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Meal Prep Made Easy 

Figuring out what to eat, and shopping and cooking your own food can seem daunting at first but breaking it down into simple steps can make it much more manageable. Research shows that meal prep not only saves time, but is also associated with a more nutritious, well-balanced diet. It can help remove the stress and uncertainty of figuring out what to eat.  

 Figure Out the Basics 

  • How many meals do you want or need to prep for the week?  
  • What meals do you want to prep for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner?  
  • What day works best for shopping and preparing food?  
  • What is your budget?  

Nailing down a schedule can help you stay organized and on track. This will also help when considering what to buy at the grocery store, saving time and potentially money by sticking with a grocery list instead of making impulsive purchases. Check out these meal planning apps which can help you organize and prepare what to eat for the week! 

Find Recipes 

A common misconception with meal prep is that it gets boring. It’s the same food over and over again. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some great tips to spice things up: 

  • To structure meals, aim for a mix of macronutrients and include a fruit or vegetable for a source of fiber. Check out these meal ideas and consider ways you can mix and match the foods you like to create well-balanced meals. 
  • Identify recipes and foods you like and would be excited to try.  
  • If you really enjoy cooking, pick a more advanced recipe. If not, go simple! If you don’t enjoy being in the kitchen, there are some great recipes that keep it short and sweet. 

There are many great websites, apps and blogs that have fun and creative recipesHere are a couple of websites and apps for additional recipe ideas! 

Websites                                                                                               Apps 

Budget Bytes                                                                                        All Recipes 

Dinner at the Zoo                                                                                 SideChef 

Hummusapien                                                                                      Tasty 

Positive Health Wellness                                                                    Yummly 

Create a Shopping List 

Now that you know what you’ll be making for the week, create a shopping list based on the food and supplies you need. A shopping list will keep you focused and more likely to resist temptation while shopping. Take an inventory of the ingredients you have and can use. If you notice anything missing or need more of, add it to the list.  

Prepare Food 

There are a few ways to approach this. Personally, I like to prep my fruits and veggies first. I often found that if I left strawberries, for example, whole, unwashed and in their container from the store, I either wouldn’t eat them or I was less inclined to grab them on the go. Prepping food ahead of time can help to save time throughout the week and decrease the likelihood of food going to waste or dining out instead.  

  • Consider 1-2 days per week when you have time to grocery shop and/or prep food and carve that time into your calendar. 
  • After grocery shopping, store any perishable food into the refrigerator or freezer right away.  
  • Consider cooking larger batches of food at one time and/or prepping some food ahead of time (e.g. chopping all the veggies or a salad or sandwich). This way, you can have food already prepared, saving time throughout the week. 
  • You can either pre-portion each day’s meal ahead of time or keep all the components separate and portion them as you go through the week.  
  • When stored properly, most food can last throughout the week. 

Remember, this isn’t set in stone. As you go, you will start to figure out what works and what doesn’t, what you like and don’t like. Use these insights to tailor your meal prep for you. Individualize it and get creative.  

-Audrey LeMaster, Medical Dietetics intern

Secure Your Credit Score with a Secured Credit Card

In my sophomore year of college, I was a volunteer financial coach teaching fellow Buckeyes about the importance of building credit early without having a credit card myself. The hypocrisy! So I decided to change that, but how could I get a credit card without a credit history or a steady income?  

If you said, “Get a secured card!” you would be correct! Secured cards are a great option for college students who do not currently have a credit history and are looking to build their credit score (which can affect things down the road like approval of loans, interest rates on those loans, employment, and more!).  

A secured card acts like a security deposit that you may have already placed on your off-campus housing. You know, that one-month’s rent that your landlord holds onto “just in case” you wreck the place? And they always take at least some, or all, of your deposit for a hole in the wall that was there when you moved in? Trust me, this works much better in a credit scenario! 

I schedule an appointment with my bank and asked if I could get a secured card, so they told me to put $300 down as a “security deposit” that they would take from if I ended up missing a payment. That $300 also became my credit limit, or how much I could spend on that card per month (keep in mind that you should only spend up to 30% of your credit limit, so $90 in my case!). They told me that if I kept up good habits for a year, I could get my $300 back and then exchange the secured card for a credit card with a higher limit. 

So that’s what I did! I made sure to only put a few purchases on my secured card per month to stay below that $90 and used my debit card for my other purchases. I paid everything off in full at the end of the month and ended up with a credit score in the “very good” range, even though I had only had it for a year! Because of this, I was able to go back to my bank, get my $300 back, and exchange my secured card for a credit card with a $1500 limit. 

This is a great way for college students to start building credit while building good spending habits as well! I recommend checking out the options at your bank of choice or going to Nerdwallet.com, where they can break down all of the secured card options out there for you. I am available by email (moriarty.67@osu.edu) if you have any questions as well. Go build that credit! 

Bryan Moriarity, Scarlet and Gray Financial Coach

Personalized Coping Skills Based on Your Favorite Senses  

Often, we read about coping skills to use based on our struggles, but we’re all so different. One coping skill may work wonders for one personbut may not work at all for another. One way to personalize coping skills just for you is to look at your favorite human senses. Below is a list of coping skills for each sense, to help you find strategies that might particularly resonate with you.  

Sight 

  1. Go on a hike 
  2. View beautiful art 
  3. Look in the mirror and half-smile 
  4. Stargaze 
  5. Organize something  
  6. Candle meditation 
  7. Sit in nature with your eyes open and observe silently for 5 minutes 
  8. Draw or paint 
  9. Write a poem 
  10. Journal your thoughts and feelings 
  11. Clean your house 
  12. Watch an inspiring movie 
  13. Guided imagery 
  14. Read that book you’ve been meaning to start 
  15. Write a to-do list 
  16. Write a bucket list 
  17. List 5 things you’re grateful for 

Sound 

  1. Pick a personal mantra and use it when stressed 
  2. Name the feeling out loud (“I’m feeling ______ because ______”) 
  3. Mindfulness meditation 
  4. Loving-kindness meditation 
  5. Talk with a loved one 
  6. Listen to music 
  7. Sit in nature with your eyes closed, simply listening for 5 minutes 
  8. Laugh 
  9. Sing 
  10. Listen to the birds 

Taste 

  1. Eat one meal a day with no distractions 
  2. Try a new fruit or vegetable  
  3. Cook with plenty of herbs and spices 
  4. Eat mindfully 
  5. Give yourself a real lunch break 
  6. Drink some calming tea 

Smell 

  1. Go outside and literally smell the flowers 
  2. Surprise your nose by cooking a new meal 
  3. Think of a favorite memory and what it smelled like 
  4. Go to a candle-making store and let your nose run wild 
  5. Diffuse calming essential oils 

 Touch 

  1. Draw or paint 
  2. Knit 
  3. Exercise 
  4. Garden 
  5. Get a massage 
  6. Mindfulness meditation 
  7. Buy a houseplant (or 17) and learn to take care of them 
  8. Give someone a hug (if they are in your circle) 
  9. Progressive muscle relaxation 
  10. Yoga 
  11. Tai chi 
  12. Squeeze a stress ball 
  13. Play an instrument  
  14. Clean your house 
  15. Cook a meal from scratch  
  16. Take a long bath with Epsom salts 
  17. Give your pet some love 
  18. Dance 
  19. Create something with clay 
  20. Make a “calming rock” to carry in your pocket 

Seeking to learn more ways to cope? Check out Wellness CoachingWellness Coaching offers one-on-one, group, and workshop services for all Ohio State Students. Using a strength-based approach, Wellness Coaching helps you gain awareness regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future.  

–  Joe Doherty, Wellness Coordinator, Wellness Coaching  

10 Reasons to Wear a Mask

With the weather heating up you may be tempted to ditch the mask (or even the double mask) but we are not in the clear from Covid-19 just yet. Read below for the Together as Buckeyes Ambassadors top 10 reasons to wear a mask:  

  1. Hides Acne 
  2. Can match your outfit to elevate your style. 
  3. You can lip sync songs without anyone knowing. 
  4. Keeps you warm on cold days. 
  5. Allows you to express your personality.  
  6. Can mask bad breath if you forgot to brush your teeth. 
  7. We can work on our “smize”, thanks Tyra Banks. 
  8. Mouth breathers can walk around without scrutiny. 
  9. No one will see your RBF. 
  10. And of course, it protects us and others from contracting COVID-19 
  11. Bonus: We will be able to see our grandparents soon! 

Jillian Tishko, Together As Buckeye Ambassador 

Prevention though Nutrition: Keeping COVID Away with Food 

Food is our fuel. It gives us energy, fuels our minds, and keeps us alive. In this pandemic, we all live with uncertainty. Going to the grocery store can be stressful enough, let alone sitting with fear that you may become infected with the virus. On campus, it can feel even more daunting knowing that we may not be able to see parents or loved ones if we catch COVID. While we all know that the best way to prevent illness is to practice safe physical distancing and wear a maskcertain foods can also make our bodies strong and boost our immunity! 

Foods all have different nutrients for different functions in our body. Certain nutrients help to strengthen our immune system and keep us happy and healthy. Although no food is a guaranteed cure to an infection, there are certain nutrients that we need to ensure we are strong enough to fight one.  

Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health helped explain what aspects of our diet to focus on to maintain a healthy immune system. Researchers expressed the importance of a healthy gut for a healthy body. To maintain our gut health, we need to eat foods with probiotics and prebiotics. Examples of probiotic foods include yogurt and fermented vegetables. Yogurt is widely available at every dining location on campus and is an easy grab-and-go snack for those of us in a rush. Prebiotic foods include whole grains, bananas, other fruits and vegetables. The dining halls have many options that include whole grain breadpasta and endless vegetable and fruit options to help our immunity 

Harvard’s biggest tip was to eat a well-balanced diet. To keep our bodies healthy, we must consume a range of vitamins and nutrients. We should be keeping our body fueled and ready to fight off any virus that comes our way. It can be hard to plan our meals and find time to focus on our health on campus, but the dining halls have many options to keep us healthy.  

 If you are struggling to maintain a well-balanced diet, the Student Wellness Center has free nutrition coaching for students as well as online resources to help students understand the foods they choose to eat. Check out the resources section below for more informationAs always, maintaining healthy behaviors like getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising are great ways to keep ourselves healthy and strong during this time! 

 Resources: 

-Hannah Blumenfeld, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador

Nothing Better than a Day of Online School

Okay I get it, online school may not be your vibe, but I do have a few tips and tricks to make it a little more bearable and help make sure that your productivity levels are a bit higher than before.  

First off, try and set an alarm for a relatively early time. I’m not saying wake up at 6 am every morning, but try and aim for before 11 (I’m giving some leeway here). This can help set up a routine for your mind and body.  

Secondly, start a morning routine. This can look like waking up and immediately going to make your coffee then reading a few pages of a book, but try not to include any electronics in this morning routine. Your entire day is about to be you staring at a screen, so give your eyes a bit of a break. Let your morning routine be about you time. This is the time to relax and wake up your brain to help prepare for the day ahead.   

Now you want to have a designated workspace, but please do not have it be in your bed. That is not a place to be doing work, that is a place for you to sleep. Use a desk or set up a nice comfortable spot somewhere other than the bed you just woke up from. Make sure that this space is clean and organized (trust me, this helps immensely). Throw up some decorations around your workspace, make it look festive and happy. If it’s a nice day outside, set up a spot out there and get some fresh air while you are working! 

Some of you may have heard of this but try out the pomodoro method when you are studying. If you don’t know what this is, it is basically a study method where you study for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break, and repeat this. At the end of an hour, you are supposed to take a ten-minute break. There have been multiple studies on this to show its efficiency, and I can personally attest that I absolutely love this way of studying.  

Lastly, fuel your body! Get up and moving. Go for a walk! Make sure to eat. Just because you’re sitting in a chair for most of the day doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to eat. Your body needs the nourishment and it is necessary for you to do well in online school. Honor your body, by fueling it with nourishing foods, but also by the foods you crave! 

Here are some articles with a few more tips and tricks: 

Dani Blumenfeld 

What Did Your Health Class Not Teach You About Sex? 

Content warning: This blog contains sensitive information regarding sexual assault. 

Were you told that abstinence is key? Were you told that if you have sex you will become pregnant and be tainted with an STI?  That’s what I was taught in middle school. I can remember being handed a notecard that said I would abstain from sex, drugs, and alcohol. That was the end of my sexual education. The education provided in our schools is severely lacking. This is definitely something to consider when thinking about the rates of sexual assault and harassment in our society, especially on college campuses. Among undergraduate students 23.1% of women and 5.4% of men experience rape or sexual assault (RAINN). These numbers are quite shocking and mean that you likely know someone who has experienced sexual violence. So why are the rates of sexual assault and rape so high? Many factors contribute to the problem, but sex education practices may be harmful.  Let’s think about the things many of us were taught and try to understand why some of these practices can be harmful. 

Only 24 states and DC in the United States mandate sex education, and most of them require abstinence as part of the curriculum (KFF). Why is teaching abstinence so harmful? The problem with teaching only abstinence is that we are being told simply not to have sex. This is harmful for a lot of reasons. First, it is discouraging the conversation about sex and placing a negative connotation of what sex is. Nobody wants to say it out loud and nobody wants to ask questions about it. In the few states that do mandate sex education, it is often skimmed over, focused on abstinence, and presented in a tone promoting shame. Where are we supposed to learn about sex? Who are we supposed to have these meaningful conversations with when society makes it such a shameful topic?  What do we do when the one place we are supposed to talk about it they leave out the most important aspects? 

Nobody ever learns what’s right and wrong. We don’t learn that what is portrayed in the media is not an accurate representation of what these experiences are supposed to be like. The media often has little to no representation of consent at all. Even more harmful, media often portrays signals of saying no and refusing consent as a reason to try harder. In our society, the movies we watch, the books we read, and the media we consume foster a stigma and negative connotation of sex. The lack of education around consent creates skewed beliefs and ideas of what sexual encounters should look like. A combination of these factors contributes to the high rates of sexual assault and rape.  

So how do we stop this, and how do we decrease the number of people’s lives that are being devastated by these acts? It is our responsibility to educate each other. To speak up when music lyrics talks about “taking what he wants when he wants it” or when the former president of the United States talks about the same thing. Start the conversation. The more openly we discuss the complexities of sexual relationships, the less stigma and shame will be associated with the topic of sex. We can help people understand that we have a responsibility to treat each other with respect and consideration in sexual relationships. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it.

-Sarah Frederick

Unique Short North Dishes You MUST Try! 

One of the many perks of living on campus at Ohio State is being so close to the vibrant and lively Short North! However, its vast selection of enticing restaurants and menus to choose from can be very daunting. I have compiled a few tasty spots and highlighted a unique dish from each location to get you started. The dishes below are all nutrient and flavorpacked!  

Marcella’s 

A unique option that Marcella’s offers is a build your own meat and cheese appetizer tray. With six meat options (capicola, prosciutto, bresaola, coppa, sopressata, and salami) and six cheese options (mozzarella, taleggio, fontina, goat cheese, pecorino toscano, and gorgonzola dolce) the possible combinations are endless! Usually, when I think of Italian cuisine I think of carbs, carbs and more carbs, but with a tray of meats and cheeses you are sure to eat a great amount of protein. Oh, also, if you have never heard of some of the meats and cheeses mentioned, don’t worry. There are English descriptions below the Italian for all of them!  

Goody Boy 

“An avocado? Thanks,” if you just read that in the adorable vine boys voice then let’s be friends. But, seriously, Goody Boy has a dish called “Fresh Stuffed Avocado Halves,” and let me tell youthey are delicious. Avocado, quinoa, feta and grilled pita all come with this unique option. From avocado’s healthy fats and high fiber, to quinoas great source of all nine essential amino acids, to feta’s great protein content, you will walk away from eating this feeling satisfyingly full! 

 Bakersfield   

A Taco Tuesday recommendation? Bakersfield’s menu made my life pretty difficult by being absolutely filled with a plethora of mouth-watering, nutrition-packed taco choices. However, the “Al Pastor” really stuck out. Why? Well, it’s a taco with chile marinated pork, pineapple, pickled white onion, and cilantro. The pineapple is what caught my eye. I mean you’d be eating fruit, vegetables, grains, and protein all in one meal. I’m not going to lie to you and say that I love pineapple on pizza, however this pineapple combo makes me want to hop on a COTA bus and head to the Short North ASAP! 

 Del Mar SoCal Kitchen  

Brussel sprouts. Ten-year-old me just shivered in disgust. Growing up, brussels sprouts always had a negative stigma. Twenty-year-old me is a changed woman. A nice charred plate of brussels sprouts never disappoints. Del Mar serves a divine dish that has brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, salsa verde, cashews, and feta. I ordered this dish for my meal and every bite was filled with a perfect combination of flavors. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Brussels sprouts are one of the best plant sources for omega-3 fatty acids, and cashews are a great source of protein. Clearly your body will be thanking you after you enjoy this spectacular dish.  

Remember, most restaurants are currently offering curbside pick-up or delivery options, so you can enjoy these dishes from the safety of your home. Hopefully my recommendations will be put to good use for your next GNO or date night! 

Don’t forget you can meet with a Nutrition Coach, for free, to discuss your unique nutritional needs.  

– Emily Grieco, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador

5 (Of Many) Ways to Stay Active While Taking Classes Online 

Many lectures are on Zoom this year, which for most students means we no longer must make that 15-minute trek across campus in the rain for our third class of the day. However, it also means a much more sedentary lifestyle as we sit at our desks for hours at a time. Additionally, if you are still here in Columbus, Ohio’s varying weather makes it less enjoyable to go on random walks for coffee, food, etc. at times.

 Here are some tips to get your steps in and your heart pumping between classes! 

  1. Keep going on your walks for food and coffee, despite the weather.  Sounds like a good excuse to keep your fuzzy pajama pants on and/or wear your favorite rain coat! 
  2. Do any exercise that you enjoy doing and could stay consistent with at the RPAC or North Rec. For example, if you hate running but don’t mind riding a stationary bike, then do that! As long as you pick something that you do not despise, you are much more likely to do it on a regular basis.  
  3. Yoga/mediation, or a cardio workout in your room. There are plenty of free videos on the internet that can get your body moving and your mind off of school. 
  4. Start a 60-day challenge of any kind. I know there are so many of these challenges out there like ab, squat, pushup, circuit, etc. Whatever you want to work on, and again enjoy, so that you can finish the challenge! 
  5. If you live in a dorm or apartment complex, take the stairs. This is a great way to get the heart rate up for a few minutes, a few times per day. It also saves you time waiting for an elevator and is another step towards staying active.  

Try any or all of these to keep your heart, body, and mind healthy as we all grind through another semester. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and take a productive break from school. If you do none of the 5 ideas listed above, I challenge you to do this: stand up for at least one minute every hour 

For more resources visit 

 Griffin Mason, Buckeye Food Alliance Volunteer

More than a Hashtag: Together as Buckeyes Ambassadors

We’ve all heard #TogetherAsBuckeyes, #MaskUp, #InThisTogether and countless other hashtags over the past year. While you may be tuning some of these messages out, it’s important to know that there is more behind the hashtag. 

Over the past year the Together as Buckeyes (TAB) Ambassador Program was created and implemented to promote safe and healthy behaviors to the Ohio State Community, with a focus on peer-to-peer communication and relatability. 

The Together as Buckeyes Ambassadors have two primary goals: 

  • Promote mask wearing and provide PPE supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, etc) 
  • Educate the Ohio State community on wellness resources and Safe and Healthy Buckeyes information  

Not only do they educate on safe and healthy information, but they have also been known to provide prizes to those who are actively following all safety guidelines! You may have even chatted with the ambassadors on your way to class 

We want to share more about who the Ambassadors are so you have a better understanding when you see them on campus. You can spot a TAB Ambassador wearing a nametag, Be Kind t-shirt and potentially sporting a fannypack full of prizes and PPE.  

  • TAB Ambassadors range from 1st years to 4th years, showing that all students are committed to staying safe from COVID-19 and hoping to return to a more normal college experience 
  • Some majors include molecular genetics, speech and hearing sciences, and international studies – showing that promoting health and wellness isn’t limited to those in the health sciences 
  • When asked why they became a TAB Ambassador, ambassadors said: 
    • “ To help and serve students on campus during this difficult time of adjustment and online learning” 
    • “The only way to get through this pandemic is to follow the guidelines, I joined to promote mask wearing and encouraging everyone to follow Ohio State’s guidelines” 
    • “College students can make a huge impact. Being personally affected by Covid-19, it is important to me to educate others. I transferred to Ohio State this year and would love to experience campus in its true nature”  
  • TAB Ambassadors are looking forward to fun warm weather activities including: 
    • Hammock laying near mirror lake  
    • Putting away the winter layers  
    • Walking on local trails  
    • Playing tennis 
    • Working out on Lincoln Tower fields 
    • Studying on the Oval  

Ultimately, TAB Ambassadors want you to know they are not the “COVID-19 police”. Ambassadors are students just like you, hoping for a more normal Ohio State experience.  

Now you know more about the Together As Buckeyes Ambassadors, keep an eye out for them around campus and say hey. They may even prizes!