Tag Archives: healthy eating

A Consistent Sleep Schedule may Lead to a Healthier Diet

If you average about 7-9 hours of sleep per night, your sleep habits are probably already in good shape. However, new research says that you might still benefit from fine tuning your sleep schedule.

A study conducted by Penn State researchers and presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting suggests that the consistency of your sleep schedule, in addition to the average number of hours you sleep per night, may influence eating habits.

The study, which examined teenagers’ sleep and dietary habits, found that participants averaged 7 hours of sleep a night. However, teens with irregular sleeping patterns (for example, getting too little sleep one night and sleeping in the next night), ate more calories and were more likely to snack than teens with regular sleeping patterns.

In fact, participants consumed 210 additional calories (think a small slice of pizza or a candy bar) for every hour of difference in sleep night-to-night. Over time these differences could add up—check out the example sleep schedules below to see how.

Although more research on this topic is sure to come, getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night and keeping a consistent sleep-wake schedule seem like good steps toward better habits and health.

sleep schedule comparison

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

All of the spice and flavor you look for when thinking Mexican for dinner, but completely vegetarian! Simple, fresh and packed with veggies and protein!


  • 1 bell pepper (red, green, yellow, or orange)
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 sweet onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 oz pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup corn (fresh or canned)
  • chili envelope (or dash of chili powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper)
  • slice of Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tsp plain greek yogurt (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)


  • baking sheet
  • medium skillet
  • spoon
  • fork


  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F and spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Wash outside of pepper, cut in half and remove seeds.
  3. Chop onion and garlic.
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat; sauté olive oil, onions and garlic for 3 min.
  5. Add beans, tomatoes, corn and spices to skillet.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the bell pepper and cover with cheese.
  7. Bake in oven until cheese melts and pepper begins to brown.
  8. Top with yogurt and hot sauce if desired.

Recipe adapted from http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1069671/tex-mex-chili-stuffed-peppers-recipe

Meatless Monday Recipe: Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (about 3 1/2 cups), cut into florets
  • 1 cup low sodium cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low sodium canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the oil, garam masala, curry powder, and turmeric and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, cauliflower, and chickpeas, and stir until the cauliflower and chickpeas are evenly coated with the spices, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, salt and pepper, and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.  Serve with whole grain naan or pita bread, or over a bed of brown rice.

Recipe adapted from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cauliflower_chickpea_curry/

Eating Healthy during the Holidays

Thanksgiving and the winter holidays often mean family, friends, and plenty of food. Because holiday treats aren’t exactly known for their nutritional value, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy diet. Here are some tips to help you navigate your next holiday gathering:

  • Eat a healthy snack (try our yogurt parfait or trail mix) before a big meal or get-together. This can reduce the chance that you’ll overeat.
  • Take time to savor your food. Eat slowly so you can enjoy the flavors of your holiday favorites.
  • Give yourself time to re-assess your hunger before going back for seconds. Catch up with relatives or watch a favorite movie to stay occupied.
  • Quench your thirst with water (refreshing AND zero calorie) instead of beverages like cider or punch.
  • If you do overindulge, don’t despair! Move on and resolve to do better at the next gathering.

Top 5 Reasons to Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

  1. It’s nutritious— a healthy breakfast contributes important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your diet.
  2. Breakfast fuels your body with energy to keep you going through tough workouts.
  3. It’s brain food. A morning meal helps you concentrate and focus in class.
  4. Research suggests that students who eat breakfast perform better academically than students who don’t.1
  5. It’s delicious!

Try these quick and easy ideas:

  • Instant oatmeal topped with almonds
  • Half a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter
  • Low-fat yogurt with fruit—watch HealthWorks show you how to make a delicious yogurt parfait.

Sources Cited:

  1. Trockel MT, Barnes MD, Egget DL. Health related variables and academic performance among first-year college students: implications for sleep and other behaviors. J Am Coll Health. 2000 Nov;49(3):125-31.

Share your thoughts about #PSUplate!

Got 3 minutes to spare? We’re interested in getting your feedback about the recent #PSUplate contest and campaign. Your thoughts about #PSUplate are important to us and will help us to develop health campaigns for students in the future.hand with pen filling our survey

Click here to complete a short survey about the campaign. It should take you less than 5 minutes to complete. Your answers will be recorded anonymously.

You can also copy and paste the URL: https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5mRPmLD0dPyTLSd

Show us your plate! #psuplate kicks off, rewards students for eating more fruits and veggies

What’s on your plate? We’re looking for students who make half their meal fruits and veggies in our new campaign.  Just take a photo of your meal and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #psuplate.

We’ll scour the interwebs every day for entries, and once a week, we’ll randomly draw a winner!  Feel free to post as many times as you like.  We’ll be choosing a winner every Friday from Sept. 20, 2013 until Oct. 11, 2014.

If we pick you, we’ll send you a short notification back to verify that you’re a Penn State student and invite you to email us to schedule a time to pick up your prize.

So why are we doing this? In a recent study, Penn State students were shown to be consuming less than the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

So how can you increase your intake?

  • Add a side salad to your meal
  • Fill your plate with half vegetables before adding any other food
  • Grab a piece of fruit on your way out of the dining commons

How are you getting your recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables?  Do you have a great recipe or tip you’d like to share? Leave it below!