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Tips to Living Plant-Based as a College Student
Wellness
Published Monday Aug 13, 2018 by Chelsea McIntosh

Tips to Living Plant-Based as a College Student

Nutrition
Food

It’s back-to-school time and, as a student, you live a busy life. I know I do! Somewhere between back-to-back classes, late nights, due dates (and attempting to fit a fitness class in between breaks), the last thing you should have to worry about is what you’re putting in your body. Choosing—and living—a beneficial plant-based diet can be simple and easily achieved. 

Here are some of my favorite tips and recipes that can help you embrace a healthy plant-based eating regimen, giving you that much-needed energy boost to sprint across campus. 

 

morning smoothie recipe

BREAKFAST

Mixing up a filling and nourishing smoothie in the morning will keep you focused throughout your school day. I like to use a Nutribullet—you can quickly take the blender cup to class with you. 

 

My Morning Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

- ½ cup granola*
- 1 cup hemp milk
- 2 spoonfuls of hemp protein powder
- 3-4 leaves (purple or lacinato) kale
- 1 banana
- ½ green apple
- 2 ice cubes or a handful of frozen berries
 
*I like to use granola made with oats, dates, and sunflower seeds. I avoid granolas with added oils and sugar.

 

Directions: 

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, sip and enjoy! 

Tip: If you’re not in the smoothie mood, steel-cut oatmeal served in your school’s cafeteria is a great option, too. Pair it with berries or a banana, and you’re good to go. 

 
Salad
LUNCH & DINNER

For lunch and dinner, the salad bar is your best friend. You can make your own salad and top it with some nutritional yeast, black pepper, and olive oil. Try pairing your salad with a plant-based soup or special the cafeteria is serving. And don’t forget to check out the plant-based options your school is serving—like vegan pizza and veggie burgers. 

Have a kitchen in your dorm? Roll up your sleeves and make dinner! Living a plant-based diet can be a lot of fun when you’re looking for new recipes to try and improving old ones.
 

Veggie Tacos Recipe

Ingredients:

- 2 Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
- 1 spoonful of black bean hummus
- ½ cup of pico de gallo
- 2 handfuls of chopped kale, spinach or romaine lettuce
- ½ avocado
- 1 handful sprouts
- Salt and pepper to taste
 

Directions: 

Heat the tortillas on a large non-stick pan for 4 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove the tortillas and spread the hummus on them. Place tortillas on plate and add the rest of the ingredients (in no particular order). Fold and enjoy!

 

5-Minute Sweet Potato Bowl Recipe

Ingredients:

- ½ sweet potato
- 3 handfuls of your favorite kind of leafy green
- ½ of an avocado
- 2 tablespoons of hummus
- Salt and pepper to taste
 

Directions: 

Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes and place into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes (or until tender). Remove sweet potatoes and let cool. Thinly slice avocado, and set aside. Place leafy greens, sweet potatoes and hummus in a medium-size bowl, adding the avocado on top. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

 

blueberries
SNACKS

Feeling hungry throughout the day? Some good mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks include fruit and veggies, such as carrots, celery, cucumber or plant-based yogurt (like coconut or almond yogurt). My must-have snack is a handful of blueberries with ¾ cup of coconut yogurt—it’s full of probiotics. Plus, blueberries are one of my favorite fruits.
 

dark chocolate
DESSERT

After a long day of classes, I am usually in the mood for a sweet treat. My oh-so-satisfying plant-based dessert option is a few pieces of 72%+ cacao dark chocolate. If I’m feeling more adventurous, I’ll break up two dark chocolate almond butter cups and add them to ¾ cup coconut yogurt. Yum! 
 
Eat better, feel better. That’s my mantra. It’s important to stay focused and plan what you want to eat for the week so you don’t get caught off-guard and indulge in something that might not make you feel good. Surround yourself with people who value living a healthy lifestyle. Get inspired about how much your body will appreciate the nourishment you give it!

Even if what you eat is not entirely plant-based, the most important thing you could do is add greens to your meal to make it more nourishing. Think of a plant-based diet as what you can add to your diet more than what you take away from it.
 

Chelsea McIntosh
Written by
Chelsea McIntosh
Contributor
About the author
Chelsea is an Anthropology major at Reed College and a certified yoga teacher. With an immense passion for nutrition and wellness, she enjoys yoga, farming, and anthropological research. This summer she will be researching Maya health and healing methods in Mexico.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.