College Health & Wellness: Tweetchat #CHWchat Tuesdays @9PM!

Did you know students that exercise at least 20 minutes a day around 7 days a week have a GPA of .4 greater than students who don't? We've known for a long time that exercise helps various aspects of our lives, but making someone more intelligent? (& More desirable post-grad?) These findings may be due to some or all of the following surprising exercise benefits:
  1. Exercise Stimulates Brain Cell Development
  2. Exercise Improves Memory Retention
  3. Exercise Increases Focus & Concentration
  4. Exercise Boosts Mood
  5. Exercise Relieves Stress

Despite these results, less than half of college students meet exercise recommendations.

At the same time, students have incredibly unhealthy eating habits:
  • 66% of freshmen don't consume the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • 50% of all students don't get enough fiber.
  • 60% eat too much artery-clogging saturated fat.
  • 30% of college women don't get enough calcium.
  • 59% say they know their diet has gone downhill since they went to college.

And we're not just talking physical fitness here:
  • 32% of all students report a decline in their body image during their freshman year.
  • 40% of normal weight college women perceive that they are overweight.
  • 41% report a decline in their overall feeling of happiness during their freshman year.
  • 25% of college-aged women engage in bingeing & purging as a weight-management technique.
  • 27% of young adults between the ages of 18-24 have diagnosable mental health problems.
  • Suicide is the #2 killer of college students ages 20-24.

Lack of physical and mental wellness is way to prevalent on college campuses. 

Obviously these facts aren't new, and most of the country isn't even getting their recommended servings of x, y, and z a day - but look at these stats and how close to 50/50 they are. While we focus on the students not getting enough exercise or eating healthily, there's the other half of the student body that are. These are the students who can help their peers start and maintain these healthy lifestyles, which is so incredibly important because the habits we make at this stage stay with us for the rest of our lives. 

So we created a College Health & Wellness Tweetchat. #CHWchat

To be completely honest, @MarissaMirabito, @Sarah_M_Webb and myself are required to host a few tweetchats in our Strategic Digital Community Management class. (Taught by the amazing @ejyoung67!)  

When considering options for our topic we found we were all invested in our own and others' health and wellness - especially during the trying college years, which are supposed to be the best years of your life but seem to be intermingled with periods of pretty intense stress. We wanted to connect people who are super fitness oriented, or are awesome at cooking really nutritious meals, or really believe in the benefits of meditation, or some combination or no combination of the three to start talking and inspiring one another.

We're not trying to get people to lose weight or feel bad about their current habits. We're trying to make a stronger student community by promoting overall wellness and helping people achieve their health-related goals.

Our first tweetchat will discuss how to stay physically and mentally healthy during the finals season which is quickly encroaching upon us. If you're curious and want to be prepared (for the greatest chat ever), we'll be asking the following questions:

    • Do you have any bad health habits during finals?
    • What are healthy ways you unwind during finals?
    • What foods do you keep on hand to avoid unhealthy snacking?
    • What are your “junk foods”?
    • Do you exercise to combat stress?
    • Are there any meditation or de-stressing activities being offered through your college?

Everyone is welcome: you do not need to be a fitness buff or never eat potato chips. We simply want to promote overall health and wellness within the college community. We are super excited to be inspired by all of you, and hopefully vice versa.

So we will see you tonight at 9PM! Follow along under the hashtag #CHWchat. If you can't make it this week: no worries! We'll be tweeting next Tuesday at 9PM as well. See you there!

Me doing yoga at Montmartre in Paris during my study abroad
5 Reasons College Students Should Make Time for Exercise
College eating habits are clogged with fat
Eating Disorder Statistics
Exercise Boosts College Students' Grades
Mental Health: What a Difference Student Awareness Makes
Statistics About College Depression


Vegan Lentil, Spinach, and Wild Rice Soup

It's in the sub-zeros here in Burlington, so when I came across this lentil soup recipe from Cara over at Hipsterfood, I had to make it - with a couple substitutions. It turned out being my first meal of the new year, so let's hope the rest follow in its healthy and affordable footsteps!

Here's what you'll need:
Keep in mind, because this is a soup you can really alter all of this according to your preferences - I sure did!

- 1 cup dry wild rice/brown rice blend
- 1 cup dry lentils (2 cups cooked)
- 1 Bouillon cube or vegetable stock (we used the bouillon cubes with herbs)
- A handful or 2 of spinach (or kale or any other kind of dark leafy green)
- 2-3 tablespoons thyme
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1-2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (feel free to leave out if you're not a garlic fan)
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh chives
- Half a yellow onion, minced
(original recipe called for green onion, didn't have any so used chives and onion as a substitute! we will try with a large handful of minced green onion and less chives and yellow onion next time, but this was great too.)

Here's how you'll do it:
Start cooking rice at a 3-1 ratio water to rice for about 50 minutes. With about 30 minutes to go, cook lentils, 2-1 water to lentil ratio for about 30 minutes. During this time also begin chopping fresh herbs/onion/etc you have.

When lentils and rice are around 10 minutes from being done, put sautee onions until tender. Throw garlic in with the onions when they're a few minutes away from being done.

When everything's cooked, put it, the herbs, and pinch or two of salt/pepper into a large pot. Fill with water (or vegetable stock) a couple inches above the rice/lentil mixture, add in the bouillon cube if not using stock, and bring to a bowl then simmer for around 5 minutes or until your greens are softened.

This will cook around 3-4 servings, and I'd say each serving costs under $1.50!

Next time I may experiment with adding mushrooms and/or carrots as well, as I think they would go nicely in the mixture!

eat well,
xx taylor


a bit of reworking.

Happy New Year!

I hope it brings your desires and everything you work for.

Before I left for Paris, this blog was firstly and primarily a fashion and personal style blog with very little depth beyond reviewing fashion shows and posting specifically-coordinated outfits. When I went abroad, it became a travel diary. (- albeit one I ceased to update about a month into my travels.) Despite not learning about it via this blog, I experienced a lot during this time and like to think I've changed for the better from my European travels, and look forward to continue to improve myself now that I've returned - a general statement I imagine many are saying this very moment.

I want to record the old and the new in my life here in Burlington, Vermont as I begin my senior year in college and look forward to what the rest of my life will bring.

So this will become a mishmash of my life - food, yoga, health, fashion, marketing, music, et cetera et cetera. I sure don't know where it's heading right now, but that's truly quite fitting as it's in line with the rest of my life.

Stay tuned for recipes, reflections and photos from abroad and future travels, yoga poses, learnings, and routines, health smoothies and jogging achievements, fashion wishlists, songs of the moment, reviews, and anything else that happens comes to mind.

Live well and live happily,
xx taylor