Tag Archives: healthy

The Radford Coffee Company

Radford Coffee Company is a new restaurant where all proceeds go toward a foundation that gives money to students in communities in Nicaragua. All of the employees work on a volunteer basis and only earn pay from tips. So, while you are spending money on your coffee and breakfast, you know that you are also contributing to a great cause and helping educate students in Nicaragua.

Graphic from Radford Coffee Company.
Buy your coffee for a good cause. Graphic from Radford Coffee Company.

The restaurant also has a different environment compared to  Starbucks because it’s more open and has an assortment of seating like couches and chairs and stools. The staff is very friendly and helpful as well. The overall experience at Radford Coffee Company is enjoyable and makes you want to go back because of the staff, the cause, the environment, and the food.

Specializing in coffee, the restaurant also offers healthy breakfast sandwiches, salads and sandwiches for lunch, and smoothies and protein shakes. Sometimes they’ll put out specials on certain days like banana bread or coffee cake.  The prices aren’t steep either so if you’re worried about spending money and eating healthy, this is a great place to get your healthy meal while not spending too much.

I would always rather support a local business over a chain business because I think it’s good for the economy and for the locals in the area. I also like that the company is supporting a great cause and all of their proceeds are going toward this.

If you’re looking for a great staff, awesome food, and a soothing environment, Radford Coffee Company is a great place to check out.

The cause of junk food cravings

A new study suggests that if you crave junk food after a manic day, it might be because you’re lacking sleep. The study found that sleep deprivation may lead to increased appetite and a love of unhealthy foods.

More than a third of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep (7 or more hours per day) regularly and approximately the same amount are obese (having a BMI of more than 30.0), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Erin Hanlon, a University of Chicago research associate and study author, intended to link these two widespread issues.

Sleep deprivation increases hunger, which can be dangerous because of the fragile stability separating the expenses in energy of remaining awake and the nourishment ingested — these normally do not change if you’ve had or haven’t had enough sleep.

Hanlon’s study which was published in the journal Sleep, measured data between 14 generally healthy young adults with four normal nights of sleep (8.5 hours) against data of those who had four restricted nights of sleep (4.5 hours). Every day, the two groups of participants were given healthy meals. On the last day, study subjects were provided with a carefully prepared meal, accompanied by unrestricted freedom at a snack bar that contained plenty of junk food. The young adults who had four nights of restricted sleep gravitated to snacks with almost double the fat and protein and added carbohydrates.

“Sleep deprivation increases hunger.’

Previous research by the University of Chicago team indicated that sleep deprivation influenced endocannabinoid levels, chemicals in the brain that are associated with managing and regulating appetite.

The researchers calculated the concentration of 2AG, a particular endocannabinoid, in the young adults’ blood. The team then correlated the young adults’ 2AG concentration levels with their hunger and food intake.

The young adults who had four nights of normal sleep, had a 2AG concentration that progressively rose in their blood throughout the day. The concentration of 2AG peaked in the early afternoon that was accompanied by the emergence of a craving for food.

Hanlon’s team recorded a higher concentration of 2AG that continued later on into the evening in the participants who slept less. Subjects were also more hungry and had a higher probability of eating junk food.

According to Hanlon, the study is a single step in comprehending how sustaining sufficient sleep can boost our health.

Binge drinking linked to higher blood pressure in young adults

According to the study that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, having a drink every now and then is okay, and moderate drinking can offer some health benefits but heavy, “binge” drinking is a health hazard that can have serious consequences.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre discovered that young adults in their twenties who frequently binge drink have higher blood pressure on average, which might increase the risk of developing hypertension.

Binge drinking — consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in less than two hours — is very common among young adults. Past studies in the U.S. and Canada have discovered that about four in ten young adults aged 18 to 24 binge drink frequently.

For the first time, research has discovered that binge drinking might have an effect on blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing hypertension and chronic diseases related to hypertension. According to Jennifer O’Loughlin, senior author of the study, the study discovered that “the blood pressure of young adults aged 20 to 24 who binge drink was 2 to 4 millimeters of mercury higher than non-binge drinkers”.

Binge drinking leaves you vulnerable and embarrassed. Don't do it. www.digitalplanetdesign.com
Binge drinking leaves you vulnerable and embarrassed. Don’t do it. www.digitalplanetdesign.com

At age 20, data on alcohol consumption was gathered from 756 participants in the Nicotine Dependence in Teens study, which has followed 1294 young people from diverse social backgrounds in Montreal, Canada since 1999. At age 24, data was again gathered, and participants’ systolic blood pressure was also taken. Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (i.e., when the heart muscle contracts), and it should be below 140 millimeters of mercury.

According O’Loughlin, professor in the School of Public Health, University of Montreal, the study discovered that over one in four young adults who frequently binge drink show signs of pre-hypertension: which can progress to hypertension, and can lead to heart disease and premature death.

The study also discovered that 85 percent of young adults who drink heavily at age 20 maintain this behavior at age 24. The researchers now aim to look into whether this trend toward high blood pressure will continue when binge drinkers turn 30.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

A tax on sugar could prevent millions of cases of obesity

In 2008, over 1.4 billion adults were overweight and over half a billion were obese, nearly doubling since 1980. Around 2.8 million individuals each year die as a result of being overweight or obese.

Globally, 7 to 41 percent of certain cancers, 23 percent of ischemic heart disease and 44 percent of diabetes are attributable to obesity.

Image from feedstuffsfoodlink.com
“Junk” food, high in fat and sugar, is easily accessible, extensively promoted and very cheap. Image from feedstuffsfoodlink.com

A 20 percent sugar tax could decrease obesity rates in the UK by 5 percent (which equals 3.7 million individuals) by 2025 — as stated by a new report published by Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum.

The report forecasts the effect a 20 percent tax on sugar could have on obesity if current patterns continue steadily. This defined number of 3.7 million individuals is equal to the combined populations of six different cities in England.

The study also forecasts that the tax could save the National Health Service about £10 million (around $14 million) in social care and healthcare costs in the year 2025 alone.

Being overweight and obese is a notable root cause of illness that would otherwise be able to be prevented and death in the UK.

“Junk” food, high in fat and sugar, is easily accessible, extensively promoted and very cheap. The study demonstrates that the price of food influences what individuals buy, so introducing a sugar tax gives a reason to either purchase less or switch to a more healthy alternative.

Adults and young children consume double the maximum suggested quantity of added sugar. And 11 to 18 year olds eat and drink three times the recommended limit — sugary drinks being the main source of added sugar.

Recent surveys additionally demonstrate that a tax on sugar is supported by the majority of the public with 55 percent supporting the measure and only 36 percent opposed to it.

To decrease the effect obesity has on society, Cancer Research UK is calling for action by the Government to put a tax on sugary drinks, ban junk food adverts on TV before 9 pm, and introduce goals for decreasing the measure of sugar and fat in food as part of an all-inclusive plan.

Eating Healthy While At School

When everyone is home for summer or winter break it can be easier to find yourself eating healthier than you did while away at school. When you return to school you want to continue your healthy habits and buy fruits and vegetables and only make healthy meals. There are a few problems with that goal including expenses, expirations, and expectations.

Healthy foods are significantly more expensive than junk food or fast food. It’s sad to say but it’s the undeniable truth. Whenever you go to the store to get gluten free bread it’s 3-5 more dollars than regular white bread. When you choose to buy fruits and vegetables at the store instead of chips and salsa, it’s more money than you planned on spending. You want to eat healthy and keep up with your diet from home but it can be a difficult task to follow through on when you have to spend all of your money on these meals and snacks just to lead a healthy lifestyle.

fruit and vegetable
“Healthy foods are significantly more expensive than junk food or fast food.”

Another problem is the expiration dates of healthy foods. If you buy strawberries, blueberries, spinach, etc it can be difficult to get your money’s worth because they are going bad after just one short week. You are only buying for one person so it can be hard to consume all of those fruits and vegetables in just one week to get what you paid for. A good alternative to buying fruit is opting for the frozen fruits. They will last you a very long time and you are sure to get your money’s worth.

The last problem is the unrealistic expectations. When I am home, I’ll go to the grocery store with my mom and get all of the foods that I want or need. I don’t have to spend any money on them, I don’t have to worry about them expiring because the rest of my family will also be eating them, and I can replenish them whenever I need to because I’m not having to budget my money like when I’m at school. It’s good to remember that it won’t be as easy eating healthy at school as it was at home for you. There are always alternative options such as the frozen fruit example and many more that can improve the chances of you constantly eating healthy!

Brace yourself for winter with these health tips

Winter is well on it’s way, and we all know how the cold weather affects our bodies. Follow these tips to prepare and make it through the freezing winter that’s heading straight towards us.

Stay protected from the wear and tear of winter. Graphic from NY Daily News
Stay protected from the wear and tear of winter. Graphic from NY Daily News

Stay moisturized. To prevent chapping hands, use soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free hand sanitizers. When you do wash your hands, slather on lotion immediately after. Use a simple mix of honey and sugar — the honey reduces inflammation while the sugar increases circulation in skin — to soften dry patches on rough elbows and knees. Before putting on moisturizer, exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator.

For your feet — before bed, use a scrub or pumice stone to buff away calluses, then apply a thick moisturizer and wear socks overnight.

Keep your showers short — long exposure to hot water can strip your skin and hair of moisture.

Keep chapstick handy — but if your chapped lips get too flaky, take a clean toothbrush and gents exfoliate to remove excess skin. Then, apply beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin and keep reapplying throughout the day. For seriously dry lips, apply honey or Vaseline to your lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water. 

Slather on sunscreen — winter sun and sun glare can damage your skin. Apply 30 minutes before going outside, and remember to reapply. 

When heading outside, put on a hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid windburn and prolonged exposure to the cold air.

Apply olive oil or lotion containing lanolin to nails before bed and sleep with gloves on — to protect your nails from breaks and tears. Clear nail polish can protect brittle nails as well.

Buy foods full of healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids — such as fish, nuts, olive oil, flax, sardines, and avocados.

Also buy vitamin C-rich produce like citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C helps boost the body’s production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin and other connective tissues. Add biotin-rich foods (Vitamin B7) to your diet, vegetables like carrots, and protein like nuts and fish. Consider buying Biotin in supplement form.

Use humidifiers throughout your home, to disperse moisture more evenly — to help prevent your skin from drying out.

Drink plenty of water. Water is good for your overall health.

Keep your stress to a minimum. Studies have linked high stress levels to susceptibility to catching colds and the flu.

Exercise regularly.

Get the right amount of sleep every night. The average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body becomes vulnerable to illness.

Stay warm this winter, but most importantly — stay healthy.

Why going to the gym every day should be a part of your routine

I used to always say I would go to the gym every day, and most days I would blow it off. I would convince myself that I had too much homework or I was too tired or whatever other reasons there could possibly be.

The truth was, I could’ve made it to the gym every day and I was just being lazy and making excuses, and bad ones at that. Now, a year later, I go to the gym every single day and I actually look forward to it. It was hard at first, and some days it can be a real pain to stop what you’re doing and walk there, but it’s worth it.



lifting weights
“Going to the gym doesn’t mean you have to do every single thing there or that you have to run 8 miles.”

Going to the gym doesn’t mean you have to do every single thing there or that you have to run 8 miles. It just means you can get a study break and clear your mind for a little bit while also being healthy. You could walk on the treadmill or the track or you could sprint; whatever pace is comfortable for you is what you should go with.

You will still be getting a workout even if you aren’t going as fast as the person lapping you. You’re up and moving around and sweating which is really healthy for your body and your brain. If you are really concerned that you have too much homework, though, like reading for a class, you could bring that book you have to read 100 pages of and bike while you read it. It’s a good way to multitask and get all of your work done while also being active.

After the first couple of weeks, I now actually look forward to and enjoy going to the gym every day. I always leave feeling accomplished and satisfied. My mind is always cleared after and I feel ready to take on whatever other tasks are awaiting me. It makes me feel healthier and it also makes me want to eat healthier too.

Going to the gym is such a great way to boost your energy and happiness and it will brighten your day.



Highlanders Anonymous: Time management

Q:  “Do you have any tips on how to manage your time?”

A:  Every Radford University student, with a different agenda and responsibilities to uphold, has to come up with their own ways of managing their time.

Try to avoid ending up so stressed out like this person. Graphic by Steve Furtado.

To help manage your time, here are some tips that we at Whim recommend and can be applied to everyone, no matter your agenda. Continue reading Highlanders Anonymous: Time management

What’s fit and what’s fat

Students at Radford University have the choice of eight chain restaurants and two dining halls on campus, and the choices vary from burgers to salads and almost everything in between. The calorie count of the meals from each restaurant can vary as well, based on what one chooses to eat.

Healthy doesn’t mean ordering a salad for every meal, but a small change in your usual choice could cut hundreds of calories a week from your diet. The following list analyzes the food choices from each establishment according to their respective websites and will help you make healthier choices on campus without sacrificing taste or fullness.

Continue reading What’s fit and what’s fat