Tag Archives: 20 Under 20

Tips To Avoiding The Holiday Weight Gain

By Sarah Bogues

With the holidays quickly approaching, eating healthy and working out is a far stretch for the average person. Most either give up on their healthy regiments or “postpone” it till the New Year due to candy, cookies, and sweets.

Holidays, parties, and social gatherings all seem to focus on the food, presenting a challenge for those previously engaged in healthy eating.  It is for this reason that CCSU’s dining services released a hint sheet for the holidays called “How To Eat, Drink, & Be Merry Without the Weight Gain” suggesting different ways for everyone to enjoy the holiday festivities yet also watch the pounds from packing on.

This bullet-point list presents seven helpful hints to get through the fattening yet joyous holidays.

1. Do not skip a meal – Yes I know, the common solution to fighting back the urge to overeat is to skip a meal before “the big one.” However, skipping that cereal will decrease blood sugar so by the time three o’clock rolls around two plates of food will be devoured within minutes and the scale will drastically increase by 10 pounds. Maybe that cereal doesn’t sound too bad after all.

2. Eat a light snack – When you are famished with no food in your system, it can be tempting to eat everything in sight. If you want to fit into those size skinny 6’s the day after than eat a healthy snack such as a fruit, veggie, or yogurt.

3. Focus on the fruits and veggies – Fruits and veggies might be a little dull compared to those delicious chips and dips but their one plus is that they’re low in calories. They are also abundant in vitamins and minerals, and will fill you up if you eat one half of your plate with those yummy F’s and V’s.

4. Drink plenty of fluids – Alcohol and high-calorie sodas and juices might be tempting, but water is the best choice not only because it is zero calories but also since it can fill you up before eating a plate of food. For once, water: 1 alcohol: 0.

5. Do not deprive yourself – Gaining weight doesn’t necessarily stem mainly from the type of food you eat, but how much of it you munch on. If one cookie looks delicious then go for it. But don’t gobble up the whole dozen. Telling yourself no to food will more likely make you over eat it and regret it the next morning. If you’re stomach says yes then go for it, but not too much.

6. You do not have to clean your plate – If you’re full then listen to your body and stop. No one is making you clean your plate. It’ll just make you full and will be counterproductive because if it’s a big plate then the pounds will definitely pack on. And regret will shortly come after. An easy way to make sure that your plate doesn’t become to full is to serve yourself. We all have that one family member that always gives you an extra scoop, even though you asked them not to.

7. Bring a healthy dish – You never know what the host of a party or get together will have to eat, so preparing a healthy dish to bring isn’t such a bad idea. This will ensure that amongst the saucy wings, fried food, and fatty chips, there’s at least something you can snack on for the night.

With this list you can surely enjoy the festivities of the holiday season without having to begin a new diet on the New Year to shed off those cookies, chips, and sweets.

20 Under 20: CT Whale Hockey

By Brittany Burke

Hartford hockey and the CT Whale are officially back for the 2011-2012 season, and they are only a mere 11 miles and roughly 18 minutes away from CCSU.

In its first full season as the CT Whale, formerly known as the Hartford Wolfpack, the New York Rangers farm team returns to the XL Center in Downtown Hartford for at least 38 fun filled hockey nights!

The Whale is an affordable taste of professional hockey, for as low as $7 you and your friends can enjoy 60 minutes of fast-paced and hard-hitting hockey. The upper level of the XL Center begins at $7, but ticket prices don’t exceed $25, which could get you right near the glass and up close and personal with the Whale athletes.

This season Whalers Sports and Entertainment has plans to bring back college I.D. discount nights. This means on selected nights throughout the season ticket prices are reduced to as low as $5 with a college I.D., it’s just one more use for the CCSU Blue Chip card.

Aside from professional level hockey, the new season also means a new slew of free giveaways, and what college student doesn’t love free stuff? Fans also have a chance to win sponsor prizes by participating in games done throughout the game, think Minute to Win it meets the AHL.

Walking distance from some of the best bars downtown, going to a CT Whale game is a fun and affordable weekend night out for any college student, you don’t even have to like hockey to enjoy yourself.

20 Under 20: Pinkberry

By Sarah Bogues

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream. Just take out ‘ice cream’ and insert ‘frozen yogurt,’ and you have yourself a nice chant to Pinkberry’s delicious frozen yogurt.

This international frozen yogurt chain is located just less than 6 miles from CCSU, in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square across from the Cheesecake Factory. Having just opened last Thursday October 6, Pinkberry proves to be a hit  with its scrumptious flavors of frozen yogurt, over 30 different toppings, smoothies, fruit bowls, and fruit parfaits.

As a new face in town, the fro-yo joint has succeeded in having a welcoming atmosphere and friendly workers. The Pinkberry workers offer samples of the different flavors of frozen yogurt to allow customers decide what will be the best frozen yogurt treat. It’s not the pleasant atmosphere and service that Pinkberry has such a good reputation for, but the delectable, tangy fro-yo. That sentiment is echoed by the line of hungry and excited customers outside.

With the original flavor as vanilla, there are also several seasonal flavors along with flavors in the flavor vault, which take “vacations” and come and go as they please. The seasonal flavors consists of original, chocolate, coconut, watermelon, pomegranate, and mango while the flavor vault consists of blood orange, coffee, green tea, salted caramel, passion fruit, and pumpkin. All of these flavors have suggested pairings of toppings to make them more delicious and realistic as their name suggests.

For instance, the current seasonal flavor is “PB&J” which consists of peanut butter frozen yogurt with strawberry jam and toasted breadcrumbs, almost like the real thing Mom makes. Another delicious flavor that reaches out into the fall season is “pumpkin” flavor, which has pumpkin fro-yo, honey graham crackers, swirly whip, and cinnamon. This flavor will be introduced in a couple weeks around Halloween time. True, all of these flavors can be enjoyed as is with only frozen yogurt, but the many toppings put the treat over the edge.

The toppings consists of fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberries, and much more), dry toppings (cheesecake bites, brownies bites, cookies & cream, and more), luxe toppings (peanut butter crunch, milk chocolate crunch, and swirly whip), and liquid toppings (caramel, honey, and pomegranate juice.)

Even with other competitions in the area such as Robek’s Juice and Ben & Jerry’s, both in West Hartford Center, and Yogurt Madness located on the Berlin Turnpike, Pinkberry has promise for success. Pinkberry takes the original frozen yogurt to a whole new level with a delectable variety of flavors and toppings that appeases the hungry, fro-yo craving stomach.

In terms of prices, a mini frozen yogurt with toppings starts out at $3.45 with $5.45, $6.75, and $8.25 for a small, medium and large respectively, no matter the flavor or amount of toppings. A small and medium original frozen yogurts with toppings are $4.95 and $6.25, different to the respective prices stated above. Yet a mini frozen yogurt without toppings starts out at $2.95 with $4.15, $5.15, and $7.25 for a small, medium, and large respectively. As stated previously a small and medium original frozen yogurt without toppings are $3.65 and $4.65, different to the respective prices stated above.

If looking for prices for smoothies, fruit bowls, and fruit parfaits or just wanting to browse more in depth on flavors, one can visit Pinkberry’s website www.pinkberry.com.

So grab the new delectable fro-yo in town, and have a blast enjoying the scrumptious flavors and toppings the way Pinkberry can only offer.

20 under 20: Lyman Orchards

By Sarah Bogues

What’s better than spending an afternoon picking apples, munching on apple cider donuts and choosing the “perfect” pumpkin during this autumn season? Well, at Lyman Orchards, a visitor can do all that plus so much more.

Nestled away a little under 18 miles from CCSU lies the infamous, busy Lyman Orchards between routes 147 and 157 in Middlefield CT, offering anything from baked goods and fall decorations to deli meat, fruit, and produce.

There are two main entrances to the Apple Barrel Market, one off Lyman Road and the other off Reeds Gap Road, yet both bring visitors to the same place: delicious, yummy food.

Upon entering the Apple Barrel market, a visitor will immediately observe the sardine-packed room with people galore either shopping or in line for baked goods, lunch, or checkout. Then the visitor will notice the many varieties of produce and fruit: apples, pears, nectarines, plums, green peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are a mere sample of what Lyman Orchards offers.

An assortment of pies (blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, apple crumb, apple, and pumpkin), cookies (oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and chocolate chip), breads (caramel apple and banana nut), jams and maple butter attract the eye, once getting the past the “healthy” stuff. A line stands alongside the front of two cases filled with the infamous sugared apple cider donuts, cupcakes, brownies, apple fritters, apple turnovers, and many more varieties of scrumptious baked goods. Baked goods range from about $1.50 to $3.00 with pies and packages of cookies going for $4.79. Eggs, milk, juices, cheese, sausage, and of course pints, half gallons, and gallons of fresh apple cider are also available in the market area.

If interested in eating lunch, one can order off the menu and can get either a salad or a ham, turkey, and roast beef sandwich for $6.25; a specialty salad or sandwich for $7.25.

If a visitor didn’t think the Apple Barrel market doesn’t have enough food then they have another thing coming. Outside of the market, servers serve hot apple crisp for $4 and hot apple cider for $2 along with hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks, and other snack foods at a stand nearby. Even though there are lines after lines for just about everything at Lyman Orchards, the line for kettle corn is by far the longest. After waiting in line for at least 20 minutes and paying up to either $4 for a small, $7 for a medium, or $9 for a large, you finally get the warm, yummy kettle corn; definitely worth the wait.

Picking your own apples is just a short drive from the Apple Barrel market and costs only $1.29/pound. Macoun and Empire apples are available at this time and are both excellent for eating, baking, and snacking on. Pumpkins and mums are available for picking as well back at the Apple Barrel Market.

In one visit, a visitor can get lunch, pick some apples, get some apple cider donuts and a small kettle corn all for under $20. Good deal? Definitely.

Lyman Orchards Apple Barrel market is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the months of September and October, and everyday from 9 am to 6 pm the remainder of the year. The orchard is always having new and exciting events related to each season, so stop by and see what new things Lyman Orchards has to offer by hitting up their website, lymanorchards.com.

20 Under 20: Talcott Mountain State Park

By Sarah Bogues

With summer fast approaching, who wants to stay inside on a sunny and warm Connecticut day?

The only thing inside Talcott Mountain State Park is Heublein Tower, about 1.25 miles up the mountain and a goal for many visitors of the park.

Talcott Mountain State Park, located in Simsbury, is a short 14-mile trip from CCSU that gives visitors of the park many different activities to partake in. Hiking, picnicking, photography and dog walking are the bulk of the activities that one can do while at Talcott Mountain State Park.

The Tower Trail leading up to Heublein Tower is about a mile and a quarter hike that takes about 30 to 40 minutes depending on ability and time. The beautiful woodsy scenery of the Tower Trail along with the exquisite sights off the trail is a big part of the attraction of the mountain.

Once at the top of the mountain, Heublein Tower awaits. Besides the 165-foot tower, BBQ pits, grills, picnic benches and bathrooms sit on top of Talcott Mountain as well.

The reason many visitors of the park take the beautiful hike to reach Heublein Tower is because of its remarkable history. The tower was the summer home of the Talcott family and was built by Gilbert Heublein in the early 1900’s. Heublein Tower has now been restored as a museum and a place of learning for the educational benefit of the public.

Visitors who brave the 110 steps to the observation room at the top of the tower are rewarded with an unforgettable view of the Farmington Valley, West Hartford and the Hartford skyline.

The great thing about enjoying Talcott Mountain State Park is that it is free of charge. Parking, hiking, picnicking, the Heublein Tower and everything else comes free.

The park itself is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day. Heublein Tower, on the other hand, opens on May 24 and stays open until the end of August, with its hours being Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tower is also open Labor Day weekend until Oct. 31 daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you’re looking for an educational yet health beneficial and fun activity to take part in, then stop by Talcott Mountain State Park throughout the summer or even the fall and have a blast.

20 Under 20: Farmington Miniature Golf and Ice Cream Parlor

By Sarah Bogues

It’s that time of year again, when cravings for delicious treats and fun occur on spring and summer days and nights.

It’s at Farmington Miniature Golf and Ice Cream Parlor that people of all ages can get their fix of some yummy ice cream and a fun miniature golf course.

Farmington Miniature Golf and Ice Cream Parlor, located only seven miles away from CCSU, is great for students needing a break from the books or are merely craving a good time with delicious flavors of ice cream and lots of laughs from the golf course.

The ice cream parlor serves over 35 flavors of hard ice cream, yogurt, and soft serve with originals such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee and Pistachio and new flavors like Kahlua Chocolate Chunk, Tye-Dye Vanilla, Cowabunga Crunch and Chocolate Cheese Cake Brownie. New flavors and rotational flavors throughout the year are brought to the menu every so often and around the seasons.

If you’re looking for healthy ways to enjoy the delicious ice cream, no sugar added and non-fat items are also an option on the menu. Cups, cones, sundaes, shakes, quarts and pints of hand-packed ice cream are also offered at Farmington Miniature Golf and Ice Cream Parlor along with hot dogs, nachos, homemade chili and many other types of beverages.

The ice cream is weighed, meaning the prices for each size will most likely change. For hard ice cream, a small starts at about $3.72 with a medium starting at about $4.90 and a large starting at about $6.00. On the other hand, soft ice cream comes out to be a little cheaper than hard ice cream with a small starting at about $3.12, medium starting at about $4.00, and a large starting at about $5.00. The option of cones are offered free of charge.

To play an 18-hole game of miniature golf, it costs $6.00 before 6 p.m. and $7.00 after 6 p.m. with a $3.00 fee for a repeat game before 6 p.m. during weekdays. Birthday parties, group events and special events such as an Easter egg hunt and a haunted miniature golf are offered as another way to have a great time at this local golf and ice cream joint.

A customer looking to engage in an activity that will cost below $20.00 can play two games of golf before 6 p.m., have a large hard ice cream cone and still have money left over for more ice cream.

Farmington Miniature Golf and Ice Cream Parlor is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week and during holidays.

20 Under 20: Spin Cycle Cafe (and Laundromat)

By Matt Clyburn and Kat Boushee

Located less than two miles from the CCSU campus, the Spin Cycle Cafe and Laundromat helps solve the age-old decision between clean laundry and drinking with friends.

Spin Cycle offers free soap Monday through Friday in addition to nightly entertainment for laundry-doers and non-laundry-doers alike.

Monday is “Sports Night,” where during the game you can enjoy $2 Bud drafts and 50 cent wings.

Friday is the “Jazz Jam,” where patrons can enjoy live music from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dance and Latin music is played after 9:30 p.m. and dancing is strongly encouraged.

Saturday night features an ever-changing array of live entertainment. Past events have included live music and comedy performances. Sunday night is “College Night” where CCSU students once again enjoy $2 Bud drafts and 50 cent wings.

Of course, the laundry services are numerous.  Dry cleaning, home pick-up and delivery, wash and fold services and self-service laundry machines.

Students can purchase discount cards that allow them to fill up a bag provided by Spin Cycle to be washed, folded and dried for a flat rate of $15 per bag.

Spin Cycle boasts free wi-fi, seasonally open outdoor patio tables and areas for study groups. They also host open mic nights, magic shows and wine tastings.

20 Under 20: Prime Climb A Fun Way to Stay in Shape

By Sarah Bogues

With the winter season coming to an end, why not get out and get in shape for the summer?

At Prime Climb Inc., you can get active and in shape by participating in 40-foot tall rock climbing gyms and challenge courses with helpful lessons by a reputable staff.

Prime Climb Inc., located in Wallingford, Conn. about 18 miles from CCSU’s campus, is a great destination spot for beginner or experienced rock climbers of all ages who want to be active and have fun in a safe, comfortable and friendly state of the art indoor setting.

Two rock-climbing gyms are part of Prime Climb Inc., Prime Climb and Mountain Fun. Created in 2001, Mountain Fun is a beginner climbing gym used to introduce rock climbing to beginners wishing to just try it or move on to become a experienced climber, while Prime Climb gym is a more advanced gym.

Mountain Fun has a $20 fee for one hour of rock climbing with necessary equipment included from Friday to Sunday and a $15 fee for one hour of rock climbing with necessary equipment included from Tuesday to Thursday.

Prime Climb has a $15 adult day pass and a $9 child day pass. The day passes do not include equipment fees so if a rock climber does not have their own equipment, equipment rentals will be charged. A harness fee for $2, a rock shoe fee for $5, a belay device fee for $1 and a complete package of everything for $7 is included in the equipment rentals.

Lessons and packages, separate costs from the normal fees, are provided to climbers who need a refresher and climbers who have mastered Mountain Fun and deserve to hit up more advanced rock climbing walls.

Birthday parties, lessons, group events and corporate team building are also among the services Prime Climb Inc. provides.

If you are in the mood to have a nice workout and have loads of fun than visit Prime Climb during any of its regular hours throughout the week.

Mountain Fun is open Tuesday to Friday 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Prime Climb is open Monday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

20 Under 20: Elizabeth Park Makes for a Sunny Day Getaway

By Sarah Bogues

Elizabeth Park, only 9 miles from CCSU, is a perfect destination for a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Photo: elizabethpark.org.

Enjoy nature and seeing over 102 acres of greenhouses and gardens? If so, Elizabeth Park, a city park that holds the country’s oldest municipal rose garden with over 15,000 bushes of 800 rose varieties along with many other gardens and greenhouses, is the place for you.

Elizabeth Park, located in Hartford, Conn., is a little under 9 miles from the CCSU campus and is a great destination spot for those interested in picnicking, participating in a variety of park activities and of course seeing a pond, greenhouses and over six different types of gardens.

The park beholds a rose garden, centennial rose garden, herb garden, perennial garden, rock garden and a heritage garden all for the public’s eye.

After appreciating the many gardens and greenhouses, visitors can partake in an assortment of park activities such as tennis, lawn bowling, roller-blading and biking You can even have a pleasurable meal at the Pond House Café, the park’s restaurant and snack vendor.

Besides the many acres of green grass and gardens, Elizabeth Park also has many flower sales and shows, lectures and other events offered to the public. Even though the flower sales and shows are free to the public, each lecture costs about $10 per person unless part of the package deal.

From dawn to dusk every day of the year, Elizabeth Park is open with free admission and parking. The Pond House Café is open Tuesday thru Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner. On Sundays the cafe is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for brunch.

If looking for something to do on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, take a ride to Elizabeth Park and enjoy a day filled with park activities, picnicking and of course, walking through its gorgeous and world-known gardens, greenhouses, pathways and lawns.

20 Under 20: Dinosaur State Park

By Sarah Bogues

Ever thought it was possible to see real dinosaur tracks? Well, it is at Dinosaur State Park, a government owned facility that has a 200 million year-old fossil track way, interactive exhibits, and live footprints all for the public’s eye.

Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT, located just a little over 11 miles from CCSU, is a great destination spot for those interested in the education aspects of the park or in the mere fun of bragging to family and friends, “I just saw a dinosaur footprint!”

Despite most people being drawn to the interactive exhibit center filled with footprints and much more, a bookstore and gift shop are also available to individuals who would like to take a piece of their eventful day back home with them whether it is a book on dinosaurs or a replica of a dinosaur fossil.

Offering much more than just exhibits and live footprints, Dinosaur State Park has unique activities, foot print casting and mining for gems and fossils, featured only between May 1 and October 31. While footprint casting and mining is free, park guests must bring their own materials with them.

To enter the park, a $6 fee is charged to all adults 13 years of age or older with smaller fees charged to children 6 through 12 years of age.

For those worried about when to visit, Dinosaur State Park is open year round, Tuesday through Sunday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm with its nature trails closing at 4:00 pm.

For a small charge of $6, a person can learn all sorts of things on dinosaurs, while even enjoying a nice brought lunch at one of the park’s picnic tables, not too bad for a weekend destination trip.