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 ♡

Let’s talk about Jillian Michaels

By: Abbey Bowen

jillian michaels


Many of us know Jillian Michaels as the tough, sometimes brutal, personal trainer from NBC’s reality show titled “The Biggest Loser,” but she is so much more than that.

She represents health, strength and self appreciation to Americans, and people all over the world. She also represents genuine struggle.

When Michaels was in eighth grade, she was 5-foot 2-inches and 175 pounds. She had gained the extra weight while trying to her parents’ painful divorce. Michaels said she was constantly surrounded by children who were all too eager to point out her unibrow and muffin top. The tormenting got so bad that Michaels had to move to another school.

 She had reached her breaking point and at age 14, she asked her mom to sign her up for martial arts classes.

“It taught me that if I didn’t respect myself, no one else would respect me,” Michaels said of her martial arts classes. “It helped me to redefine myself.”

Her struggle didn’t stop there, however. When she was 17, she was kicked out of her house to learn “how to fend for herself.” After learning how to live on her own, Michaels went off to college at California State University and worked as a bartender to afford tuition.  

Right out of school, Michaels worked briefly as an agent at International Creative Management, but she hated her job and eventually left to open her own gym called “Sky Sport & Spa.”

Life was finally looking up for Michaels, and in 2005, she got her big break. She was cast as a personal trainer on NBC’s reality show, “The Biggest Loser.”

After seeing Michaels push contestants to get in shape, critics argued she was too aggressive and rough.

In response to the criticism Michaels said, “I really don’t have a mean bone in my body! Do you know how easy it would be to tell people what they want to hear? It would be heaven! But, unfortunately, it doesn’t get the job done.”

Her attitude toward her critics and her overall mantras for life are among the many reasons why I love  Jillian Michaels.

She never lets anything stop her, and I think she is the PERFECT role model for those who are looking to get healthy and in shape.

Sure, she may be a little brutal and relentless at times, and I know, I’ve done her workout videos many, many times, but she is truly trying to inspire and create results.

I recommend Jillian Michaels to everyone I know who approaches me with new fitness goals. In my eyes she is the whole package. She has persevered through pain and come out of it a winner. What more inspiration does someone need?

She isn’t some stick-thin Barbie wanna be who was born skinny. She worked, and continues to work, her butt off to be healthy.

Overall, my message is this: we can all learn a little something from Jillian Michaels. 

Who inspires you? I would love to know! Send me a message on Warhawk Fitness’ Facebook page, (after liking and following us if you haven’t already:]) and I promise to respond!

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

Abbey :]