Category Archives: I Can Prevent Diabetes

The program, “I CAN Prevent Diabetes”, is a 16 week program based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and new materials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The program met weekly for 16 weeks in a group setting, learning together different tools to help members to make healthy choices.
The program will focused on:
• Increasing activity (self goals)
• Improving food choices (keep diary)
• Losing weight, if overweight (5-7% of body weight)

Follow Veronica’s diary of her story and how she was able to reach her goals.

“The I CAN Prevent Diabetes program gave me the support, knowledge, and tools I needed. I lost 40 lbs. in the 16 week program. Now, I am up to 90 minutes on the elliptical regularly and have seen improvement in my: energy, food choices, sleep and in my attitude and I love life!” – Veronica


Written by: Katie Olson

Would you rather spend a few more minutes sleeping than wake up in time for breakfast?  It might be time to change your habits.  Eating breakfast can actually help you manage your weight.  When you sleep your body goes into a fasting state, which is why we call it “breakFAST.” When your body goes into a fasting state your metabolism slows down and your body tries to conserve the stores of nutrients that it has previously stored.  Eating a healthy breakfast will help jump start your metabolism and give your body and brain energy to get going for the day. Being in college, it is important for your brain to have energy for your full day of classes and studying.  This will help you stay awake and focused throughout the day, which for some students is hard to do.  It is also important to have a balanced breakfast.  Having a source of carbohydrate, protein and possibly a fruit is ideal.  Having a variety will help you stay full and satisfied until it is time for lunch.  Some examples of a balanced breakfast are listed below.


-          Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit and 1% Milk
–          Low Fat Greek Yogurt with Whole Grain Granola and a Banana
–          Scrambled eggs, Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter and a Fresh Fruit
–          Whole Grain Waffles with Nut Butter and a cut up Banana on top, and 1% Milk
–          A Whole Grain Bagel with low fat Cream Cheese or Peanut Butter and 1% Milk
–          A Whole Grain Cereal with cut up Fresh Fruit and 1% Milk

Diabetes Prevention Program

Do you want to increase your physical activity, improve your food choices, and lose 5-7% of your body weight?! If you said YES, be sure to register for the Diabetes Prevention Program!

The results are REAL. A previous participant talks about her experience with the Diabetes Prevention Program…

“As a result of reading the food labels and attempting to eat fewer than 33 fat grams per day, I lost 58 pounds. Because of the weight loss, I am no longer taking pain medication for my knee. In September 2012 my glucose was normal, so I am no longer prediabetic!” – Eileen Tronnes Nelson, UND Staff

Register soon to receive a special incentive of a $125 return from a grant and Work Well for the first 10 UND staff/faculty members who register. The upfront cost is $189, but with the return it was only $64 or $4 per week. PLUS, get your metabolism tested for free as part of the program. The program starts on January 14th, and classes are on Monday from 4:45-5:45 in the UND Wellness Center Room 121. If you are not one of the first 10 people to register, you can join the class for a price of $189.

For more information visit and click on Programs and Diabetes Prevention. To register, contact Molly Soeby at 218.230.0070.

Registration deadline is January 10th!

Maintain, Don’t Gain this holiday season!

Maintain Don’t Gain this holiday season!

Healthy UND Challenge

Healthy UND Challenge

Most Americans gain around a pound of weight every year during the holidays, which doesn’t seem like much, but studies show that the one pound gained during this time of year isn’t lost throughout the rest of the year.  Overtime, the yearly one pound addition to body weight can have some serious effects on our health- hypertension, diabetes, etc.  Maintain Don’t Gain is an awareness project, hopefully getting people to think about the decisions they make during this time of year, specifically about what they eat and their activity levels.  It’s easier to prevent weight gain than it is to lose the pounds later.

No Wellness Center-No Problem

Exercise should still be considered a priority.  Not only is it important to maintain activity levels but it can also help deal with any stress that goes along with the holidays.  If you keep active over the break it will be easier to get back into your normal routine once you return.

Shoveling snow, outdoor winter activities, indoor body weight workouts

Winter Running/Walking Tips:

  1. Wear multiple layers, with the first layer being a synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which will helps wick away sweat/moisture.  Stay away from cotton because it holds in moisture and will keep you wet.
  2. Protect your hands and feet with gloves and thick socks.
  3. Cover your head.  About 40% of your body heat is lost from your head, and wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of the body.
  4. Start your run into the wind, than it will be at your back at the end of the workout, when you’re sweaty.
  5.  If the temperature is at or below zero, stick with an indoor activity.


Holiday Meal Time

Think small.  Enjoy the food, but keep the portions under control.

Take breaks.  Try not to rush through your whole plate of food, so you can better gauge when you’re full.  It can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that it’s full.

Be mindful of alcohol intake.  Alcohol contains useless calories that change your blood sugar levels and, in the short term, can increase hunger levels and cause unnecessary snacking.

Why It’s Important to Track Your Activities                        

Keeps you honest.

You can see results and progress-good and bad.

Keep track of activities you enjoy or don’t enjoy.

To get registered for the challenge – head to the Healthy UND webpage , stop by the Fitness Desk at the Wellness Center or the Healthy & Wellness Hub in the Union!  Stay on track this holiday season!

Most Popular Student Snack at UND…Fingernails!

Okay, that isn’t quite true! It is a possibility though! Last week I promoted “Smart Snacking in College” at the Wellness Center. While the majority of people consider “stressful snacking” to be overeating, many studies show that when students are stressed they resort to their fingernails… or under-eating! I wanted to find out how UND students were snacking, especially with the stress of finals coming up. Being a dietetic student, there was an OVERLOAD of ideas in my brain to share with you guys. Obviously, I wanted my information to be from credible sources. With SO many people claiming their way is the best way in nutrition it can be tough to know what to believe. After filtering through tons of information, I came up with the following general recommendations for snacks:
100-200 calories/snack

  • Don’t overdo your snacks!
  • Contain carbohydrates!
    • Fuel your brain
    • Fiber-filled!
      • Helps digestion
      • Satiety
      • Protein filled!
        • Satiety
          • Nutrient Dense!

What are you putting into your body? Using credible information when it comes to nutrition is SO important for your best and healthiest life! Where can you be sure to find this? A few resources to take a look at are:

  • A Registered Dietitian

Here are some quick ideas for you in your busy lifestyle!

Make-your-own Trail Mix:
Try:Whole grain, low sugar cereal
Sunflower seeds,Raw Almonds, Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, etc.), Dark Chocolate

Throw together ingredients and put into individual Ziploc bags for each day!

Raw Almonds
Try: Blue Diamond 100 calorie pack raw almonds
Why? Fiber, protein, healthy fat, B vitamins
Price: $3.99/7 pack ($0.57 per packet)

Granola Bar:
Try: Kashi TLC (Tasty Little Crunchies) Bar
Why? One package has 180 calories, 4g fiber, 6g protein, 100% whole grains, 8g added sugar
Price: $5.12/12 bars ($0.42 per bar)

Greek Yogurt dip:
Try: Dill Dip
+1 Cup Non-fat PLAIN Greek Yogurt
+3 teaspoons dried dill weed (find it in the spices section!)
Mix together and enjoy! Dip carrots, celery, whole-grain crackers

Why? Protein, Probiotics (help digestion)
Greek yogurt is a great replacement for dips using cream cheese, mayonnaise, or sour cream, or butter.
Price: $1.75 for yogurt, $3.98 for dried dill weed that can be used multiple times!

Popcorn with added spices:
Garlic Powder
Why? Popcorn is a whole grain!
Gradually added spices and test it out until it tastes just right!

I also had members fill out a short survey about their snacking habits. The options to choose from for snack items were: crackers, candy, cheese stick, fruit, vegetables, nuts, cookies, yogurt, sports drinks, milk, chips, pop, ice cream. I was impressed that the item that was most commonly snacked on was yogurt! Good job, you guys! The most common activity that those were snacking during was watching television! The majority of those who took the survey claimed they consumed less when feeling stressed. Continue that healthy snacking UND students! I would advise against relying on fingernails for nutrients though!

Culinary Corner: Diabetic Meals

In case you’ve never been diagnosed with Diabetes…it’s a disorder of the metabolism in which a person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both.

If you’ve been diagnosed or just want to learn more, come check out the Culinary Corner at the Wellness Center and learn how to make healthy meals for diabetics!

This class will show those with diabetes how manage it over the holidays. With Thanksgiving and the holidays soon upon us, it can be difficult to manage your diabetes…so come join the Community Nutrition and Dietetics students for practical hands on information so you can still enjoy the foods you love while managing your diabetes. The recipes at this class include: Apricot Pumpkin Bread and Turkey Wraps.

The class will be held on Monday, November 19th at 6:00PM. It is $7 per person and you can register online at:

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

On Saturday, October 27th, Grand Forks will be hosting the American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is a sponsor of the event.

This is a premier fundraising event, supporting research, advocacy, and education. Additionally, funds help diabetes camps for kids with diabetes. The camp in North Dakota is over 60 years old and diabetes affects 8% of North Dakotans!

We’d love to see you at our event representing UND. This is a great opportunity for advocacy in our community. If you are unable to attend, please consider a donation to Team UND.

Online registration and donation is very easy, here is the link for Team UND:<

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Team UND Captains Dr. Eric Johnson, or Kim Ruliffson,

exercise and social eating – Veronica’s Blog#3

I had profound thoughts and words yesterday but today they are lost. I tallied up my minutes for last week of exercise and it was 800 minutes! I don’t think I can keep that up but I surely can do 60 minutes a day. That’s why I’m losing weight and feeling so good. Exercise and personal effort: the drug that money can’t buy. Now to plan for Thanksgiving and not eat crazy. Our culture is geared towards gluttony. It’s expected. That is the mindset. That’s why it is so difficult to change not only your lifestyle but your mind set. Especially if you used to be an emotional eater, a reward eater, a blind in the front of the TV calorie snacker, or a social eater.

Tough stuff. I changed and so can you. this last week in the “I CAN Prevent Diabetes” class we learned how to tip the scale to lose pounds. It is common sense: eat less, lose weight. Eat more, gain weight. But to lose one pound a week you have to cut out 500 calories a day, 2-3 pounds you have to cut out 700-1000 calories. The important thing to remember is to never go under 1200 calories a day or else your body starts to burn muscle instead of fat. It’s turned into a game (sort of) for me especially when I work out on the machines. How many calories can I burn in a half hour? 200, 300, 350- amount of effort expended than more calories burned. In the classes I know I burn calories but don’t have that visual number staring at me.

The one thing that scared me about sharing my thoughts and experiences throughout my journey with this program is when my weight plateaus or when I gain a pound or two. But that’s reality. It’s not failure. Back to choices or circumstances beyond your control.

Nobody can force you to put high fat and high caloric foods in your mouth. It’s your choice. You still are in the driver’s seat. It makes me think of that rock star that said “nothing tastes as good as being think feels” that’s why this preventative program has been so good for me. It is educational and sensible weight loss. It is also a supportive environment where we talk and give hope, advice, and what has worked for us to each other.

I have tried other programs and this one seems to be the one for me for healthy and successful weight loss. There is no judgment, no paper clips, just support and encouraging words when you make some choices in food that may not be the best for you. the food diary is the most important tool for me. You HAVE to be honest about what you eat and what you exercise in order to succeed. And I am succeeding. Well, I’ve rambled on long enough for today. Make slow, steady changes and you too will succeed.

Live Well, Live Strong, become fit! – Veronica


I CAN Prevent Diabetes….my story


Life just keeps getting better and better. I went with a friend to UND’s Winter WUNDerland event on Friday, it was a lot of fun. I had a vegetarian mean and calorie wise even with eating half of the chocolate mousse dessert I stayed under 1800 calories for the day. Education, moderation, and choices: that’s what it’s all about.

I went to my doctor on Friday and he had weighed me in October and I was 223 pounds. I told him I had lost more weight and he asked how much? I said last night I weighed in at 206 pounds. He said no way, let’s see. We went to his scale and it was 206 pounds! He smiled and said you deserve a treat, go home and eat a donut. His way of saying good job! It’s back to our society again. The last thing I need to reward myself with is a donut! So I celebrated by going home and cleaned the cat box instead. That may seem weird but believe me, both my cat and myself were very happy with my choice.

I saw my personal trainer on Thursday and she gave me exercises that I can do anywhere just with my body! I am going to start working on my core. Getting strong from the inside out, so to speak. I am sad because I only have one more session with her. I had unexpected medical expenses and can’t afford her fee. She has been worth every penny I’ve invested in my health and wellness. Something to add, I’m frugal and can make a dollar stretch. By no means is that easy either, especially on a pre-school teacher’s salary, but I do! I feel blessed to have my health once again, supportive people in my life, goals and accomplishments to look forward to.

Hint for the upcoming weeks before the big Christmas day: moderation. If you can maintain your current weight, GREAT JOB. The average person gains 7 pounds during this time, WOW! But remember, 1 pound is equal 3,500 calories. Think of the cookies, rum soaked cakes, fat laden things everywhere. Temptation everywhere. And being “North Dakota Nice” you don’t want to offend people by not eating their hard work and offerings. I’ve solved that problem. I take a little of my favorite food, rave to the host/hostess at how beautiful everything looks and if I had a camera I would take a picture so I could remember it better. Works for me. And believe me, I am sincere. That table laden with coconut cream pies, pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pies, pumpkin/ginger cream cheese rolls, etc. is beautiful and all the hard work and love to make these homemade goodies! My, my makes me think of the groaning table so laden with delicious foods that the table groans with delight.

Have a great holiday season, stay well, eat well, become fit, and DON’T beat yourself up if you gain weight. Enjoy every bite then do something about it. Walk! -Veronica

I CAN Prevent Diabetes….my story




It was pointed out to me that diverse populations carry and lose weight differently than the average white Anglo person. They questioned whether this program would work for them I don’t have that answer and since I am not diabetic now I don’t know a lot about carb counting etc. I weighed in at the Prevent Diabetes group and was 206 pounds! I’ve lost 20 pounds in the two months that I’ve been in this educational and supportive group. The facilitator made me feel proud of my accomplishment and I hope that I can be of support, help, and encouragement to others. This is no easy task. Because I weigh less no, my fat gram goal went from 50 to 42, the price to pay for getting thinner! It’s like a treasure hunt to find good foods that have the nutrition (and low fat and calories) that my body needs.

Take care of you! Eat well, read labels, get support, and reap the benefits of your choices and hard work.


I CAN Prevent Diabetes….my story


Eating out at other people’s houses is awful. Good food, but high in calories and fat. Pasta. Oh my goodness if my taste buds could only remind my mind how good it is without eating it I would have lost another 2 pounds. Made it through the holiday! Now the hardest part for me is to stay focused and eat regular meals when I don’t work. Healthy balanced meals.



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