Dear Freshman

PicNotebooks, check. Shower caddy, check. Mini fridge, check. Backpack, check. You’re all ready for your first day of your college career as far as your check list goes, but if you’re anything like I was last year when I was a freshman there’s much more that you’re concerned about than if your futon is going to fit under your loft bed. You might be worried about classes, meeting people, and what the dorm life will be like. Through all of the first day jitters, you’re most likely too busy to worry about being healthy or thinking “how can I stay healthy while on campus?” So as a welcome to campus gift from me to you, I’ll do you a favor and do all of the thinking and question answering for you. By doing so I will reflect on my freshmen year and list some health related mistakes I’ve made and what I should have done instead.

What I did: Decided to wait out doing an intramural sport until next year in case it would be too much on my plate with classes and other clubs.

What I should have done: Tried it out! See how it worked with my class schedule, and if I rather do a sport than the other clubs I was in. Seeing as I ended up not staying in the clubs I picked over intermural sports anyways, giving it a shot would have been worth it. Not only do you have a steady way to be active, but you meet people and get to have a lot of fun! Get info on each sport and sign up deadlines, here!

What I did: Thought that Ramen was actually a good idea for dorm living.

  • Ramen is famous for being a staple to a college kid’s diet because it’s affordable, and filling. However, instant ramen noodles contain Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) which is used to preserve cheap, processed foods, which makes digestion a drawn out process. Not only does it make breaking down the food difficult but it contains a lot of sodium, 875 mg to be specific, 35% of your daily value.

What I should have done: Not thought that Ramen was actually a good idea for dorm living.

  • Instead get some minute brown rice and flavor it with salt and pepper, soy sauce, or whatever you’d like!

What I did: Freshmen -15

  • After a few days of eating at the dining halls, trying UNO’s deep dish pizza, and basically anything you’d categorize as “college food” I was already missing my exotic array of fruits and vegetables, and health food that I spoiled myself with at home. I stuck to my picky standards and couldn’t find anything good and healthy to eat on campus. So I actually experienced my own twist on the freshmen fifteen, which was the freshmen negative fifteen. Although at least it wasn’t fifteen plus pounds I wasn’t looking to lose weight due to the lack of food I thought was acceptable.

What I should have done: Open my eyes to all of the options at the dining halls, and get creative making my own food in my dorm. Which I eventually did, because there really are great options at the dining halls, and I actually looked forward to making my own salad and seeing what the vegetarian options were that day (Esker’s wild rice and broccoli was my favorite). Also, like I said I got creative and found ways to eat like I would at home in my dorm, like by making instant oatmeal with almonds, honey, and cinnamon. Still unsure about what to pick while at either of the dining halls, UNO’s, P-Street, or any other venue? You can see what’s on the menu and the portion sizes along with calories of each menu items, right here! Also, for other tips on nutrition and eating healthfully here’s some advice from the experts at the University Health and Counseling Services.


What I did: Discovered how fabulous group fitness classes are too late!

What I should have done: Tried them out sooner! I have to give props to Warhawk fitness’s group fitness classes, because of these class’s existence I am the yoga enthusiast I am today. During my second semester me and my friends made it a regular routine to go to yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays, and my only regret is not going as much my first semester. So for goodness sakes, get into it! You don’t need to depend on having a buddy with you to do it (although it is a blast to go with a friend, but when everyone’s too busy I’ll rock it out by myself) and it is not an intimidating environment AT ALL. Seriously! No reigning international yoga sports champion is rollin’ up to a group fitness class at Whitewater, trust me. We are all falling over and collapsing together. I talk up yoga a lot just because it’s my favorite, but Warhawk fitness offers insanity, core complete, turbo kick, cycling and more! Check out the fall 2014 schedule here!

College can either be A.) The unhealthiest years of your life, complete with the freshmen 15…every year. Or it can be B.) Your healthiest and happiest years, with maybe the freshmen 15… in muscle! With all of the options to stay healthy on campus, option B is certainly achievable. With these tips in mind, the worst of your worries will be how to get through those awkward icebreakers. Have fun, stay healthy and enjoy your first year of college!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Avoiding the Freshman 15

Freshman 15 PhotoBy: Eric Hess

On top of making new friends, getting good grades and living on your own you have to worry about the ‘freshman 15’ too? You’re on your own and have the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, so it’s hard to make the right choices. We’ve all been there, but if you want to beat the dreaded ‘freshman 15’ here are some tips.

Make time for exercise. You may have been an all-star back in high school but if you aren’t playing any sports now and you aren’t getting any exercise, chances are you aren’t going to stay the same weight. Make sure to get involved with intramurals or club sports. Make use of the awesome gyms we have on campus. Go for run around our beautiful campus. There are almost always people playing pick-up games of basketball in the Williams Center, too, and they are always looking for another one to play! It doesn’t matter how you are getting your exercise as long as you are. The Warhawk Fitness Facebook page has all the details on hours of operation, fitness challenges and exercise motivations. Maybe I should be more clear…WALKING to house parties does NOT count!

Plan your meals. Planning your meals allows you for enough time to eat your food and help you make healthier decisions. Running on fast food all day isn’t going to help you stay fit. Set nutrition goals or mentally prepare yourself for the buffets at the dining halls! In fact, you can see what is on the menu before you go to eat. Check it out!

Watch what you eat. Just because mom and dad aren’t around to tell you what to eat doesn’t mean than you should eat cookies and ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Have some self-control and your body and brain will thank you. Remember the proportion of food groups you should be eating: about half of your plate should be fruits and veggies, with the other half being whole grain foods and protein! Color your plate!

Avoid stocking your dorm with loads of junk food. Have healthy snacks in your dorm room to help avoid the temptation of having an entire meal of junk food. There’s plenty of healthy food that you can find at the local grocery stores that are cost-efficient options, and just because the food is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Eating because you are stressed or nervous aren’t good reasons to be eating. Make sure you are conscious of every food you put into your mouth. This is your body…you only have got one to live in!

Avoid liquid calories. Alright. This one is quite the challenge for most of us as college students, because you’re most likely going to be having the occasional drink or two. Well, when you do, try and be smart about it. When you’re out drinking try and stay away from food. We all seem to want toppers and lots of greasy and fatty foods when we’re out. It may be a challenge, but how bad do you want to keep that freshman 15 off?

With tips like these and a little self-control I have confidence in each and every one of you to keep your freshman 15 off and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We love hearing from you guys, what are your tips to stay healthy during the school year?

Yesterday you said tomorrow.
Eric Hess

Staying Fit While Eating on Campus

The term “freshmen 15” is thrown around a little too loosely on college campuses. Unfortunately, this is because too many of us find ourselves caught in this cycle of weight gain. The cause: inadequate diets.

UW-Whitewater’s dining services, provided by Chartwells, actually do a lot to make sure students can eat on campus and stay fit. I don’t live on campus, so I focused solely on meals provided by restaurants in the University Center.

To prove that students can maintain a healthy diet on campus, I examined each restaurant separately to find out what a typical diet might look like.

Let’s start with breakfast. Breakfast in Ike Schaffer Commons, or “U.C. breakfast” as all of my friends call it, is a popular attraction for many students before they head off to their first class of the day. The Commons offers a plethora of typical breakfast foods. From egg sandwiches, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal and more, the Commons breakfast has it all.

The entrees in the Commons have 178 calories on average. According to , breakfast should make up about 350 to 500 calories in someone’s diet. By these standards, you could have two servings at the buffet-style restaurant.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day because it kick starts metabolism and helps maintain high energy levels throughout the day.

Moving on to lunch, the average calorie count for a sandwich at Graham St. Café is 429. This may be a little high for someone of average height and weight, but most of the calories, which describe the amount of energy a food provides when you eat it (, come from the average of approximately 30 grams of protein per serving.

Protein is essential for the average student’s diet. It promotes brain activity and aids neurotransmitters when they are transferred.

Now for dinner, Yan Can Cook, the ethnic restaurant located in the Commons, serves egg rolls, fried rice, stir fry and more. Such dishes inquire a caloric intake of 290. Studies done at Kansas City State suggest an individual should save 30 percent of their daily calorie intake for dinner time. Dinners at Yan Can Cook are fairly low when it comes to calories, but that just means that you have more room for fruits and veggies to accompany your meal.

The numbers I have provided are very vague, and I gave general numbers to prove the restaurants are providing healthy meals overall. Information about Willie’s 360, Freshens or Uno due Go was not provided by the university.

To find out more about meals offered in Ike Schaffer Commons, Graham St. Café, Yan Can Cook, Esker, Prairie St. or Drumlin, you can visit:

In addition to providing healthy meals for students, Chartwells has made several changes to help students keep track of the foods they’re eating.

Chartwells recently created an app for Android users and installed a nutrition kiosk, which was described by Marketing Director Ann Rakowiecki as an “iPad app,” in Esker.

The dining service has also teamed up with (a site that allows users to keep journals of their healthy eating. Based on the profiles students create, the site can also provide information about the foods their calories should be coming from, and the types of exercise they should be doing on a weekly basis.

There are a lot of fun and exciting changes on campus to make healthy eating more fun and easy. All you have to do is take the first step to live a better life!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]