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Attempting to Pacify the Putrid Pandemonium Surrounding Parosmia 

What I can remember before parosmia is now merely contained to the echo chamber of my writing, merely transcriptions of past tastes and flavors of Christmas meals. Before every meal of sitting down to eat roast chicken, beef tenderloin, or turkey with family over the holidays I would, figuratively, cross my fingers that this was the moment my taste buds would return to normal. Every time, my mind arduously attempted to retrain my brain to interpret foods the right way, seeking to rediscover the unspoken expectation that food is, and should be, enjoyed. Every time, I would squint my eyes shut, hoping that maybe this time it’ll finally be like that scene from Ratatouille, where Remy eats a strawberry with a cube of old-aged stinky cheese; and the combination magically galvanizes his taste buds, and as his brain waves are shown on the screen they burst into crescendos of euphoria, just like the climax of a fireworks show on July 4th. When I opened my eyes, I was never surprised or shocked, instead, I would be unfazed with what has been my new normal since April 2021. The rotten stench suffocating my taste buds as I chewed my first bite of a richly prepared or homemade meal over the winter break was and still is a daily and mediocre tragedy. But just because I have been living through it since last April, doesn’t make it any more tolerable. Sometimes, I feel like I am stuck in a never-ending nightmare that restarts the loop each day I wake up. 

Exercise “Snacking” 

Most days, finding the time to fit a proper workout into your daily routine can be just as channeling as the workout itself. A 30-60 minute workout may not seem like much, but when squeezed alongside deadlines, meetings, and other responsibilities, a workout can easily become a daunting task. Unfortunately, the demand for over-priced boutique fitness classes and gym memberships have convinced us that a short, simple workout “doesn’t count.” This culture surrounding fitness is not only problematic because it helps the wellness movement from being accessible to all, but because it also serves as an excuse to neglect exercise when we’re “too busy.” 

 Food Safety: Tips and Myths

If you’ve ever gotten food poisoning before, you know it’s not fun. I still can’t get myself to go back to a restaurant that I got sick after eating at years ago. Unfortunately, we do not always have control over how our food is prepared, but when we do, it is important to consider food safety. 

Developing Emotional Intelligence through Regulating Emotions

Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, finding it difficult to pinpoint why you are feeling that way? In these situations, it’s often easier to brush off unexplained emotions rather than actually explore what is making you feel so stressed or anxious. When life’s obligations begin to pile up and to-do lists start to run a mile long, the last thing you want to do is sit with uncomfortable emotions in an attempt to understand their source, but it is necessary to do so. 

What is PCOS & why don’t we talk about it?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition affecting up to 26.7 percent of women between the ages of 15 to 44 years old (Watson, 2019). This is over 5 million women worldwide, yet much of its causes and symptoms are highly stigmatized and misunderstood. PCOS is triggered by a hormonal imbalance in which women have higher levels of testosterone than usual, resulting in increased facial and body hair, baldness, and even long-term complications like diabetes or heart disease. The name comes from the “many cysts” that form in the ovaries, leading to the hormonal imbalance that is observed (“Polycystic ovary syndrome”). 

The Benefits of Journaling

“How do I want to be loved by somebody else? Describe in detail. (Do you love yourself in this way? Answer honestly).” Last year, I bought the popular “Were not Really Strangers” self reflection cards and journal kit after following their Instagram page. The kit sat on my desk at school for months before I decided to open the pack of cards. During the chaos of COVID, I found myself anxious more times than I could count,  but I didn’t know how to process my feelings. One day, I began reflecting in the shiny silver journal, brushing off its coating of collected dust after sitting on my desk for months. I began to write, “How do I want to receive love from others? My honest answer?

Study Smarter Not Harder  

Ahh, finals season. The last home stretch before four glorious weeks of relaxation, holiday cheer and new years resolutions. If you are anything like me, this time of year creeps up suspiciously quick and I often find myself in the library running on 4 cups of coffee and a bodo’s bagel wondering how to study for what seems like 8 exams in 8 days. This time of year can be especially hard because we are bouncing back from Thanksgiving break, wrapping up all of our loose ends of the semester, studying for finals, shopping for holiday gifts – need I go on? If you too find yourself procrastinating or stressing over everything you have to do then keep reading. Here are 5 simple tips to help you study smarter, not harder, this finals season.

Sedentary Time and Its Implications on Our Health

Most of us spend a lot of time sitting down. Whether it’s attending class, watching TV, reading a book, or logging onto a Zoom call, the majority of our day to day activities largely consist of sitting in a chair. Since so much of our everyday lives revolve around sitting down, it’s important to look at the potential consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and what we can do about it.

Ways to Build Better Body Confidence

Think back to the last time your friend took a picture of you during a night out with friends; can you remember how you felt swiping through your photo album? Or when you caught a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror at the gym, what thoughts flooded to your mind as you ran on the treadmill?

So, You Want to be a Runner? 

Your breathing begins to get heavier, your heart pumps faster, sweat begins to drip from your face, but just when you think you’ve had enough, your body begins to release endorphins, boosting your mood and leaving you more energized. These are just a couple of the multifaceted benefits of going for a run. Now it can seem pretty daunting: running. To the non-runner, the thought of lacing up those running shoes and hitting the pavement can be very intimidating. So, instead of trying, most of us have just chalked it up to thinking, “I’ll just never be a runner.” In reality, however, you truly don’t need to be a runner to start running.

Looking Internal To Fix the External: My Personal Plight with Acne & Accutane

As someone who has struggled with the pangs of acne as soon as the perilous days of pre-teen puberty dawned, I have an intrinsic understanding of how these tiny little blemishes, largely unnoticeable to the wandering eye, can lead to debilitating feelings of insecurity. I remember counting each festering whitehead. They weren’t just pimples to pop, but poignant plots of my internal self doubt externalizing as visible indicators of imperfection, diabolically diminishing my self-confidence. Think 2012, you know, the days of Gangnam Style, Katie Perry, or, maybe, reminding you of Instagram posts’ heinously wide white border engulfs you in a wave of nostalgia for those much simpler days. When I think of 2012 I am reminded of the unattainable beauty standards flooding my Tumblr and the soul-crushing anonymous “ratings” of girls’ looks on ask.fm. All of that, coupled with my seemingly incurable acne led my twelve-year-old self to conclude: “yes, I’ve found my Armageddon.” Well, I didn’t know what that word meant just yet, but if I did I totally would have thought it! 

Gratitude Journaling

Personally, I love Thanksgiving. The feast, the fall weather, the family reunion- I’m here for it. However, I can’t help but wonder why we save all our statements of gratitude for one day. It feels good to acknowledge what we are thankful for, so why not make it a part of our daily routine?

Social Determinants of Health 101 

  When you think of factors that affect your health, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of your diet, how much you exercise, your daily habits, the medications you take, or even your genetics. These are all important to your overall health but they don’t include major contributing factors; in fact, up to 80% of a person’s health is determined solely by social factors and the environment they live in. Additionally, research over the last two decades has even found that a wide range of health problems can be traced back to socioeconomic causes.

TikTok’s impact on fitness: why you shouldn’t always take advice from influencers and trend-videos 

I downloaded TikTok to distract myself from my loneliness. Intended purely as a form of entertainment during months of uncertainty in 2020, I could not have predicted the profound negative effects the app could have on society. Like hundreds of millions of people around the world, when I began scrolling and liking videos on TikTok’s  ‘For You’ page, the app’s infamous algorithm seemed to know exactly what might grab my attention. A never-ending spiral of content, TikTok caters exactly to what its viewers want. Like most social media platforms, TikTok dominates in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and wellness advice. With over 111 billion views, the ‘fitness’ hashtag includes thousands of videos of home workouts, diet advice, and ‘quick fixes,’ all promising unequivocally unrealistic results. Plus, the 15-30 second video limit is barely long enough for even the most qualified expert to offer thorough advice. “The emerging new media TikTok has a significant impact on the value judgment system that guides people, causing serious social problems,” Jian Liu highlights in a paper regarding TikTok’s influence on body image.  On a platform where anything catchy can go viral, it is easy for users to fall for false promises. Unfortunately, fitness-related Tiktoks tend to be dangerous because they are not often created with the viewer’s best interest in mind, but instead prioritize gaining as many views as possible to make a profit. 

Catching Up on Sleep

Maybe you decided to pull an all-nighter to study for your final. Maybe you stayed up a little too late on a Friday night to go out with some friends and had to wake up early for an eight hour serving shift. Or maybe you were deep in a Netflix-binge sesh and the clock suddenly read 3:00 AM. If any of these situations sound familiar, you’ve definitely contemplated a common question: can you really make up for lost sleep? We’ve all put sleep on the back burner at some point, and we often think, “It’s fine! I’ll catch up on sleep tomorrow!” But can we really “catch up” on sleep?

Meal Prep 101

Picture this: you just got home from class and only have a few minutes until you need to leave for a club meeting. You drop your backpack and open the fridge because you’re starving for lunch. Various uncooked vegetables and random ingredients stare back at you, but cooking is the last thing you want to do. Pressed for time, you end up grabbing a bag of barbeque chips and a granola bar. With no more time to spare, you leave the house practically empty-handed,  the nutritionless snack doing you no favors. Within an hour of eating, you will have a “sugar crash,” feel fatigued and, yup, still starving

7 Important Things You Can Do to Take Care of Your Mental Health  

Recently, the discussion of mental health has been on the forefront of the media. Whether it be Tik Tok trends highlighting self care practices, podcasts with experts explaining brain chemicals or media stories with celebrities discussing their own mental health, we are starting to see huge strides in the de-stigmatization of mental illness. Finally, the importance of treating your mental health as you would your physical health is being accepted and appreciated. Not only is it becoming less taboo to talk openly about mental health, therapy, etc. but it is also an issue that everyone is seemingly on board with. 

Removing the stigma behind mental health 

We’re all used to Simone Biles capturing our attention with her phenomenal athleticism and consistent record breaking in gymnastics– but this year she made headlines for an entirely different reason — choosing mental health over the USA Olympic team. The most decorated gymnast of all time decided to withdraw from the finals of the Olympic games to prioritize her mental wellbeing. While her decision was heavily criticized, it serves as an important reminder that no individual is exempt from navigating the balance between prioritizing mental health and professional success. “We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we’re human, too,” Biles said regarding her decision. “We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”

Exercise as Play

 When it comes to play, kids are the experts- and it’s time we learn from them. Over the summer, I worked at a day camp where I traveled from activity to activity with campers, often participating in the activities myself. Sports, water play, and recess all involved a notable amount of exercise, but any physical effort involved was overshadowed by the fun of it all.

Three Supplements You Need to Add to Your Diet

Trendy golden-milk lattes, bright blue smoothies, matcha lattes are all the rage right now among health fans and enthusiasts of an aesthetically pleasing Instagram picture. However, these fun and “trendy” foods are more than just mesmerizing drinks covering all colors of the rainbow, they contain supplements that are attributed to several, real health benefits. While there is an infinitely growing list of supplements, powders and oils that are both beneficial to health as well as aesthetically pleasing, the three supplements I want to highlight are turmeric, maca, and spirulina. These are my supplements of choice as they are not only easy to purchase, but are also extremely versatile, and can be incorporated into any of your favorite recipes in a plethora of ways.

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