Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor

This time last year, I wasn’t completely myself.

Last November I had my first of many panic attacks. I was at my student house attempting to complete an essay that was due two days later, and I broke down. I lost control of my emotions and started screaming and crying. My housemate came rushing to my room because she thought someone had died. I called my parents and my dad drove from Mississauga to Hamilton to bring me home.

I felt hopeless. It was an immense and overwhelming stress and sadness that I couldn’t control no matter what I did.

I talked to my friends and family about the stress I was feeling, and they all assured me that this was a normal thing to happen to someone my age, and that I would bounce back in no time.

But I didn’t. The stress got worse, and suddenly what was once just mental frustration was beginning to disrupt my physical health. I couldn’t sleep, I would forget to eat, I started fainting and was rushed to the hospital on more than one occasion. I had lost control of myself, and thought that if I ignored the warning signs long enough, they would simply just disappear. In an attempt to turn my life back around, I resorted to unhealthy coping mechanisms that included repetitive, ritualized behavior, such as obsessive counting and forcing myself to stay awake.

The stress was tough, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was dealing with something greater than everyday worry.

“Everyone has stress, and especially everyone has stress around exam time,” explained Debra Earl, a nurse with the Student Wellness Centre’s Mental Health Team. “But with people who are exposed to a lot of stress, often depression can result.”

Hearing a word like depression used to describe yourself can be shocking and disheartening. Months after that particular breakdown, my inability to focus and sleep continued, and my unhealthy coping mechanisms became a default. After running from my problem for months, I realized that my symptoms were not going to go away on their own and soon after, I was diagnosed with a combination of general anxiety, depression and early signs of obsessive compulsive disorder.

“People will be struggling with a lot of symptoms, with their anxiety, with their depression, trying to manage it on their own, until it affects their academics. Then they realize, this is bigger than me, I can’t do this by myself,” said Earl.

When I was struggling with my health last year, the hardest part about finding help was accepting that I had a problem and asking for help. I was always really “normal” when it came to school, so having troubles with stress was surprising and hard to understand. But even if you don’t have a history of mental illness, during times of high stress, anything is possible.

“People who have never come in before are coming in and its beyond the stage of just dealing with stress, it’s often resulted in an anxiety disorder,” said Earl in reference to a number of students who approach the SWC for help.

Mental illness is not something uncommon among students our age, and it’s not something to be ashamed of either.

In the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey, 17 per cent of Canadians over the age of 15, approximately 4.9 million individuals, perceived themselves as having a need for mental health care in the past 12 months. It’s not a rare problem, yet for some reason, reaching out for help feels embarrassing and over dramatic.

“It would be better if people came in sooner, but most people don’t come in until a crisis has resulted,” explained Earl when speaking about early diagnosis.

There’s no reason to feel guilty, ashamed, or disappointed for feeling sick. It may not be something you have control over anymore and its ok to seek help for it. If I had dealt with my problem earlier on, I probably would have had a much more positive year and I would have found healthy coping mechanisms earlier on.

Earl encourages students who are having difficulties coping with stress to reconsider their eating and sleeping habits and make time for activities outside of school work.

If your stress is keeping you up at night, interfering with your work, or is making you feel unwell, reach out to a friend, family member, your physician, or one of the many resources on campus. Or even if you find that a friend or relative is acting out of character, initiate discussion, they may just be waiting for someone to approach them.

Running away from your problems is easy at the beginning, but trust me, they’ll catch up to you before you catch up to yourself.

Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor

The Chef’s Wagon

16-24 James Street North

With an unconventional address, The Chef’s Wagon leads more of a nomadic life.

As a James Street staple food truck, the Wagon is located next to the James/King William intersection, but prefers an established location to conventional wheeled travel. Opened in December of 2012, this food truck is firmly planted as a fast and fresh place for homemade burgers on the go. Their patty meat is made fresh daily, never frozen, with local Hamilton ingredients, no additives or preservatives, and charming names like “The Mountain” and “The Steeltown Gyro.”





Mex-I-Can Restoraurant (not a typo)

107 James Street North

If the abnormal spelling of the word “restaurant” in its title isn’t enough to make you want to give them all your business now (and no, that’s not the Spanish spelling), then perhaps the genuine hole-in-the-wall atmosphere and cheesy (in both senses of the word) Mexican cuisine will.

Serving up your classic quesadillas, enchiladas, canada pharmacy chimichangas and so much more, Mex-I-Can gives you an authentic sketchy Hamilton restaurant experience complete with tasty and authentic Mexican cuisine.

Mex you can have your burrito, and eat it too.




The Burnt Tongue

10 Cannon Street East

With its grand opening just two months ago, The Burnt Tongue is already a local hot spot for soups and sandwiches. When we went by at lunchtime, the lineup was consistent and the restaurant was bustling. With a soup menu that’s updated every day, novelty sodas, and Rudy’s Paletas- delicious Hamilton-made gourmet popsicles- it’s no wonder they’re already a student household name.

Try the Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup with a Peanut Butter Paleta for dessert, and you will be one happy Hamiltonian.





Charred Rotisserie House

244 James Street North

Quality chicken is hard to come by on campus, so why not venture down to this Portuguese rotisserie for their stellar poultry? With full, half and quarter chicken dinners, their meat loving menu will make the most of your Paleolithic diet.

A home-y environment, friendly staff and a pulled chicken on a bun will have you coming back for more.






McCartney & Son Salad Emporium and Eatery

282 James Street North

This restaurant owner’s clients have included Robert Plant, Bob Dylan and Samuel L. Jackson. I know, right? Once a caterer to the stars, McCartney now runs this urban and spacious salad bar close to the corner of Barton and James. In addition to spending a hefty chunk of time serving celebrities out of Toronto, he is also the manager of Hamilton’s favourite sandwich shop and James Street classic, Jack and Lois.

Will a salad bar serving tens of toppings at $7 a pound, sandwiches, soups and ice cream, the Salad Emporium has enough to satisfy all of your cravings.




James North General Store

261 James Street North

It’s both a coffee shop and clothing store. Yes, the James North General Store is heaven on earth. Established in June of this year, this new shop will feed and clothe you. With inexpensive coffee and tea, vintage handbags, contemporary clothing, jewelry and work from local artists, the General Store puts a modern and trendy spin on a neighbourhood staple of the past.

Although they’re closed on Sundays and Mondays, head on over the Tuesday after Artcrawl for their monthly post-crawl, tax-free sale.





Mulberry Street Coffee House

193 James Street North

A super hip cafe open for your enjoyment, Mulberry Street Coffee House will pump you with caffeine in style. Serving up tasty beverages, including a Nutella latte, Mulberry also offers a diverse selection of homemade cookies, paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches.

In addition to food, their charming atmosphere with vintage couches, chandeliers and exposed brick walls will have you coming back again and again.  Sit back, relax and let Mulberry make you feel at home.





The Green Smoothie Bar

236 James Street North

For all the health nuts out there (bless your sweet devoted souls), The Green Smoothie Bar serves up delicious, nutricious and ambitiously crafted beverages.

On top of their tasty smoothies, you can also pick up some of their flavoured kale chips or packaged nuts. The next time you’re artcrawling, vintage shopping, or walking downtown, make a stop at The Green Smoothie Bar, your colon will thank you.

Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor


Offered on: Monday 3:30-4:20, Tuesday 4:30-5:20, Wednesday 6:30-7:30, Thursday 12:05-12:55, Sunday 4:30- 5:20

Burn rating: 2/5

You will have fun when you go to Zumba. Your instructor will probably warn you not to look at your reflection in the mirror, and that is because it will make you feel viagra canadian meds like a fool. But don’t worry, everyone else looks crazy too!

An intensive cardio dance session based around classic Spanish styles, you will go through several routines led by the instructor that feature dance moves coupled with stretches, jumps and standard exercises (think jumping jacks and squats). With all this movement, Zumba will have you sweating profusely by the end of the session. Not as direct in strength training as other classes, it will still have you on your feet while burning calories and building muscle.


Step It Up!

Offered on: Thursday 5:30-6:20

Burn Rating: 3/5

If you’ve never done a step class before, be warned that this does feature some fancy footwork that may not be familiar or easy for beginners. But, after a few sessions, you should be a stepping pro with thighs of steel.

As a beginner (and a person below average height), I’ll set my risers with a single level. The more risers you have, the harder the workout will be. But with a series of twists, turns and jumps, keeping it closer to the ground may be your best option.

The workout increases in pace to a point where I needed to leave early my first time taking the class. But with a bit of practice and consistent water sipping, your lower body should be plenty ready for the road ahead.


“GTL”- Glutes, Torso, Legs

Offered on: Monday 12:05-12:55

Burn Rating: 4/5

This class comes with a lot of accessories. For the exercises and stretches involved you will use a step and risers, hand weights, an exercise mat and an exercise ball. Targeting your core and lower body, the first few exercises do a good job at easing you into the workout ahead. And then the squats start. You will definitely feel the burn, and possibly, you may actually feel your ass as a separate entity of your body.

A really great and effective workout, it offers both a strength training and cardio workout. The fifty minute session includes, jump and squat activities on the step and risers, balance and core exercises on the ball, hamstring and core exercises on the mat, and squat and lunge activities with the hand weights. A little bit of everything, your muscles will thank you for GTL.

Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor

For most of the year, I’m pretty content with the fact that I can’t grow facial hair.

And then November rolls around.

Movember. It’s a term we’ve all come to know and anticipate as it marks the one time of year when a bearded man stands for personal health and awareness.

With a small-scale start in 2003, a group of “Mo Bros” in Melbourne, Australia decided to grow out their facial hair to spread the word about men’s health. Now coined as Movember, a clever portmanteau of Moustache and November, what was once a small Aussie event is now an international campaign devoted to raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer research.

In 2012, the campaign officially included 29 participating countries, with over one million registered participants through their online charitable network.

The campaign is widely popular across the Hamilton and McMaster communities especially with the “McMO’sters” network that has been active and running for the last two years. Participating students are encouraged to officially register online and join the pre-existing McMaster team.

Now let’s get back to me growing facial hair.

As much as the event directly caters to the abilities of men on campus, female students are also encouraged to join in on the fun by raising money on behalf of a specific person or team taking part in the facial hair festivities.

And although taking part in Movember as a woman is equally as beneficial to the cause, it just isn’t as fun.

There are several campaigns that revolve around female-oriented causes, but none seem to have the gender pride pull that Movember offers to its gentleman participants. Although worthy commitments and campaigns, none seem to offer the same overt publicity and gimmicky excitement that bring together men during Movember.

I appreciate the work that all charitable organizations put forward with their campaigns, but wearing a somewhat sexualized “I love boobies” bracelet just isn’t the same as bonding with my “Mo Bros” over a natural facial buy cheap generic viagra accessory.

I’m a little jealous that men have the opportunity to so openly show something that unites their gender, while women have to hide any explicit features that define their femininity.

In an attempt to find a campaign that could have the same thrilling and hairy effects of Movember, Armpits for August was started up in the UK as a way to raise money and awareness for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome research. Similarly, the “No Shave November” idea promotes similar trends for women while supporting a variety of charities. Although both of these events were built on the same principle as Movember, the event isn’t as well received or popular due to the stigma around female body hair.

Although Movember supports a great cause and has earned a well-deserved amount of support and praise, I really wish there was a way for women to support their gender in a fun and inclusive way.

This November, I’ll sport the endearing title of a “Mo Sista” to support those growing for the cause. And to be honest, I will probably be unknowingly taking part in No Shave November. Girls may not be having as much fun, but at least we’re growing in the right direction.

Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor

If you are a normal, living, breathing human being, either male or female, it is likely that at one point in time, you have wanted to be Zooey Deschanel. It’s a huge generalization, but that does not make it any less true.

Many “alternative” and “hip” celebrities, like Deschanel, sport a style that is uniquely their own and often reminiscent of eras past. And often, when we long for the style of another, we ask ourselves, how do they manage to look that way, all the time?

I’ll let you in on a little secret – many of these alternative and hip celebrities shop vintage.

Vintage clothing and styles have been popular since the early two thousands when thick-rimmed glasses made viagra tablet weight a comeback and Mad Men took flight with ratings. Old was new again, and styles long forgotten were resurrected by high fashion designers and street style pros alike.

Wearing vintage clothing tends to have yuppie-ish connotations that are both inaccessible and untrue. Second-hand styles are easy to find and can be worn by all. Buying twice-loved clothing is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative that allows for a unique and exciting shopping experience.

Hamilton is lucky to have several vintage fashion stores within the area that offer selections for both men and women.

Lauren Erickson, owner of La Bichette, a vintage and contemporary store located off of James St. N. and Barton, started selling second-hand fashions in June of this year when her store first opened.

“A lot of people think that because something isn’t new, the quality isn’t as high. But, it’s actually quite the opposite,” said Erickson.

Older clothing will often be handmade and feature higher quality fabric that can’t be found in today’s mass-produced goods. Detailing with buttons, stitching, and extended seams are also common traits that make for easy alterations, fittings, and unique styles.

When gathering goods to market at a vintage boutique, there are several different ways that clothing can be acquired and made ready for sale.

“I’ve been collecting for probably 10 years,” added Erickson when asked where her supply comes from. "I’ve inherited some of the pieces from family and friends, purchased some from estate sales, and have thrifted many of the pieces."

Consignment stores are also a popular choice for vintage shopping. They sell second-hand clothes from a starter price point, and as time goes by and the item is not sold, the price is gradually reduced.

Although boutique-style stores tend to be the more popular choice for second-hand and vintage shopping, there’s something to be said for thrift stores a la Value Village and Talize. With time and patience, filtering through racks can result in a rewarding shopping experience.

“If you’re going to shop vintage, make sure you have time,” recommends Erickson. “It can be a lot of fun, but you have to factor in time for trying on items and looking through all of the options.”

Shopping vintage is a lot like constantly finding great deals on sale. It can be a thrilling experience, especially when you find a unique buy. Some pieces are actually better purchased twice-loved, such as outerwear and party dresses.

“You’ll never have to worry about someone having the same dress as you,” said Erickson in reference to shopping vintage.

Purchasing vintage clothing is easy and accessible, especially in Hamilton. And contrary to popular belief, it is available and appropriate for everyone, and not just certain sects of society.

“Vintage isn’t just for hipsters. Everyone can wear vintage,” said Erickson.

Shopping vintage can be a fun and beneficial experience. Looking up to icons of the past, and alternative stars of the present, you may be setting the trends of the future. And if you look past the common misconceptions surrounding it, you may just be the next Zooey Deschanel.



Amanda Watkins
LifeStyle Editor

With the rush of school, work and everything in between, sometimes at the end of the day, taking on a new cause may seem like a heavy task.

Students for Project Umbrella Burma McMaster, or PUBMac, are determined to promote awareness for their worthy and reliable cause by hosting relaxing and informative events that will make the end of your day feel both calm and aware.

“We work under the larger organization, Project Umbrella Burma,” says third-year Communications and Multimedia student and PUBMac’s Media Coordinator, Rebecca Annibale.

Project Umbrella Burma is an international non-profit organization centered around providing care and education for young people and medical clinics, and to serve victims of ethnic cleansing and cultural destruction in Burma, now modern-day Myanmar.

Since Sept. 2012, when the club first started, PUBMac’s ultimate goal has been to raise funds for the Kaw Tha Blay College, an alternative high school education system provided for victims of hate crime in Burma. It is one of many institutions and assistance programs supported by the larger infrastructure of PUB.

“The goal for the club is to mainly raise awareness,” adds Annibale. “Last year we were able to reach our funding goal for the organization, and it would be awesome to do that again.”

With awareness as their key selling point, PUBMac has planned a series of low-key events that will help students get a better understanding of the social and political unrest in Burma.

Coming up on Nov. 6, the club will be hosting their first public event for the year, a movie screening of The Lady a film by Luc Besson. The Lady is a documentary about Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese politician who was put under house arrest for expressing oppositional ideas.

PUBMac wants to ensure that their events are accessible to all students and can promote awareness to all those interested and concerned. “Entrance into the screening is free,” says Annibale. “And there will be free popcorn as well!”

After their first buy cheap viagra event, the club looks forward to hosting coffee houses, and allergy-friendly bake sales to work towards their financial goal for the year. All of the funds raised will go directly towards helping students and young adults complete their high school education in Burma.

Getting informed about a worthy cause doesn’t have to be an additional stress in your life. With the help of initiatives like PUBMac, becoming aware can be as simple as sitting down for a movie.  

Six simple steps that will ensure you don’t die within the first thirty minutes

Horror movies always seem to star stupid people. Regardless of age, location or occupation, every starlet seems to think it’s a great idea to find shelter in an abandoned basement, investigate the screaming sound coming from the attic, or adopt that one creepy little orphan whose only protection is the Young Offenders Act. If this Hallowe’en you find yourself bewildered with a horror movie-esque attack, here are six steps that may help you make it all the way to the credits.

1)   Remove yourself from isolated areas

So you live on a farm? Move. Axe murderers tend to be drawn to lonely wooden structures and small town environments. Cornfields, abandoned asylums and wooded areas are a no-no. Keep to more densely populated city areas and travel in packs of 10 or more. If you cannot avoid being in an real viagra pharmacy prescription isolated area, have a car on hand to drive your ass the hell out of there in case of an emergency (preference for SUVs and Hummers).

2)   Don’t investigate weird sounds

If you hear a weird sound coming from the floor above you, CALL THE POLICE. I don’t care how many triathlons you’ve done or how badass you think you are, you are not equipped to battle a psychopath ghost living in your attic. You are not Scooby Doo, you are not Bill Murray, and you are not that lady from Long Island Medium, you are no match for the paranormal.

3)   Carry a charged cellphone

One of the luxuries of the twenty-first century is the easy access to portable electronic devices. Use your goddamn phone to call for help. You also want to make sure you have enough battery power for your caller ID to work. The last thing you need is to answer a call from an “Unknown Number” and find yourself being stalked while manoeuvring a babysitting gig. That being said, another good tip – don’t be a babysitter.

4)   Don’t lean against walls or doors

When the floorboards in the next room are creaking and you don’t know how to check if the coast is clear, leaning against the wall/door for a better listen is not a good idea. Because there you are all huddled up next to your plywood framework and all of a sudden, you’re getting shanked in the spleen with some next Kill Bill blade. Unless your home is made of steel, you are not going to be safe from the person in the next room.

5)   Don’t have sex

Ok guys, so I know when you’re scared and lonely you feel the need to get handsy, but there are several important considerations when it comes to fear-induced-freak. Don’t be caught pant-less, you will find yourself running for your life semi-nude. Don’t get pregnant, because you will give birth to a demon child. Don’t have sex, because you will get chlamydia and you will die.

6)   Double tap

It’s never dead when you think it is. Give it another hit.



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Tips to keep your etiquette worries at bay during potentially awkward Thanksgiving dinners.



Thanksgiving dinner is predictable. You’ve got your roasted turkey, tin can-shaped cranberry sauce, and squishy JELLO-like pumpkin pie. It’s all very delicious, but a change can be too.

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Mac Farm Stand offers a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables that can easily be incorporated into your standard Thanksgiving meal to jazz it up and inject new flavours. Here are two easy recipes that can be thrown together with the help of Farm Stand ingredients.

Golden Delicious Baked Apples

A great dessert on its own, or served alongside a healthy sliver of pumpkin pie


-       4 large apples (Farm Stand)

-       ¼ cup brown sugar

-       1 tbsp. cinnamon

-       ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

-       1 tbsp. butter

-       ¾ cup boiling water

-       Honey (Farm Stand)

Yield: 4 servings



1)   Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While your oven is heating up, core your apples, making sure you remove all seeds. Leave about 2.5 cm of apple at the bottom of the fruit, and gauge the cored centres to be around 3 cm in diameter.

2)   In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Place your apples in a baking pan and stuff each fruit with this newly created mixture. Top each apple core off with a pat of butter.

3)   Add the boiling water to the bottom of the pan and bake for around 30-40 minutes, or until apples are tender (read: not mushy, that’s dutty). Remove your apples from the oven and baste with the juices from the bottom of the pan. Drizzle a small amount of honey over each apple.


Farm Fresh Raspberry Sauce

A tasty alternative to pre-packaged cranberry sauce.



-       ¼ of an onion, finely chopped (Farm Stand)

-       60 mL red wine

-       1 chicken bouillon cube or small chicken stock pot

-       ½ cup water

-       30 mL honey (Farm Stand)

-       5 mL corn flour mixed with water

-       45 mL raspberries, mashed or gently pureed (Farm Stand)


Yield: 4 servings



1)   Sautee onions in a pan on medium heat until tender. Add red wine and allow to cook for a minute or two.

2)   Mix in chicken stock, water and honey.

3)   Let simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in flour paste and raspberries. Let simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.

Fall is the perfect season to fall out of love. Plants are slowly dying. Midterms make you feel like you’re slowly dying. You might as well use this time to also write out the epitaph for your heart.

Right around the time when the leaves start changing and the weather begins to shift, some of us may be experiencing another surprising and potentially unwelcome change- getting dumped.

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With a cold autumn comes a cold heartbreak. And on that weekend when we should be carving into turkey and giving thanks for all the joys in our lives, you may actually be sobbing alone in your room listening to Simon and Garfunkel and binge-eating McDonalds.

The “turkey dump” is a phenomenon sweeping across the nation. Wiping out long distance relationships all over North America, and working to abolish the term “high school sweetheart” forever. Blatantly defined, the turkey dump is when a university or college student comes home after their month and a half of freedom and decides to put an end to their high school relationship. Come Thanksgiving weekend, many a couple will re-unite and quickly thereafter, break ties.

Now regardless of whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, the turkey dump will take some effort to get over. You’re saying goodbye to the person you naively believed to be your soul mate on a weekend meant for celebration, that’s gotta hurt. So here are some words of encouragement to help you get through this tough time and find something new to be thankful for this holiday season.

The Dumper

So you’re planning on turkey dumping your significant other? Or should I now say insignificant other? Regardless, good on you. Working up the courage to put an end to something that once seemed promising is a difficult task.

If you find that your relationship has been growing weaker, or your wandering eye may potentially become a problem, ending the bond is a good idea.

But remember, let your partner down easy (read: an e-card is not the way to go). Getting dumped over thanksgiving dinner can’t be easily sugar-coated.

The Dumpee

So, you think you might be getting turkey dumped by your significant other? We’ve all experienced the cut and run at one point in time or another, so there’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed.

Dissolve your sadness in gravy and stuffing. Bask in the glory of copious amounts of food. This may be the only time in your life when emotional eating will be socially acceptable.

If you are neither the dumper or the dumpee, be thankful that this holiday season you aren’t the one falling out of love. Enjoy your dinner and send hopeful wishes to those experiencing the wrath coming from the tail end of the turkey.

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