Mental Wellness Mondays: It's a Blue-tiful Life

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Hi everyone,

This is Taryn, your VP “Blueberry” Mental Wellness here. As you may have heard already, one of the parts of my Mental Wellness Mondays project is a blog post. What is special about the blog posts though is it’s a more personal look into the world of mental health. While it is great to hear up lifting messages and see what others are doing in the community to help break the stigma surrounding mental health, sometimes it’s also helpful to hear the stories of others. This is why I’ve decided to open up a little more and share my story, as well as my day-to-day struggles with my own mental health. Along with some coping tools and insights I’ve gained over the years, I hope I can give you all a sense of solace that you are not alone, and that there indeed is a brighter future ahead.

If you have read this far, thank you very much for your support, and peas enjoy the first instalment of It’s A Blue-tiful Life.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

 

I’m exhausted.

It’s only been 3 weeks since the start of school and I already feel the burnout sinking into my bones.

My calendar is stuffed like Thanksgiving turkey with classes, events, meetings, deadlines and other commitments to the point where I don’t even have a choice in where I go during the day.

My mind never sleeps, even when I close my eyes to dream; I’m reading textbooks and taking tests until the sun comes up.

Then when I try to enjoy some time with family or friends, I’m suddenly stung in the heart with panic because I could be working.

 

I’m stressed.

But I’m not letting it stop me.

I make sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, because I know that, without rest, my body won’t be well enough equipped to deal with the challenges of tomorrow.

I schedule dates into a calendar and write exhaustive check lists of all of the things I have to do so I can manage my time accordingly, and make sure I don’t forget anything important.

I spend as much time on my work as I can, but when the hours start stacking up and I feel myself nodding off, I know that it is time to move on because I did the best I could.

And when anxiety strikes, I breathe. I ask myself “Can I do anything about it in the current moment?” If the answer is no, I breathe…and I come back to the present moment and feel the tension slowly release.

But if the answer is yes, I just get up, and do my best.

As long as I do my best, there is nothing more I can ask for. 


Before anyone asks, yes I am alright! I am managing and methodically getting through the week; this post was mainly to highlight some of my tools I use to address my common symptoms. If anyone has any questions, or wants to chat about anything I've talked about, feel free to send me a message on Facebook, email or wherever! Even though this blog series started as a way for me to reach out and share my experiences, I am always looking for more ways to make it more engaging and meaningful. I am soup-er excited to see where this goes, so I would be berry grapeful if you would join me for the ride.

Much love,

Taryn

 

BE BERRY BERRY EXCITED

HEY SAUDER! 

I know what you're thinking! Where did summer go?? We were thinking the same thing! But fret not because HEWE has been working on some KALER things for the coming school year. Here's some of what you can expect from us!

  1. "DONUT FORGET TO BRING YOUR CONTAINER" reminders for all of the HEWE EATS
  2. More fruit puns (I know that you didn't think that was possible but at HEWE we're all about making the impossible POSSIBLE)
  3. Lots of surprises!
  4. TO MEET THE NEW LEMONS NEXT WEEK!! Starting next monday on our facebook page you will be getting to meet a new LEMON on the daily #blessed
  5. Additional surprises!

Enjoy the last couple of weeks of summer SAUDER and we'll be seeing you soon :) 

 

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STUDY BREAK BITES: SALLY LEE & JULIANNE NIEH

Let's be real here.

Being a student at UBC can be tough.

 

For many of us, food is a source of comfort and a symbol of happiness. Both of us live on campus, and we hate to admit, but sometimes we need a break from cafeteria food (No offence).

 

We went on a quest to search for delicious, quick, comforting, AND healthy local food in Vancouver, which is how we discovered Tractor Foods. With their mission of providing ‘Everyday Healthy Foods’, we knew we had to try it out.

Walking into the restaurant, we were instantly welcomed by the colourful array of salads on display. The layout of Tractor Foods reminded us of a cafeteria, so it was very welcoming, simple, and easy to follow.

 

Tractor has a great ‘a la carte’ system that allows you to pick and choose different items from their menu, and combine them to create your customized meal. If you come in the morning, they have a completely different breakfast menu (available at their Downtown and Robson Street locations).

 

There were at least 10 different salads to choose from, and each unique salad is priced at only $3.50 per serving, making us struggle to make our choice.  After letting a couple regulars pass us in line, we finally walked up to the counter to make our order.

 

Our Choices for the Night!

 

  • Mushroom Ditalini-$3.50

    • Wild mushrooms, ditalini pasta, truffled ricotta cheese, fresh herbs, white balsamic dressing

  • Quinoa, Kale, Berries-$3.50

    • Organic red and white quinoa, kale, roasted squash, blueberries, fresh basil

  • Albacore tuna steak with lemon-$9 for 4 oz

  • Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup-$6

  • Housemade Lemonade-$3

 

Being a self-serve style, we ordered and paid for our food at the counter. After getting our waters and utensils from the side bar we grabbed our seats.

 

In no time, dinner was served! The salads were crafted with such thoughtful combination of textures and flavours. The truffled ricotta cheese added a heavenly creaminess and a punch of flavour to the Mushroom Ditalini. The white balsamic vinegar cut through the creaminess to lift the flavours even more.

 

The Quinoa Kale and Berries is a staple salad that you must try. The varying texture and chew from the quinoa, the creaminess of the squash paired with the sweet berries, and aroma of the basil, need I say more. We paired our salads with the seared tuna and the hearty lentil soup. Each dish truly let all its ingredients shine. Such harmonious combination can be only found in the HeWe Fruit Family.

 

Now we HAVE to talk about that lemonade- it really embodied the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,' but instead, make sure you get it from Tractor.

 

With such lovely food and good company we totally lost track of time and the stresses of school. Finishing the last sip from our lemonade, we walked out of Tractor refreshed and recharged!

 

If you are ever in need to get off campus and fuel the body and soul with some quality and nutritious food, give Tractor a visit! The quick and friendly service and the deliciously healthy food cannot be beat! We will definitely be coming back for more another day, but maybe next time we’ll try a grilled avocado or their thai veggie stew! The choices are nearly endless, and each visit can be totally unique and different!

Study Made Simple: Katy Ho

As the finals season approaches, we've all got studying on our minds. Treat yourself to a stress-free month by following these tips to battle exam season!

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

When we study, distractions become a million times more appealing because they offer an instant gratification that are easily accessible to us. We need to make them more difficult to reach so that they are less appealing to us.

  • Plug in your phone on the other side of the room with the screen facing down.

  • If you must use your electronics to study, use a social media blocking app like Cold Turkey to create a barrier between you and the distraction that is social media.

Clean Up Your Act

Our brains are tuned to work differently in different environments, so it is important that we create the right study setting.

  • First, ensure that you have the right lighting. Our brains are tuned to fall asleep in the darkness, so to stay alert, keep your study environment bright.

  • Second, keep clean. A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind, but conversely, cleaning can help you clear your mind. Clean first thing in the morning to eliminate the distraction of a messy desk while giving yourself a sense of accomplishment, encouraging the brain to continue completing tasks.

  • Read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to learn more about how decluttering can change your life.

Brain Fuel

Your brain absolutely needs food to power your studying! What you feed your brain will affect your energy levels, memory retention, and ability to focus. Opt for healthy, brain-boosting foods that are also great for your body as a whole. Next time you’re craving a snack, keep a stash of these healthy options by your side:

  • Whole grains instead of white flour provide energy

  • Oily fish rich in Omega-3 improve brain cell development and boost mood and memory

  • Blueberries improve memory

  • Green leafy vegetables boost brain power

  • Nuts prevent cognitive decline

  • Vitamins feed the brain nutrients

  • Avocados and dark chocolate (at least 70%) provide study benefits as well

A word of caution: stay away from added sugars, as these are proven to decrease memory retention!

Sweat

Many students neglect physical activity in favour of studying, but this is a huge mistake! Physical activity energizes the brain, improving mental energy and mood to stimulate productivity.

  • Schedule in regular times to exercise daily, or take timed study breaks for exercise.

  • Whenever your brain feels mentally burnt out, take an exercise break instead of a nap to boost mental energy.

  • Ways to exercise:

    • Walk around campus, run down to Wreck Beach, swim at the New Aquatic Centre, go to a nearby gym, which can include residence gyms, the BirdCoop, Hot Box Yoga, or Gold’s Gym in the Village

    • ClassPass is a program that lets you try different studios at one price

    • If you really can’t get outside, try doing some YouTube workouts!

Now that you know how to create the optimal study environment and boost your mental power, it’s time to go out and slay those finals!

A Peek into Her Cabinet: Vannie Hong

Ever since moving into my own apartment last September, I uncovered my ties to the kitchen. Unlike the marble counter top at my parents’ place, the corner space is small and cramped. Regardless, I love it. Maybe it's the warmly lit stove top light or the white porcelain plates, but every piece of my experience with food has reminded me of home.

The small, but warm kitchen space that I share with my roommate

The small, but warm kitchen space that I share with my roommate

I started experimenting with hearty yet healthy plant-based recipes. It was the simple joy of creating, integrating, and celebrating the finished products that made me smile. I was my own scientist in my “lab coat”. Whether it was kneading, stirring, or chopping, I was solely focused on the process and had never felt more at peace. But of course, with the increasing number of experimentations came the heftier grocery bills.

When my roommate and I both need some destress time, we sure take advantage of it! 

When my roommate and I both need some destress time, we sure take advantage of it! 

Over a long-due catch up with our previous HeWe Co-Chair, Emily, she introduced me to Elimento Online Market. Not only have the Co-Founders been in the Vancouver health food industry for over 20 years, they really believe in clean sourcing and sourcing ethically. Oh boy, how pleased I was to find the products I already love with a sweeter price tag! I sure took advantage of the student coupon in our last semester’s Exam Care Package to stock up on my kitchen staples.

Here are just a couple of my favourites! 

100% Organic Small Rolled Oats

It was a recent discovery for me to find out how versatile these badasses are! Besides cooking them with almond milk for breakfast, I started making sweet matcha granola and various pastries with the oat flour. Think homemade bread and blueberry turmeric muffins...

Picture & Recipe of Matcha Granola from Peaceful Cuisine

Picture & Recipe of Matcha Granola from Peaceful Cuisine

Blueberry Turmeric Muffins from Green Kitchen Stories  

Blueberry Turmeric Muffins from Green Kitchen Stories

 

Pure Coconut Water

Tap water does the job for my daily hydration, so coconut water freaks me out a little bit from time to time. When I received a bottle of these in our exam care package last semester, it sat in my fridge for weeks. When my laziness to go on grocery trips kicked in, I had to crack it open as an almond milk replacement for my smoothie. It was then I realized that it adds the perfect creaminess and sweetness to your daily blend.

My go-to green blend in my humble abode: a handful of dino kale, half of an apple, half of a banana, a cup of coconut water, and two ice cubes!

My go-to green blend in my humble abode: a handful of dino kale, half of an apple, half of a banana, a cup of coconut water, and two ice cubes!

Whole Pitted Dates

As a kid that grew up eating dried jujube, or Chinese red dates, the sweetness of organic dates tastes like pure sugar. However, these Everland dates are the perfect substitute for my mid-afternoon brownie craving. They are a key player in my almond & cacao energy balls as well!

Almond & Cacao Energy Balls from Deliciously Ella  

Almond & Cacao Energy Balls from Deliciously Ella

 

Smooth, Natural Almond Butter

I spend too much of my life browsing through the nut butter section at Whole Foods, trying to justify the money I drop on a small jar. I was so surprised to find this affordable, yet all natural one on the website.

Soon enough, you can find it on my yoghurt parfaits, oatmeals, toasted bread, in my smoothies and yes, the energy balls that I mentioned above.

*Caution: they can be a little bit too addicting*

The best porridge recipe from Jamie Oliver

The best porridge recipe from Jamie Oliver

giveaway

We have brought you an exam survival package with all four goodies included and one item of your choice from Elimento's website! Contest closes on April 7, 2017 at 9:00pm.

If you are looking to save some bucks like I always am, happy shopping at Elimento!

 

Salad Munching at Field and Social: Angela Liu

This blog post is written by our HeWe dad, Angela Liu, and edited by our HeWe mom, Cecilia Wu

Our Service Co-Chairs: Cecilia (left) and Angela (right) | Photo: CUSVM

Our Service Co-Chairs: Cecilia (left) and Angela (right) | Photo: CUSVM

If I were to be completely honest, I am not a huge salad fanatic. Sure, I may have my dose of greens alongside my main meal from time to time, but it’s never been something that stimulates my tastebuds.

But boy was I wrong. My experience at Field & Social has opened up a whole new (salad) world for me. Not only were the salad and soup absolutely delicious, the staff and the atmosphere made this place one of a kind and a must-try in Vancouver.

Upon walking into the shop, the copper lamps and contrasting marble countertops made the shop feel rustic yet modern. The wooden tables and the plants placed all around the shop added an extra touch of nature. Despite the busy lunch rushes, I immediately knew that this could be a dream spot for work crunching.

The open-kitchen concept enhances the salad-making process' transparency. You can see exactly what goes into your salad and how it’s being made. Each salad is tossed and prepared in an individual mixing bowl to avoid cross-contamination.

I ordered one of their most popular salads - The Greek ($11.5) which is a lovely mix of romaine, kale, house-made hummus, crispy pita chips, tomato, cucumber, red onion, mint, Italian parsley, feta (which I subbed for smoked tofu as a vegan alternative) with black sesames, dehydrated olive crumble with a tahini yogurt dressing (I subbed for a mustard vinaigrette dressing), and roasted red pepper drizzle.

My lunch date, Vannie, opted for a warming Butternut Squash Soup ($4/7) that was on their special menu that day.

And OH BOY, A SALAD HAD NEVER TASTED SO GOOD. The fresh and crunchy romaine coated in thick and creamy hummus, paired with the sharpness of the red onion and mint leaves, then topped off with slices of smoked tofu… This is not your ordinary boring salad. We are talking about tahini and olives, pita chips and roasted red pepper. This is a sensational ride that will leave you feeling like you just got back from the Mediterraneans.

The Butternut Squash soup that Vannie got was also beyond words. Because of how excited she was, I didn't even get a chance to snap a picture! ! She said it tasted fresh yet creamy, in great contrast to the oily versions that you can unluckily get at many vegetarian restaurants. 

Photo: Field and Social

Photo: Field and Social

The shop manager, Barbara,also told us that a new Market Bowl was released on their menu. Spiced wheat berry topped with roasted-tri colour carrots, caramelized onion, pickled red cabbage, warm potatoes, crispy kale, arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds, and balsamic drizzle - we knew we would have to go back as soon as possible.

Just as you think there cannot be anything more amazing, you are wrong.

They also offer a wide selection of drinks from local juiceries such as The Juice Truck, kombucha from Culture Kombucha, as well as kombucha on tap from Water Kefir.

Now the question is: Would I ever go on a salad diet?

Only if it’s Field & Social’s salads.

We want to help prepare you for summer, so we are giving away THREE FREE SALADS at Field and Social (around $45 in value)!

Make sure to: 

  1. Comment your favourite salad ingredient and tag 2 friends on our Facebook giveaway post!
  2. Follow BOTH @sauderhewe and @fieldandsocial on Instagram

Only one winner will be chosen after the contest closes at 9pm, March 29.

Special thanks to Barbara, Field and Social's Manager, for having us! Have a field day!

10 Minute Vegan Recipes: Jamie Boyle

photo by @areyoudaniel

photo by @areyoudaniel

A travel addict. An unconventional fashionista. An active adventurer. And a true vegan food lover. On the weekends, you may find her tackling the wilderness with her dearest friends, or brunching up a storm in the heart of Vancouver Gastown. The truth is, you will never know where she is. 

We wanted to learn how she manages to runs the miles, juggles between her academic and extracurricular commitments, yet brings us heart-warming smiles everyday. We got close with her, our Health Ambassador Jamie Boyle. 

photo by Kasey Boyle

photo by Kasey Boyle

"I have always loved food, and I know I always will. Although by no means am I a chef,  I still want to share my dearest recipes with you. "

-J

To kick things off first, here’s a peek of my kitchen staples: 

  • Spinach
  • Soy sauce/tamari, sesame oil, chilli flakes/powder/sauce, and Chinese 5 spice
  • Grains
  • Proteins
  • Bananas
  • Frozen blueberries

Breakfast:smoothie/fruit salad/chia pudding

photo by @kaseyboyle

photo by @kaseyboyle

If I’m off to the gym first thing in the morning, I prep the night before to make sure I bring something to eat after my workout. 

Before the gym, I usually just grab 1-2 bananas as I head out the door. 

After the gym, I snack on my chia seed pudding on the bus ride to school. 

On the off-days when I am not in a rush to get anywhere, I’ll head home and whip up some oatmeal and a smoothie.

 

MY SECRET TIP WITH OATMEAL: bananas + almond butter 

Put your bananas in the oatmeal before you heat it up either on the stove or in the microwave. This way, there is no need to add extra sugar as the banana melts all over your oatmeal and basically caramelizes it, acting as a natural sweetener. Also, add a spoonful of almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some raisins to make a super healthy cake-like oatmeal.

Lunch:Wraps/leftovers/salad

I imagine most of you hating paying for overpriced food on campus just like I do. Since my middle school days, the easiest solution became making my own lunch the night before!  My go-to’s are either a wrap, a salad, or leftovers, which all take under 10 minutes to prepare. 

My favourite wrap: toast up a whole wheat wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds, slather on some hummus, add some chopped lettuce, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and a protein, I usually go with either tofu or "tofurkey." Add some basil or rosemary for some extra flavour.

photo by @kaseyboyle

photo by @kaseyboyle

Dinner:tofu/greens mix/quinoa

photo by @ryleeboyle

photo by @ryleeboyle

My sister Rylee loves to cook, and it has become a daily stress-relief session to cook together after we get home at the same time. 

We always make sure we have a grain - usually quinoa, so we pop that on the stove while we sort out the rest of dinner. It is likely that there will be a ton of veggies and my favourite proteins. 

 

 

 

 

My favourite way to cook tofu: Panfried with soy sauce

Start off with some firm tofu, drain the water and cut into long sticks. Then in a larger bowl, mix together some soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese 5 spice, chilli powder, and garlic. Dip and ensure the whole tofu is coated in the marinade. Leave the pieces to soak in the marinade for a bit. Heat up a non-stick pan with a dash of sesame oil, and fry the tofu sticks till golden brown/crispy, making sure all sides are cooked (add the extra marinade onwhile they cook). This method is great for salads, wraps, or just to eat on its own!

Now for the veggies: mushrooms, spinach, and green beans.

 

Alternatively, we make the handiest carrot ginger soup: 

  • a 2 lbs bag of carrots
  • one onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • vegetable stock (1 carton & a half)
  • garnish- rosemary, salt, pepper

Add a dash of olive oil to your soup pot, fry up the minced garlic till it is fragrant, then add the chopped onion. Once the onion becomes soft and almost translucent, add in the one and a half cartons of vegetable stock. Next, add in the peeled and chopped carrots. Bring all this to a boil, add in salt, pepper, and rosemary to taste. Keep cooking until the carrots become soft, then remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend it all up till smooth. Serve while hot. 

 

photo by @kaseyboyle

photo by @kaseyboyle

Desserts & snacks: 

Besides snacking on dates with almond butter, frozen blueberries, and raisins, I always love some banana ice cream! 

In a blender, blend together 3 frozen bananas, some soy milk, and a teaspoon of cocoa powder. The creamy texture will just melt in your mouth! 

 

We hope you enjoy the recipes as much as Jamie does. Tag Jamie on Instagram at @jamibo and use the hashtags #HeWeLove and #ChooseHealthy if you give those a try! 

photo by @ryleeboyle

photo by @ryleeboyle

Trip Down to Bandidas Taqueria with Katy Ho

Healthy and sustainable meets delicious and affordable at Bandidas Taqueria. With its made-from-scratch, organic, and locally-sourced food, Bandidas is the prime spot for your random taco cravings. 

This charming East Vancouver restaurant thrives in the community, supporting important causes and featuring the work of local artists on its walls. Recently, Bandidas held a fundraiser on January 20th in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump, donating 100% of the profits to organizations that will face difficulty in fighting for social justice under the new United States government. In 2014, Bandidas organized Bandidas for B.C. Teachers, where they donated 100% of their profits to supporting B.C. teachers who were on strike. In supporting social causes while maintaining a strong dedication to sustainability and health, Bandidas is a place that feeds humanity, earth, and empty stomachs.

On a sunny afternoon, we dropped by Bandidas to try out their delicious Mexican cuisine. Their menu has it all, featuring various vegan and gluten-free options and substitutions:

  • PROTEIN is their super fresh and organic tofu
  • DAIRY is replaced by vegan Daiya cheese and soy “sour cream”
  • EGGS become a butternut squash and tofu scramble
Grapefruit juice (4), hibiscus lemonade (3), hibiscus iced tea (3).

Grapefruit juice (4), hibiscus lemonade (3), hibiscus iced tea (3).

We started off with a round of refreshing drinks served in glass jars. My personal favourite was the hibiscus lemonade, with its vibrant red colour and tangy sweet taste topped with hibiscus petals and a lemon slice.

 

 

Amos dips (9).

Amos dips (9).

Bandidas is a heaven-on-earth for nachos lovers. We ordered the Amos dips, which came with tortilla chips, pinto beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and a roasted tomato salsa as dip. It was the perfect appetizer for a group of friends with different dip preferences because it had it all!

Mix & Match Tacos: Wolf & Goat and Connie (6.5).

Mix & Match Tacos: Wolf & Goat and Connie (6.5).

There is a beautiful selection of specialty tacos at Bandidas, and you can try everything by ordering them mix and match! We ordered the Wolf & Goat taco, stuffed with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. The Connie, a savoury taco, was stuffed with the surprisingly delicious combination of walnuts and apple salsa.

Morgan Taylor breakfast burrito baked with ranchero sauce and cheese (12.5).

Morgan Taylor breakfast burrito baked with ranchero sauce and cheese (12.5).

The unique Morgan Taylor breakfast burrito is served with Bandidas’ brunch menu, available from 9 am to 3 pm every day. We ordered it baked in ranchero sauce and cheese with no regrets because it tasted so good. Bandidas offers a wide assortment of other burritos, whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Fajitas (13).

Fajitas (13).

For those who like to play with their food, Bandidas’ fajitas are perfect for you. This entrée is served with smoked tempeh, sautéed vegetables, and an assortment of other fajita toppings with your choice of sauce and filling. It’s build-your-own-fajita when you can wrap up your favourite goodies in a handmade corn tortilla.

Vegan chocolate ice cream

Vegan chocolate ice cream

When it comes to desserts, Bandidas do not disappoint. They use plant-based and gluten-free options to make sure nobody has an excuse to skip out on this very important last part of a meal. We ordered the vegan chocolate ice cream, which is sourced from the local Earnest Ice Cream, and it was amazingly sweet and creamy as a vegan dessert option.

 

Bandidas Taqueria is the perfect place to go to no matter what your food preference is. With delicious food and a dedication to sustainability, health and social causes, Bandidas has everything a foodie needs. Please visit their website to learn more, and enter in the Sauder HeWe contest to win your ticket to a happy tummy: one of TWO $20 Bandidas gift cards!

Just follow the instructions below:

Battling NYR: Renzelle Mendoza

This blog post is brought to you by our Health Ambassador, Renzelle Mendoza.

This blog post is brought to you by our Health Ambassador, Renzelle Mendoza.

 

On New Years Eve, I spent my night figuring out ways to bring my weight down and my GPA up. One week in, I saw dimmed hope.

Secretly hoarding those guilty chocolate bars that I swore I would never touch again, I (like to) assume many of you struggled just like I did. All my bad habits creeped back. I needed a change in strategy.

Here are the 3 magical tricks that helped me stay on track:

GO FOR THE "DOs"

It’s great trying to turn over a new leaf and eliminating things you view negative in your life. Sadly, my New Year’s Resolutions turned into a whole list of “Don’ts.”: saying farewell to chocolate, ice cream or anything that didn’t remotely resemble a vegetable. I was eating lettuce for a straight week.

Dear friends, I turned moody and unresponsive from lack of nutrients.

Today, I stick to my “Do’s.” While I am soda free for 13 days, I still treat myself to chocolate and ice cream. I “Do” try to go meatless on Mondays. I “Do” try to have at least half a plate of greens. Unlike my “Don’ts”, my “Dos” has made me happier and more productive.

 
TRY THE M&M METHOD

While I was trying to lose numbers on the scale, I was attempting to gain them in my GPA.

After two days of intense study, I started to resent my subjects. I could not read another line of the “Gbook”. 

Until I recall the M & M method.

When I was a child, my mom used to bribe me into reading by giving me an M&M for every page I read. Since eating M & Ms are completely contradictory to my first goal of not eating chocolate, I understood what my mom was telling me: reward yourself.

I scheduled one hour breaks to do anything outside of studying. I watched Netflix, went for runs, did more yoga, or even re-organized my fridge. I did everything for an hour as long as it was unrelated to studying. Doing things that made me relaxed got my endorphins going and I found myself staying more productive for my next study session.

 

DO IT AGAIN

People love to tackle “Big, Fat Goals” too quickly. Hence why the lineup for free day lockers at Birdcoop turn into a half an hour queue and disappears by March. New Year’s Resolutions are a “Yearly” thing, not a “first three days of January” thing.

Resolutions are a marathon, not a sprint.

Change takes time, and results take even longer. It is totally fine to take pit stops along the way.

Lastly, you’re pearfect and one in a melon, so show 2017 what you’ve got!

 

Catch up with Renzelle:

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Spotting the Sauder Saitama: Alan Huang

Photo credits: CUS Visual Media | The remaining photos of this blog post are taken by the talented Shobhit Sahu.

Photo credits: CUS Visual Media | The remaining photos of this blog post are taken by the talented Shobhit Sahu.

Today, we are bringing the spotlight to our VP Finance & Internal, Alan Huang, aka the Sauder Saitama - the man who eats 5 bananas a day, runs the marathons, and cracks up his accounting jokes in his tutorials.

Why do you have an affinity for Saitama, and why do your friends call you the Sauder version of Saitama?

I have an affinity for Saitama cause he’s the embodiment of "living a simple life." His daily routine involves doing 100 pushups/sit ups/squats, and running 10km. He fights monsters, then goes home to watch TV and play video games. That’s kinda like what I do everyday...except I fight my accounting homework.

Can you tell us how you have reached your fitness level today?

My journey started with floating in the pool. When I was young, I took swimming lessons and later transitioned into club swimming. I swam 1-2 hours/week during the school year and 10 hours/week during the summer. With my fitness improving gradually, I am now able to train about 5-20 hours a week with a combination of running, cycling, swimming, dodgeball, and stretching.

Another key activity is a “lack of activity - rest”! I swear all of my friends go ham for one week doing intense training and then just burn out. What you should do is to train consistently at a moderate intensity, take rest days to heal, and maybe push yourself once or twice a week. Create a schedule that you can maintain even with work and school.

Also, I usually eat 5 small meals a day which add up to over 2500 calories. I don’t count my macro/micronutrients, but I do watch what types of food I’m eating. In my second year, I realized that my body was clogged up from eating dairy and unstable from caffeine, so I decided to avoid both of them. The food you eat dictates how intense your workouts can be and how strong you can become!

At the end of the day, I believe that there are no shortcuts. You gotta put in the time to exercise and eat right. But gradually, your improvement in fitness will come!

What are some of the ways you stay on track alongside your busy lifestyle?

 

The energy we have each day is finite, and the way that I stay on track is to devote myself to just enough commitments to not spread myself too thin. I also try to recognize opportunities to multitask so as to save time.

 

For example, I run to my local swimming pool where I coach swimming. This saves time overall because running is only marginally slower than driving, and it also saves me the hassle to spare another block of time for running.

 

For people preparing to run a marathon, what are some of your pro tips?
  1. Run distances that you’re comfortable with first, then slowly increase the distance in the subsequent runs that you do.
  2. Take it easy. Your heart rate shouldn’t get too high for the most part during your run.
  3. Take a rest day or two or three every week!
  4. During the actual marathon race, eat every half hour to avoid hitting the wall near the end. When I ran my first marathon, I ended up limping to the finish because I didn’t eat anything for the first two hours. 
Any favourite workout gear and post fuel recipes?

 

I recently bought a pair of ASICS shoes and I feel like I’m running on clouds! I also love wearing the shirts given from running races as they are sweat-wicking and light-weight.

 

My fave post-workout food is wraps with chicken, lettuce, rice, and avocados. If I forget to pack food, I usually pick up some sushi from the village. 

 

 

 

 

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