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total wellness

a ucla student wellness commission publication

brazilian blowout are the risks worth the beauty?

summertime troubles seasonal allergies and sinus infections

+ food for thought

the path towards mindful eating

up a notch!

total wellness â–Ş summer 2012

kick your food

summer 12 | vol 12 | issue 4 1

director’s letter Food! It's essential for life and a central part of most cultures and social gatherings. Yet, even though food should nourish us and fuel our bodies, in our world of greater dependence on fast-foods, enthrallment with junk foods, and decreasing consumption of whole foods for the most part, poor eating habits are increasingly becoming responsible for a wide range of illnesses, from obesity to heart disease. As a volunteer at the medical center, I consistently observe patients whose health problems directly stem from diets filled with innutritious foods, such as soda, chips, candy bars, frozen foods, and instant meals. While everyone’s relationship with food is different, with some gorging on pile of junk food with no regret and others refusing to savor even a bite of cake on their birthdays, I’ve found that balance and mindfulness are the key elements for developing a healthy relationship with food. With so many food options available today and the consistent appearance of new diets (low calorie, low fat, low carb, gluten free, etc.), healthful eating is no simple task and seems more confusing than ever. Furthermore, recent research on mindfulness adds an additional level of complexity to eating. For years we’ve been told, “you are what you eat,” but now mindful eating also reveals, “you are how you eat.” Rather than practicing the art of eating mindfully, in today’s fast paced society, we often find ourselves eating on the go or eating while texting, checking emails, studying, or watching television. As a result, we tend to become unconscious eaters distracted by multitasking resulting in overeating or eating in highly stressful situations - attempting to chow down an entire sandwich before running to a class or meeting. With hectic schedules, sitting down to eat mindfully in a calm, relaxing environment sometimes seems to be a luxury rather than a necessary practice.

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In this issue, we share with you findings that how you eat can be as important as what you eat and we hope to inspire you to practice mindful eating habits and to "kick your food up a notch!" to obtain the greatest benefit from your meals both physically and mentally. Explore what mindfulness means in terms of food (pg. 23) and what grains (pg. 18) and exotic foods (pg. 27) you can incorporate into your diet to spice up and boost the health benefits of your meals.

editor’s note When I was in ninth grade,

I read the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser – a non-fiction tale of the horrors of the fast food and meat industries. Learning about factory farming practices, or even the marketing strategies that targeted children, quickly eliminated my appetite for McDonald’s. Since finishing that book over seven years ago, I haven’t eaten a single hamburger. I realize that not everybody takes what they read so seriously. My friend, for example, said that after reading Fast Food Nation she had been thinking about junk food so much, she went to In-nOut even more than usual. Clearly, reading something affects everybody differently. That’s one of our challenges at Total Wellness, but we realize that all we can do is put out the most accurate, up-to-date information possible, so that you can make informed choices in your everyday life. After that first book got me interested in learning about nutrition, I started reading more about the subject and became a big fan of Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In a subsequent book, called Food Rules, he offers guidelines for healthy eating. He doesn’t tell you specific foods to eat or not eat, but rather gives some practical pointers for deciding whether a food is healthy. For example, one rule is “don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.” A broader rule is “if it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” One of my favorite rules from the book is to never eat anything if your grandmother wouldn’t know what it was. In this issue of Total Wellness, we aim to take these general rules for healthy eating and show you how to apply them. In our spread on mindful eating (pg. 23) we expand on Pollan’s rule that says “eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.” In our articles on different types of grain (pg. 18) or various bread choices (pg. 32), we aim to demystify unconventional, yet healthful, food options. One last thing to keep in mind – the title of Pollan’s book can not only be read as “food rules” (guidelines for healthy eating), but also as “food rules!” (an exclamation of how great food can be). Remember that food that is both good tasting and good for your body should be a pleasure, so go out and enjoy!

Happy eating and be mindful!

Leigh Goodrich Editor-in-Chief Shannon Wongvibulsin Director


words from the commissioner Hello UCLA! It is an absolute honor to introduce myself to you as the USAC Student Wellness Commissioner for the next year! For those unfamiliar with the relationship between Total Wellness, SWC and USAC, or their structures, here is a brief explanation. The Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) is UCLA’s student body government, whose elected officials are responsible for representing and serving the UCLA undergraduate population. The Student Wellness Commission (SWC) is one of the 13 offices under USAC, and our focus is on improving the health and overall well-being of each student at UCLA. Total Wellness is an integral part of SWC and its mission, acting as our primary written resource for students to lead a healthy lifestyle. You may also have noticed that SWC is now known as the Student Wellness Commission and no longer the Student Welfare Commission. This change was approved by the student body in the recent USAC elections, in an attempt to increase the transparency of SWC to the student body as a resource for all things involving student health, wellness and healthy living. Now that the explanation of what SWC is and who I am are out of the way, I’d love to share my experience with Total Wellness magazine with you, and encourage you to create one as well. Years ago, as a first year Bruin, I remember reading I <3 My Body, my first ever issue of Total Wellness magazine. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning new things and gaining new perspectives regarding student health and wellness through each new issue of Total Wellness. To this day, even after being a follower of Total Wellness and member of SWC for years, each time I pick up a new issue, I am utterly amazed that this high quality publication is completely produced by fellow students and by the passion each Total Wellness staff member has for healthy living.

Stay happy and stay healthy, Bruins! Warm Wishes,

healthy living

made simple

Pick up a copy! Ashe Center Blood & Platelet John Wooden Bruin Resource Center

ASUCLA stands Kerckhoff Hall SWC Office On the Hill

find us online at

Total Wellness is a division of the Student Wellness Commission that is dedicated to spreading awareness of and sharing knowledge on issues of student health and health care. By providing an understanding of health and lifestyle issues, elucidating health concepts, providing recommendations for physical, mental, and social well-being, and making visible and accessible various health resources, programs, and events occurring at UCLA, Total Wellness seeks to empower students with up-to-date and accurate knowledge on the appropriate management of their health.

Cassarah Chu SWC Commissioner


total wellness ▪ summer 2012

Whether this is the first time you have read Total Wellness, or if you are an avid reader, I hope that you find a similar love for this publication and that you continue to not only use it as a source for healthy living, but share it with others around you. Total Wellness has such a knack for covering the health topics that seem to be on everyone’s mind. From the articles on body image from my first Total Wellness magazine, to discussing the increasingly popular Kombucha in its last issue, to the extremely student-relevant controversy over eating at night in this issue (pg. 30), this magazine always has and always will be a fantastic source of information. I hope that as you enjoy this latest issue, you give kudos to the amazing writers and designers who put it together as well as find the inspiration and knowledge you need to truly "kick your food up a notch!"

tw total wellness


total wellness Director Editor-in-Chief Co-Art Director Co-Art Director Outreach Director Managing Editor Webmaster Assistant Webmaster

Shannon Wongvibulsin Leigh Goodrich Amorette Jeng Karin Yuen Cindy La Julia Bree Horie Fritz Batiller Kevin Sung

Staff Writers Julia Duong, Judy Jeung, Teni Karimian, Nicole Lew, Nataly Martinez, Brian Khoa Nguyen, Jaclyn Portanova, Nabeel Qureshi, Kevin Sung, Leanna Tu, Jennifer J. Wilson Design Chloe Booher, Karen Chu, Amorette Jeng, Coco Liu, Jennifer Shieh, Annie Theriault, Rebecca Wang, Barbara Wong, Shannon Wongvibulsin, Karin Yuen



Art Director

Art Director

Advisory & Review William Aronson, MD

Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD

Assistant Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

Leah FitzGerald, RN, FNP, PhD

Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Nursing

Dena Herman, PhD, MPH, RD

Adjunct Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Public Health

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD

Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

Melissa Magaro, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services

Lilia Meltzer, RN, NP, MSN

Lecturer, California State University, Long Beach

William McCarthy, PhD

Adjunct Professor, UCLA School of Public Health

Rena Orenstein, MPH

Assistant Director, Student Health Education

Allan Pantuck, MD, MS, FACS

Associate Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH

Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS



FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

Managing Editor

Outreach Director

Research Dietitian, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

Alona Zerlin, MS, RD

Total Wellness is a free, student-run, publication published multiple times a year and is supported by advertisers, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, the On Campus Housing Council (OCHC), the Student Wellness Commission (SWC), UCLA Recreation, and the Undergraduate Students Association (USAC).

total wellness ▪ summer 2012

Contact 308 Westwood Blvd., Kerckhoff Hall 308 Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone 310.825.7586, Fax 310.267.4732 Subscription, back issues, and advertising rates available on request Volume 12, Issue 4





Assistant Webmaster

© 2012 by Total Wellness Magazine. All rights reserved. Parts of this magazine may be reproduced only with written permission from the editor. Although every precaution has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the published material, Total Wellness cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed or facts supplied by authors. We do not necessarily endorse products and services advertised. The information in Total Wellness is not intended as medical advice and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult a health care provider for clarification.

summer 2012

contents 2 3 6 7 42 43

Director's Letter, Editor’s Note Words from the Commissioner In the News Q&A Food Pick Credits


Mind Matters 8 Living to 100: Managing Stress for a Longer Life

Body in Focus 11 All About Sleep Get Active 15 Stair Climbing in Los Angeles

Eat Right 18 Reaping the Health Benefits of a Wonderful World of Whole Grains


23 Food for Thought: The Beneficial Path Towards Mindful Eating 27 Exotic Treasures: Rare Foods and What They can Do for Your Health 30 Snack Attack: Uncovering the Truths About Eating at Night 32 Behind the Bakery: Your Guide to Breads 35 Summertime Troubles: How to Deal with Seasonal Allergies & Sinus Infections 39 Get it Straight: What you Should Know About Chemical Straighteners


39 Brazilian Blowout 35 Summertime Troubles 23 Food for Thought


total wellness ▪ summer 2012

cover: original illustration by rebecca wang; right: original illustration by rebecca wang


in the news

what’s happening in health? by leigh goodrich | design by amorette jeng


total ess ▪▪ summer totalwel welllnness summer 2012 2012

RATES OF TEEN DIABETES SOAR Results of a recent study published in Pediatrics show that almost one in four American teenagers is diabetic or prediabetic. The study analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, showing that 23 percent of teens in 2007 to 2008 tested positive for diabetes or prediabetes, while only nine percent tested positive in 1999 to 2000. This increase in rates, despite a leveling off in rates of obesity, could be due to inactivity, among other factors. More studies must be done to further characterize this trend, but these results are clearly startling.


AT-HOME HIV TEST MAY BECOME AVAILABLE An over-the-counter HIV test is currently under consideration for approval by the FDA. The product, called the OraQuick In-Home HIV test, could make HIV testing more accessible and user-friendly, promoting widespread screening. At the same time, a trial of the reliability of the test found a 93% accuracy rate, which is below the FDA standard of 95%. This rate means that the at-home test correctly identified HIV-positive patients 93% of the time; the accuracy rate for identifying HIV-negative patients was 99%.


21.8 percent of pregnant white women reported smoking cigarettes within the past 30 days

5.6 AT UCLA AT UCLA: HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP DAMAGES LEARNING PROCESS A UCLA study published in the Journal of Physiology found that a diet high in fructose hinders the functions of memory and learning in the brain. The study also found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can, interestingly, prevent this negative effect of highfructose corn syrup. Researchers studied two groups of rats – one in which rats drank a fructose solution for six weeks, and another in which they drank the same solution, plus omega-3 fatty acids. The study tested the rats’ ability to navigate a maze as a measure of cognitive function. The group that consumed the omega-3 fatty acids was significantly superior at remembering how to escape the maze than the first group of rats. tw

years of life gained by women who jogged regularly compared with those who didn’t, according to a Danish study

40.6 number of American adults, in millions, who get 6 hours of sleep or less every night

statistics as reported in time healthland

left (in order): givaga/istockphoto; joe biafore/istockphoto; right: noderog; istockphoto

GOOD AND BAD FATS FOUND TO AFFECT COGNITIVE FUNCTION When it comes to the effects of fats, it turns out that the type of fat plays a key role in brain health. A recent study published in the Annals of Neurology found that women who consumed the most bad fats (including trans and saturated fats) had decreased brain function and memory compared to women who consumed the most good fats (like monounsaturated fats). The study looked at data from the Women’s Health Study, in which researchers administered cognitive tests every two years over the course of four years in women over 45. The women reported dietary habits through a food questionnaire when the study began.


Q: A:

What is BPA? by leigh goodrich | design by karin yuen

BPA stands for bisphenol A, a chemical widely produced since the 1960s for the manufacturing of various types of plastic containers. It is particularly used in the lining of canned food and beverages, making those products the primary source of BPA exposure among consumers. The safety of this compound has raised public health concerns, especially when considering its ubiquity. A 2008 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found detectable urinary levels of BPA in 92.6% of the 2,517 people tested aged 6 years and older. The FDA has warned against the use of BPA in manufacturing plastic bottles, especially those used by infants and children.

What are the risks? The FDA has indicated that more research is needed to determine the safety of BPA. However, specific areas of concern include its effects in early developmental periods throughout childhood, related to endocrine and metabolic function. A 2008 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found a significant correlation between elevated urinary BPA levels and the prevalence of type II, non-insulin dependent diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This research focused on population-based studies of US adults aged 18 to 74 years. Another study, published in Environmental Research in 2011, examined the relation between BPA and obesity. Researchers found that, looking at data from the 2003 to 2004 and 2005 to 2006 National Health

and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), those with the highest urinary BPA concentrations were more likely to be obese, as measured by body mass index and waist circumference. Another study looking at NHANES data, published in 2009 in PLoS ONE, found an association between increased BPA exposure and heart disease. In terms of BPA’s hormonal effects, a 2004 study published in Endocrine Journal looked at the role of BPA, a known endocrine disruptor, in women with ovarian dysfunction and obesity. The study found that there is a positive correlation between serum BPA and concentrations of androgens, such as testosterone. BPA levels were significantly elevated in women with polycystic ovary syndrome when compared to normal women. Most recently, a 2012 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that levels of BPA, comparable to those found in blood samples of the US population, altered mammary gland development in rhesus monkeys. Specifically, breast tissue density was affected, which is a risk factor for breast cancer in humans.

How can you minimize exposure? Many water bottles and containers are labeled BPA-free, so keep an eye out for such stickers or tags. Bottles marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 can contain BPA. Plastics with recycling labels 1, 2, and 4 do not contain BPA. Even if a plastic container does contain BPA, if it is taken care of properly, the risk of exposure to the chemical can be decreased. Avoid scratching or damaging bottles, as this can release trace amounts. BPA can also be transferred when hot or boiling liquids contact the packaging. Make sure to avoid heating plastic bottles in the microwave. Wash bottles by hand, unless they are clearly marked “dishwasher-safe.” Also, the Environmental Working Group found that BPA leaches from the lining of cans into canned foods. The EWG recommends rinsing canned fruits and vegetables before heating or consuming to lessen exposure. t w

your question over to and the answer may appear in a future issue.


total wellness ▪ summer 2012

got a question? We love curious readers. Send

Living to 100: Managing Stress for a Longer Life

by jaclyn portanova | design by barbara wong

With the number of people

who live to age 100 or older increasing, there is now research that points to what these centenarians have in common. While good diet, frequent exercise and other lifestyle factors are important, one factor seems to dominate them all: successful stress management. Ping Ho, Founding Director of UCLArts and Healing* states, “Stress not only has a direct impact but it also harms us indirectly by affecting our other behaviors like diet, exercise, sleep, substance use, interactions with others, for example.” The ability to cope with stress and having a general positive attitude is a strong predictor for longevity.

Good Stress

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Your body was designed to handle good stress. Normal stress that is brief and intense such as studying for a test can be beneficial. Stress can be used to motivate you and can serve as a tool to perform tasks more efficiently and improve memory. Some college students may find that the stress of doing poorly on a test motivates them to study more. This positive stress is termed “eustress,” “eu” means good or advantageous as opposed to distress. It has even been suggested that mild stress revamps the recovery system and slows down the aging process. In terms of survival, stress is essential. The fight-orflight response is thought to have evolved to keep humans alive in dangerous situations. Some researchers reason that people can channel their stress to more successfully execute the tasks that are important to them.


Bad Stress On the other hand, chronic stress increases cortisol levels, which raises blood pressure and breaks down stored energy reserves. This is the body’s response to a real or perceived threat and this process can kill memory-forming neurons. According to a 2007 study published in Biological Psychiatry, people suffering from prolonged stress score poorly on memory tests. This chronic stress can be due to negative relationships or living situations. Ho adds, “unaddressed emotional or physical trauma can also be a source of chronic stress.” In fact, chronic stress is tied to high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and exhaustion. Additionally, stress makes us age because it damages our DNA. One potential mechanism for this damage has to do with telomeres. A telomere is the DNA located at the end of a chromosome. As a telomere shortens, it ages and eventually the cell will die. This is the effect that is seen prematurely in those who experience too much bad stress. According to a 2007 study published in Biology Letters, telomeres are actually shorter in those who experience more chronic stress than normal subjects. A stressful situation does not even need to actually occur for the effects of stress to appear in the body. In a 2012 study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, researchers found that perceived threat and anticipatory stress have a similar effect. The study concludes, “First, the tendency to perceive higher levels of threat in anticipation of daily life stressors may impact cellular aging. Secondly, higher anticipatory threat is a potential psychological mechanism by which diverse stressor exposures and states of clinical distress (e.g., PTSD, depression, anxiety) could accelerate cellular aging and increase risk for diseases of aging.”

“Adaptive Competence” Many researchers refer to adaptive competence as the ability to bounce back from life’s curveballs. Centenarians tend to possess this trait. They notably have an optimistic view of life. According to a 2002 study published in Journals of Gerontology on people in their 50’s, those who agreed with statements citing negative feelings about aging died 7.5 years younger than those who viewed their aging more positively. For those who do not react well to adverse events, identifying appropriate ways to cope, such as journaling or talking to a friend, can help. These outlets will help release feelings of stress and tension and allow for a fresh start. We can also change the way the brain responds to stress using deep breathing, exercise and meditation. *UCLArts and Healing (, an organizational member of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, facilitates the use of the arts in the community as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation.

soccer, massage, lightbulb, alarm clock, leaf: dutch icon™/istockphoto; group, chess piece: miniature/istockphoto; face: original illustration by karin yuen

mind matters


Ways to Reduce


We can reduce stress by engaging in activities that change our focus, unwind our symptoms, and/or address the cause. Here are some of Ho’s suggestions of simple ways to reduce stress:

›› Move Exercise is the closest thing there is to a panacea; it’s on every disease prevention list. Exercise gets us to breathe. When we are stressed, we tend not to breathe often or deeply enough. The more fit we are, the better able our bodies are to handle stress. Stretch, take a walk, hike, throw a frisbee, skateboard to class, play a pickup game of sports, swim, or go to the gym. Disciplines such as yoga, tai chi, or qi gong have additional meditative benefits that help bring balance to life.

›› Engage in a Creative Activity Paint, sing, dance, play an instrument, join a drum circle. Creative expression can facilitate insight, emotional and physical release, and social connection. UCLArts and Healing offers opportunities to participate in the arts for well-being.

›› Take a Nap A ten to 30-minute power nap will give you a burst of alertness and energy that will stay with you longer than eating sweets for energy.

›› Call or Get Together with a Friend Social connection is important for longevity.

›› Massage

›› Spend Time in Nature

Get a massage, or exchange neck, upper back, and foot massages with your buddies.

Experiment with cooking, explore hidden finds or unique enclaves in the city, improve your photography or capture funny candids, try your hand at chess, or take salsa dancing lessons. Invite someone to join you in your forays.

›› Laugh Read or listen to something funny. Spend time with someone who makes you laugh. Go to a funny movie or play. Participate in entertaining games or improvisational activities. Laughter is a metaphor for the full range of positive emotions. - Norman Cousins


total wellness ▪ summer 2012

›› Do Something You Enjoy or Take Up Something New

Go for a hike, spend time at the beach or lake, or visit a park.

›› Meditate There are numerous meditations available online. Take advantage of the free mindful meditation podcasts and free drop-in meditation opportunities through the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

›› Reach Out to Someone in Need Compassion for others benefits us as well. ...the more we care about the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. - The Dalai Lama

The Counseling Center is a safe, confidential place to discuss concerns or problems interfering with your personal growth and academic achievement. We offer individual counseling,

total wellness ▪ summer 2012

group counseling, and sexual assault services. Visit us on-line or in person, or call to make your first appointment.

›› Listen to Music Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. - Plato t w

Crisis counseling is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (310) 825-0768.

UCLA John Wooden Center West (310) 825-0768


right: iodrakon/istockphoto

Rant on paper to let off steam. Write about a traumatic event in a stream of consciousness style. Write about an event from another person’s point of view to gain some perspective. Write about a problem in your life and re-write it the way you would like it to turn out, to lay the foundation for new behavior. As far as the brain is concerned, imagined behavior is real. Write at least three times and share what you write with someone, to expand the therapeutic value. Or just write for fun. Write a tribute in rhyme for someone’s birthday. Preserve a cherished memory in writing, with all five senses. Find a picture that means something to you and tell the story behind it.

left: stones, pen, music note: dutch icon™/istockphoto; handshake: miniature/istockphoto;

›› Write


All About Sleep by kevin sung | design by coco liu

The average person spends about one-third of his lifetime sleeping. Though this may be surprising

in the college culture of pulling all-nighters and taking power-naps, it is true that much of our time is devoted to simply resting. Despite the clear importance of sleep, there are still many questions that leave people puzzled. Here, we discuss some facts and myths about catching z’s and what you can do to ensure that your next night’s sleep is ideal.

How Much Sleep is Enough? A prevalent question that many people ask about sleep is just how much they really need. Actually, multiple factors affect the amount of sleep an individual needs. This amount largely depends on a person’s basal sleep need, sleep debt, and the interplay between the two quantities. Basal sleep need is defined as the standard amount of sleep the body requires for optimal performance. Other health issues such as acute or chronic sickness, and poor sleep quality will increase the amount of sleep one needs, but one's basal sleep need will remain relatively constant throughout ones life. Sleep debt is a term scientists use to describe the difference between the sleep a person needs and what a person actually gets. The amount of sleep each individual requires varies from person to person but usually sits around seven to eight hours for adults.

A suggested method for measuring the amount of sleep the body needs is by going to sleep 15 minutes earlier each night until one can wake naturally at the desired time. That would give an approximate number of hours one needs a night. Another way is to pay back all of one’s “sleep debts” when given the opportunity to sleep as long as one wants, allowing the person to reestablish natural sleeping rhythm, and tell how much sleep one needs.

Dr. Frisca Yan-Go from the UCLA Department of Neurology stresses that simply having an ample quantity of sleep is not enough for a good night’s rest. The quality of sleep plays a major factor as well. According to Dr. Yan-Go, the human body follows a circadian rhythm that heavily dictates the optimal times of sleep. Too much deviation from that internal clock will adversely affect the quality of sleep. “We need to be in sync with the environment, for example, in relation to the sun as well as darkness (night). Brain hormones such as dopamine, histamine, and acteylcholine are released during waking hours. Blocking these hormones can induce sleep. Adenosine is a peptide that is pro-sleep, and taking caffeine blocks adenosine, keeping us awake temporarily.” To maintain the body’s circadian rhythm, an individual should plan for sleep, and keep sleeping hours consistent every day. For further information regarding sleep, Dr. Yan-Go recommends visiting the


total wellness ▪ summer 2012

Getting too little or even too much sleep can have a detrimental effect on a person’s well-being. A 2011 study published in Sleep has shown that sleep deprivation in both young and elderly individuals compromises the brain’s capacity to perform on mental tasks including delayed reaction times. On the other hand, another 2007 study published in Sleep used a 22-year follow up method that has also displayed a correlation between longer hours of sleep (nine hours or more) and increased morbidity and mortality.

What are Some Effects of Sleep Deprivation or Poor Sleep? › Impaired Cognitive Function: As previously noted, a 2011 study published in Sleep has shown that sleep deprivation in both young and elderly individuals compromises the brain’s capacity to perform on mental tasks, causing delayed reaction times. › Aches and Pains: Physical fatigue and myalgias has been linked to disrupting sleep. This condition leads to aches and pains in the joints and muscles, rendering sleep uncomfortable for affected individuals. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep disturbance and fibromyalgia is a “double-edged” sword. Fibromyalgia causes poor sleep, and poor sleep only exacerbates the pain. While there are no clear causes of the condition, research such as the study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Therapeutics, has demonstrated that a clear link exists between sleep and this muscle condition.

› Weight Gain: Prevalent research in the field also links sleep deprivation with higher possibility of weight gain. The amount of sleep an individual gets can change the hormone levels, including that of leptin and ghrelin, which are factors that regulate appetite. Leptin inhibits appetite while ghrelin stimulates appetite. A 2004 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated that lack of sleep in young men causes a drop in leptin and an increase in ghrelin, leaving an individual less satisfied after eating. An individual may eat more than normal, eventually leading to putting on more pounds. This provides a possible explanation to the link between weight gain and insufficient sleep. › Higher Frequency of Accidents: From the data collected in polls by the National Sleep Foundation, an alarming 37% Americans report having fallen asleep while driving. In today’s fast paced lifestyle, sleep often gets neglected. Drowsy driving, however, is extremely dangerous and poses danger to not only the driver but to other parties on the road as well. If you feel that you are losing focus behind the wheel, make sure you take measures to stop and rest.

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According to the National Sleep Foundation:


Infants (3-11 months) Toddlers (1-3 yrs) School-age children (5-10 yrs) Teen (10-17 yrs) Adults


Recommended Hours of Sleep 14-15 hrs 12-14 hrs 10-11 hrs 8.5-9.25 hrs 7-9 hrs

Following a daily cycle, the body’s rhythm closely mirrors a wave-like motion, with energy beginning to rise just before morning and dipping as the evening progresses.

Stages of Sleep ● ● ●

› › ›

REM sleep Deep sleep Sleep cycles

Sleep in general provides a way for the human body to perform biological maintenance activities and recuperate from the stresses accumulated throughout the day. As we sleep, the body cycles through several stages that fall under either “Non-REM” or REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Non-REM sleep can be further distinguished into three stages of sleep. The first stage of Non-REM sleep, or Stage N1, involves the process of actually falling asleep. During this phase, muscle activity decreases, eye movement slows under the eyelids, and one falls asleep. Stage N2, the second stage of Non-REM sleep, lasts from between ten to 25 minutes into sleep, and is the beginning of true sleep. During this phase, body movement stops, body temperature drops, and the heart rate slows. Upon reaching Stage N3, the body enters deep sleep. During this time, the body directs blood away from the brain and towards the muscles for physical recuperation. Being woken from deep sleep will leave an individual groggy for several minutes before the body readjusts. Finally, the body enters REM sleep and dreaming takes place. During REM sleep, the body is paralyzed, the eyes flicker rapidly, and the body experiences an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

left: illustration by coco liu adapted from dr. frisca yan-go; right: talaj/istockphoto

There are currently no FDA approved medications to treat fibromyalgia, but there are medications that target the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including muscle fatigue. Other non-medication treatments include using massage therapy and exercise.

What are Tips for Better Sleep? 1 Plan sleeping as part of the daily schedule.

Sleeping is a necessity and should be made a priority.

2 Avoid doing work, reading, or watching television in bed to keep the bed an exclusive haven for sleep.

3 If you have negative emotions, do your best to let them go before you sleep. Buildup of tension prior to bedtime prevents proper relaxation for a restful night’s sleep.

4 Try to not eat before going to bed. Finishing any food from two to three hours prior to sleep is recommended.

5 Regular exercises throughout the day (at least several hours prior to bedtime) can help the body get better sleep.

6 If you feel tired, take a 20 to 30 minute

What are Some False Myths of Sleep? › Sleeping in on the weekends can optimally pay back sleep debts.

One or two nights of solid sleep may not change the amount of “sleep debt” that accumulates over a period of time. Suddenly changing one’s sleeping hours can cause the equivalent effect of jet lag. Sleeping an extra hour or two every night over several days is a much better alternative to make up sleep debt.

› As you grow older, your body needs less amounts of sleep.

A majority of adults, including seniors, require approximately the same hours of sleep. Sleep patterns, however, do change. As individuals grow older, they develop lighter sleep and thus are more prone to be disrupted during sleep. Thus, older individuals may sleep less during the night, but make up for this by taking naps.

› Sleepiness during the day only means that the person is not getting enough sleep. While it is true that daytime sleepiness can indicate sleep deprivation, it can also point to another medical condition or a possible sleep disorder as well.

power nap. Taking power naps after dinner, however, may make you unable to fall asleep later at night.

7 Since the body cycles through deep sleep,

REM, and lighter stages of sleep in periods of approximately 90 minutes, time an alarm to wake you after a multiple of about 90 minutes. This way, one can wake during lighter stages of sleep and avoid the groggy feelings after being woken from deep sleep. Every person’s sleep cycle varies, however.

8 Keeping a sleep diary, where one writes

down how he feels after a night’s sleep, can help the individual become more aware of what sleep patterns work best.

Overview of Products to Enhance Sleep These are some of the products that are on the market related to sleep at the moment. While there is little research providing proof of their effectiveness, these products are still options based on personal preferences. The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock This type of program application claims to chart an individual’s sleep cycle depending on the amount of movement the individual has during sleep. It attempts to wake the user during lighter stages of sleep, aiming to make waking a more relaxed experience.

For more information regarding sleep, visit:


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Gradual Waking Alarm Clocks Another type of program application provide a function that gradually wakes one up starting as early as 15 minutes prior to the set time. There are also new types of alarm clocks with features such as gradually lighting alarms or sounds that progressively turns louder, saving sleepers from the traditional jarring alarm buzzers. t w

Wellness Skills Groups Biofeedback Training



Campus Assault Resources & Education w w w . c o u n s e l i n g . u c l a . e d u / c a r e • w w w. u c e m p o w e r u . u c l a . e d u

CARE is a safe place for survivors of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking to get support, consultation, and have a safe place to talk. We offer several response and prevention services. CARE is located in The Counseling Center at Wooden Center West. To access a CARE Counselor: Call (310) 825-0768, utilize our Walk-In Services, or contact our Care Manager, Deborah Green, L.C.S.W. at

CARE Workshops Our Wellness Workshops provide preventative education on ways to reduce risk of sexual assault and unhealthy dating relationships. Throughout the academic year, the following workshops are offered on campus: • • • •

Know Your Power: Self Defense Workshop Keys to a Healthy Relationship Sex Talk: Communicating Healthy Boundaries around Sex When Love Hurts: Determine the Difference between Healthy and Unhealthy Dating Relationships

Bruins CARE: Prevention & Education Programs Our CARE program offers training on sexual assault to increase awareness and promote community involvement in the prevention of sexual assault. The Bruins CARE Training Certificate Program is offered to student leaders interested in taking a stand against gender-based violence in the UCLA community and making a commitment to intervening as a bystander when the potential for violence occurs.

CARE Services Immediate CARE Response – The Counseling Center offers several options for support for victims of sexual assault, including walk-in services, 24-hour crisis counseling, referrals to the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, medical and legal options, and consultations for further treatment options.

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Advocacy – Counselors act as advocates on campus, assisting students through making decisions about reporting, next steps, and accessing health services and academic support. Treatment – Counselors help students work through feelings and explore the impact and meaning of their experience. Medication treatment and referrals to long-term treatment are also available. For Staff, Faculty, and Parents – If a student discloses an assault to you, counselors are available for phone or in-person consultations.

Biofeedback combines modern technology and ancient wisdom to increase awareness of subtle physiological indicators of stress. Learn how to recognize early signs of distress and utilize feedback from electronic devices to restore inner calm.

Break the Cycle of Anxiety Are you feeling overwhelmed by academic pressures and other stressful circumstances? This group is for students who want to learn about anxiety and how to manage it. Join this group to learn and practice a variety of anxiety management tools.

Mindful Pathways to Wellness Ancient spiritual traditions have recognized mindfulness as a powerful pathway towards enhanced well-being. Mindfulness-based psychological techniques are effective for coping with difficulties in life and in improving the overall quality of life. Learn the basic principles of mindfulness and how to practice being in the present moment.

Overcoming Procrastination If your procrastination has become problematic or embarrassing, this group can offer some help. Explore reasons behind excessive procrastination and discuss the costs involved through this hands-on, structured and supportive group. Learn and practice specific tools to create realistic goals, manage time better and increase productivity.

Say Goodnight to Insomnia Sleep – it’s essential to your health! CBT is a proven non-drug treatment for insomnia. This group will help teach you strategies to improve the quality and efficiency of your sleep. Learn new ways of thinking that not only improve sleep but reduce stress.

Call or visit The Counseling Center for dates and to enroll.

Confidential Individual Counseling • Group Counseling • Urgent Walk-In • Psychiatric Care • Sexual Assault Services • 24 Hour Access


get active

Stair Climbing in Los Angeles by leanna tu | design by jennifer shieh and amorette jeng | illustration by rebecca wang

People may dread climbing up Janss Steps on the way to class or the Hedrick Steps on the way back up to their dorm rooms, but stair climbing can actually be an effective fitness tool. In addition to its numerous health benefits, outdoor stair climbing can also be psychologically relaxing. Read on for a quick guide to staircases around the UCLA neighborhood that can help you climb your way to better health!

Physical Benefits to Stair Climbing:

Athletes use stair climbing as cross-training to increase muscular strength and reduce risk of injuries. Because stair climbing places more stress on the knees, ankles, and hips than walking, it can work to strengthen joints and prevent osteoporosis. Ascending works out all the muscles of your legs, most notably the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, hip flexors, and calves. Although the descent may feel like rest, your quadriceps in particular are working via eccentric contraction. Descending also requires you to maintain your balance and center of gravity, thus utilizing your core abdominal muscles. The thought of logging countless of flights on


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Stair climbing can be both an anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Beginners may not have the cardiovascular and muscular endurance to sustain stair climbing for more than two or three minutes; in this case it is an anaerobic exercise and the lower body muscles are strengthened. Once you build up endurance and can climb for extended periods of time, stair climbing becomes aerobic. In terms of pure energy expenditure, stair climbing can be considered time-efficient, for ten minutes of stair climbing is comparable to twenty minutes of running.

a Stairmaster or up and down flights in your office or dorm building may not be appealing. Luckily, there are staircases scattered all around Los Angeles that can bring your walk outside. Charles Fleming, an author and adjunct journalism professor at the University of Southern California, has compiled a walking guide of over 200 stairways across the city in his book Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles. The handbook highlights 40 walks and contains detailed maps of geographical, historical, and architectural features of each staircase and the neighborhoods they are located in. These walks, which are rated in intensity and duration, offer a stairclimber a perspective of Los Angelesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; little known side, and provide a unique way to explore the city beyond the reach of a car. Here is a collection of staircases in and around UCLA that you can explore to spice up your workout routine. t w

Drake Stadium Bleachers Conveniently located on campus, the bleachers offer a great workout, either on their own or incorporated interval-style into a running routine on the track. The stadium is open to the public when track practice is not in session.

Palisades Charter High School Bleachers Pacific Palisades, an upscale neighbhorhood just north of Santa Monica, can serve as a nice change of scenery from the busier Santa Monica area. If you’re in the area and want a lower-body workout, try the bleachers at Pali High School. Integrate them into a run around the surrounding streets to change up the scenery and intensity of your normal exercise routine. Just off

Usual Hours: Monday-Friday: dawn to 1:00 PM, 5:30 PM to 9:45 PM Saturday: dawn to 9:00 AM, noon to 9:45 PM Sunday: dawn to 9:45 PM (check the UCLA Recreation website for special holiday schedules) Location: 340 Charles E. Young Dr. N. Los Angeles, CA 90095

Upper Mesa Stairway While Santa Monica’s 4th Street stairs are well-known and frequented by regular climbers, the staircases around Upper Mesa Road wind through shaded neighborhoods and provide a more peaceful walk. A possible walk is outlined in Flemming’s guide:

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Moving inland along Mesa Road, where it intersects West Channel Road, make a quick left onto Sycamore Road. Passing house number 380, climb the staircase hidden on your right to Mesa. Across the street, just past 404, follow the stairs to Upper Mesa Road, where you’ll emerge from deep shade into wide wooded views. Take a left, moving downhill on Mesa. At 491 (a few doors beyond is Harwell Hamilton Harris’s modernist Entenza House), descend the stairs on your right to East Rustic Road. Turn right and follow Rustic as it curves down the canyon. Go right onto Hillside Lane. Just after 419 you’ll find another solitary staircase. Bear left at the top and follow Vance Street to Chautauqua Boulevard. Head downhill for the beach and back to West Channel, where you began. Location: 491 Mesa Road Santa Monica, CA 90402 Parking: street parking in neighborhood

Santa Monica 4th Street Cement Stairs A popular place among locals, this location has a set of two staircases: a 188-step concrete one and a 170-step wooden one. A popular workout is the “loop,” where climbers ascend the concrete steps and descend the wooden ones. Because the stairs are narrow, this location can get crowded. Go on weekdays to avoid the masses! Lower end: Entrada and N. Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90402 Upper end: 406 Adelaide Dr., Santa Monica, CA 90402 Parking: street parking in neighborhood


Pacific Palisades "Giant Steps" of West Sunset Boulevard and Temescal Canyon Road, the school is about a mile from the beach and the ocean breeze can add a different flavor to your run. Location: 15777 Bowdoin Street, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 Parking: school parking lot

The 3.6 mile Giant Steps Hike winds through a secluded and mountainous canyon near Topanga State Park. There are several sets of stairs ranging from 40 to 300 steps each, with landings and small patches of trail between them. The hike culminates in a final staircase of 512 steps to amount to a grand total of 1,117 steps! The land was once privately owned and none of these staircases were intended for public use, which sets this hike apart from others. It has notable historical significance as well â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the canyon once contained a self-sustaining compound with its own water and power system that was owned by Nazi spies, and the graffiti-ed remains of the buildings are visible on the hike. Location: Trailhead at intersection of Capri Dr. and Casale Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90272 Parking: street parking in neighborhood

Echo Park Stairways The area now contained in the park was once a natural arroyo with a lake and stream that was dammed and powered a woolen mill early in Los Angeles' history. Since then, it has become an urban oasis and is a popular destination for community members and visitors alike. Echo Park boasts more than two dozen stairways dated from the 1890's, remnants of when Los Angeles was not yet the city of automobiles. The largest, Baxter Stairs, has more than 230 steps and is one of the tallest stairways in the city. The Echo Park Historical Society organizes Stairways Tours that combine moderately strenuous exercise with a unique view of the city's history. Location: 1590 Baxter St. Los Angeles, CA 90026-1972

Nicknamed "Nature's Stairclimber," the uneven stone stairs offer a strenuous workout for most hikers. The staircase comprises the main hiking trail, and lead to a 511 foot high lookout point with a rewarding panoramic view of the ocean and the Los Angeles Basin. Baldwin Hills is a California State Park and offers visitors wildlife viewing, native wildflowers, picnicking, and an overall escape from the busyness of downtown. There is also a flat loop trail around this State Park which can act as a supplement to the steep staircase. Location: 6300 Hetzler Rd. Culver City, CA 90232 Parking: $6 in the lot or free across the street


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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

eat right

Reaping the Health Benefits of a Wonderful World of Whole Grains by leanna tu | design by karen chu and barbara wong



total wellness â&#x2013;Ş summer 2012

Industrial milling strips away the bran and germ layers of a grain, producing a refined product that is easier to chew, digest, and store. While refined grains are ideal for making light, fluffy breads and pastries, they come at a nutritional price. The refining process removes most of the grainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fiber, as well as about 25% of its protein and at least 17 essential nutrients. Whole grains carry a myriad of health benefits that continue to be expounded on by scientific bodies. The USDA recommends that you consume at least half of your grains whole. While you may currently be eating some whole grains, such as wheat bread, brown rice, or oatmeal, there exists an extensive collection of whole grains from around the world that is becoming more and more readily available at your local health food store. Read on to gain an understanding of a variety of different whole grains that can supplement your diet!

Amaranth * A crop originating from the American continent, amaranth was a staple crop of the Aztecs, who often used it as a component of religious ceremonies as well as a food source. A serving size of one cup cooked provides 29% of your daily value of iron, 12% of your daily value of calcium, 14% of your daily value of folic acid (a derivative of vitamin B), 36% of your daily value of phosphorus, and 105% of your daily value of manganese! With 251 calories per cup, it contains nine grams of protein, almost 20% of your recommended daily intake. Amaranth contains particularly high amounts of the essential amino acid lysine — 223% more than an equivalent serving of wheat! Lysine is used in the body to produce collagen which is the most plentiful structural protein in the body and is important for bone and skin growth. Lysine also assists with the absorption of calcium and helps rebuild muscle and tissues. Amaranth seeds can be ground into flour and used in conjunction with other types of flour for baking. It can also be cooked as a sticky cereal; simmer with water for a thick oatmeallike gelatinous consistency. Its flavor can be described as mild, sweet, and nutty.

Buckwheat Buckwheat is actually not a cereal grain; it is the fruit seed from an Asian and Eastern European plant that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat has the highest concentration of the antioxidant rutin out of all foods. In addition to acting as an antioxidant, rutin has also been shown to strengthen capillary walls and maintain blood flow. Animal studies have demonstrated that rutin can act to decrease inflammation, and current scientific research is exploring its potential to protect against heart disease. Buckwheat is often ground into a flour and commonly used to make pancakes and soba noodles. Buckwheat flour comes in dark and light varieties; choose the dark variety for higher nutritional density. One cup of dark buckwheat flour is quite nutritionally dense, containing 122% of your daily value of manganese, 75% of your daily value of magnesium, 27% of your daily value of iron, and 48% of your daily value of fiber at 402 calories, about the same amount of calories as whole wheat flour. Buckwheat can also be cooked as a porridge or roasted in the European dish “kasha.” It has a distinct nutty flavor.


› the bran: the tough outer coating which protects the kernel from the sun, wind, water, and pests. The bran contains antioxidants, B vitamins, and the majority of the seed’s fiber. › the germ: the seed embryo that will sprout into a new plant if fertilized. It is the innermost layer of the seed and contains B vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and some protein. › the endosperm: this is the germ’s food supply and contains the energy-providing starch that allows the seed to grow. The endosperm makes up 83% of the seed; it mainly consists of starch, with some protein and minerals.

A growing body of research shows that returning to less processed types of starch and consuming more whole grains provide a multitude of health benefits. The American Society for Nutrition held a Symposium in 2010 where researchers and health care professionals compiled multiple studies to summarize the scientific evidence for the health benefits of whole grains. The Symposium reported that whole grains contain essential micro and macronutrients and phytonutrients that together work to lower the risk of chronic coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. They also play a role managing body weight and gastrointestinal health. The germ and bran layers of whole grains contain forms of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which act to keep you feeling full. In addition, soluble fiber helps lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, and insoluble fiber assists in moving waste along the digestive tract.


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Closely related to durum wheat, Kamut® originated in ancient Egypt and the Fertile Crescent. It is sometimes called “King Tut’s Wheat,” as its grains which are twice the size of modern-day wheat — were said to have been found in Egyptian pharaohs’ tombs. Kamut® was “reintroduced” and trademarked by US farmer Mack Quinn in the 1990’s. One cup of cooked Kamut® has 251 calories and 22% of your daily recommended value of protein, which is 40% more than normal wheat! It contains complex carbohydrates and also has a higher lipid to carbohydrate ratio, making it a high-energy food. Kamut® has a chewy texture and is available in the form of kernels, flour (can be incorporated into breads and pastas), and flakes (good for breakfast cereal).

› › For thousands of years, humans ate their grains straight off the stalk. These grains provide a whole package of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, healthy fats, and phytochemicals. They are, in other words, whole, meaning that they consist of all the nutrients of the plant’s seed. This seed is made out of three parts:

Teff* The name “teff” is Amharic word for “lost.” It is said that if you drop a grain of this native Ethiopian crop during harvest, you would never be able to find it due to its minuscule size. Despite being the smallest grain in the world, teff is packed with nutritional value. Because the individual seeds are so small, a serving of teff contains a large percentage of the fiber-rich bran and germ than other grains. A cup of cooked teff contains 255 calories, 20% of your daily value of protein, 40% of your daily value of calcium, and twice as much iron as whole wheat. In Ethiopia, teff is the primary ingredient of injera, a type of fermented bread similar to Indian naan. It can also be ground into flour and incorporated into baking or simmered as a sweet, nutty breakfast porridge.

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Rye Formerly regarded a weed within wheat fields, rye has been elevated from its humble, peasant origins and is now recognized as a healthy alternative to wheat. Rye is low in gluten and high in protein - one cup of raw rye has 50% of your daily value of protein. One cup of dark rye flour contains 415 calories, and most notably has 116% of your daily value of fiber, specifically water-soluble fiber that binds to water and works to keep you full. A 2003 article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that rye bread produces a milder insulin response than wheat, which can help prevent the onset of Type II Diabetes. Substitute rye bread for wheat bread in sandwiches and soups, cook rolled rye flakes for a nutritious hot breakfast, or boil rye berries as a rice alternative.


One of the first grains domesticated by Fertile Crescent civilizations, barley was central to the rituals and customs of various cultures, from acting as a form of money in Neolithic civilizations to playing a role in religious festivals of Ancient Greece. In modern times, barley is the key ingredient of beer and whiskey. Barley can also be eaten as a grain. It is available in several different forms, and its caloric and nutritional content varies according to the form. Hulled barley, usually soaked then slow-cooked to prepare a chewy dish, is stripped of the outermost layer but retains the fibrous bran, making it the least processed form of barley. In pearled barley, the bran layer is removed, meaning this form is not a whole grain. Although pearled barley is the least hearty form, it cooks quickly and is less chewy than hulled barley. Barley flakes can be made from hulled barley, and can be simmered into a hot cereal similar to oatmeal. Lastly, barley grits are toasted then cracked, and can also be used to make hot cereal.

Millet * More fundamental than rice in the prehistoric diet of ancient Indian, Chinese, and Korean cultures, millet is a sturdy, hearty crop that can be grown in infertile soil. This makes it a staple food in arid regions of western Africa and southeast Asia. One cup of cooked millet is rich in B vitamins, has 24% of your daily value of manganese, 19% of your daily value of magnesium, and contains other trace minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, and copper. You can boil millet and eat it like rice, or make it into a porridge. Its sweet taste makes it suitable for breakfasts or dessert. Its flour is also used to make unleavened bread and other baked goods. t w

*gluten free

istockphoto; vkbhat/istockphoto; kaanates/istockphoto; antimarina/istockphoto; alasdairjames/istockphoto; helovi/istockphoto. antimartina/istockphoto.

Spelt originated as a hybrid between bread wheat and emmer wheat in Central Europe and served as a staple grain throughout the Greco-Roman civilizations and Middle Ages. Because it is a type of wheat, it is moderately high in gluten and not suitable for those with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity. For those that can consume spelt, one cup cooked contains 21% of your daily value of protein and 30% of your daily value of fiber. It has significantly higher amounts of B vitamins, iron, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium than wheat, but it most notably contains a whopping 106% of your daily value of manganese! Manganese is important for the proper functioning of many enzymes, including those involved in the breakdown of fatty acids, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and proteins. Spelt is available in the kernel form (called spelt “berries”) and can be cooked like rice for a chewy, nutty-flavored dish. You can also use spelt flour for baking, or flakes for a breakfast cereal.


left: alasdairjames/istockphoto; alasdairjames/istockphoto;; egal/istockphoto. right: syolacan/istockphoto; alasdairjames/


"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." – la rouchefoucauld


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original illustration by rebecca wang

total wellness ›› on the cover


original illustration by rebecca wang

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Food for Thought: The Beneficial Path Towards Mindful Eating by judy jeung | illustrations and design by rebecca wang

often difficult to sit down and dine in, while still enjoying the pleasures of food. As a result, many resort to fast food and eating habits that not only are detrimental to the body, but also lead to a detached relationship with food. Interestingly, the Japanese live by the rule: “Food should nourish life. This is the best medicine.” Their success with longevity is not magic; instead, it stems from utilizing the core principles of mindful eating.


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In the midst of studying, work, and a lack of free time, it is

Q: What is Mindful Eating? In Dr. Jay Chozen Bays’ Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, he defines mindful eating as the way to “reawaken our pleasure in simply eating, and drinking. If we eat while watching television, distracted, and not really tasting the food, the food goes down our system unnoticed. We remain somewhat hungry and unsatisfied.” Mindful eating is a lifestyle that requires the delicate skill of being aware of the food and liquids that get consumed. Not only is there an increase in attention to how much and what is being eaten, but also to the extent of the smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and the experiences that are brought from the eating process. Mindful eating allows the body and spirit to hold a mutual relationship with food, where food is not only an object of taste that satisfies hunger, but also an aesthetic that triggers an appreciation for life and one’s self.

Improve Digestion

Improve Satisfaction

The mindful eating practice of chewing well not only exercises the mouth and provides satisfaction, but it also makes for more efficient digestion. The digestive process of the mouth involves saliva and amylase, an enzyme which catalyzes the breakdown of sugars, which will only occur if foods are chewed thoroughly. In contrast, mindless overeating, which is prevalent today, strains the effort of the natural digestive process and cause a higher input and lesser output of waste and energy.

Intuitive eating habits provide the foundation for the ideal weight and self-fulfillment by restoring the individual ability to detect, and respond to, natural cues of hunger and satiety. Through the process of sitting down and enjoying a meal slowly, overeating is reduced while self-control of food choices is increased. According to the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH/NCCAM), mindfulness increases psychological and physiological self-regulation as well as heightens awareness of selfcontrol and healthy functioning. The human body has sensory receptors and neurons that travel to the brain after a sufficient amount of relay reactions. In comparison, the slow eaters have their rate of consumption equalize the body’s rate of reactions and chemical signaling in the brain, while the fasteaters do not register that they are full. When individuals rush through their meals, consumption accumulates as it takes longer for the brain to receive the cue of satiety; as a result, this may cause individuals to unconsciously eat more, to feel bloated, and to feel dissatisfied.

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According to UCLA Mindful Awarness Research Center’s 2010 research summary on mindful practices, “the more advanced meditators [mindful eaters] showed more activation in those areas of the brain that detect emotional cues, demonstrating a heightened empathic awareness.” Similarly, UCLA’s Dr. Christian Roberts reiterates that the time it takes the neurons to signal the satiety reflex to signal the brain is 10-20 minutes after you just finished your meal. Ultimately, if the brain has the time to tell if one is full, it helps produce the perfect portion, improve satisfaction, and improve the rate of proper digestion through adequate pH levels.


original illustration by rebecca wang

Q: What are the benefits?

Improve the Spirit and Mental Energy: Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Mindful eating brings the connection of food and the mind together. Surprisingly, mindful eating fuels more energy, reduces lethargy and stress, and alleviates many chronic pains. Sitting down to enjoy food provides enough time for the absorption of necessary nutrients, which has a cleansing effect on the mind and spirit. According to the 2010 study from The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, mindful practices enhanced emotional regulation and decreased anxiety symptoms for disordered eaters. The study focused on improving recognition of hunger and satiety cues and relearning relationships with food. Mindful eating practices reduced the avoidance of foods and the desire for certain body weights as measured by the Diet subscale in the study; this suggests that mindfulness skills can potentially enhance self-acceptance of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body and appearance. Therefore, many individuals can feel mentally and physically rejuvenated from the mindfulness strategies.

Improve Social Relationships


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Strong social networks and close mindful eating practices play a role in the strong social networks and close family ties that help the traditionally cohesive society of Japan resist disease and premature death. A 2004 study from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies demonstrated a correlation between mindfulness practice in couples and an enhanced relationship. The couples reported improved closeness, acceptance of one another, autonomy, and general relationship satisfaction. As they eat, the social intimacy of the meal becomes more appealing as the joy of food becomes an aspect to share among groups.

Mindless Eating vs. Mindful Eating Q: How to Master Eating Mindfully? Eat Without TV, Computer, or Newspaper: Make your Meal Last

Chew into Bits

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Instead of treating a meal on the table as a contest, let every bite of your meal be chewed fully, letting the flavors assimilate in your mouth and the saliva break down every solid. In 2002, the Journal of International Medical Research published a study that looked at the effects of mastication (chewing behavior) and the rate of eating. They found that adult males who were fast eaters had significantly higher body mass indices than those who were slow eaters, suggesting a link between eating practices and body weight. Put utensils down in between bites to slow down your eating. Unplug the sound to hinder any distractions of the television to cause mindless eating.


Eat in a Calm Environment Eating in a social environment allows one to build a relationship with the food and others, while creating the foundation for future mindful eating practices. Instead of forcing the food down as quickly as possible, you can sit down, eat slowly, and immerse yourself in the sensations that the food provides. While still having the pleasures of being fully engaged with company, you are more adept at being full and satisfied. While you’re at the table, even if you don’t have the patience to savor every bite of food and study the dimensions, the weight, and the texture and taste of it, the aspect of eating at the table allows you to surround yourself in the social atmosphere and shed away any stress or baggage behind for an enhanced, communicative meal. t w

left: original illustration by rebecca wang; right (in order): marek uliasz/istockphoto; suzannah skelton/istockphoto

Mindful eating helps to create a spiritual, meditative approach to eating, as it allows every bite of food to be chewed with appreciative awareness. By eating with many distractions around you, a meal could easily take five minutes to finish, which may prevent individuals from enjoying the food itself; therefore, food becomes an object of consumption, instead of a trigger of the senses that fully captivates one being. In a 2011 study published in Mindfulness on the positive impact of mindful eating on expectations of food liking,“results indicated that mindful raisin-eating produced higher ratings of expected liking of foods in general compared to nonmindful raisin-eating and that the effect was strongest for initially disliked foods, moderate for initially neutral foods, and smallest for initially liked foods.” From removing any distractions, the individuals were able to use all their senses to eat the raisin and became aware of it; the individuals developed a fondness for it that they did not have at the beginning. Due to mindful eating, individuals are more prone to try to new things, and become nonjudgmental in what they eat.


Exotic Treasures:

Rare Foods and What They Can Do for Your Health by nataly martinez | design by jennifer shieh

Although American food culture is superficially known for its love of greasy hamburgers and unadventurous flavors, there are actually a host of exotic foods available for the curious eater. Whether it is chia seeds, goji berries or maca powder, these seemingly foreign foods can be incorporated into a varied diet to add diversity, as well as nutrition. Read on to learn more about a handful of these exotic foods and what they can do for your health.

Chia Seeds

Annato Seeds

A staple crop of the Aztecs before Spanish colonization, chia seeds — tiny seeds that look like miniature eggs — were as widely used as maize. These seeds can be ground into powder, or the whole seeds can be used to make a more textured drink, as they develop into a gel that is easy to swallow. Soaking them in water allows the soluble fiber to create a gel, similar to psyllium husks. While the seeds do not have flavor, they are often added to juice-based drinks to enhance the nutritional content. Chia seeds can help promote weight loss, as they absorb ten times their weight in water, thus satisfying hunger. They also contain almost 42 percent of one’s daily recommended value for fiber in one ounce. Moreover, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. In El Salvador, the most common way the seeds are consumed is by adding a cup of them to a pitcher full of sweet juice. Because of the water retention qualities, it makes a perfect drink for a hot day.

Used as a strongly pigmented natural coloring agent, annatto seeds are responsible for making certain foods even more irresistible by adding vibrant coloring. They are primarily used in Mexican and Caribbean cooking to impart a rich yellow to reddish color on tamales, chicken, and other delicious delicacies. In these cultures, annatto seeds are most commonly known as “achiote.” Other traditional uses have included coloring for body paint and lipstick for the natives. Besides its practical uses, the coloring in annatto seeds also imparts health benefits. Like carrots and other orange fruits and vegetables, annatto is high in different types of carotenoids, which are a form of the antioxidant vitamin A. Additionally, according to a 2004 study published in Food Science and Technology, annatto can help pave the way for healthier eating by promoting natural alternatives for food dyes, as synthetic versions have negatively contributed to anemia, kidney and liver tumors. Since annatto is mostly used as a food dye, it is usually tasteless, but in concentrated forms, it has a slightly peppery taste with a hint of nutmeg.

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Annonna Annona, also called the sugar apple or sugar pineapple, is grown in Colombia, El Salvador, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. The inner white or slightly pink flesh with black seeds can be seen when the fruit is cracked open. Taste-wise, it is sweet with a spongy texture. This segmented fruit is believed to have come from the West Indies, and later introduced to Central America and southern Mexico, as well as southeast Asia and the Philippines. Annonas are a great source of calcium, vitamin C, phosphorus, and fiber. Annona, like cayenne pepper, aids digestion. In India, the crushed leaves are sniffed to overcome fainting spells. The fruit is also used in El Salvador to treat diarrhea. Moreover, a 2004 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology explored the potential anti-diabetic properties of annona. Diabetic rats given leaf extracts of the annona plant were more effective at lowering blood glucose levels than rats given standard drugs. This link between annona and glucose stabilization merits further research. To incorporate annona into your diet, the fruit can be eaten raw; when it is at its ripest, the shell around the flesh will begin to crack open. Annona can also be added to juices or even ice cream.

Touted as a “superfood” by the mass media, the açai berry has gained popularity and been used in a plethora of different products. The berries are a purple-reddish, round fruit found on the açai palm tree. Açai originates from the rainforest of the Amazon where the natives traditionally used it as a source of energy and to treat ailments. According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, açai berries were found to have exceptional antioxidant activity against free radicals. This could be due to their high levels of polyphenols, antioxidants found in berries that have a powerful role in the prevention of cancer. The berries are also high in anthocyanins, which are also potent antioxidants that help protect cells from free radicals. Additionally, açai berries are also high in oleic acid, which helps cell membranes absorb healthy fatty acids, such as omega-3s. This enables the membranes to work more efficiently, leading to less inflammation and a slowing of the aging process. Becase açai berries are jam-packed with antioxidants and oleic acid, they help slow down skin damage and wrinkle formation. Açai can be blended in shakes, sprinkled on salads, or incorporated into a Brazilian dish called cassavas. Açai is typically available in juice or frozen pulp form, along with the dried berries.

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Goji Berries The goji plant, also known as the “Chinese wolfberry” or “matrimony vine” is credited with promoting longevity. The goji berry, with the Latin name Lycium barbarum, has long been recognized in traditional Chinese medicine for various therapeutic properties based on its antioxidant and immuneboosting effects. In Chinese mythology, the goji berry is believed to be responsible for the long lives of Chinese naturopaths. Goji berries can be eaten just like cranberries or other berries. They have a tangy taste and can be consumed in juice, boiled to make tea, or added to smoothies. You can even sprinkle some on top of dough to make goji berry muffins. In a 2010 study published in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, researchers found that goji berries protect the skin from UVA radition. Mice were fed goji berry juice and exposed to UV radiation. In hairless mice, 5 percent goji berry juice significantly reduced the inflammation of the sunburn reaction compared to the control group.


left (in order): vaeenma/istockphoto; brasil2/istockphoto; antimartina/istockphoto; right: magdalena kucova/istockphoto

Açai Berries

Cayenne Peppers The natives of the Americas used cayenne pepper for hundreds of years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The mixture of chocolate and these fiery peppers was a special treat that was reserved exclusively for Aztec royalty. Cayenne peppers are commonly used to make spicy dishes or thin vinegarbased sauces. Additionally, these peppers are a great source of vitamins A, B, E, and C, riboflavin, potassium, and manganese. Contrary to popular belief, cayenne peppers actually aid digestion and protect the stomach from developing ulcers. Cayenne rebuilds the tissue in the stomach and the peristaltic action in the intestines, which aids the food in its movement through the intestines. Cayenne pepper also helps the body create hydrochloric acid, which is imperative for proper digestion, especially of proteins. Despite these benefits, cayenne spice is quite intense (even spicier than chili peppers) and therefore should be used sparingly.



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Maca is a root vegetable famous for being the staple food of the Peruvian Incas, and has been credited with providing the Incas the energy they needed to make their beautiful Machu Picchu. According to legend, the emperor of the Incas would give maca to the messengers who had to walk enormous distances. Also known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peruvian Ginseng,â&#x20AC;? it is rich in amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Maca has been used to enhance energy, stamina, and memory. Peruvians also use maca as an aphrodisiac to enhance fertility, treat impotence and increase sexual performance, as well as in other sexual disorders. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, eight participants each completed both a 40 km cycling trial and a sexual desire inventory. The use of maca extract was found to improve both the cycling performance and the sexual desire of participants. In terms of flavor, maca has a slightly nutty and milky taste, and is a good addition to milk-based blends such as yogurt or milkshakes. t w

Uncovering the Truths about Eating at Night

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by julia duong | illustration and design by chloe booher


The midnight munchies can be an all too familiar part of a nightly routine, from a refrigerator raid to a smeared chocolate mouth and the crackles of wrappers being guiltily thrown away. It is a common belief that one should avoid eating at night, but is this popular notion based on scientific fact?

original illustration by chloe booher


›› Not to be confused with night eating syndrome (a serious disorder in which a person eats at night and is unable to fall asleep without a full meal), the effect of night eating on the waistline is a popular debate among the nutrition expert community. Here we reveal some of the reasons why eating at night occurs, how it may actually be beneficial, and how to avoid doing more harm than good while burning the midnight oil.

The Facts Despite popular belief, eating during the late evening is not necessarily a problem as long as healthy foods are chosen and daily calorie intake is maintained. There is no certain time after which the body stores fat at a different rate. For example, if a meal is consumed at 6pm, it does not have a greater number of calories than if the same meal is eaten at 9pm. A calorie is a calorie: what really matters is the total amount of food and drink taken in throughout the course of the week or month. In a 2005 study published in Obesity Research, researchers placed female rhesus monkeys on a high-fat diet (similar to a Western diet), then examined if monkeys that ate more at night were more likely to gain weight than monkeys that ate during the day. The researchers found that monkeys that consumed more at night did not gain more weight than monkeys that had the lowest nighttime calorie intake, concluding that in female rhesus monkeys, “nighttime caloric intake is not associated with weight gain.” Weight gain is defined as excess calories stored as fat over time, where there is no correlation as to whether the calories are taken in during the day or at night. Moreover, metabolism never stops: calories are constantly being burned to maintain blood circulation, brain activity, breathing, etc. Rather, weight gain due to eating at night comes from indulgence and overeating.

Everyone is Different Eve Lahijani, a registered dietitian and the nutrition health educator at UCLA, states,“It’s wrong to think that one shouldn’t eat late at night if he/she had already eaten beforehand. Everyone’s lifestyle is different, and if you’re hungry, you should eat. It makes sense to have food later in the evening if you had an early dinner. In fact, by not eating, you may wake up in the middle of the night and eat anyway, not to mention disrupt your sleep cycle, or you may just eat even more the morning afterwards.” She suggests that despite the common belief that one should not eat after a certain time, that is actually a myth, because it is even unhealthier to restrict food when hungry.

A 2009 study done by Stress and Health demonstrated that in college students, high levels of stress lead to night-eating behaviors, a maladaptive strategy to cope with the increased stress. People may eat at night because of boredom or as a habit while on the computer or watching television.

Lahijani also states that most of her clients and students are afraid that by eating late, they will have indigestion and weight gain. However, indigestion can be prevented by mindfully choosing what foods to consume during these later hours of the night: understanding what types of food are easily digested, and being aware of portion sizes.

Before reaching for the next snack, consider the following:

The Physiology Two hormones are vital in controlling appetite and satiety: ghrelin, which stimulates appetite and causes the desire to eat, and leptin, which suppresses appetite and stimulates energy expenditure. In most people, these levels are maintained to regulate the normal feelings of hunger. However, sleep deprivation can play a role in altering these levels. In 2007, Obesity compared adults who slept seven to eight hours a night, adults with nine to ten hours, and adults with five to six hours. The journal reported that “short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index.” In other words, there is a greater amount of appetite, which results in greater amount of food intake. This study suggests that college students who stay up later to study and do not sleep as much have altered hormone levels, which may be another reason why they feel the need to eat. Such an implication demonstrates that weight gain is not simply caused by the act of eating at night.

Conclusion: So is night eating good for you?

Quality of Food: Have supportive, easy, quick snacks that are easy to access and prepare for you and your lifestyle. “Mindless Snacking”: Before reaching for a snack, ask yourself if you are physically hungry of if you’re eating for other reasons. Health Concerns: Having an early dinner, then forcing yourself to not eat for the rest of the night can impact the interaction between blood sugar and insulin, creating a higher risk for type II diabetes. Chewing: Chew well to prevent indigestion. Alcohol Intake: Alcohol in the evening can cause you to wake up frequently in the night, thereby disrupting the sleep cycle and interfering with REM sleep.


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Studies that show how detrimental eating at night can be do not always look at the holistic, overall picture and do not consider factors such as the type of foods consumed and whether or not the subjects participate in physical activity. Many studies include people who live by unusual hours; for example, those who work a night shift, parents who have babies and small children, and especially college students who have variable hours and/or sleep late. As a result, these studies are potentially skewed. As long as healthy foods are chosen mindfully and daily caloric intake is maintained, eating at night can be perfectly healthy. t w

Time: Waiting too long to eat could result in excessive eating. Be mindful to avoid extreme hunger and do not go too long without eating.


behind the bakery: your guide to breads

It’s no surprise that bread is a staple in a number of cultures —

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it is consumed for special religious holidays like the Catholic Eucharist, and also on a daily basis. In Slavic cultures, bread is part of a social gesture, as bread and salt are offered to guests in homes. In the United States, bread can be used for every meal, whether it’s toast in the morning or a sandwich for lunch. In France, bread plays a key part in meals. Clearly, each type of bread has its own taste and texture, but what unifies bread types is their versatility and ubiquity. Read on to learn about some of the many different types of bread and what they each have to offer.


left: fotografiabasica/istockphoto; right(in order): kaan ates/istockphoto; andrew dernie/istockphoto; natikka/istockphoto; donald erickson/istockphoto

by jennifer wilson | design by barbara wong

Whole Wheat Bread Wheat bread is typically made with whole grain wheat flour and is processed with all parts of the grain, which include the bran, the germ, and the endosperm layers. However, note that not all wheat breads are whole wheat unless the label specifies whole wheat as one of the ingredients. Whole wheat bread can made with partial or whole grains. Wheat bread has a coarser texture and a slightly more bitter taste than most other breads and is traditionally coated with cracked or whole grains of wheat. Also, one slice of whole wheat bread contains three grams, or 11 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake. According to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high fiber intake showed improvement in bowel and metabolic health. Subjects who replaced their standard low fiber diets with a high fiber diet in this study saw an increase in insulin sensitivity, a reduction in secondary bile acids which could potentially lead to colon tumors, and a decrease in plasma insulin and glucose concentrations.

White Bread Very popular bread in the United States, white bread is made from wheat flour where the bran and the germ layers have been removed via milling, removing numerous nutrients. Wheat grains contain three layers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; bran, germ, and endosperm; however, white bread usually undergoes fortification, where some of the nutrients lost through milling, such as iron, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and folic acid, are added back to the bread. White bread has bleached flour and does not contain as much fiber as breads that are not made of refined flour. This type of bread has a soft texture and is commonly used for sandwiches. While white bread contains some essential nutrients, whole grain white bread contains a greater quantity of fiber and nutrients.

Rye Bread Rye bread is made with flour made from rye grain. The rye grain originated in Europe and rye is able to grow in poor soil and cold climates. It can be light or dark, depending on the type of flour used and if any additional coloring agents are used. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that rye bread can help to improve glucose tolerance throughout the day by not causing spikes in blood sugar levels as other breads do. Researchers compared five different types of rye breads (Amilo, Evolo, Kaskelott, Picasso, and Vicello) with white wheat bread and found that rye bread had a lower glycemic index value and showed a better regulation of glucose levels in the blood. Rye bread also contains 12 percent of the daily value of niacin. Niacin helps to lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar levels, support genetic processes in the body and help the body to process fat.

Sourdough Bread


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Sourdough bread is made from a type of dough that contains a Lactobacillus culture, bacteria that convert lactose and other sugars to lactic acid, along with yeast, flour and water. The dough is made from a small amount of old dough, usually saved from a prior batch and stored in a warm place where it will ferment. Fermentation of the dough is what gives sourdough bread its sour taste. Sourdough is also used for making other types of bread, such as pumpernickel and rye breads.

Pita Bread Consumed in many Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Mediterranean cuisines, pita bread is a bread shaped like a pocket, commonly filled with various dips and ingredients. The pocket is created through steam puffing of the dough while it is baking. Pita bread, a type of wheat bread that is typically flat, round, or oval, and varies in size, is made from yeast, flour, water, and salt and uses of pita bread vary by culture and cuisine. In many cultures, it is used to scoop dips or sauces such as hummus or as a starter for sandwiches. Pita bread comes in different varieties such as whole wheat and white. Depending on whether its grains are refined or unrefined, it can be more or less nutritious. Pita bread contains 14 percent of the daily value of manganese, responsible for helping the body to absorb essential nutrients, maintain strong bones, and protect cells from free radical damage. Pita bread is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and studies have shown that these eating habits are associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Potato Bread In potato bread, a portion of the flour is replaced by potatoes, either boiled or mashed, and is made in an oven or over a hot griddle or pan. It is light and airy and has a yellowish tint with a softer and moister texture and taste than regular wheat bread. Potato bread is notably high in thiamine (ten percent of the daily value), which is responsible for maintenance of body energy supplies, coordination of muscle and nerve activity and support of proper heart function. Potato bread also has higher energy density and a greater supply of the macronutrients of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Many types of potato breads do not contain gluten, unlike wheat flour breads, making them a good choice for gluten intolerant consumers.

Multi-Grain Bread

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Multi-grain bread is a type of bread made with multiple grains such as oats, cracked wheat, buckwheat, barley, millet, and flax. Although made with many grains, note that multi-grain breads are not always made with whole grains. Multi-grain breads can be made with refined grains or a mixture of refined and whole grains. Multi-grain wheat and multi-grain white are just some examples of the different variety of breads out there. Each variety of multigrain bread has its own texture and nutritional profile. Various types of multi-grain breads are sources of whole grains. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, multi-grain bread is a top contributor of whole grains. Diets rich in whole grains cause an overall improvement in health and a reduction in chronic disease risk. For example, a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that whole grain intake showed a reduction in the risk of hypertension in middle and older aged women. t w


right: esolla/istockphoto

A native of France and popular in the United States, French bread is made with wheat flour, yeast, common salt, and water. This bread has a crusty exterior but a soft, tender interior. The crusty exterior of French bread comes from increasing the humidity during baking by misting it with water. French bread contains 12 percent of the daily value of folate. Folate supports red blood cell production and proper nerve function and helps to prevent dementia. This type of bread is rich in iron and contains a moderate amount of sodium. However, it contains little to no fiber.

in order: olga lyubkina/istockphoto; redhelga/istockphoto; artiom muhaciov/istockphoto; vitalina rybakova/istockphoto;

French Bread (Baguette)


How to Deal with Seasonal Allergies & Sinus Infections by shannon wongvibulsin | design by amorette jeng


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Summertime Troubles

In the summer, it’s definitely time to explore the great outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, for more than 50 million Americans who suffer from nasal allergies and 37 million who experience sinusitis, summer sometimes marks the season for heightened misery with their symptoms. Often times, the allergens present in the springtime persist into the summer and these particles in combination with the increased heat, humidity, and air pollution associated with the summer months can further aggravate allergy and sinus related symptoms, such as sneezing, runny noses, difficulty breathing, headaches, and compromised concentration. Nevertheless, many have difficulty differentiating between seasonal allergies and sinusitis and even more trouble dealing with their symptoms. Explore this guide to help differentiate between these ailments and learn about simple things you can try to help alleviate your summertime troubles and symptoms year-round.

While allergies and sinusitis commonly occur together, sometimes it’s important to differentiate between the two to successfully identify the root causes of your ailments and take the necessary measures to help you reduce or eliminate your symptoms. For allergies, a key preventative measure is avoiding environmental triggers, such as pet danger, mold, or pollen. However, for sinusitis, if symptoms occur three or more times a year, it is wise to consult with a clinician to develop a comprehensive plan to address and treat the sinus inflammation.

Nasal Allergies Seasonal allergies manifest due to the failure of an individual’s immune system in recognizing a substance, thus activating the body’s defense systems to produce excess mucus and inflammation to ward off harmless allergens.

Sinusitis The inflammation of the nasal passages leading to the accumulating of mucus, which is typically able to drain out of the system, can result in the growth of bacteria and other germs within the sinuses resulting in sinusitis.

Common Causes ›› ›› ›› ›› ››

›› improper functioning of the cilia (small hairs in the sinuses that typically clear mucus out of the nasal passageways) ›› colds or allergies that result in the production of an excess amount of mucus that block the sinuses ›› nasal polyps or other nasal conditions that block sinuses

pollen mold animal dander dust fragrances

Identifying Symptoms

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With allergies, congestion typically occurs simultaneously with watery or itchy eyes and lasts several weeks at a time. Allergies are oftentimes marked by thin, clear secretions from the nose.


›› thick, dark yellow mucus❯ ›› facial tenderness ›› headaches (especially experiences of pressure behind the eyes and forehead ›› bad breadth ›› coughing ›› fatigue ›› fever ›› loss of taste or smell

left: ivan vasilev/istockphoto; right (in order): josé manuel ferrão/istockphoto; floortje /istockphoto;

Seasonal Allergies vs. Sinusitis

Self-Help: Natural Ways to Alleviate Your Symptoms While seasonal allergies and sinusitis are both commonly treated with decongestants and antihistamines, these drugs bring only temporary relief and may result in side effects such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and drowsiness. If you’re looking for ways to deal with your symptoms, consider the following for natural ways to help you cope with and eliminate the manifestations associated with seasonal allergies and sinusitis.

Modifications to Your Daily Diet: Your diet may have a more immediate impact on your health than you think. In fact, multiple studies have suggested that following a diet high in nutrients, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, can naturally help you get through the allergy season and your sinus problems. On the other hand, stay clear of food items that thicken the mucus and stimulate the body to produce more histamines, which can trigger sneezing, stuffiness, and irritation to the eyes and nose. Below are general recommendations nutritionists and clinicians typically make to individuals suffering from symptoms of nasal allergies and sinusitis, but keep in mind that consulting a professional in the field is the best way to obtain a personalized plan specific to your needs and aliments. Spice up your meals: ›› Ginger: Incorporating ginger as a spice in your meals can be a safe way to gain from the possible anti-inflammatory properties of ginger. In fact, research from a 2008 study published in International Immunopharmacology suggests that ginger can modulate the immune response to inflammation associated with allergic asthma. Nevertheless, while ginger is typically harmless, its use as a supplement must be taken with caution because many side effects could result, especially through its interactions with other drugs, such as various blood thinners like coumadin and aspirin. ›› Onion: Everyone who’s chopped onions has probably experienced the fact that onions can make you cry. As a result, cooking with fresh onions can naturally help with opening and draining your sinuses. Additionally, onions contain quercetin, a chemical compound that has antihistamine properties and aids in the reduction of inflammation and nasal congestion.

Drink more fluids: Constant sneezing and the need to blow your nose can result in dehydration, leading to headaches and further aggravation of your symptoms. As a result, getting more water into your system is an important way to help combat the symptoms associated with both allergies and sinusitis. Increase your intake of: ›› Omega-3 fatty acids: Because omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats with anti-inflammatory properties, increasing the consumption of these healthy fats can reduce immune dysfunction and help alleviate allergy-related conditions. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include: ›› Fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, halibut, and mackerel ›› Nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin ›› Beans such as kidney, pinto, and mung beans ›› Avocados

›› Vitamin C: Increasing your intake of vitamin C can help alleviate your symptoms because this antioxidant counteracts histamine, the substance that can contribute to inflammation, runny nose, sneezing, and other related symptoms. Some sources of vitamin C include: ›› Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, strawberries ›› Red and green vegetables such as tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, and broccoli

›› Cayenne Pepper: Because capsaicin, the active compound in cayenne peppers, may thin the mucus and stimulate the sinuses aiding in air circulation, consumption of foods containing cayenne peppers can help decrease congestion.


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›› Garlic: Garlic’s naturally occurring chemical compounds (allicin, S-Allyl cysteine, and ajoene) are responsible for its believed properties of improving mucus flow and the reduction of congestion through its mucus thinning and antiinflammatory properties.

Naturally Clear Your Sinuses With…

Manage Your Stress

Steam: Inhaling steam from a humidifier, hot bath, or cup of hot water can help decrease congestion.

Incorporating stress reduction activities, such as socializing with friends, listening to music, and making some quiet time for yourself, can help decrease your stress levels and also aid with the management of your allergies or sinusitis. According to Dr. Malcolm Taw, assistant clinical professor of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, stress is deleterious to the immune system and compromises the individual’s ability to cope with ailments such as allergies and sinusitis. With high levels of stress, sleep quality and quantity typically decrease, resulting in dysregulation of multiple physiological cascades and thus, augmenting the symptoms of both allergies and sinusitis.

Nasal irrigation: Washing the nasal passages with a hypertonic saline solution (which can be made by mixing one teaspoon of salt with two cups of warm water) is a common method to aid in the removal of mucus from the nasal passages. There are two different types of methods that are typically used to administer nasal washes.

› One method involves pouring the solution into the palm of the hands and inhaling it through one nostril at a time.

› The other method employs the use of a Neti Pot, which is a

With both methods, to prevent infections and other complications, be sure to fully understand the processes for nasal irrigations before attempting them and use only sterile saline solutions to wash the sinuses. Acupressure/Self-Massage: According to the UCLA Center for EastWest Medicine, a part of the UCLA Health System, acupressure is “an effective form of stimulation used to help relax the muscles. If done regularly, this method of self-massage can sustain improvement and minimize recurrence of symptoms” from conditions such as allergies and sinusitis. Some specific acupressure points recommended for individuals who suffer from seasonal allergies and sinusitis include:

› Large Intestine 4: The point is between the thumb and index finger (see diagram for location). Caution: Pregnant women should not massage this point because it can induce labor. › Gallbladder 20: The point is located at the back of the skull at the junction between the mastoid (ear) bone and the neck (see diagram for location). Applying deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate each point can help open up the sinuses and reduce your symptoms.

Large Intestine 4

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. Gallbladder 20


Just In The UCLA Department of Head and Neck Surgery and UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) have found that treatment with integrative East-West medicine can improve sinonasal symptoms and overall quality of life for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis, that was unamenable to conventional Western medical and surgical therapies alone. The results of this collaborative pilot study conducted at UCLA were recently published in the Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and indicated that integrative East-West medicine is safe and may help patients manage and ameliorate their symptoms. The patients enrolled in this study were carefully selected based upon strict inclusion criteria, which contained the requirement that the individuals still suffered from clinically significant sinonasal symptoms even after the employment of maximal conventional medical therapies (antibiotics, topical nasal steroids, decongestants, mucolytics, and nasal saline irrigations) and, for many, additional surgical intervention. While these patients were unable to find satisfactory relief through these conventional therapies, after eight weeks of weekly acupuncture and counseling on dietary modification, lifestyle changes, and acupressure, there was a statistically significant reduced need to blow the nose, fewer runny noses, decreased feelings of frustration, restlessness, or irritability and increased ability to concentrate. There were also trends toward improvement in most other measures, including reduced thick nasal discharge, sneezing, and facial pain or pressure. t w

left: illustration by amorette jeng with reference to ucla center of east-west medicine; right: inga ivanova/istockphoto

device used for nasal irrigation that looks like a mix between a tea pot and Genie’s lamp. To rinse the sinuses using a Netipot, tilt your head sideways, insert the spout of the pot into the upper nostril, and allow the saline solution to flow through the sinus and out the lower nostril.


get it straight what you should know about chemical straighteners by teni karimian | design by annie theriault

Everyone who has struggled with flat irons and blow-dryers knows the path to silky straight hair is riddled with wavy strands, frizz, burns, and frustration. When â&#x20AC;&#x153;formaldehyde-freeâ&#x20AC;? chemical straighteners hit the market in 2007, it seemed like hair straightening problems would be a thing of the past. However, a closer look at the chemicals in different brands of straighteners and the lack of regulation reveal a health situation that is anything but straightforward.

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Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, the same protein found in tooth enamel and nails. Keratin is composed of long chains of amino acids characterized by disulfide bonds. These bonds make keratin a very strong protein. In order to change the “shape” of your hair from curly to straight or vice versa, the hair needs to be subjected to extreme conditions, such as high levels of heat supplied by flat irons, curling irons and blow-dryers. The plates of a flat iron, for example, are typically heated to between 300 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit and when the hair is passed through the plates, the extreme heat causes the disulfide bonds in the keratin to break and reform in a new position, resulting in straight hair. Needless to say, this method is not permanent. Exposure to moisture or reexposure to extreme heat and re-styling will once again break the disulfide bonds, and cause them to reform in different positions.

Where Chemical Straighteners Come In…

With chemical hair straighteners, there is a more “permanent” change to the disulfide bonds in keratin through exposure to harsher conditions. First, an alkaline, or basic, solution is applied to the hair to break apart the disulfide bonds. Next, an acidic solution is applied to the hair in order to neutralize the base and stop the cleavage of the disulfide bonds. This allows the disulfide bonds to reform in new positions. In the case of chemical straighteners, flat irons are used to reform the disulfide bonds with straight hair. For a very long time chemical hair straighteners have relied on formaldehyde to prolong the straightening effect in hair. In 2007, “formaldehyde-free” chemical hair straighteners started to gain popularity. But upon closer analysis and testing, it was found that almost all chemical hair straighteners - even those being marketed as “formaldehyde-free” - have the potential to produce formaldehyde concentrations that meet or even exceed the current occupational exposure limits.

Dangers of Formaldehyde

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Known as the most controversial chemical in hair straighteners, formaldehyde is a colorless, reactive volatile organic compound which is found in detectable amounts in ambient air, drinking water, and raw natural foods. It is mainly used in the production of resins used to make wood products, plastics, and textile furnishings, as well as a biocide (a poisonous substance, especially a pesticide), a preservative, and an intermediate in certain chemical reactions.


In a 2011 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, fourteen hair styling stations were tested during the use of four different chemical hair straighteners including Coppola, Global Keratin, La Brasiliana, and Brazilian Blowout. The purpose of the experiment was to determine the differences in chemical composition of the four different brands as well as the formaldehyde levels in each. The products were applied to wigs according to the respective manufacturer’s recommendations. Air samples were then collected from the stylist, consumer, bystander, and remote locations in the salon. After testing, the Brazilian Blowout was shown to produce the highest levels of airborne formaldehyde, followed by Global Keratin, Coppola, and lastly La Brasiliana. Airborne concentrations of formaldehyde reached up to 3.47 ppm whereas the current Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard notes that any product capable of releasing formaldehyde exceeding 0.5 ppm has to be labeled as “Potential Cancer Hazard."

left (in order): piranka/istockphoto; anton nosyrev/istockphoto; petra mezei/istockphoto; right: valua vitaly/istockphoto; empire331/istockphoto

The Science Behind Hair

Adverse reactions to formaldehyde range from eye irritation to respiratory irritation, immunological, and neurological conditions (from acute and chronic exposure) as well as cancer. According to a 1987 study in The Anatomical Record, after prolonged exposure to formaldehyde, rats developed squamous carcinoma of the nose due to inhalation. Over time, salon workers have reported injuries such as eye irritation, nervous system disorders, respiratory tract problems, chest pain, vomiting, and rashes as a result of exposure to chemical hair straighteners.

The Name Game Toxic Ingredients Found In Chemical Hair Straighteners › Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide is also called lye or caustic soda and is a strong inorganic base. It is used to initially break the disulfide bonds in the keratin so that the hair can be pulled straight. As such a strong base, it can burn the skin and airways upon contact, and much care must be used to avoid the scalp when applying it to hair.

› Calcium Hydroxide

Products that are “lye-free” usually replace sodium hydroxide with another strong base, calcium hydroxide, which is more commonly referred to as lime. The calcium hydroxide serves the same purpose as sodium hydroxide and external exposure can cause burns and painful irritation whereas inhalation can cause throat and nasal passages to become swollen and irritated.

› Formaldehyde

Many labels also fail to acknowledge that certain preservatives and chemicals degrade to release formaldehyde over time such as quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin among others. These methods provide the loopholes cosmetic companies need to market their products as “formaldehyde free."


With so many discrepancies in the regulation of cosmetics, it is very important to understand what chemicals are actually involved in chemical hair straighteners. Until all the kinks can be worked out, it seems that the best alternative is to stick to flat irons and blow-dryers for silky smooth hair without the health risks. t w

The current legislation in place, the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics act of 1938, necessitates that companies list most of the ingredients on product labels and substantiate the safety of the products before making them available on the market.

› Ammonium Hydroxide

Used to adjust the final pH of the product, ammonium hydroxide causes blisters on the skin and scalp. Inhalation is also corrosive to the respiratory tract and contact with skin and eyes can cause severe burns.


total wellness ▪ summer 2012

Formaldehyde prolongs the straightening effect of the chemical hair straightener. It has been known to cause eye irritation, respiratory irritation, immunological and neurological conditions, as well as cancer. Although exposure to formaldehyde occurs on a daily basis, the acute levels of formaldehyde present in chemical hair straighteners far exceed what the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) deems safe.

With so much information about the dangers of toxic chemicals in cosmetics, more specifically in chemical hair straighteners, it’s hard to believe that they are still widely available for consumer use. The strength of the industry is undoubtedly related to the fact that it is legally able to regulate itself. Many cosmetic companies get away with leaving out formaldehyde on their ingredients list by mixing formaldehyde with water, which results in a new compound called methylene glycol. Once exposed to air at room temperature, however, the formaldehyde will revert to its natural state. In a slightly different strategy, companies have also indicated on their labels that the product may “contain an aldehyde” as opposed to formaldehyde. Another tactic is to call formaldehyde “morbicid acid."

However, these standards have no enforcement and in order to remove misbranded products from the market, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would have to go through the courts, which proves to be a lengthy and costly procedure. However, there are efforts being made to curtail the availability of toxic ingredients in cosmetics. With the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, American legislators are proposing that the FDA be given the authority to oversee personal care products, which would encompass cosmetics. This legislation would give the FDA the authority to impose safety standards on cosmetics companies and ban the use of ingredients linked to adverse health risks while creating health based safety standards and eliminating labeling loopholes to ensure full ingredient disclosure on product labels.

food pick


by julia bree horie | design by karin yuen


Although seaweed is rather commonplace in Asian cuisine, whether it be in salads, soups, or sushi, its immense health benefits are often overlooked. Not only consumed by humans, seaweed has been used by many Irish farmers for centuries to improve the health and productivity of their crops. Read on and uncover the secrets behind these slimy sea vegetables, whose function extends far beyond decoration.

the guide ›› types of seaweed Wakame is the thin green seaweed often

used in miso soup and seaweed salads. Loaded with calcium and magnesium, wakame may help to prevent osteoporosis and can act as a diuretic.

Nori is a power-source of protein when it

comes to members of the marine community, composing up to 50 percent of its dry weight. This delicious sheet-like seaweed is the crispy component that holds the contents of sushi together.

Kombu is held in especially high regard

total wellness ▪ summer 2012

in Japanese cooking as it is responsible for “umami,” the fifth of the five basic tastes (in addition to sweet, salty, bitter, and sour). It is the main ingredient in dashi (a common stock in Japanese cuisine) and can be added to soups, stews, and sauces.

Arame comes in long, dark, thin strands that

taste mildly sweet. It contains a notable amount of potassium as well as antiviral properties. Often sold in dried state, it can be reconstituted and used in salads, pasta, or cooked grains.


from the cookbook Seaweed Salad

1 ounce dried green wakame seaweed 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons grated ginger 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil Juice of 1 lime Sea salt, to taste 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced paper-thin 4 red radishes, thinly sliced 2 ounces daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced 1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced 1 firm-ripe avocado, sliced 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds 1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds 2 teaspoons toasted pumpkin seeds 4 green onions, slivered. Put the dried seaweed in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Drain in a colander, pat dry and place in a serving bowl. To make the dressing, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, wasabi powder, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl. Spoon half the dressing over the seaweed, add the lime juice and toss gently. Taste and add a small amount of salt if necessary. Surround the salad with the carrot, radish, daikon, cucumber and avocado. Season them lightly with salt and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle the salad with the white and black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and green onions.

Tofu & Wakame Miso Soup

3 1/2 cups dashi 1 tablespoon dried wakame, soaked in water for 5 minutes then drained 3 ounces enoki mushrooms, trimmed (optional) 3 tablespoons miso 5 – 7 ounces firm tofu, cut into 3/8-inch cubes Bring the dashi to a boil in a saucepan. Add the wakame and mushrooms (if you are using them), and simmer for 1 minute. Add the miso (using one of the methods detailed above) to the dashi, and then the tofu, and reheat slightly (but do not boil). Serve immediately.

SOURCE:; left(in order): collinschin/istockphoto; floortje/istockphoto; 4kodiak/istockphoto; darko radanovic/istockphoto; 4kodiak/istockphoto; right: darja tokranova/istockphoto

› Seaweeds contain large amounts of a gel-forming fiber commonly known as non-starch polysaccharides. A 2008 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice confirmed that seaweed and land plants share many of the same benefits, such as reducing triglycerides and controlling blood sugar. › Nori, the purple seaweed used to wrap sushi, has the highest protein content of the seaweeds, ranging from 30 to 50 percent. A cup of nori seaweed contains 4.65 grams of protein, approximately one-tenth of the recommended daily dose of protein (46 grams for women, 56 grams for men). › Seaweed provides significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and folic acid, as well as B vitamins. Vitamin B-12, which plays a vital role in neurological function and is normally found in animal sources, can also be found in several seaweed varieties. › By hydrating and nourishing the skin, seaweed can help to keep the face blemish-free and healthy. It is also an anti-bacterial agent, so it can lessen the symptoms of acne and other skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. When it comes to hair, seaweed extracts can be used to clear the scalp of excess oil and restore hydration the allnatural way. The result? A beautiful clear complexion and naturally shiny hair. t w


We would like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this edition. We would also like to make special mention of the following UCLA physicians, professors and faculty members who donated their time and expertise to ensuring the accuracy of content published in the following articles:



Lilia Meltzer, RN, NP, MSN Lecturer, California State University, Long Beach

living to 100: managing stress for a longer life

Ping Ho, MA, MPH Founder and Director, UCLArts and Healing

all about sleep

Frisca Yan-Go, MD Physician, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

stair climbing in los angeles

Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

reaping the health benefits of a wonderful world of whole grains

Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD Assistant Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

food for thought: the beneficial path towards mindful eating Eve Lahijani, MS, RD Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center Christian Roberts, PhD Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Nursing

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

snack attack: uncovering the truths about eating at night Eve Lahijani, MS, RD Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

Alona Zerlin, MS, RD Research Dietitian, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

summertime troubles: how to deal with seasonal allergies and sinus infections Malcolm Taw, MD, FACP Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

get it straight: what you should know about chemical straighteners

Michele Hoh, MD Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA Family Medicine Practice, Iris Cantor/ UCLA Women's Health Center

food pick

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD, Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

copy-edits and review Leigh Goodrich and Shannon Wongvibulsin

layout revisions

Karin Yuen, Amorette Jeng, Barbara Wong, and Shannon Wongvibulsin

cover & table of contents

Illustrated by Rebecca Wang Designed by Amorette Jeng, Karin Yuen, and Barbara Wong


total wellness â&#x2013;Ş summer 2012

exotic treasures: rare foods and what they can do for your health

behind the bakery: your guide to breads

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Kick Your Food Up a Notch!  

Summer 2012. Issue 4, Volume 12. Published by UCLA's Student Wellness Commission.

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