Monday, October 13, 2014

Eat This Not That: What to Eat When Dining Out

Let’s face it we all are trying to eat healthy, but when push comes to shove in pinch sometimes, because of our busy schedules, eating out may be our only option. But just because you’re sitting in a McDonalds it doesn’t mean you have to always go right for that Big Mac. There surprisingly are so many health conscious choices at almost every restaurant you plan on dining out at. 

PANERA          Lets start with Panera, one of my all time favorites. There are so many yummy classics so high in fat and sodium but some are very reasonable and won’t kill your diet. I usually stick with the pick two deal that Panera offers, it’s great, you get two smaller options from their HUGE menu selection. 

1.          Fuji Apple Chicken no cheese (220 calories)
Paired with
Low-fat chicken noodle (80 calories)

2.         Asian Sesame Chicken (240 calories)
Paired with
Broccoli Cheddar (200 calories) -- the best thing you’ll ever taste even though it’s a little higher calories

3.         Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT on Sourdough Bread (250    calories)
Paired with
Low-fat garden veggie w/ pesto (100 calories)

4.         Full size Smoked Turkey Breast Panini (430 calories)

1.         Full sized Mac and Cheese (980 calories tempting but not worth it)

2.         Steak & Blue Cheese Chopped Salad (790 calories AND 1,280 mg of sodium!)

3.         Full Size Italian Combo Sandwich (980 calories)

Wendy’s                  Food from Wendy’s may not be the healthiest option on the planet (in fact, I can guarantee it’s not), but there are surprisingly a lot of healthy options that won’t completely ruin your diet.  So yes, you can have your cheeseburger and eat it too!

1.         Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe (300 calories)

2.         Ultimate Chicken Grill (370 calories)

These two can be paired with any of Wendy’s “Smart Sides”: 
-       A small order of Chili (180 calories)
-       Sour Cream and Chive Potato (320 calories)
-       Value/Kids French Fries (220 calories)
-       Apple Slices (40 calories)  

1.         Dave's Hot 'N Juicy 3/4 lb. Triple (1,090 calories)

2.         The Baconator  (830 calories)

LETS TALK FROSTY we call know Wendy’s is infamous for their delicious Frosty’s, unfortunately ice cream isn’t always the healthiest treat for us. But hey sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. A Junior Frosty is only about 190 calories so every now and then a Frosty doesn’t have to be completely off limits! J

Applebee’s    Ohhhh Applebee’s, so many delicious choices, so many tempting entrees! I bet you didn’t know that like Panera, Applebee’s has a pick two menu! Take advantage of this!

1.         Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos Appetizer (540 calories)

2.         Thai Shrimp Salad (390 calories with dressing!)

3.         Classic Turkey Breast Sandwich (280 calories)
paired with
Strawberry avocado salad (240 calories)

1.         Spinach and Artichoke Dip Appetizer (1,590 calories -- even to split that’s a lot!)

2.         Grilled Shrimp N’ Spinach Salad (990 calories)

3.         Quesadilla Burger (1,820 calories)

Muscle Maker Grill      MMG is definitely hot at Rowan right now! Here’s the 411 on what to order and what to avoid!
1. Steamed Broccoli or a Baked Potato (24/142 calories)

2. Mardi Gras Cajun Grilled Chicken Salad (447 calories)

1.         Turkey Meatballs (325 calories -- a lot for just a little side dish!)

2.         WRAPS I found that pretty much all the wraps on the menu were high in calories, filled with fat, saturated fat, and high amounts of sodium – try to avoid!

3.         Vegetarian Italiano Salad – don’t let the name fool you just because there’s no meat doesn’t mean there’s not loads of excess sodium in this salad! (213 calories BUT 1030 mg of sodium)

Here’s the deal with Muscle Maker: In my opinion a lot of the items on the menu are high in calories, sodium and fat. Your best bet when trying to eat healthy? Pair a few sides together. Go for the Grilled Chicken Breast side, Steamed Broccoli, and a Baked Potato, only 447 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 182 grams of sodium.  

RUrec’n? We are. 

- Erica M

Friday, October 10, 2014

In Honor Of World Mental Health Day

mental health:
   1.  Mental health encompasses all the psychological aspects of your wellbeing, including your ability to manage your feelings and deal with difficulties, the quality of your relationships, and the way you feel about yourself.
   2.  The way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs.

In an ideal world everyone would be in total control of his or her emotions. But guess what? We don’t live in a perfect world and people let their emotions get the best of them sometimes. This definitely isn’t a bad thing! Anyone can make simple changes that have a huge impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Below are a few cool tips to ensuring mental health!
1.)   Talk about your feeling
Sounds corny, but talking about your feelings or where your mind is at can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.

2.)   Keep active
Being active benefits you not just physically, but also mentally. Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better.

3.)   Drink sensibly
You all know the phrase, “everything in moderation.” Drinking every now and then is ok however the effects of alcohol take a negative toll not only on our body’s but our mind’s as well.

4.)   Ask for help
You’re not superman! Sometimes when going through something tough in life we need to seek for help, whether that be a friend, family member, or professional. Mental health issues can affect anyone, there’s no shame!

5.)   Sleep well
Just like your body’s need time to rest our mind’s do as well! How we feel during the time we are awake depends a lot on the quality of sleep you got the night before. Seven to eight hours of sleep is optimum. 

6.)   Eat healthy
Eating a balanced diet has a direct effect on how you feel physically and mentally. I don’t know about you but after eating unhealthy for a few days in a row my mind suffers as much as my body does. I’m not saying to cut out all bad food, just remember like we said before “everything in moderation!”

7.)   Meditate Often
Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting on the floor for hours like a Buddha. For a few minutes a day take a look inside your mind. Think about the present moment, your place in it, and where you’d like to be. Think about the negatives in your life, then focus on ways you yourself can change those negatives into a positive.

8.)   Try new things
Do things you love! But don’t be afraid to step into new waters! A new hobby can add positive substance to your life.

9.)   Take a break
We live in such a fast paced world that sometimes it’s looked down upon to step back and relax. But it’s not possible for our mind’s to be running 24/7. Sometimes the best thing you can do to improve performance at school, work, or even life is to give yourself that much needed break!

10.)         Be proud of who you are

Nobody’s perfect! And just because you think someone’s life is so easy it doesn’t mean a thing! Everyone has their issues whether you know about them or not. We all have negatives but we also have positives, it takes both the good and the bad to make a person whole.

-Erica M

Guide to Grocery Shopping: Rowan Edition

We’ve all been there, standing in the middle of the grocery store, hungry, wanting to cook something but have no idea what ingredients to buy.   Or even worse it’s 7PM, you’re home and all your cabinets are completely empty… didn’t you just go food shopping like yesterday?!? And wait let me guess your next move is picking up the phone to order a pizza from the Nick’s.

I definitely am that person, these past three years at Rowan I’ve had more unsuccessful ShopRite trips than I can admit to. I’ve had my fair share of buying milk and only using it once before it curdles and I’ve definitely experienced opening the refrigerator to the sight of moldy cheese. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be difficult or overly expensive! Also it’s totally easy to be health conscious without breaking the bank.

Here’s the thing, before stepping into the grocery store you need a plan, and no that doesn’t mean scribbling up a shopping list in the car on your Dunkin receipt. You need a real plan, that includes making a budget. In college budgeting should be your best friend without one the checkout line could easily become your worst nightmare. And not to sound like your grandma but checking the local store’s promotion sales for that week and even doing a little bit of couponing can go a long, long way. Hey we’re in college and clearly not millionaires when I save 5$ at Shoprite that’s definitely something to celebrate.

Another quick tip for you guys PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you eat before going food shopping. One big and very expensive mistake you can make is going food shopping when you’re hungry!

So here it is the moment you’ve been waiting for my Holy Grail when it comes to grocery shopping tips: Buy some items in bulk and some in small amounts. There’s totally no reason when shopping for 1 to buy a whole pound of turkey, you’ll never finish it and it will stink up your fridge in the meantime. A huge reason people spend too much on groceries is because they buy too much and it goes to waste.
So here’s a little breakdown:  
Every 2 months –These are ingredients that would last me several months. I don’t need to buy them often but they’re essential for cooking!
•   Olive Oil
•   Truvia/Stevia packages – for my coffee
•   Coffee
•   Rice
•   Frozen fruit – perfect for smoothies!
•   Salad Dressings
•   Spices
•   Frozen meals – SmartOnes are my favorite!

Every 2-3 weeks
  •        Cereal – Cheerios, Bran, Special K, Rice Chex, Kix. (Pretty much any whole grain cereal on sale that I could mix with fruit.)
  •        Bread – try to stick with anything multi or whole grain!
  •        Tortilla wraps
  •        Almond/Low Fat Milk
  •        Greek Yogurt
  •        Eggs
  •        Butter
  •        Canned foods – I typically buy black beans and green chilis canned to make with omelets and quesadillas, and I buy chickpeas for salads. I’m also a huge fan of Progresso canned soup!
  •        Nuts - For snacks and for salads
Once a week – The things that go bad easily or run out often. Buy them in small amounts to avoid them going bad.
•       Fruits and veggies – If you stick with fruits and veggies that are in season, they are going to be your cheapest bet. Get fruit to mix with cereal and yogurt and get veggies to put in salads and other dinners, but look for the ones that are on sale and in-season.
•       Salad mix – Whatever lettuce you like, there is usually a lot of different kinds, and typically the ones in the plastic box containers are the most expensive. Look around to find the cheapest option. I usually get romaine and arugula.
•       Protein – I like to grill chicken breasts salmon too! But when in the store stick to one type of meat for the week, definitely no need to purchase too much you’ll end up throwing most of it away!
•       Sliced deli turkey – try to stick to about a half a pound no more!
•       Snacks – Here are some of my faves!

•       Boom Chicka Pop – Bagged popcorn only 35 calories a cup!
•       Pretzels or Pita Chips with Hummus 
•       Fiber One Bars 

RUrec'N? We are.
-Erica M

Friday, October 3, 2014

Authentic Mexican Guacamole

In the past ten years avocados have been growing in popularity in the United States. Americans are referring to it as “the new bacon”, you can put it on anything. The truth is that avocados have been around for centuries and can be dated back to 10,000BC. The health benefits of avocados are astonishingly good for you. They provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. 

One of the best recipes with avocado as the main ingredient is Guacamole. My grandma (abuela) taught my mom and now my mom has passed the recipe down to me. Every time I go to a party or make it for friends they can’t get enough. With football season heating up this is a quick, easy and healthy recipe to make for everyone. 

1-2 Avocados 
1 Tomato 
3 Green Onions 
Handful of Cilantro
1 Jalapeño Pepper 
1 Table Spoon of Olive Oil 
1 Tea Spoon of Sea Salt 

  1. Mash the avocados in a bowl until it turns into a paste. 
  2. Dice tomato and add to the bowl.
  3. Dice the green onions and add to the bowl.
  4. Dice the handful of cilantro and add to the bowl.
  5. Dice the jalapeño pepper and add to the bowl.
  6. Mix everything together.
  7. Pour a table spoon of olive oil and mix.
  8. Sprinkle a tea spoon of sea salt over the bowl and mix. 
  9. Serve with corn tortilla chips like the Tostitos brand. 
  10. You can add fresh lime juice if you enjoy the taste.
Tada! I told you it was simple to make! Comment below and let me know how you like it or let me know what you used to spice it up even more. 

RUrec'N? We are.
- Melissa V

Welcome to the Rec Center Blog

Hello Rowan Community,

I’m pleased to announce the Rowan Rec Center is starting a blog. Our goal for this blog is to create a fun and welcoming environment for the Rowan Community. Before we get started I want to introduce who is behind the scene. 

Erica M: Is a Marketing Assistant and Blogger.
Melissa V: Is a Marketing Assistant and Blogger. 
Dory B: Photographer.
Tyler C: Graphic Designer 
Stephanie G: Graphic Designer 
Megan R: Graphic Designer

(Left to right: Erica M, Dory B, Megan R, Tyler C, Stephanie G and Melissa V)

As a team we work together to produce content that engages, educates and entertains our members. We hope to see you stick around and enjoy our blog. 

Coming Soon: Healthy tips, recipes, spot lights, upcoming programs and more.

RUrec’n? We are. 

- Melissa V