Tag Archives: food

Summer Fun Never Felt So Cool

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Summer is about having fun and relaxing. Sometimes that can be hard in serious heat. If you’ve been watching the news lately, you know that half the U.S. is under a nasty heat wave. Arizona has been experiencing temperatures up to 109 degrees, and it’s estimated that 30 people have died from heat-related causes. This is a great reminder that it’s important to keep cool in the summer. Not all college students have air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to still keep cool, and have fun doing it.

Ice Ice Baby

Admit it. You still drink Kool-Aid, right? Luckily, this is one thing it’s okay to never outgrow because in the summertime, Kool-Aid ice cubes can be your best friend. Pick your favorite flavor, mix it up in a pitcher, then pour some in one or two ice cube trays to suck on later. You can even add the ice cubes to a glass of water for a kick of flavor. Or you can try this recipe from Food Network for delicious margarita pops.

Frozen Ice Popsicle

Photo © Growing a Green Family

Catch Up on Some Flicks

If it’s 90+ degrees outside, try catching a double feature at your local movie theater. Close your blinds, lock up the house, and go see two or three movies back to back. Their air conditioning will definitely cool you down while you enjoy summer flicks!

Movie Theater

Photo © Faisal_M

Get Soaked

Invite a bunch of friends over to have a water balloon fight outside or at a nearby park. Make teams and dress the part with team colors! Bonus points if someone brings water guns. This would be perfect to do when you get back on campus with some college friends in a wide open area, just don’t hit someone that is not in on the fun.

Water Gun Fight

Photo © nicubunu.photo

Go Ice-Skating

Some indoor rinks are open year round, so grab a friend or a date and hit the ice! If you’re with friends, play a game of Red Light, Green Light, or Freeze Tag (just try not to hit anyone else not playing).

Group Ice Skating

Photo © ChineseLaowai

Make sure you enjoy the summer sun and have some fun before heading back to school, just keep hydrated and wear loose, light-colored clothing. Just because it’s hot out, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun!

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The Thick and Thin of Summer Fitness

Filed under: Health & Fitness - Social Community Manager
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By guest blogger Michael Chan

Michael is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in English and pursuing a minor in Architectural Studies. He is an aspiring young writer who hopes to someday impact the world through his written work. He plans on traveling to Italy someday to pursue his interests in Renaissance architecture.


Summer is finally here, but are you still carrying around that Freshman 15? With a less than healthy diet and little exercise, it’s common for us college students to expand horizontally during the school year. Whether you’re looking to get in shape for the beach, or trying to shed a few pounds, here are a few tips and resources that will get you to that point while spending little to no money.

Exercise – Just Do It

Keep a Journal

Start a journal to record your goals and track your progress along the way. While this may seem unnecessary at first, it’s actually a great way to stay focused on what you want to get out of your exercise and diet; it also confirms any improvements that you’ve made over time and can even serve as a source of motivation. If that sounds like too much work for you already, Pyramid Tracker is a great online resource that allows you to easily assess and monitor your physical and dietary activity for free.

Alternative Exercises  

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about getting in shape is that you have to work out at the gym, and in order to do, drop a good chunk of money for a membership. Bodyweight exercising is a budget-friendly alternative to paying for a gym membership. These exercises can be done at home and require no equipment. Find a full list of bodyweight exercises that you can do at home, or if you’re looking for a routine to follow, you can find free full body workout plans for beginners along with detailed videos on the proper form of each exercise. If you’re on the go, free mobile apps offer training workouts, where you can also add your own music playlist.

What you eat

Your diet is just as essential to getting back in shape as your workouts. Don’t go completely depriving yourself though; it’s ok to indulge a little every now and then. But keep this word in mind: moderation. If you’re looking to shed some extra pounds while keeping your stomach full, white-meat poultry, lean beef, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are some good sources of protein (these are also great for building a little extra muscle!). Last but not least, make sure you drink at least 8 cups of cold water everyday; studies have shown that drinking 64 oz. of cold water can burn up to 70 calories, and staying hydrated boosts your immune system.

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Legendary Concession Stand Food

Filed under: Funny Internet Stuff - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Kelsey Bradshaw
Kelsey is a sophomore at the University of Oregon majoring in Journalism and Facebook (wait, that’s not a real major?!). Originally a track star from Medford, Oregon, she now enjoys going for runs with her friends and working out at Eugene Crossfit. She also enjoys visiting National Parks, playing in the snow, and hanging out at the beach…double points if they’re all at the same time.

Baseball, Hockey, Basketball…what do these things have in common?

Apart from millions of fans, nation anthems, and a circle(ish) shaped ball or puck, these sports all have some of the best—and weirdest—concession stand food you’ll ever have.

Take, for instance, the Meat Lover’s Hot Dog served at the Great American Ballpark, home to the Cincinnati Reds: a deep-fried quarter pound hot dog, which is then coated with chili and topped off with pepper jack cheese and fried salami.

If you’re up for a challenge, the next thing on your ‘To Eat’ list is the Big Boomer, offered at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Measuring 24 inches long, it weighs in at a full pound and is topped with spicy ketchup, jalapeño mustard, Baja relish, beef chili, melted cheese, and raw onions.  If hot dogs aren’t your thing, try the three-pound pretzel they also offer—so big it’s served in a pizza box.

The fun doesn’t stop there, though. The Miami Marlins stadium offers a helmet full of nachos with all of the toppings—salsa, jalapeños, chili, cheese, and green sauce. Wearing it after eating is not recommended.

While it's a staple of Canadian cuisine, poutine is not for the faint of stomach! Photo by Ken Yu.

If these all sound a little tame, stop by the Louisiana Superdome and try alligator sausage or jambalaya.  Or, if your stomach is up for it, try the Rocky Mountain Oysters that Coors Field in Denver offers. These deceivingly named “oysters” are not of the seafood variety, but rather deep-fried bull testicles, served with fries and dipping sauce.

Canadian Hockey fans have it really good, however; many of their stadiums sell poutine, or fries covered with cheese curds and gravy. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ concessions include not only poutine, but hot dogs coated with the heart-stopping concoction, as well as bacon-wrapped hot dogs. But BMO Field belonging to the Toronto FC Major League Soccer team takes the cake with the Triple Pork Poutine: the typical fries, cheese curds, and gravy, then followed with pulled pork, bacon, and sausage.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten at concession stands? Would you ever try any of these?

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Why Going Home for Break is Awesome

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Kelsey Bradshaw
Kelsey is a sophomore at the University of Oregon majoring in Journalism and Facebook (wait, that’s not a real major?!). Originally a track star from Medford, Oregon, she now enjoys going for runs with her friends and working out at Eugene Crossfit. She also enjoys visiting National Parks, playing in the snow, and hanging out at the beach…double points if they’re all at the same time.

As soon as I come home for the holidays, I can predict that certain things are going to happen. First (for some inexplicable reason), I lose any previous ability to do dishes. I also get selective blindness that enables me to no longer see any form of textbook and/or schoolwork. I like to call this phenomenon “Homeitis,” and it’s my favorite kind of sickness.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party with old friends by Randy Lane

Coming home for the holidays is a wonderful, wonderful occasion. When else during the year are you going to have someone voluntarily cook for you, not to mention, laundry services? My parents’ laundry skills surpass mine by leaps and bounds (“it’s so…soft! And the same color as when I put it in!”).

It’s also one of the only times you don’t have to pay for groceries. Say you decide to try a detox diet when you come home, after you have the preliminary “I’m home let’s stuff my face with everything I can get my hands on” feast, celebrated in most homes nationwide. You don’t have to pay for the wild-caught Alaskan salmon and organic vegetables, as long as you can convince one of your parents (whichever is more susceptible to your patented “poor starving college student look of despair”) to help your cause.

The holidays aren’t just about having your parents do things for you and buy you your heart’s content, though. You get the chance to snuggle up and watch movies with them, and see their faces light up with joy when you get them just the thing they wanted for Christmas (cashmere sweater and golf balls? Check and check).

This is also the best time to see all of your BFFL’s from high school. Attending ugly Christmas sweater parties and catching up over secret Santa presents is one of the best parts about Christmas break.  There’s no better time to tell them about your new boyfriend and gossip about your old high school one (he’s Facebook official with who?!).

Going back to the place you grew up brings back all sorts of wonderful childhood nostalgia. Plus, your parents are there to spoil you and love you to pieces (awww…).  Sleeping in every day and getting to see your high school friends are luxuries you often can only do during break. But let’s be honest, pretty soon we’ll be missing our roommates and wishing our hometown had even one place that delivered until 3am. Enjoy the break from school while it lasts. Eventually we realize we aren’t so sick of being in college, even though our attempts at cooking will never live up to Mom’s.

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How to Avoid the Freshman 15 (And More!)

Filed under: Health & Fitness - BookRenter Team
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Set a goal, challenge yourself, and stay motivated.

by Guest Blogger Kelsey Bradshaw

When I started college last year, I was beyond certain that the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” I’d heard so much about was a myth. “That won’t happen to me,” I reasoned. “I’ve always been skinny.”

Fast forward to the next month. After several weeks of all-you-can-eat dorm food, making poor life choices with my liver every weekend, and definitely not running every day like I did in high school, my jeans had definitely gotten considerably tighter. Occasionally I’d hop on the treadmill, but the weather was getting colder and staying in bed watching The Office always looked more attractive. Besides, weren’t sweatpants invented for Pumpkin Spice Latte-fueled waistline expansion?

by Perfecto Insecto

Once I started wearing sweatpants more often than jeans to class, though, my inner fashionista was horrified. It was time to make all of my jeans fit comfortably again.

The first thing I did was see if there was any possible way I could get in shape while avoiding the gym. There’s only so many times you can do the treadmill-abs-dumbells routine. So my friend and I signed up for the most tortuous thing we could think of: cycling class. Now, getting into shape was turning into a challenge, and if it’s one thing I love, it’s a goal that takes some work to complete.

And some work it did take. I made a new running playlist, I bought a new running jacket so I could run without my limbs freezing off, and I even made my friends go to the gym with me so I’d have company. I stopped thinking about working out as something I had to do, but rather something that was rewarding and – dare I say it? – fun.

by Greg Westfall

Once I had gotten back into shape, I started going with my sister to this gym she was absolutely crazy about. This new phenomenon, Crossfit, uses intense bursts of cardio and strength training to create workouts filled with pushups, rope climbs, box jumps and pullups that last about an hour and will make you sore for the next two weeks. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Finally, I tweaked my diet. I cut back on all of my wintery comfort foods and starting choosing healthy snacks like fruit and granola instead of cupcakes. It was a rough switch, but not only did I look better, I felt better, and that’s what truly matters.

The one thing that kept me going through all of this was the fact that I set a goal to get in shape, and finally feeling healthy again made all of the rainy runs and sweaty cycling classes worth it. Not to mention the satisfaction of fitting into all of my favorite jeans again…and then a new pair as a reward!

So there you have it: my wintery saga of how I managed to stay in shape despite Pumpkin Spice Lattes, eggnog concoctions, and frostbitten Oregon weather. You can do it too! Tell us: how do you stay in shape as the months grow colder?

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