Avocado & Corn Salsa


  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place avocado, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a bowl and toss together.
  2. Chill for one hour and then serve and enjoy!



Mindful Eating Vs. Intuitive Eating

By Wendy Liang, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Are you confused by the terms mindful eating and intuitive eating? This is probably due to some overlap between the two. 

Mindful Eating

Practicing mindful eating means using your physical and emotional senses to –

  • Notice how the food tastes
    • Note the aroma of the food
    • Feel the texture in your mouth
    • Acknowledge the amount of work put into making or growing the food

This helps us stay in the present and actually experience the eating.  The practice improves the overall eating experience.

Examples of mindful eating:

  • Put down utensils between bites
  • Take a moment to note the texture, taste, and flavor of each bite as it is chewed
  • Pause between bites to appreciate the food

Looking for more?  Watch Six Tips for Mindful Eating

Check out The Center for Mindful Eating

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating Is a self-care philosophy created by 2 dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It utilizes 10 principles that help to heal your relationship with food through integration of instinct, emotion, and rational thoughts.

The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating:

  1. Reject diet mentality – understanding this mentality and how it is harmful
  1. Honor your hunger – It is okay to snack when hungry → prevents getting hangry
  1. Make peace with food – Allow yourself to eat what you crave
  1. Challenge the food police – seeing food in a neutral way, there is no good or bad food, food fuels our bodies. Moderation and variation are key.
  1. Discover the satisfaction factor – finding the pleasure in food that makes you feel satisfied
  1. Feel your fullness – Is your body getting what it needs? Can you stop eating when you’re sated?
  1. Cope with your emotions with kindness  – figure out the source of your emotions
  1. Respect your body – makes you feel better about who you are
  1. Joyful movement  – incorporating movement you enjoy to feel the difference
  1. Practice gentle nutrition –  it is about progress, not perfection

Learn about the hunger scale – tool in both mindful and intuitive eating: 

Practice with the Hunger Scale

Here is another resource:

Let us know what you experience as you try some of these!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup quinoa
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 ½ cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 green onions (green and pale green part), thinly sliced
½ English cucumber, diced
½ cup chickpeas, drained
Feta cheese, for sprinkling

1. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, oregano, garlic, salt, and
pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Let sit at room
temperature while you prep the salad.
2. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Combine
quinoa, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook
until the water is just absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes (follow
package guidelines).
3. Transfer quinoa to a bowl, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add tomatoes, olives, green onions, cucumbers, and chickpeas. Add dressing slowly to taste, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper or add more dressing, to taste. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Flavors will deepen the longer it sits.
4. Sprinkle feta on top before serving.

What is Yerba Mate ?

By Veronica Gomez, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

In my experience as a UC Davis student, I have learned that the quarter is getting tough when cans of yerba mate begin to occupy my desk space. As Guayaki’s ‘Lemon Elation’ becomes the only option in the MU Market refrigerators, I know my fellow Aggies are also fueling for long nights of study.

As a nutrition major, I consider myself to have a pretty broad awareness of types of foods and drinks..but what is yerba mate, anyway?

Brief Intro to Yerba Mate

The brand Guayaki is all too familiar to American college students with its bright yellow surface and centered wreath logo. This yerba mate company actually originated by a food science major from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alex Pryor. Alex is a proud Argentinian who made it his mission to share the traditional energizing tea that is yerba mate. Yerba Mate refers to the leaves of Ilex Paraguariensis,  a tree native to South and Central American countries like Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. The Guarani, Paraguay’s indigenous population, were the first to cultivate yerba mate for consumption. The expansion of yerba mate is linked to complex South and Central American history, however, the cultural importance and method of consumption remains widely alike and prevalent in these countries.

Yerba Mate is traditionally consumed in a naturally crafted gourd with a bombillo, a special straw made to filter out the leaves as you sip. In Argentina, sharing the filled gourd among friends has become a ritual embodying friendship and community

Is Yerba Mate Safe?

            Like with all caffeinated products, yerba mate drinks are generally safe with moderate intake. Many sources misleadingly state that yerba mate can be a health risk, however, this is only in excess consumption, and is dependent on other lifestyle factors such as smoking, as well as the preparation of the drink (consistently using very hot water ).

So, as we are nearing the end of the quarter, consider your caffeine intake, remember to practice self-care, and take some time to explore the culture of your favorite foods and drinks.

Benefits of Eating Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

By Lisa Aparicio, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Seasonal eating is when you focus mainly on consuming the produce that is harvested during that season. Before science and preservation was introduced into agriculture, people only ate seasonal food that they were growing in their gardens/farms, at the time it was ready to be harvested. This is sustainable for humans and for the environment as well!

Eating fruit and vegetables that are in season will increase the diversity of vitamin and minerals you are consuming and expand your food palate. Additionally, cycling through different fruits and vegetables will promote nutritious meals and increases the freshness and quality of the foods you are eating. You will notice that fruits and vegetables that are in season will be harvested when they are perfectly ripe, increasing the intensity of their flavor and levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Additionally, Fruits and vegetables will thrive without any harmful additives or any extra resources when they are grown during their natural timeframe.

Eating seasonal harvest will benefit our planet by allowing our environment to cycle through its natural resources and seasons like it would without human intervention. It will also reduce our carbon footprint, emissions, and essentially the negative mark we are leaving on earth. Buying seasonal produce from local farmers market and community supported agriculture groups will provide the freshest and best tasting food.

Produce will also be sold at a lower cost if bought from a farmers’ market because it is locally grown. The money spent transporting the produce will be minimal therefore, reducing the cost to consumers. Since there will be an abundance of each food that is in season, it will be sold for a lower cost than compared to if the food was not in season.

Quick reminder: Do your best to support a sustainable lifestyle, but please always put your health first! Make sure to get the nourishment your body needs whether that is from seasonal food or not. Eating seasonally does not have to be an all-or-nothing commitment. Start small by adding a few seasonal items to your meals and continue to add more whenever possible. With each seasonal item you are improving your nutrient intake, saving money, and helping our environment!

Seasonal Winter Fruits and Vegetables

Seasonal Winter Fruits and Vegetables

Brussels SproutsPOarsnips
Collard GreensPumpkin
HerbsSweet Potatoes and Yams
KaleSwiss Chard
LeeksWinter Squash
Seasonal Winter Fruits and Vegetables

How to Increase Energy Levels as a Student (without caffeine!)

By Mer Temple Allen, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Believe it or not, caffeine isn’t the only way to increase energy levels. When it comes to college, students spend so many nights studying that relying on caffeinated drinks feels like the only way to stay awake at times.

Caffeine is a stimulant in coffee, certain teas, cocoa, yerba mate, and many energy drinks. When drunk in safe amounts (less than 400 mg per day), caffeine can help us wake up and stay alert throughout the day; it can also help to increase athletic performance and improve short-term memory. However, it can also have adverse side effects, such as insomnia, feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and increased heart rate. Because of this, caffeine can be counterproductive when studying, as the side effects can make concentrating more difficult.

If you are looking for ways to increase your energy levels naturally while reducing caffeine consumption, try these tips below!

1. Exercise

Exercise increases the amount of oxygen in body tissues. More oxygen in tissue helps improve cardiovascular function, heart health, and, in turn, energy levels. Additionally, exercise can also increase dopamine levels in the brain, which not only increases energy but also improves mood. Even a short workout can help with this, so next time you have an hour’s break between classes, try a quick workout and see if this works to increase your energy levels!

2. Drink water

Drinking water helps prevent tiredness and fatigue, which comes from dehydration.

Lack of water in the system affects oxygen flow to the brain. Because of this, the heart works harder to get oxygen throughout the body. This makes you less alert and decreases overall energy levels. Make sure to be getting adequate water throughout the day to avoid this from happening!

3. Spend time in sunlight

The human body has a natural response to light and dark. Light signals the body to be awake, and darkness signals the body to be asleep. Because of this, spending time in the sun will help your body and brain wake up in the morning. Going outside where it is brighter will still help if it is cloudy.

4. Eat regularly

Eating regularly (every 3-4 hours) brings energy to the body through the fuel of food. Research shows that frequent meals are associated with higher levels of alertness. Focusing on high nutrients in foods is essential because foods with added sugars (such as high-sugar sweets, energy drinks, and sugary coffee) give short-term energy and will often cause an energy crash later on, resulting in more tiredness. Foods that contain fiber-rich carbohydrates are particularly helpful in increasing energy levels. Some examples include apples, carrots, low-fat greek yogurt, and berries.

5. Take a short nap

A nap between 15-20 minutes long can increase energy and alleviate sleepiness. Longer naps, however, can worsen tiredness, so be mindful of this! Make sure to avoid napping too late in the day since this can make it harder to fall asleep at night.

What is your favorite way to get more energy?

Citrus-Marinated Chicken Recipe

Recently, I have been getting a lot of oranges from the ASUCD The Pantry. They have plenty of free oranges. I love eating oranges, but I was thinking if there are any other ways to consume oranges. Orange juice, eating oranges raw, and …? I was looking for recipes that uses oranges and I came across this simple recipe. This recipe shares another way to enjoy your chicken! Enjoy with a side of rice and vegetables! 


  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon (or dried oregano or dill)
  • ¼ tsp of pepper 
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz each) 


  1. Using a large resealable plastic bag, combine the ½ cup lemon juice, ½ cup orange juice, 6 garlic cloves (minced), 2 tbsp canola oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp dried tarragon (or dried oregano or dill), and ¼ tsp of pepper. Add the chicken then seal the bag. Turn the bag around to coat the chicken. Place the bag in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  2. Take the bag out of the fridge and drain the marinade. Take out the chicken and grill the chicken, covered, over medium heat. If you want to use the oven, broil the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side. The chicken should be 4 inches from the heat. Ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170F.



4 Delicious Valentine’s Day Treats for Friends and Loved Ones

By Daniella Rodriguez, Health Aggies Intern

1-  Nutella Strawberry Cheesecake Bites  

By: the kitchen is my playground


In addition to being delicious tiny slices of chocolatey cheesecake, Nutella-Strawberry Cheesecake Bites are also quite simple to make.

  • Just split some big strawberries in half. Because it looks gorgeous and the leaves serve as a small “handle” to grab onto while picking up and eating these wonderful tiny pieces, I like to leave the leaf cap on and simply chop straight through it.
  • Put the cut-side-up strawberry halves on a serving plate. Cut a very little slice off the strawberry’s rounded platter side to provide the fruit halves a flat surface to rest on if they don’t sit level.
  • If desired, add some of the Nutella-cream cheese combination and garnish with some chopped hazelnuts or slivered almonds.

2-   Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Bites

                                  By: Healthy Family Project


Don’t forget to wash your strawberries before preparing these frozen strawberry and yogurt bites! Strawberries may be washed by submerging them in cold water for 20 seconds, then allowing them to air dry.

Make sure the molds are bite-sized, but have fun choosing and filling them! Any candy mold will do and there are numerous sets available.

  • The strawberries that have been diced, Greek yogurt, and honey should all be combined in a medium mixing dish. Stir everything together thoroughly.
  • Following that, scoop the mixture into the molds. Wait until they are frozen for a few hours. Then, when you’re ready for a snack, take them out and eat them!

3-              5-Ingredient No Bake Strawberry Tart

By: Tried and Tasty


  • 3/4 c. dates chopped
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 8 oz yogurt choose your favorite
  • 2-4 Strawberries


  1. In a food processor or blender, combine dates, rolled oats, & walnuts until crumbly mixture.
  2. Divide mixture in half & press in a small (4-5 inch) non-stick tart pan. Spoon in half of yogurt in each tart. Top with desired number of strawberries

     4-    3-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

                                           By: twohealthykitches


Step 1

  • In a medium-sized dish that can go in the microwave, combine the chocolate chips, evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk!) and coconut oil. Microwave on high for 112 minutes.

Step 2:

  • Stir the heated fudge mixture as soon as possible until it is fully smooth.It will first appear as though it won’t exactly function. like things won’t be completely smooth. Every time I use this fudge recipe, I get the same feeling!

Step 3

  • Stir in any optional mix-ins, such as almonds or coconut, until the microwave fudge mixture is completely smooth.The heated fudge mixture should now be poured into a pan.

Step 4:

  • Once your fudge has hardened in the refrigerator, cut it into squares or hearts.

If you try any of these, let us know!

What’s the Hype With Antioxidants? – Is It Worth Taking Supplements?

By Wendy Liang, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

You may have heard the phrase “antioxidants prevent cancer” or may have even seen wellness trends on social media hyping up antioxidant consumption.

So what is all this obsession with antioxidants? Should you be concerned about your antioxidant intake?

What are Antioxidants?

  • Chemical molecules that reduce cell damage

Antioxidants are chemical molecules that help reduce cell damage by ridding the body of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can be generated by the body from turning food into energy or from other exposures like exercise, smoking cigarettes, air pollution, and sunlight. High amounts of these free radicals in the body can harm the body as they cause oxidative stress and damage cells and DNA, which can contribute to serious illnesses like cancer.

Health Benefits

  • Neutralize free radicals

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their electrons which stops the chain reaction of free radicals causing oxidative damage. Some examples of antioxidants are vitamins E and C and carotenoids. There have been studies on free radical damage linked to chronic illnesses and some studies on antioxidant consumption decreasing risk of severe diseases like stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, and diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Foods That Contain Antioxidants

Even though our body already has some antioxidants to balance free radicals, antioxidants can also be found in colorful foods like berries, other fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods (like legumes).

  • Blueberries contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, which helps with lowering LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure and has been found to have a correlation with delaying the decline of brain function (Giacolone et.al, 2011).
  • Spinach is a vegetable that contains antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are correlated with protecting the eye against UV damage (Abdel-Aal et.al, 2013).
  • Other foods that are great sources of antioxidants include Beets, Raspberries, Strawberries, Dark chocolate, Beans, Red cabbage, and Kale.

Should We Supplement?

  • Not Recommended

Since antioxidants are abundant in whole foods and various National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies done on antioxidant supplementation reveal positive relations to chronic disease and illnesses, the NIH does not recommend antioxidant supplementation.

Not only have high doses of antioxidants been found to increase the risk of death (Bjelakovic et.al, 2004), our body requires a balance of free radicals and antioxidants since our immune cells use free radicals to combat infections (Hamption et.al, 1998).

So What Then?

  • Consuming whole foods like fruits and vegetables can increase antioxidants and provide other essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

High levels of free radicals can cause harmful damage to our body, but free radicals can be controlled by antioxidants. However, high amounts of antioxidants via supplement have been shown through randomized control trials to show more negative effects on health than positive effects. These studies may also have limitations that we need to keep in mind. Simultaneously, there is much evidence that suggests the consumption of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are not only great sources of antioxidants, but also provide other nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are highly beneficial to our bodies.

Here is more information on antioxidants, myths, and antioxidant supplements, TIME.com and Healthline.com.

Restaurants in Downtown Davis with Veggie-Packed Menus

By Veronica Gomez, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

This year, 2023, I am determined to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. When deciding on my New Year’s Resolution, I pondered any obstacles I would face in achieving my goal. And of course, take-out and dine-in with friends seemed like a barrier, but I found a solution!

I have compiled a list of my favorite restaurants in downtown Davis that allow me, and all Aggies, to get a tasty meal filled with veggies. I did sneak in a few fruits and legumes throughout this list.

  1. Posh Bagel
    Posh Bagel is a quaint breakfast/lunch restaurant that’s perfect for a simple grab n’ go with some friends.Posh Bagel offers their own spin on the iconic salmon lox bagel: “slice lox and cream cheese sandwich”.  Depending on what region you purchase a salmon lox bagel from, it varies in its ingredients. From my experience, the bagel only comes with cream cheese, smoked salmon, onions, and capers. Don’t get me wrong, I love a simple bagel, but Posh Bagels’ variation steps it up to a whole new level by including lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, pickles, and pepperoncini. In case you’re not fond of smoked salmon, any of their lunch sandwiches can also be ordered with these ingredients. Each bite is guaranteed to have a refreshing crunch and they are very generous with the serving of sprouts.
  2. See this helpful summary on sprouts if they are new to you: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-are-the-health-benefits-and-risks-of-eating-sprouts/
  1. Woodstock Pizza & Blaze Pizza
    Many big chain pizza places are limited with veggie options. Luckily, Davis has two popular locations with very diverse options.
    Woodstock pizza is a lively pizzeria which hosts trivia nights and more. Although their veggie toppings aren’t that different from your standard vegetarian pizza, they offer salads that you can have with your pizza!
    Options for salad bases include fresh field greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, and spring mix. Salad toppings are exciting with options such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, olive, tomatoes, pineapple, and tomatoes.

    If you prefer your veggies on the pizza, Blaze Pizza allows you to Build-Your-Own-Pizza. With this option, you can order a whole pizza with up to 7 toppings. Some unique options available are: roasted broccoli, basil, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and spinach.
  2. Chipotle
    Chipotle offers burritos and bowls that are protein and veggie packed. At Chipotle, you can always ask for extra if you really want to meet your health goals like me!
    Veggie options offered at chipotle: black and pinto beans, roasted chili corn salsa, fresh tomato salsa, fajita veggies, romaine lettuce, and guacamole.
  3. Tasty Kitchen
    Last, but certainly not least: Tasty Kitchen. This is a Chinese Restaurant on F street. I am most excited about eating here with friends as I am a huge fan of Chinese food and they have the best menu for incorporating eating vegetables into your social life.
    When you dine-in, you’ll be served on large plates that make it easy to share so you can be sure to sneak some veggies on to everyone’s plate too!
     Tasty Kitchen offers vegetables not yet mentioned: green beans, mixed mushrooms, bailan (Chinese broccoli), and bok choy.
    This is a direct link to their veggie menu:

Do you have a favorite place in Davis to enjoy vegetable-rich cuisine?  Let us know in the comments!