Friday, February 6

One stick, two stick, POP!

February 6th must be a busy day because today is also bubblegum day!! Who doesn't love bubblegum?  Some of my fondest memories of this sticky snack include images of a dusty softball field or sneaking pieces into my elementary school classrooms.  I even remember when I first learned to blow a bubble; it was such a great accomplishment! Bubblegum is just one of those things that makes you smile and feel good no matter where you are or what you're doing.  Here are some fun facts you may not have known about this delicious treat.

** The biggest bubble ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was 22 inches in diameter, 1 1/2 times the size of a large pizza.
**Double Bubble was included in the ration kits for soldiers serving in WWII.
**Sixty to seventy percent of bubble gum is sugar :)
**Chewing gum burns about 12 calories per hour (not quite enough to count as your heart healthy exercise)
**Chewing gum on an airplane will keep your ears from popping (I always chew Big Red on planes)
**The top ten most popular brands of bubble gum are as follows:
1) Hubba Bubba Max
2) Stride (my favorite daily gum)
3) Trident
4) Bubble Yum (my favorite gum to chew during softball games)
5) Bubblicious
6) Orbit
7) Big League Chew (gum that looks like strips of chewing tobacco and helps promote athletes to chew gum instead of tobacco)
8) Double Bubble
9) Extra
10) Winterfresh

Which one is your favorite??

Wear Red Day

This month is National Heart Disease Awareness Month, and February 6 is the day to show your awareness and wear red.   Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women so I am going to talk about some ways to help reduce your risk of a heart attack or other heart related injury. 

When it comes to a healthy heart, it’s all about eating right and exercise.  These are things that not everyone likes to do on a regular basis, especially when there are so many more fun things to do rather than run around a track and so many more delicious things to eat besides celery.  Here are some tips to make these tedious tasks fun and easy.

Instead of going to the gym to tediously lift weights or run on a stationary object, do something fun! There are so many more options out there such as just dancing around your room or taking a walk around the neighborhood.  One fun thing my friends and I have taken too is group exercise classes.  At the Purdue Co-rec. there are “Group X” classes which offer a variety of hour-long classes to attend from ‘Cardio Blast’ to Kickboxing to ‘Get on the Ball’!  The pass only costs 40 dollars for the semester and you can go to as many classes as you want.  It’s a great deal!  The classes are taught by really fun and upbeat student instructors and whether you go with one friend or 20 they are a blast!!  The cardio classes really get your heart pumping and the classes focused on body sculpting do a great job of toning. 

To get your daily amount of fruits and veggies—aim for the colors of the rainbow!  Remember ROY G. BIV!!

R: apples, red peppers, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon

O:  oranges, tangerines, clementines, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkin, peaches

Y: Pineapple, yellow peppers, papayas, lemons, apricots, corn, bananas

G: green apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi (my personal favorite), limes, green onions, peas, green peppers, spinach, zucchini

B, I, V: blueberries, June berries, purple grapes, raisins, prunes, figs, eggplant, blackberries

With all of those options, how can you not get the right amount of daily produce?  You also can’t forget your three daily ounces of whole-grain foods such as whole-grain cereals, whole-wheat bread and pasta, and brown rice.

By doing all of the things above, you will reduce your risk of high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.  So start your heart-healthy routine today!!

Punxsutawney Phil's Big Day

As most of us know, Monday February 2nd was Groundhog Day.  I feel like this day was made a much bigger deal when we were in elementary school.  It was an event that would take up the whole day.  We would have pages to color and fun activities to do throughout the day. Now, if we even have the time to remember that February 2nd is Groundhog Day, we may think about it for five minutes at the most and move on.  No one really takes the time to think about where this holiday came from or what it means.  So for all of you busy college students, here's a quick re-cap.

For thousands of years, Candlemas, the Catholic celebration of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and Groundhog Day have been celebrated on the same day.  We all know that there is a phrase about what happens when Phil sees his shadow, and this is the formal one:

If Candlemas day be sunny and bright, Winter again will show its might.
 If Candlemas Day be cloudy and grey, winter soon will pass away.

So this means if the groundhog sees his shadow there are six more weeks of winter, but why six weeks?  Apparently, this tradition started with the early Christians in Europe.  It started mainly as a celebratory milestone in the winter, where the weather on that day was important, but the groundhog didn't come into play until later.  This tradition was passed on to the Germans who concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day a hedgehog would show its shadow predicting six more weeks of winter, which they called "Second Winter".  

The tradition was passed on the States when the Germans came to Pennsylvania, where they decided the groundhog was a close equivalent to the European Hedgehog.  Apparently, this was an animal known for its intelligence because it was deemed to be smart enough to know that if it saw its shadow, it would scurry back into its hole for six more weeks of winter.  I bet that was more than you ever wanted to know about Groundhog Day, but I hope it answered some long thought about questions! :)

By the way, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.  Are you surprised?