Hi! I hope applying to grad schools is going well. You probably have made your decision already. I’m sure you’ll get into one of your top choices with all the activities you are doing. I agree that keeping a regular exercise regimen helps productivity and staying on schedule.
I eat vegan about 95% of the time, and I find it a very balanced nutrition plan! As for gaining weight, definitely make sure you are eating enough. Do you have time for meals? Do not deprive yourself even if you are busy. You deserve time to eat and to relax! Make sure you have a protein source at every meal. For example, I drink soy milk as part of breakfast, beans as a main part of lunch, and lentils as a dinner entree. Try and do 2-3 strength workouts a week in place of cardio. Some people are naturally underweight…have you always been thin and are your family members generally thin? Being underweight is big concern if it’s from recent weight loss.
Hi! What a GREAT time to start exercising! For a healthy person, having no medical complications, here are some ways to increase your running stamina.
1) Drink water before, and after 10 minutes of running. This will help with feeling dizzy and lightheaded.
2) Take a walking break after 10 minutes, and then do one more round.
3) Stretch briefly before, and for 7-10 minutes after exercising. (Something I need to work on too.
4) Strengthen major muscles by doing: calf raises, squats, and lunges.
5) Keep it up!
Hi! Coffee has more caffeine than tea which I do not need. Tea also has more antioxidants than coffee. Tea stains your teeth less! Coffee is not “super unhealthy,” especially if you are drinking regular coffee with just some milk/milk alternative. It gets bad like during the holiday season when Starbucks has all these specialty drinks full of whip cream, sugar, syrup, and empty calories. It’s a little worrying that you aren’t getting enough sleep as a freshman in college. My roommate and I sleep 7-8 hours a night in med school. I drink tea, but she doesn’t drink any caffeinated drinks! Figure out why you’re so pressed for time. Did you over-commit this semester? Are you balancing school and play well? Are you productive during the daytime? Is your class schedule messed up with lots of small time gaps? I would say a reliance on caffeine is a negative habit to have, and it’s not a necessary component of productivity. Nor is it the secret to academic success. You’re going to do great!
New Year’s Resolution? Getting enough sleep =)
For me, I drink tea daily. I’ll reuse one teabag for 2-3 refills. I like herbal teas to squash sugar cravings. Tea helps me from snacking and eating late at night. I drink coffee when I need to stay-up late to go out with friends…lol I drink coffee when I need to have fun, not when I need to study!
Do you find that you NEED caffeine?
Great New Year’s Resolution!
So it’s not unpractical to go from NO running to completing a half marathon. I would aim for 13.1 miles first before you tackle the full marathon. You have to decide if you even like running first!
Tips to get you started:
What are some tips everyone else has?
Happy New Year!
I’ve made an important personal revelation and it may help you too! Up until recently, I’ve been a huge supporter of eating fruits and high protein foods (like Greek yogurt) as snacks. But honestly, I never really feel full and satisfied for long after snacking on those items. I realized that the best snacks for me are high in carbohydrates, low in sugar, low in fat, and low in protein. For example, I’ll eat crispbread crackers, bread, or dry cereal as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. There is legitimate science to back up this observation too! Eating high carb (low in fat and protein) snacks in between meals is the basis for The Serotonin Power Diet and the take-home message from Columbia’s researchers, Judith J. Wurtman, Ph.D, and Nina T. Frusztajer, M.D.
How do carbs help you stay full and prevent you from overeating? It has to do with the interplay between carbohydrates and the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which regulates mood, sleep, and appetite. Simply put, eating carbohydrates stimulates the production of serotonin! Are you on a low-carb diet right now and you’re noticing moodiness or depression? Your body may well be lacking it’s natural “feel-good” chemical, serotonin. Although eating carbs starts serotonin production, eating a significant amount of protein along with those carbs stops this process. This is because tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin, is the least abundant amino acid in protein. So when you eat a protein-rich meal, all the different amino acids (protein building blocks) floods into the blood. Tryptophan has to compete with all these other amino acids to get transported to the brain. If you eat a snack with little to no protein, tryptophan does not have to compete as much and will have more access to the brain where it has important effects. Snacks high in fat slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and therefore the production of serotonin. It keeps you feeling hungry for longer! For example, take the infamous chocolate chip cookie. Why is it so hard to have just one? It’s because it’s sweet and fatty at the same time. The fat in the cookie slows down absorption. What do you do in the meantime? You eat more cookies…
You can have carbohydrate-rich snacks and still eat a balanced diet that has a moderate intake of carbs overall. Just keep your snacks around 150 calories. For example, a typical day for me looks like (I’m back to eating vegetarian without dairy (I eat honey though!):
You’re sample menu can look like this:
Eating small snacks throughout the day really helps me be productive, stay alert, and not keel over from hunger. I’m usually up by 6:30am and have class, activities, labs, throughout the day. I also exercise and study during free hours and at night . I try to sleep before midnight. Eating small carby snacks keeps me satiated between meals, happy, and motivated. I really do feel a difference in my energy levels and positive emotional state after switching to carb snacks =)!
What you can try (Tips from Dr. Wurtman and Dr. Frusztajer, along with my own) :
Honestly, little high-carb snacks have helped me so much stay focused and full during these first few weeks of medical school and I urge you to try this method too! Please let me know how you are doing and if you feel a difference after a couple days of eating high-carb snacks! Also, I find the Serotonin Power Diet a very balanced way to prevent weight gain.
These are some of my favorite snacks:
Hi, I worked full-time doing research after graduation for 6 months. I also had to finish some applications and interviews. Since then, I’ve been traveling, taking classes that have always interested me, pursuing artistic and musical projects, and spending time with my family. If you plan to have at least a year before med school/grad school/work/etc., my best advice is to not waste the amazing opportunity to do something productive, meaningful to you, and fun! It’s a time to really round out your life and to focus on some areas that have been neglected or yearn for development.
Thanks for reading my health blog and have a great summer! :D!!! Hope you aren’t taking summer session like I did the summer before 2nd year…
Hi there, it is very helpful that you noticed the warning signs of your sister’s progressing health issues. I’ve only ever approached one of my friends about her dieting problem and she responded openly (although I don’t think I changed her habits or ways of thinking…). I tried to do the following:
Hope this helps and that your sister is getting better. I greatly apologize for taking ages to reply to this question. It’s just that everytime I started it, I never knew what to say. It’s a hard issue, and I personally know what it feels like on both ends of the story.
How have you approached someone you suspect is in trouble? How have you responded to people who are worried about you?
This is a great time for a new start because summer is coming around! This will give us a lot of time to focus on establish better habits that will sustains us for busier times.
Most importantly, live each day with purpose.
I keep on walking by the box of Costco chocolate chip cookies my mom bought and each time I’m just eyeing them and think…”ahhh I want one”. But, I’m making a point to not have one today! I finished a long run of 15 miles today, and I don’t want to get in the habit of running and then eating whatever the heck I want, and putting food (in this case…cheap junk food) up on a pedestal and seen as a reward for hard work. Sorry, we will not “run for cupcakes.”
Oh and I put a little post-it note with the number of calories as a remind that 1 cookie = 2 bananas - all the vitamins and minerals. This is a good little tactic for foods that don’t come with nutrition facts! This doesn’t deter anyone else in the house either, so I’m not being a “health-nazi” or anything.