Stress: The Other Non-Meat
We know all too well that it isn’t a foreign idea for someone to fall victim to eating disorders because of peer pressure and societal norms. But have you ever heard of an eating disorder caused by academics? Crazy, right? Well, its becoming a really big problem in today’s society. The problem needs to be addressed, and soon.
It isn’t as common to hear about school work causing both men and women to suffer and to not eat. How can doing homework and taking tests really push someone to an eating disorder? Education is supposed to help our future generations, not harm them. How is this possible?
Well, the answer is in stress.
The stress that academics bring, especially within college years, is a much bigger issue than many would think. With classes, heavy work loads, and a booming social life, many students simply forget to eat. It is as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done.
When the student finally remembers to eat, they often binge and eat a lot of the wrong foods. McDonalds, Chipotle, and other fast food options are usually the choice for lunch, dinner, or a midnight snack. These high calorie diets cause not only health problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but fast amounts of weight gain. This rapid weight gain, in turn causes a desire to lose weight fast. The pressure to stay within the societal norm and be that “perfect” size pushes students to lose weight fast. Unhealthy weight loss more often than not results in some form of an eating disorder.
Stress is an emotional and psychological condition that affects many aspects of one’s life, especially the life of a student. Worrying about school and doing well is the root of it all, the beginning of this domino effect. The drive to succeed, the determination to do well, and the fear of disappointing your parents is what fuels this situation. While scary, it is also very interesting. Anyone can fall victim. Unlike many people who usually fall into the category of eating disorders, those who suffer from academic eating disorders usually do not. They realize that they are victims of this epidemic once it’s too late. Rarely does one choose not to eat when doing school work. It isn’t done intentionally. One can also develop a form of “Work-Out Bulimia,” where a person binge eats and works out excessively. Because it has great emotional and psychological effects, it deepens the risk for other conditions, such as depression. They both work together to create a very harmful condition that is becoming more and more evident.
The cure is simple—relax.
Imagine school as a roller coaster ride. It will get difficult at times, with its highs and lows. But, you have to remember that you are still on the ride and that it will all be over soon. You have to remember to eat, just like you have to remember that you have to hold you hands above your head and enjoy the ride.
Shapin' Up For Summer
We all know that college life can be extremely stressful and fast-paced. When you factor in running from class to class, clubs, and work; doing homework; and going out, taking time to eat right and stay fit can be a challenge. Healthy food can be expensive as well, a major concern for students on a college budget. With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get into the best shape of your life! Here are a few little tips to really get you motivated!
First things first: Write down your fitness goals. I find that by writing down what you want to achieve, you can look back and really encourage yourself. When you fall off track, no problem. You can always refer to your long-term goal.
Food. Try to set aside time to sit down and really enjoy your food—every bite of it! When I studied abroad in Europe this past summer, I couldn’t help but notice the tremendous difference in the way that Europeans eat. By the time I finished my plate of pasta, they had a few sips of wine and dabbled on some bread. By chewing every bite, and really tasting the food you’re eating, you’re not only making it easier on your body to digest, but you will eat less and feel full faster. Dining on campus can sometimes be more of a challenge than downtown choices. Trying to avoid buffet-style food like in the commons can really help with portion size. Buying just enough for what you need is the best way to go! If you’re dining downtown, I recommend these amazing places:
Crisp. Located on Pugh Street and College Avenue, this place offers delicious salads for an affordable price. Some great choices for toppings include almonds, avocados, edamame and sunflower seeds. For dressings, pomegranate acai and apple cider vinaigrette make for the perfect combination!
The Enchanted Kitchen. Located on Pugh Street between College and Beaver Avenues, this modern, beautifully decorated café is a State College gem. Specializing in vegetarian, raw and whole foods, The Enchanted Kitchen offers a wide array of organic greens, vegetable juices and fruit smoothies. What’s even better is that Lotus Center Yoga is right next door!
Water. Penn State is a huge campus, and running around all day can leave you dehydrated. Taking a water bottle with you throughout the day can quench all of your thirst needs and the filling stations around campus make it easy to replenish when you need to! My favorite is squeezing a little bit of lemon juice in there to give it some tang!
Exercise. Working out does not have to be a chore. What’s more important is realizing what type of physical activity you actually enjoy doing. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, yoga or swimming, the important thing is that you keep your body moving! Here are two great ideas:
Zumba. This blend of Latin-inspired dance and energizing music lets you burn calories and have fun at the same time! Check out the Penn State fitness schedule for class times.
Dance. The Pennsylvania Dance Workshop on South Fraser Street offers various dance classes for adults ranging from ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop. No need for previous experience; beginners are welcome.
Protect Your Sole
Women in State College, Pa. - primarily college students - can't help sporting their pumps and stilettos when the sun comes out or when the nightlife calls. Warm weather also encourages women to wear flat open-toed shoes. Many don't realize what unsupportive shoes are doing to their feet and body.
Foot and ankle problems are "acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot ("General")." In a college town like State College, people primarily choose to walk as a form of transportation. State College ranks in the top 1 percent for walking and biking to work compared to similar-sized towns in the United States ("High").
The campus is monstrous and the town extends for many blocks past College Avenue, yet women commonly choose fashion over support when it comes to everyday footwear.
Downtown's Bare Foot shoe store is located just one block from The Shoe Box shoe store. Both stores offer a small selection of healthy footwear in comparison to fashion footwear.
Bare Foot employee Ashleigh Richards said that when customers come in searching for supportive shoes, she turns them to a small wall located in the back right side of the store. The few healthy shoe options include brands such as Birkinstock, Sanita, Dansko and Naot. However, the brands that bring in the most profit are Ugg, Sperry, and various brands of rain boots.
Naot flats cost $168. Sanita styles cost between $112 and $130.
"I'm the first one with my shoes off at the end of the day!" said Richards. Though she chose comfort in the moccasins she was wearing, she admitted to wearing heels from time to time. "I wear my flats more often now," she said while explaining the occasional pain she feels.
With the high price of orthopedic shoes, it's obvious why more and more college women choose fashion over health. "You can try to find the best alternative," said Richards, "but more people go for fashionable rather than supportive." How will this trend affect women's foot health in the next 20 years?
"With a high heel, the higher the heel, the more pressure that goes to the ball of the foot through the joints," said Lorraine Jones, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists member, to BBC Breakfast morning show. Her purpose was to deter women from wearing heels in the workplace ("BBC"). Standing for long hours in heels is one issue; walking long distances in heels is another.
High heels, pointed shoes, lack of arch support, and too loose or tight footwear contribute to common foot pain ("Foot"). People with high arches tend to feel pain when wearing flat shoes, but if the foot has evolved into a flat sole, arch supportive shoes can have the opposite effect. Also, when flat shoes are worn - as women in State College frequently wear flip-flops, sandals and ballerina flats - feet have a tendency to roll inward when one walks. This is referred to as excessive pronation ("Plantar").
High arches, flat feet and excessive pronation are a few of the causes of Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the ligament that supports the arch of a foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs primarily in people who spend a lot of time on their feet ("Plantar").
Improper footwear, excessive pronation and prolonged walking are also valid causes of lower back pain and knee pain (Doctor). The simple principals of skeletal structure, comically taught to children in the song "Dry Bones", are applied to body pain. The human body structure is mechanically connected so that if one part is in pain, there is a good chance an adjacent part will also feel pain.
Women must not ignore what their feet or body are telling them. The pain may be related to footwear. "It's unfortunate because people walk a lot in State College. They wear unsupportive shoes when they should be wearing sneakers of Danskos," said Shannon Skillings, Bare Foot employee.
By Chelsea McCartney
Not many people have heard of Luna Bars since the company’s creation in March 1999. Luna was designed and made to improve women’s health. It is a completely natural, 70 percent certified organic snack bar. The other 30 percent are vitamins that cannot be made organic.
Luna bars include folic acid, soy protein, calcium, and other essential but often lacking necessities for the average woman’s daily diet, although men can enjoy them too.
Luna supports the Breast Cancer Fund, as seen on its label, and also supports efforts to get rid of preventable causes of the number one most-diagnosed cancer in women. Luna’s philosophy is that people are the company and Luna should feed mind, body, heart, and soul.
The Pure Prevention organization, where Luna also dedicates time and resources, teaches women how to live a healthy lifestyle to lower risks of breast cancer and avoid environmental causes. Luna also supports the Safe Cosmetics Campaign, which brings about awareness of harmful chemicals in beauty products. About one-third of personal care products contain one or more carcinogenic chemicals that could cause cancer.
Luna even created its own charity organization in 2001 called Lunafest, which is a short film festival that runs from October to March at over 100 locations across the United States. Besides benefiting the female filmmakers who get to showcase their work in an empowering environment for women, the net proceeds of Lunafest go to local nonprofit organizations and the Breast Cancer Fund, for which Lunafest has raised over $150,000 so far.
Allie Marquardt (senior-marketing) and intern for Luna Bars, is organizing a local Lunafest at Penn State in the spring, as an all-too-infrequent opportunity for women to get together and discuss their ideas.
“I think it will truly be an eye-opening experience,” said Marquardt.
Luna is a branch of Clif Bar & Company, a California-based corporation co-owned by Gary and Kit Erickson. They formed Luna to create an energy bar for women that contained the vitamins and nutrients that women need with fewer calories. In the 90’s, energy bars had become popular for athletic men, but little was available for women.
Luna recognizes that female consumers have a lot of purchasing power, especially with food and personal care products, and that consumer choices affect everyone’s health, communities, and planet.
In promoting an all-around healthy way of life, Luna promotes organic farming. The environment has some cancer-causing agents that can be prevented. Organic farming reduces the usage of machines and consequently, reduces pollution, which leaves better air and water. It’s also good for plant and animal life because it protects their natural habitats. Organic farming helps fight global warming by storing carbon instead of releasing it as greenhouse gases. This makes the soil more fertile, therefore, easier to cultivate without machines and pesticides.
Knowing how to eat right and maintain an active lifestyle is part of the Luna campaign for cancer awareness and prevention. The company offers a variety of products, none of which they recommend eating as a meal replacement. Luna Sunrise is a line of breakfast bars that compliment a healthy breakfast of yogurt or fruit. There is also a line of Tea Cakes, which utilize the natural effect of green tea on women’s health. There is even a line for female athletes, Luna Sport, which consists of chewy snacks, sports drinks, and post-workout smoothies. Luna bars do not promote weight loss but rather a healthy body image.
“It’s loving who you are. It’s feeling good about having a snack,” said Marquardt.
For more information on Luna Bars, check out their website (www.lunabar.com) or email Allie Marquardt (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more details on Lunafest.
Yoga for Beginners
By Meghan Bisbey
Madonna, Ricky Martin, and Jerry Seinfeld -- famous and rich -- what else could they have in common?
All three are "yogis," practitioners of the ancient art of yoga that is growing in popularity. Yes, the yoga mat has been finding it’s way into households across America and not just the "Zen" ones. What is it about yoga that draws so many people to it?
"Yoga is a metaphor for life," Madonna has claimed.
Yet, there are other reasons why millions find time in their hectic American schedules to unroll their yoga mats for a few minutes each day. The practice of yoga has steadily increased since its introduction in the United States about 60 years ago. It is estimated that over 30 million Americans practice yoga.
The goal of yoga is the union of the body, mind, and spirit. There are four paths to oneness: Jhana, the path of knowledge; Bhakti, the path of devotion; Karma, the path of action; and Raja, the path of self-control.
Raja is the path associated with Hatha yoga -- the system of physical exercise (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama) that is the most popular form in the United States. There are many different styles of Hatha yoga, but they all share common lineage from the Yoga Sutras, an ancient text explaining the tradition of yoga.
While yoga incorporates Hindu religious beliefs, anyone can the benefit from the exercise regardless of religious ideology. Even the ladies in "Sex and the City" have been spotted at a yoga class!
There are reasons for practicing yoga that aren’t spiritual in nature:
1. First and foremost, yoga tones and strengthens your body, which will give you long and lean muscles.
2. Because of the breathing techniques, a yoga session will increase heart rate and improve flexibility while burning calories!
3. Yoga is a form of relaxation, which leaves you feeling energized while reducing stress and anxiety.
Practitioners’ claim that long-term practice leads to an overall feeling of happiness. It has been called a "holistic" exercise.
"Yoga is a workout for your body, mind, and spirit," Madonna has said.
Penn State student Katie Ritchey (sophomore-Arts and Architecture) has been practicing yoga since high school.
"It keeps me in great shape and also keeps my flexibility up," Ritchey said.
Realizing how much bang you get for your buck, it is no wonder that so many Americans have jumped on the Yoga bandwagon. Of course, the best way to learn about yoga is simply, to try it. A yoga class is a great place to learn and-if you’re looking- to pick up chicks.
Did you Know?
The word "yoga" means spiritual union.
A "yogi" is a practitioner of yoga.
A "guru" is a teacher.
The word "Namaste" is often said at the end of a yoga session, meaning literally "I bow to you."
Classes at Penn State
http://www.soldprice.com/yoga.html http://www.yogajournal.com/ http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/yoga/Benefits.html http://www.quotegarden.com/yoga.html http://www.lindisima.com/fitness/yoga-celebrities.htm
Tough Enough for a Woman
By Brianna Lieberman
Photos: Joey Accardo
Picture, left: Caroline Hauser
“When you’re in the game and your adrenaline is pumping, you just do it,” sophomore Janelle Wasser said. “You don’t think about it.”
Wasser’s five-foot, thin-framed physique may have initially been a weakness but learning to tackle girls up to twice her size has put her size at the back of her mind.
Even when the entire opposing team towered above her and injuries were impending, she refused to allow her height to intimidate her away from the field.
Penn State’s Women’s Rugby Team, on average, isn’t as big as most teams are in college rugby, Wasser said.
Size hardly seems to matter to these girls as they took National Champions again in 2007.
Rugby, commonly perceived as a violent sport reserved for the most aggressive of men, is no longer for the boys at the Penn State campus.
The women claiming the rugby spotlight are not the type of women often thought of to play the sport. There are no bodybuilders, no macho women, and no beefcakes. There are motivated Penn State women with a drive to become the best.
“[Rugby] attracts a certain kind of person, and so as different as we all are, when we get on the field, we all work well together,” Senior Kristen Snyder said.
Snyder, the club’s president, explained there are all types of women that join the team, but there’s an instant bonding among the ladies—and with the men’s rugby team as well. The bond built between players is an important factor to aiding the team on the field.
“You are literally laying your body on the line for your teammates,” Snyder said. “People always ask about the bruises and soreness—you don’t feel it while you’re playing.”
The women suffer from a series of injuries—from twisting of ankles to breaking limbs—but they don’t allow it to slow them down.
“The worst part of it for me was breaking my nose seven times,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman has had several injuries over her four years of rugby, including the nose breaks and concussions.
“In the long run, it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to keep playing, but in the short run, it seemed worth it,” Lieberman said.
The girls often keep injuries to themselves to continue playing, she said. If it’s a serious enough injury, the team’s trainers will do their best to keep the girls on the sidelines. The rule of rugby is that if a player is bleeding profusely, she must leave the field. Picture, above: Angeloa Smarto
“If our trainer wasn’t there, we would all just keep playing through everything,” Lieberman said. “It seems like it’s bad, but when you’re on the field, it’s worth it.”
The team works to help each other get better as individuals to make the team stronger, she said. The older players try to teach the newer ones to bring them up to a higher level.
“Our first tackling practice, I was partners with a senior and I was terrified of her—she was three times the size of me and she could put me on the ground any time she wanted to,” Freshman Caroline Hauser said.
Through the pairings of old teammates and new, Hauser gained confidence in her ability to march up in size-if not physically, mentally. Despite her short stature, Hauser said she doesn’t feel the need to bulk up. She used the size of the other girls on rival teams to inspire her to do better.
“When we played Navy, they were a lot bigger than us,” she said. “So that’s motivated me and my lifting partner; when we go to lift and we’re like ‘We can’t do anymore’ we think ‘Navy could do this.'"
She said that most people are interested when they hear that she plays because it’s not the typical sport for a girl to be playing, but she doesn’t do it for other people.
“Playing does make me feel better about myself—it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something,” Hauser said. “You have to motivate yourself and the people around you, that’s what win games.”