Summer Break Slimdown – 3 Simple Recipes!


Let’s face it — sometimes we don’t make the best of decisions when we’re faced with a buffet of choices at the cafeteria. Addressing any damage you might have done eating on your meal plan takes dedication and energy. A lot of people thinks it begins and ends at the gym. However, the real place to get healthy is right in your kitchen. These three simple summer break “slimdown” recipes will give you a day’s worth of ideas on how to get your eating habits back on track.



People call breakfast the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating right at breakfast means keeping hunger at bay later, giving you energy for any workout you may have planned, and setting your day up for healthy choices.

This fast food restaurant makeover is significantly lower in fat and packs in the protein. You can tweak it to match the nutrients your body needs or skip the English Muffin to reduce the carbs. Get creative!


Super Fast Egg, Cheese, and Bacon Sandwich

  • Ingredients:
    • Light, whole wheat English muffin
    • 3 tbsp. egg whites
    • 1/8 cup of shredded, reduced fat or nonfat cheese of your choice
    • 1-2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Directions:
    • Toast the English muffin
    • While it toasts, pour egg whites into a coffee mug. Mix in cheese and cooked bacon
    • Microwave mug in 30-second intervals until there is no more liquid, stirring in between to make sure cheese and bacon are distributed.
    • Place cooked eggs on muffin and enjoy!



The simplest meal of the day should be the easiest too. While you could do last night’s leftovers, there are plenty of healthy sandwich ideas you can experiment with.

This classic sandwich is our favorite. Both great for your body and an awesome recipe perfect for warm days, you’ll be eating this on repeat.

Garden-In-Your-Mouth Sandwich

  • Ingredients:
    • 100% whole wheat bread
    • 1 tbsp. hummus
    • Sliced cucumber
    • 1-2 oz. shredded carrots
    • 1 sliced pepper (or slices of assorted peppers)
    • ½ cup of uncooked spinach leaves
    • Lowfat cheese (optional)
  • Directions:
    • Spread hummus on bread and then add ingredients to taste!
    • Enjoy with the rest of the veggies as a side, or indulge with some veggie-based chips or freeze dried fruits for a crunch.



After a long day of working outside, relaxing poolside, or getting in a workout with your friends, it’s time to really feast. Indulge with your meal by picking one that is low in bad fats and carbs and instead focuses on proteins that will keep you full the rest of the night.


We especially love this plate because it is so easy that anyone can recreate it. You can also take it to the grill or change out the meat source to your seafood of choice! Yum!

Lemon Salmon With Summer Berry Kale Salad

  • Salmon Ingredients:
    • 1-2 planks salmon (roughly ¼ lb. to ½ lb. per person)
    • Sliced lemon
    • Salt to taste
  • Salad Ingredients:
    • 1 bunch washed kale
    • 1 bunch washed spinach
    • 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
    • 1 cup mixed berries
    • ½ cup pecans or walnuts
    • Light raspberry vinaigrette, to taste
  • Directions:
    • Preheat oven (or grill) to 400°F
    • Salt salmon and place 2-3 lemon slices on top
    • Wrap in tin foil and cook in oven for 12-15 minutes, and discard baked lemon after cooking
    • Prepare salad by mixing ingredients evenly together and drizzling with the vinaigrette as the dressing


Add any of these recipes to your regular weekly meals to get back on track. At that rate, you’ll enter fall semester in a much better place, ready to make smart food decisions at your college cafeteria!

Student Spotlight: Penn State Grad Develops Biohealth Game Playphysio



Ishana Shekhawat’s startup is about to bring a little bit of joy to many sick and recovering young patients.

Her product, PlayPhysio, is a biohealth game targeted for youth between 5- to 15-year of age who need to practice lung exercises due to medical conditions. The exercises may be prescribed for those that have chronic lung conditions, or are recovering from a surgery.


The Beginning of PlayPhysio

Ishana recognized a need for an effective breathing exercise while she was an undergraduate student in New Delhi. “As part of a clinical immersion exercise, I was visiting a trauma center in Delhi where I met with a child who had undergone abdominal surgery and had been prescribed these exercises for his recovery and rehabilitation,” Ishana explains. “He seemed very reluctant to do the exercise and this sentiment was apparently a popular one when I cross checked with the healthcare providers.”

From this experience, she recognized a need in the market. She goes on to explain, “The objective of the exercise was to formulate a relevant need statement and this idea particularly stuck with me, since I had been on the lookout for an idea and felt that I could apply my skill set directly to solve this problem. It stayed as just an idea for a year or so before I started looking more into it.”

While the original prototype of Playphysio was a board game, the vision turned digital. “The objective of the game is for players to use their breath to control the movements of a submarine as it maneuvers a series of underwater obstacles,” she explained to Penn State News. “The player breathes into a device, which sends data to a digital sensor and then to the video game app via Bluetooth. By following the game’s breathing instructions, players avoid crashing the submarine and earn points.”


How Penn State Supported Her Entrepreneurial Goals

“I was part of the summer cohort at Happy Valley Launchbox, where we got a lot of help both in terms of individual mentoring as well as through weekly information and networking sessions.” Ishana explained. Happy Valley Launchbox is a free business accelerator and coworking space located in downtown State College, PA. “The entire process taught me a lot about the different aspects of running a business – like financing, business model development, hiring etc.” This is how she gained the hands-on know-how that can’t just be taught in Penn State’s classrooms.

“I was also awarded the Penn State Summer Founders award, which provided me with both a seed grant to get the idea off the ground and with weekly sessions where we could interact with the other teams and a guest with expertise in the related areas. As a student entrepreneur, the resources at Penn State have helped me tremendously. Not just in terms of the opportunities available but also with respect to the people who are there to offer advice and help whenever I was stuck.” she said.


How You Can Start a Business as a Student

Ishana shared wise advice for others looking to follow in her entrepreneurial footsteps. “If they are at the building stage, I would advise them to put the product out there as much as possible even if they don’t think it is ready.” she urges. While you might not feel like your product or service is exactly market-ready, getting it out there early can bright about some beneficial outcomes. “Feedback helps a lot in shaping the product, according to what the users want.”

You should also have contingency plans in place. Ishana explained, “There are a lot of unexpected situations that I’ve had to deal with, especially when it comes to timelines. I had thought while planning that it would be easy to get feedback from health practitioners, but it took almost 2 months to get somewhere with that.” Moral of the story: be prepared for the worst and try to expect the unexpected. Accounting for any detours can help you accurately set your expectations and create a realistic roadmap for your brand.



If you’re ready to make the plunge into student entrepreneurship, check out our How to Build a Business infographic to get started!


How to Hit the Ground Running in January



Let’s just start off with: you’re right.  You do deserve a break.  Well, you will, depending on whether you’ve finished your finals yet or not.  You might have believed that you were all caught up, but then you found out that your physics final is graded on a curve, so now you’re freaking out… Or maybe you knew these couple weeks would suck all along.  Either way, this is a particularly stressful period.

Unfortunately, you’re probably responding to that stress in a not-so-healthy way.  The cycle of staying up late and struggling to get out of bed for class, let alone the gym, has a way of perpetuating itself all the way until Holiday Break.  And while exercise is a great way to relieve stress and work off those study break snacks, let’s be honest: you’ve probably skipped a couple days at the gym.  Which isn’t so bad, but when coupled with the fact that lack of sleep makes you eat more and the upcoming holidays, December can be tough on your fitness goals.  It’s okay, you’ll pick it up again next semester, right?

That’s certainly possible, but you don’t want to a part of the New Year’s Resolution crowd that works out intermittently for a month and then are never seen at the rec center again.  It can be all too easy to put off starting a fitness regimen or to let it fall by the wayside.  So, while yes, you do deserve a break, you should also be prepared to start a new routine come next semester and stick to it.

What Do You Want to Improve?

The best workouts will involve your entire body, including flexibility, coordination, and strength.  By practicing a variety of skills, you’ll lower your risk of injury and maximize performance.  However, you can still focus on something specific that you’d like to improve.  If you don’t like your arms, can’t touch your toes, or would like to lose some weight after the holidays, you should cater to your fitness goals.  Just don’t neglect every other muscle group.

Write it Down!

It’s no secret anymore that writing down goals makes achieving them more likely.  It might feel stupid or childish, but it really does work.  Even if you’re self-conscious, you can write them down in a private place– just make sure that it’s somewhere you see frequently (a planner, a note taped in your closet, in your phone, etc.) That way, it will remind you of your goal and solidify your commitment.

Additionally, writing down your goals will force you to be specific.  You might think, “I want to gain muscle,” but when you start writing it down you realize that there are a lot of specifics to consider.  By when?  How much?  Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to reach your goal in time?  And, most importantly, is your goal realistic and healthy?

Account for Real Life

Realize that you’re not going to be perfect.  There’s going to be friends’ birthdays, emergency assignments, and other things that you can’t control.  You might miss a couple of workouts.  The important thing is that you don’t let that derail you overall.  You can also minimize the impact of these distractions by planning ahead.

  • Know the exact routine that you’re going to do at the gym so you don’t waste time in between machines.

  • If you have an early morning class, set out your clothes and backpack the night before, so you can minimize excuses to miss your morning workout.

  • Plan out your meals so that you can hold yourself accountable for your nutrition goals.  No more easy hamburgers in the dining hall when you’re rushing between classes or meetings, because you planned ahead!

  • Encourage your friends to join you.  That way,  you don’t have to choose between socializing and working out!

There’s going to be obstacles blocking every goal.  That’s why you haven’t completed it yet!  But with some careful planning and motivation, your New Year’s resolution can become an All-Year resolution.  For now, focus on your finals, enjoy the holidays, and come back next semester ready to achieve.


How Many Hours of Sleep Do College Students Need?


Hours of Sleep in College

What’s the best thing you can do for your health, your studies, and your looks? Researchers pretty much all agree that the key is getting more sleep! But how much is enough when you’re busy with papers and building an awesome social life around campus? These sleep and health experts break down what you need to know about getting the best and optimal amount of sleep each night.

Take the Time

Dr. Neil Kline, D.O, DABSM and Representative for the American Sleep Association states that the best amount of sleep has been studied and proven. “According to the American Sleep Association (ASA) Sleep Statistics, college students need about 8 – 10 hours… [College students] who do not get enough sleep have impaired abilities to function optimally at school. Memory and concentration are negatively affected by Sleep Deprivation.“

Prepare Yourself for a Better Sleep

When sleep expert Terry Cralle, R.N. sent her college son to live on-campus, she sent him armed with the best sleep tools out there: “You can only imagine that I went way out of my way to provide helpful sleep products while he lived in a dormitory and later a fraternity house. Ear plugs, eye shades, mattress topper (and later a new mattress) and a white noise machine were mandatory.”

Avoid the All-Nighter Spiral

You may think that pulling an all-night study and cram session is a must before a big exam, but research has shown the exact opposite. According to Stuart C of Bedtime Bliss, “There have been many studies and experiments which have shown that while we sleep our brains process & consolidate our memories from the day. If you don’t get enough sleep it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly, not to mention that insufficient sleep impairs your cognition, your attention, and your decision-making process.”

Make It a Healthy Priority

The Freshman 15 is a hot topic for most incoming students. But did you know that much of your weight gain, along with other unhealthy habits, begins and ends with how much sleep you get per night? Jyothi Rao, M.D. states, “Sleep regulates our hormones which are associated with hunger and satiety. Not sleeping well can increase our cravings for sugar and make us feel unsatisfied even after a full meal.” She further suggests avoiding eating heavy and refined sugars during afternoon meals, which can make you more tired earlier in the day.

Pillow Talk is Important

Mike Lindell, the founder of MYPILLOW, knows all about the importance of the right pillow. He recommends selecting pillows that are hypo-allergenic filled (“Many college students don’t know that they can attract mild allergies that have gone unnoticed, and can be reacting to what’s in their pillow,” Mike notes) and only sleeping on those that are the right firmness. “If the pillow is too soft,” he explains, “it will not provide the proper support for your neck. If the pillow is too firm, it can lead to stiffness in neck and shoulders.”

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Almost every expert agrees that sleep hygiene is as important as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Make a routine that encourages restful, productive sleep. For one, set up a sleep schedule and stick to it. It may be tough to set that alarm for the same time each and every morning, but you will feel better for it in the long run. In addition, set your timers for a screen-free, low stimuli time each night. Hide your phone or laptop away from you and avoid sleeping with the TV on. Instead, play some soothing, lyric-less music or use a sound machine to drown out the noise from inside and outside your dorm. You can even practice sleep meditations that can help you practice falling asleep faster.

Get Help When Needed

Sleep problems, especially those that keep you up each and every single night, shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you start to see negative effects on your schoolwork or relationships. Jamie Kopf, Berkeley Wellness Senior Editor and Health Expert, encourages, “College students who are struggling with sleep problems should check with their campus health center and find out if this type of counseling is available – especially if sleep problems are ongoing. Sleep drugs can help in a pinch but they’re only for short-term use, and they’re a band-aid solution; they don’t address the underlying problem.”

6 Essential Winter Skin Care Tips for College Students


Dry, cracking skin can get anyone down and feeling self-conscious. But going through the winter months dealing with uncomfortable or ugly skin doesn’t have to be an option. Increasing your moisturizer, taking care of your body, and trying some innovative ideas are just a few starters. These 6 tips can be the key to making sure you’re feeling and looking great in your skin all year round.


  1. Moisturize With Oil

For anyone with a basic knowledge of skin care, it’s no how important moisturizer is for our skin, especially when the air is dry and the wind blows harsh. But, not just any moisturizer is going to do when the temperatures drop. Instead of soapy moisturizer that may dehydrates your skin, look for one with an oil base. One good way to know if you are getting an oil-based moisturizer is to look for a label that says “night treatment” or “ointment.”

  1. Banish Wet Clothing

Trudging through snow or hiking to class in a pair of flats is one of the easiest ways to damage your skin. The dry and cold air mixes with the standing water resting directly against your skin, causing ugly blisters or peeling red skin if left on for too long. And, if you have sensitive skin or are prone to eczema outbreaks, it’s even more essential that you keep yourself and your clothing dry.




  1. Lower the Temperature

Who doesn’t love hot, steamy showers, especially after a long day at class? Well, your skin, for one! As much as we crave it, avoid the hot bath or shower. While it feels great for a few minutes, as soon as you walk out, you’ll be itching or reaching for moisturizers. Instead, save yourself the pain and go for a cooler temperature setting.

  1. Cut Out the Skin Treatments

You may not know this, but skin treatments and even makeup can do more damage than they are worth. Alcohol based cleansers and masks are the first to go as the alcohol can dry out your skin faster than anything else on the shelf. The same goes with clay-based treatments like face masks. Look, instead, for the label “hydrating” or cleanse your face with plain water.



Sunscreen – protection from the snowy winter Sun


  1. Protect and Preserve

You need sunscreen. It should be one of the first things you put on your exposed skin in the morning and reapplied regularly throughout the day. While you may not be hanging out at the beach, the sun is still damaging come wintertime. Add the white snow creating a glare, the sun can do more harm than good. While you’re protecting your skin, don’t forget sunglasses. They’re not just fashion statements in the winter!

  1. Humidify Your Room

Old, dusty dorm rooms will only make your winter skin worse. If you are allowed, purchase a small room humidifier with a timer. Even setting it for a few hours per night can help your skin get the moisture it needs to refresh itself. It’s also great for your skin to recover after illnesses like flus or colds when your skin dries out or gets irritated easily. If you are not able to bring in a humidifier, try making your own. Take a large sponge (the biggest possible) and soak it in hot water. Then, strain it and place it into a gallon sized zip bag. Punch some holes into it to let the steam out, and you’ve created your own humidifier that can rest by your bed or window.

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