Wellness Newsletter June 2017

Be Well ASDA


ALERT - THE FIRST CAT CAFE IN HOUSTON HAS ARRIVED! El Gato Coffeehouse features playing with adoptable cats, crafting sessions, cat yoga, movies with cats, etc. etc. A cat cottage visit includes BOTTOMLESS COFFEE and kitty snuggles for $10 with student ID. See their website for more info: http://www.elgatocoffeehouse.com/



Have you ever wanted to run a 5K? 10K? Half-Marathon? We are starting the inaugural UTSD ASDA Running Group! The group will meet every weekend for long runs in order to have some fellowship and moral support as we train together for the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon on January 14th 2018. Registration is $125 and opens on June 7th! If interested, and for more info on training plan, please email wellness chair Whitney Vrazel at whitneyvrazel@gmail.com.



Miller Outdoor Theater is an outdoor venue in Hermann Park. All events are FREE! The month of June includes dance, children’s theater performances, and symphony nights. Be on the lookout for the Shakespearean festival in July!  http://milleroutdoortheatre.com/events/2017/6/



FROM ASDA NATIONAL: Month of June Wellness Challenge: Show your professional gratitude
Dimensions: Occupational
            - RSVP to challenge event on National ASDA Facebook
            - Send three handwritten thank-you notes to people in your network who have helped you find success this year.
            - Share your experiences on Facebook and Instagram with #BeWellASDA.



IT’S SUMMER! Get outside and explore. Houston has some great parks with free activities all summer long - Hermann Park, Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park, and Memorial Park just to name a few. Many parks offer the option to rent a bike, paddleboat or kayak.

What does ASDA really stand for?

What does ASDA really stand for?


As we begin to adjust to life in the new semester, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the daunting future your schedule holds. Maybe looking into just the next week is enough to stimulate heart palpitations. But this year, I challenge you all to step out of your comfort zone and take a step to invest in the future of our profession. I challenge you to find what motivates you and become actively involved. I know this sounds crazy. With so many important items already on your to-do list, how could you possibly think about getting more involved with an organization and have yet another task added to your list?!  But my question to you is, how could you not?  

When I was a pre-dental student just out of college, I joined ASDA and learned what it meant to be a unified student body and the importance of generating a collaborative force for the dental profession. The importance of making our voice heard and taking a step towards progressive change to better the outcomes for our patients and creating a more ethical workforce is of upmost importance to the future of our profession. Joining ASDA has been the best decision I have made thus far in my career as a professional student. What you can get out of ASDA is a direct correlation of the effort you put into the organization. The ASDA acronym stands for the American Student Dental Association, but it surprisingly has a different meaning for each student.


Here is what ASDA means to me:  

A: Accountability

ASDA has introduced me to numerous students across the country that have encouraged me throughout my journey in dental school and pushed me to grow as a leader. It has provided a great support system with so many new friends that go through similar struggles as we learn to navigate this life in dental school. This network of dental students helps create a sense of belonging and has made the biggest impact on my attitude in school.

S: Savvy

Houston ASDA knows when there is a will there is a way. If there is a cavity we will fill it. If there is a need we will address it. Whenever a void is felt in our organization we step up to create a committee or an event to service that need. I love the innovation we have seen this year and the growth it has provided for our chapter.

D: Dedicated

Our ASDA chapter is dedicated to service outreach in our community and to providing opportunities to give back. I love the dedication to pre-dental involvement our chapter encourages rock-star applicants to choose our school as their home. We are dedicated to our advocacy efforts and educating students at our school how their voice can be heard. 

A: Accomplished

I could not be more proud of our ASDA chapter here at Houston. We continue to work to become the Ideal ASDA chapter and it never ceases to amaze me how much we can accomplish with this team. I am so proud to be one of the leaders in this chapter and love that I can call Houston ASDA my home.




Healthy for the Holidays

Healthy for the Holidays


The holidays are hard when you are trying to be healthy. Maintaining your health this holiday season isn’t just about eating right. Our focus needs to be on nutrition, activity, and stress relief as we navigate through the best time of the year. These are my tips for staying healthy while still enjoying the holidays.


1)    Eat breakfast. Yes, you are going to have some large, heavy meals over the holiday season. It is tempting to skip breakfast on those days. Don’t fall into the trap! Eating a light breakfast with protein and complex carbohydrates will get your metabolism going for the rest of the day. And speaking of metabolism….

2)    Keep moving! The holidays can lead to a lot of down time when visiting family. When everyone is sitting on the couch watching their fourth hour of football, take the opportunity to exercise or go on a walk.

3)    Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods. We all have that one holiday food that we refuse to even think about the number of calories that are actually in it. For me, it's the scalloped potatoes. They are my favorite. When loading up your plate for your big Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, try to fill 75% of your plate with meat and vegetables (real vegetables if they are an option- not vegetable casseroles or vegetables coated in butter and brown sugar). Then that last 25% of your plate can be dedicated to the bad stuff. One calorie dense side is not going to completely blow your diet.

4)    Another thing about those vegetables… Sometimes the veggies are deceiving. We normally think that veggies are the healthiest thing we could eat during the holidays, but some of the cooked vegetable recipes have so much butter and sugar in them that you may as well be eating dessert. The moral of this story is that if those veggies don’t look like they were steamed or are being served raw, skip them and have that extra piece of pie. It probably has the same amount of calories.

5)    Lastly, be thankful. The holidays are so busy that we often forget to stop and enjoy them. Take the time to breath every once in a while this holiday season, and cherish the time you spend with friends and family. Having time off of dental school gives us a unique opportunity to slow down our minds and reflect on our lives. Use this time to be grateful for the opportunity to study dentistry even though it’s tough. No matter what is going on in everyone’s personal lives, we are all lucky to be pursuing a career we are passionate about.