Category Archives: Social

Social wellness refers to your ability to meet the expectations and demands of our personal roles without harming others. This means learning good communication skills, developing intimacy with others and creating a support network of friends and family members who care about and love you for who you are. Social wellness includes showing respect for others. By joining a group or organization, you create a sense of belonging in which you can contribute to the group, your community, and to the world. In this way, you are not only respecting others, but you are respecting yourself as well.

Let It Go without Letting It Go

psst… Did you get the title? I guess I had to be a part of the cool kids and reference the latest craze. Truthfully- I haven’t seen the movie yet. I only heard John T butchered Idina’s name. (And to be fair, I would’ve probably said something similar. Wouldn’t you?)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Mostly about weight loss, self image, and the journey that I’ve been on for a dozen years (WOW- it’s been that long?! I feel old). When I was 16, I tipped the scales at over 300 pounds. I didn’t see a “big person,” and it was honestly confusing to me to hold up my clothes and accept the fact that I not only filled them, but I challenged many of the seams’ thread power.

As I said, those days are long gone. A lot of hard work and much better lifestyle choices have helped me maintain my 100+ pound weight loss. I’d be lying if I told you that it has been easy. I think at some point it did get easier, but I.still.struggle.every.day. If I’m not finding it hard to say no to a pound of peanut M&Ms, I’m daunted with the task of looking in the mirror and not only accepting, but loving my loose skin and remnants of stretch marks.

Did you know that we all have bad days? Mine might look different than yours, but even the most successful people run into challenging moments that sometimes end in defeat.

The age of social media has somewhat muted our ability to accept that it’s OK to be anything less than perfect. There’s a funny picture I recently saw that has a couple happily posing while on a hike; underneath was a picture of them fighting with the title “3 seconds earlier.” Social Media allows us to share our highlight reel with the world… and if you’re anything like me, it also creates an unnecessary perception of pressure to continue “one upping” yourself or those around you.

A few weeks ago, I sat and at a pound of peanut M&Ms. Yes, an ENTIRE POUND. By myself. Just watching tv, relaxing (OK- well maybe it was a combination of stress and emotional eating a little bit, too). Anyway. When my hand hit the bottom of the bag, I was MORTIFIED at what I had done. I couldn’t believe that “I was so weak”…  in my head there were much harsher adjectives I was using in reference to my moment of weakness. Let’s just say- I was not being a nice person, and I went from a moment of pure bliss and enjoyment in the form of sweet and salty crunchiness to complete defeat and horror.

The next day I woke up still mad at myself and began plotting the things I would HAVE to do to make sure that pound of peanut M&Ms didn’t end in a 100 pound weight gain. I would HAVE to spend at least 5 hours at the gym. I would HAVE to eat one meal and nothing else. I would HAVE to not see anyone because they would surely smell the chocolate and peanuts seeping out of my pores…

HOLD UP. STOP THE BUS. 

Do you hear how ridiculous that all sounds? Reflecting back on it, I do! At the time it seemed very rational though. (And for the record- I did my normal time at the gym and ate my normal 2 meals and 14 snacks, and I saw several friends/family members. haha!)

Here’s the thing. Sometimes you’re going to have a moment of weakness. A bad day. A tough decision. And sometimes the best option won’t be the one that you choose to make. But that’s OK. Just as important as it can be to make a good choice, it is equally as important to forgive yourself for being human. As I read in a book the other day,

“Don’t let a Lapse become a Relapse.”

As both an emotional and stress eater, I know all-too-well how easy it is to fall off the tracks. One “bad” bite can lead to a “bad” meal can lead to a “bad” day can lead to a “bad” week… and pretty soon I’ve given up the gym and my 10 heads of lettuce a week.

Now I’m working on a different mindset. For too many years following my weight loss, I had a “good or bad” mentality. Everything was black and white.
Good= lots of exercise, fruits, vegetables, no fat, smaller clothing sizes…
Bad= ice cream, peanut M&Ms, not exercising, a plateau or increase in clothing sizes, marshmallows…

I was missing out on SO.MUCH. and it finally got to the point that I felt deprived and was ready to rebel by eating every “Bad” thing in sight. I’ve since learned to Let it Go once in a while… to enjoy a nice treat. I put in a lot of effort into eating healthy and exercise.  And now I’m working on loving what I see in the mirror. After all, I’ve worked really hard for the body I have for a really long time, and considering what I’ve put it through, it DESERVES love!

Think about your own life. Do you allow yourself to fail lovingly? Are you willing to forgive yourself, learn from the situation, and move on when things don’t happen according to plan?

KNOW How to Help

Many students think that partying ONLY leads to a great time. Unfortunately, sometimes people take it too far and drink way too much, which can lead to some serious issues. It is important for all of us to KNOW How to Help if a dangerous situation were to arise. Check out more information on the KNOW Campaign!

Here are some great tips for knowing how to help your buddies out when they drink.  One helpful acronym that we use to remember the signs of alcohol over dose is C.A.N.S. CANS

Now, sometimes students in North Dakota are afraid to seek medical attention for themselves or a friend if they have drank too much because they do not want to get in trouble with the law. Fortunately, North Dakota passed a law called the North Dakota Medical Amnesty Law. This law states that if you contact law enforcement or emergency services for yourself or someone else, who is underage because there is a need for medical assistance due to alcohol consumption, AND you wait for and cooperate with emergency responders, up to five people are immune from criminal prosecution in North Dakota. Although a person may not get in trouble with the law, they could get in trouble with the university if they are a student.

Last but not least, know that every minute matters. If someone needs medical attention due to alcohol overdose do not hesitate to get them help! Some important numbers to have in your phone include:

  • The ambulance, fire, and police (9-1-1)
  • The Care Team (day: 701-777-2664, night/weekend: 701-777-3491)
  • Campus Police (701-777-3491).

Keep these helpful tips in mind so that if you or a friend ever find yourself in a serious situation, you will KNOW How to Help.

What’s New with Stickman?

Holy-smokes! I never thought hosting a root-beer pong tournament in the residence halls would be so exhilarating. From set up to take down, Kelsie (an AOD peer educator) and myself saw residents of Bek Hall play, laugh, and whether they liked it or not, learn a thing or two. Before I get ahead of myself, let me take a step back for a minute. The Health & Wellness Hub is conducting outreach to provide information about low-risk drinking so students may be able to make informed, responsible decisions when it comes to alcohol.

Stickman

Our outreach program consisted of a character named “Stickman.” Party with Stickman is a comic strip with a stick figure that explains college life experiences dealing with alcohol, binge drinking, and partying. The goal of this event was to talk about the cost of partying, blood alcohol content, and protective behaviors.

After a presentation and some gasp stricken expressions, we began a root-beer pong tournament; EXCEPT, this tournament had a little twist. As soon as a cup was made players had to pour the content of the cup into a jug that measured Standard Drink Units (SDU’s) for beer (5% alcohol for every 12 ounces). By doing this, participants were able to see how much alcohol is typically consumed during ONE drinking game. Lying on the table was also a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) chart where residents of Bek Hall were able to see their potential Blood Alcohol Content per game and how that level may impair their cognitive and physical abilities.

After the tournament, residents continued to practice and play until it was time to pack up. The most fulfilling part of the night was hearing students use terms from my presentation. One student even said, “I didn’t know how much I normally drink until know- I’m definitely going to watch myself from now on.” This brought a smile to my face, as I know the goal is to inform, but I never thought changing someone’s perception would also change my own. I learned teaching others is the first step to prevention. The more we know, the better we are as a whole. We all had a blast playing pong, meeting new people, and learning some new facts about alcohol. No matter how you have a good time, it was great partying with Stickman in Bek Hall!

Sip, Swallow, and Chug: Watch what you drink on prescription drugs!

It might sound crazy to some, but in fact, a lot of a prescription drugs are affected by what you drink.  ImageAccording to the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration), “what you eat and drink can affect the way your medicines work” (fda.org).  This could mean a number of different things, from the development of a side effect previously unaffiliated with the medication or causing the medication to not work or do its job properly.  Interactions between prescription medications and food and drink are not something we usually think about.  Instead, we either only pay attention to what interactions may occur with whatever other medications and herbs we are presently taking, or we don’t think about it at all.

There are numerous dangers to mixing alcohol with prescription medications. Some of these dangers include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Memory trouble after having a drink or taking medicine
  • Loss of coordination (walking unsteadily, frequent falls)
  • Changes in sleeping habits 
  • Unexplained bruises 
  • Being unsure of yourself 
  • Irritability, sadness, depression 
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Wanting to stay alone a lot of the time
  • Failing to bathe or keep clean
  • Having trouble finishing sentences 
  • Having trouble concentrating 
  • Difficulty staying in touch with family or friends
  • Lack of interest in usual activities (niaa.nih.gov)

What makes mixing with medications an even greater threat is that some medications already include alcohol, as much as 10% (niaaa.nih.gov). 

The below link is a guide published through the FDA that tells you prescriptions to avoid mixing with alcoholic beverages. I would encourage everyone to check it out and abide by what it has to say.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/ensuringsafeuseofmedicine/generaluseofmedicine/ucm229033.pdf

Lettuce Eat Green

As I drove to work, I realized I had no visible green on so I quickly thought about what I could do to avoid being pinched all day (stick a green post-it note on my shirt? tell people they just can’t see my green? take a green sharpie to my skin? convince people my eyes are green?) . So far, I’ve successfully dodged each playful reminder of St. Patty’s Day.

Truthfully though? Seeing all of this green makes me hungry.
(Well, a lot of things have that same effect on me… but green really gets me.)

You see, I.Love.Vegetables.

If you opened my fridge on a Sunday night (the day I usually grocery shop), you might find an average of 10 heads of lettuce. Yes, TEN. (Please pick your jaw off the keyboard.) I bet I’m one of the few people that gets asked “Are you having a party?” every time I go through the checkout with all of my green goodness. Sometimes I’ll come up with different tall tales that I could tell the cashier to avoid telling them that they are actually just for me. Other times, I could not care less!

When I was 16 and 300 pounds, I could finish off a large Pizza Corner pizza by myself. A bag of Doritos or container of Oreos was about an hour’s worth of a TV show…. I guess my point is that my appetite has always been rather large.

I tell people that even though I’ve lost 100 pounds, my stomach hasn’t shrunk. Sometimes I tell myself that I’m going to work harder at portion control, but that usually ends by lunch time when I’m chowing down on my head of lettuce. My husband jokes that I can make anything into a salad.
And he’s right.

If you aren’t the most fond of vegetables, I speak from experience when I tell you that lettuce can be a great way to ease into this colorful, nutritious world of goodness. It is refreshing, crispy, and most kinds don’t carry too much flavor- a great way to “bulk up” a meal.

LETTUCE have some Fun:

  • Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family and was discovered as a weed growing around the Mediterranean.
  • Christopher Columbus introduced lettuce to the Americas.
  • In the United States, lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable. Americans eat about 30 pounds of lettuce every year. That’s about five times more than what we ate in the early 1900′s.

LETTUCE eat More!

  • Lettuce provides fiber and vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and copper.
  • The most abundant nutrient in iceberg lettuce is water (over 90%), so it can help to keep you hydrated as the temperatures go up (I mean, it’s bound to get warmer eventually).
  • The darker the green color is, the more nutrition the salad greens contain.
  • A head of Iceberg lettuce will last longer if you wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in your fridge.

To me, the best part about working with lettuce as an ingredient is the creativity involved. I have yet to find something that I do not enjoy on a bed of greens (I even invented a little dish I like to call “soup IN a salad,” and it is exactly what it sounds like- 100% delish!). While dressings can be a delicious addition, be sure to read your nutrition label, as the calories and fat add up quickly (thus defeating the purpose).

The weather is starting to improve and I think it’s all giving us a brighter outlook; a great time to start taking steps to feel better- inside and out. And as with all things, even baby steps add up! Have a Healthy, Happy GREEN St. Patty’s Day!

 Baby Steps

Source: http://www.extension.umn.edu

Mid March Blog Blast!

Hey, all you bloggers!

UND’s Spring Break is upon us!! I sincerely hope every person reading this blog, student or otherwise, enjoys their upcoming week. I’ve been looking forward to this since… I don’t know…. Spring semester started!

We’ve rolled out quite a few classes since I’ve last posted a Blog Blast, and I apologize for that. Recently, in Cheap, Fast, and Healthy, we’ve cooked up Honey Fried Bananas (the kitchen smelt AMAZING from this recipe) and Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas.

Here’s a look at those tasty quesadillas!

IMG_20140311_174503_528

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili was the featured entree in Crock Pot Cooking last week.

We also recently held a reservation for Kappa Alpha Theta at Culinary Corner to celebrate their graduating seniors. Two instructors lead the 19 KAT seniors through Fruit Pizza and Chocolate Mint Trifle recipes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a trifle dish for the chocolate dessert, but the girls made the best of the situation and made it look awesome anyway!

photo 1 (3) photo 2 (3)

photo 4

 

photo 3

 

Feel free to take a breather and wipe that drool off your chin.

 

Until next time, bloggers!!

Drunkorexia

Drunkorexia is a fairly new phenomenon where an individual limits daily calorie intake in order to be able to “drink” their calories.  Usually, this is done in an effort to drink alcohol without gaining weight. There are multiple risks associated with drunkorexia.  Drinking on an empty stomach will get you drunk faster, but this in turn reduces self-control and can lead to a night of making bad decisions.  Binge eating, however, may follow because the individual is extremely hungry and having trouble controlling urges.  Unfortunately, purging frequently follows the binge eating session. By limiting your daily calorie intake, individuals may not be getting nutrients needed to function properly during every day activities. 

If you find yourself struggling with drunkorexia, here are some helpful tips: Martini

Moderation: Eat in moderation and you will not have to worry about limiting your calories in order to enjoy a drink or two.

Limits: Set limits on how much you will drink, and keep track of how many drinks you consume throughout an evening. (As a general rule for low-risk drinking, try to keep it to no more than three drinks in one sitting).

Choices: Choose drinks with a lower calorie content. Many mixed drinks are filled with sugar and loaded with calories.There are many options for low calorie beer.

Healthy Lifestyle: Eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis are the best ways to manage weight- you do not need to deprive yourself a meal!

Support: If you find yourself struggling ask family, friends, or seek professional help.  UND offers free counseling services to students.

UND offers many resources to students beyond the University Counseling Center.  These resources include: Student Health Services, Residence Services, University Police Department, Dean of Students (CARE team).  If you would like to find out more information about these services look under the alcohol tab on the Heath & Wellness Hub homepage (http://und.edu/health-wellness/hub/alcohol.cfm).

What do you do when you’re sick with the flu?

We all get sick from time to time. Sometime it is just a minor cold – which is expected when living in this frozen tundra. Sometimes, however, it is the flu (AKA influenza) – a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu is highly contagious and is usually spread by people coughing and sneezing around you. The virus then becomes airborne and can be inhaled by anyone nearby. You can also get the flu if you touch a contaminated surface like a phone or a doorknob and then touch your nose or mouth.

Adults are contagious one day before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming ill which means that you can spread the flu virus not even knowing that you are infected. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu each year.

So how do you know it is flu? The most common symptoms of the flu are:

- Fever: 100-102°F lasting 3-4 days

- Headaches

- Muscle or body aches

- Fatigue/weakness lasting 2-3 weeks

- Extreme exhaustion at onset of virus

- Chest discomfort and cough, especially if it becomes severe

- Rare: vomiting or diarrhea

- Occasional symptoms might include stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat. However, these symptoms are more likely to be the common cold rather than flu.

Complications of the flu can be life threatening, such as bacterial pneumonia, ear infection, sinus infection, dehydration, or worsening of chronic medical conditions like congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die annually because of flu in the United States, according to NIH.

To avoid these unpleasant symptoms and terrible complications that can prevent you from studying and having social life, there are a couple of things you can do to recover faster:

1. Blow your nose often and right away: gently blow while plugging the other nostril to avoid irritation.

2. Stay rested: sleeping and relaxing helps the body direct energy toward the immunity battle internally.

3. Gargle: moistens a sore throat and brings temporary relief, 1 tsp. of salt per cup of water 4 times per day.

4. Drink hot liquids: relieves nasal congestion and helps prevent dehydration, soothes inflamed membranes that line the nose and throat.

5. Take a steamy shower: moisturizes your nasal passages and relaxes you.

6. Apply hot/cold packs around congested sinuses: either temperature may help you feel more comfortable.

7. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head: helps drain nasal passages.

8. Don’t fly unless necessary: added air pressure puts more stress on your respiratory system.

9. Stay at home and rest 24 hours AFTER a fever has broken: prevent the spread of the flu!

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated early! Flu season usually starts in October and it takes about two weeks for the protective properties of the vaccine to take effect. By being vaccinated, you help your body to build antibodies to fight off the infection easier. To schedule your appointment, call Student Health at (701)777-4500.

Also, don’t forget to wash your hands, eat healthy, exercise, and clean your work space. It will greatly reduce your risk of getting the flu. Stay healthy and away from this virus!

Spring Break Survival

Spring Break Survival is an exciting event encouraging UND students to make safe, healthy, and informed decisions over Spring Break. The event will include Bear Pong (not a tHUB_SpringBreakSurvival_Screen_Portriatypo!), condom races, booths, activities, and presentations on a variety of health and wellness topics, as well as a FREE taco in a bag. The topics that will be discussed at the booths include date rape drugs, drinking games (and protective behaviors!), alternative activities to do in Grand Forks over spring break, calories in alcoholic beverages, STD’s and STI’s, sun care, and staying hydrated. Students will be given a passport when they enter the event.  Students will visit each booth and activity at Spring Break Survival, where they will receive a stamp for engaging in each activity. Once they have received a stamp from every station, they can get their free taco in a bag and be entered into a drawing for VISA gift cards!

This event is sponsored by the Health & Wellness Hub at UND. We hope to see you there!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook to learn about more exciting Health & Wellness opportunities and events this semester

Spring Break Safety: Are You Ready?

After a long and painfully cold winter, spring break for UND students cannot come any faster! With all of the build up for a vacation from school and hopefully spending some time in the sun, how will you have fun while keeping yourself safe? For some students, taking a vacation or having a break from school might seem like the perfect time to have a few drinks, but what happens when pressure from our friends makes us feel like we should drink more? What do you do?! There are a lot of options in this situation and some things for students to be aware of.

When consuming alcohol it is important to do so responsibly, and at a pace which allows our body to process it.  Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the amount of alcohol that is in our blood stream and can be calculated by looking at the chart below. It takes our body about 1 hour to process one standard drink [12oz beer, 5oz wine,  1.5oz hard liquor], so if you decide to drink over spring break, remember to give yourself some recovery time. Getting a good meal in beforehand and staying hydrated are also key things to remember if you are going to use alcohol.

If you are taking a vacation or plan to be around other people who are consuming alcohol that you do not know, it is especially important for you to keep yourself safe. Alcohol is the number one date rape drug, so stay in control and look out for yourself and others. More information on how to have a safe spring break and other resources are listed below.

Don’t forget to check out the Spring Break Survival event in the Memorial Union Loading Dock, Wednesday, March 12th from 6:30-9:30pm for games, food, and fun learning activities for how you can have a safe spring break!

Other Campus and Community Resources:

http://und.edu/health-wellness/

http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/

http://www.cdc.gov/family/springbreak/

http://www.safespringbreak.org/safety-tips/

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