Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 88 (Fall 2016) and Volume 89 (Spring 2017)


Celebrate VeganismVeganism has become an increasingly popular lifestyle throughout the younger generations. In the past five years, the number of vegans and vegetarians in the country has more than doubled surpassing sixteen million according to The vegan diet cuts out all animal products whether it be dairy, meat, eggs and even clothing products that use wool or leather.

There are many that do it for health purposes to help high cholesterol or digestive issues and others that do it to support animal rights. What people don’t realize is that high cholesterol and heart disease  are way more prevalent among people eating the American Standard Diet, which typically consists of meat, dairy, fat, and sugar, than among those following a vegan or even vegetarian diet.

Studies from the Harvard School of Public Health have shown that less red-meat consumption can lead to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. Mary Harris, a Specialist Professor of Public Relations, switched to a vegan diet seven years ago, and even after having a vegan pregnancy she managed to lose weight and lower her cholesterol.

Harris works alongside chair and associate professor of the health and physical education Dr. Christopher Hirschler, running a vegan organization at Monmouth University called Plants for Peace. They host vegan potlucks on campus that are always open to the public and feature notable authors and vegan restaurant owners as speakers.

Senior music industry student, Huascar Holguin, has been vegan for about two years without ever looking back. He attended the vegan potluck and roundtable discussion this past Sunday and thought it was an amazing experience. “It was a very welcoming environment and exciting to be surrounded by others who share similar values. It is important to vegans and non-vegans alike to be exposed to this growing community and to show the world veganism isn’t just a phase, but an increasingly popular lifestyle,” said Holguin.

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Forever Young: Life Lessons from Teen Years

The drama, heartbreak, and struggles that occur during one’s teenage years all contribute to valuable life lessons. Later in life, an individual will find that what they learned during their adolescents will aid them in adulthood.

A valuable life lesson that many learn as a teen that is valuable to twenty-somethings is that your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. It does not matter what others think about you. Many spend years of their lives worrying about what others think of them. The opinion of others does not matter; what matters is how you perceive yourself. Along with that, never let the opinions of others alter your view of yourself.

Kait Gravatt, a sophomore communication  student, shared the valuable life lesson that life does go on. “That bad exam grade will be okay, that friendship ending will be okay, that relationship ending will be okay. Do not dwell on your bad days too much because they will get better,” said Gravatt. Just as Rhiann Ellis quoted in her evocative book “After Life”, “The worst thing in the world can happen, but the next day the sun will come up. And you will eat your toast. And you will drink your tea.” In trying situations, it is necessary to remember that life goes on and tomorrow is a new day. 

Natalie Toro, a junior biology student has learned that self-love and self-respect are everything. Having self-love and self-respect enables her to realize that she deserves the best and therefore, she will never settle when it comes to her education, career, or love life. Self-love is the key to both confidence and success. The idea of self-love ties into a life lesson that senior Communication student Kayla Cardona has learned as a teen, which is that others cannot define who you are and it is always important to put your mental, physical, and spiritual health first. No matter where life takes us or what challenges we face, it is crucial to take care of ourselves and keep in mind what we deserve.

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Health Food Myths Debunked

Health Foods Myths DebunkedHealthy eating has made its way to the forefront of popular culture – organic produce lines grocery store shelves, avocado appears on any modern restaurant menu, every junk food has a fat-free alternative, and greens are cool enough to inspire Beyoncé to rock a “Kale” sweater in her “7/11” music video.

 The media has jumped on this bandwagon as well, advertising various products as “superfoods” and switching the focus of dieting from weight-loss to obtaining a healthier lifestyle. However, much of what the media claims are nutritious goldmines that will solve all your dietary problems, may not actually be the key that will unlock the door to a healthier you.

Barbara Baron, MS, RDN, CDN, a healthy eating consultant and adjunct nutrition professor, broke down the superfood phenomenon. She said, “So many foods are frequently touted as ‘superfoods’ – because they may be loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that may help promote health and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. This ‘superfood’ title may frequently be used by media because it sounds attractive, yet it is meaningless when we ignore the other food choices and overall lifestyle of an individual.”

True healthy eating requires a healthy lifestyle, not just the occasional superfood. Baron believes, rather than filling your fridge with kale and your cabinets with avocado, “It is better to build a superb eating plan with nutrient-rich foods and mindful eating habits. One that includes eating more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, more fiber, and low-fat dairy foods, and being physically active daily.”

Another important aspect of healthy eating is portion control. No matter how nutritious a certain food can be, it loses its value when not consumed in moderation. Baron explained, “Avocados, while rich in key nutrients are concentrated with calories. One cup cubed is about 240 calories, as per USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference – therefore adding too much of this food can unknowingly also increase calorie intake.”

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No More Negative Nellies

Negative NelliesWe’ve all been there-that dark place where things just seem to keep going wrong. That time where one thing after another happens to you and it feels as if the world has turned against you and nothing seems to be going right; it’s happened to all of us, so don’t feel alone.

The beginning of a new year, as well as the beginning of a new semester both bring about feelings of renewal, change, and fear of staying in the same place you were the year or the semester before, but 2017 is the year to change all of that!

It is easier said than done, but, Dr. Andrew J. Lee, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, shares recommendations on how to combat these negative thought patterns: “Often, negative thinking patterns result from unrealistic expectations that people place on themselves, such as ‘I’m a failure if I don’t get all A’s’ or ‘I am not good enough if I am not at the top of my class in every subject.’” Dr. Lee says.

“Once an individual notices and understands the negative thoughts, it is very helpful to be able to challenge one’s negative thinking using more objective and realistic metrics, and to stop placing so much pressure on themselves. For example, instead of calling oneself a failure for not getting straight A’s, it can be helpful to appreciate the amount of work they put in and to know that they are not a failure if they don’t achieve this unrealistic goal. Striving for excellence, as opposed to perfection, can help students decrease the pressure they place on themselves, and may consequently, decrease their levels of anxiety,” Lee continues.

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Less is MoreMost people would assume the more things you have the happier you will be, but some believe the exact opposite; they are called minimalists. Minimalism is the idea of prioritizing your life around the things you just want and the things you need. It is a tool, as Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, commonly known as “The Minimalists,” refer to it. This tool allows individuals to find freedom.

Millburn and Nicodemus have been traveling the world speaking about their experiences and teaching others how to apply this tool to their own life for over five years. The pair quit their high-paying corporate jobs, left their big houses and fancy cars, and transformed the way they lived.

They discuss how the idea of minimalism gets a little lost in translation. People tend to think it revolves solely around decluttering your car, house, or life from material possessions like a television, extra furniture, electronics, excess clothing, and more, but The Minimalists believe it’s much more than that. Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of the possessions in your life, it’s about creating more opportunities for happiness and meaning.

The dynamic duo say by getting rid of the distractions and the things that aren’t directly important to your overall well-being; the electronics that waste precious time and keep us indoors, the media and advertising that influences our minds to think one way and purchase a specific product or service, the closets filled wall-to-wall with clothes you haven’t worn for months or years, you are creating more time and freedom for yourself, more experiences, and allowing more room for personal growth.

The whole point is to create a more meaningful and happy life using less and only things you truly need. People seem to be stuck in this cycle of growing up thinking money buys happiness and you need a well-paying job to buy that so-called “happiness” in the forms of houses, cars, and luxury clothes and accessories.

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Millennials in Need of Life Skills 101

Milennials Need Life SkillsAs Millennials, we might be experts on how to download apps or work the ‘interweb’ when compared to our grandparents or parents. More often than not, our elders might be fascinated by the tech-savvy Generation Y. But there are many basic skills that previous generations had that us twentysomethings do not.

The baby boomers might not be as in tune to social media and how to download the latest update on their iPhone, but there are many skills they mastered by the time they were our age that we have yet to acquire.

When many students leave home to go off and live on their own in the Monmouth dorms, there were probably many gaps in our knowledge of basic skills. Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student shares her experience of leaving home for the first time. “When I lived on campus my freshman year, I discovered that there were many basic life skills that I did not know how to do. Luckily, I had a meal plan, but if I did not I am not sure if I would have known how to cook for myself. It definitely made me realize that I need to start learning how to cook and take care of myself.”

 During that first week of practicing adulthood, there are many realizations to be had.

Cooking is not as easy and fun as Emeril made it seem with his signature catchphrase, ‘BAM’. Although, many of us college students love to post photos of food on our social media accounts. According to the Daily Mail Reporter, in reality, 30 percent of college students cannot boil an egg, but we can ace that midterm exam. Meaghan Wheeler, a senior secondary education and history student, said, “I feel as though we were not given the foundation that we deserved in high school to learn basic skills. Instead of learning how to write a check or what taxes and a mortgagee are we were too busy doing geometry.”

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De-Stress at Monmouth

Monmouth De StressStressed spelled backward is desserts, and for some, a sweet treat can be the perfect solution to help eliminate it. Before grabbing that candy bar or a pint of ice cream, take into consideration the many ways to relieve stress right here on campus.

An extremely helpful way to relieve stress is to receive guidance from Counseling and Psychological Services, which is located on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. From personal experience, psychological services has helped me tremendously in the past. At times, us students just need someone to talk to whether it is our stress surrounding an 18 credit semester or balancing both our social and academic lives. There are many different tools and exercises that professionals can teach clients to help them alleviate stress. 

On the Monmouth University homepage, if you navigate to resources and then click current students, you will see Counseling and Psychological Services listed under the health and wellness.

From there, you will find several different questionnaires. The wellness or the student stress questionnaire will help you to determine your stress level and if you need to seek out guidance from counseling and psychological services.

A second way to find stress relief here on campus could be found in becoming involved in the many campus clubs and organizations that Monmouth offers. Socializing and getting to know other students who may be going through similar struggles can be helpful. Writing is a great way to take a breather from homework or studying.

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It Pays to Be a Student: Discounts with Your ID

Student ID DiscountsBeing a college student means that you’re usually on a tight budget. Luckily, your Monmouth ID does not only get you into the dining hall, but it can provide you with some student discounts.

A lot of stores and businesses understand that college students are usually tight on money, so some offer a discount when you show your ID. Even if you’re not sure if you can get a student discount, there’s no harm in asking.

Tyler Kurywczak, a senior business management student, said, “I love student discounts, it’s less money I have to spend and more money in my pocket.”

If you’re someone who loves shopping, it’s easy to spend more than you can afford while you’re out shopping with friends. If you’re shopping at the Jersey Shore Outlets, which are only about 20 minutes from campus, don’t hesitate to pull out your student ID and ask for a discount.

Many nearby stores give discounts to students if you have your student ID as proof. You can get 10 percent off your purchase at J. Crew and Charlotte Russe, and 15 percent off at Kate Spade, just to name a few. The Outlets already have lowered prices and your student discount helps to make it even cheaper.

Senior English student Katrina Cordova said, “I think it’s good that these stores recognize that we want to dress well but we don’t have the money for it.”

Your student discount can come in handy when you’re at the Apple Store. Apple offers $200 off new Laptops for students. There are also student discounts on different brand products at Best Buy when you’re buying a laptop, so it doesn’t hurt to ask which brand offers a discount when you’re looking to make a big purchase like this.

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Sweet Holiday Recipes

Holiday Recipies 2016‘Tis the season to be jolly and to eat lots of holiday cookies. Isn’t that how the tune goes? The end of the semester is upon us, so if time allows, distract yourself from studying and bake a batch of cookies to help get through finals. Who doesn’t love cookies, especially on a cold winter day? Sugar cookies with frosting are junior business administration student, Brianna D’Ambrosia’s favorite type of cookie while snickerdoodles and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are two favorites of sophomore communication student Kait Gravatt.

Simple, yet versatile sugar cookies always get every cookie lover in the holiday spirit. Here is a sugar cookie recipe that requires few ingredients and little effort. The ingredients are 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. First, you will beat the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla, salt, and the all-purpose flour last. Divide the dough into four equal sections, place sections of dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for two hours. Once the two hours is up, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface and have fun cutting out cookies with your choice of cookie cutters. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking tray. If you wish to decorate the cookies with sprinkles, do that before placing them in the oven. Bake them for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!

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Wine & Dine On A Budget

Budget Wine DineIf you have nothing but 20 dollars in your pocket, instead of “popping some tags” as Macklemore encourages in his song “Thrift Shop,” why not take that cash and put it toward a good time with someone special? Dating can get pretty expensive, but there are plenty of things you can do with just a few bucks. You just need to know how to utilize your resources. This article will give you some date ideas for when you are just plain broke.

As a college student or anyone without a well-paying job, it is common to find yourself spending all of your money on food, bills, or those pricey textbooks. Any extra money is what you hope to use for activities with your friends, and maybe even a significant other. If you use your imagination, you’ll find it won’t take much to have a good time.

John Morano, a Professor of Journalism provided some insight on his past date experiences, including one that involved taking someone out of the country. I know you are probably thinking that sounds crazy and that it definitely costs some money to do that. However, Morano explained that he took his date to a local deli for some sandwiches and to her surprise, he walked them over to the United Nations building for a nice lunch in what is considered international territory. Morano said, “If I promise you I’ll take you out of the country, you bet that’s where we’re going.”

If you don’t think you can pull off some smooth moves like that you can try something as simple as “Netflix & Chill,” but you might want to do an activity with some adventure. Who doesn’t enjoy lounging around on a lazy Sunday, but some “wow” factor is a must. Junior software engineering student Claudia Ondecker shared, “It could be as easy as taking a drive to the beach with some hot cocoa from Dunkin’ Donuts, and snuggling up on a blanket to watch the stars.” Not everyone is out for money, but many of us just want some romance.

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Help Yourself by Helping Others

Help Yourself and OthersAside from gaining a stronger resume by adding on your community service experience, there are many intangible benefits one can receive such as pleasure, fulfillment, and achievement. Community service is good for you; it is known to reduce stress by having your complete concentration on someone other than yourself as well as making you healthier in terms of your delight and optimism. All the positive and healthy emotions you have when having some percentage of control over one’s happiness strengthens your immune system.

Apart from your health, you get a chance to give back and make a difference while bringing people together. Not only do you enhance the community you are in, but you also fuse as one while working with others for a common goal which promotes teamwork and harmony. A benefit that encourages many is that this is where your family and friends live. Regardless if they are your children or your grandparents, you have a chance to enrich their environment and way of life and act as a role model of civic duty.

Alvaro Aquino, a freshman undeclared student shared his thoughts on what he believes to be the benefits of community service, “Community service can help individuals grow as a person as they are able to gain beneficial experiences for the long run. There are many ways in which one can become involved in community service; one most importantly is by finding out about events being held. There are many clubs based on promoting community service, that send students emails to lets us know of different events that are being held.” 

Carlene Santos, a freshman business student with a concentration in real estate agent believes, “Community service is important for many reasons. Whether you take part in an organization right in your town or you a major organization you have an interest in. Participating in service not only makes a difference to the organization but it also makes a difference to you yourself. Volunteering gives you satisfaction and helps you feel good about yourself since you’re helping others. It brings joy to others and you personally”.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151