42% of Americans obese by 2030, Duke University predicts

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

A recent study conducted at Duke University has predicted that 42% of the nation will be obese by the year 2030, with 11% of those Americans being severely obese, according to a CNN report.

By 2030, more than 1 in 10 Americans will be severely obese. Young adults, especially college students, can include themselves in those daunting statistics, according to research from the University of New Hampshire.

Though the nation’s obesity rates have been on the rise for decades, the Duke University report actually concludes that the rate is leveling off, and will remain fairly constant thereafter.

However, the results are discomforting, with an additional 30 million Americans obese in the next 18 years. According to the report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the medical expenditures for this rise in obesity rates will be $549.5 billion.

The cost will be great, but the most shocking finding from the study is the spike the severe obesity rates. A person is considered severely obese if their body mass index is over 40 or if they are 100 pounds overweight. Obese people have shorter life expectancies and greater lifetime medical costs, “suggesting that future healthcare costs may continue to increase even if obesity prevalence levels off,” wrote Eric Finkelstein, author of CDC’s Weight of the Nation, a documentary which will air on HBO next week.

“Those individuals have much greater risk of early mortality, diabetes, heart disease,” Finkelstein said. “They’re much, much more expensive and they’re on the rise, partly because 50 years ago, it was really, really hard to weigh that much. You’d have to eat all the time.”

It is now easy for Americans to eat unhealthily, and frequently. The modern world is all about convenience, and our bodies are taking a toll for the overabundance of cheap and easy calories.

The report did not include children, though recent studies have stated that 1 in 3 children are now obese. This could add even more bad news to an already disheartening projection.

However, there is hope in the rapidly-changing world we live in.

“We’re almost surely wrong in our forecast,” Finkelstein said. “That’s the thing about forecasts – they are guesses. This is our best guess. The world changes, if new drugs or technology comes out, if the government comes out and makes major changes, lots could happen. If in fact we’re wrong and obesity rates are less, I’d be happy.”


Take a Hike

May 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

CC&H knows that it’s easy for college students to get caught up in the wake of it all: midterms, projects, work, life. If you feel like you’ve been living in the library, we’re right there with you.

That’s why, for this week’s blog, CC&H decided it was time to get outdoors, in the sunshine and fresh air, and forget the worries for a little while. And what better way to do so than by taking a hike!

Hiking is a relaxing, healthy way to unwind while enjoying the outdoors. Check out this article for the top health benefits of hiking! Difficulty can range from leisurely strolls to steep treks, but whatever your level, it’s bound to be a great time. Grab a friend (especially a furry one, pups love hikes!) and go exploring.

Hiking wears this little guy out.

There are so many hiking opportunities around SLO, you could trek for a whole weekend and not make a dent. Trust us, we tried.

Luckily, CC&H caught up with Mitchell Goulette, a junior forestry major and environmental enthusiast, and asked for some local hiking advice. Goulette and some friends started an informal hiking club on Facebook their first year at Cal Poly, and still meet with club members to plan and take hikes, both around SLO and all over California.

“We were bummed when we found out Cal Poly didn’t have an official hiking club, so we decided to get some friends together and make our own,” Goulette says. “It’s pretty informal, but we’ve had a lot of people join over the years. It makes it easy to find someone to go with when you feel like hiking, or if you want to plan a weekend backpacking trip.”

Goulette says he’s been hiking with his family since he was young, and didn’t plan on quitting the habit when he came to college.

“SLO has so many great places to hike, I can’t believe more people don’t go,” Goulette says. “I hike almost every weekend. It’s good for the body and the soul. Hiking is the perfect de-stresser for a hectic week.”

Goulette was recently hired for an internship this summer working for the Bureau of Land Management. He will be living in the forest with little to no external communication, hiking everyday and researching tree growth. Sound like a nightmare? Goulette couldn’t be happier.

“I know it sounds a little crazy, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Goulette says. “This is going to be the most relaxing summer of my life.”

CC&H probably couldn’t handle a whole summer in the woods, cut off from the outside world (no blogging?!), but we could handle a Saturday trip to one of SLO’s favorite hiking spots: Bishop Peak. Never having hiked it before (cue gasps from Cal Poly students), and with the weather being perfect mid-70’s, the time was right for a climb.

Up we go!

Things to bring:

  • sunscreen (not sure which sunscreen works best? read this!)
  • water
  • camera
  • snack
  • hat

What to wear: proper hiking attire, duh.

In the parking lot, about to head up the trail, we chatted with Katie Christie, a freshman mathematics major, who was just coming down. Her advice: watch your step!

“I’ve seen people take some nasty spills. The rocks near the top aren’t very sturdy, and it’s easy to lose your footing,” Christie says. “Make sure the traction on your shoes is good too, that will help! And you can always grab a walking stick, people sometimes leave them alongside the trail.”

She was shocked CC&H hadn’t hiked Bishop’s before, and made sure we packed a camera.

Top of the world.


“The views at the top are amazing, you’ll be taking tons of pictures,” Christie said. “Going up can get a little tough, but it’s all worth it once you get to the top.”

She was right.

The hike was definitely steep at parts, and the water we packed was a must. But the views at the top were breathtaking.

We spotted a fellow hiker at the top, stretched out on a rock, reading Plato. CC&H investigated.

Tess Gibby, a sophomore animal science major, says that Bishop’s is one of her favorite spots to study on a nice day.

“I love hiking, but it is midterm season. When it’s nice out like this, I love being able to take my studying outdoors and make it a little more enjoyable,” Gibby says. “Plato makes a lot more sense from up here, too.”

See? Don’t be stuck in the library when you can be soaking up knowledge AND the sun on a peaceful mountaintop like Bishop Peak. It’s good for your body and for your mind!

Hiking with friends, jumping for joy.

Here’s a map of some favorite local hiking trails around SLO. Check it out and go take a hike!

Fun Facts

CC&H listens to Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror,’ feels inspired, blogs about it.

April 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hi again,

First of all, here’s the link to Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ video. Get inspired. You’re welcome.

Moving on: this week CC&H decided to analyze the success of the blog so far and decide where there’s room for improvement.

As of today, the blog has had just over 200 views. Obviously not impressive relative to popular blogs that receive millions of hits a day, and who knows how many of those views were me making adjustments and edits… But I’m excited and thankful to have as many as I do, and there’s only going up from here!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think overall my posts have been interesting and well-written. I personally enjoy reading blogs that are conversational and peppy, which is the tone I have been writing in. I hope my readers have enjoyed reading the posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them!

Photographs have been an important aspect to my blog since the beginning, and I want to continue incorporating lots of pictures into my posts. The images in this blog are gripping and really pull a reader into the posts. Granted, it is a photoblog, so that’s kind of the point… But I think it is a good example of how brilliant images can make a big impact on the feel of your blog.

I’m going to try to boost my blog views in these final weeks of the quarter by posting more to my twitter feed and also linking to my blog from Facebook. I think this will develop a larger fanbase, especially within my Cal Poly network, since most of my posts have a local appeal.

I also want to incorporate more interesting media features and widgets into my blog, to spruce up my page and allow for more ‘clickability’.

Speaking of clickability, this blog is definitely worth clicking on. It is a fascinating concept, and so fun to read! But what catches my eye the most is the linkage along the right side bar; so many links! I think it really enhances the professionalism of the blog, and allows the user to easily find related stories and information.

With all of this in mind, CC&H is confident that these last blogs will keep getting better. We’re going out with a bang, that’s for sure.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I love feedback like pigs love not being bacon.

Thanks for reading, and look forward to an interactive graphic featured in my upcoming weekly post!



Grocery shop till ya drop: CC&H loves TJ’s

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

‘Just got paid, woo! So ready for some retail therapy. Maybe some new sandals… And I’ve been wanting some vintage jean shorts! Let me just grab a snack and I’ll head downtow — Oh yeah… Zero food in the fridge. Awesome. Time to spend my whole paycheck on food.’

You’ve so been there, right? Well not anymore.

CC&H decided it was time to figure out this whole ‘grocery shopping like an adult’ thing, and knew just where to go…

Beautiful day at SLO’s Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is a favorite among college students looking to spend less while staying healthy. Lisa Becker, a sophomore Cal Poly business major and Trader Joe’s crew member, says that over half of TJ’s customers in SLO are college students.

“I always see so many students from my classes and around campus when I’m at work,” Becker says. “There’s definitely ‘regulars.’ People keep coming back, our customers are pretty faithful. Once you go Trader Joe’s, you never go back.” She laughs, and says “That wasn’t very catchy.”

Becker’s favorite part about working at TJ’s is the atmosphere created by the crew. She says everyone is always positive and uplifting, which makes her work enjoyable. She said the employee discount for groceries isn’t too bad either.

The most popular grocery among college students is the frozen meals, says Becker. Though not included in this CBS News article about what to buy at TJ’s, frozen meals are a must for college students on-the-go who might not have time to cook a meal.

“Mandarin chicken is a hot item, I’ve seen students buy packages by the dozen,” Becker says. “They buy the usual stuff, like eggs and milk, but frozen meals in general are always abundant in student’s carts.”

Holy potassium, that’s alotta bananas!

Becker says the mandarin chicken is tasty, but she prefers healthier options. She says her cart is always full of hummus and fruit. Her favorite TJ’s deal: bananas are only 19 cents, always.

While shopping at TJ’s, CC&H asked Bridget Lillis, a sophomore environmental management major, to take a break from her grocery list to chat. She said she’s never shopped anywhere else, and doesn’t plan on it.

“I shopped here with my parents before I came to college, so I had already developed the good habit,” Lillis said. “I’ve converted a lot of my friends into TJ’s shoppers, too. Once you go once, it’s hard to shop anywhere else.”

Lillis loves the variety that Trader Joe’s has to offer. She prefers to buy organic, and says that TJ’s has the best organic options anywhere.

“I like knowing that the food I’m eating is natural and grown without the use of chemicals, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or added hormones,” she says. “I’m not obsessed about it, but if I have the option, I choose organic. And Trader Joe’s gives me that option.”

It’s true!

Allyson Dahl, another sophomore Cal Poly student and friend of Lillis’, said that she figured TJ’s would be more expensive than other stores, because it’s healthier.

“I was really surprised when I came with Bridget for the first time. I expected the prices to be outrageous, since it was all organic and natural,” Dahl says. “I couldn’t believe how cheap it was. I mean, some stuff was the same price, but a lot of it was cheaper than what I had been buying at Albertson’s!”

CC&H created a ‘College Student Essentials’ Trader Joe’s shopping list. Pretty cheap, and fairly healthy. Check it out:

  • fat free organic milk
  • multi grain bread
  • stir fry
  • shrimp
  • lettuce/spinach
  • greek yogurt (so good, so good for you. just read this!)
  • berries/pom seeds
  • almond butter
  • raw/organic honey
  • chicken
  • whole grain pasta
  • marinara sauce
  • mozzarella balls in olive oil
  • apple chicken sausage (delicious all by itself, and ready in minutes. boom.)
  • egg whites
  • dark chocolate almonds
  • a couple frozen meals (mandarin chicken? obviously…)

Here’s some precious TJ’s captured moments:

Total: $53.79

Not bad… Not bad at all. You go, TJ’s!

Fun Facts:

  • Becker’s fave TJ’s snack: bruschetta and mini toasts
  • Every TJ’s store hides an animal for little ones to find while their parents shop! SLO’s Trader Joe’s has ‘Sally the Seal’
  • Spotted in Lillis’ basket: dark chocolate covered powerberries
  • TJ’s uses NO preservatives in any of their products
  • Paper or plastic? Neither. BRING YOUR OWN BAG! TJ’s is all about being green, and Becker says they love when customers are too. Get hip to the movement.
  • And a video for all you TJ’s lovers…

Follow CC&H on Twitter

April 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hello world,

Check it out, CC&H is now on Twitter! So this is what adulthood feels like…

I’ve never had a Twitter, so… Yeah, let’s do this.

You can click the ‘Follow Me on Twitter‘ button on the right side menu to keep up to date on all things cheap, chic, & (of course) healthy. I’ll be posting great links that are definitely worth checking out, including music, videos, memes, photos, facts, and more! Get excited, and follow me to FUN.

“For the uninitiated, here’s how Twitter works – I have no f***ing idea. I have no idea how it works – or why it is.” Jon Stewart, comedian and host of The Daily Show

Home Cooking: Taco Tuesday Tutorial

April 17, 2012 § 7 Comments

Mark Twain once said, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” Well, not to contradict Mark Twain, but CC&H has found that being healthy can be simple and easy, especially when it comes to eating.

According to a study by Westwood College, the average college student spends over a quarter of their annual budget on room and board. Granted, that’s including housing. But it’s also including food!

Dining in is, in general, cheaper than dining out, according to this analysis by debtfreeadventure. There is so much to do in college towns, students should dine in as much as possible to save money for more rewarding endeavors.

Shohreh Niku, Cal Poly Food Science and Nutrition professor and healthy eating guru, says that a healthy diet is all about balance.

“I’m from another country, and in the US, people go to extremes when it comes to their diet,” Niku says. “No fat, no carb, zero calorie, these are all extremes that people should avoid. People should strive for a balanced diet, always.”

Niku’s #1 item on her shopping list: vegetables and fruit. All of them. She says college students need to incorporate more color into their diets, with less starches and carbs. As well as lean and healthy protein, like fish.

“My cart is full of vegetables. All of them. Look what I am eating,” Niku says, while munching on a dressing-less salad full of bright, fresh looking veggies. “I usually don’t buy food based on specific meals. I buy what looks tasty and fresh and then I work with what I’ve got.”
Niku’s most important tip for college students when it comes to dining in: cooking is fun! Niku says most students don’t realize making meals at home is cheaper and more enjoyable.

“You don’t even need a recipe. Forget the recipe! Just have healthy options to choose from and start throwing what you have in a bowl,” Niku says. “Think stir fry. That’s one of my go-to meals. You can put so many different vegetables into stir fry, and it will still taste good and be good for you.”

A tip from Niku: sauces (like dressings) add unnecessary fat to healthy dishes; instead go for spices! This reference guide from theKitchn can help you get to know every spice in the cupboard!

CC&H spotted Miranda Hyldahl, a junior environmental management major, eating a home-made, tupperware clad salad on Cal Poly’s campus and decided to grab her for a chat. Hyldahl has been a vegetarian (except for fish) for 10 years, but she makes sure to balance her lack of meats with other sources of protein.

“I eat mostly vegetables, but also a lot of fish, eggs, beans, and rice. Being a vegetarian can be really good for you, if you do it right,” Hyldahl says. “It’s easy to eat a lot of starches and snack-type foods, especially when eating on  campus. That’s why I love cooking at home.”

Mary Hazlebeck, a junior nutrition major and president of the Cal Poly Nutrition Club, says that a healthy diet tends to take the back seat for most college students.

“We’re busy and broke. It’s easier to grab a piece of pizza on campus than it is to go home and make something that’s actually good for you,” Hazelbeck says. “But we’re hard enough on our bodies in college without eating junk food all the time. Cook something healthy. You’ll thank yourself 10 years from now.”

So with all of this advice in mind, CC&H decided to make a healthy home-cooked meal of our own: Fish Taco Tuesdays.

Inspired by Niku’s words of wisdom and this recipe, tilapia was chosen over beef, as a fair priced and healthy protein option. Fat free sour cream and refried beans were used to knock off the calorie count. Also, lots of fresh veggies made the dish tasty and nutritious! Check out the slide show below for more deets on my dish.

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Fun Facts:

Things to do with an avocado seed: grow an avocado tree or make a smoothie!

Niku’s fave place to grocery shop: Trader Joe’s

Hyldahl’s fave song to cook to: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jesperson

RSS Feed

April 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hi again,

To add even more user-friendly functionality to CC&H, an RSS Feed widget is now activated! An RSS feed, or reader, allows users to “subscribe” to the blog and receive updates without having to come back to the blog site, making it simple to stay up to date and connected. RSS has become a popular tool among bloggers, and many websites are utilizing it to make connecting more convenient. For example, a built-in menu for readers is already available with a Gmail account (click on option “More” and scroll to “Reader”). Readers are similar to newspapers, but containing only the information you want to read! The icon to subscribe to CC&H’s RRS Feed is on the bottom of the right side menu and says “Get Blog Updates”. Click it and get connected now!