What in the World is “World Food Day”?

October 16th is World Food Day. If you aren’t sure what that means, it is the day that celebrates the formation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Quebec, Canada on October 16, 1945. Millions of people from almost every country come together and commit to a common goal: to end world hunger.

World Food day is “a day of action against hunger”. Every year on this date, advocates team up to raise awareness and engage others in the fight against hunger. Advocates believe in a zero tolerance policy for hunger for two specific reasons:wfd

1. The right to food is a basic human right.
Our world is huge, as is the number of people who inhabit it! Statistics show that 1 in 9 people live in chronic hunger. Hunger and malnutrition deeply affect individuals, and unfortunately a majority of those individuals are children. Advocates of World Food Day believe that the issues of hunger and malnutrition need to be addressed because all humans should be free from hunger.

2. Hunger can be ended in our lifetime.
Statistics show that the planet produces enough food to feed everyone on it. Efforts have been made by world leaders to apply that fact and take action to end hunger. Fourteen years ago, they signed a commitment to achieve several Millennium Development goals by 2015. The number one goal on that list is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Since that was signed, poverty has decreased and targets have been reached with significant progress, supporting the belief that hunger can in fact be ended in our lifetime.

Hungry for more about World Food Day and what you can do to help the cause? Check out their website to find more statistics, events, and food for thought.

http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/did-you-know

Written by Allie Fonseca, Peer Educator

October Boo-zin’

October is an exciting month at West Chester University. Fall Break gives way to Homecoming, Halloween, and increased excitement. With this excitement may lead to an increased presence of alcohol around campus, and with that the potential to feel pressured to start drinking, or drink more than you’re used to. Stay safe during the upcoming festivities and still enjoy the party!

Ways to be prepared when you go out:
-Go out/go home with a group of friends.

-Make sure you have the contact information of the people you go out with, and that you have a charged phone.

-In case you’re caught in a tough situation, know who you can call:
• Have WCU Public Safety in your phone (610-436-3311)
• Type in “Aaa” in front of your emergency contacts so they are the first ones available to you.
• Remember to call 911 instead of Public Safety if you’re off-campus

- Eat before you drink. Something rich in fats and proteins is best.

- Pour your own drinks so you know how much alcohol your drink contains.

- Don’t mix energy drinks and liquor. The two send mixed messages to your brain and body.

- Know how much you plan on drinking and stick to that number. Need help keeping track? Use the lines on your cup!

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Try one of these lines if you don’t want to drink, or when you’ve had enough:

-“I have work/another commitment tomorrow morning”

-“I don’t drink”

-“I’ve had enough tonight” or “I’m not feeling too great right now”

-Having a non-alcoholic drink in your hand can act as a signal to others

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Written by Dave Parsons, Peer Educator

Body Dysmorphic Disorder: More Than Meets the Eye

bddIt is not uncommon to have something that you don’t like about your appearance. Our eyes are prone to focus on our “imperfections”, be it a birthmark, a crooked tooth, or maybe the shape of a nose. Although we may fret over these things, they typically don’t interfere with our daily lives.
There are people, however, that are greatly impacted by what is reflected in the mirror. These “flaws” take over their thoughts and dictate life choices. These people are classified as having Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a body-image disorder that affects all types of people. This disorder involves the persistent concern or preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance. These thoughts can lead to depression, anxiety, and severe emotional distress that can interfere with daily life, such as missing class, work, and avoiding social situations.

Characteristics of BDD
Those with BDD can dislike any part of their body. They often find a flaw in their hair, nose, skin, chest or stomach. A slight “imperfection” is extremely significant and prominent to a person with BDD.
People with BDD may deal with these thoughts in a drastic way that can lead to extreme and harmful behavior such as plastic surgery, eating disorders, and self-harm.

bdd2Symptoms of BDD
Individuals with BDD can develop obsessive tendencies about their appearance that can take hours out of their day. Other behaviors associated with BDD include:

• comparing appearance to others
• seeking surgery
• excessively checking mirrors
• avoiding mirrors
• skin picking
• excessive grooming/exercise

Treatment
-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one way BDD is treated. This involves teaching patients to recognize irrational thoughts and work towards changing negative thought patterns.
-Antidepressants are also commonly used in treated BDD. These are used to help relieve obsessive and compulsive symptoms of BDD.

To learn more about how BDD is tested and diagnosed, check out

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20029953

 

Written by Peer Educator Allie Fonseca

Midterm Madness

Well, it’s about that time! We are just about halfway through the semester, which means midterm season is on its way! Here are some tips to stay on track while preparing for midterms!stress

 

Set goals! Prioritize and set small, obtainable goals. For example, let’s say you plan to study for one hour- if you successfully complete an hour of studying with no distractions, reward yourself by ending your night watching your favorite television show!

Manage your time. Keep a to-do list in order to help manage your time in an efficient way. Break bigger projects into smaller ones. Be sure to take study breaks and space out your study sessions. Try studying for fifty minutes and then taking a ten minute break. “Cramming” for 6 hours the night before your test isn’t going to help you retain the information.

Limit distractions. First, find a quiet, peaceful environment. The third floor of Sykes and the library are great places to study! To stay on task, turn off your cell phone, put it on silent, or tuck it away in your backpack- we all know how hard it is to refrain from checking a text message when our phones go off!

Stay on top of studying. Studying throughout the semester will help you retain information. A general rule of thumb suggests that for every hour spent in class, you should spend two hours studying. Take notes, make flashcards, highlight, or review and read material as often as necessary. Also try using creative memory strategies to help you remember key concepts.

Stay healthy. The more we stress, the more we get sick. Prolonged high levels of stress lower your immune system. The last thing anyone needs is to get sick right before a big test! Stay hydrated, eat healthy snacks and get plenty of rest! Don’t share utensils or food with friends, wash your hands, and get your free flu shot at student health services.

 

Take advantage of on-campus resources. The LARC offers free tutoring for a large variety of courses. If you are struggling in a class, head to the LARC (located at 224 Lawrence Center) and sign up! Don’t be afraid to go to a professor’s office hours with questions- they are here to help.

 

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Running the Right Way!

runRunning is one of the most convenient ways to exercise- you can do it anywhere! But have you ever thought about the impact running has on your bones and joints? Running or jogging on a sidewalk, a concrete road, or any hard surface can negatively affect the health of the bones and joints in your legs. Here are some alternative surfaces that could benefit your health during your routine exercises.

Grass
– Grass is soft and easy on the legs in terms of impact
– Resistance makes your muscles work harder and builds strength
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Woodland Trails
– Softer impact with more hills to increase muscle
– Scenic areas help keep you distracted and wanting to come back

Sand
– Provides good resistance for training and strengthening legs
– Gives an opportunity to run barefoot
– The soft surface decreases the risk of injuries

Picking the right shoe can also make a difference in your running experience. Running sneakers come in many varieties, and picking the perfect pair of shoes can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some tips to think about while shopping for your next pair!

- Pick a shoe that is light and flexible. Your feet should never feel crammed, heavy, or stuck.
- Know your feet – what size? Do you have a normal arch, high arch, or are you flat footed? What is your pronation (how does your foot roll when you walk)?
- What kind of surface will you be running on? Do you need extra cushion or stabilization?

run3                   Written by Courtney Miklos, Volunteer

Stay Healthy This Cold & Flu Season

The common cold and flu can spread very easily on a college campus. Think about all the surfaces that you touch during the day and how many other people have touched those surfaces too. Every year up to 20% of people living in the United States become ill with the flu, and more than 200,000 people end up in the hospital due to complications.

Getting sick can be easily avoided if you follow these simple suggestions:
• Wash your hands
• Avoid contact with sick people flu
• Get plenty of rest
• Don’t touch your face
• Get your FREE flu shot at Student Health Services

Many students do not receive their flu shot because they do not fully understand the seasonal flu. Here’s what you need to know:

How does the seasonal flu spread?
You can catch the flu when someone with the virus coughs, talks, or sneezes, and their bodily fluid land in your nose or mouth. However, it is also possible to touch a surface with the virus on it, then touch your face and get the flu.

What is the best way to protect myself?
The flu vaccine provides the best protection against seasonal flu.
How long does the illness last?
Usually the seasonal flu lasts about one to two weeks. Most people are contagious one day before any signs or symptoms appear, and they can continue to infect others up to five to seven days after their symptoms develop.

fluu
Get your FREE flu shot! Visit wcupa.edu/health to find out about flu shot clinics around campus or visit Student Health Services in Commonwealth Hall.

 
Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator

Greek Yogurt: A quick and easy way to start your day!

Greek yogurt has blown up the past few years. Countless brands and varieties of Greek yogurt have been lining the shelves of grocery stores. But what makes Greek yogurt different?

greek - CopyWhat is Greek Yogurt?

The difference between Greek yogurt and traditional yogurt is that Greek yogurt has been strained to remove all the whey. Whey is the watery part of milk that is remaining after milk has been curdled. Because of this, Greek yogurt has a creamier, thicker texture and a richer taste. Greek yogurt has 40 percent less sugar, 38 percent less sodium and more than twice the amount of protein than traditional yogurt, making it the healthier choice.

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Probiotics and other health benefits:

Greek yogurt contains a number of probiotics. Probiotics are a form of healthy bacteria that help promote a “healthy gut”. Your digestive tract naturally contains a lot of different types of bacteria – some good,which help you digest food, and some potentially harmful. Eating Greek yogurt with probiotics helps to increase those good bacteria. Greek yogurt also contains calcium, which promotes strong, healthy bones.

Lactose intolerant? No problem!

Lactose intolerance is triggered by the digestive system not being capable of digesting the milk sugar called lactose. However, people who are lactose intolerant should still try to keep milk and dairy as part of their nutrition intake. Since Greek yogurt goes through a straining process, it has a lesser percentage of lactose. The lower amount of lactose combined with the probiotics which break down the lactose make it easy to digest and lactose-intolerant friendly!

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Check out these recipes that use Greek yogurt:

http://www.oikosyogurt.com/greek-yogurt-recipes/all-recipes/roasted-red-pepper-aioli.aspx

http://www.oikosyogurt.com/greek-yogurt-recipes/all-recipes/sweet-summer-smoothie-with-oikos.aspx

 

Written by Courtney Miklos, Volunteer

Get a Better Night Sleep!

Getting a good night sleep will help you with your class work, perform better on exams, help you focus, and keep you healthy. Are you feeling well rested? If not, adjusting your sleep habits may be that quick fix you are looking for.

sleep1 Get your body’s clock ticking.

 Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will get your body into a pattern helping you get a better night sleep.

 Bedtime rituals can get you in the “mood.”

Relaxing activities like reading a book or listening to calming music before going to bed can make it easier to fall asleep. Avoid overusing electronics before going to sleep, as some experts say that artificial light may interfere with sleep.

Put a cap on the naps.

You may think long afternoon naps are beneficial, but if you are having trouble sleeping at night, too much sleep during the day may be to blame. If you must nap, limit them to about 10 to 30 minutes.

Plan your day around your Z’s.

imagesCA2XB86T

Waiting until the end of the night to study or complete schoolwork can effect both your academics and sleep. You are most productive during the day, so use those hours wisely!

Following these tips can help you have a healthier and more productive semester! Start sleeping today!

Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator.

Your Guide To A Healthy Fall

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Summer is coming to an end and fall is creeping up on us! As the seasons change it is important to keep up with healthy habits. Here are some helpful tips to a healthy fall:

Embrace the outdoors and keep up with physical activity.
Many find it hard to keep up with going to the gym when the weather gets colder. Setting the clocks back this season can also cause people to “fall behind” in their workout regimen. Take advantage of outdoor chores and use them as a workout, for example raking leaves for half an hour is a way to burn calories. Other fun, healthy fall activities include going apple or pumpkin picking with your family and friends, or going for a hike.f2

Dress in layers.
Be sure to dress in appropriate apparel that will keep you warm! Layers are a great choice for fall because it is often colder in the mornings and nights, but hotter during the day. Keep accessories such as hats, scarves and gloves in mind.

Eat foods that boost your immune system.
Eating the right foods can help you stay healthier this season! For example, Avocados contain essential amino acids, antioxidants and some healthy fats to help balance hormone production. Drinking green tea can help fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying. Adding a drop of sage extract into tea or hot water can also help break up mucus and cure a cough! Some other examples of “foods with benefits” are garlic, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, yogurt, and citrus fruits.

Avoid sport game snacking.
Football season is back, which means sport game snacking is back. Try your best to avoid unconscious eating while you are watching your favorite team play. Instead of eating from a large bowl, pre-measure your snack and place it in a smaller bowl or napkin instead. If you like chips, try baked instead of fried. Try out some healthier options, such as veggies and dip, fruit, or mixed nuts.

 

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Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Meditation: Be Kind to Your Mind

Adjusting to a new semester can be extremely stressful and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by everything that’s going on. With that being said, it is also easy to help yourself deal with the stress of being a college student.

One word: meditation.

Meditation is a practice that involves breathing and obtaining a positive mentality to focus on relaxation. Studies have shown just how effective meditation is on the human body and mind, specifically with college students.

keep                An example of meditation can involve:
• Taking only 15 minutes out of your busy schedule
• Finding a nice, quiet space
• Counting the number of breathes you inhale and exhale

 By concentrating on the moment and focusing on your breathing, you are able  to let go of negative, stressful thoughts (i.e. papers, presentations, or the fact that you had to wait a half an hour in the Starbucks line).

med

So want to know how meditation can help you?

Stress Reduction- According to the National Institutes of Health, meditation is believed to reduce stress in college students because it increases the activity in our minds that allows us to rest.

Concentration Improvement- Meditation can take some work and mental energy, but practicing meditation methods can improve your concentration skills! Improved concentration can help you stay on task and finish your work.

Overall well-being- Meditation can lead to an increase in happiness, creativity, and peace of mind!

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider putting aside some time to take a deep breathe, meditate, and be kind to your mind.

 

Written by Allie Fonseca, Peer Educator