End of the Semester Events

Congratulations — You’ve made it through the semester! Whether this is the end of your first year or your last here at Carolina, we hope you can find some time in between studying for finals to relax and enjoy being a student at UNC. Here are some reminders about events happening on campus over the next few days – don’t miss the puppies and the free food!

Finals Boot Camp
April 24-May 3, SASB
Offers supervised study to help you prepare, snacks, quiet study areas, raffles, and mini-workshops. Click here to register and learn more. Sponsored by the Learning Center.

Exam Paws
11am-4pm, Great Hall Lobby
Life is less stressful after you pet a puppy. Sponsored by Academic Advising.

P.A.S.S. Exam Support Fair
Monday, April 29, 6-8pm, Union Great Hall
Join us on the first reading day of the Spring 2013 semester. This super fun event includes: massages, craft stations, gaming stations, blue books, scantrons, Make-your- own Trail Mix Bar, Pizza, med deli, and MUCH more! Sponsored by Student Wellness and Housing and Residential Education. See you there!

Reading Day Stress Relief with Campus Rec
Monday, April 29
4-5 PM Zumba
5:15-6 PM Cardio Blast
6:15-7 PM Muscle Cut
7:15-8:15 Bliss Down Yoga

Click here for more end of the semester resources.

And… Take a deep breath, relax, and know that summer is just around the corner!

Grocery Shopping Without Breaking the Bank

Saving money is at the top of everyone’s priority list. And, if you’re a student trying to do your own grocery shopping and cooking for the first time, you know just how hard it can be to feed yourself without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for navigating your next trip to the store:

  •  Make a plan and a list: Before you leave home, think about what you’d like to eat for the week and make a list of everything you’ll need.  Planning ahead and sticking to your list will cut down on impulse buys and unnecessary purchases that increase you bill. (Don’t forget to stock up on some healthy snacks to avoid buying them at a higher price at local convenience stores. Here’s another Healthy Heels post to help you out!)
  • Compare prices: Once you’re at the store, check out the price difference between name brand and store brand products. If they are different sizes, make sure to look at the unit price listed at the bottom of the price tag (like price per pound or ounce).
  • Get the store’s discount card (think VIC or MVP): Most stores’ cards are free and the discounts add up.
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry: You’ve heard it a million times and it’s probably true. Chips and candy bars look ten times more inviting when you’re starving.
  •   Explore frozen and canned fruits and vegetables: These options last longer than fresh and can be just a healthy. If you buy canned foods go for low-sodium options or rinse them before cooking and avoid fruit in heavy syrups.
  •   Be adventurous in the kitchen: Less processed foods are usually cheaper than pre-prepared ones. So, if you have access to a kitchen, try cooking regular chicken breasts instead of buying pre-cooked ones or make soup from some beans and vegetables in place of buying lots of cans. Here are some quick and cheap meal ideas.
  •   Don’t buy in bulk unless you’ll be able to use it all before the expiration date: Yes, bulk foods are often cheaper per pound, but if you can’t use it all, you’re throwing away money.

With these tips and a little trial and error, buying your own groceries and cooking for yourself can be a great way to have fun, be healthy, learn new skills, and save money in the process!

How To: A Guide To Helping a Friend with an Eating Disorder

Since today marks the half-way point of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we wanted to share some information with you about how to help a friend who’s struggling with disordered eating or how to reach out for help yourself.

So, you’ve noticed that your friend has become overly concerned with what she eats or how much she weighs. Or maybe you have a friend who excuses himself from the table immediately after eating and you’ve heard him throwing up in the bathroom several times.  How do you show your concern and encourage your friend to get help? Here are a few tips.

  • Learn all that you can about eating disorders. Eating disorders are complex problems that require lots of support, care, and professional guidance. Check out http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org and  www.something-fishy.org.
  • Approach your friend in a caring, nonjudgmental way.  Explain WHY you are concerned and WHAT you have specifically observed.
  • Know that your friend might be in denial or react in anger.  Your friend may insist that everything is fine.  Do not back down, but rather continue to be available for your friend.
  • Continue to encourage your friend to seek treatment, even though he or she tries to convince you that nothing is wrong.  Do not accept or support their unhealthy behaviors.
  • Consider informing the parents or the resident advisor of your concerns.
  • Remain friendly and open to the possibility that your friend may choose to seek help in the future.
  • Remember…if your friend is over 18 years old, she or he is an adult and cannot be made to seek help.

Now that you’ve had the difficult conversation with your friend and he or she wants to reach out for help, what are the next steps? UNC has a variety of great resources to support someone struggling with disordered eating.

Counseling and Psychological Services
Speak with a trained professional to receive a referral for a therapist in the area. Body image groups are also occasionally offered.
Appointment: Walk-in to the 3rd floor of Campus Health

Campus Health Services
Speak with a health provider who specializes in Eating Disorders.
Katie Gaglione, N.P.
Appointment: 919-966 – 2281

Nutrition Counseling from a Registered Dietitian
Antonia Hartley, M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N.
Appointment: 919-966 -2281

Nutrition Counseling from a Sports Dietitian (for athletes)
Mary Ellen Bingham, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.
Appointment: 919-966 -6548

For a free online eating disorders screening assessment, click here.

And don’t forget to come support the rest of the NEDA Week events going on around campus!

It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week!

In case you haven’t heard, it’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and there are some awesome events going on to raise awareness here at UNC!

First, a little information on eating disorders from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): In the United States, approximately 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Many others struggle with disordered eating behavior/attitudes and body dissatisfaction. The emotional and physical consequences of eating disorders are wide-ranging and can include social isolation, depression, muscle wasting, bone loss, and even cardiac failure and death. In fact, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, there’s help! For more information about eating disorder signs and symptoms and how to help someone dealing with an eating disorder, visit the NEDA website. If you are struggling with food, exercise, and/or body image issues, please visit UNC’s Counseling and Psychological Services at Campus Health for a walk-in appointment 9-12 and 1-4 Monday through Friday. For general healthy eating questions and advice, you can make an appointment with the Nutrition Education Consultant at Student Wellness at 919-966-3658. For those with medical conditions and/or eating disorders, you can schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian at 919-966-2281.

So, what’s happening this week? These fun events will increase your knowledge and awareness of eating disorders, promote a healthy view of food and activity, support positive body image, and raise much-need funds for eating disorders research. Come to any and all events – your name will be entered into a prize raffle for each event you attend. Visit the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders Facebook page for more information on all of these events.


  • Eating Disorders Myth Busters, 11:30am-1pm, Lenoir
  • Eating for Exercise, 5:30-7pm, SRC
  • Benefits for Eating Disorders Research, Sweet Frog, all day; Clothes Hound, 6-9pm & party at 7pm


  • Eating Disorders Myth Busters, 11:30am-1pm, Rams Head


  • Information and Research Fair, 11am-1pm, The Pit
  • Hip Hop Master Class with Joseph Nontanovan, 6:30-7:45pm, SRC
    Come celebrate your body at a FREE Hip Hop Dance class with renowned dancer and choreographer Joseph Nontanovan from Step Up! Every day your body allows you to walk, dance, breathe, and laugh – so celebrate that fact! Joseph’s hip-hop class will be about having fun and feeling good (not about burning calories or changing your shape). When you feel good about yourself, you project a confidence that makes you beautiful, so come to dance and appreciate all that your body can do!
  • Free Film Screening: CHISEL, a CWS Peer Health Organization and the MRC are co-sponsoring a showing of Cover Girl Culture: Awakening the Media Generation, 8pm. Undergraduate Library Room 205. Come watch the film, enjoy free snacks, and participate in a discussion afterwards


  • Greek Groove, 7pm, Memorial Hall
    Greek Groove
     is a dance competition open to every Panhellenic chapter on campus, requiring each team to submit a dance of around 3 minutes.  This year’s event benefits NEDAwareness Week!

Eating for Exam Excellence

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far – Winter Break is right around the corner! We all know that eating well can fall by the wayside as classes end and exams begin. Long study sessions in your dorm room or apartment can leave you tired and hungry, reaching for whatever food is within grasp. But, skimping on nourishing foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can impair concentration and energy, leading to poor performance on exams. So, how can you optimize your study time while still making sure to eat well-balanced meals that will fuel your brain and your body?

1. Take some time to stock up. Even if you live on campus or don’t have a car, finding an hour or two before exams start to take a trip to the grocery store can pay off in the long run. Tag along with a friend who’s planning on going to the store, use Chapel Hill Transit to visit one of the many nearby stores (Click here and scroll down to find which bus routes will take you to common shopping centers), or take a nice long walk to a nearby store to de-stress!

2. Aim for balance! If you’re eating a full meal, try to make half of it be fruits and vegetables with some protein and whole grains making up the rest. Visit choosemyplate.gov for more info on balancing your meals. If you just need a small snack to keep you going until your next meal, try to pair some carbohydrate with some protein (Think fruit with string cheese, whole grain crackers and cheese or peanut butter, dry cereal with almonds, or carrots and hummus).

3. Make the most of your mini-fridge. Your mini-refrigerator and microwave might not be a gourmet kitchen, but it can still feed you pretty well without much effort on your part. A bag of salad greens can be transformed into a filling meal by adding some non-perishable items like canned fish or beans, nuts, and dried fruit. Or, you can microwave a fresh or frozen bag of steam-able veggies and pair them with a microwaved veggie burger for dinner. Keep a small bottle of low-fat milk to add to whole-grain cereal for breakfast or an any-time snack or keep a few cups of yogurt to pair with your favorite fruit picked up from the dining hall. For more ideas, visit this Pinterest board from Dickinson College devoted to dorm-friendly meals.

And remember, if you have more questions about healthy eating, you can make a FREE appointment with the Nutrition Education Consultant at Counseling and Wellness! Call (919) 966-3658 to schedule a time to talk.

Will the Real Healthy Heel Please Stand Up?

Are you sitting at your computer as you read this? If so, stand up and stretch – we’ll still be here when you get back…

Congratulations, you just took a step to improve your health! Growing amounts of research suggest that extended periods of time spent sitting (think: sitting in class and doing homework, checking Facebook, watching Netflix) increase your risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes, and may contribute to an over-all shorter lifespan. When you sit, many metabolic processes that keep your arteries healthy and your blood sugar at normal levels significantly decrease, adding up to higher risk over time. Plus, it seems that high levels of physical activity don’t offset the effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle — people who exercise for an hour but sit for the rest of the day are still at risk.

So, what’s a college student to do? You don’t have much choice about the fact that large amounts of your day are spent in class and doing homework. Sitting less and moving more just might require a little creativity.

  • Take short breaks to stand up and walk around. If you’re sitting at the computer for long periods of time, get up every 20 minutes to walk around the room or do a few stretches.
  • Skip the bus. If you are close enough to walk to class, to the store, or to Franklin Street, leave a few minutes earlier than usual and get some activity while getting where you need to go.
  • Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, suggest a walk instead. Grab your coffee to go and take a stroll around campus while catching up on each other’s lives.
  • And, my personal favorite…  Create your own stand-up desk! Put your computer on the kitchen counter or any empty shelf/ledge where you can stand comfortably with your forearms close to parallel to the floor. If you need to add extra height, try placing a few books or an empty box beneath your computer. And, you’ll be in good company – many famous figures from history were known for using stand-up desks, including Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, and my fellow Virginian – Thomas Jefferson!

So, next time you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, stand up, move around, and feel good knowing that you’re choosing a healthier future!


Matthews, et al. (2012) Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults. Am J Clin Nutr, 95(2):437-45.

Rhodes, et al. (2012) Adult sedentary behavior: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med; 42(3):e3-28.

Tomorrow is World Food Day!

Tomorrow is World Food Day! If you’ve never heard of this event before, don’t worry – you’re not the only one! So, what is World Food Day?

World Food Day (WFD) was established by the United Nations way back in 1979 to encourage national and international solidarity in the struggle against malnutrition, hunger, and poverty. Events on WFD aim to increase people’s awareness of the many roots of hunger and the variety of ways that we can work to end it.

In honor of WFD, watch this video to educate yourself about world hunger and what can be done about it.

Then, take action. Here are some suggestions:

–        Join the social media campaign.

–        Share, tweet and post about World Food Day.  Don’t forget the World Food Day hashtag: #WFD2012

–        Get some friends together for a World Food Day meal based on the Oxfam GROW method. (The GROW method focuses on reducing food waste, buying food that’s in season, using less water and energy to cook, eating less meat and dairy, and buying products that support the people who produce them).

–        Support local food production by visiting the Carrboro Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning.

Want to know more? Visit some of these resources:

–        http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/

–        http://www.oxfamamerica.org/

–        http://www.fao.org/index_en.htm

The Scoop on Protein Powder

Many students, especially those who are active, wonder if they should be taking a protein supplement, either because they want to build extra muscle or they just aren’t sure they get enough protein from regular food. So, should you join the masses (pun intended) and go buy a big jar of protein powder? Here are a few important points to consider:

Do they work?  They can definitely be a decent source of protein.  But, some powders can be used by your body more easily than others. For example, whey protein is generally easier for your body to use when compared to something like a soy or rice-based powder.

Are they safe? While most protein powders are probably safe, they are dietary supplements and aren’t regulated by the FDA, so there are no guarantees. However, many big-name brands are NSF certified, which means they’ve been checked by an independent source to make sure labeling is accurate and that the powder isn’t contaminated.

Is it worth it? Prices for protein powders are usually $1-$3 per serving, which could add up to $30-$90 per month. That can be hard on a college student’s wallet!

Do I really need it?  Most people that eat a normally will meet their protein needs without having to worry. For athletes and people on special diets, like vegetarians and vegans, a little more thought and planning might be necessary. But, it is definitely possible to get plenty of protein through everyday, “real” foods.

Can I get enough protein from food? Yes! Focus on including a serving or two of protein in each meal and/or snack. Try these ways to enjoy protein from real, quick and easy foods:

–       Add some grilled chicken or lean beef to a salad

–        Scramble an egg for breakfast

–        Freeze some Greek yogurt for a quick, protein-packed dessert

–        Drink a glass of milk at lunch or dinner

–        Replace some of the rice in your burrito with black beans

–        Spread 1-2 Tbsp of peanut butter on a piece of fruit


Rodriguez, N., DiMarco, N., Langley, S. Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. J  Am Diet Assoc, 2009:109:509-527.doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.01.005

Click to access 2011springfspn_nutrition.pdf



Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

We’ve all heard it a million times – “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But is that really true?  And if it is, why is it so important?

Eating Breakfast Has Many Benefits

While simply eating breakfast isn’t a magic solution to all of your health and nutrition problems, it has been shown to have many great benefits, from improving mental function to reducing your risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

First, research has shown that school children who eat breakfast have better attention and memory than those who skip breakfast. Even though college students are a few years older, eating in the morning before going to class could be the extra boost you need to pay attention and recall those important facts for the final exam.

Second, eating breakfast can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can help prevent problems later in life. Scientists aren’t 100% sure why skipping breakfast has this effect, but there are a few possible explanations. If you don’t eat early in the day you’re usually starving when lunchtime rolls around and more likely to overeat or choose less healthy or balanced options. Also, long periods without food can tell your body that it needs to conserve energy, leading to higher than normal weight gain. Plus, knowing you made a good choice by eating breakfast can set you up for a great day of healthy decisions!

Eating Breakfast Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

So, eating breakfast is a smart choice. But, it can be hard to find time for a healthy breakfast when you’re rushing out the door to class. Don’t worry! A balanced breakfast that will start your day off right can be quick, easy, and delicious. Here are some suggestions:

  • Slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced banana, glass of milk
  • Apple and string cheese
  • Hard-boiled egg, granola bar, grapes
  • Whole grain waffle with peanut butter,  orange
  • Packet of instant oatmeal with walnuts and banana added
  • Whole grain cereal with milk and sliced banana
  • Yogurt with frozen berries and almonds

What are your favorite breakfast options?


Freitas, I.F. Jr., PhD,  et. al. The Association between Skipping Breakfast and Biochemical Variables in Sedentary Obese Children and Adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics, Available online 7 June 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.04.055.

Wing, R.R. & Phelan, S. Long-term Weight Loss Maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. July 2005 82:1, 222S-225S.

Wesnes, K.A., Pincock, C. & Scholey, A. Breakfast is associated with enhanced cognitive function in schoolchildren: An internet based study. Appetite. 14 August 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2012.08.008