Five Spring Break Ready Foods!

By: Caitlin Smith ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer

Spring break is quickly approaching but many people have been preparing for months; hitting the gym daily and watching every morsel that enters their mouth.chrysanthemum-659111_1280

However, getting “spring break ready” doesn’t have to involve losing weight. So, if you want to look and feel great on the beach – or wherever your spring break may take you – here are five types of food that will help you get ready:

  • Glowing skin: Healthy fats that come from foods like avocados, fish, and nuts all help support skin health. By eating some of the yummiest food and putting on a smile, you’ll be glowing in no time.
  • Healthy hair: Beautiful, strong, healthy hair is a great compliment to those beachy waves and lean proteins like turkey, kidney beans and eggs are a great way to support your hair health. Proteins are a building block of bones, muscle, skin, and it is the main component of our hair and nails. It’s true, protein does more for the body than just build muscle.
  • Crystal clear eyes: Foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, kale, and sweet potatoes have many health benefits, but one you may not know about is their vision benefits. They have protective properties for vision. For eyes as bright as the ocean, eating your fair share of fruits and vegetables is key.
  • Good mood: Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, help to reduce stress and have been shown to improve mood. I think it goes without saying that nothing is more attractive than a happy person.
  • Good Breath: Bad breath can decrease self-confidence and confidence is more attractive than many other attributes. To combat bad breath, celery is a secret little weapon. The crunchy texture of celery forces you to chew more which increases saliva production which kills bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath. So, before you head out during spring break, snack on some celery!

I can’t find a better way to prepare for spring break than by eating delicious food! Enjoy your spring break preparation; don’t dread it. To talk about these tips and any other nutrition related tips make an appointment for a diet analysis to chat with a student nutrition advocacy peer.

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My Top 5 Fitness Classes at UMD

By: Cynthia Gao, Campus Recreation Services, Group Fitness Instructor
Practicing yoga as part of BikeYo at Lake Artemesia.

Practicing yoga as part of BikeYo at Lake Artemesia.

College can be a stressful time for anyone due to the seemingly endless piles of papers to write, books to read, and notes to study. It can be enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed! But we have to keep our stress in check if we are to survive these years until graduation — a great way to do that is by being active.

Whether exercise is your daily study break, your hobby, or your way of staying in shape – there is a fitness class that was made for you!

Here are five amazing fitness classes offered through the ERC that have helped me make the most of my time here at Maryland.

View the current schedule of group fitness classes at UMD >>

  1. Yoga – When you think of exercise that keeps you calm and relaxed, the first thing you may think of is yoga! Yoga allows you to build strength, grow flexibility, and improve balance all while calming the mind and nourishing the soul. No wonder it has become the favorite form of exercise for many actors, models, and professional athletes. Yoga mats are provided in all UMD fitness classes as well as towels, blocks, and straps. Everything you could possibly need to start your journey into yoga is here. As you progress on your journey into yoga you will learn more about your body and yourself.
  2. HIIT – This high intensity class is one you won’t want to miss. If you like feeling the burn and reaping the benefits, then this class is for you. You will go through a series of intense workouts spaced evenly between periods of active rest. This will give your body the right amount of time to recover and reenergize between those burpees and mountain climbers. The routines are similar to those of professionals and are done mostly with bodyweight rather than equipment, so you can learn some moves and incorporate them into your own workouts. You will build strength here and sweat out the stress that might be bringing you down.
  3. Zumba® - One of the best dance classes you will ever do! Can’t dance? No worries! We will teach you. There is no judgment in this class as everyone is there just to have fun and shake their stuff. This class is super high energy will have you jumping, shaking, and rocking out to awesome music. Release some of the stress from school with this fun and engaging dance workout.
  4. BODYPUMP™ - This strength training class is tailored just for you. You get to choose what weights and equipment to use, whether you want an intense workout with increased weights or a light workout with dumbbells. You will work on all major muscle groups, including biceps, triceps, thighs, claves, and your core. Through squats, presses, lifts and curls you’ll be sculpting those muscles and building strength. This class will give you a full body workout and leave you feeling stronger than ever.
  5. BikeYo - Like the outdoors? Then this class is for you! While most class take place in indoors, this class allows you to breathe the fresh air and get a fun workout at the same time. You will bike through a portion of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System located right next to the College Park campus. The group will bike through the scenic park trail to the beautiful Lake Artemesia and then be lead through a relaxing yoga session in a gazebo above the lake. The amazing sights will open your eyes to all this campus has to offer while giving your body an effective cycling workout. BikeYoO is one of many fusion classes offered in partnership with the Maryland Adventure Program. Check this page for the current schedule of these special classes.

No matter how you like to work out, there is something here for you. So don’t just stay cooped up in your dorm room — come experience some of these great classes! You will feel refreshed and be prepared for anything school can throw at you.

What are your favorite group fitness classes at UMD?

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What You Need to Know About the Nutrition of Chocolate

By: Taylor Chan ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer


Bars, chips, and kisses — what do these all have in common? They are all forms of chocolate! Between Valentine’s Day and Easter, springtime is a wonderful, chocolate-filled season. Rest assured, chocolate CAN be enjoyed and fit into a healthy diet!

As you find yourself enjoying this tasty treat during this time of year, consider these fun, nutritious tidbits of information.

When you think of chocolate, there are three main types that you think of: Dark, Milk, and White. Here’s what it all means:

  • Dark chocolate is made of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, with little to no milk. It’s known to have a semi-sweet, bitter flavor.
  • Milk chocolate is made of the same components as dark chocolate, but with more milk and dairy fat to give it its creaminess and lighter color.
  • White chocolate tends to be the sweetest and is made of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Its lack of cocoa solids is what gives it its white color.

In terms of nutrition, these three types of chocolate roughly contain the same amount of protein, sugar, fat, and calories, so feel free to choose whichever you prefer!

A note on the fat in chocolate: Chocolate has a reputation of being a fatty food. This is because there is natural, saturated fat in cacao called stearic acid. Recently, studies have suggested that stearic acid does not significantly elevate blood cholesterol levels as much as other saturated fats might. However, it is important to keep in mind that some chocolates may contain added fat (milk fat, partially hydrogenated oils, coconut, and palm oils) which is a source extra flavor and calories.

While there is nothing wrong treating yourself to some milk or white chocolate, dark options contain more cocoa solids – so they tend to contain more antioxidants, which are molecules that help prevent cell damage. Flavonoid, the main antioxidant in dark chocolate, has several health benefits including:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL)
  • Anti-inflammatory action
  • Elevated cognitive function
  • Improved mood

Generally, the higher percent cacao (as labeled on some chocolate packaging), the more antioxidants it likely contains!

To help you out a little, chocolates from the highest to the lowest flavonoid content are:

  • Natural cocoa powder
  • Unsweetened baking chocolate
  • Dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips
  • Milk chocolate and chocolate syrup

Bottom line: Not only is chocolate delicious, but in moderation, it can be healthful and fit into a varied, balanced diet!

For advice and strategies on eating a well-rounded diet, sign up for a free Diet Analysis to meet with a Nutrition Peer Educator.

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Your Guide to Male Body Image

By: Surbhi Sardana ’16, University of Maryland Health Center, HEALTH Works Peer Educator

Between airbrushed images of celebrities and perfectly proportioned bodies of professional models, we are constantly bombarded with body image messages.

As socially aware college students, we understand that body image portrayals are not always realistic. Yet, many of us still nitpick and worry about parts of our bodies that we aren’t happy with.

On the other hand, we have campaigns and public leaders that champion acceptance for all body types. We have Love Your Body Month on campus to encourage a body-positive culture. We have the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty that supports diversity and Special K’s The Gain’s Project that endorses a woman’s sense of self-worth.

But can you name a well-known public campaign that advocates positive body images for men? No? Me neither.

Can you name one normal-waisted celebrity on a primetime television show? No? Me neither.

As Max An noted in the Diamondback, can you name one plus-size male model? No? Me neither.

However, did you know that 43% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies?

Did you know that about 1 in 4 eating disorders occur in men?

Did you know that between 28% and 68% of normal weight men believe they are underweight and want to increase their muscle mass?

Statistics from National Eating Disorders Association and The Atlantic

Negative body image, weight issues, and eating disorders are under recognized amongst all genders, but particularly so among men.

Most disorders present themselves differently in men than in women; whereas women typically want to lose weight, males are encouraged to gain weight by increasing muscle mass.

How do boys and men typically try to gain weight? By increasing exercise, altering their diet, using protein powders, and even using steroids to increase muscle gain.

Making healthy decisions to achieve a healthy weight is encouraged, but taking whatever means possible to achieve a desired body ideal can be unhealthy– physically, emotionally, and mentally.

So what do we do when we notice that our friends, brothers, or partners feel pressure to change their body type?

  1. Be honest. Share your concerns with the individual you believe is struggling with body image issues. Ignoring the situation won’t help someone you care about.
  2. Be caring, but be firm. Ultimately, your friend is responsible for his/her actions. Don’t make promises you don’t know you’ll be able to keep, like promising to keep his/her body image disorder a secret.
  3. Compliment your friend. Encourage their dreams, revel in their achievements. Remind them that they are more than just their body.
  4. Tell someone. Many times our friends need professional help to get back on track. Don’t hesitate to refer a professional to your friend, or to tell a trusted adult about the situation. Remember, you can’t force your friend to see someone, but encourage them to seek help.

Information from National Eating Disorders Association

It’s OK to be concerned for a friend; it’s OK to get them help. You don’t want someone you care about to fall into an unhealthy lifestyle.

We want to help those around us. Be fearless. Be strong. Above all, show others what it means to be a true Terp by looking out for the significant people in our lives.

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Let’s Have a Big MyBowl of Breakfast!

By: Sarah Frazier ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer


Are you familiar with MyPlate? MyPlate is a tool used to let us know what and how much to eat in the familiar graphic of a meal plate. The MyPlate is separated into the 5 different food groups: grains, meat and meat substitutes, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

MyPlate recommendations are to make ½ of every meal consist of fruits and vegetables, ¼ grain, ¼ meat or meat substitute, and a serving of dairy. MyPlate allows you to independently plan your meals, get a balanced diet, and eat healthfully every day!

But have you ever encountered a time when MyPlate was difficult to use or incorporate?

For example, think about breakfast time! Breakfast is one meal of the day that is most often served in a bowl, not a plate. In this instance, the MyPlate method may not quite work. In order to remedy this problem, Kellogg’s recently launched MyBowl, which is a way to incorporate the balance found in a MyPlate meal in the shape of a bowl, best suited for breakfast.

Say hello to Kellogg’s MyBowl! Here’s how you use it:mybowl (2)

Orange section: The orange section of the bowl is dedicated to grains. Half (½) of your bowl should be grains, trying to make the majority of them (at least ½) whole grain. Some examples of a whole grain would be oatmeal, Honey Nut Cheerios, and some cereals such as Kashi, Raisin Bran, etc.

Red section: The red section of the bowl is dedicated to fruits. One fourth (¼) of your bowl should be fruit. Click here to find a list of when different fruits are in season (that’s when they taste the best!).

Blue section: The blue section of the bowl is dedicated to dairy. One fourth (¼) of your bowl should be some kind of dairy or milk substitute. Some examples of dairy or milk substitute would be low fat milk, soy milk, or yogurt.

Think you’ve got it? There are so many different ways that you can use MyBowl to make breakfast preparation easy. Here are some of my favorite ways to use MyBowl in the morning:

Overnight Oats: ½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup milk or soymilk, ¼ cup apples, and some cinnamon. Put it all together in a jar or cup the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I like to add a little bit of peanut butter and microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Jazzed up cereal: Try a plain, whole grain cereal and add your own flavor by adding fresh fruit! I like to add strawberries to Honey Nut Cheerios and splash in some milk!

Fun-Filled yogurt: Yogurt can be approached in the same way that cereal is. Buy a plain or lightly sweetened vanilla yogurt and add some blueberries for a sweet, antioxidant kick and some granola for a good crunch!

If you would like to talk to a Dietetic Student Volunteer about breakfast ideas or have any other questions about nutrition, feel free to set up a Diet Analysis Appointment by calling 301-314-5664 or visiting for more information!

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Why Self-Love is the Best Love

By: Laura Saldana ’17, University of Maryland Health Center, HEALTH Works Peer Educator

self love blog

Self-love isn’t a new idea but it can sometimes be a difficult concept to understand. It’s something people have to learn to do and it may take much longer than most realize.

It’s about accepting yourself, where you came from and where you are now.

It evolves with time, changes with experience and expands with you. It’s no easy feat which may be why so many people find themselves struggling to do something that sounds so simple: loving themselves.

So how exactly can the abstract idea of self-love be so powerful? And how exactly can it be achieved?

Because every person is different, ideas about self-love will vary from person to person, but that’s the beauty of it.

Self-love is an indication that you have enough confidence in yourself to accept your idea of how to love yourself despite another’s point of view.

People can be unaware of just how important self-love is because we place so much value on other people loving, accepting and approving of us. Although I won’t underestimate how important it is to feel wanted and needed by other people, it is even more important that we stay true to ourselves by loving, accepting and approving of ourselves first.

We get caught up in being the person someone else wants us to be that even when they do accept us, we question whether our genuine selves could’ve gotten the same job done.

Are we being accepted for the sake of other people or for ourselves?

This is what makes the idea of self-love so captivating. It isn’t for anyone else but oneself. No one cares if you’ve gotten a handle on your strengths and have come to terms with your weaknesses. However, you care and you very well should because it’s those same strengths and weakness, highs and lows that make you the beautifully unique individual you are.

Self-love is all about a loving acceptance of the self.

It’s about putting aside the negative thoughts and building yourself up each and every day to become a better person. It’s not competitive or shallow. It’s not selfish or self-absorbed.

It’s a learning process with it’s own ups and downs. It’s about being honest with yourself, opening yourself up and nurturing yourself.

In time, it will become more evident that the relationship we have with ourselves plays into the other parts of our lives such as our jobs, our health and well-being and our interpersonal relationships.

To make each of these aspects the best they could possibly be, doesn’t it make sense to strengthen the core of them all? That core stems from you. These other aspects of our lives are made stronger with self-love.

This is why self-love is not a selfish love at all.

In order to give yourself fully to other people and be truly present in every moment, you must know and trust in yourself as a person. You must know who you’re putting out there.

Self-love originates from within and radiates out of you. This is why you must know, but more importantly love, the person you’re becoming because it is the one you’re presenting to the world.

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#iamCRS spotlight: James Abendroth

By Laura Gonzalez ’15, Campus Recreation Services, Communication Assistant

Do you have a bike? Does it need some TLC? If you answered yes, then chances are you could benefit from the FREE services offered at the Campus Bike Shop. If you answered no, don’t worry! The shop has great bikes at affordable prices for extended and short-term rental.

Located in the lower level of Cole Fieldhouse near the tunnel entrance, the bike shop is a welcoming place where university students and faculty can either let mechanics fix their bikes, or receive instructions and supervision while learning to fix their bikes themselves.

The mechanics are happy to help and teach others their trade. One of these mechanics is sophomore mechanical engineering major, James Abendroth.

photo 2 (1)


Meet a Mechanic

Abendroth has been with the bike shop for almost three semesters and enjoys the opportunity to work in a field he is passionate about. He first became interested in bikes when his elder brother, upon high school graduation, cycled from Bowie, MD, to Denver, CO, with a friend. This inspired Abendroth to begin building bikes and going on trips of his own.

As an off-campus student, Abendroth commutes to school and on occasion, has been known to cycle approximately 30 miles roundtrip from his home in Bowie to campus – an impressive distance to say the least.

“My favorite part about working at the Campus Bike Shop is that I can save students an incredible amount of money on otherwise expensive bike repairs,” Abendroth said, “I really like teaching people about their bikes so they can fix things on their own if they need to later.”

In addition to being a full-time student and working at the bike shop, Abendroth is also a member of the UMD Cycling Club and holds another part-time job.

Upon graduation, he hopes to pursue a career as an engineer for a company that manufactures bikes. He also plans to ride, build and fix bikes as much as he can and, one day, attend the Tour de France as a spectator.

Thanks for all you do at the Campus Bike Shop, James!

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