.

5)     Exercise without pressure. Enjoy the time with your family. Don’t feel pressured to go to the gym for hours. Instead, join in a game of football on Thanksgiving with your family. It will keep exercise light and fun!

6)     Do not look at the scale. Don’t look at it. Give yourself a break!

7)     Do not fall victim to fad diets over the holidays. Stay healthy and nourish your body in mind, body and spirit. Fad diets will not provide a quick fix but rather can do your body harm.

Stay happy, healthy and have a wonderful holiday season. The holidays are a time to sit back, relax and enjoy life with those you love. 

Tagged In: Body Image, Healthy UNH, Holidays, Jenna Channell, Mental Health

SAFE Peer Educators

Friday, November 22, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

S.A.F.E stands for Substance Awareness through Functional Education. S.A.F.E is a group on campus that was created to help students understand different issues about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The programs put on by this club are meant to contain factual information to help students choose healthy lifestyles. Peer educators in this group learn how different factors like society, attitudes and values affect student’s decisions about drugs and alcohol.

S.A.F.E program’s belief is that students learn best from each other. Rather than reaching out for help from faculty, it is sometimes more comfortable for students to talk to each other about topics that they can relate with each other about. To become a S.A.F.E peer educator, you are required to take part in a Certified Peer Leadership training program. This program is through UNH and will provide you with the skills to help educate peers, listen to peers, help create healthy lifestyles and intervene with unhealthy behaviors. S.A.F.E reaches out to students in residence halls, Greek life, and in classes. Recruitment to become a S.A.F.E peer educator will begin again starting next semester. For more information on how to get involved with this group, visit S.A.F.E’s program page on health service’s website. 

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, S.A.F.E., Substance Awareness through Functional Education, UNH

The Cost of Diabetes

Monday, October 28, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Practicing a healthy lifestyle shows that you truly care about your well being and by exercising and eating right, you can greatly lower health costs.Practicing preventative care will lower the cost of drug prescriptions and doctor visits.Eating a diet low in saturated fats, and living an active lifestyle can prevent diseases like diabetes, which require many medical prescriptions and visits.

The center for disease control and prevention suggests that by the year 2050, 1 in 3 people will battle type 2 diabetes. Diabetics cost the United States $174 billion dollars a year on treatments like insulin pens, pumps, doctor visits, and various other materials. The average amount of money a diabetic spends a year on their treatment, is $6,000. This average cost does not even include the costs of associated risks that accompany diabetes like, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, or vision damage. With preventative care like exercise and proper nutrition, we can reduce the amount of diabetes in the US caused by obesity. 

So, how can diabetics save money while treating their disease affectively?Patients could try using generic drugs, or saving costs around their supplies and equipment.There are lots of medical supplies involved when treating diabetes.The strips used to test blood glucose alone cost 60-80 cents and blood glucose monitors cost between $10-$80.By maintaining a healthy blood glucose level, a diabetic will not need to test their blood glucose as often.By taking care of materials and properly storing them, diabetes equipment will hold up and last. 

The costs of disease like diabetes are incredible.Treatments, visits, and premiums are through the roof if you have a serious medical condition.The good news is that living healthy can easily prevent many of these diseases.Simple steps such as taking a walk everyday, or adding some greens to your dinner plate, are easy and can help point you in the direction of a health lifestyle. 

Tagged In: CDCP, center for disease control and prevention, Cost of Diabetes, diabetes, health costs, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, preventative care

Going the Distance

Friday, October 25, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

I have been a runner for at least 13 years. I grew up running track and cross-country, with my mother as the coach. It was so easy to run 6 or 7 miles at practice when I was on a team, but now that I am in college, I get so bored running alone! After only a mile in, I’m looking to run back to my apartment because I notice myself focusing on my burning legs, or my shortness of breath. I think about how nice a hot shower will feel after I’m done. However, running just a mile just doesn’t cut it for me. I feel like I am skimping on my workout. I used to run long distance with no problem and I feel like I am getting weaker from ending my run so shortly after I start. So, I searched my favorite magazine, Runner’s World for a few solutions to my problem. 

First off, think of the benefits. Running long distance provides many health advantages to your body. One of which being that it increases the amount of oxygen to your muscles. This is due to an increase in blood capillaries. Also, your mitochondria, which are the energy manufacturers of your body, increase in size and number! You will feel so much more energized! After you eat a carb-rich meal, your muscles will be able to store more of those carbs as glycogen, which will provide you with lasting energy during a long run. 

Try running with music! It will focus you on the tunes rather than the soreness in your legs or your labored breathing. I notice that when I run with music, my pace often reflects the beat of the song I am listening to as well. 

Running with a friend will make your workout more carefree. It will seem as though you are just hanging out with a good friend instead of exercising to get a workout in. Having a friend with you will also push you to run past your limit. 

Join a running group! Once you commit to a group, you will feel obligated to join them on runs. Runners in groups all have their own method of running and you might find someone who runs at the same pace as you.

Check out our UNH campus walking guide to help form a running route. The guide will show you the distance between different buildings on campus! 

Tagged In: Fitness, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, mental wellness, Running, social, UNH campus walking guide

Boosting Body Image

Monday, October 21, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

As a female student, and nutrition major, I see first hand how important body image is to maintaining a healthy mind. According to Brown University Health Education, 74.4% of normal weight college women, often or all the time had thoughts about their body image. 46% of college men, who were at a healthy weight, had the same thoughts. 

Because we live in a society where there is such a strong emphasis on a “perfect” body, negative thoughts arise in many young people. College has such a dense population of 18 to 23 year olds of all shapes and sizes. It is so difficult not to compare yourself to someone who appears to be “prettier” or “skinnier” than you. I often hear women saying things like, “I wish I had her hair”, or, “I wish I had nicer skin like hers.” I even hear men around campus saying, “I need to bulk up”, or “I want to gain 15 pounds”. The more emphasis you put on the body parts you don’t like about yourself, the worse you will feel. Unfortunately, due to their negative body image, many college students will participate in risky body control behaviors like unhealthy dieting, obsessions with exercise, laxative use, binging, purging, smoking, and steroid use. 

Young people who are at all insecure about their body image will take even the smallest comment to heart. Something as simple as a friend saying, “I love my body”, or “I don’t like my legs”, can affect the person suffering. Negative body image has been linked to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, thoughts of suicide, and eating disorders. 

So how can we help boost body image?

  1. We can realize that media is not reality. Media is just a form of advertising that the producers want us to see as real.
  2. Do not dwell on numbers like BMI or weight. Healthy eating habits and exercise are way more substantial in the scheme of things.
  3. Do not weigh yourself. Do not let the scale determine how you feel about yourself. You can choose to be happy in your own skin that day without the consent of the numbers the scale shows.
  4. Realize that you are who you are. You can’t change that and you are beautiful.
  5. Do not compare yourself to others. You are you and you are perfect.
  6. Get energized. Run, walk, and join a team! Focus on other positive things in your life.
  7. Surround yourself with people who have healthy personal body images. Refrain from “fat talk” with friends and family.

Stop negative thoughts in their path. As soon as you start thinking about your body in a negative way, replace the thought with something that makes you happy. For example, if you start to think about your legs and how much you don’t like them, replace that thought with how much fun you had at the hockey game with your friends last night or how beautiful of a day it is.

For more tips on how to boost your body image, visit Brown University’s Health Education page. Also, if you feel like you have a negative body image or if you have eating concerns, reach out to the Eating Concerns Mentors on campus here at UNH or to the UNH Counseling Center. They are there to get you back to loving yourself and realizing how special and beautiful you are.

 

Tagged In: Body Image, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Mental Health

Operation Beautiful

Friday, October 18, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

“I CHOOSE to be positive.” This is a phrase that we do not hear enough in our world. You know how when someone says, “I love your hair today”, or “You are absolutely wonderful”, you feel absolutely amazing inside? Why don’t we say these simple phrases everyday? Why don’t we make someone’s day, everyday? The goal of Operation Beautiful is to end negative self talk or “fat talk”. Negative self-talk inflicts pain; emotionally, spiritually and physically. Simple acts of kindness, as simple as leaving a tiny post-it note, containing the words, “You. Are. Beautiful,” could change not just someone’s day, but life dramatically. You never know whose life you will touch, whether it is just a stranger or someone who is truly suffering. 

On Thursday, October 24th, from 5:00pm-8:00pm, Operation Beautiful will take place at UNH. This is one of the many events that will take place during Fat Talk Free week, courtesy of UNH Health Services. The goal of this event is to influence Wildcats to inspire and help each other. If you attend this event, you will receive post-its that you are urged to post around campus; whether it be at the gym, in the bathroom, the library, the dining halls, ANYWHERE! Anywhere that it will be visible. Write inspiring and inspirational messages on them so that you can spread positivity on our campus and help end negative body images. Help EVERY student, feel beautiful. It is as simple as a pen and a post-it.

Tagged In: Fat Talk Free, Health Services, Healthy UNH, inspire, Jenna Channell, Operation Beautiful, positive, UNH Program

Diabetes Dilemma

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

This past summer, I volunteered for a week at a summer camp for children with diabetes.The American Diabetes Association’s, Camp Carefree was geared toward bringing children with diabetes together and providing them with support from all over the country. The kids amazed me every single day with their knowledge and bravery. I knew nothing about how hard their daily lives were; I only knew what I had learned in classes at UNH.  I watched these children inject themselves with insulin every day before meals and observed insulin pump changes for 8 year old boys while hugging one of them when he was crying because he was so afraid of the needle.

Diabetes is diagnosed when a person has too much glucose in their blood.Most of these children had Type 1 diabetes, which is known as juvenile diabetes because it is usually diagnosed during childhood.This occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. 

Type 2 however, is when your body does not use insulin correctly and it develops insulin resistance. Insulin is used by your body to absorb and transport glucose and use it for energy. Type two diabetes is also known as adult onset diabetes, but is becoming more and more prevalent in younger people. What could be the reason for this?

Inactivity and obesity rates are rising and the correlation between these and diabetes diagnoses is no coincidence.The good new is, type 2 is preventable!The Harvard School of Public Health provides us with prevention tips:

     1.Put Exercise First – stay active for at least 30-60 minutes/day!Go for a run, walk,  throw a frisbee, and anything that will get you moving.Exercising can greatly reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

     2.Maintain a healthy body weight- Again, staying active can help you achieve this!Provide your body with the essential          nutrients it needs, but choose to use proper portion sizes at meals!Try the Wildcat Plate in the Dining Halls at UNH as reference!

     3.Incorporate healthy fats- choose mono and polyunsaturated fats at meals!Foods that contain these are avocados, and almonds!

     4.Choose plant-based foods- Make half of your grains, whole grains!

     5.Stay away from refined carbohydrates and sugary beverages- refined carbohydrates and drinks like soda, can cause spikes in blood sugar, which in time can lead to diabetes.

Prevention of Diabetes can help you avoid other serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage.If you keep yourself at a healthy weight, incorporate a healthy diet, and exercise, you can help not only yourself but also others by becoming a positive influence.Help us make a change to end type 2 diabetes!

Tagged In: active, Camp Carefree, diabetes, Exercise, glucose, healthy fats, Healthy UNH, inactivity, insulin, Jenna Channell, Obesity, plant-based foods, prevention, sugary beverages, Wildcat Plate

Reiki Circles

Monday, September 16, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

The Buddhist practice of Reiki is coming to UNH Health Services this October 8th! Free classes will be available to students and employees once a month, starting in October and concluding in April. No registration is required! The spiritual practice of Reiki is used to promote stress relief by using life force energy.

Reiki treats people’s minds, bodies, spirits and emotions by radiating energy within. The practice revolves around the idea that if one’s life force energy is low, a person is more likely to become ill, and if their life force energy is high, a person is more likely to be healthy and have a better overall well-being. Reiki is a safe practice and works hand in hand with treatments for various illnesses. A Reiki practitioner will lay their hands on a patient in various spots on the body called the chakras to promote energy healing and spiritual balance. In order for Reiki to work, a patient must be fully involved in their healing process. Visit Health Services for your free Reiki session! 

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Reiki, Stress, UNH Health Services

First Year Fears

Monday, September 9, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

The transition from high school to college is a big step for many teens. Moving into a dorm room, eating in dining halls, hugging your parents’ goodbye, and leaving childhood friends, can be extremely overwhelming for a college freshman. It is a time of change and for many it represents the beginning of adulthood. Many students, like myself, do not do well with change at all. The sudden change of environment and new responsibilities can cause students a great deal of stress and can make the transition difficult. College students are one of the highest populations of people with depression and anxiety. By taking the right steps and being proactive, college students can begin their college career in a positive way. Rutgers University Health Services provided a list of tips for freshman to maintain positive mental health. 

I personally think that the most important tip on the list is to keep the communication lines open with family and friends. They are your number one fans, and will always root for you and be there for you no matter what. Family never fails. Also on the list, is to volunteer and get involved on campus. This is a great way to make new friends and avoid being lonely. Being involved on campus will keep you very busy; so much that you won’t have time to be sad or homesick.

Another tip is to make sure you know the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Normal sadness or homesickness will only last a few days and then pass. Depression is debilitating and is long-term. If you are not feeling happy or more at ease after the first few weeks of school, relax, and ask for help if you need it. Know that you can always reach out to the UNH Counseling Center or UNH Health Services to speak with a counselor. Do not be ashamed to ask for help, you may simply need someone to talk to!  Other freshman or upperclassman may be going through something very similar. Every student experiences first year jitters; you are not alone! Check out the rest of the list for more mental health tips and others! Have a happy, healthy start to college!

Tagged In: anxiety, communication, Depression, first year students, freshmen, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Mental Health, signs of depression, UNH Counseling, UNH Health Services

Birth Control Costs and The Affordable Care Act

Monday, July 29, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

In today’s world, many women attend college, get successful jobs, and travel the world, all before they even consider having a baby. In my current situation, 20 years old, Dietetics major, homework all the time, I cannot even imagine having a child. Birth control helps women establish themselves and become financially stable before getting pregnant. According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, 65% of women report using birth control because they cannot afford to have a child. 69% of women reported not being able to take on the financial responsibility of a new baby. Financial stability is the number one reason women use contraceptives. Not only does birth control help women become financially independent, but it also can help cut the cost of Medicaid. The Guttmacher Institute has research that states that for every dollar spent helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies, $3.74 is saved in Medicare expenses.

The Affordable Care Act, (ACA) is making the costs of getting birth control very easy on women! For women who have health insurance, the ACA eliminates out-of-pocket costs. The ACA is also eliminated all out-of-pocket costs for all preventive visits for all Americans. Preventive services for women include mammograms and annual well-visits with your healthcare provider.

I recently went to Rite Aid and got my contraception prescription refilled and was so surprised when I didn’t have to pay a copay! It usually costs me $17 dollars a month! If you are wondering why your birth control hasn’t been free yet this year, the official start date for this was August 1, 2012. But different insurance companies have different dates when plan changes take effect, so call your insurance provider to find out when this date will be for you!

Tagged In: Affordable Care Act, birth control, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell

The Cost of Organics

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Why should people buy organic? For a start, non-organic fruits and vegetables are covered in dangerous and toxic pesticides. These deadly chemicals have been shown to cause cancer and central nervous system damage. Not only do non-organic fruits and vegetables affect our health, but they also can harm wildlife that live in the area that they are being grown. The pesticides get into our drinking water, harming both us and the animals that drink it.

The five foods that are best to have as organic are apples, bell peppers, carrots, celery and strawberries. The five foods that do not need to be organic are asparagus, avocado, sweet peas, grapefruit, onions, sweet corn, pineapple and mango because they have a very low pesticide count. If you decide to go non-organic, to reduce the pesticides you ingest, be sure to peel and wash the vegetables and fruit, and steam cook vegetables like spinach or lettuce.

Although organics have more health advantages, they can cost up to 40 or 50% more than non-organic fruits and vegetables. ABC news provides us with a great comparison of organic produce costs vs. non-organic produce costs:

Food

Organic

Non-Organic

  

Fuji Apple x4

$4.89

$3.89

  

Bell Pepper

$4.99/lb.

$1.99

  

Carrots

$1.99/bag

$.89

  

Celery

$3.99

$3.49

  

Lettuce

$2.99

$1.99

  

Potato

$1.49/lb.

$.99

  

Strawberries

$5.99

$4.99

  

So why is organic produce so much more expensive that non-organic produce? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations provides us with some reasons why. Organic food is in demand. More people want organic produce, which means higher production costs and labor costs. Organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables must be completely separate during transportation and processing to avoid cross contamination. Farmers also work harder at maintaining the life of these fruits and vegetables without the use of pesticides. They will put in long working hours to keep their produce fresh and edible. For more information as to why organic vegetables are more expensive, visit the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s webpage.

Tagged In: apples, bell peppers, carrots, celery, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, organic, pesticides, strawberries, toxic

The Difference Between Good and Bad Fats

Friday, June 28, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

People are constantly being told that “Fats are bad”, and many people will spend lots of time and money to completely rid their diet of fat. The truth is, that we need fats. Fat is actually necessary for you to lose weight. It all depends on the source of food you are getting it from! 

The fats to avoid are trans fats and saturated fats. These fats are often found to be culprits in packaged foods such as french fries, margarine, cake mixes, and Ramen noodles. These fats will raise LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL (good cholesterol). The reason these fats are so unhealthy is because most of them have undergone hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is a chemical process that food manufacturers use to keep the fat in packaged food from going bad. These trans fats are hard to catch on food labels because there is a law that allows the food manufacturers to label them as “0g of Trans Fat” if the product contains less than .5g.  

Unsaturated fats such as omega-3, omega-6, oleic acid, and linoleic acids are the good fats! Incorporating these into your diet can actually help you lose weight! The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K all require fat so that they can be absorbed into the body. Without fat, you will not be getting any of these essential vitamins. Foods high in unsaturated fats such as avocado, can actually keep you feeling full longer because they can take a longer time to digest.

Low-fat diets can be very misleading because they are sending people the wrong message. The label, “low-fat” urges people to stray away from all fats completely, including the good fats that are needed to prevent illness such as heart disease. Also, when food producers take the fat out of a food they have to replace it with something else; which is usually a refined carbohydrate from sugar. These refined carbs can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels because they are digested very fast. Hunger is a result of these high levels dropping down again. The hunger leads to overeating and weight gain. 

Harvard School of Public Health provides us with 5 tips on how to choose foods with healthy fats.

1)      Use liquid plant oils for cooking and baking such as olive or canola oil

2)      Ditch the Trans Fat

3)      Switch from butter to soft tub margarine

4)      Eat at least one good source of Omega-3 fats each day such as salmon, tuna or walnuts

5)      Cut back on red meat, cheese, milk and ice cream because they can be high in saturated fats. Choose chicken, fish or nuts instead. 

Next time you consider buying a food product that is low-fat, think again! Aim for the unsaturated fats and stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils. Remember that fat is not always bad!

Tagged In: avocado, bad fats, fat, good cholesterol, good fats, HDL, Healthy UNH, hydrogenation, Jenna Channell, LDL, linoleic acids, Nutrition, oleic acid, Omega-3, omega-6, overeating, saturated fats, trans fats, weight gain

Are Generic Drugs Safe?

Friday, June 7, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

The day before I left for college after winter break, I stopped at Rite Aid to pick up a prescription that I had just been issued. I pulled up to the drive through window and gave the pharmacist my name and date of birth. The pharmacist then said the worst thing a young college student wants to hear, “Your total comes to $400; your insurance covered the rest.” That was more than I had in my bank account! I eventually researched a generic drug that only cost me $17. It worked exactly the same and was so much more affordable for my tight budget.

There are many myths about generic drugs and many people are misled to think that they are not as effective as brand name drugs. The FDA says that all generic drugs must be as effective and be of the same quality as brand names. The body’s blood must be able to absorb generics as efficiently as brand names. Each generic drug is regulated and evaluated for its quality.

The difference between generic and brand name drugs is that drug-makers do not need to research and create generic medications! This is because generic drugs have matching name brand drugs that have already been made. There are no investment costs. This means that no money is needed for funding on research, marketing, or drug development. This also allows generics to be sold at a cheaper price. The price does not need to be increased to allow drug companies to make a profit. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the average price of a generic drug in 2004 was $28.74. The average price of a brand-name drug in 2004 was $96.01. That is a huge difference and a great saving! The average overall savings range from 30%-50%!

Generics are indeed safe and effective just like their name brand alternative. Generics are a great way for everyone to save money!

Tagged In: brand name drugs, Cost, drug companies, FDA, generic drugs, health costs, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, safe drugs, Savings

Five Steps to Sustain a Relationship

Friday, May 31, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Breakups in college are the absolute worst. All you want to do is be home with family, cuddle up with a good movie and a tub of ice cream. The problem is, you have classes and other important obligations to attend to. So how can you avoid this? How can you avoid the heartbreak? These five steps can help you create a healthy, long-lasting relationship and help avoid the painful breakup blues.

Step 1: Fall in love all over again. Remember why you were drawn to your partner. Try taking a trip, or start going on dates again. Flirt, be silly, and keep things fresh and new. The key is to grow together, even while you are traveling on separate paths in life.

Step 2: If you are having problems, confront them. If you mask problems and pretend like they do not exist, the problems will keep growing. If you do not fix the main issue, many other little problems will start to build on top of it. Do not be afraid of confrontation.

Step 3: Always keep communication lines open. I think that this is the number one key to a strong relationship. Express concerns or fears that you have. If your partner loves you, he/she will accept any concerns you have with open arms.

Step 4: Tend to your partner’s needs. Show emotion and empathy towards them. Always be aware of what your partner needs more of; whether they are emotional, physical, or intimate needs.

Step 5: If you cannot fix the relationship yourself, try seeking a counselor or therapist who can open the lines of communication for you and your partner.

My boyfriend always tells me that if we ever get in a fight, or ever have a disagreement, we have to just stop and look deep into each other’s eyes. We will see why we love each other and how lucky we are to have each other. All problems will disappear and we will see why the arguing does not really matter and the relationship is really the only important thing.

 

Tagged In: communication, empathy, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Mental Health, relationships, therapy

De-Stress to Ace your Test!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

With final exams just around the corner, most college students are starting to feel the wave of stress and anxiety wash over them. Having too much stress can be a bad thing, while having a little bit of stress can provide you with the motivation and determination to do well on your exams! So, how can you control your stress and keep it to a perfect level for exam taking?

Mind says the best ways to manage your stress for exams are, being organized and plan a timetable. To become organized, make sure you understand what you are learning and being tested on and also figure out how the exam will be laid out so that you can choose the appropriate study method.  To plan a timetable, figure out the amount of time you need to cover each subject you are studying. For example, if you have exams in History, English and Math, separate the day into thirds and determine which subject you would like to study when. Be sure to give yourself leisure time to relax and unwind.

A great way to de-stress is a breathing technique like slowing your breath down when you notice your heart rate picking up. In the middle of your exam or studying, take some time to sit down and listen to yourself breath and feel the air entering your lungs. The key is to bring your heart rate down and start to feel like you are breathing naturally again. Create a relaxation routine. Relax your whole body, starting from your head all the way down to your toes and release any tension in muscles.  Engage in Physical activity! Take 10 minutes out of your studying to go for a jog or a bike ride! This will help you clear your head and get those feel-good endorphins pumping. 

For more great stress-relieving activities for exam week, check out Frazzle Free Finals in Dimond Library, GOOD LUCK WITH FINALS, and Happy Summer!

Tagged In: Final Exams, Mental Health, Stress

Battling Anxiety

Friday, April 19, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

College is a time of great growth for a young adult. Sometimes, you completely lose sight of who you are. Negative thoughts and emotions can flood your mind, making it almost impossible to concentrate on anything truly important. I know first hand how difficult and lost anxiety can make you feel. It can debilitate you to a point where you wake up in the middle of the night shaking and short of breath. I battled anxiety my sophomore year of college and am proud to say that I am now happier than ever. I lost sight of what I wanted out of life. I was not focused on school because I could not get my mind away from the negative thinking. You feel like it will never go away. It was the lowest I have ever felt, but by practicing the following tips, I have reached where I am today. A strong, confidant woman, ready to take on the future. Know you have the strength to get through anything and take it one day at a time.  

Get outside. Throw yourself into nature. Go for hikes, runs, walks, bike rides; anything that will get you out in the fresh air. We, as humans come from nature, so the worst thing you can do is coop yourself up in your dorm room. We thrive outdoors. Even though it can feel impossible to pull yourself from your bed in the morning, find the little strength you have to put some sneakers on and marvel at the beauty nature has to offer. In nature, you will find yourself and your mind will be at ease, the way it always intended to be; out among the beautiful earth.

Smile. This is an incredible trick that works. By smiling, you can actually trick your brain to think you are happy. If you believe you are happy, truly happy, you will feel enlightened. Surround yourself with positive energy and people who will only ever put a smile on your face.

Breathe. When you feel a negative thought coming on, sit down and take a few deep breaths. I would sit on a tree stump in the woods, and just breath. I would listen to my breath and feel it fill up my lungs. Engage all your senses. Breathing helped me think clearly and recognize that it was just a thought, and not real. I realized I did not need to dwell on it, for it is just my imagination, my thoughts couldn’t hurt me. I was stronger than them.

When a negative thought pops into your head, replace it with something positive. As soon as the thought enters your head, replace it with the thought of a breathtaking summer sunset, or a memory from your childhood that you loved. I personally always pictured a beautiful bouquet of roses anytime my anxieties creeped into my mind. If the thought enters your head and you cannot get rid of it, picture yourself putting the thought on a cloud, and watch it float away. Visualizing the thought disappearing can make it seem as though the thought has in fact disappeared.

Eat well and be happy. Its long been known that you are what you eat. Instead of the fried foods that you crave when you’re feeling upset, focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Fried, fatty foods are just comfort foods. Think before you grab the pizza and opt for a salad. Know that by trying the salad, you are helping your mind. It is also proven that dark chocolate will boost your mood by releasing endorphins. These are the same things released when you are in love. I ate dark chocolate everyday and I can tell you that I did in fact feel happier after indulging in it.

Focus on others, rather than yourself. Instead of feeling and focusing on my anxiety, I would focus on making another person’s day by doing simple acts of kindness. Smile at someone who looks like they’re having a bad day. They might have it worse and you could change their life. Leave an extra quarter in the tip jar at a coffee shop; hold the door open for other people. Preach what you need to learn. Do it all with a smile. If you put good out into the world, you will receive it back.

Above all, know that you are not alone. Every person you pass is fighting his or her own battle. I would wonder, why “can’t I be happy? Why can’t I be like that person, without a care in the world.”  Ignorance is bliss as they always say and maybe their battle in this life isn’t to battle anxiety and depression. But they are dealing with something else that you have no idea about, or maybe could not even fathom. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. You are not the alone in this and even though you might feel embarrassed reaching out, you might be reaching out to someone who needs you just as much as you need them. For more tips on dealing with anxiety, check out the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.  To talk to someone, contact the UNH Counseling Center or reach out to a fellow peer, like myself, or a family member. 

Tagged In: anxiety, counseling, dark chocolate, Depression, endorphins, focus, Healthy UNH, Jenna, Mental Health, negative thinking, positive thinking, smile

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The goal of this campaign is to shed light on the seriousness of sexual violence and to educate the public on ways to prevent sexual abuse. This year, Sexual Assault Awareness Month focuses on healthy sexuality and sexual abuse of children. "It’s time … to talk about it. Talk early, talk often. Prevent sexual violence,” is this year’s slogan. By encouraging adults to learn about healthy sexual development in children, parents can instill positive behaviors, and skills onto their children. Adults will also be able to recognize potential risk factors of sexual abuse.

The World Health Organization defines violence as, “The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

On Thursday, April 11th, the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), at UNH, is hosting “Taking a Community Stance: Stepping Out to Speak Out Against Violence.” This is an anti-violence walk and rally where students, faculty, and the people of the Durham community will be joining together to end all types of violence on the University of New Hampshire campus. This walk and rally will be held at 12:30pm-2:00pm on the great lawn in front of DeMerritt hall. There will be informational tables set up, along with a 20-minute walk around campus to raise awareness of sexual violence. After the walk, “ UNH’s Community Proclamation Against Violence” will be read. Be sure to wear teal, as it is the color of the Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign!

If you or somebody you know is experiencing violence of any kind; whether it be physical, mental, sexual or relationship abuse, or would like more information on this walk and rally, reach out to the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program, here at the University of New Hampshire. 

Tagged In: Anit-violence walk, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Proclamation Against Violence, raise awareness, rally, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program, threat, time to talk, violence

Ensuring a Safe, Healthy Home for Your Family

Monday, April 1, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Health begins in the home! Home is a safe haven that provides you with comfort, security and warmth. It is very important to create a safe home for your family to establish a healthy lifestyle. Monday, April 1st marks the first day of National Public Health Week. Monday’s theme is “Ensuring a Safe, Healthy Home for Your Family”. On this day, public health advocates urge people to create a secure home; safe from food borne illness, carbon monoxide poisoning, fire hazards, and toxic chemicals. Health education such as daily exercise and healthy eating are introduced in the home and are important to achieve a healthy life. By tackling these obstacles, your home will always be a healthy and safe place to return to every day.

The goal of National Public Health Week is to start small. Introduce these small steps into your lifestyle to improve the health and safety of your family. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor in your home. Be sure to check these devices monthly to make sure they are working properly. Make your home is tobacco and smoke free. This will reduce the risk of fire and chronic illness that can occur from smoking. Put toxic chemicals such as bleach or cleaning products, medications and makeup away where young children will not be able to get their hands on them. Also, be sure not to store them with or near food, as this could cause confusion or food poisoning. Create a plan with your family in case of an emergency. Make this a family tradition and practice emergency exit routes. Put together an emergency kit, full of supplies in case of crisis. Always remember to keep the poison control center’s phone number visible. Provide this number to family members or baby sitters so that they will know what steps to take if a child ingests a toxic chemical. This number (1-800-222-1222) will connect you to a poison control center in your area. To avoid the risk of a young child drowning, put a fence up around any swimming pools or deep water in your yard. Clean your house up, choose adequate lighting and reduce clutter. This could potentially prevent injury from a fall. Fill your kitchen with nutritious foods such as fruits and veggies! Learn about food safety and how to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from improper food handling. Be sure to dispose of any medications properly and most importantly, spread the word! Help people understand the importance of a healthy household. Be a community example and have fun with public health!

For more information on National Public Health Week or how to ensure a safe, healthy home for your family, visit the National Public Health Week’s website or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website!

Tagged In: Health, Healthy UNH, home, Jenna Channell, National Public Health Week, poison control center, safety

Is Obama’s Health Care Law Creating a Doctor Shortage?

Monday, March 11, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, by the time we reach 2015, we are going to be short 62,900 primary care physicians in the United States. They expect this number to be almost doubled by the time we reach 2025. A primary care physician is the first person a patient will seek if they are ill. Today, people are bypassing this, and going directly to emergency care. Many times, people are admitting themselves to the emergency room when in reality; they really do not need to be there. Why? New York Times authors, Annie Lowrey and Robert Pear, provide us with some interesting reasons. 

By 2014, the United States will be giving health care coverage to more than 30 million Americans. This is happening so rapidly that we will not have enough time to train new doctors to take care of these people. All the while, the overall population of the US is increasing as well. This is a problem because it takes approximately ten years to train a primary care physician. We will not have enough doctors to treat this increasing population. The amount of students attending medical school is increasing but the population of our country is increasing at a much faster rate. There is also a trend in students not wanting to become primary care physicians anymore because specialists are making almost twice the amount of money they would.  The primary care physicians that we do have still are nearing the ends of their careers as they are starting to retire and the younger physicians are not working as many hours during the day. 

In low-income, rural areas, the number of primary care physicians is dropping rapidly. This drop is requiring people to travel to hospitals and places that they can find the care they require. Emergency rooms are becoming jam-packed because waiting lists to meet with a primary care physician are longer than ever. The new health care plan is offering Medicaid to impoverished people; but, recently, less than half of primary care physicians are accepting new Medicaid patients. This is making it very difficult for low-income families to find health care at all.

The new health care law is seeking to fix this issue by increasing the Medicaid primary care payments, providing money needed to train new primary care physicians and put them through medical school, and to create some sort of compensation for those physicians who choose to work in a lower income area of the country. Some other fixes are to train nurses to be able to perform some of the same duties that primary care physicians do and to create more walk-in health clinics. 

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March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

March is National Nutrition Month! 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of this campaign, hosted by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. The theme for 2013 is, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day!”  National Nutrition Month urges people to understand that food choices are based on their health concerns, their food preferences, their lifestyle, their culture and their traditions. The campaign is spreading the message to choose healthy food choices, personalized specifically to you.

We are all unique people, so why should our diets not be unique to us? This is the message the National Nutrition Month campaign is trying to spread. Eat healthy foods that you enjoy because this will make eating fun! You should not be forced to eat food that you do not like! Every person and every family has a different lifestyle. Eat foods that will help you through your daily activities and fit in perfectly with your life. Foods from your culture bring a whole new flair to eating! Ethnic food will bring excitement back to the table! Your culture will add different flavors and recipes to your diet. Remember, moderation is key, as is keeping in mind your dietary restrictions, if you have any. Just because you have a health issue or concern, may not mean that you have to cut out the foods that you truly love to eat.

USDA’s Choose My Plate urges people to, “focus on fruits, vary your veggies, make at least half of your grains whole grain, go with lean protein, and get your calcium-rich foods”. Also, make half of your plate fruits and vegetables, choose (1%) or low fat milk, and add some seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Keep in mind these ten tips from the My Plate Nutrition Education Series:

1)      Balance Calories

2)      Enjoy your food, but eat less

3)      Avoid oversized portions

4)      Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low fat dairy products more often

5)      Make half your plate fruits and vegetables

6)      Switch to fat free or (1%) milk

7)      Make half your grains, whole grain

8)      Eat less foods high in solid fats, added sugars and salt

9)      Compare the sodium in food

10)   Drink water instead of sugary drinks

Have a happy, healthy and nutritious March! 

Tagged In: food choices, Health, healthy food, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, moderation, My Plate, National Nutrition Month, USDA, Wildcat Plate

Eating Concerns Awareness Week

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

February 25th marks the start of Eating Concerns Awareness Week. This program is provided to UNH students by the Office of Health Education and Promotion. The program is running Monday, February 25th through Thursday, February 28th. This program is developed for any student who has an eating concern or is having difficulties with their body image. Eating Concerns Awareness week also encourages students to reach out for help if they have a friend or family member coping with an eating disorder. Eating Concerns Awareness Week’s mission is to provide support for these students, to help them acquire love for themselves and to accept their flaws and see them as perfect.  

Eating Concerns Awareness Week consists of Inspiration Stations! These are booths that are run by the Eating Concerns Mentors that will be set up for each specific day of the week in the Memorial Union Building. These booths consist of Mirror less Monday, Trash Fat Talk Tuesday, What Inspires You Wednesday and Thankful Thursday. There will also be an online chat with an Eating Concerns Mentor. This chat is set up so students can anonymously talk to an Eating Concerns Mentor about their body image issues. If you are concerned about a family member or friend on campus who needs assistance, the Eating Concerns Mentors urge you to reach out to them via this chat as well. An Eating Concerns Mentor is a UNH student who is dedicated and extensively trained to help their fellow students with any eating concerns they may have about themselves, a friend or family member. They will provide you with information and support on how to get help for yourself or your loved one. This program will also be offering a special lecture called, “A Hunger So Wide & So Deep: Eating Problems and Recovery From a Multicultural Perspective”. This lecture talks about the different array of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive eating. Becky Thompson, an activist will be hosting and will talk about the different anxieties that could affect your body image. 

For more information on this program at UNH, visit the Office of Health Education and Promotion’s Eating Concern page. If you are interested in connecting to an Eating Concerns Mentor, fill out this questionnaire and you will be paired up with a mentor within 48-72 hours.

Remember that asking for help is incredibly admirable and requires great strength. You will be an inspiration to others and by asking for help, you are an example to others who may be dealing with the same stresses. You are your own unique individual. You are perfect exactly way you are. Just because someone else may be thin and slender, does not make him or her healthy. It is important to accept your flaws and see them as perfect. They make you, you. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

Tagged In: Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Nutrition

A Healthy Pick-Me-Up

Monday, February 25, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

Returning to school in the spring semester can be quite draining for any student. Going from a cozy house, filled with family and friends to waking up at early hours and trekking across campus in below freezing temperatures can tire even the most active person. To even hold your head up you might buy two or three coffees a day. Before you go and purchase that fourth cup, think twice about what other healthy alternatives are out there to help wake you up! There are many foods available that will give you the same boost as coffee, minus the artificial sweeteners, fatty cream and caffeine!  Livestrong provides us with a list of healthy options to lift you up out of that morning slump.

Grab a handful of almonds. Almonds will help boost your blood sugar to wake you up and lift your spirits in the early morning. If almonds aren’t for you, try walnuts; they will help put you in a more positive mood and help sharpen your mind for all the classes your have to face during the day. Have you ever tried an avocado? Hunger can make you feel sleepy and unmotivated. Add one to your sandwich to help ease those hunger pains. The mono-unsaturated fats and oleic acids in avocado slow down the rate in which your stomach empties. Try packing an orange in your backpack to help wake you up during a class, just the smell will heighten your senses and the natural sugars in the fruit will raise your blood sugar to wake you up. Some other foods on the list include blueberries and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate will release endorphins, the same hormones released during exercise.  If you are not ready to give up your morning coffee, try adding low fat dairy milk to it. The sugar lactose in it will raise the sugar in your blood as well. You can also get this sugar from yogurt or certain cheeses. These quick fixes are great but it is important to remember to always get a good nights sleep, exercise, do not skip meals, avoid saturated fats and sweets and make sure you are not eating too many carbohydrates during the day without lean protein. 

Tagged In: almonds, avocado, blood sugar, caffeine, dark chocolate, endorphins, healthy food options, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Nutrition, walnuts

The Snow-Day Workout

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
By: Jenna Lindsey Channell

As I was sitting in my apartment, cooped up during the crazy snowstorm we had this weekend here in Durham and I started thinking about how I can get a workout without having to trek across campus to the gym. I also did not have the tools to ski or snowshoe, so how could I exercise at all? Weightwatchers came up with an awesome workout called “The Snow-Day Workout” that anybody, of all ages can do, and the great part of this is that you will have no idea you are working out at all!

Playing in the snow works every part of your body! Not only is it fun, but you are also burning a ton of calories! The difference between working out in the summer and working out in the winter, is in the summer, your body does not have to work hard to keep your body warm because it is already warm. In the winter, your body has to work much harder to keep your body temperature up, so your body will expend a lot of calories to do this. The exercise physiologist at Weightwatchers, Bill McArdle says that the amount of calories you expend during the winter increases by about 60%! The calories burned triples if the snow is still powdery and not packed down! “The Snow-Day Workout” consists of different exercises such as, military march, plank walk, snow shuffle, frozen lawn lunges, snow ball target practice, feet drag, and angel abs.

Being at the gym, or running on your own can get boring and dull. When you are outside in the snow, making snowmen, climbing up hills to sled, and making snow angels, you are surrounded by the ones you love; friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, family. It will never get old. You will lose track of time and forget how long you were actually outside playing! Check out “The Snow-Day Workout” on Weightwatchers to learn details on how to complete the full workout and how to stay safe while doing so in the cold weather! After doing this workout, go inside and reward yourself with a cup of cocoa

Tagged In: Fitness, Health, Healthy UNH, Jenna Channell, Outdoors, UNH