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Erin Kany

More by Erin Kany

13 Nutrition Tips to Keep Your Weight Loss Resolution

4/15/2013

If you’re one of the few who has kept their health and weight loss resolution for three months, congratulations! Along with working out regularly, you have to integrate healthy eating habits into your life in order to achieve weight loss. You cannot shed the pounds by only going to Marino! You also need to modify the way you feel about food. It may seem impossible to eat a healthy diet in college: it can be expensive, but with these tips, you can eat healthy, on a budget, and feel better about yourself and your body.

Here are 13 nutrition tips to help Collegiettes continue their New Year's Resolutions:

Tips For Surviving St. Patrick's Day Weekend

3/15/2013

You may not even know why St. Patrick's Day is celebrated, but you do know how its celebrated. College campuses across the nation are going to use the holiday as an excuse to binge drink and wear obnoxious amounts of green. With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Sunday this year, the celebration is going to be a weekend long event. Here are tips to help you survive the weekend festivities:

1. Be festive. Wear Green.

        Even if it may not be "your color," green clothing and accessories are a must when celebrating St. Patty's Day. Some party invites insist that no green clothes means no entry. If you do not have a great deal of green in your closet, stores like Forever 21, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are a great place to look for inexpensive options. If you have some green clothes, but you are attached to them, you may also want to consider going shopping. The chance something may get spilled on over the course of the weekend is high.
        Also, do not be afraid to visit a party store and buy all the tacky accessories. This is the one time of the year you can get away with plastic light up Shamrock earrings or green tights. Do not worry about looking foolish, the more shamrocks you rock, the better.

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2. Do not stop at your clothes. Try making these healthier green drinks.

Writing Yourself a Letter When in Need

2/21/2013

A Healthy Coping Mechanism: Writing Yourself a Letter
I wrote myself a letter recently. I wrote a letter from me to the present me. It seems stupid, I know, but I think it is something that may just be dumb enough to work.

In college, students tend to develop negative and sometimes detrimental coping mechanisms. I had found myself developing some habits to deal with my stress that were not only counterproductive but also were starting to affect my emotional and physical health. I had become obsessed with what I ate, with excelling in my studies, and ultimately, like many other college students, had developed an unhealthy drinking habit. What I eventually found was that food, grades, and vodka were not going to solve my problems.

So I wrote myself a letter. What I found unique and helpful about the process was stepping away from myself for a second and trying to view my life from an outsider's perspective. I tried to imagine what it would be like if I had followed myself for the past week and saw what others saw. Experts say that if you are ruminating on a certain situation or a particular stressor the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the situation and try to explain it from a bystander's point of view. That is exactly what I did; I wrote the letter explaining to myself what I saw from the outside.

5 Tips on Avoiding the Flu

1/23/2013

How to Ensure You Don't Get the Flu!

With 532 cases of the flu reported and 167 of those cases resulting in hospitalization, the flu epidemic in Boston is an unavoidable reality. Unfortunately, being in college and living on a college campus is not conducive to avoiding the illness. One of the main ways an individual can ensure that he or she does not catch the virus is to "avoid crowds" and "contact with others." Well, living in a dorm or sitting in a 200 person lecture hall seems to be setting college students up for a definite flu disaster, but there are simple ways to reduce the chances of getting the virus.

1. Northeastern University Health Services is providing FREE flu vaccines to all Northeastern students without even needing to schedule an appointment. According to individuals who have received the flu shot from Health Services, the process is actually short and simple (unlike other experiences students may have had there). Even if you missed the flu shots on campus in November or don't have the time to run to your pharmacy, you can easily get the vaccine on campus. Getting the shot is the best way to try to ward off the flu.

Keeping that Weight Loss Resolution

1/22/2013

Taking Baby Steps to Keep your Weight Loss Resolutions! Part One:

Tried going to the gym recently? Good luck finding an open elliptical. However, if you go after the 21st, you are probably in the clear.

Millions of Americans made similar New Year's resolutions for the year 2013: they vow to lose weight, get in shape, and become healthier. Whether someone's goal is to head to the gym more or eat healthier, what it all breaks down to is essentially the same thing. With approximately 60% of American adults being overweight or obese, everyone rang in the New Year with cheers and kisses along with the hope they might shed some weight in 2013.

A majority of those Americans will give up on their resolutions within three weeks of vowing to hit the gym 4 days a week or eat 3-5 servings of vegetables a day. The biggest reason such New Year's resolutions fail is people set too large of goals. Instead of taking baby steps to achieve their healthy goals, people try to take gigantic leaps. They promise themselves they will lose five pounds in a week instead of promising to attempt to lose five pounds in a month.

The best way to achieve any goal is by taking small steps. Small steps are a great deal easier to make in the beginning and will not set you up for frustrating failure like the large leaps will. Each small step will seem easier to achieve and with the accumulation of multiple small steps, you will eventually reach the bigger goal without even realizing it.

Food for Thought: Your Finals Diet

12/6/2012

Eating the right foods may not seem an essential part of preparing for exams, but students would be surprised to find that their dietary choices during the final exam period may be helping or hurting their efforts to succeed. “The brain requires quality nutrition to ensure optimum performance,”said Clare Evangelista, a registered dietician. Even though it may be tempting to reach for stress-relieving foods or have another cup of coffee instead of a snack, maintaining a healthy diet during finals week will put the body and the mind in the perfect mode for test taking.

What to eat before an exam!
The best types of sustenance to indulge in before an exam are foods that are high in protein. The body uses proteins to synthesize amino acids. Amino acids are precursors for some neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain into a motivated and alert state. Foods like Greek yogurt, eggs, lean meats, nuts and beans are all excellent sources of protein. Protein also gives the body the feeling of being full for a longer period of time. So instead of being distracted by the sensation of an empty stomach that is gurgling and telling your mind that you need food an hour into that two hour exam,  eat some healthy sources of protein before the final and your brain can be completely focused on the test for the entire period.

How your Favorite Childhood Movies can Help you With Finals

12/3/2012

Even though your favorite kids movie may not be able to teach you about Le Chatelier's Principle or the history of jazz music, they do possess some important lessons that can help you through the studying process. So instead of reading meaningless quotes online or blaring music to motivate you through finals, remember some of these movies and the messages you can take from them (and maybe even watch them as a stress relieving study break)!

1. Finding Nemo: Dory's reminder to "Just Keep Swimming!"
If you ever feel like you may not make it to the end of the week or studying for a final seems like a lost cause, remember what Dory told Marlin during his journey to find Nemo: "Just keep swimming!" When Marlin felt like giving up in the search for Nemo because  the chances of one tiny clown fish conquering the whole ocean to find him  seemed improbable, Dory encouraged him not to give up but instead to keep swimming forward. Dory never reminded Marlin that the odds of him finding his son were slim and never told him he had to do anything more than to just keep swimming.

Forgiving for the Sake of Health

11/26/2012

Whenever a magazine advertisement or a television commercial implores me to buy a certain product and become healthier in an instant, I use my common sense and know that whatever they are claiming about their miracle item is probably too good to be true. Tips for improving ones health always involve eating more vegetables, starting some intense workout routine, taking vitamins, routinely doing yoga, or sleeping a sufficient number of hours on a dream mattress. I am tired of reading the same old tips telling me to get 8 hours of sleep and reminding me I should be hitting the gym for an hour 5 times a week. Many of the suggested health tips online or in magazines seem to require major life changes that, although they may be good for your health, may not be easy to incorporate into your everyday hectic college life.

So as with every other magazine article, I was at first somewhat skeptical when I saw an article entitled "The Free and Simple Way to get Healthier (this instant)" in Glamour's January 2010 issue. But after reading the short article, I realized that the article’s advice may truly be a simple way to become healthier without making any major, time-consuming life changes.

The article said that a simple method to "reduce stress and improve your health" is to forgive someone. The author of the article, Laura Beil, explained how people who more frequently forgive others are less depressed and have lower cholesterol than individuals who hold grudges. Beil also opined that people who forgive more readily have blood pressure that returns to normal levels faster after a stressful event, and in general, people who tend to be the forgiving types exhibit all around healthier hearts.

Your Body and Halloween: 5 Simple Tips to Remain Healthy This Halloween

10/29/2012

As one of the most celebrated holidays on college campuses across the nation, Halloween is a time for Collegiettes everywhere to forget about the stress of midterms and enjoy themselves. But unless you want your body and your health in general to end up like a horror movie once Halloween is over or unless you want to wake up looking like a zombie from the Walking Dead, I recommend following these simple tips to ensure a happy and healthy Halloween celebration.

It's Okay to be Average

10/23/2012

I have apprehensively waited for this to happen for years now. I finally feel that I have burned out; hit rock bottom; and reached a stress level my body cannot handle. Most importantly though I now recognize where I am, and I have learned that my type A personality and drive for perfection is not only making me miserable, but it is not good for my overall health.

My name is Erin and I am in my second year of pharmacy school and, of course, I am also pursuing a business minor. I am what I call a "ride or die" 4.0 student. I have excelled as much outside the classroom as I have academically. In high school, I was the president and captain of everything and have started to take on similar titles on my campus now as well. I graduated as the valedictorian of my class and was accepted into some of the nation's best schools. I maintained a 4.0 GPA my first year of college while bouncing around from organization to organization and skiing for the school's club alpine ski team.

That all sounds great, but what no one truly sees are the stress and tears that went behind all of that hard work and self-imposed highest level of expectations. Sure, the accomplishments have felt great, but the countless breakdowns and the high stress of always feeling the need to be the best - to be perfect - sometimes seem to overshadow the achievements.