You are what you eat. Time can escape us during dental school, but it is important that we are receiving the essential macronutrients and micronutrients that our body requires. Food is fuel and the diet we consume can dictate our energy levels and how we perform on a given day. Here are some healthy and convenient recipes:
Health Hack: Smoothies
There's nothing easier than blending a nice combination of some ingredients you have lying around to create a delicious smoothie that contains all the nutrients you need for that kick start in your day. You can play around with the ingredients as well to keep it interesting
Template for the perfect smoothie:
ASDA's Wellness Smoothie:
Other Supplemental Smoothie Ingredients:
Pineapple, Coconut Water, Blueberries, Strawberries, Acai, Sorbet, Kale, Watermelon, Mango, Greek Yogurt, the list is endless....
Health Hack: Meal Prepping
Eating balanced is the key, including meals that include a sufficient amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Eating healthy does not have to be plain, experiment cooking and find the perfect recipes that make the food taste desirable. Keep what you do consistent and you are guaranteed to meet your lifestyle goals.
Meal Prepping is a really helpful tool for us busy students. Taking out some time on the weekend or a free weeknight to cook meals ahead in time can keep your stress free during those busy days.
Here are some quick and easy recipes that are also really nutritious:
Delicious Meal Prep Chicken and Rice for the Go:
Salmon Fish Tacos:
1. Pat salmon dry, if necessary, then evenly season all sides of the filets with salt, pepper, and spices.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, add salmon. Cook until deeply golden, about 5 to 6 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until salmon is opaque.
3. Let rest and cool slightly, then flake into large pieces.
4. Make pineapple avocado salsa: In a medium bowl, add pineapple, avocado, onion, tomatoes, and lime juice. Season with salt and toss to combine.
5. Assemble tacos: Top tortillas with salmon, avocado salsa, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.
As dental students, life can get busy. Taking the time to take care of yourself is crucial for your mental and physical health. Here are some tips from our Wellness Committee on what you can do to help stay healthy!
To start of this year’s Wellness Wednesday Posts we are going to give you a few nutrient filled and delicious smoothie recipes!
The 'right way to start clinic' energy smoothie
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
3/4 cup frozen mango cubes
3/4 cup 100% orange juice
1 tbsp chia seeds
A big handful of spinach
This is a self-assessment checklist to evaluate how good we are at maintaining a proper environment.
Comment below other ways you reduce your footprint!
By Gabi Larrea and Brett Silvers
One of the pillars of ASDA’s Wellness initiative is Emotional Wellness. As dental students it’s very easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routines, running around from classes or patients to get through our busy weeks, but we cannot forget the importance of Emotional Wellness. It is just as important to take care of our mental health as it is to take care of our physical health. Otherwise, we cannot be fully present to those around us.
For this Wellness Wednesday post we decided to come up with 5 ways to start off your morning in a healthy mindset!
An alternative, inexpensive way to help you boost energy levels and ease anxiety is with essential oils! The benefits of natural aromas on our emotional and mental health are often underestimated. Here are some scents that have been commonly used for centuries:
• Peppermint – improves focus, boosts energy, alleviates muscle pain and headaches
• Rosemary – uplifting energy, improves brain function and memory
• Sage – memory enhancing, speeds metabolism, energizing
• Lavender – stress reducing, calming, helps with insomnia
• Eucalyptus – invigorating, improves respiratory issues, enhances concentration
• Sandalwood – grounding, eases tension, calming, relieves headaches
• Rose – helps with depression and anxiety, destressing, regulate sleep
• Citrus – uplifting, immunity boosting, cleansing, boosts creativity
Dilution is important with the highly concentrated essential oils so use a diffuser or a few drops in your bath. The easiest way is to use it topically by using a carrier oil (olive/coconut/almond oil) to place a drop or two on pulse points! There is increasing evidence of aromatherapy’s mood-altering effects, which is due to the part of the limbic system that’s linked to emotions and memories. Definitely check the label to make sure it’s high quality oil rather than synthetic. Self-care is key in our super busy lives!
Carolina Braga and Thieu Vo, D1s, both use a diffuser while studying or before sleeping. Carolina also makes an essential oils roll-on!
Author: Hema Patidar, Class of 2022
Dental school is stressful. At times, it can feel overwhelming, but it is so important to reach out to friends, classmates, or family members when you’re going through a tough time. Resources like the UAB Student Counseling Services is available to all students and offers a safe place to discuss and resolve issues interfering with personal or professional goals.
Please join the ASDA Wellness Committee TOMORROW, May 24th in welcoming April Coleman from Student Counseling Services. April will be discussing how to maintain good mental health throughout our dental school careers. The Mental Health Lunch and Learn will take place in room 501 at 12pm! Pub Subs and fruit will be served. We hope to see you all there! Be sure to check out the May Month In Review for a full recap of this event if you cannot attend.
Good health is an essential aspect of overall wellbeing. ASDA’s Wellness Initiative recognizes five key dimensions for wellness: emotional, physical, intellectual, occupational, and environmental. This initiative encourages you to make well-being a priority.
For more information, visit: https://www.asdanet.org/index/dental-student-resources/health-and-wellness
Author: Olivia Sorrell, Class of 2021
PA: Sounds like a great way to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing. Thanks for participating in ASDA’s wellness initiative, and congrats on winning the gift card. How does it feel?
JB: It’s awesome! I feel like I enter five contests a day and never win anything—other than a dozen donuts once—so I’m pretty excited about it. We just had our Bay 4 party at Taco Mama, and it was super fun.
PA: It WAS really fun. I’m pretty stoked to be in Bay 4 too. So, we killed it at bootcamp, and I’m glad y’all convinced me to go. What got you to start going?
JB: Several of my friends have been going since D1 year, and they love it. At first I was scared to go since I figured it would be super hard, and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself, but I’m really glad I’ve started going. It’s definitely hard but not impossible, and I feel great after. That feeling of accomplishment is what keeps me going. Plus VJ is a great instructor.
PA: I’m pretty sure you and Paige smoked me the first time I went. I totally agree that it’s awesome to go with friends and you feel great afterwards. What kept you coming back?
JB: I think mostly the community, and ASDA has definitely brought out a great group. I’m glad that several people are sticking with it. It’s good to be there with friends and be healthy at the same time.
PA: Do you have any recommendations for staying on top of your personal wellness and school?
JB: Make times for things you love. That’s key and something I think a lot of us struggled with at first. Dental school isn’t your whole life. You have to take care of yourself in order to perform your best at school, so keeping things balanced and taking a little time off here and there is actually critical to keeping up grades too. Relaxing with Feta, hanging out with friends at the pool, and exercising are all ways that I recharge.
PA: So what else do you enjoy outside of school?
JB: I definitely love being with friends, whether just going for a walk or watching a new show together. I enjoy knitting and crafting too. I love cruising Pinterest for ideas and coming up with something creative from random things around the house. While it can be challenging with limited school schedules, I also really enjoy traveling.
PA: What are some of your favorite place you’ve been?
JB: Well my mom’s family is Greek, and my grandparents were born there, so it’s one of my favorite places to visit. Eastern Europe was also a highlight, particularly Budapest, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
PA: Are you excited about clinic starting in July?
JB: Very excited. I’m really looking forward to the patient interaction. That’s why I’m here in dental school. It’s not for the lectures and science classes, but for the chance to build great relationships with patients. That’s what it’s all about. Also I’m super excited about Bay 4.
PA: I think we can agree it’s pretty much the best. Thanks for the chat and enjoy the Taco Mama!
Elisabeth - I absolutely love to cook, particularly healthy meals, but some not so healthy, so choosing a recipe to share was not easy since I have so many favorites. I cook most nights, so quick recipes are a must. My favorite recipes are ones that involve as little clean up as possible, so this one pot meal is one of my favorites. Especially with summer right around the corner, this super flavorful meal is a go to for me. You can change it up by using chicken thighs or shrimp. I’m sure it would be good with any other meat, so you can have fun experimenting! Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s gluten free, so you can share with anyone!
I prefer using a Dutch oven for most things I cook, everything cooks more evenly in my experience and it always browns the chicken nicely. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, any large skillet with higher sides will do. Ok, now on to recipe… this is for about 4 serving sizes, so more than likely enough for 2 people with a little left over. This recipe takes about 40-45 minutes from start to finish including prep time.
Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice with Chicken Thighs
Author: Sydney Larsen, Class of 2021
Happy Wellness Wednesday! It’s a busy time in the semester for many students, but it is important to remember to take breaks and find a little time to relax. D1s Keira Le Yang and Mackenzie Kidd love to de-stress by spending time with their pets! Keira enjoys hiking with her Siberian Husky, Tofu, after a long week of exams. One of their favorite places to visit is Red Mountain Park! Mackenzie enjoys the constant company and energy of her favorite study buddy, Josie. Josie enjoys going to the park, snuggling, and learning new tricks!
Have you ever considered a pet while in dental school? Pets help promote both physical and emotional wellbeing. Studies suggest that those who with pets engage more frequently in physical activity than those without animal companions. Other great benefits of pet ownership include increased focus and attention, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced problem-solving skills, and reduced blood pressure, depression, and risk of heart attack or stroke.
Before you decide to get a pet, be absolutely certain that you’re ready to fully commit. Owning a dog during dental school is a huge time commitment, but it is completely manageable if you make it a priority. Keira and Mackenzie cannot imagine life without their furry friends! To learn more about pet adoption, consider volunteering at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society where you can help with walking, bathing, socializing, and training dogs.
Author: Olivia Sorrell, Class of 2021