Fall Into Fun!

It is probably about a 50/50 split on those that truly enjoy the season of fall. You have your basic girls that love the pumpkin lattes and are SO pumped to wear their boots and sweaters. Then, you have your fall enthusiasts that enjoy the season for the wonderful activities that come with it.

I have spent the last few college years enjoying the boots and sweater part of fall, but now it is time to enjoy the weather and activities. I doubt many of you know of the different near-by locations that have fall activities, so I wanted to put them all together for you so you can enjoy this beautiful season with some fun fall events.

Shuster's farmOne of the most popular locations near Whitewater to have some fall fun is Schuster’s Farm. It is located about 25 miles away from campus, but totally worth the drive. They offer the following: corn maze, pumpkin patch, pig races, farm animals, a corn cannon, a haunted forest, and more!

Another great location is Busy Barns Adventure Farm located in Fort Atkinson, so a bit busy barncloser. The offer hay wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and a Rooster Run. They are only open on the weekends, although it is a great, close location that can help you find your perfect pumpkin or corn maze adventure!

 

 

skelly's farmIf you are really interested in corn mazes, then Skelly’s Farm Market is the place for you! They are located just outside of Janesville, WI, and have been around for 15+ years offering a variety of different corn mazes. They also have fresh produce you can buy and many other activities throughout the fall season!

And lastly, have you ever heard of the Fuzzy Pig? During the summer, they are a cute, fuzzy pigcountry store and restaurant located just outside of Whitewater. In the fall, they are the scariest haunted houses within 100 miles of campus. Check out their creepy houses here!

One of the greatest things about living in Wisconsin is enjoying the change of seasons. That means, even if it is 50 degrees out, go outside and enjoy it! Carve pumpkins and get lost in corn mazes.

So pick your favorite location, throw on some boots and a sweater, grab your pumpkin latte, and have some fun!

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going.”

Kenzi

Count Your Blessings, Not Calories!

picCrunching numbers instead of doing actual crunches, measuring every food up to the exact serving size, rounding up numbers, and reading more nutrition labels than you do books. All of these concepts contribute to what some consider the “catalyst to weight loss” that is, calorie counting. This topic is one that is really important to me and has taught me a huge lesson in regards to nutrition and I’m excited to give my two cents on the matter. At the same time, I can’t help but cringe a little bit while I gather info on extreme calorie counting because I made a lot of mistakes while I calorie counted to lose weight. Without further or do, I learned a lot from my personal experience so I wanted to share it with you all!

What happened after I calorie counted

I lost forty pounds. Let me be clear, that statement was not my successful weight loss testimony. For many reasons, one being that I should have lost only half of what I did.  I eventually began to lose muscle, go below the average BMI for my age group, and overall became obsessed with keeping track of what I ate each day. All of this resulting in needing to gain some weight back anyways!

Why calorie counting can be dangerous 

It all comes down to quality vs. quantity. Both quality and quantity should be put into consideration when constructing a healthy diet. However, quality is the half of the deal we sometimes ignore especially when calorie counting. For instance sure my granola bar, almonds, and Nutella sandwich (I’m cringing) fit in my daily calorie quota but a lot my food choices certainly weren’t the right calories. As Dr. Frank Lipman an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine states, “All calories are not created equal. Thinking that all calories are the same is an antiquated notion. Granted by definition calories represent units of energy provided by a particular food, but thinking they’re all alike is like saying a diamond and a rhinestone are the same because they both glitter. With Calories, as with diamonds, it’s the quality that matters most and enhances their value.”

Your body resorts to burning lean muscle tissue as a source of energy ideally when losing weight we would want our body to burn body fat not muscle. But when you put your body in crucial conditions, it will resort to any source of energy. Therefore it will pull from stored energy anywhere, this can be fat, muscle, or a combination of them both.

Nutrition deficiency Sure you can lose weight by eating packaged food that is labeled with your necessary calorie count. But if your diet is only composed of what has almost zero nutrients the processed food will create a chemical reaction in your body that will work against weight loss and good health. Following that, eating too much sugar results in an overproduction of insulin which promotes weight gain.

Can it be done right? Will it hurt you to be aware of how many calories are in your meal? Certainly not! Knowing the calorie amount can sometimes be utilized as a rough estimate or criteria for our daily food intake. However, the fault in calorie counting is the obsession and taking it to the extreme. Keeping a journal of your calories, or keeping a record of it in your phone will make you eventually addicted. In my case, it almost became a sort of game and every day was a chance to beat my record of how little calories I consumed that day.

Although I am not proud of my diet mistake, I’ve learned so much. Now I eat a lot of the right foods, and know better than to get sucked into the obsession of extreme calorie counting. Do not avoid foods like fruits, veggies and other produce that do not have a nutrition label on it, and when there is a nutrition label, read more than just the calorie amount! The best part of the alternative to calorie counting is that you can eat way more! As long as you are eating wholesome, natural foods, you can eat more and frequently throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. Eat right, not less and you’ll be on your way to a content, happy, and healthy life!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Don’t Panic, Eat Organic!

organic picSummer, a time where you not only get three months of (almost) worry free bliss and warm weather, but a time where some of your favorite fruits and veggies are in season. For me personally, summer calls for eating more whole foods because I have more time on my hands to prepare and cut up fruits and veggies and discover new recipes with fresh produce. Plus, I think it’s safe to say that we all love a good slice of watermelon or some delicious strawberries on a summer day. We love fruit during the hot weather because it’s refreshing and healthy, what could be wrong with fruit? It is natural after all. However, have you ever found yourself in the midst of indulging in a slice of watermelon wondering why there are no seeds in it? …Probably not, since a lot of us think of seedless watermelon to be more convenient because who wants those annoying little black seeds in the way of you going to watermeltown? But the unfortunate truth is that a lot of our beloved fruits and veggies that we assume are totally fresh and natural may have been genetically modified and/or have been raised using conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Terrifying I know, so what is the solution to this you ask? Organic and GMO free products!

Now, what qualifies as organic? Organic means that agricultural product such as fruits, veggies, grains, dairy products and meat has been grown or raised without using conventional methods. Instead, organic farming practices use natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants with crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds.

What is GMO? GMO means genetically modified organism, for instance, seedless watermelon. The label “organic” usually means GMO free but unfortunately not all of the time! Since there are loop holes, produce can be genetically modified and considered “organic”. So keep an eye out for the GMO certification as well as organic!

What are conventional methods and why are they bad? As far as conventional methods go there are a few different types that come with their own con’s and risks. First off, there is the use of chemical and synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which is harmful to the environment and to us. These chemicals contain neurotoxins which are damaging to brain and nerve cells. Not only are they used within conventional methods but eighteen percent of genetically modified seeds are engineered to produce their own pesticides. Even worse, studies show that these seeds may continue to produce pesticides after you’ve eaten the food that grows from them. I don’t know about you, but eating food that manufactures it’s own pesticide inside of you is not my cup of tea. Another conventional method is the use of antibiotics which are used to speed growth and fatten up animals in the meat and poultry industries. These are only a couple of the methods used on conventional farms, you can check out more methods such as mono-cropping and genetic-engineering and modification and details about them here.

What are the benefits of organic food? A common misconception of the idea of organic food is that it is a guarantee that it is healthier. But it really depends on what type of food you are banking on to be deemed as healthier. For example: unfortunately, your organic potato chips still aren’t going to be your healthiest pick at the grocery store. However, just because the label “organic” doesn’t mean unnatural products like chips are healthy, it does mean that any whole foods that are natural are increased in nutritional value if they are organic. According to care2.com research shows that organic food is higher in nutrients, and in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium. So if you’re talking organic produce oppose to factory made groceries, you go ahead and get down with your organic eatin’-bad self because there are many health benefits that come along with organic eating.

Some may be skeptical about the idea of organic eating. Due to inconvenience and the price ect. Going about your life constantly asking and checking if a certain food is organic is a concept that makes some people cringe due to it seeming to be a huge hassle. But you do not have to go to the extreme of being one hundred percent organic in order to receive the benefits that come with organic eating. Simply incorporating more organic food into your life will be a positive impact to your health. When it comes to expenses, organic food is making it’s way into more stores and restaurants therefore making it more common, accessible, and affordable. So next time you see the word organic labeled on a food product, think about what it means and the benefits that come with it.  Being knowledgeable about conventionally raised produce will help you avoid enduring the negative effects that come with it. So switch up you summer fruit feasts and make it organic, and eat clean to feel healthy!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡