Bite of the Week!

Via Greatist.com

Via Claudine Morgan, Greatist.com

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Marinara and Alfredo can get so dull! Kick up your pasta and make it healthy with this recipe from Greatist.com!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth.
  3. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
  4. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl.
  5. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Be sure to check out more healthy recipes from Claudine Morgan on Greatist.com!

Bite of the Week!

Via PaleOmg.com

Via PaleOmg.com

Simple Chorizo Butternut Squash Hash

Looking for a healthy hash breakfast? Toss out the oily potatoes and check out this recipe by Juli on PaleOmg.com!

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced small (208 grams)
  • ½ yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ pound chorizo
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 eggs

Directions

  1. Place a cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Add butternut squash and onion.
  2. After cooking the butternut squash on all sides for about 5-8 minutes or until squash is soft, add chorizo. Break up chorizo into small pieces and cook until completely cooked through.
  3. Add a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Use a spoon to press in 5 little crevices. Crack eggs into the crevices. Place a lid over the pan and cook until eggs are cooked to over easy (or to preference), about 3-4 minutes.

Bon appetite! A healthy breakfast thanks to Juli from PaleOmg.com! Be sure to check out other recipes.

 

A Guide to Networking in Unusual Times & Places

Anyone can network well at a career fair, at a conference, in the work place, or another professional setting. Why? Because you prepared for it to happen! You introduced yourself with a perfect handshake, you have your portfolio filled with resumes and CV’s, your business cards are printed and in your pocket, and you made sure there was nothing in your teeth when you flashed your dazzling smile. Want to freshen up your networking skills? Check out the 8 most important rules for networking and the networking guide for introverts. But what about all the opportunities to network outside of the typical networking function?

For example, running to the grocery store or stopping by the mall to make a return are not typical networking events. Yet, I have found that they can be the best time to make connections and to meet people in the community. Authentic connections and conversations happen because of pressure free and casual interactions; for example in the line at a grocery store, or while you’re waiting to board a plane destined for a new city.
The story goes like this: It was during the longest winter of my life and my work week had just ended. I was preparing to board a plane headed south to enjoy some sun and warmth with family and friends. Once I was seated on the plane I noticed that the gentleman next to me was continually jotting down notes. This continued for about an hour straight. Curiously, I asked him what he was writing about and why. The conversation that ensued after led me to learn that he was on a business trip down south and had recently started a new job in Michigan. The small talk continued and he eventually revealed the secrets most important for landing a good job and the skills necessary for being a good boss. We shared our good and bad experiences and stories throughout the remainder of the plane ride. When we had reached out final destination, we exchanged business cards and promised to connect on LinkedIn once we found Wi-Fi.

If that story tells you anything, it’s that the best time to network is ANY time. To make sure you’re prepared for your next unexpected networking moment, here are a list of things that will help you create conversation and connection no matter the location or occasion.

  • Business cards: Of course! Even in an unusual networking moment these are a MUST! Business cards reflect your business style, communication your contact information, and serve as a reminder of the conversation that happened. Maximize your business cards by carrying a couple with you at all times. You never know who you might be able to get them in the hands of.
  • A writing utensil: Choose your pen wisely, my friend! Perhaps it’s a special pen you got from your work place, as a gift after graduation, or a pen that has’s been passed down in your family. Perhaps it’s a plain Bic pen that you picked up in the parking lot. Some say that “a pen is just like a tie, or a watch, or the car you drive, or your murse/purse.” Personalize the connection you make right away. On the back of the business card, write something clever and memorable that will make you unforgettable. When I passed my card over on the plane I wrote, “Best seating Delta has ever randomly assigned me, thank you for the stories and advice!”
  • A box of mints or chewing gum: Fresh breath goes a long way, bad breath goes even further! Set yourself apart from faces in the crowd when networking by making the connection stronger and the connection more intimate. When you first shake hands, maintain eye contact and distance. Your breath will be the last of your worries! After all, gum chewers are more likable.
  • An open mind: Don’t worry, your brain will not fall out. A potential connection doesn’t have to be wearing a business suit and tie or have their hair pulled back in a sleek bun to make a positive impression on you. Making casual connections is more than the judging the success of an individual by their outside appearance. The credentials of the new connection will become apparent throughout your conversation.
  • Open ears: Listen in order to be heard. Although talking is an important part of reciprocating conversations, listening is even more important. You have a short amount of time, think 15 seconds, in the beginning of the conversation to establish an enjoyable environment for the person you want to network with. Everyone is interested in their own lives, and wants to share their wisdom and pride. Steer the conversation by asking them about who they are and what they do. Follow up with something that expressed your interest to know more. Exchange contact information and always keep your promises.
  • A promise: It makes the biggest difference. When you promise you will follow-up with someone, actually DO IT! The follow-up will assure that individual that the conversation you had meant more to you than a quick stop at the post office, or a frozen yogurt treat after working out. The connections you make in the unusual places mean just as much as ones you make in the work place. If you want the connection to yield anything then the follow-up shows that you are reliable and seriously interested. Take the next step.

Take networking into your own hands. Don’t wait for the opportunity to arise at work or at a conference, create it yourself whenever you please. You never know who can get you that job, or who knows that person who works for the company you applied for. It’s both what you know and who you know!

-Brenda

Grad Wellness Marketing/Public Relations Intern

Bite of the Week!

2014. 07. 22 Zucchini Nachos

Via Maria & Josh, Two Peas & Their Pod

Zucchini Nachos

Summer is zucchini season! Make these nachos as a healthy alternative for chips from Two Peas & Their Pod!

Ingredients

  • 4 small zucchini, sliced into “chips,” about 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • Olive oil, for brushing zucchini chips
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, chopped, seed removed
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime

Directions

  1. Put the sliced zucchini chips into a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Place zucchini on a grill pan or directly on a hot grill, over medium heat. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
  3. Sprinkle cheese directly over zucchini chips and cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove zucchini from grill and place on a platter or onto plates.
  5. Top with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, green onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve immediately.

Be sure to check out more recipes from Maria & Josh on Two Peas & Their Pod!

Bite of the Week!

Via Dashingdish.com

Via Dashingdish.com

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Looking for a light but delicious meal? Check out Katie’s recipe from Dashingdish.com!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or beef
  • salsa
  • green chiles
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of drained corn
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head lettuce
  • Optional: low fat plain greek yogurt or low fat sour cream

Directions

  1. Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and add meat, salsa, green chiles, and taco seasoning.
  2. Stir to combine on medium high heat.
  3. Cook for 8-12 minutes, breaking up turkey until it is completely browned and cooked through.
  4. Take off heat. Add beans and corn, then stir.
  5. Cut off base/stem of lettuce head and cut in half long ways.
  6. Peel off individual leaves then wash and pat dry.
  7. Scoop 1/2 cup of meat into lettuce wraps and top with optional toppings.

For more great recipes, check out Dashingdish.com!

Bite of the Week!

2014. 07. 01 Bite of the Week Beef Kebabs

Via Marlene Baird

Beef Kebabs

Noshmyway.com has a great recipe for the summer. Throw some kebabs on the grill to get your dose of veggies and proteins!

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • black pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. steak, cut into 8 cubes
  • 1/2 red & yellow pepper
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 4 or 8 bamboo or wooden skewers

Directions

  1. Mix the marinade together in a bowl and add the meat. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling to prevent burning up.
  3. Cut vegetables into chunks.
  4. Thread meat and veggies onto skewers.
  5. Brush kebabs with remaining marinade.
  6. Grill for 8-10 minutes on high, turning occasionally.
  7. Let rest before serving.

Be sure to check out more simple summer recipes from Noshmyway.com!

Walk and Talk, Let’s Walk the Talk

2014. 07. 02 Blog Walking Meetings

Take a moment and think of a recent meeting you attended Did you think thought about a time where people gathered in a room full of chairs and tables? Or when people discussed research methods, upcoming events, recent news, or class schedules? Sound right?

So in this recent meeting that we made you think about, was it a gorgeous summer day? Were you gazing out the window instead of paying attention? There is a way to change this!

But, you say, “meetings are really important,” we get a lot of work gets done because of these staff/research team/ group project meetings!”  We totally agree.  Meetings are a perfect time to collaborate, share, and get support on your work.  There is nothing wrong with having meetings in whatever location (classroom, personal office, coffee shop) is available to you. These settings create formality and sets the stage for accomplishing important work. But word on the block is, sitting is the new smoking.

Avoid sitting disease, it kills!

What if we took our meetings outside? What if we were getting work done AND breathing fresh air AND getting exercise? BRILLIANT!

“Fresh air drives fresh thinking!”

The Walking Meeting concept is explained in the TED Talk above. Nilofer Merchant explains how to have a walking meeting and why they are a great way to re-innovate the traditional meeting. Merchant gives us an inventive way to increase physical, occupational and social wellness while in a work environment.  Feet First, a company working to help communities become walking accessible, suggests that “thinking, talking, and walking are inextricably linked through history.”

A walking meeting will help you increase your energy during the work day, help you be more engaged in your work, and will foster creative ideas. Nature helps keep the blues at bay and makes you appreciate the beautiful world around us.

Walking meetings are easy at MSU because of our large campus and beautiful river walk along the Red Cedar River. Walking loops have already been mapped out   MSU has many beautiful nature area that are ideal for walking and relaxing. Check out the Beal Botanical Gardens, the Horticulture Gardens or the Sanford Natural Area.

Once we reinvent our meetings, we can also try and change the location of our coffee dates! There is no social norm or coffee house rule that says you have to sip your coffee and munch on your muffin within the confines of the coffee shop. Venture out, be caffeinated! In moderation of course.

We challenge you to schedule a walking meeting this week! All you need is your walking shoes, a colleague, and something to talk about! Let us know how it goes by tweeting @gradwellness #walkingmeeting #gradwellness!