Ask Big Red Your Sexual Health Questions

College students love to talk about sex, but as soon as they have a serious question about it – the talking stops. Sure, Google can direct you to topics ranging from common STI symptoms to the most popular sex positions for 2017, but there are some questions that Cosmo, or even WebMD, can’t answer.

As such, we’re introducing a new friend to IU’s campus – Big Red: our all-knowing, all-accepting condom cartoon mascot. Through Big Red, we hope to get the conversation started and create a trustworthy place in which IU students feel comfortable asking ANY sex-related question, 100% anonymously!

Have you ever wondered…

  • How does birth control work? What about emergency contraception?
  • Does using lube make it less likely I’ll get pregnant?
  • Why doesn’t my girlfriend orgasm?
  • What’s a female condom?

Questions like these and many others can be asked at Selected answers will be posted on Thursdays on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Questions and answers can also be found on our dedicated Ask Big Red page.

So, who’s behind this all-knowing “Big Red” condom?

The woman behind the scenes (you thought this little guy was voiced by a man?!) is Heather Eastman-Mueller, the IU Health Center’s Assistant Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health. Heather earned her Ph. D. at the University of Missouri and has over 20 years of experience teaching and researching in the field. An IU alumna herself, she is thrilled to be back on campus educating students on sexual health. Ask Big Red, and let Heather share her Sex Talk Intelligence (the only good kind of STI!) with you.

For an additional opportunity to ask your questions, join us at Cupcakes and Condoms on February 28, where a booth will be dedicated to Ask Big Red.

Cook with Katie – Mac and Cheese, Adulting Style!

By Katie Shepherd

Macaroni and cheese. We all love this warm, cheesy inviting dish that brings back memories of childhood and home. Sadly, all too often, this dish is loaded with butter, excessive amounts of cheese, and (especially if you are making the packaged variety) very little in terms of actual nutrition.

Recently, I’ve seen some recipes floating around for butternut squash mac and cheese, and the nutritionist in me just had to try it out myself. I tweaked some of the versions I found online to suit my own personal taste, and this is what I came up with:

Katie’s Mac and Cheese: Adulting Style

This version of mac and cheese has no butter, almost an entire butternut squash, and greek yogurt for additional protein. To my surprise, I didn’t miss the butter, and the veggies more or less just added color and texture to the cheesy mix. It tasted good! Now that you’re all in college and adulting, it’s about time to ditch the Easy Mac and find a healthier, more sophisticated alternative.

Now let’s get cooking! Using a sharp knife, slice one butternut squash down the middle and scoop out the center. Next, peel the squash with a paring knife and cut into cubes. You will need 4-5 cups of cubed squash. For me, this ended up being about ¾ of the whole thing. (You might try adding more, but I was worried about it tasting too ‘squashy’ on my test run, so I stuck with this.) Next, boil the squash in 1 ½ – 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (buy two cans!). Use just enough liquid to cover the squash in your pot. Next, simmer 20-25 minutes until tender.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While the squash is cooking, you can prep the rest of the dish! Set another pot of water to boil and cook one pound of elbow macaroni until it’s al dente (that means firm to the bite, but not mushy). This usually takes around 7-9 minutes. Then, grab an (approximately) 9×13 glass baking dish. Coat it with cooking spray or spread about one teaspoon of oil in it to evenly coat the dish. Next, mix together 1 ½ cups milk, ½ cup plain greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, and ½ teaspoon of salt. (You can skip the dry mustard if it’s not already in your pantry or you’re not a fan!). You can use any type of milk or yogurt that you prefer, but I used 2% for both. I was afraid using low-fat or nonfat would make it less creamy, especially since we eliminated butter. Fat for texture is a good idea here!

Next, the cheese mix! I used one cup each of white sharp cheddar, italian blend, and parmesan. The cheddar and parmesan provide savory flavor and the italian blend is mostly mozzarella, which melts nicely to provide a smooth texture. You can use whatever cheese you like though–using all three kinds is not required.

Once your squash is tender, use a blender to puree that mix. Mix this, the milk/yogurt mixture, and the cheese mixture with your cooked macaroni in a large bowl then spread it into your greased baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

This recipe makes a large pan so I’d suggest having some friends over to eat or taking it to a party! Alternately, you can freeze leftovers in individual containers to have on hand during busy parts of the semester! To make this a complete and balanced meal, pair with a green vegetable, like broccoli, green beans, or a nice salad.

Want to learn more about adulting beyond cooking? Check out Adulting IU, our new student wellness coaching program (and a sweet massage giveaway) here!

Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Massage Package Available!

Looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart? The IMU Wellness Center is offering a relaxation gift package!

This $75 package includes:

  • 45-minute table massage
  • 30-minute aromatherapy session with essential oil sample included
  • 45-minute progressive muscle relaxation and guided visualization session

Walk over to the IMU Wellness Center (Indiana Memorial Union, Mezzanine M005), or call 812-856-4468 to purchase yours! This offer is available to students, employees, and the public. Certificates expire one year from the date of purchase.

This Week in Wellness at Wells: Condom Races, Aromatherapy, Dogs, and More!

Our therapy dog, Hoosier, will be joining us again this week! We hear he might be in costume!

Wellness at Wells is in full swing!

What’s that, you ask? Wellness at Wells is an opportunity to explore your health in the Wells Library Learning Commons (room 138) every Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

This week’s activities feature free aromatherapy, sexual health consent condom races and games, free condoms, therapy dog petting, giveaways, and more!

All activities are available to students who complete the 5-10 minute walk-in wellness assessment with a certified wellness coach onsite!

Did you start off the New Year with a resolution you’re already struggling to meet? Still eating fast food daily, splurging on your credit card, or skipping class? (Gulp…)

IU Health Center’s Adulting IU Student Wellness Coaching might be for you–and there’s now free stuff involved!

That’s right, our Student Wellness Coaching gift package promotion continues! Sign up for your first wellness coaching appointment and receive a free gift package! The package includes a 45-minute table massage, a 30-minute aromatherapy session (with sample!), and 60-minute introduction to biofeedback session, valued at $95! Services can be used upon the completion of your first two wellness coaching appointments at IU Health Center.

Walk-in Counseling Services Available to Multicultural Students

College students can have many stressors–academics, relationships, depression, anxiety, and more. With the recent political changes to our country, there are new crises in the lives of our students with diverse and multicultural backgrounds. International students, especially those from countries highlighted in the recent executive orders, face tremendous uncertainty and confusion. Racism and fear are on the rise. Fortunately, support abounds on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.

“At Indiana University, we embrace openness to the world. This has long been a hallmark of great global universities such as ours that seek to attract the best students, scholars and researchers from every country and champion the cause of greater cultural understanding,” said President Michael A. McRobbie in a recent statement. “The directives contained in this executive order will have a considerable impact on IU’s international students and scholars, many of whom are feeling frightened and unsettled, interfering with their travel plans and other commitments.”

If you identify and need someone to talk to in this regard or for other general stressors, a “Let’s Talk Now” consultant or counselor is an excellent place to start.

What’s Let’s Talk?

As a student, you may confront issues in and out of the classroom that affect your ability to succeed in both your personal life and the classroom. Often it can help to talk to a willing ear. Other times, you may need more advanced help. Either way, Let’s Talk has you covered with two programs:

  • Let’s Talk Now is a free and confidential informal conversation with an emphasis on self-understanding and finding solutions to your problems. In addition to your walk-in conversation, Let’s Talk Now connects you to other accessible campus resources, both informal and formal.
  • Let’s Keep Talking is for when you do need more than just a friendly chat. Professional counselors are available to meet and address any more complex issues.

Who’s talking?

Our diverse group of consultants and counselors come from Indiana University Health Center’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology.

What’s the first step?

Drop in during scheduled hours at any of our six locations to talk informally with a Let’s Talk Now consultant about anything at all. It’s free and confidential!

Counselors are available to talk–not judge–and there’s no pressure to continue beyond this initial conversation.

Hours and Locations for Let’s Talk Now:

  • Asian Culture Center: Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 p.m.; Thursdays 12:00-2:30 p.m., 4:30-7:00 p.m.
  • First Nations Educational and Cultural Center: Thursdays, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • La Casa, Latino Cultural Center: Tuesdays, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center: Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Office of International Services: Fridays, 9:00-11:30 a.m.

Let’s Keep Talking hours and locations can be found at

Cook with Katie–Slow Cooker Soup

Now that the weather is cooler (I can’t believe it’s taken this long to be able to say that!), I love to bring out my slow cooker (a.k.a. Crock-Pot) to make some hearty stews and soups for winter.

Why do I love slow cookers? #1—they are easy! You can throw all of your ingredients into one pot in the morning, turn to low, and when you arrive home in the evening, dinner is ready and your house smells amazing! The other reason I love slow cookers is for health reasons. Cooking food at a low temperature for long periods of time is a great way to retain nutrients. Some nutrients are heat-sensitive and cooking for short periods of time over high heat (such as grilling or baking in a very hot oven) can destroy them.

Today’s recipe is a slow cooker curry lentil soup. I love lentils because they’re a cheap source of protein (my one pound bag was just $1.89), and any kind of legume/lentil (think kidney beans, black beans, etc.) is a great source of soluble fiber–important for managing healthy cholesterol. Lentils on their own can be a bit……….bland, but fortunately, they will take on the flavor of whatever you cook with them. This recipe certainly does not lack in flavor with all of the spices and veggies that we will be adding!

For this recipe, I’ve chosen two curry powders. The first is a traditional curry powder, which is primarily made from turmeric. Turmeric gives the soup a bright yellow hue (be careful, it will also stain anything and everything).

As you’ve probably already guessed, there’s a health benefit, in addition to it being tasty! Turmeric contains curcumin, a phytonutrient classified as a ‘polyphenol.’ I know, big words, right? No need to memorize the fancy terminology; the big take away is this–phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants that reduce inflammation. Long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, phytonutrients in fruits, vegetables, and spices contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are components that reduce the formation of free radicals in our bodies. Fewer free radicals may reduce risk for developing cancer.

The other spice blend in this recipe, garam masala, contains a variety of spices, one of which is cinnamon. Cinnamon, like turmeric, is also an anti-inflammatory and may help regulate healthy blood sugar. In a nutshell, these spices do more than simply flavor food. They really can benefit your health!

Now, let’s get cooking!


Katie’s Slow Cooker Curry Lentil Soup

  • 6 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of green or brown lentils
  • 6-8 baby carrots (or 1-2 whole carrots), sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 wedge of lime

With the exception of the chopped fresh spinach and wedge of lime, combine and stir all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Don’t open the lid during the cooking process!  This will just make the cooking time longer!

When your time is up, stir in the chopped fresh spinach and squeeze lime juice. Stirring the spinach in at the end rather than the beginning will keep the green hue nice and bright and won’t make for a mushy texture. Additionally, using a small squeeze of citrus adds a nice touch of acidity.

This recipe makes four servings. If you’re cooking for one or two people, it will heat up nicely the next day for a great lunch. I paired my soup with a slice of whole grain rye bread.

Bon Appetit!

Student Massage, Aromatherapy, and Biofeedback Giveaway!

Did you start off the New Year with a resolution you’re already struggling to meet? Still eating fast food daily, splurging on your credit card, or skipping class? (Gulp…)

IU Health Center’s Adulting IU Student Wellness Coaching might be for you–and there’s free massage, aromatherapy, and biofeedback in it!

Beginning Wednesday, January 18, the first 50 students to sign up for Student Wellness Coaching will receive a free gift package, valued at $95! The package includes a 45-minute table massage, a 30-minute aromatherapy session (with sample!), and 60-minute introduction to biofeedback session.

Sign ups will occur in room 138 of the Wells Library Learning Commons on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. where our wellness team will briefly assess your needs, demonstrate some of our services (yes, free stuff!), and schedule your first appointment for you!

What exactly is this wellness coaching stuff?

Wellness coaching is about whatever you want it to be–stress management, study tips, nutrition, exercise, you name it! Our certified wellness coaches are healthcare professionals trained to advise you in many different areas of your life. The key rests in helping clients develop motivation they can apply to the pursuit of any of their goals.

What happens during your first appointment?

During your first appointment, you’ll spend 15 minutes with a doctor who will briefly assess your physical health and make any referrals. Before beginning wellness coaching, we want to make sure you’re in tip-top shape (or at least have the resources and referrals you need!). For example, our doctor might refer you to a general practitioner if you are at risk for diabetes.

This will be immediately followed by 45 minutes with a wellness coach, who will help you identify your priorities and develop a personal wellness plan including a vision, three month goals and the first steps.

What’s a follow up like?

In subsequent 30-minute coaching sessions, you and your coach will review the progress toward your vision and goals, explore and resolve the most pressing issues, learn something new, then agree on a set of goals for the following appointment. Follow ups can be scheduled whenever you like, although we do recommend coming at least twice a month. By the end of three months, you can expect to reach more than 70% of your three-month goals and feel energized and confident to embark on new areas with or without your coach.

Who’s helping me?

All our coaches are nationally certified in the latest coaching practices through renowned programs at Wellcoaches®, Mayo Clinic, and/or Duke Integrative Medicine.

When do I get my free stuff?

You’ll receive a gift certificate during your initial registration (at Wellness at Wells) that you must bring to each appointment. After completing your initial wellness coaching appointment and one follow up session, you will be able to begin your biofeedback, aromatherapy, and 45-minute table massage (in that order).

How much does wellness coaching cost?

For students who have paid the health fee, your initial 60-minute appointment costs $75, and follow up sessions are $25 each. For students without the paid health fee, initial appointments are $115, and follow ups are $30.

Health Benefits of Sorority Life

By Amanda Pittman, IU Health Center Marketing Intern

Amanda and sisters after attending cardio hip-hop at the SRSC

This coming weekend marks the final rounds of 2017 Panhellenic Recruitment at IU. Whether you’re a potential new member (PNM) still wondering if Greek life is your thing, or a sorority woman needing a pick-me-up for a long weekend of recruiting, here’s a reminder of some of the benefits that sorority life can bring – specifically, health benefits! My positive sorority experiences have been with Alpha Sigma Alpha, but there are some unique characteristics all sororities offer that contribute to developing a healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy life.

Healthy Mind

Bigs & Littles, Moms & Daughters

This relationship is about much more than crafting for each other’s rooms; it’s about crafting a connection between two women. In most chapters, the “Big” or “Mom” is a woman who has been in the chapter longer than the woman she will take as her “Little” or “Daughter.” The Big can be seen as a mentor and a best friend, but her most important job is to offer emotional support as her Little navigates college life. A lot can happen in one semester – school is stressful, boys are confusing, and family is far away. The advice and guidance of a young woman who’s already been through some of the college experience is one of the best emotional health benefits to joining a sorority. When I was a new member and still undecided about my major, my Big showed me the ropes of becoming a sorority woman, gave me endless advice, and helped me choose a course of study that I would be passionate about.

Comfort in Community

The idea of your “family” growing from a couple people to a couple hundred sisters overnight may sound daunting, but having a large group of women that care about you as a fellow sister is a wonderful gift. During difficult times, it is healing to know that dozens of sisters are able to send prayers. When you feel lonely, it is relieving to know that there has to be someone available to keep you company. And when you’re feeling accomplished, it is exciting to know that you have so many women to share your good news with!

Healthy Body

Extra Positive Motivation

First of all, when it comes to physical fitness – there is a high chance that at least one of your sisters is available to work out with you at any given time. It’s a lot easier (and more fun!) to accomplish your fitness goals with the encouragement and company of sisters. Additionally, the campus recreation centers sponsor Greek participation in their facilities several times a year, through promotions like “MOVEmber” and “Greektober”, to give you that extra push!

Amanda and sisters at intramural volleyball


High school sports was one of the things I missed most upon coming to college. Regular practice schedules keep you in shape, camaraderie with teammates reduces stress, and people actually come watch you play – what’s not to miss? Freshman year I wanted to create an intramural volleyball team, but I struggled to find enough people who wanted to play. Once I joined a sorority, making a team was a piece of cake! In fact, we had a sister in charge of organizing all the teams, signing us up, and using our dues to cover the intramural fees. 

Healthy Life

Values Integration

Sororities create a place where women can grow together and strive to become better versions of themselves. Every chapter was founded upon a core set of values and beliefs for its members to work towards. Spending time with many women who are also working towards the same values is not only inspiring, but it holds you accountable. Living life around a set of values leads to better relationships, better work, better self-concept, and ultimately – a healthier life.


Overall, joining a sorority has brought a sense of balance to my life. Every chapter on campus recognizes the importance of education, philanthropy, friendship, and personal development and strives to help its members dedicate time to each of these pursuits. With the positive influences of other women working towards similar goals, balancing your studies and sisters with service and self-improvement becomes easier than you might think.

Adjusting to IU

Are you a transfer student looking for some help adjusting to IU? Or maybe a returning student but still adjusting to college? Here are some tips to help you SPRING into the New Year.

  1. Be proactive: Unlike high school, in college you have to take more initiative to get involved and find your fun. Look for upcoming shows, events, or organizations you might want to join. Mark it in your calendar and find friends to go with. The more you have to look forward to, the happier you will feel. It is going to be more of a constant effort on your part. We tend to lose momentum after the first few weeks, but remember, it’s never too late to get started.
  1. Fill up your free time: Don’t spend all of your time on social media or Netflix. It may be fun at first, but this ultimately tends to bring us down. Get out there! Join an intramural sports team, volunteer, or find a group you’d like to join. And if you can’t find one, make one!
  1. Put yourself out there: Leave your dorm or apartment every day. If you’re a transfer student, try to live on campus or as close to it as possible to find things to be involved in. And if you’re living off campus, try to go to campus every day. The more you get out there, the more likely you are to find things that you want to try out.
  1. Try something new: There are lots of clubs to join, and fun new places to eat. Challenge yourself to try something new. Take a different route to class. Make new friends. Go to a show. The more you successfully challenge yourself, the better you will feel, knowing you overcame your fears.
  1. Get a job: While school is still your first priority, often times working helps us be more productive. It helps you stay on top of your schedule and you’ll have a little extra spending cash too. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and find your place here. There are plenty of places to work both off-campus and on–all you have to do is look!
  1. Try not to compare: It’s easy to compare yourself to others, thinking everyone else is having fun except you. If you’re struggling, that’s okay, and it’s perfectly normal. Remember, just because people appear like they are adjusting better, doesn’t mean they actually are. If you’re feeling this way, try and open up to others, and think about changing your expectations. And transfer students–do your best to come to IU open-minded. Don’t compare this school to your old one, instead, focus on creating a life here that works best for you.
  1. Give it time: It is perfectly okay not to find your stride within the first few weeks! It takes many students a semester, a year, or sometimes longer. Try to not get discouraged, or use it as your motivation to get more involved. There will be tough days, but it does get easier. Not everyone has found their friend group already, there are lots of people just waiting for a friend like you!
  1. Practice gratitude: We know this one isn’t easy, but we also know focusing on the positives helps us feel better. We can still acknowledge things are hard (and at times they definitely are), but try and think of three things that went well today, or maybe three things that you are grateful for. Better yet, write these down so you have something to look back on when you’re feeling a little down!
  1. Practice self-care and coping skills: What is self-care? Self-care is something you do, every day, ideally for at least 30 minutes, that is just “you” time. This could be anything that is restorative and helps prevent stress. Coping skills are what we do after we feel stressed. So what are some things you can do? Practice meditation, go for a run or walk, read a favorite book, or chat with a friend. You can also go to the gym, journal, create art, and plenty more. There are hundreds of self-care/coping skills activities; just find the ones that work best for you.
  1. Look for support: You aren’t alone in this, and there are lots of people out there ready to help. Remember, you are not a burden, and the more you reach out, the closer you’ll feel to others. Talk to your family or friends, open up to that classmate you always sit by, or talk to your RA. Meet with your professors or advisors, or reach out to a Crimson Corps member ( You can check out the IU Health Center’s many services. We offer wellness coaching (charge it to your bursar!), counseling (two free sessions per semester for those who have paid the health fee!), free workshops and events, and much more!

Looking for adjustment help beyond this post? Join our first spring Web Wednesdays session on Adjusting to IU on January 18 at 2:30 p.m. To get started, go to or download the Zoom cloud meetings app. Enter the ID number 541-962-473 and you’re a go!


Thanks for reading. Welcome new students, and welcome back returning ones! Have a fantastic semester!

Kellen Fox, LMHC

Join Crimson CORPS!

Indiana University’s Crimson CORPS (Caring, Open‐Minded, Respectful Peer Support) is seeking applicants for the 2017-18 academic year!


Crimson CORPS is a group of carefully selected undergraduate students, trained to provide informal, accepting and non‐judgmental peer support. As a student group, the mission of the CORPS is to promote a culture of compassion and action at IU, and to bring awareness to issues of emotional well‐being within the student community. We do this through peer‐to‐peer support, advocacy and outreach. In response to research that tells us that students in distress are most likely to reach out to a peer first, we have created a group of students committed to making a difference in the lives of their fellow IU students.

We are looking for a diverse group of undergraduate students who offers different perspectives and are bonded by a common commitment to our mission and shared values involving:

  • A passion for helping others
  • An interest in stretching themselves to engage with people on a different level
  • An openness to expanding their sense of compassion, tolerance, and appreciation of themselves and others
  • A desire to make a difference in the lives of fellow IU students

back-cc-logoCrimson CORPS members are trained and supervised by the professional staff at IU Health Center’s Counseling & Psychological Services. The skills members acquire will be useful in all aspects of their lives. Members participate in more than 30 hours of informational and experiential training. Along with gaining a basic knowledge off the various mental health issues facing college students today and the issues preventing students from seeking help, we will help you learn how to:

  • Listen actively without judgment
  • Engage people from different backgrounds
  • Gather important information in non‐threatening ways
  • Engender a feeling of trust and safety
  • Recognize signs of distress in a fellow student

Crimson CORPS is a significant commitment but one that is rewarding on many levels! Crimson CORPS members will attend one half-day training session each semester, attend one 90-minute training session each month, participate in monthly task team meetings, participate in at least two outreach programs per semester, and will commit to volunteer for a full academic year (Fall 2017 – Spring 2018).

Interested? Please complete the online application here, no later than February 15.

Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by March 3, and may be invited for an interview with the Crimson CORPS staff.

For more information, visit our website, email, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.


The Crimson CORPS Staff

  • Laura Conner, M.S., LMHCA; CAPS Therapist
  • Molly McKelfresh, M.S., LMHCA; CAPS Therapist
  • Nancy Goodrich Mitts, B.S., Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology
  • Elyssa Klann, B.A., Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology
  • Nelson Zounlome, B.A., Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology