Category Archives: On Campus

See what’s new from the Health Promotion and Wellness department within University Health Services at Penn State University Park.

Meal Planning, Grocery Shopping and Cooking…Oh My!

Meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking for yourself can be exciting but it can be overwhelming.  Healthy eating, when cooking for yourself, is possible when you are on a college student budget.

Let’s explore ways you can plan out meals for the week:

  1. Map out meals for the week.
  2. Know what foods you have on hand already.
  3. Think about your schedule.  Choose meals that are easy to prepare on busy days and save longer recipes for weekends or days when you have more time.
    • Cook several meals at once when you have free time.  In other words, make lasagna or a casserole that can be used for several meals. The extra food can be reheated or finished after a busy day.
    • Use a crockpot to create meals that are ready when you get home.
    • Check out nutritious and delicious recipes and view cooking videos on www.healthypennstate.psu.edu for ideas.
  4. Make a grocery list
    • Can use scratch paper, templates or mobile apps.
    • Keep an ongoing list in your kitchen or on your phone.

The Wellness Suite

Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) has new space. The Wellness Suite is in 20 IM building, downstairs and next to Adventure Recreation.  The Wellness Suite offers many great resources for students including walking maps, Manage Stress workbooks, Smart & Safe at State guides, and free wellness services.
The wellness services are designed to help you set goals, develop skills and enhance your health behaviors.  The topics include: nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress (with an emphasis on time management or relaxation strategies), healthy relationships and financial wellness. HealthWorks peer educators facilitate the sessions.  The services were developed using research-based models.  Each service is designed to help students increase knowledge and learn new skills that contribute to healthy behaviors and academic success.   Schedule an appointment by calling 814-863-0461.
In the suite, you will find an area with tables, comfy chairs, and a relaxation room.  It’s the prefect place to study or chill out in the middle of a busy day.  The relaxation room features coloring pages and colored pencils, meditation information, a zen garden, and biofeedback software. Visit the Wellness Suite this semester, open MondayFriday 8am-5pm.

What does one e-cigarette do to a nonsmokers’ heart?

On Thursday, November 16, the country celebrated The Great American Smokeout.  The day began in the 1970’s as a way to encourage smokers to give up tobacco products for just one day.  According to the American Cancer Society, only 15% of Americans smoke cigarettes today.  That’s down from 42% in 1965 (1). Cigarette use is even lower among Penn State students. In the 2016 National College Health Assessment, 9.4% of students reported using cigarettes in the last 30 days.  Of those, only 1.5% used cigarettes every day for the last month (2).

E-cigarette use is even lower.  Only 3.8% of students reported using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days (2).  That’s somewhat good news because a recent study by Dr. Holly Middlekauff and colleagues showed that when a non-smoker is exposed to just one e-cigarette they experience “higher levels of adrenaline in the heart, which can lead to an increased heart rate and high blood pressure” (3,4).  “The findings challenge the concept that inhaled nicotine is benign, or safe” said Middlekauff (3).

Middlekauff’s study disputes the notion that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to cigarettes.

If you are interested in quitting smoking, Penn State offers a FREE smoking cessation services. Click here for more information about how you can get help from Health Promotion and Wellness.

  1. American Cancer Society, cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html
  2. Penn State Student Health Assessment, Spring 2016 http://sites.psu.edu/healthypennstate/wp-content/uploads/sites/4423/2016/07/Accessible-version-PSU-Annual-Report-2016.pdf
  3. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/one-e-cigarette-with-nicotine-leads-to-adrenaline-changes-in-nonsmokers-hearts
  4. Sympathomimetic Effects of Acute E‐Cigarette Use: Role of Nicotine and Non‐Nicotine Constituents. Roya S. Moheimani, May Bhetraratana, Kacey M. Peters, Benjamin K. Yang, Fen Yin, Jeffrey Gornbein, Jesus A. Araujo, Holly R. Middlekauff

De-Stress at the Wellness Suite

Enjoy end-of-semester activities at the new Wellness Suite! Visit 20 Intramural Building for stress relieving activities this week. Bring your friends and enjoy an hour of fun.

Monday, November 27th from 6-7pm, enjoy putting together puzzles and prepare your breakfast for the next morning. Learn and make your very own Overnight Oats! If you can’t make tonight’s activity, how about Thursday?  On Thursday, November 30th from 6-7pm make your very own stress ball. Something we could all use as finals approach. Check back in for more updates about activities happening in the wellness suite!

Healthy living starts with you

Health Promotion and Wellness offers a 12-week weight management program for students.  Participants meet individually with a registered dietitian six times to discuss personal dietary and fitness goals.  Students with the following health needs are encouraged to enroll in the program:

  • Prediabetes
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Overweight/Obese
  • Metabolic Syndrome

This is a great time to start building healthy habits for life! Learn more by calling 814.863.0461 to make an appointment.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders — such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder – include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. They are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life (NEDA).

Interested in learning more about eating disorders or do you want to learn proactive ways to foster a body positive environment? Visit the websites below:

Are you or someone you know struggling? There is a team of providers at Penn State who are dedicated to helping students who are struggling with eating disorders. Use the information below to make an appointment.

Healthy Eating and Living Support (HEALS)
University Health Services (UHS) Medical Appointments 863-0774
Nutrition Clinic 863-0461
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 863-0395

Free Bike Safety Workshop

In association with Penn State’s Coming Out Week, Transportation Services, in partnership with the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, the Gender Equity Center, and Health Promotion and Wellness, is sponsoring a free bike safety workshop for women and the LGBTQA community on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The workshop will be held at 117 Weston Community Center at Penn State’s White Course Apartments.

Open to students, faculty and staff, as well as local community members (ages 18 and older), this workshop will teach participants the rules of the road and bike safety skills in a safe and inclusive environment. The workshop will also include an outdoor portion where participants will apply what they’ve learned on a beginner-friendly practice course at the Brown 11 parking lot. All participants must bring a bike and helmet to participate.

Following completion of the program, all participants will receive a free pair of Penn State bike lights.

For more information or to RSVP for the event, please email biking@psu.edu. Spaces are limited and RSVPs must be received by noon on Tuesday, Oct. 10. More information on Penn State’s Coming Out Week events can be found via the link below:

https://goo.gl/73kj3G

Navigating the Dining Commons

Eating a healthy meal in the dining commons can feel overwhelming with all the choices.  You are offered an all you care to eat buffet as well as individual food stations.  How do you get started?

One helpful way to approach the dining commons is to first review the online menu.  If you plan ahead, you can make a healthier and balanced meal.  If you don’t have time to view the online menus ahead of time, use the MyPlate concept when approaching the food station.  For a balanced meal,fill  ½ your plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate with grains and another ¼ of your plate with protein.  Don’t forget the healthy fats!

Look for the RHEAL program in the dining commons.    RHEAL stands for Residential Healthy Eating and Living.  This program is designed to help students identify foods that are healthier options.   Look for the sign with the carrot on it. For more information, click here RHEAL .

Tips for eating healthy in the dining commons:

  1. Check out the fresh fruits and vegetables at the salad bar
  2. Choose a whole grain for pasta, bread and rice
  3. Try other grains such as quinoa or farro
  4. Take a piece of fruit every time you leave the dining commons. (It will be a great snack for later!)
  5. Try other sources of protein including beans and tofu
  6. Add healthy fats to your meal from the salad bar such as nuts or olive oil as a dressing

Eating Healthy: Dorm Edition

Claire Pomorski, a student in Nutrition 360 during spring 2017, created this awesome brochure full of valuable information to help students, living in the residence halls, make healthier food choices.  She highlights healthy food options in the Dining Commons, including getting Green 2 Go and healthy meal essentials found in the convenience stores.  She also includes meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that can easily be made in a residence hall room.  Check it out below.