Healthy Lifestyle

Smoothie Bike

A healthy lifestyle helps bring you balance and supports your academic success. Nutritious eating, physical activity and restful sleep all contribute to healthy living. We recommend making small changes to integrate healthy habits into your daily life.


2-Week Sample Menu for Living On-Campus

Check out these microwave/budget-friendly menu options, grocery list, and campus resources and you'll have everything you need to stay fueled during the semester. More recipes are available at

Meal Plan 1

Week 2 Meal Plan

Week 3




Benefits of Nutritious Eating

Nourishing your body with a variety of foods gives you the energy to do everything on your to do list.

  • Focus — Have you ever noticed how your mind wanders when you're hungry? Getting your essential nutrients from balanced meals and snacks can help you stay concentrated on your homework assignments, study materials, or course lectures.
  • Move — Whether you're heading to the gym or walking up the stairs to class, fueling your body with nutritious foods can support your activity and improve your athletic performance.
  • Feel Good — When your hunger is satiated after a balanced meal, you feel more energized and satisfied. This bears stark contrast to the "hangry” feeling we experience when we haven't eaten enough.
  • Prevent Disease— Research shows that incorporating vitamins, minerals, and fiber into our daily eating patterns can promote a healthy immune system and even prevent development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

How to Eat Nutritiously

It seems like everywhere we look; we're bombarded by nutrition messaging. But as you probably know, some sources are more credible than others. Read on to find evidence-based nutrition information from your FAU registered dietitian.

  • Balance and variety are the cornerstones of nutritious eating. Different foods contain different essential nutrients we need to stay healthy and energized. To make sure we consume all these different essential nutrients, we eat a variety of foods. Eating balanced meals and snacks, that is, pairing foods from different food groups together, provides a variety of nutrients every time we eat.
  • Keep in mind eating "healthy” shouldn't feel restrictive. If we eliminate certain foods or food groups entirely from our eating pattern, it makes it difficult to consume the variety of foods we need to stay healthy. Talk to a registered dietitian to learn more about consuming a balanced diet. 
  • ChooseMyPlate offers a visual reminder of the components of a balanced meal.

    Visit to learn more about nutritious eating, or visit the next tab.

USDA ChooseMyPlate

The government “MyPlate” offers a visual reminder of the components of a balanced meal.  Incorporating foods from different food groups (such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein, and oils) into your meals can help you meet your nutrition needs.  Key takeaways from MyPlate include:

  • "Make half your grains whole” – when choosing grains such as rice, pasta, bread, and cereal, look for options labeled "100% whole wheat” or "100% whole grain.” They will have more fiber than other grain options, which makes you feel fuller longer among other health benefits.
  • "Move to low-fat or fat-free milk” –low-fat or fat-free dairy options can offer Vitamin D and Calcium to promote strong bones, as well as help meet your protein needs. These options won't have as much saturated fat as whole milk option, a nutrient that has been associated with development of heart-related conditions.
  • "Make half your plate fruits and vegetables” – Eating whole fruits and a variety of vegetables provides many different vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy. Different fruits and vegetables may have different nutrients, so don't be afraid to mix it up!
  • "Vary your protein routine” – Plant-based protein sources, such as beans and nuts, as well as animal-based options, such as fish, lean poultry, and lean beef all have a place in a balanced diet.
  • "Eat and drink the right amount for you” –This goes back to the concept of eating intuitively. Being in tune with your natural hunger and satiety signals can help you make sure you're meeting your specific needs. Working with a registered dietitian can also help you identify your body's specific nutrition requirements.

Eating the Right Amount for You

Everyone’s body is different, so everyone has different nutrition needs. Read to figure out how to eat the right amount for you.

  • The amount of calories and types of nutrients we need varies based on our age, activity level, height, and other health indicators. A registered dietitian can use equations and clinical judgement to estimate these values. He or she can also encourage you to eat intuitively, which can help you feel confident you’re making appropriate food choices.
  • Keep in mind eating "healthy" shouldn't feel restrictive. If we eliminate certain foods or food groups entirely from our eating pattern, it makes it difficult to consume the variety of foods we need to stay healthy. Talk to a registered dietitian to learn more about consuming a balanced diet. (link to individual consultation page).

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are potentially life-threatening conditions that create unhealthy relationships with food.

Research, Resources, & Recipes

Need more nutrition-related information? Look no further!

Benefits of Physical Activity

Physical Activity provides an unlimited amount of benefits to the human body. Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved mental health and mood
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Strengthens your heart and lungs
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduces the risk of disease
  • And More!

Ways to be Active

You can get all of the benefits listed above by simply being active in ways that you enjoy. We want to take the focus off a "typical" fitness routine and reframe the way you see exercise. Any activity that gets your heartrate up and works your muscles counts as exercise. Need help coming up with ideas on how to get moving? Try out one or more of following activities and pay attention to how it makes you feel!

  • Dancing: Zumba and Dance Fusion are just two ways you can incorporate dancing into your week at Campus Rec. Check out the schedule to find a class that meets your needs!
  • Biking: Indoor and outdoor options are available for this heart pumping activity. Try out the new indoor studio on campus or rent a bike and cruise on down to the beach for a more scenic route.
  • Water sports: Take advantage of the ocean and intercostal being at your backdoor. Trying Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), surfing, or even just snorkeling with the fish. Rent all the gear you need at Outdoor Adventures on campus. Too much nature for you? Swim a few laps in the pool on campus!
  • Walking: We often forget that walking counts as exercise! Take a stroll with friends around campus or on the beach. Count your laps on the track or just walk in circles around your place while you are on the phone with your friends and family.
  • Group fitness: If you are looking for someone to motivate and encourage you through your workout, consider a Group Fitness class. There is something for everyone!

Do you feel accomplished? Did your mood improve? Are you feeling more energized? Great! Tell us what activities you tried on social media or recommend your favorite ways to move so we can add them to the list!

Why is it important?

For the average college students, 7 to 9 hours is the recommended amount of sleep you should get each night. While you may feel like you can operate off fewer hours of sleep, does not necessarily mean that you are functioning at your highest capacity. Getting enough ZZZ’s can be challenging but the benefits of sleep are numerous:

  • Improved memory and attention
  • Enhanced mood and creativity
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Decreased stress levels

What impacts sleep?

A good night’s sleep can be affected by variety of influences in your environment. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, consider each of the following:

  • Food intake: too much or too little?
  • Caffeine consumption: how much and how late in the day?
  • Room temperature: too cold or too hot?
  • Lights: how bright is your room?
  • Sounds: too loud? Too quiet and you hear everything?
  • Bedroom layout: messy? cozy?
  • Alcohol consumption

All of these variables play a role on the quality of sleep you get and your ability to easily fall asleep. Want to learn more? Check out the National Sleep Foundation website and find out everything you wanted to know about sleep and its impacts.

**Owls Care Health Promotion and FAU are not responsible for the content shared by these websites.

Now click the next tab to find out how you can make positive changes in each area for a better night’s sleep.

Sleep Strategies

  • Pay attention to your hunger cues in the evening to make sure you are satisfied before trying to fall asleep. Too hungry or too full can leave you feeling uncomfortable and restless.
  • Limit your caffeine in the afternoon. Be aware of how your body responds to caffeine intake and moderate it accordingly.
  • Find a comfortable sleeping temperature. Experts recommend keeping your bedroom temperature around 65 to ensure quality sleep.
    • If you share a thermostat, invest in a fan to moderate your room temperature.
  • Light triggers your body to lower melatonin (sleep hormone) levels and increase your body temperature, waking you up or keeping you awake. Add curtains to your room to help your body’s natural sleep cycle to occur.
  • Outside noise influences your quality of sleep. Consider a white noise machine or download White Noise Free app on your phone to block out sounds that disturb your sleep.
  • Cozy up your bedroom by de-cluttering your room, rearranging your furniture, and choosing colors, blankets, a nd pillows that are soothing.
  • Alcohol consumption makes it harder for you to sleep deeply and continuously through-out the night because it reduces the amount of time you spend in REM sleep. Avoid using it as a sleep aid and choose other relaxing activities to help you wind down.

Assess Your Sleep

Find out what kind of sleeper you are by taking this short quiz!

Nap Time

While getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is the preferred recommendation, we understand that it does not always happen. On those nights you just don’t get enough sleep and are struggling to get through the day, consider a nap.

The perfect nap is 20 to 30 minutes in the middle of the afternoon, preferably laying down or lounging in a cozy chair.

If you are on campus and want to power up with a nap, check out our Wellness Map with some great, student recommended locations to take a break and catch some ZZZ’s.


What is it?

A viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract)

  • Rhinoviruses are the most common cause


  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • headache or body aches
  • mild tiredness


  • Stay home
  • Stay hydrated (avoid alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated soda)
  • Rest
  • Soothe a sore throat
    • ¼ to ½ tsp of salt in 8oz warm water; gargle
    • Lozenges or sprays
  • Sip warm liquids
    • Chicken soup, team, warm apple juice
  • Over-the-counter decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers might offer some symptom relief
  • Seek medical attention if:
    • Fever greater than 101.3
    • Fever last 5 days or more or returning fever
    • Shortness of breath; wheezing
    • Sever sore throat, headache, or sinus pain

What is it?

Also known as influenza, it is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system (nose, throat, and lungs)


  • dry, hacking cough
  • moderate to high fever (over 100.4) although not everyone with the flu will run a fever
  • sore throat
  • shaking chills
  • severe muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • stuffy and runny nose
  • evere fatigue that may last up to two weeks


  • Stay home
  • Stay hydrated (avoid alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated soda)
  • Rest
  • Soothe a sore throat
    • ¼ to ½ tsp of salt in 8oz warm water; gargle
    • Lozenges or sprays
  • Sip warm liquids
    • Chicken soup, team, warm apple juice
  • Doctors can prescribe antiviral meds, but they need to be administered as soon as you think you have the flu (within first 48 hours)
  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched areas (counters, doorknobs, etc)
  • Sanitize your phone weekly
  • Don’t share cups, bottles, or hygiene products
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet
  • The #1 way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. Every year the 3 or 4 most common viruses of that season are predicted
  • Antibodies develop roughly 2 weeks after injection to prevent infection
  • Depending on the type of shot it contains an inactive virus or no virus at all meaning you DO NOT GET THE FLU from the flu shot
  • The nasal spray does contain a weakened live virus
  • Side effects can include:
    • Soreness, redness on arm
    • Low grade fever
    • Aches
  • College students are at a higher risk of infection because of:
    • Close-quarter living spaces on campus
    • Social contact
    • Interaction with a large number of individuals
      • Students/staff/faculty/partners/friends/etc.
  • Protect those around you
    • Herd Immunity occurs when the majority of the population are vaccinated preventing the spread of an infection or disease
      • If the majority of the population is protected, it helps prevent those who cannot get the flu shot against those who are infected (insert herd immunity photo below)
    • You can carry the flu virus and not get sick
      • The vaccine prevents you from giving it to others
    • If you are exposed to a flu virus that is not one of the predicted strands, the vaccine creates a cross-protection so you don’t get as sick as you would have if you did not get the vaccine
    • If you have previously had the flu, there is no guarantee that it will protect you from future strands of the flu
      • There may be some cross-protection which will lessen the severity of a new strand but it is not guaranteed
    • The “cost” of getting sick is worse than the needle prick
      • Getting the flu could mean missing work, getting behind in school, paying for medication, or even hospital bills

High levels of cell phone use impact the following:


  • Depression and anxiety levels can be correlated with increased social media use
  • Fear of missing out when your friends are participating in fun activities
  • Comparing your life to other’s social media highlight reel


  • Offtime lets you control your connectivity so you can do things that matter
  • Choose apps that are stress relieving like Calm or Headspace
  • Move social media apps off the main page of your phone screen
  • Focus on being mindful and present where you are


  • Multitasking while studying
  • Using cell phone during class


  • Pocket Points rewards students for not using their phone in class


  • Disrupts physical activity which leads to a less effective workout
  • Poor posture and neck pain can occur after you have been looking down at your phone for extended periods of time


  • Activity tracking apps and technology are great to motivate you to be active through-out the day
  • Be mindful to only use your phone to guide your workout and not get distracted by other apps


  • Staying up late to complete a task on phone or laptop
  • Activity that increases excitement levels like playing a game
  • The light from your phone screen affects your melatonin levels


  • Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase
  • Night Shift (for iPhones) and Twilight (for Android) makes your device screen adapt to the time of day
  • Set reminders or alarms to disconnect from technology and screen time at least an hour before bed


  • When any or all of the above are negatively affected, your life satisfaction and self-esteem decrease as well


  • Change your notification settings so that you are only alerted for the important things
  • Utilize do not disturb if you want to focus in for periods of time
  • Switch your screen to grayscale which makes it less enticing to look at
  • Utilize a smart speak like Amazon Echo or Google Home to help reduce screen time and distractions

Can be lead to imbalances in neurotransmitters in your brain, specifically higher levels of GABA, which slows down neurons and can result in poorer attention spans

  • Concerned about your use?
    • Complete a quick assessment HERE
 Last Modified 6/30/22