3 Diet Tips to Living a Healthier Lifestyle

Nasir Amarah

Contributing Writer


Eating right and exercising regularly can be difficult for many people. Time constraints and convenience often dictate what we eat and how active we are. We have been trained to consume certain foods, and giving them up can be very difficult, but in order to increase our vitality, we must sacrifice taste and convenience. Whether you are stuck in a dorm and on a meal plan or sitting at a desk all day, there are a few ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

One of the biggest problems with diet today is that many people drink their calories. By drinking beverages loaded with sugar, people do not satisfy their hunger and often eat just as much as they would if they were drinking water instead. By eliminating or reducing these beverages from our diets, we can live much healthier lives and shed a few pounds. Whenever you ingest sugar, your body absorbs it immediately because it is already broken down, so if you do not burn off that sugar it will be stored as fat. If you are in school or work, chances are you aren’t burning off the energy from that sugar rush. I’m not just talking about soda; most fruit juices have almost or the same amount of sugar as soda. A can of Arizona ice tea contains 72 grams of sugar – more than a 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola. Minute Maid orange juice has 48 grams of sugar in a 16 ounce bottle. It would be very difficult to burn all that energy with a busy schedule. It may be hard to stop drinking these beverages, but switching to water will not only make you feel better, but you can shed quite a few pounds from this one change.


This second change that I propose must be the hardest for all of us – eliminating processed foods from our diet. Processed foods make convenient meals – you can use the microwave or stove to heat up food instead of making a meal from scratch, and these foods are cheaper than their organic counterparts. Convenience and price aside, processed foods are terrible for our bodies. There are over 6,000 artificial ingredients used in these foods that provide texture, color, flavor, and act as preservatives. These ingredients are toxic and damage our bodies, harming our digestive organs and skin especially. Processed foods also tend to have high amounts of salt and sugar to give them a strong taste, making them unhealthier than their organic counterparts. Processed foods also contain synthetic vitamins and minerals to compensate for their low nutritional value. Synthetic vitamins and minerals will not be absorbed by the body as well as their natural counterparts, and vitamins and minerals help absorb food energy into our muscles.

Speaking of vitamins and minerals, eating fresh fruits and vegetables regularly will allow you to lose weight and feel better. As a society, we often focus on our macronutrients, which are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but we forget about our micronutrients – our vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals help us absorb our macronutrients and use them effectively. These micronutrients aid our digestive processes and speed up our metabolisms. Eating fruits and vegetables also clears out toxins from our bodies, so they can flush out all the chemicals we ingest from processed foods. Of course many fruits and vegetables contain a lot of sugar, but they also contain fiber which stops you from processing that sugar all at once. This will give your body time to absorb that sugar gradually.

Following these tips can be very difficult, but by drinking less sugary drinks, eliminating processed foods, and eating more fruits and vegetables, you will lose weight and feel better physically. You can even eat the same amount of calories as you do now as long as you get those calories from healthy food sources, and you will still lose a considerable amount of weight. If these tips seem too hard to incorporate into your lifestyle, adapt to them gradually. You do not have to make these changes overnight. Even if you cannot give up these foods completely, the slightest change will help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Letter to the Editor

 Q: You wrote in your piece “Man of 1000 Thoughts,” “Just be aware, in 2014, with a society focused on hos not being loyal and which club to hit next to rub their bodies on strangers, monogamy isn’t on the forefront of the love game, and the thought of it is horrifying and intimidating to a lot of your peers.”

 I like the Echo, I miss it when it’s not in print and I read it. But, I do not appreciate being called a “ho.” With the levels of rape on college campuses, and violence against women generally, such objectifications of women are not helping. Think of your sisters, mothers, girlfriends, female professors and all the women and girls in your life before you use such hate speech again. Please, I implore you! Words can cause harm. Using the word “ho” contributes to a culture of violence and inequality. Be part of the solution, not the problem, and stand up for all women and girls. Man of 1000 Thoughts, think again.

 Averell Manes, Professor
Political Science and Conflict Resolution


A: Dear Professor Averell Manes,

 I took some time to think about how I was going to respond to this. There seems to be a misunderstanding of what the “Man of 1,000 Thoughts” column is supposed to be; so, I thought I’d address this without the pizzazz of the “Man of 1,000 Thoughts.”

 It’s unfortunate that my article was interpreted in the negative fashion that it was. I grew up with a single mother and an older sister. Both of them are responsible for raising me, and I think about them every day. So when I was asked think about mothers, sisters, girlfriends, I felt unsettled. I was confused after I read this letter. To it bluntly, the “Man of 1,000 Thoughts” column is and has always been a satire.

 To address these specific issues with the text, I want to first say I wasn’t calling anyone a “ho.” Maybe it was an overestimation on my part, but knowing I was catering to a college audience, I used a pop culture reference that was lost in translation to some readers that are not a part of the college youth.

 The song “Loyal,” by American singer Chris Brown, peaked at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart this year and received extensive radio play. As of July, it has sold over a million copies in the United States. In other words, the song was very popular and successful. The chorus of the song has Chris Brown sing, “These hos ain’t loyal.” This is why I wrote, “A society focused on…” instead of “I’m focused on,” because it was a direct reference to this song. This is where the irony comes in.

 The reason I chose to include this is because Chris Brown is known for beating his then girlfriend, pop-culture icon Rhianna, in 2009. And apparently everyone was upset over this. Who wouldn’t be? It’s a terrible thing. He then released this song “Loyal,” clearly objectifying women and calling them “hos,” and it becomes one of the most popular songs of the year. You can go to most college parties and see the kids getting down to it. No one seems to mind, and it’s the same man known to beat women.

 Personally, I found this ironic, and was trying to bring attention to the fact that we claim, as a society, that we hold these morals and that treating women this way is bad. Yet these same people will push assailant Chris Brown’s song about “hos not being loyal” to the top of the charts. It sickens me, but that’s why I pointed it out in the way that I did. It was meant to highlight this fact, and bring attention to the irony of it.

 I can’t be responsible for everyone’s knowledge of pop culture. I try to leave a fair amount of textual evidence to remind the reader that they’re reading satire. In the paragraph before the one in question, I said, “Don’t you know being confident and assertive for yourself isn’t cool? It might suggest some sort of self respect, and who wants that?” I find it hard to believe anyone would take this seriously, and think that I was advocating insecurity. For the record, I was suggesting people should be confident and assertive for themselves, but unfortunately some aren’t being conditioned that way.

 I’m trying to highlight and critique the same issues that I’m being accused of creating.

 This response stands as a testimony that, while there is a very strong and well organized feminist cause in today’s Western society, there are still many other groups of people that still have little to no representation. Some of the other groups that I talked about in a satirical sense in the aforementioned column include the handicapped, when I called myself a “more practical version” of Stephen Hawking.

 I find that, while it is important to stand up for gender equality, something I steadfastly believe in, it is also important to stand up for everyone, not just the social groups you choose.

 Maybe my approach may not be understood, but I just want to be on the same page and for my audience to understand that I’m writing in character when I write my column. It’s meant to be a reflection of the current pop culture landscape, and focus on my qualms with it.


 Dakota Sarantos

Ray J’s “I Hit It First” Apparently Wasn’t About Kim Kardashian

Jordan Sprogis

We all know that Kim Kardashian became famous from her and Ray J’s home sex video that was released back in February 2007. This led to her and the rest of her family in the spotlight of fame, which ultimately resulted in their own reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, along with two spin-offs. Now, all of the Kardashian-Jenner family are famous and successful, with Kim Kardashian rated as the highest-earning reality star in 2010, with an estimated earning of $6 million.


Ray J, however, wasn’t recognized the same way Kim was after their sex tape was released. Perhaps the fact that Kim absolutely blew up in the celebrity world and Ray J just didn’t caused some jealous feelings, which could have led to the writing, recording, and release of “I Hit It First”, six years later.

What baffles me is the fact that Ray J has the nerve to even release a song like this. Kim Kardashian is happily with Kanye West and has a child together, North, so a song that causes more celebrity buzz and unwanted attention about Kim’s past is probably something the couple doesn’t want to deal with.

Now, this is just my guess: it’s not like Kanye wants to think about the fact that his girlfriend previously made a sex tape that went viral internationally, but now he gets to hear Ray J’s two cents about the matter.

Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics:

She might move on to rappers and ballplayers
But we all know I hit it first

The rapper that Ray J “may be” referring to would be Kanye West, and the ballplayer he also “may be” referring to would be Kris Humphries, whose marriage to Kim lasted for 72 days in August 2011.

I had her head going north and her ass going south
But now baby chose to go West

The first line is most definitely a reference to their sex tape, and the second line – well, that’s a no-brainer; baby chose to go Kanye West.

And I gave her that really bomb sex
No matter where she goes or who she knows
She still belongs in my bed

She still “belongs” in your bed? Seriously, the woman is a mother now!

Going hard in the streets, mobbin with my homies
Sippin’ on good, blowin’ on OG
Me and ghost sittin’ clean with the matching rollie
I did that first so everybody know me

I’m just going to leave it to Kingsley: as the YouTube sensation (ItsKingsleyBitch) said, “Everybody doesn’t know you, Ray J, that’s the thing. They know Kim, which is why you’re upset, and which is why you released this tacky-ass song.”

And if you were to come back to me girl
We’ll make another movie

As if that doesn’t say it’s about Kim. Not to mention that the official music video has a young, sexy woman in it who looks just like her.

“I think people are going way too deep,” Ray J says about the song, denying the fact that it is about Kim. “It’s really light. Everybody’s going this way with it,” he continues, gesturing in one direction, and says, “I’m going this way with it,” while gesturing in the other direction.

Well, that explanation didn’t make any sense.

It’s time to let it go, Ray J. She moved on, and so should you. I’m glad that you had fun with this song, but your fifteen minutes of fame are probably over.