Tag Archives: health

Frankensalmon: Fresh From the Lab to Your Plate


Cyrus Gill is a sophomore hospitality management and entrepreneurship and innovation major.

Cyrus Gill is a sophomore hospitality management and entrepreneurship and innovation major.

A swarm of hate mail is piling up at the laboratory of AquaBounty Technologies, who will soon unleash their Frankensalmon into the consumer marketplace. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is nearing their decision on whether or not to allow genetically modified AquAdvantage Salmon into US stores. According to Friends of the Earth Inc., a network consisting of international and domestic environmental and political organizations, “nearly 2 million people — including scientists, fishermen, business owners, and consumers have written to the FDA opposing the approval of genetically engineered salmon…” These individuals would rather not be the test subjects of AquaBounty’s experiment and I do not blame them.

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Blueprint Juices are cold pressed, and 100% raw and organic. Bottles can be found at Whole Foods and Haight Street Market. 
(Photo: Muna Lamis)

Get Jiggy with Juice: The Hype on Juice Cleansing

Staff Writer Cora Sivak investigates the hype on juice cleansing

San Francisco is one of the few cities that are invested in well-being and natural remedies, so you may have heard of the latest health craze – juice cleansing.  Maybe you’ve seen a juice bar around the city, or heard Kim Kardashian raving about her recent cleanse benefits, or have seen the famous juice-advocating documentary “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.” If you’ve ever wondered what juice cleanses are all about, here are some tips to get you started!

A typical juice cleanse entails drinking nothing but specially formulated juices for a certain length of time. Some juicers take on a three-day cleanse, while some juicing extremists go for a 60-day fast. Juicers claim that the cleanse is a great way to clean out your system and give your body a sharp increase in nutrient intake, packing in vitamins and boosting your immune system.

To create a well-balanced glass of  juice, you should throw in a diverse mix of fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on nutrient-packed vegetables like kale, spinach, wheatgrass. Apples, carrots, or beets can provide a sweet base. Throw in some berries, pears or pineapple, and you’ve got yourself an exotic and tasty drink.

Additionally, you can stir in flax or chia seeds to your juice for added health benefits.In this day and age, though, buying the latest Omega juicer isn’t the only way to begin your juicing journey. Aspiring health nuts who may not have the time or budget for a pricy juicer can try out BluePrint juice or San Francisco’s very own Juice Shop, services that deliver ready-made juice straight to your door for a stress-free and manageable cleanse.

So, as an avid health junkie, I wanted to see if juice cleanse benefits were fact or fib. I decided to buy a juicer and create my own homemade juice concoctions for three days. People told me I would feel a renewed sense of energy if I could get through the first couple of days, and sure enough, on the third day I began the feel more clear-minded and alert than before.

Surprisingly, although it was hard to resist a hot homemade meal, the juice kept me full and satisfied. The best part about the cleanse was that once it was over, I was no longer craving fatty foods like macaroni and ice cream. Instead, I found myself reaching for light, healthy meals packed with wholesome veggies and nutrients!

However, not everyone agrees with the philosophy behind juicing. While nutritionists can agree that juicing is a great way to pack in your daily fruits and veggies, they also note that the juicing process extracts one critical element of a good diet: fiber. Other noteworthy drawbacks include a high intake of sugar and a lack of protein. Experts say there is certainly a right way and a wrong way to do a cleanse.

Given the proper research and doctor’s consultation, I give juice cleanses the green light.   If that sounds like too much to handle, try a tall glass of juice as a supplement to your diet. Your body will thank you!

How Not To Gain the Freshman Fifteen….Without Ever Setting Foot in Koret

We’ve all heard of the horror that is the Freshman Fifteen, and we all spending some extra time in Koret is usually the best way to fight it off. But what if you hate working out? Never been to the gym in your life? Then these tips are for you!

1. Participate in Intramural Sports

USF offers nine sports in the fall that are open to all students! Not only is it a great way to stay active, it provides an opportunity for you to hang out with friends and even meet fellow students with similar interests.

2. Run up the Lone Mountain Stairs

Give yourself two minutes to conquer all 142 stairs. Best way to ensure that happens every single time? If you have classes up on Lone Mountain, leave your dorm five minutes before your class starts. Heavy backpacks and intimidating professors can be very effective in helping students stay active.

3. Avoid late-night pizza/burger runs to Crossroads

Being 10 feet from the University Center and armed with a copious amount of Flexi makes getting supper incredibly convenient. But is standing in line for over half an hour for a burger really worth it? And you leave smelling like smoke. If you get hungry at night, go for the fruits or yogurt parfaits. You don’t emerge with the lingering smell of smoke in your hair as you’re usually out of there in five minutes and won’t regret having a burger at midnight the next day.

4. Lose your MUNI Pass

Since you are only entitled to one MUNI pass per semester, if you lose it, you’re forced to pay for bus rides. Two dollars for a couple of blocks on the bus? Just put on a pair of comfy walking shoes and power walk your way to your destination! With the way the city is built, you’ll be fit without even trying to be. And chances are, with this cool weather, you won’t even break out in a sweat.

5. Make Flexi work for you

Flexi money isn’t monopoly money. It doesn’t mean you should go around buying chips and ice cream everyday just because you can. Go for the healthier food options like the salad bar. You can even walk up to Lone Mountain and buy food that you can make in the dorm kitchens. Making your own food means that you get to control what goes in it and the portion sizes. If you have friends that don’t have the meal plan, help them out! By sharing, you eat less and accumulate good karma.

Through eating smart and constantly staying active, you should be able to avoid the freshman fifteen without ever having to work out at the gym. If these tips don’t work for you, then maybe it is time to get yourself over to Koret a few times a week…

5 Tips to Keep Fighting the Freshman 15 at USF

Living away from home gives us more freedom over what we eat, and that can lead to healthy or unhealthy food choices in college. Whether this is your first or second year in the dorms or you’re enjoying the privilege of living off campus, you should develop healthy habits to prevent those notorious fifteen pounds from catching up with you this year!

Here are five tips on how to take advantage of our campus resources and stay in shape at USF.

Tip # 1: Get creative with your flexi
Having a meal plan opens the door to all those foods your parents might have restricted. Pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, ice-cream and candy bars can be yours with a swipe of your USF ID! However, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to the prearranged meals the cafeteria has to offer.
Mix and match your options by putting grilled chicken on top of your salad bar creation, or use the chicken to accompany the rice and steamed veggies you bought from another station. Instead of piling on ranch dressing over your chicken, add some pico de gallo which contains tomato, onion, cilantro and bell peppers. Add some lemon juice to your vegetables for a final touch. Don’t forget to stock up on fruits and cereal for breakfasts on the go and study snacks.

Tip # 2: Power Walk up Lone Mountain
Walk up USF’s very own Stairmaster and within a couple weeks try walking over two steps at a time! The goal is to challenge yourself by increasing your speed or by repeating the action several times a week. If you don’t feel like confronting the stairs on a particular day, walk up the ramp from the side of the mountain and enter the building from the first floor. Either way your legs are in for a good workout.
Note: Make sure to have at least ten to fifteen minutes to climb up the mountain during your first couple of days to avoid showing up to your class sweaty and flushed.

Tip #3: Workout at Koret
You may regret not having taken advantage of USF’s gym after you graduate. Did you know that in the real world you have to pay for monthly membership? Why not sweat off those extra pounds while you can afford it!
Exercise independently on the treadmill, the bicycle or swim some laps in the gym’s pool.
Bring a friend with you. Schedule a weekly exercise routine with a Koret buddy that is sure to keep you on track.
Join one of the many fun exercise classes the gym has to offer such as spin, cardio kick and Zumba. This will help assign a specific time for your workout
Note: To access Koret’s group exercise class schedule visit: www.usfca.edu/Koret/Fitness/Group_Exercise_Schedule/
Also, pay attention to the gym’s posters because they often announce group outings such as horseback riding, bowling, surfing and skiing. These activities can help you meet new friends and stay active during your weekends.

Tip #4: Participate in USF’s Intramural Sports
Join an intramural team and find people who like sports just as much as you do. If you and your friends are just looking for a place to play, bring them along!
Note: To register for intramural sports view http://www.usfca.edu/Koret/Intramural_Sports/Intramural_Sports/
Tip #5: Always have a Backup Plan
Don’t have flexi anymore? This means you now have more control over how much salt, sugar and oil goes into your food. You also have more control over your portion sizes. Get a cookbook, look for recipes online or watch a food channel if you’re still not confident in your cooking skills.
Remember to plan ahead and think about how you can use leftovers to create new dishes. Fight the temptation to rely on packaged food just because you don’t want to spend money on cafeteria food and you didn’t make enough time to cook anything at home.
Keep weights, a yoga mat, or any other exercise equipment for dorm workouts in case you’re not able to go to the gym or make it to your exercise class. It’s a lot harder to get back into your exercise routine if you keep interrupting it.

Tips to Follow in 2012
If getting into better shape this year was one of your new year’s resolutions, consider these tips:

DO: “GO TO KORET for 30 minutes a day…I mean, they have great facilities and it’s free, plus 30 minutes doesn’t take that much time if you’re really willing to stay in shape.”
DON’T: “[Constantly eat] from the pizza station from the caf/Crossroads…they are delicious, but so fatty!”Jessy Mekpoh, Alumna, Media Studies

DO: “Avoid going crazy with your meal plan, and treat other people who don’t have flexi.”
DON’T: “Go to Outtahere after hours for their breakfast meals. IT WILL KILL YOUR CHOLESTEROL LEVELS.” Ricardo Garcia, Junior, Biology

DO: “Boxing with the USF Boxing Team because the workout with Coach is intense and there is a lot of support from teammates.” Contact Coach Angelo at afmerino@sbcglobal.net for more information.
DON’T: “Skip meals to lose weight.” Carmen Fernandez, Senior, Biology

DO: “Try taking a workout class instead of going at it alone if you need more inspiration to go.”
DON’T: “Spend all of your flexi on junk food, be smart about what you choose to use as energy.”
Victoria Cortez, Senior, Psychology

Smokers Resist Using Designated Areas

This vandalized sign in the garden between Gillson and Phelan is representative of many students’ disregard for USF’s non-smoking policy. Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Smoking on campus has been restricted to two designated areas since Fall 2008, but according to students, cooperation from smokers has not been very effective. Smokers continue to smoke outside the boundary areas, including high-traffic places like the front of The Market, by residence halls, and Harney plaza. Yet the designated areas are located on main campus and Lone Mountain. One is behind War Memorial Gym and the second by the Rossi Wing. The smoke free campus policy has been an effort to eventually convert the university into a non-smoking campus.

“Smokers are still smoking everywhere. I don’t think the policy has done much to change that,” said junior Alexandra Garcia. Garcia works the front desk at Hayes-Healy and often sees smokers outside the building on her way to work and on her way out. “I can always count on seeing at least two or three people just hanging out smoking. It doesn’t bother me because I’m used to it, but I’m sure it bothers others.”

Kamal Harb, Director of Health Promotion Services, said that the policy is supposed to be a collaborative effort within the entire community. Not only should smokers be expected to use the designated areas, but students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to go up to smokers and ask them to relocate to a designated area.

“Compliance has been an issue. People know about the policy but they are not complying by the policy,” he said. “Many support the policy, but the key is enforcement and compliance.”

Complying with the policy is a challenge because of the new students entering the university who are not well aware of it, Harb said. Dependence on bystanders to enforce the policy has been highly emphasized, since public safety officers are not expected to issue tickets or some form of punishment if smokers are found outside the designated areas.

“Public safety has other issues to deal with besides chasing smokers on campus. That’s not the purpose of the policy, to treat them like outlaws,” Harb said. However, if smokers become abusive of the people asking them to relocate, public safety does have the authority to intervene or report the incident.

Harb said that the biggest holdup in the policy is that young people don’t encourage  their peers to smoke in the designated smoking areas.

“I don’t want to seem whiny,” Freshman Pablo Abarca said. “It’s really inconsiderate because they’re smoking where they’re not supposed to.” Abarca said he has never asked people to relocate in the past, but if he was sitting at a bench near someone smoking, he would ask them to smoke elsewhere.

Harb said that the policy has made somewhat of a change, which is meant to change the norms of the campus. “If you pass by a designated area, you’ll find many smokers are smoking right there. Change is happening but change is slow in coming.”

Senior Anders Christiensen is a smoker on campus, and said that he has no problem going to the designated areas or going off-campus to light a cigarette. If USF became a non-smoking campus, he said, “it woundn’t bother me, I would just go smoke a block away from campus if I had to.”

Harb said that this semester, Health Promotion Services will send the Dons Mascot to go around campus and distribute lollipops to promote the policy and non-smoking.

He said the policy is really a means to encourage people to quit smoking. Health Promotion Services offers free programs to students looking to quit. Even free smoking aides are provided.

Since the policy was implemented, three or four people have come into Harb’s office every semester interested in quitting. “It usually takes four to six weeks to decide the best way to quit smoking,” Harb said. “Many individuals think when they meet with me, they have to quit right away. But it’s a process. I believe in small steps to reach the ultimate goal. It takes practice to smoke, and its going to take practice to quit smoking.”

Harb has even gone up to smokers and provided them with information to make an appointment if they were interested. People often turn down his proposition because they don’t want to quit, he said. “Its an addictive thing, and many young people think they can quit anytime,” he said.

As a public health professional, Harb has noticed that smokers tend to be younger and younger, particularly because tobacco companies target younger people with messages that promote indepence and personal rights. Messages that question, “Aren’t you tired of people telling you not to smoke anymore?” Harb said.

For Harb, it’s unfortunate because second-hand smoke kills about 52,000 people annually, and the policy is to also protect non-smokers. He has received complaints from Parina Lab, because smoke enters the windows of the computer lab when people smoke outside of Harney. “People are inhaling smoke and it’s not fair,” he said.

At the end of the two-year period, Task Force, USF’s evaluation system, will evaluate how the policy has measured up in terms of enforcement and compliance. Data will be collected through surveys distributed to the campus community, and ASUSF Senate will also be contacted to get student feedback.

The information will be considered to decide if it is the right decision to completely make USF a smoke-free campus. The USF’s Presidential Cabinet will have the final say to change the policy or not.

“We don’t want to treat smokers as criminals,” Harb said. “We want to provide them with educational information on how to help them quit smoking.”

Health Clinic Provides Swine Flu Vaccine to High-Risk Students

One hundred H1N1 vaccines were administered to USF students at St. Mary’s Medical Center on Nov. 6. Only students who were determined to be high-risk subjects were vaccinated.

In order to have been vaccinated, students “needed to have shown proof of pregnancy, asthma, diabetes, or another pre-existing or chronic medical condition,” said Karmal Harb, Director of Health Promotion Services. Harb said nursing students undergoing clinicals were also considered high-risk subjects due to their face-to-face contact with patients.

The vaccine was issued to the USF Health Clinic through the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which receives all H1N1 vaccines directly from the California Department of Public Health.

Harb said that USF Health Promotion Services has requested 5,000 vaccines for future immunizations, although there is no promise or deadline for this request. Harb explained, “there is a worldwide shortage of this vaccine, so, we have no idea when it will be distributed.”

If the request is answered, all immunizations will be provided through Maxim Healthcare Services, a private healthcare company with experience in vaccine delivery.

“All students will have the opportunity to be vaccinated, to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that all people under 24 are vaccinated,” Harb said.

Despite the CDC’s suggestion, research has assured that the threat of swine flu is no greater than the traditional seasonal flu for people without chronic or pre-existing medical conditions.

On September 21, USF Health Promotion Services vaccinated 220 students for seasonal influenza. The turnout this year was more than triple the outcome in previous years. Harb attributed this to “heightened awareness because of the media’s treatment of swine flu last spring.”

“I got vaccinated in September for the regular flu, and if I had the opportunity for swine flu I would, as well,” said USF sophomore Jack Taylor. “I don’t think it is anything serious unless you have another medical issue. In April and May when H1N1 first made headlines I was a bit freaked out, but it all seems under control now,” said Taylor when asked abou the seriousness of the swing flu.   Other USF students did not seem concerned about getting the vaccine. Freshman Mary Heapes does not plan to be vaccinated for either strand. “Both of the types of flu aren’t a big threat to me because I’m relatively healthy. I’d rather not put the vaccine in my body if I don’t need to,” she said.

“I’m pretty sure I don’t need to get vaccinated for swine flu because I don’t have any medical issues going on. I don’t think I would for the traditional flu either – generally, I think my immune system is strong enough to handle that kind of stuff,” said sophomore Austin Montanari.

Harb recognized that the student body seems aware of general information surrounding swine flu.  Still, he cautioned students to be vigilant of the emails sent out by Health Promotion Services about the availability of both flu vaccines at clinics throughout San Francisco. He also urged students to avoid contact with people with flu-like symptoms, and to regularly wash and sanitize hands.

For more information about H1N1 and other vaccines visit the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites