Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

4.30.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

4.30.2010
Challenge yourself. If you choose to drink this weekend, set a limit before you head out. Decide what you are going to drink, and how many of those drinks you want to have. And no, "as many as it takes to blackout" is not a number. The standard definition for binge drinking is 5 drinks in one sitting for men, and 4 drinks in one sitting for women. See if you can stay under those numbers. You may be surprised to find that you can have just as enjoyable a night without as much alcohol. You can nurse your drinks, switch to non-alcoholic beverages, or simply stop drinking completely. It's easy to get caught up the party scene, but setting your own limits allows you to stay in control. See if you can stop at your number- Stop@Buzzed!

Just one week to go!

The Step it UP Challenge is coming to a close. With just one more week until the end of the competition, it's time for the teams to take great strides to the top of the leaderboard!

With the end in sight, here are the are current leaders:


Total Steps:

Medina - McCoy 3E
De - Homewood 4
Reddy - McCoy 6W

Total Flights:

Freeman - CC 4SP
Ranz-Schleifer - McCoy 2Wb
Ranz-Schleifer - McCoy 2W

Good luck and keep up the good work!

4.28.2010

Upcoming FREE Events!

4.28.2010
PEEPs on the Beach
Friday, April 30th
2:00 - 5:00
The Beach

Free prizes, giveaways, food, and games!
Sponsored by PEEPs Peer Health Educators




B'more Healthy Expo
Saturday, May 1st
9:00am - 5:00pm
Balt. Convention Center
Free Admission!
By FOX45 and CW Baltimore


Tip of the Week: Facebook, P.I.

Just about everyone has a Facebook account these days: yourself, your friends, your family. But don't forget there are other people out there in the land of Facebook. This is not about the random kid that sends you a friend request. These are people that you may know of, even people you may have met. These people are your teachers, your admissions officers, and your future employers.

The ability to use Facebook to find others does have its perks. It's a great way to stay in touch with people you may not interact with otherwise. What's important to remember, is that admissions departments and employers have caught on to Facebook hunting. It's a free private investigator for anyone that wants to learn more about you - and you are the one supplying all the information! Do you know what your Facebook says about you?

Protect your privacy. Facebook offers fairly extensive privacy settings that allow you to hide different content from different people. Periodically check in on who you are letting see certain things. Are your photos visible to friends of friends? What if your friend is friends with one of your professors who happens to stumble on that picture from last week's keg stand. Would you want them to see that? And what about those random friend requests? Do you check into them, or simply click accept? Many employers will create fake accounts and friend applicants, simply to get more information. This is completely legal as you are the one accepting them into your personal profile.

With social networking sites like Facebook, your profile is your chance to show who you are, what you enjoy doing, and with what activities you are associated. Don't put anything out there that you wouldn't want to come back to haunt you. Once its on the internet, it can be there forever. Be careful of who you allow into your online world and don't put yourself into compromising situations. It's your future, put your best Facebook forward.

4.27.2010

Stressbuster Sound-off!

4.27.2010
Considering this is a health blog, I think I'll preface this entry with a disclaimer: Chocolate, like all things, should be used in moderation. That said, chocolate is WONDERFUL. Especially dark chocolate. Sometimes the best thing to do, as a reward for a stressful week (or maybe for making it to Wednesday), is to buy a very nice chocolate bar, break it in half, and stash one half in the fridge. Wrap yourself up in warm, fuzzy blankets and watch a movie. Make the chocolate bar last for the whole movie. The movie should be fluffy, funny, and happy. It should either be something you've seen before, or it should include an actor who never disappoints. Do not be ashamed of the movie you pick. Nothing helps me take a load off like some cathartic, unabashed ridiculousness. Or a guilty pleasure- a romantic comedy you know could never happen in real life, or something you used to watch over and over again in high school.

Once in a while, it's great to indulge all the way. If you can set aside a two-hour block once a week for this, do it. Don't try to do homework at the same time. Don't invite people who might make fun of you for your movie choice or what you laugh at. In fact, don't invite people at all. Just make it you-time.

And if this is the only time you binge on chocolate, then you're doing extremely well.


--Garvi Sheth, Stressbusters Co-coordinator
--

But that's not the only you way you can relax. Each week, Stressbusters offer FREE 5-minutes massages to students! Come to Q-level of the library every Monday from 8-10 to check out Stressbuster's Mellow Out Mondays!

In the News: San Francisco Goes Vegetarian on Mondays

Currently, more than 7 million people in the U.S. consider themselves vegetarian, and 23 million others are “vegetarian-inclined”. Unlike meats, which contain high levels of fats and no fiber, vegetables and protein alternatives are bursting with fiber and healthy fats. Eating less meat has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, healthier weight, and better overall quality of health. Eating less meat can also reduce your carbon footprint and minimize your water usage by reducing the amount of fossil fuels and water consumed during production.

Even if you don’t want to go completely vegetarian, cutting meat from your diet once a week can make a big impact. The Meatless Monday campaign, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future, urges meat-eaters to go without meat on the first day of each week by replacing beef, pork, and poultry with beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The campaign has really taken off, and recently San Francisco became the first city to go meatless on Mondays. The city’s Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution urging all eateries and schools to provide plant-based alternatives at the start of the week. This is a sign of the success of the meatless Monday, and soon other cities may follow suit. So if you’re ever in the City by the Bay on a Monday, try a tofu burger or eggplant parmesan instead of the usual meat choice. One small step can make a big difference.

Submitted by Amanda Mason, PEEPs Member

4.26.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

4.26.2010
SEE Tip: This week increase your Brain Function and eat more beans! Kidney beans contain the B-vitamin thiamine, which is critical for cognitive function. A study at Weill Medical College states that thiamine is critical in glucose metabolism and is implicated in oxidative stress, protein processing and gene expression. Thiamine deficiency often exists among Alzheimer’s patients.

Quit on Monday from HKB: Be your own motivator; make a list of why you want to quit. Jot down any reason you can possibly think of. It can be as general as wanting to be healthier, or as detailed as not wanting your favorite sweatshirt to smell like smoke when sitting in class. Whenever you start feeling defeated by tobacco cravings, return to your list and remember why you are in the fight. At least one of those reasons should be enough to motivate you to stay strong!

Minimize Monday: Sometimes after a long day at work the last thing you want to do is cook, but have you ever thought about the impact eating out has on the environment? Most restaurants use foods that are not produced in a sustainable way; however, other restaurants specialize in dishes prepared from local foods and sustainably raised meat products. It is possible to enjoy great food and restaurant ambiance while minimizing your environmental footprint. The next time you have decided to go out to eat visit the Eat Well Guide to view a listing of sustainable restaurants in your area. You can also visit Sustainable Table for information on how you can make cooking at home more environmentally friendly.

For more info on sleeping, eating, or exercising stop by the SEE table at the Breezeway from 11-1 pm today.

4.22.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

4.22.2010
Ah, Spring Fair weekend. The days many Hopkins students look forward to all year. The bands, the food, the vendors, and oh yes- the Beer Garden. Although monitored, any sort of gathering of large groups of people for the sole purpose of drinking can result in some bad situations. A simple visit to the Garden can start off harmless enough, but can easily snowball into a day full of drinking. Too many binge drinkers in too little space can lead to arguments, fights, injuries, or accidents. While Spring Fair is meant to be a time to have fun, don't let your time be tainted by a bad experience with alcohol. If you choose to drink, keep track of your drinks, drink plenty of water, and look out for your friends (and have them look out for you!). There's nothing wrong with letting loose and enjoying yourself, but even loose has its limits. Have fun, but be safe. Stop@Buzzed!

Become a fan of Stop@Buzzed!
Challenge yourself! Take the Stop@Buzzed Challenge!

Tip of the Week: Pump up the Protein

Thanks to Rocky Balboa, nearly every movie that involves a motivational exercise montage includes a clip of the potential athlete downing a delicious glass of raw eggs. While it may be a bit gag-inducing, it does provide a point.

While every food group is important to your diet, protein is necessary for the repair and growth of muscles. When exercising, muscles have a tendency to tear slightly. Protein allows these muscles to repair, grow, and ultimately become stronger. Weight training exercise may leave you feeling extra hungry, but reaching for fruits, vegetables, and carbs may not be the most long-lasting choice. While necessary, those foods are burned more easily and can leave you with cravings shortly after your meal. Protein leaves you feeling fuller, longer. This makes it a perfect addition to any work out plan.

Don't fret, raw eggs are not the only way to incorporate protein into your diet. Come to think of it- eating raw eggs isn't really a great idea to begin with. Cooked protein is a much better option. Cooked lean protein is your best option. During your meals, opt for poultry, fish, egg whites, or vegetable protein (beans, whey, etc). They contain less fat, but still provide all the protein-packed benefits. Try to have a protein snack within thirty minutes after your workouts for the most muscle boosting power. And if you do take a page out of Rocky's playbook, opt for running the stairs but maybe pass on the eggs. There are plenty of other options out there.

4.21.2010

And the challenge continues!

4.21.2010
Week two of the Step It UP Challenge has concluded and it is anyone's game! A whole new crop of leaders have crept up to pass last week's front runners. The Step It UP challenge encourages students to increase their physical activity by tracking their daily steps using a pedometer. There are only two more weeks in the challenge, so participants will have to step it UP (pun intended) to get to the top!

At the halfway point, here is the leaderboard:

Total Steps:
Ufford - Woman 2E
Cook – Wolman 3E
Keeley – Mccoy 5E

Total Flights:
Seo – AMRI Vincent 2nd floor
Del Piccolo – McCoy 3W
Ranz-Schleifer – McCoy2W

This is a joint collaboration between CHEW, Residential Life and the Sustainability Office.
To keep up with the Step It UP Challenge, join our Facebook fan page for instant updates! Just click here to become a fan!

Video: You Need Sleep!

You Need Sleep ! from Digital Media Center on Vimeo.


Created by JHU students during "Animating Behavior Change", a 3-week course taught in January 2010 by the Digital Media Center, and the Center for Health and Wellness, with assistance from Public Health Studies department.

4.20.2010

In the News: 4/20 says 'High'

4.20.2010
April 20th. Said that way, it doesn't have much more meaning than a day of the month. But abbreviate today's date to 4/20 and suddenly it takes on a much more 'elevated' meaning. Around the world, 4/20 is considered to be a celebration for a subculture that chooses to consume and support the use of marijuana. This term supposedly originated in the 70's by a group of California high schoolers, but has since grown to take on a meaning of its own. Now, an entire day has been dedicated to this controversial herb.

There has long been debate over the use of marijuana. Whether for recreational use, medical use, or no use at all, there tends to be very polarized opinions on the issue. One very dedicated group of supporters, NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) has been pushing for the legalization of marijuana. Many rallies occur nationwide. Each year in Boulder, Colorado there is an annual 420 celebration, and even a smoke-out on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder that draws thousands of supporters.

With so many advocates of marijuana use, it can often be difficult to get unbiased information about its health effects. Supporters may say it's a natural, harmless herb. Many scientists and researchers would disagree. While you can argue its positive or negative effects, one known fact is this: Marijuana use is illegal in the US and there are harsh punishments for possession or distribution. A recent CNBC poll found that the majority of Americans are against the legalization of marijuana. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

SEE Tip: This week avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime. According to the National Sleep Foundation, while alcohol may calm you down and bring the onset of sleep, it increases the number of times you awaken during the night, leading to a less restful night of sleep. Click here for more information.


Quit on Monday from HKB: Snap out of it! If you can't stop thinking about lighting up throughout the day, try some negative association. Keep a rubber band around your wrist. When you start to get a craving, snap it- really snap it. You will soon start to associate your cigarette cravings with the negative effect of the pain from the rubber band. In time, you will learn to avoid the sting by avoiding the thought of smoking.

Minimize Monday: The average American household contains chemical cleaning agents. In addition to the high cost of those products, they also pose health risks to families. Some of the health risks linked to chemical cleaning products include allergies, asthma and sinusitis. Minimize the impact on your family’s health and the impact on the global environment by creating your own cleaners. Did you know lemon acid can eliminate most household bacteria, and vinegar cuts grease, removes mildew and odors? These are just two of the many items you may already own that can be used to “green clean” your house. For a list of household cleaning agents and cleaner recipes, click here.

4.16.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

4.16.2010
It's 2 a.m. on Saturday. Do you know where your laptop is? If you choose to host a party at your house, there's more to worry about than spilled beer. When you let strangers into your home, you open yourself up to becoming a potential victim of theft. Failure to lock up your valuables can provide an easy target to visitors with klepto tendencies. While it may not be possible to check every person at the door, take precautions before and after the party. Put electronics out of site and if you can, lock bedroom doors. Keep an eye out for guests that seem to be out of place from the rest of the party goers. Don't be shy about asking people who they know and asking uninvited guests to leave- it's your house, your rules! When the party's over, make sure all doors and windows are locked so you won't have after-hours intruders. When alcohol is involved, it's easy to lose track of things and forget about simple safety tips. The best way to stay safe? Stay alert, Stop@Buzzed!

Become a fan of Stop@Buzzed!
Challenge yourself! Take the Stop@Buzzed Challenge!

4.15.2010

The Race is On!

4.15.2010
The first week of the Step It UP Challenge has come to a close. Only three more weeks of competition left! The Step It UP challenge encourages students to increase their physical activity by tracking their daily steps using a pedometer. There are over 50 teams registered and the team with the most steps taken at the end of the competition will win a grand prize.

The race is on! At the end of the first week, here are the top 3 teams that have stepped it UP:

1. Ranz-Schleifer: McCoy 2W
2. Cuervo: Homewood Apartments
3. Freeman: CC 4SP
Close behind: Tillman: CC, Charles Side, 10/11

To keep up with the Step It UP Challenge, join our Facebook fan page for instant updates! Just click here to become a fan!

4.14.2010

Tip of the Week: Eat This, Not That

4.14.2010
With the introduction of KFC's new Double Down, you may experience an internal struggle between your taste buds and your cardiovascular system. This fried-chicken-as-bread sandwich boasts a 540 calorie count. While the image of this sandwich certainly seems to match the calorie content, what you may not know is that the Big Mac actually contains the exact same number of calories. When you bite into a tasty treat from your favorite fast-food joint, the amount of calories, fat, sodium, or cholesterol may be the last thing on your mind. While there's nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, there are always healthier options available.

When choosing your next quick meal, there are a few swaps that can help ease the impact on your health. While chicken may seem like a healthier option, fried breading can often increase the fat content to a much higher amount than a broiled burger. A good rule of thumb is grilled over fried. Grilled chicken or grilled steak contain a lot of protein, without a lot of added fat. Another trick is to increase the veggies and decrease the condiments. Vegetables not only add nutrients, but also add fiber that helps ease digestion. If you focus on moderation, choose a kid's meal. The portions are smaller, but you can still enjoy all your favorite tastes . Don't forget to watch what you drink as well. Many coffee drinks can pack a ton of carbohydrates and calories into your day. Check out
some other ways to swap in healthier choices.

Subway, Starbucks, and even your beloved Chipotle all have nutrition information available online. If you want to be informed of what you're eating before ordering, information is just a click away!

4.13.2010

Test Yourself: Cancer Facts

4.13.2010
This weekend, Relay for Life will be held on the Upper Quad to benefit cancer research. Already, JHU participants have raised almost $50,000! According to their website, "Relay is a time to remember those lost to cancer and a time to celebrate those who have survived. Relay brings together people who have shared the same experience so that they may comfort and console one another. Relay raises cancer awareness and shows we are united in one purpose to fight it. Relay gives you the power to help accelerate the Society's progress toward a future where cancer doesn't take the lives of our friends and family". Prevention and early detection are key when it comes to cancer. It's also important to be knowledgeable of your personal risks. Check into your own family history to see if cancer runs in your family tree. Knowledge is power. Test your cancer IQ.

In the News: NY Supports a Soda Tax to Combat Obesity

We all love the sweet taste of an ice-cold soda on a hot day, and we’ve been drinking more and more sugary drinks each year. Now, according to the New York Times, they are the single largest source of calories in the American diet. We consume a whopping 150 lbs of sugar per person per year!

Unfortunately, these sugars are expanding our waistlines. The calories in a sweetened drink are empty and do very little to satisfy the appetite. When we drink soda, we don't adjust by eating less; we eat more. The excess calories turn into fat. Additional effects of consuming excess sugar, particularly in liquid form, include tooth decay, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more which put a strain on our medical system.

To combat this problem, New York State is considering an excise tax of one penny per ounce for high-calorie sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas. By increasing the cost of a drink by just a cent per ounce, researchers predict that consumption will decrease by more than 10%, and more than $1.2 billion would be generated in New York alone. This money would be used to support obesity prevention efforts and help subsidize healthier foods making them cheaper and encouraging healthier habits. A recent poll of New York residents found that 72% supported this "soda tax".

So, the next time you reach for that ice-cold soda, think about the effects and consider healthier alternatives like water or unsweetened tea.

Submitted by Amanda Mason, PEEPs Member

4.09.2010

Res Life Steps UP to a healthier lifestyle

4.09.2010
Over a 4 week period, residents of campus housing will be participating in a “Step it UP Challenge”. The challenge encourages students to increase their physical activity by tracking their daily steps using a pedometer. Step It UP also promotes the usage of stairs over elevators whenever possible, which not only improves health but also helps to reduce energy consumption. There are over 50 teams registered and the team with the most steps taken at the end of the competition will win a grand prize. Each week, results of the challenge will be posted. Visit regularly to check out who is in the lead!

This is a joint collaboration between CHEW, Residential Life and the Sustainability Office.

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

SEE Tip: This week go bananas! Bananas gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. Bananas even elevate our mood because it contains tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. Click here for more information.

Pick up a free banana and more SEE tips today at the Breezeway SEE Table from 11-1 pm.

Minimize Monday
: One air conditioner can account for up to 16% of the total electricity used in a home. During summer months, that number can jump to 60-70% of the total electricity. As the weather heats up, resist the urge to crank the AC all the way down. While giving up AC is not a viable option for many, consider setting the AC to a higher temperature. You will save money and minimize your environmental impact. For more information, click here.

Stressbuster Sound-off: They tell you to sleep enough, eat right, and work out. And you wonder- how to do all that while also maintaining a "healthy" GPA? At least, I wonder that. Especially the exercise thing. Seriously- for me, "exercise" means getting stuff for the gym, going to the gym, working out, coming back, taking a shower, and then being distracted for another 15 minutes before being able to work again. Takes two hours. Sounds great, right? Except the night before an exam, you don't have two hours. And you want to exercise, because you want to anything but study. So take half an hour instead. And don't go to the gym. Just leave your stuff in the library, take only your Jcard- no books, no phone, nothing- and walk. Don't even bring music. Listen to the birds, the wind in the trees, the murmur of a busy city. Walk wherever you want. Walk all over campus. Take time to look, really look, at all the beautiful sights on campus you pass by every day. Meditate by the fountains behind Mason, watch the fish swim around in the President's pond, chill in the gazebo by Bloomberg (and look at all the strange adorable animal statues there), stand at the top of the Mattin Center and watch the Charles Street traffic. Or if you're restless, run, powerwalk, or bring a hackeysack to the library and take it out with you. A lot of people don't consider walking to be exercise. But easy, stress-free exercise is good for you too. Garvi Sheth

4.07.2010

Weekend Sip Tip

4.07.2010
Looking forward to Homecoming weekend? Be sure your plan includes getting plenty to eat. Of JHU students that choose to drink, 72% report eating something before and/or during drinking. If you choose to drink, start off with a filling meal before drinking and munch throughout your night. Food helps to slow the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream. This will help lessen the effects of alcohol and leads to an easier morning. Grease can often mix with alcohol the wrong way, so try to stick to healthy carbohydrates or nutrient rich foods. And just remember, no one wants to be able to tell what you ate for dinner based on it coming back up. Eat your food, but avoid wearing it: Stop@Buzzed!

Become a fan of Stop@Buzzed!
Challenge yourself! Take the Stop@Buzzed Challenge!

Tip of the Week: Healthy Hydration

Two thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by water; it composes about the same amount of the human body. Depending on your size, your body can consist of anywhere from 55-78% water (and the brain is 90%!). It's safe to say that water is a vital nutrient to a healthy and productive body.

Just because you aren't feeling particularly parched does not mean that you are fully hydrated. In fact, thirst doesn't actually occur until AFTER you are already slightly dehydrated. Failing to consume enough liquids throughout the day can lead to dry mouth, nausea, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, and even food cravings. Warmer temperatures and exercise quickly dry out the body, so be sure that every time you sweat you also replenish your water supply. But before you reach for a 6-pack (soda or otherwise), know that alcohol and excessive caffeine can actually increase dehydration. Your best bet is to drink plenty of water throughout your day. Benefits of water include better skin, weight loss, mood boost, fatigue fighting, increased productivity, and many others. When it comes to water, drink up!

Video: Make Exercise Fun!

Make Exercise Fun! from Digital Media Center on Vimeo.


Created by JHU students during "Animating Behavior Change", a 3-week course taught in January 2010 by the Digital Media Center, and the Center for Health and Wellness, with assistance from Public Health Studies department.

Test Yourself: Condom Facts

April is National STD Awareness Month. Statistics tell us that by the age of 25, roughly half of all sexually active people will have an STD. That's a pretty alarming statistic! While abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid STDs and pregnancy, the truth is that abstinence just isn't right for everyone. If you do choose to have sex, be sure to use a condom every time. It is the only birth control method that not only helps protect you from potential pregnancy, but also reduces the risk of contracting an STD. So before you slip into bed with a partner, make sure you or your partner slips on something else. Test your condom knowledge here!

Want your next pack of condoms at a fraction of the price?
Use Condom Sense!

Get involved in the GYT Campus Challenge.

4.06.2010

In the News: Tanning beds under fire from FDA

4.06.2010
Debate has been sparked within the FDA over the use and regulation of indoor tanning beds. With the passage of the new health care reform, a 10% tax on all indoor tanning salons will take effect beginning in July of this year. This means that anyone who chooses to use a tanning bed can expect to pay a higher cost with each visit.

With the known risks associated with indoor tanning, the FDA has begun to examine placing harsher restrictions on who is able to access tanning beds and salons. Among the proposed changes, the FDA is looking to restrict tanning to adults 18 and older, or requiring parental consent for younger teens. Additional restrictions include prohibiting individuals with particularly pale or sensitive skin from using these artificial beds. Behind these proposed changes, is the FDA's hope to raise the current classification of tanning beds from a Class I to a Class II or III device. These devices can cause more harm to the user and thus require additional training, labeling, performance requirements, and controls.

While any sort of sun damage is harmful to your skin, studies have shown that the UV radiation from indoor tanning increases the risk for skin cancer in individuals, especially those exposed at a young age. In fact, skin cancer has grown to become the second leading type of cancer in women 20 to 29 years old. This has been in large part attributed to the lack of SPF protection and the off-season exposure to the intense UV rays of tanning indoors.

If you just don't feel as good without a little color, there are plenty of safer options. Many salons are now offering spray tanning for similar costs to tanning bed packages. The pigment colors the skin without harmful skin damage. Lower cost options are gradual tanning lotions found at drug stores or just slapping on a little bronzer. Now that the sun is bright, take to the Beach or Quad for some natural sunlight-- but don't forget your sunscreen! An SPF of 15 or higher with UVA and UVB is recommended for the most protection for your skin. Reapply often to prevent the burn and skin damage. Your skin will thank you!

For more information on the FDA regulations, click here.
Click here for sun safety tips!

4.05.2010

SEE for Yourself on Monday!

4.05.2010
SEE Tip: This Monday be good to your arteries and help control stress: eat more vegetable protein, like beans, greens and brown rice. A large research study (n=4680) found that eating vegetable protein actually helped lower blood pressure, while animal protein had no effect. (Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jan 9;166(1):79-87.Association between protein intake and blood pressure: the INTERMAP Study.Elliott P, Stamler J, Dyer AR, Appel L, Dennis B, Kesteloot H, Ueshima H, Okayama A, Chan Q, Garside DB, Zhou B.)

Quit on Monday from HKB: Find a buddy! Trying to quit smoking is hard enough. Trying to quit without a support system is even harder . If you have a friend that has talked about quitting, become partners in the fight against tobacco. You can support and encourage each other to remain strong against cravings. If you don't have a co-quit buddy, find an ally that wants to help you quit- perhaps someone that has long been encouraging you to stop smoking. They may not know exactly what you're going through, but they can look out for you and encourage you through the quitting process.

Minimize Monday: Stop idling in your car! Leaving the car on while you wait for others to join you is idling. This behavior wastes gas, is hard on your car and wastes much needed dollars. If Americans stopped this idling, we could save $78.2 billion a year. Put money in your pockets, and stop polluting by parking your car or turning it off when you have to wait around. For more information, click here.

Stop by the SEE table today on the Breezeway from 11-1 p.m. for more tips.

Stressbuster Sound-off!

Looking for a way to Mellow Out this Monday? Take a tip from a Stressbuster:


My friends and I have rather non-traditional ways of coping with stress. One of them is The Estate.

At the end of sophomore year, my friend J and I were studying for our chemistry and orgo finals, and both of us were on the verge of panic attacks. So we decided to take a walk. We walked all over campus. We sat by the pond in the President's garden. We sat at an angle from which we could see the President's house, the pond, a quaint empty road, and the woods and grass. No campus buildings. No Baltimore. We were in a different world.

Then we dreamed up The Estate. We pretended we were 11 year olds living in an 11-year-old's paradise: a house full of kids who just had fun all day. We talked about the things we would do on our Estate. We made up stories with no conflict- stories of hiking up mountains and sliding down waterfalls and picking fresh fruits from trees, of sitting wrapped up in blankets reading books by a roaring fireplace and sipping on the most ridiculously rich hot chocolate imaginable, of all the cool things in the house and all the even cooler things in the backyard.

After talking like this for a while, we could taste the apple pies and the anticipation of a day spent in nothing but collecting shells and skipping rocks on the beach. We had become our characters. Sitting on that bench in the President's garden, it was not at all difficult to believe we were little kids carrying picnic baskets loaded with peanut butter and jelly, waiting around for our friends to come out of the house so we could go off on an adventure.

Since then, J and I have revisited The Estate whenever we're stressed out. It's a very nice alternative to having a panic attack, and the reverie can end whenever you need to get back to work. It's pretty much impossible to be too stressed out, when you have a detailed, idyllic dreamspace you can enter whenever you want.

J and I are very childish (and not ashamed of this). But maybe your version of The Estate could be a steampunk city, or an alien planet, or even a scenario you've read about and were struck by in a book (such as Hogwarts, maybe?)- a place full of infinite creative possibility, a place that spontaneously generates stories to distract you from your worries. Spend some time composing your dreamspace. Talk about it with a friend and come up with something, or write about it in a journal. Don't be afraid to be whimsical and silly! It's very freeing. Draw doodles, or write the stories you come up with, if you're not into sitting still. In fact, the more actively you engage with your dreamspace, the more complete the momentary release from worry. And it's way better to be able to visit your dreamspace for 5 minutes, than to obsessively refresh Facebook for 5 minutes and be disappointed.

--Garvi Sheth, Stressbusters Co-coordinator--

But that's not the only you way you can relax. Each week, Stressbusters offer FREE 5-minutes massages to students! Come to Q-level of the library every Monday from 8-10 to check out Stressbuster's Mellow Out Mondays!

4.01.2010

Let the Competition Begin!

4.01.2010
"By the age of 25, 1 in 2 sexually active people will have an STD. The good news is, you can do something about it! MTV is challenging college students nationwide to stand up and commit to "GET YOURSELF TESTED!" By entering the GYT Campus Challenge on Facebook, and spreading the word to your friends, you are helping stop the spread of STDs including HIV nationwide.

The campus that builds the largest amount of GYT supporters relative to the size of their student body will be featured by MTV News. Students on the winning campus will win a trip, accommodations, and tickets to see Cobra Starship, Travie McCoy and more in Summer 2010."

Encourage the JHU student body to step up to the challenge! Spread the word! Get yourself tested! Enter the Challenge on Facebook

Weekend Sip Tip

Size Matters! Even though you may know (or think you know) the standard serving sizes for beer, wine, and liquor, do you know how much you're actually pouring? Standard red Solo cups hold 18oz of liquid. A standard serving of beer is 12oz, wine is 5oz, and 80-proof liquor is 1.5oz. If filling your cup to the brim from a keg, you are actually consuming a drink and a half with each refill. When you aren't aware of your pour, you can lose track of how much you consume. Overconsumption can lead to bad nights and rough mornings. If you choose to drink, take note of how much you pour and while you're at it, Stop@Buzzed!

Become a fan of Stop@Buzzed on Facebook.
Challenge yourself! Take the Stop@Buzzed Challenge!

Test Yourself: Sleep Facts

With the hectic schedules of so many Hopkins students, it's easy for sleep to get put on the back burner. Most college students require 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to be at their peak of productivity and performance. Before you pull your next all-nighter, remember that your body and brain need rest in order to recharge. Take this sleep quiz to see how much YOU know about sleep! Sleep Quiz

Because we can all use a little less stress...

Meditation Workshop Tonight!
Need to calm your mind? Join a free meditation class in the Interfaith Center Prayer Room every Thursday at 7 p.m. No experience necessary, just bring a blanket and prepare to relax. Click here for more info!