Not So Fast!

burger 2

Who doesn’t enjoy heading to McDonald’s or Burger King to get their favorite meal on the menu once in a while? Maybe you go for a “number three” with a chocolate milkshake. Whatever your go-to fast food meal is, here are some things to keep in mind next time you find yourself in the drive-through line!

1. Pay attention to portion sizes. One of the best things you can do is avoid super-sizing. Ask yourself, “Do I really need large fry, or can I settle for medium fries, or maybe even small fries?” Portions in fast food restaurants tend to be pretty big, and many times can actually be shared between two people! You can also try the strategy or eating slower, chewing more, and drinking in between bites. This can help you avoid over-eating.

2. Be on the lookout for healthy options. Fast food doesn’t always have to consist of a burger, fries and a soda. If you need a meal on-the-go, how about ordering a salad with chicken, and bottled water? A lot of fast food restaurants now offer grilled chicken, low-fat milk, fruit, oatmeal, and fat- free salad dressing!

3. Be aware of nutrition information. Most fast food restaurants now have accessible nutrition information posted in the restaurant, online, or both. Be on the lookout for saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar. These ingredients can raise blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Access amounts of these ingredients can also lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

4. Be wise about condiments. Salad dressings contain a lot of fat and oil, and cheese is very high in saturated fat. Ketchup contains a lot of high fructose corn syrup, and mayonnaise has a high calorie count. Try to substitute these for healthier condiments, or limit your use of them.

burgerHere’s the bottom line: as much as you may enjoy fast food, it is important to have boundaries and limits so that you can avoid negative health effects. On the bright side, fast food restaurants are getting better at providing healthier options. The amount of fast food that you consume is all a personal decision and it starts with self-control. Remember, too much of something is never good!

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Take A Breath: We’ve Got Asthma Under Control


What is Asthma?
Asthma can be described as a chronic condition that makes breathing extremely difficult. This disorder affects the airway of the lungs and results in inflammation due to a variety of external causes.
This information is especially important since allergy season has just begun, which can make asthma worse. Check out this link to learn more!

How to Treat It.
Depending on the type of asthma it can be treated by rescue inhalers, prescription medications, or allergy shots to name a few. This video will give you a little more information on how you can not only treat, but also prevent an asthma attack from happening.

Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack so you can help yourself or a friend if necessary.

Written by DeVonna Smith, Peer Educator

Benefits without the Bulking

Gym woman weightliftingWhy does it seem like the gym is always split in half? Women are at cardio machines, while the men dominate the weight lifting floor. Why aren’t more women lifting weights? There are tons of reasons why women should add weights to their fitness routine including:

1. Getting Toned
• Weightlifting helps tone and build muscle
• According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, women’s high levels of estrogen make it difficult for women to become overly muscular
• Weight lifting burns more fat than cardio

2. Strong Bones
• Weight training reduces the risk of Osteoporosis
• Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density and enhance bone modeling by 13 percent in 6 months
3. Heart Healthy
• Strength training decreases levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and increases levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood
• It also helps reduce blood pressure

3 Easy Lifting Work Outsworkout 1
1. Planks and Rotate: 10-15 reps, 3 sets
• Begin in a plank position holding a five-pound dumbbell in each hand, keeping your wrists stiff to protect the joints. Open your feet a little wider than hip distance.
• Lift your left hand to the ceiling, twisting through your entire torso. Your pelvis will rotate, but keep it level.
• Bring your left hand back to the floor, and repeat this action on the other side to complete one rep.
• Complete between 10 to 15 reps, take a rest, and then do another set!

workout 2

2. Squats, Curl, and Press: 10-15 reps, 3 sets
• Stand with your feet directly under your hips holding a dumbbell in each hand. Sit back into your squat, keeping the weight in your heels, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor without letting your knees go beyond your toes.
• Push through your heels to return to standing while bringing the weights to your shoulders, performing a bicep curl.
• Keep your arms moving upward, performing an overhead press, with the palms facing outward. Lower your arms back to your side to complete one rep.

3. Reverse Lunge and Press: Do 15 reps, than switch leg
• Stand with your feet together, holding the weights at your shoulders
• Step your left foot back coming into a lunge, making 90-degree angles with your front and back knee.workout 3
• Push off your left foot, bringing your left knee forward so it is even with your left hip while raising your arms above your head.
• Without touching the floor with your left foot, step back into the lunge to start your second rep.
Want a little extra information and/or help?

Try the Student Recreation Center’s personal training:
• All Personal Trainers are certified
• Can help you design work out plans based on your needs
• Provide motivation
• Proper weight training instructions
Written by Steph Caporizzo, Volunteer

Don’t Brush Off Dental Hygiene

Keeping your teeth clean involves more than just brushing twice a day! You should be mindful of how you brush and what type of toothbrush you use. The foods you eat can also determine how healthy your mouth is. If you’re worried about a whiter smile, there are a few simple home remedies that can help.
Take a look at this short video to learn some quick facts on proper dental hygiene:
Written by DeVonna Smith, Peer Educator

Break the Boring Spring Break

While some students may choose to travel for Spring Break, many people either stay at school or return back home. Whatever you have planned, make sure you get the most out of those 9 days!


Tie up loose ends while you’re home:

Spruce up your resume- Whether you are applying for a summer position, a full-time job, grad school, or scholarships, a good resume is essential to your success. Use this time to create your resume or fix up your old one. Utilizing the Career Development Center’s tips is a great way to start.

Look into a summer job- Having some moola is the only way to participate in all the summer festivities that interest you. Applying early for a summer position makes you more likely to be hired. Consider doing something completely different this summer. Check out or another job database, and here are some ideas to get the ball rolling!

Go after that cash- Consider looking into a scholarship when you have the free time. The Financial Aid Department has a whole page dedicated to scholarships that you could go after.

Have Some Fun:

Try something new- Be it ice skating, a trip to the aquarium, or going into the city, try to make some new exciting plans. A change of scenery and a new experience is important to break up the dullness that is class, homework, work, gym, sleep, etc.

Throwback fun – Whether you loved skateboarding, basketball, tag, painting, or watching cartoons, we all have activities that we loved from the past. Spend the day reconnecting with your younger self by engaging in some of those pastimes. Spring break can also be a time to reconnect with childhood friends from your hometown!

Recharge your batteries- Avoiding the “mid-semester burnout” is a very essential part of any spring break. Sleep in, or have lazy days catching up on your favorite TV shows. A little bit of relaxation is what spring break is all about.

Have a safe, relaxing spring break, and come back recharged and ready for the remainder of the semester. Fingers crossed “spring” break brings spring weather! See you soon, Rams!

Written by Dave Parsons, Peer Educator

Alcohol and Energy Drinks: A Mixing Mess

You’ve probably heard the phrase “moderation is the key”, and you’re going to hear it again! There’s nothing wrong with the occasional energy drink. Whether you prefer Red bull, Monster, or Amp, these drinks can be tasty and help you feel energized and awake!


In general, when drinking energy drinks be mindful that there are some negative health effects associated. For example:

• Did you know that many of the items listed in the ingredient list are just different forms of caffeine? Energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine, and many drinks don’t label the total caffeine content.
• When used in excess, caffeine can cause anxiety, tension, and sleeplessness.
• Headaches may result from caffeine withdrawal.
• Several other reactions are associated with these drinks, such as high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, jitters and dizziness.
• Dehydration may result from constant urination, depleting the body of the water, vitamins and minerals that it needs to function.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you make the decision to mix both alcohol and energy drinks:

• Combining energy drinks (a stimulant) with alcohol (a depressant) makes it harder for an individual to realize they are drunk. The caffeine from the energy drinks reduces the drowsiness that you typically feel when you are intoxicated. This condition is referred to as “wide awake drunk.”
• Research shows that drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink and leave a bar extremely drunk.

Combining energy drinks and alcohol is not the safest option, but if you insist on mixing, be sure to keep all of these things in mind. Most importantly, make it a point to remember this key word…moderation! Long story short: the less, the better!

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Shining Light on Seasonal Affective Disorder

Sealightsonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a common form of depression among college students that is related to a change in the season. Light therapy is one of the treatments for SAD that has gained a lot of attention. Some colleges have worked to install “light stations” on campus to help students with the disorder.

Click the links below to learn more about SAD and light therapy on college campuses.

Keep reading for an interview with a student who has Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Q: When did you start to notice symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?
A: My junior year of high school after Thanksgiving break I noticed that I felt tired all the time. I only wanted to sleep and couldn’t find it in me to do anything else.

Q: How did your family react to this?
A: At first my parents were really pissed. They thought I was just being lazy, especially since my grades were dropping. They were hard on me at first, but when spring came I improved so they calmed down. It was difficult because I didn’t know how to explain my feelings without them thinking that I was just lazy.

Q: How often did you notice your symptoms?
A: After I first noticed my symptoms junior year it seemed that every year after that my symptoms would come back in the fall and then improve once spring rolled around. They got worse once I started college.

Q: Other than wanting to sleep and lacking motivation, did you have any other symptoms at first?
A: Everyone said I was more moody, but hey nobody’s perfect. I gained weight during the winter which didn’t help my self-esteem or mood at all. I only wanted to eat certain things, like comfort foods. All the time. I couldn’t concentrate on anything and generally just felt like I couldn’t do anything right. My school work and social life suffered a lot. I couldn’t go to classes some days, and I’d turn down plans with my friends then feel ashamed about it and completely alone.

Q: When were you diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder?
A: It took a while for my parents to believe that something was actually going on with me other than slacking off. After they took me to the doctor I waited a while for a proper diagnosis considering a lot of the symptoms can mimic other things, but before my sophomore year in college I was diagnosed.

Q: Have you been able to manage your symptoms since then?
A: I have definitely improved over the past few years, but finding a treatment method that worked for me was extremely difficult and scary. I had trouble accepting that I needed to get help from another source because I wanted to fix myself. Therapy sessions in person helped me the most.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about SAD in general or from your experiences?
A: Any affective disorder comes with a lot of stigma, which most of the time is because people don’t understand them. I can only say disorders like SAD are very real and can take over your life. You don’t always know what a person is going through and they might not know how to explain it. What I think is most important is to try to learn more about things like SAD and not feel ashamed about it.

Written by Allie Fonseca, Peer Educator

Ten Things You Should Have in Your Car at All Times

Other than your car insurance and registration information, there are a few things you should always have in your car for safety purposes. You can buy packaged emergency safety kits through AAA, but making your own is more personalized and can save you some money! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1. Jumper cables. Dead batteries always happen at the most inconvenient times; don’t sweat it and carry jumper cables! jumper

2. Ice scraper. This is a necessity during those cold, icy winter months. Driving with ice on your windshield can decrease visibility and can be very dangerous for other cars on the road. Don’t have an ice scraper? You can use an old gift card.

3. Blanket or extra warm clothes. If you need to wait for a tow truck or for help to arrive during the winter months, keep a spare coat, hat, scarf, or blankets in your car to stay warm.

4. Water bottles and granola bars. These basic necessities will come in handy if you want a snack on a long drive, or if you are in a situation where you do not have access to food.

5. Phone car charger. Cell phones are our life lines, so chargers are crucial.

6. Spare tire and first aidtire iron. It may help to know how to use these things too! Check out DMV’s how-to guide.

7. First aid kit. These kits are good to have in case of injury during a small accident or if you need a Band-Aid for your annoying paper cut!

8. Flashlight. Because who isn’t afraid of the dark? If you had to change a tire at night this item would be absolutely necessary.

9. Roadside flare or reflective triangle. These will come in handy if your car breaks down on the side of the road; they will keep you visible to passing cars. tri

10. Printed directions or map. Relying on your phone for direction isn’t always a good idea. Have these items for back up!


Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator

The Truth about Party Drugs

partyFrom UCLA to WCU, many associate college with partying. While partying can mean different things to different people, it has the potential to go hand-in-hand with exposure to drugs and other substances. According to a Columbia University study, almost 50% of full-time college students binge drink or abuse prescription/illegal drugs. Not familiar with what’s out there? Here’s the scoop on some of the most “popular” party drugs on college campuses.


• Recognize it!
o Typically in a white powder form to be snorted
o Could be smoked or injected

• What does it do?
o Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant
o Causes hyperactivity, euphoric feelings, and increased blood pressure and heart rate

• Dangers
o Paranoia
o Irreversible damage to the vital organs (heart, brain, etc.)
o Overdose can lead to death


• Recognize it!
o Small pressed pill to be taken orally or powder form to snort

• What does it do?mollie
o Produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and sensory delusions
o Called the “hug drug” because users feel more social and accepting

• Dangers
o Brain and hormone imbalances
o Negative effects on blood pressure and heart rate
o High doses interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, which has been known to cause system failures and death


Recognize it!add
o Small, multicolored pills (peach, while, blue)
o Capsule pill
o Taken orally or snorted
o Prescription medication

What does it do?
o It is traditionally prescribed to people with ADHD and ADD to help them concentrate
o Some people use it to help study
o People mix Adderall and alcohol at parties for a more intense experience

o Adderall and alcohol is a dangerous combination. The stimulant competes with the depressant in the body
o Adderall dulls the “drunk” feeling, making it easier to over-consume and end up in the hospital

It’s important to be able to recognize these drugs and know their effects and consequences.
Party smart and party safe, Rams!

Written by Gracie McDermott, Volunteer