Too School for Cool: Is North Korea making you fat?

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Apr 262013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently watched a documentary called Hungry for Change. It’s a film about healthy, natural eating and what effects it can have on a person’s lifestyle.

I’d like to start by saying that my friends and I watch a lot of documentaries, like A LOT. If you have Netflix, you’ll understand. Over my many viewings I’ve learned various things about the film industry, sushi, war, and food, but Hungry for Change is the first documentary that has truly inspired me to make a change in my life.

I’m not an unhealthy person – I’m not overweight, I don’t eat a lot of junk food or sugar, and soda is not a part of my diet. The lifestyle change outlined in the film isn’t about weight for me. It’s about putting things in my body that will help my energy, skin, and organs in the long-run.

The diet idea that the film presents is that people should not eat any foods that have additives and chemicals. All foods we consume should be found naturally in the wild. If there’s an ingredient you can’t pronounce, it doesn’t belong in your body. This is how our bodies were made to eat, so why shouldn’t we honor that?

Hungry for Change reveals secrets that the food industry doesn’t want you to know, such as addictive food additives. Many people crave sugar or salt on a weekly, or even daily, basis. That’s because some companies put in artificial ingredients that act like nicotine to make you want more. The reality is, if we stop eating those foods, our body will quickly learn to live without them and we will stop craving them.

The film interviews people who have survived cancer and obesity due to changing their diet. As I said before, I’m not unhealthy, but I do get frequent headaches and bouts of stress. The documentary explains that when people are stressed, they tend to eat. That is the opposite of what a person should do to control stress levels.

The fact is, there are a lot of stresses in our world today. Our country is in constant fear of being bombed, our economy is still at a halt, and school work piles up to an uncontrollable level. In our world today, stress is all around us. By eating natural, organic foods, you can be sure that whatever you’re putting into your body is helping your overall health and wellbeing.

 

Learn more about Hungry for Change at http://www.hungryforchange.tv/

Too School for Cool: Stress relief 101

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Sep 072012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

stress

stress (Photo credit: bottled_void)

As a college student, I deal with stress on an every-day basis.  People tell me to do things like meditate or exercise deep breathing to de-stress. While those practices are fine and dandy and may work for some people, I find those activities extremely dull.

There are more exciting ways to relieve stress that, in my opinion, work a lot better and require less time to implement. I would think that any college student would want their stress relief activities to be as efficient as possible so they have more time for studying, which is why I’ve created this list to help you all.  Here’s a little insight on how I de-stress.

Lazy river study trip

Preparing for a major exam can require extraneous amounts of study time, leaving little time for relaxation. One of the best ways I’ve found to de-stress in this situation is to relax while studying. How do I do this you might ask? Laminate your most important notes and study them while floating down the lazy river at the student recreation center. You can get your notes laminated at Kinko’s or buy a huge pack of laminating sheets at an office supply store for around 10 dollars. Slap them on and you’re ready to go.

Releasing endorphins

It may sound too easy to be true, but laughing has actually been proven to make you happier and less stressed. Let me drop a knowledge bomb on you. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins. This is a chemical in your brain that makes you feel good about life. And as they say, laughter is contagious, so get together with a big group of friends for an epic laughing session to de-stress.

Smashing plates

The tradition in Greek culture of smashing plates was originally for celebration, but I’ve found that doing it when I’m stressed can be helpful.  At the Taverna Greek Grill, it is common for the owners to pick people who are dining to smash a plate against the wall.  The rush you get from hurdling a plate at a wall, knowing you aren’t going to get in trouble or have to clean up the mess, is a great feeling.  When you do this in your home, you will have to clean up the mess and you probably shouldn’t break any of your roommates’ plates.  The rush is still the same though and has a similar effect of stress relief as screaming into a pillow.  This is just a less psycho way of de-stressing that won’t leave the neighbors wondering if they should call the police.

Reality Television

If you feel you need an hour break from studying, move to the couch for some dramatic reality television. If you can, try to pick a show where the characters are constantly dealing with awful situations.  Some that have proven effective for me are ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’.  By the time you finish watching, you will be so taken aback by how awful the characters’ lives are that your problems and stress will seem petty. Very few people are worse off than the girls who got pregnant at sixteen or the girls who are trying to solve the murder of their best friend. Compared to that, most people’s lives are a cakewalk.

Zen hobby

It helps to have a hobby that makes you feel relaxed. Many people already have one, but don’t take the time to do it. Mine is photography, so using that as an example, it helps to set aside some time in your schedule to go wander outside by yourself taking photos. Just soak in the world around you and have a moment free of worry and stress. This helps you realize there are bigger things happening in the world than whether you get an A or a B on that finance test.