Nutrition On-Campus: Meet the RD!

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On the first Monday of every month, HCI runs a table at the Student Center to promote “Healthy Monday,” a nation-wide campaign to inspire students to make an active health-related (visit us on 11/3 between 11 am-1 pm). Often times, students will visit from the Marketplace with an ice cream cone or a few cookies in hand and opt to eat healthier and frequent the gym during the week. I view this as leading a balanced lifestyle, if treats are enjoyed in moderation, but many students fall into the habit of over-consumption and taking in more calories than their bodies require. Older students may have more advanced time-management skills because of a couple of years of college experience, but I find that it is incredibly common for freshmen and sophomores to fall into a rut of fast food, too many drinks, and skipping the gym.

The best way to make a change is to educate yourself first and utilize some of the resources we have on-campus. Did you know that we have a Registered Dietician available at the Wellness Center? Jennifer Fratini, RD, offers advice and services to educate students who are interested in making nutrition-related changes. Read on to find out about how you can benefit from meeting with the RU RD!

Q. What service do you provide through the Wellness Center?
A.
I am a Registered Dietitian who offers nutritional advice to students at the Wellness Center at Rowan.

Q. How could students benefit from scheduling an appointment with you?
A.
Students could benefit from scheduling an appointment with me in many ways. If they have a nutritional issue with a chronic disease then I can give them information on how to help with that. If they are looking for some healthy eating diet changes then we can go over their diet and find out ways to incorporate more healthful meal practices. I can also help them with eating better on a budget. I also am part of the Eating Disorder team and work with students with eating disorders.

Q. What tips do you have for students who are interested in healthier meal options, both on and off-campus?
A.
The biggest tip I would give students who are interested in healthier meal options is plan your meals. If you are on campus take a tour of your dining options and think about what you can eat for the week. There are many healthy options at the dining hall and working ahead and writing out what you can have for the week will minimize the urge to grab fast convenient food that may not be your healthiest option. Off campus there are many places that have healthy options and kcals are now accessible on menus. Even the Chinese all you can eat buffets have a stir fry section where you can make yourself a healthy stir fry option with lean protein, vegetable and brown rice which is a helpful meal.
Another healthy eating tip I would give college students is budgeting. Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Get fruits and vegetables that are in season- this will cut down on costs. For students who have access to a kitchen they can cook a big batch of their favorite healthy meal, freeze it and eat a few times that week. For eating off campus stick to water as your beverage which at most places is free and eat healthy breakfasts or lunches out and have your smaller meal dinner from your own kitchen or with our dining services here at Rowan.

Q. What resources do you suggest for students looking to learn more about nutrition (websites, on-campus programs, etc.)?
A. Here are some resources for students looking to learn more about nutrition:

www.fitday.com

www.calorieking.com

www.nutridiary.com

www.my-calorie-counter.com

www.netdiary.com

www.myfitnesspal.com

Phone Applications: Epicurious’ Recipes & Shopping List/ My Fitnesspal/ Loseit/ Calorie Tracker/ Go Meals/ Mynetdiary

Exercise applications: Fitness builder/ Accupedo Pedometer Widget (for Android)/ and Pedometer Pro GPS (iphone)

There is also a Registered Dietitian on staff at ShopRite in Glassboro to take students around their store.

Q. How can students contact you?
A.
Students can contact me at the Wellness Center at Winans Hall. I am always available Wednesday and Thursday for an appointment at the Wellness Center. They would call 856-256-4333 to make an appointment or can contact me via email at fratini@rowan.edu.

 

Please contact Jennifer if you wish to advance your nutrition knowledge, receive help with eating issues, and become a healthier YOU!

 

By: Melissa Falzarano

 

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“The Future Freaks Me Out”

Motion City Soundtrack’s song “The Future Freaks Me Out” is a title I can easily relate to. How about you? How many times were you asked those questions your senior year of high school, that may or may not have made you freak out a little bit. I know I did. “What’s next?” or “what do you want to do?” When I was asked those questions, sometimes I knew the answer and sometimes I didn’t. And that’s because I had no idea what I was going to do in the next four (which turned into five) years at Rowan. I didn’t know I was going to change my mind about my career three times. I didn’t know I was going to mess up in school a little bit. I really didn’t foresee having $3 in my bank account at the end of my junior year. I know for a fact I am not alone. It’s really hard sometimes for someone that young to know exactly what they want to do with their lives. Don’t get me wrong, of course there are tons of people who knew exactly what they wanted to do when they graduated high school, but how about now? Maybe experiencing college made you see things in a different light.

Even though it’s only October, college graduation is quickly approaching. Just like high school senior year, I’ve been getting those same irritating questions that I have to answer constantly. This time I luckily have somewhat of a plan, however I also have a plan B, and even a plan C. I have no idea what to expect is going to happen with my life in eight months. And you know what? It makes me extremely stressed out. I lose focus in class sometimes just worrying about the future. Sometimes I even feel my face getting warm and my hands clam up. These are physical symptoms of stress. What does that say? If you have no idea what you want to do, WHO CARES? We are in our early 20’s. This is supposed to be our time to live our lives, to make mistakes, and enjoy what the world has to offer. If you don’t have a clue of what you’ll be doing come May, relax and take a deep breath. Everything will work itself out. If you’re as stressed out as me, here are some of the things I do that works to relive that bad stress:

Lean on your support system. Luckily I have the most amazing support system I could have asked for. My parents have been behind me in all my academic struggles, and professors who have complete faith in me. I have great friends and an amazing boyfriend who I can go to for support and love. Utilize these people in your lives. Vent to them, ask for advice, and just ask them if they would be a listening ear. Or just go have some fun with them and get your mind off your troubles.

Go to the gym. Only have time for a half hour cardio session? That’s fine! It’s actually recommended for us to get 30 minutes of exercise five times a week in order to be healthy. When I’m super stressed out, I notice a huge improvement in my mood after an intense 30 minutes on the elliptical or bike. If you’re not a gym person, try going on YouTube or On Demand. There are tons of workouts on there that you could do at home. Pinterest is an excellent online source of exercises! You might be surprised at how energized you feel after a good gym session, not to mention all the health benefits from it.

Take a nap. Who doesn’t like to nap? I haven’t met many people who don’t enjoy a good nap. Change into comfy pants and a shirt, climb into bed, take a few deep breathes, and go to sleep! I used to think that napping wasn’t a good way to relive stress because I was avoiding my problems. Wrong! It’s actually a great way to relieve stress, and of course to reenergize yourself to take on the rest of your day.

Participate in an activity that you enjoy. I like baking and cooking. Pinterest is my go-to, and I have found such great recipes. Most recently when I was stressed, I made these awesome tropical chicken skewers with rice and corn as side dishes. It took my mind off my worries and I jammed to some Disney songs and became Rachel Ray in my kitchen.

Open up a book and read. Yeah, remember those? Put down your phones, iPads, tablets, laptops, and read a good book. This is a great way to relieve stress, unless you’re reading the hunger games or something. Then you’re just going make your blood pressure go right back up because that series is INTENSE.

Take advantage of the free things here at Rowan. On our campus there are tons of resources that we have at our fingertips for FREE. If you need help studying for a test, Rowan offers free tutors. Our very own Healthy Campus Initiatives has workshops and events that you may attend to learn about stress and anxiety, and how to take control over it. The counseling center is also a great resource. Use what’s here, it could be very beneficial.

Lastly, think about the now. That was one of the best pieces of advice I was given when I was going through some rough times. Worrying about the future is not going to help you right now. Worry about that tough exam you need to study for, or what you’re going to do when you get home tonight. That’s all you can do, really. Focus your time and energy on what you could do right now and what you have control over.

Take a few deep breathes everyone, we got this.

Join HCI for Stress and Anxiety Student Support (SASS) meetings in the Wellness Center Training Room every Monday at 2 p.m.

By: Cara Kaplan

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD

Relationships, friendships, family-life, school, occupations—all are affected by OCD. It is ten times more difficult to handle any type of pressure or commitment while dealing with this disorder.

Definition
OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, is a brain and behavioral disorder that causes severe anxiety on a daily basis, interfering with everyday life. It is categorized as an anxiety disorder.

Causes
According to the International OCD Foundation, research suggests that OCD is a result of issues in communication between the front part of the brain and the deeper structures of the brain. OCD can be inherited, but other factors remain unknown.

Symptoms
Those who are plagued with OCD experience highly irrational thoughts, images, and ideas that replay in their mind, disturbing the victims and distracting them from other aspects of their life. These are referred to as “obsessions.”

The coping mechanisms of OCD are called “compulsions.” Compulsions are different for anyone and range from obsessive hand washing to the constant need to confess/seek reassurance. Compulsions ease (though only temporarily) the worry behind obsessions.


The reality behind OCD
OCD, also known as the “doubting disorder,” is often mistaken. Many assume that those who struggle with OCD are neat-freaks who wash their hands every other minute and check that the door is locked ten times before bed. Yes, sometimes this is accurate; but there is much more to the disorder.

For one thing, OCD victims rarely ever feel like anything more than a terrible person. The intrusive thoughts that haunt each sufferer refuse to be dismissed, thus exhausting the sufferer to the point of severe guilt and even depression. The compulsion is to rationalize the thoughts, which almost always fails and leaves the victim fighting an internal battle—strenuous and time-consuming.

Examples
A common obsession is the idea of purposely injuring someone, usually a loved one. Because this thought is alarming, it is followed by intense feelings of shame and self-hatred. This is not a quick process—in and out of the mind. These ideas and feelings encompass the brain sometimes for weeks, making everyday tasks much tougher to focus on.

Another example is unwanted yet repetitive sexual obsessions—disturbing sexual images of friends, co-workers, children, and even family members. These thoughts develop out of fear, mostly because they are so undesirable and alarming, thus transforming into a recurring obsession. Though everyone experiences these thoughts, perhaps momentarily, those with OCD cannot simply brush them off or rationally dismiss them. It is tough for them to understand that having these obsessions is common and does not mean that they indeed want these sexual images to be real. The idea leads to shame and guilt; and often times, many begin to question their sexuality, their loyalty to their partner, and their sanity in general.

Personal Experiences
When I was first diagnosed with OCD as a 7-year-old girl, I had irrational thoughts that I felt I needed to confess: images of stabbing my mother would play repetitively in my mind. Since I was young, I did not understand why this was happening. I cried every day, confessed to my parents, and felt like a terrible person.

I also was terrified of germs and of throwing up. My hands would bleed from the excessive washing I did (my main compulsion as a child.) Any time a classmate was ill, I would worry to the point of self-inflicted illness. My stomach was always in pain from the anxiousness, and I took more sick days in one year than I have in five years, almost having to repeat second grade. When my mother would use tough-love and force me to go to school, I would run alongside of her van and beg her not to leave me. None of my classmates or faculty understood, and I constantly embarrassed myself with panic attacks in class.

As I’ve grown, I have more obsessions than compulsions. After years of therapy, I learned to avoid the temptation of compulsions. The only compulsion I have now is confessing. Any time I have an irrational thought, I feel the need to talk about it with my parents, my friends, and my boyfriend—simply to seek reassurance that I am normal and not insane.

I have been dealing with extreme guilt lately, for simple things such as being moody, arguing with my boyfriend, saying certain things, etc. Although I know that I am human and make mistakes, I tell myself that I do not deserve happiness and fall short of a good person. I then look to my loved ones to reassure me that I am not the horrible girl I perceive myself as. It is a lonely feeling to battle internally.

Treatments and Solutions
Though OCD never simply leaves a person, it can be treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and/or medication.

A piece of advice to those with OCD: Do not feed the obsessions, but do not ignore them completely. Recognize that they are a part of your OCD rather than denying the disorder. Accept help and work hard to stop performing your compulsions. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.


By: Samantha Caramela