While 2020 was a difficult year to get through, and I believe that everyone reading this cannot believe that it is finally over, there are some things that will be missed from this year. Throughout the pandemic people found many ways to cope with isolation. One of the things that will be missed is the convenience of at- home events. For the more boring ones such as meetings or 3- hour ceremonies, we no longer had to sit and try to pass the time, but could leave our laptops on the table and eat or watch TV as much as we wished.
Another mid-quarantine staple that will be missed is the wonderful dalgona coffee, a whipped instant coffee beveragecoffee, carrot bacon, mini-pancake cereal and homemade bread that we spent making with all of the free time we had. Now that we are sort of back to our normal lives and busy with school or work, we simply no longer have the time to make such things.
Despite all of the fun trends and events throughout 2020, there are many things to look forward to in 2021. The first and likely most important is the COVID-19 vaccine. While many at-risk people and essential workers have already received their first or second dose of the vaccine, it still hasn’t gone through trials for the student age group. But that doesn’t mean we should give up hope! Assuming all goes well, it is likely that students willstudentswe will be set to get it in either phases three or four. The range is large but the time estimate is around May-August of 2021. This still gives us a chance for a somewhat normal end of summer and hopefully back to normal for the 2021-22 school year.
It has been very hard to get outside or do activities during the winter season because of the coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean that it is it’s impossible. There are still plenty of safe options for winter fun that involve distancing or made possible to do alone.
One great option is to do outdoor snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. Skiing and snowboarding involve being in public, but because of the nature of the activity, you areyou’re pretty much 6 or more feet away from people at all times. Sledding is another great option because you can do it in your own backyard or at a local park, and it rarely involves being around others. The only downsides to this are the fact that both require snow and are weather-dependent. Skiing and snowboarding can also be quite expensive, especially if you do not already have the needed equipment.
If there is isthere’s no snow outside or you can’t do those activities, there are there’s still plenty of indoor options! You can still do most of the activities you were able to do at home last year, like arts and crafts and playing video games. If you want to hang out with friends but are unable to do it in-person, a great option is to facetime or call them and hang out. If you want to hang out for an entire night, build a fort in your room or basement and talk to them almost like you are having a sleepover.
Remember that just because we are all under strict quarantine, there’s still ways to enjoy yourself and hang out with friends.
Sweet potatoes are a pretty sweet superfood, and for good reason. The starchy root vegetables are loaded with nutrients that can provide numerous surprising health benefits. Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes aren’t actually potatoes, or a part of the potato family at all. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are both considered root vegetables, along with carrots, beets, parsnips, and yams, but potatoes are actually tubers and are only distantly related to the sweet potato. Focusing back on our favorite superfood, sweet potatoes can be found in a variety of sizes and colors, including orange, white, and purple.
Sweet potatoes contain high contents of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so there’s no wonder they’re so good for you! Antioxidants in sweet potatoes called anthocyanins protect against free radicals, which are molecules that damage your DNA and trigger inflammation. These molecules have been shown to lead to a number of different diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and aging, so by eating sweet potatoes, you’re protecting your body more than you think. These anthocyanins, found in purple sweet potatoes, have been proven to be especially effective when slowing down the growth of certain types of cancer cells in animals, so they may have the same effects on humans. If you didn’t think that these antioxidants could get any better, they can also protect the brain from free radicals and improve brain function, as well as improve vision and gut health. These are some really protective nutrients!
Orange sweet potatoes are just as healthy as the purple ones! They contain a different antioxidant called beta-carotene, which gives them their bright orange hue. Beta-carotene can help support healthy vision, because when it is consumed, the body converts it to Vitamin A and uses it to form light receptors in the eyes. Going back to beta-carotene, I mentioned before that it is converted to Vitamin A when it is taken in by the body. This Vitamin A has many benefits to your health, including being critical for a healthy immune system, and supporting gut health by keeping mucous membranes in the gut healthy, along with soluble and insoluble fibers. By eating sweet potatoes, you can help prevent a Vitamin A deficiency.
Besides being incredibly healthy, sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be prepared in a number of different ways, including boiled, baked, roasted, fried, steamed, and more! The entire root vegetable is actually edible, so after you wash them, you can choose if you want to peel them or not. Eating sweet potatoes with the skin may have more nutrients, but the skin is tougher than a regular potato’s skin, so most people tend to peel it off. It helps to boost sweet potatoes’ healthy properties if you prepare it with a little bit of fat, like olive or avocado oil, because the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is fat-soluble, or is absorbed by fat. They are also very easy to grow and can be stored for a long time—up to several months, if stored properly, which makes the sweet potato very accessible.
Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that are versatile, healthy, and delicious! They contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants like anthocyanins and beta-carotene, and soluble & insoluble fibers. As Everyday Health states, “…this root veggie may contribute to preventing diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other health conditions thanks to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antimicrobial properties.” Plus, sweet potatoes are gluten-free, making them a starch substitute for people who have celiac disease. A great way to prepare sweet potatoes is by making them into fries. Although the recipe for sweet potato fries below is baked in the oven, not fried, it is still very yummy. You can include as many or as little spices as you would like, or you can just stick with the recipe’s suggestions.
To make these fries, you will need:
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the peeled sweet potatoes into sticks that are about 3 inches long and ¼ to ½ inch wide, or whatever size you would like, and toss them with the oil
Mix the spices, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, and toss them with the oil-covered sweet potatoes.
Spread the sweet potato fries on 2 rimmed baking sheets.
Bake the fries until they are browned and crisp on the bottom, about 15 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the other side is crispy. Serve hot.
During protests such as the Black Lives Matter Protests solidarity and hatred are very present. Oxford’s definition of solidarity is “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group”, solidarity applied to the black lives matter protests during the time in which people gathered together in peaceful protest to stand for what they believed in. However hatred can also be prevalent during times of struggle. Hatred was also prominent during the black lives matter protests when the peaceful protests turned into violent riots with people getting injured and buildings being vandalized.
Throughout the black lives matter protests there was a lot of solidarity which was represented when people came together for peaceful protesting. It was also represented when people posted black squares on their social media in show of support for those who were oppressed. People from all across the country showed their support for the black lives matter protests, this was represented by students, adults and supporters gathering and fundraising for the protests. Solidarity for the black lives matter protests was also prominent when the support traveled to other countries around the world. Sadly protests can get out of hand which inevitably leads to hate, hate can make people do reckless and dangerous things.
Hatred is the enemy of peace and can cause massive amounts of destruction and chaos. During the black lives matter movement some of the peaceful protests turned into violent riots. Some of these riots consisted of buildings being burned and people getting hurt. During the riots people became violent and lashed out to prove the point that black people have been oppressed for a very long time. People were so passionate about their cause that they became violet and started causing destruction. Although hatred can be represented from people becoming violent it can also be represented by people not supporting the cause that others are fighting for.
The holidays are coming up, which means now is the time to pick out final presents for your friends and family members. However, sometimes deciding what to get is tricky, and budget friendly options can be hard to find. This is where our teen gift guide comes in! No matter how much you’re willing to spend, or who is getting your gift, this article will have a ton of options for you!
Let’s start off with under $15 gifts. There are plenty of things you can get for this amount, and even Amazon’s site has a sorting tab for gifts under $15. But maybe you don’t want to get the more generic things you can find there. If the person receiving your gift is into makeup or skincare, Colourpop cosmetics has a ton of budget-friendly palettes, masks, serums, and beauty tools. Right now they have holiday ornaments with lip glosses, as well as other mini bundles that would work great as stocking stuffers. Maybe the person receiving your gift doesn’t want any of that and is more into art. Stabilo is a sustainable German company that makes high-quality stationary and art supplies for a fairly low price. They have everything ranging from fineliner pen sets to highlighters in fun colors. I own both of these products, and they do not disappoint! If these two options don’t fit the person’s interest, you can always go with the safe choice of getting them candy and snacks. Even the dollar store has a wide selection of snacks and candies that are perfect if you want to have a creative and useful gift.
If you have a higher budget of under $40-45, there are more options for great gifts you can purchase. A unique and fun idea is to select your person’s favorite color, and make a color-themed gift box. Find candy, chips, fuzzy socks, lip balms, phone cases, bracelets, markers, and other small items of the same color on Amazon or Walmart. Then find a box that can fix all of those items and paint in the corresponding color (add as many fun details as you want, make it exciting!) This gift is easy, versatile, and fun to make. You can customize all of the items in the box based on what you think your friends truly want. It is a gift that is guaranteed to impress and surprise whoever is receiving it.
If you have a large budget of anything $100 and under, there are plenty of options for you! Friendship lamps is a company that makes lamp sets that link up. When you tap to change the color of your lamp, it corresponds with the lamp that you gifted to your friend. It is a great gift, especially in times where quarantine can make us feel like we aren’t getting the connections we used to. Another gift similar to this is the Bond Touch Bracelet, which is linked up just like the lamp but it sends small vibrations to the corresponding devices.
If you don’t have a budget in mind or none of these gifts interest you, Etsy is a great place to find unique handmade items ranging from dresses to one of a kind collectables. You can order custom name necklaces, art prints, rings, handmade paints, and pretty much anything you can think of. If that still doesn’t interest you, you can always ask your friends what they want or get gift cards to their favorite stores or restaurants. Happy holidays and have a wonderful time shopping!
After Halloween, many of us are looking forward to one thing: the holidays. And what rings in the season for most people are none other than our friends the seasonal coffees. This year, even though our world has been turned upside down by COVID-19, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks have still come through with many new and old holiday drinks. Obviously I can’t taste every single drink being offered this year, but I’ve rated some of the most advertised coffees so you know which ones will definitely make your season bright, and which ones to skip out on.
7.5/10. The Peppermint Mocha was good! It is the perfect holiday drink, and the one that most of us would think of when we think of Christmas. There was a strong peppermint flavor bursting through the coffee, and it was overall nice. I do think that they should add more chocolate, but if you’re not a huge chocolate fan, then this is for you. The only reason that I gave it a 7.5 was because it isn’t really anything special, but it’s a classic that I think many people love.
Toasted White Chocolate Mocha:
8.5/10. The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha had a nice coffee taste, with just a hint of a white chocolatey, almost caramel flavor. However, it doesn’t really remind me of the holidays, and just seems like a drink I would have any day of the year. I also think Starbucks could add a little bit more white chocolate, but if they didn’t, it would still be good. Overall, it was a yummy drink and it was one of my favorites, which I wasn’t expecting. If you do choose to try the White Chocolate Mocha, I would suggest getting it iced, which I did!
9/10. The Caramel Brulee Latte didn’t taste like I expected, and was very yummy! I was anticipating an overly sweet flavor, which normally makes me feel a little bit sick, but the caramel is very balanced out with the coffee. The latte is very milky and buttery, and even though it isn’t distinctly holiday flavored, it still reminds me of Christmastime. It also has a slight cinnamon zing, which adds a lot to the latte and elevates the taste a lot for me. All in all, the Caramel Brulee Latte was one of my favorites, and it is balanced out nicely with caramel, coffee, and cinnamon flavors. I would definitely recommend it!
Signature Peppermint Mocha:
8/10. The Dunkin’ Donuts Peppermint Mocha was, in my opinion, better than the Starbucks one. As I said before, it is the perfect Christmas coffee to remind us of snowy December days. It was a little bit more chocolatey than the Starbucks mocha, which was yummy, but the peppermint flavor wasn’t as strong. I overall think that the actual coffee blend tops the Starbucks blend, so in my opinion the Dunkin’ Donuts Peppermint Mocha is slightly better.
Signature Gingerbread Iced Latte
9/10. The Gingerbread Iced Latte was SO. GOOD. It was definitely one of my favorites out of all the drinks, along with the Caramel Brulee Latte. It tasted just like a gingerbread cookie and reminded me of building gingerbread houses. The spices were very bright and cheerful, and I give props to Dunkin’ for this one. If you ask me, the Gingerbread Latte was the most Christmasy out of all of the drinks. Personally, I got it iced, but it is probably just as good if you get it as hot coffee!
Chai Oatmilk Latte
5/10. The Chai Oatmilk Latte was okay, but personally, I didn’t really like it that much. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and other holiday spices in the chai added a nice taste to the drink, but other than that, there weren’t very many redeeming qualities. I don’t really like tea, which is why I didn’t really like the latte, as I was expecting it to be coffee. If you are a tea lover, then you might enjoy this drink, but if you’re like me, you should probably steer clear.
Currently NDA is remote online until January 11th, due to the high rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. There were no new cases amongst students or staff, but to keep everyone safe, the decision was to extend the remote learning period by 9 days.
Upcoming is our christmas break, spanning December 18th to January 3rd. There’s a tradition at NDA where the student council hosts our Christmas tree decoration party, but unfortunately we’re going to miss this year. If you visit our school’s account on Instagram you can see pictures of last year’s christmas trees on the recent posts. The pandemic really threw off a lot of our usual events and traditions as well as daily school life but we are all trying our best to make everything work and fun while still being safe as possible.
Potatoes are incredibly common in the diet of most Americans. From mashed potatoes to french fires, potatoes are incredibly versatile. But what people sometimes forget about are yellow potato’s brothers, sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be used in both savory and sweet recipes and offer a nice change from normal yellow potatoes. What’s even better is that sweet potatoes are a superfood. Not only are they a healthy carbohydrate, but they are loaded with Vitamin A and C and are a good source of fiber. Their high mineral content helps lower risk of cancer and promotes digestive health.
Picking out a good sweet potato is easy. Select sweet potatoes with tight, unwrinkled skin and no/limited blemishes or bruises. Small to medium sized sweet potatoes offer a lower starch content than larger ones, making them ideal for cooking.
Here are a few simple ways to incorporate this superfood in your diet. When going out to eat, ask the waiter if you can substitute your french fries for sweet potato fries. Instead of making baked potatoes at home try baking sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar on top instead of butter and sour cream. For a fall favorite checkout Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi that comes with sage butter. Or, for Thanksgiving, make a sweet potato pie. Sweet potato pie is a staple in Southern cuisine and is sure to win over pumpkin pie lovers! For an easy sweet potato pie recipe, check below.
Sweet Potato Pie (Allrecipes.com)
1 (1 pound) sweet potato
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
Step 1 Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
Step 2 Break apart sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with the mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
Step 3 Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.
Exercise is a great way to stay in shape, become active, and maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially now when we are all stuck at home. However, people who are taking stimulants must be careful when working out, as these drugs can cause you to suffer negative side effects that can potentially lead to you injuring yourself in some way.
Stimulants, as VeryWell Mind states, are “…a class of psychoactive drugs that increase activity in the brain. These drugs can temporarily elevate alertness, mood, and awareness.” If you have to take stimulants for medical reasons, it is advised to work out or exercise beforehand, in order to limit the effects it has on your health. Otherwise, you should not be taking stimulants at all, as they can be abused and lead to addiction–and in this case, you need to seek help from a doctor.
Some of the main types of stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other prescription stimulants. Caffeine, found in coffee, chocolate, and other foods, is the most common type of stimulant, and is a lot more addictive than most people think. It does have a few positive effects, such as increasing energy and alertness, but after heavy use, it can cause anxiety and fatigue. Nicotine is one of the 3 top used psychoactive drugs in the world, and is found in cigarettes and e-cigarettes. It is highly addictive, has virtually no health benefits, and is one of the leading causes of death and disease in the US, causing about 480,000 premature deaths every year. Cocaine is an illegal drug made from the coca plant that was originally used to treat mental disorders before it was found to be addictive. It is one of the most misused illegal drugs in the US, and is very rapidly absorbed by the body. Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a drug that was originally used to cure many medical conditions including obesity and depression, and is extremely bad for you, because it can destroy brain tissue. Lastly, many different prescription drugs are also classified as stimulants, and are actually still used to treat conditions such as narcolepsy and ADHD, even though they are addictive. They all affect the central nervous system and the nervous system, and have many side effects including tremors, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
Even though stimulant drugs can be harmful to your health, many athletes use them for increased performance. “Stimulants are used in sports to enhance performance. These substances work on the central nervous system to increase alertness, concentration, metabolic rate, power, strength, and to decrease fatigue”, SportsMedToday explains. Although stimulants are effective in helping athletes perform better, it is actually illegal to use a stimulant in a national or international sporting event (a race, game, etc.) and are deemed severe anti-doping offenses by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). WADA’s mission is to create a doping-free, or drug-free, sporting environment, where athletes live with integrity. They talk to students and school-age athletes, reach out to athletes, and work with law enforcement to ensure that sports are safe and fair for everyone.
Getting back to the point, while also taking into account the fact that stimulants are illegal, they can also come with numerous negative side effects including an increase in blood pressure, anxiety, shortness of breath and dizziness, strokes, chest pain, heat exhaustion, and in extreme cases, palpitations and heart attacks. Healthy athletes should definitely avoid stimulants at all costs, because if you do not trust your own athletic abilities, and have to rely on drugs to succeed, then you should not be competing at all.