How to be a Healthy and Creative College Cook


Most people think that if you wish to have a healthy diet, you must deal with being hungry; healthy food can’t possibly keep you full, can it? Faced with what appears to be an “either-or” choice, college students often choose to stick with what they are comfortable with: an unbalanced diet. It is hard for many people to realize that eating healthy does not mean cutting out all your favorite foods; it simply means getting creative. If you are cooking for yourself and struggling to buy the proper foods, these tips are for you.

College can becoming monotonous– the same schedule, day after day, and tests week after week. Creating healthy, delicious meals can help add some variety to your daily obligations. In order to create meals you enjoy, you must listen to your body: what upsets your stomach? What foods make you feel lethargic? Many people do not realize how much what they eat affects their mood; you will be surprised at how much better you feel if you listen to your body! It is helpful to keep a food log in order to keep track of what you eat and how you react to it. Through this process, I learned that I should avoid gluten and dairy. In fact, most of the population has a sensitivity to dairy; it is hard to digest and provides few health benefits.

You must stay focused at the supermarket: stay out of the isles that are too tempting. Start off in the produce section and pick out the vegetables you like the most. No one is forcing you to eat anything; pick only what you enjoy! I always buy spinach because it is delicious, healthy, and can be added to almost every meal. Next, pick out some fruits; they are the perfect snack and the perfect alternative to a high-calorie dessert.

Many college students fail to pick out the proper grains. Processed gluten ha2187748015_b23f5bd7ed_bs few health benefits and does not keep you full for long. Instead, look for foods with a low glycemic index; these grains keep you full for longer. This does not mean you have to compromise on taste– it is all about how you prepare your food. The better you are at cooking, the less you have to worry about finding that perfect balance between delicious and healthy. I usually buy rice products like basmati rice or rice noodles.

Next, pick your protein. It is important to be aware of what happens to your food before it reaches the grocery store; many animals are raised in horrible conditions and are not fed a natural diet. If this upsets you, I recommend becoming a vegetarian or pescatarian. Apart from the occasional chicken or turkey, I eat only fish. No matter your diet, it is important to eat protein. I recommend fish, beans, yogurt, and eggs; these foods keep you full for a long time.

Everyone loves snacks. Just because you want to eat healthy, doesn’t mean you have to cut out snacks. Moderation is key; only buy one of your favorite snacks. Give yourself some freedom– if you are too strict with yourself, you won’t succeed. Be smart about what snack you choose. I recommend dark chocolate, because it is both delicious and does not contain artificial ingredients. Avoid buying sugary drinks. Many people don’t realize how dangerous it is to buy soda; drinking your calories tricks you into thinking you are not being unhealthy. In addition, pick out a healthier snack– something you can eat a lot of without feeling too guilty or getting a stomach ache. I love rice crisps or Snapea crisps; they come in a lot of different flavors and are relatively light snacks. Don’t avoid the snacks that “sound healthy.” Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s gross!

Before you leave the store, make sure you have seasoning; something this simple can elevate your meals. I make sure to always have salt, pepper, and garlic. On top of those essentials, I also buy plenty of olive oil and teriyaki sauce. Olive oil is a healthy alternative to butter or canola oil; it is a monounsaturated fatty acid, not a saturated or trans fat. These little details are what make all the difference–always check the ingredients before you buy something!

Many people give up on a healthy diet because they think it requires too much effort or takes up too much time. Once you create a system, eating healthy is easy. After you have all your ingredients, check out before you get tempted to buy more than you have to! Now the challenge is to think about what your favorite meals are; there is always a way to create a healthy version of a meal. For example, if you like french fries, make your own– buy some potatoes, cut them into fries, cover them with olive oil and a little salt, and bake them! This is much healthier than the pre-made french fries you buy at McDonald’s.

Though eating healthy inevitably takes more time than buying pre-made food, it does not have to be complicated. When you have a break, start cooking. I recommend cooking big meals so that you will have leftovers. I sometimes cook a meal that lasts for two or three days, which allows me to eat quickly on the days when I am the most busy. The stigma 4920968077_8523c4b35a_qagainst leftovers is not true; they can be delicious! I have found that the most successful meals are stir-frys; simply choose a protein, a vegetable, and a grain. Add garlic and teriyaki sauce to the pan and you’re ready to go.

I believe that the main reason college students do not eat healthy is because they do not make their own food. Many college students don’t really know how to cook. People do not realize how easy and fun cooking can be. Not only does it allow you to see exactly what is going into your food, but it is also a great way to take a break from studying. When I feel overworked but know that I don’t have the time to take a real break, I choose to cook instead. While you are cooking, you have time to yourself; you can think through problems or you can turn off your racing mind and listen to music. Enjoy cooking healthy–your mind and your body will thank you!

6 “Healthy” Foods to Avoid this Summer

Walking into a supermarket you’re met with a plethora of food options. Labels throw phrases like “no sugar added,” “low-fat,” and “all-natural” around, but how true are these claims? It’s easy to believe what you see in front of you rather than really research the foods you buy. They have to be true if they’re on the label, right? Wrong. Buying those items, on the surface, seems like a healthy alternative, but often times it isn’t. The following foods are commonly labeled as healthy foods, but in reality should be avoided.

1. Energy Bars

healthy foods - energy bars

Everyone’s guilty of it: you’re running late, no time to eat so you grab an energy bar on the way out thinking, “Well it’s better than buying a McDonald’s breakfast or not having breakfast at all!” Many energy bars today claim to be healthy and good for you, however that is not the case. Many times they have a nutritional profile like a candy bar’s, not like fit foods’. Some even have as much sugar as candy. However, not all bars are unhealthy. Check the ingredients list as well as the amount of sugar and calories a bar has to determine if it’s basically the same as eating candy for breakfast.

2. Dried Fruit

healthy foods - dried fruit

Dried fruit, considering the fact that it’s fruit, seems like a guilty-free snack. Little do people know, however, companies add sugar to enhance the flavor and use sulfur dioxide to preserve freshness, making dried fruit more like little candies. When eating dried fruit you do get all the vitamins, minerals and fiber the fruit has to offer, but it is often easy to eat more than one serving at a time thanks to the added sugar. You’re better off sticking to actual fruit.

3. Wraps

healthy foods - wraps


Wraps are the supposed healthier alternative to breads because they’re thinner but just because it’s thinner doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier. Most restaurants and delis package your sandwich fixings into a 12-inch wrap. That wrap can hold twice the amount of calories than a regular sandwich. More often than not, spinach, tomato and whole grain wraps contain additional coloring and flavoring. A healthier alternative to bread and wraps are lettuce wraps.

4. Skim Milk

healthy foods - skim milk

Most people think skim milk is better than whole milk because it doesn’t contain any fat. Although this is true, skim milk also eliminates essential vitamins. Skim milk is made with synthetic vitamins to attempt to replace the calcium and protein lost during processing. There is little benefit to buying fat-free dairy products.

5. Flavored Yogurt

healthy foods - flavored yogurt

Flavored yogurt is another food that is supposedly healthy and also quick and easy. You know that the small cup isn’t very filling and you’ll be craving something with more substance only 10 minutes after eating, yet you still reach for it. Flavored yogurts are actually full of sugar, with most brands having about 15 grams of sugar per 6 ounce serving. Switching to plain Greek yogurt is a better option that will leave you more satisfied and full of protein for a full day.

I hope this lists helps you choose healthy foods, and not “healthy” foods during your next trip to the supermarket. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Share in the comments below!

Beauty Care Tips: Hair and Face

It’s important to take care of our bodies on the inside and outside. These are beauty care tips on how to keep your hair and skin healthy and looking great.

Tips for Healthy Hair


The picture above is before and after a few treatments of coconut oil. The colder months are coming and that means dry hair. If you find you have dry hair, try adding argon oil or coconut oil to the ends. The oils add moisture and they add shine to your hair.

Washing your hair is also an important part of keeping it healthy and looking good. You may think you’re washing it correctly, but are you really? Hair care experts say that when you wash your hair you should only apply shampoo to the roots- that’s the only place that produces oil and therefore the only place that gets greasy. When you put the conditioner in, only put it on the ends and don’t leave it on; wash it out after the same amount of time you would wash your shampoo out. Leaving it in can make your hair feel heavy and greasy on the ends.

Tips for Healthy Skin (Face)


Wash your face often- before bed and after you wake up. Washing your face every day prevents buildups on your face which lead to breakouts. Take extra care after a workout, so as not to leave the sweat just sitting there.

Makeup is amazing, but not always for the health of your face. Before you wash your face, take all of the makeup off. And never ever sleep with your makeup on.

Another thing that will help is to change your sheets and pillowcases more often. Oil can store itself in the sheets and the pillow cases and when you lay your just washed face on it, it will just add oil to your skin.

Moisturizing is also really important. There are many brands of facial moisturizer, but my favorite is plain baby lotion. It’s made for sensitive skin so its less likely to breakout and it isn’t greasy.

Bonus Beauty Care Tips

  • Drink a lot of water. Try to drink ten glasses a day. Your complexion and waistline will thank you.
  • Exercising can help keep your entire body healthy and endorphins make you happy.
  • Get some rest. Sleep allows the body to heal and rest, keeping you healthy and beautiful.


Living a healthy lifestyle is something we should all strive for. Hopefully these tips will help you feel great.

Comment below with tricks you’ve found to work, and as always, good luck!

Tips to Form Healthy Habits

With a much busier schedule and living away from home, staying healthy in college can be difficult. With just a little extra work, however, it can be done. Here are a few tips to form healthy habits.

1. Get Enough Sleep

When you’re bogged down with class work, meetings, concerts, and athletic activities, it can be hard to catch your full eight hours. Make it a priority to get as much high quality sleep as possible. Stay off of your phone and social media before bedtime so you won’t be tempted to stay up watching cat videos for hours.

2. Watch What You Eat

When you’ve got a million other things to do, it can be tempting to order pizza every night instead of eating real food for dinner. Be sure to stock your fridge with food to make quick healthy meals so you’ll be less tempted to order take out.

3. Keep Stress To A Minimum

It’s difficult to live a stress free life as a college student, but you can keep your stress level under control by managing your time wisely and making sure you aren’t making more commitments than you can handle.

4. Stay Active

Young couple run together on a sunset
If you can’t block off a large amount of time to dedicate to working out, find ways throughout your day to be active. Take a break while studying and do a few jumping jacks in your dorm room. Grab a friend and jog around campus, or take a quick trip to the gym.

What moves do you make to stay healthy in college? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Ways to Make a Healthier Pizza!

1. Use a whole wheat tortilla as the crust.


This is a healthier alternative to a traditional pizza crust, but is just as delicious! Put your sauce, cheese, and desired toppings on and then put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle some garlic powder and basil on top for added flavor. You can adjust the cooking times depending on how crispy you want your crust to be.

2. Make a personal pizza on a portobello mushroom cap.

pizza 2

This makes a great snack or pair it with a salad or some other side to make it a meal. This is a very healthy, low carb alternative to a regular pizza and it is very tasty! You can get very creative with this option. Use any sauce you want: marinara, Alfredo, or pesto and it will be delicious. Then top with some low-fat shredded cheese or fresh mozzarella and any toppings you want. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. It is super easy and a great way to satisfy your pizza craving!

3. Pick up some whole wheat flat-bread pizza crusts.


You can find these premade crusts in stores (the package pictured above is from Target). All you have to do is add your sauce, cheese, and toppings and toss it in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and you’ll have a delicious and crispy thin crust pizza! Use lots of veggies for toppings for added nutrition and tastiness!

4. Choose your toppings wisely.

You can easily cut calories without sacrificing taste by picking more health-conscious sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Go for a simpler tomato sauce and stay away from sauces that use heavy cream or cheese. Pick up low-fat cheese or fresh mozzarella, which is actually one of the healthier cheese options because it is low in sodium, has no carbs or sugar, and is rich in protein. Fresh mozzarella is also really delicious and melts perfectly! Choose fresh veggies for added healthiness and nutrients.

How to Make Your Own Infused Waters

Healthy Waterimage source 

It’s no surprise that my Pinterest feed these past few weeks have consisted of colorful bikinis, floral prints, pastel colors, and spring décor. But my favorite trend of the season? Infused water.

For the longest time I couldn’t bring myself to drink water, it was just so bland compared to my favorite fizzy soda pop flavors. However, last semester a friend of mine introduced me to infused water, and I was instantly hooked. Infused water helps make staying hydrated fun, offers a dose of essential vitamins, gently cleanses your body and works as a natural skin care. But, the best part about it all? It’s such a quick and easy process, it takes just under 5 minutes to prepare!

Making your own infused water is quick and simple! Here’s how to make your own infused water:

Step 1: Fill a pitcher with water,

Step 2: add thinly sliced fruits, herbs or spices and ice

Step 3: chill in the refrigerator.

For stronger flavored water, prepare it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge overnight before drinking, The fruit should stay fresh as long as you keep your water refrigerated, and should be consumed in 3-5 days. That’s it! No fancy gadgets or confusing recipe cards, it’s simple as 1,2,3.

Here are a some infused water recipes that make will make your taste buds sing…

 – Raspberry +  lemon  +  mint

 – Strawberry  +  Kiwi

Lemon  +  cucumber  +  mint

 – Blackberry  +  cherry  +  lime

 – Orange  +  lemon  +  lime

 – Strawberry + Lime + Mint

We’re always on the hunt for new flavor combinations, so snap a photo of your beautiful beverage on Instagram or tweet us your favorite recipe on twitter by using #tastebuddanceparty



Fruit Infused Waterimage source

College Student Probs: Balancing College and the Need for Real Food

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Ramen noodles. Easy Mac. Frozen pizza. Pop tarts. What do these have in common? Ohhh yeah, the infamous college cuisine.

So here’s a question: Is it physically realistic or even possible to eat healthy, decent meals in college?

Before I answer…

First of all, since I lived in a dorm last year, I automatically had a meal plan, which included about one meal a day and $300 for restaurants on campus. So, I usually grabbed a breakfast bar on the way to class, ate a meatball marinara from Subway for lunch, and ate in a school cafeteria for dinner. 

This year, living off campus in an apartment, I do not have a meal plan. I figured I would do the same for breakfast and lunch, but at least cook dinner. I soon learned that I barely had time for this! I spend the majority of the hours I’m actually at my apartment sleeping. I resort to fast food or restaurants on campus when I don’t have time to return to my apartment. And when I do have about 10-15 minutes to make dinner, it’s a simple pasta or some macaroni (but made on the stove, of course).

So here is my answer: It can be realistic and possible, both if you have a meal plan/live on campus or not. But it can be a challenge and may require schedule readjustments. 

  • If you have a meal plan or are stuck on campus:
    • Go to the restaurants available that offer the healthiest choices. For example, don’t get greasy pizza when you can choose a grilled chicken salad. Also, go for water instead of soda. Saves you money, too.
    • If you can, take back fruits or healthy snacks from the cafeterias. Save them for later. Again, this saves you money you could’ve spent at the vending machine full of Grippos and cookies.
    • If you don’t have a meal plan or are not on campus:
      • Personally, I find this more challenging because the cafeterias are more expensive than buying groceries. But cooking is more time consuming, and you have to be in your apartment or home to cook. So, the first step is spending more time in your apartment; do some homework once in a while there instead of in the library.
      • Try waking up 10 minutes earlier than usual a few times a week to pack yourself lunch.
      • Try taking out 30 minutes out of watching T.V. with your friends or out of nap time (which is an impossible request for me) to cook yourself some dinner, and maybe for you and your friends if you’re at their place; basically, dedicate some time in your schedule for, well, food.
      • When you do cook, cook something that will last more than one day in the fridge and make a lot of it.
      • Buy some healthy snacks such as nuts or fruit; even if you’re not too proud of your meals, you can try to take in some nutrients in small doses throughout the day.

And I saved the best for last: The best option, especially in the beginning and end of the school year? Find events for free food on campus!

 -What are some things you do to get wholesome meals during college?

Easy Ways to Use Applesauce!

Applesauce is easy to use, not to mention, extremely good for you.

It’s healthy and tastes good—although some people dislike the texture.

Besides just plain eating it, which I used to do almost everyday when my parents packed it in my lunch, there are various other uses for the healthy food.

Here are just a few:

Applesauce & Cinnamon Ornaments!

Oh yes! It’s true! With just a little bit of applesauce and cinnamon you can create a sparkly Christmas ornament. It’s easy to do, and looks great on the tree.

Mix ½ applesauce, with ½ cinnamon. Roll on a flat space (keep adding cinnamon if it’s too sticky!). Cut out your shapes—punch a hole for the ribbon and pop into the oven at 200 degrees. Voila!

BBQ Sauce! 

With just a few ingredients you can create a delicious sauce for chicken and more!

Play around with portions or add to taste. Ketchup, applesauce, salt, pepper , sugar and a few spices will create a fun and unique play on your every day BBQ sauce.

Dog Treats! 

Dogs want to be healthy too—and plus why not save a few bucks and bake treats on your own.

Here’s a great recipe to follow to get your pup hooked on a healthy apple snack.

Classic Switch! 

This is a baking crowd favorite that saves calories and adds something sweet. When baking cookies, cake, muffins or brownies, why not try replacing oil with applesauce. It’s healthy and makes the texture softer. I never bake cupcakes without applesauce—it makes it easier to eat more than one! (You can’t feel bad if you dessert was made with healthy ingredients, right?)

Take apple filled ideas out for a spin, and then think of you own!

Do you ever bake with applesauce?

Creative Meals to Take to Work

While working at your summer job it can be hard to know what to eat on your lunch break. Sometimes depending on the shift, breaks can be as short as fifteen minutes! Fifteen minutes is hardly enough time to leave and find food. If you’re like me, you don’t want to pack a quick pouch of pop tarts or even chips because you’re worried about nutrition. I’ve discovered how to turn break time into a quick nutritional pick me up, here’s how to.

The first step is to bring a bottle of water from home. There is no use in spending your hard earned cash in a vending machine for a sugary pop or energy drink.  Bringing a bottle of water isn’t only free; it’ll keep you hydrated and healthy on the job. Next, pack fresh foods that you cannot find in a package! This might take you waking up five minutes earlier in order to prepare your food, but you will be saving time and money when your break arrives. I always get up early and prepare my break food while I’m in the kitchen for breakfast.

A great thing to make fresh and quick is a sandwich. Make sure you keep bread, condiments, and fresh veggies in your fridge! My sandwiches usually consist of wheat bread, turkey, cheese, fresh lettuce, onion, pickles, and occasionally a little bit of  mustard. If you aren’t into sandwiches try creating a salad to go! Find some tub-o-ware, and begin the process! I usually combine lettuce and spinage in mine. Include your favorite dressing on the side to avoid soggy salad later. Add shredded cheeses, onion, tomato, peppers, and whatever else you enjoy! This is a great a fast option for a healthy main course.

When it comes to side dishes there are many options. Throw in your favorite yogurt and a spoon; include a side of fresh strawberries or grapes as well because they are easy to pack. You might also like to throw in an apple or banana for fruit; they are also very easy to pack quickly. If you feel the need for more sustenance, try adding one of your favorite granola bars as well. Try avoiding potato chips, but it you want a healthy substitute, use pretzels, animal crackers, or a couple graham crackers. Each of these substitutes provides a delicious flavor and still has the crunch effect. All of them are also extremely low in fat.

In conclusion, there are many ways to save money and eat right quickly while on the job. All it takes is a little preparation to enjoy a meal straight from your kitchen. You’ll love the feeling of eating healthy and you’ll be surprised at your energy levels throughout the day because of your good nutrition choices. Give it a try and feel the difference!

Tips & Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster

Isn’t it crazy that we can fall asleep in ten seconds flat at the library, but as soon as our heads meet our pillows we are wide-awake? There are many things that can be done to help a person fall asleep fast, without the use of shady sleeping aids those people down the hall always offer you:

1. Limit caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant (well, duh). Having a cup of coffee before your night class might instantly perk you up, but chances are you will be up way long after your professor lets you go.  Avoid energy drinks, coffee, even caffeinated tea for about four hours before trying to sleep.

2. No eating right before bed.
Just like caffeine, if you have an orange (or any other acidic fruit) right before bed, it will be harder to drift off to la-la-land.  Just as you don’t want to get wired up on caffeine right before sleep, try not to eat until you’re full right before bed.   You can still hit up late night with friends; just ensure you are not planning on sleeping for s few hours afterward.  If you are starving try to eat lighter foods like eggs, an apple, some cereal, etc. if you are planning to doze off soon.

3. Having a sleeping schedule.
Your friends may be unpredictable or spontaneous, your schedule may be drastically different from day to day, and if your involved on campus, forget about it.  Having a different schedule each day is an exciting part of college that one may not appreciate until one starts working 9-5.  Ensure that your sleep schedule is somewhat routine (i.e. you try to sleep each night around the same time and try to wake each morning similarly).  No one says your bedtime has to be at 11pm anymore, but keeping a schedule will help you fall asleep faster and get a more restful sleep.

4. No tech ‘til breakfast.
This is a tough one, but using your phone, iPad, laptop, or anything of the sort right before bed might be a reason you can’t seem to sleep well.  Have you ever closed your eyes and the first picture you have in your mind is a computer game or a part of that funny YouTube video?  This is a sign you should probably cut down.  Skeptical? See what Dr. Breus has to say about this.

5. The right amount of exercise.
Girls and guys alike seem to drastically change their exercise routine when in college to either extreme. Some slow down their workouts, go less often or stop them completely.  Others workout so hard that their body is throbbing in pain and they end up so sore that they need to take a break on the stairs when trying to get to class on the second floor.  Either of these extremes is harmful to your sleep.  Exercising that right amount is different for everyone, and it takes practice to find that balance.  At least 20 minutes of exercise every other day is a nice minimum whether that is walking, lifting, running or rock climbing.  Finding fun and different ways to keep in shape can keep your muscles guessing and trick your mind into disbelief that what you just did really was a workout can give you a more restful sleep.  Try a new sport with a friend or check out a fitness class on campus.

6. Meditation.
Not a yogi?  Try just sitting at your desk or on a comfortable chair and just take a few slow breaths.  Clearing your head a bit before bed may get rid of some stress or anxiety before sleep.

7. Less pressure on yourself.
Keep up with your responsibilities, going to class and such, but not putting too much pressure on yourself may help you drift off to sleep quicker.  Remember that saying “College is the most exciting time in your life”?  They say that for a reason.

8. College sleep kit.
Either by hitting up the local convenience store or asking for these items to be sent in your next care package, these items are known to help you fall asleep faster:

  1. Lavender lotion or putting a drop of lavender oil behind your pillow
  2. Eye mask to block out your roommates desk light
  3. De-caffeinated herbal tea (most labels will advertise it is a natural sleep remedy)
  4. A word on ear plugs – although they work wonders in the library around finals when everyone is doing their homework last minute, earplugs at night could be dangerous incase of fire or other emergency.  Talking with your roommates or neighbors about the noise level could be your best bet.

Do NOT succumb to alcohol.  Many bad habits can begin in college, but do NOT let using alcohol as a sleep aid become one of them.  Once legal age, there is nothing wrong with a glass of wine at the end of the day, but using alcohol as a sleep aid can be very dangerous! Here’s proof.

Sweet dreams!


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