News » Wellness Blog

Appetite and Exercise

At Notre Dame, the number one reason students seek nutritional counseling is for weight loss.  On occasion I’ll encounter a client who is reluctant to engage in increased activity/exercise out of fear of stimulating their appetite. They are worried if they exercise longer or harder, their appetites will be increased, therefore making weight loss even harder. So, is there truth in that?  How much does exercise impact our appetites, and ultimately our weight loss goals?

Plant Proteins

There are a host of reasons why a person chooses to follow a vegetarian diet. Chief among them are health benefits, environmental and sustainability concerns, and concerns about the treatment of animals. All these are great reasons. Here at the University of Notre Dame, I usually see an uptick in the number of inquiries about vegetarian diets this time of year. For whatever reason it has grown in popularity for students to give up meat or go completely vegan for lent. And because of  this,  I thought it would be timely to explore plant proteins.

Is It What You Eat or When You Eat That Matters Most?

Like the chicken vs. egg debate, a new report out this week by the American Heart Association once again raises the question, “Is it more important to mind what you eat, or when you eat?”  While there is still truth that both are important, this report helps highlight that timing is clearly an important factor.

Is Orange Juice a Good Idea for Cold and Flu Season?


Let’s face it, besides the bitter cold and snow we can experience during the winter season at Notre Dame, the cold and flu season that accompanies it is even more unwelcome. So can orange juice be helpful in battling these ailments, or are there better strategies?  …

Kick That Diet Soda Habit


We’ve all heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  That phrase comes to mind when thinking about diet sodas. Most Americans consume diet sodas to avoid the calories. People think that because there are no sugar or calories, the effect on the body is neutral, or perhaps even positive in terms of weight loss. However, the research is finally producing the data that many have suspected for a long time, and that is that diet sodas promote weight gain.  …

Eating to Improve Focus

Eating to Improve Focus

All of us want a memory like a steel trap. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t built that way, and we can use all the help we can get. As discussed in an earlier blog, there are different habits, dietary and otherwise, you can employ to improve your success in school. This particular blog will focus on one specific nutrient, lutein.

Join the 'Trayless' Revolution

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I have overheard a few people stating concerns that it is hard not to use a tray—something to the effect of, "I can only carry one plate and one glass." I have excellent news...this really is an easy fix! Take it from a pro, you can balance at least two plates or a bowl and a plate in your non-dominant hand along with your flatware. Check out the picture to see what I mean. …

Balancing the Immune System

Quick, if I were to ask you what’s the most important system in your body in regards to having a healthy immune system, what would you say? If you said anything other than your digestive system/tract you’d be wrong. All of us know that it is important to have a healthy immune system so that we can fight infection and other traumas to our bodies. Yet having a healthy immune system also means having a balanced immune system. One way our immune system can be out of balance is by being overactive. When the immune system is overactive, it’s called autoimmunity—the immune system reacts against our own body tissues. Instead of our immune system fighting the bad guys, it turns its attention on your own tissues and starts attacking your own cells. Depending on where that attack happens in the body, that’s how you get that particular disease. Examples of such conditions include: Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s disease. …

Become a Flexitarian

Michael Pollan, American author and activist, gives us simple dietary advice: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This is great advice not only from a health standpoint, but also for the health of our planet. Multiple studies have shown that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And plant-based doesn’t have to mean a definitive choice between meat or no meat. If you don’t want to go completely vegetarian, then perhaps the flexitarian diet is for you.…

Reducing Waste Through LeanPath

What is LeanPath you might ask? LeanPath is a food waste prevention tool Campus Dining started using last November to help calculate and control the amount of our food that was ending up in landfills. By having employees take pictures of the leftover food, choosing what type of food it is, and weighing the food, we are able to draw many conclusions.  …

Magnesium….The Invisible Deficiency

Ask a person if they have any concerns about deficiencies in their diet, and typically one hears about protein, calcium, iron, or even water. Almost never would you hear someone expressing concerns about getting enough magnesium. However, the reality is that 75% of us aren’t getting enough, leading the lack of magnesium to be called the “invisible deficiency.”  …

Freshman 15 Concerns

Is the Freshman 15 legitimate, or simply a myth? Well that depends with whom you are talking.

Eating for A’s

Have you ever thought of your brain as a metabolic workhorse? You need to ask yourself if you’ve been feeding your brain lately.