New Year, New You

2017hcIt’s almost 2017 and you know what that means! It’s resolution time!

Unfortunately, research shows that just 8% of Americans were successful at achieving their New Year’s resolutions last year, although nearly half of Americans made one. So, what’s the problem and how can we help?

“I think focusing on too many goals at a time is a problem,” said Azar Nikravesh, MS, IUHC Assistant Director of Holistic Health and Stress Management. “Having one larger goal while setting doable yet challenging weekly goals to move towards the larger goal is a much better way to change behavior.”

The most common resolution made in 2015 was to lose weight. Want to give it a try and be successful? When looking at healthy eating plans, try to make changes that will be sustainable.

“Temporary changes in your eating will only make temporary changes to your weight,” said Katie Shepherd, IUHC Registered Dietitian, MS, CD, and #CookWithKatie blogger. “Students interested in developing a healthy eating plan with a registered and certified dietitian can sign up for a weight control package through Health and Wellness education. For those who have paid their health fee, your first appointment is free, and you’ll receive five nutrition follow-ups within the same semester for just $75. Nutrition counseling is also available to all full time employees and spouses on a medical plan.”

When looking at your diet, choose one or two concrete things you feel you can improve, write them down, and track your progress. Once you’ve mastered these, feel free to add in others (but don’t forget what you started with!).

“Try to eat more fruit and vegetables every day,” said Bobbie Saccone, Ph.D., RD., CD, IUHC Assistant Director of Health and Wellness Education, and Nutrition Program Manager. “Keep a list of how many times each day you eat at least a baseball size portion of a fruit or veggie. If you’re hardly eating any, start with one serving of each daily. Want to be a rock star? Aim for 2-4 fruits and 3-5 vegetables daily and vary your color.”

Another helpful suggestion is to pack snacks. Packing healthy snacks for the day in your backpack, purse, car, or another accessible place will limit emergency trips to the vending machine or convenience store. Try packing nuts, trail mixes, dry whole grain cereals or crackers, fruit, and bars without too much sugar.

Is part two of your weight loss goal starting a new workout routine? Keep in mind the importance of incorporating your personal interests into what you choose.

“If your resolution is going to include something physical or active as a goal, make sure you choose something you love doing,” said Nick Metzger, IMU Wellness Center Office Administrator. “Do you like gardening, walking, swimming, running, yoga, playing with your kids, indoor rock climbing, riding a bike, or even cleaning the house? Physical activity doesn’t have to be going to the gym five days a week and resolving to lift weights or do stomach crunches and planks. What’s most important is choosing something fun to you. You’ll still be lapping the folks sitting on the couch. Also, be realistic about how often you plan to do your chosen activities. If you set a goal to work out seven days a week, you’ll quickly find that is nearly impossible for most people to meet.”

Healthy IU dietician, Steven Lalevich, RD, emphasizes the importance of getting sleep in meeting any resolution.

“Lack of sleep weakens your willpower and self-control, making it more difficult to stick with your resolution,” he said. “Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.”

A new year is also a great time to reevaluate the role alcohol plays in your life.

“Simple adjustments such as downloading and using a drink tracking app, switching from hard liquor to only beer, or gifting yourself with a tolerance vacation, can make a big difference in your overall health,” said Jackie Daniels, MSW, LCSW, Director, OASIS Alcohol and Drug Support Center. “For help creating your own change plan, email or call 812-856-3898 for an appointment. For a one-time fee of $25, a trained counselor can help you create a plan to meet your individual goals, over one or two sessions.”

Want to try a simple two-part resolution that can enhance your emotional well being and assist others as well? Part one relates to gratitude.

“Make it a point to take a few moments each day to focus on something for which you are grateful,” said Dr. Nancy Stockton, Director of IUHC’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Develop a good ‘gratitude’ habit by pairing gratitude focus moments with something you do regularly such as brushing your teeth or drinking a morning cup of coffee. We are less likely to forget to do things when we make them a regular habit. Cultivating positivity certainly is one way of improving the quality of our life.”

Now for part two. Do something especially nice for someone each day. Acts might range from taking a sick friend a bowl of soup or making a contribution to a favorite charity. Find meaningful volunteer activities.

“Doing for others not only helps them but it helps ourselves as well,” Stockton said. “For other tips on how to lower stress and increase emotional health, students can try one of the CAPS Monday Motivator workshops or Web Wednesdays.”

Here’s an interesting tidbit: when recovering from a stressful situation, participants in a study who were smiling had lower heart rates than those with a neutral facial expression.

“My New Year’s resolution is simply to make eye contact with others on campus as I’m walking along and give them a real smile–one that makes the skin at the corners of my eyes crinkle,” said Barbara Moss, IU Health Fair Coordinator and IUHC Assistant Director for Educational Outreach. “I know that smiling, even smiles that are a bit forced, definitely lowers stress and anxiety for both the giver and the receiver. Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins and makes us feel better. Smiling is free, takes almost no energy, and the benefits can truly tilt a day to the positive.”

Another common resolution is to quit smoking. Looking for help with tobacco use? According to the CDC, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease. Check out our Refresh IU program for students and employees! IU Bloomington is a tobacco-free campus and we are here to help you with a new grant from the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative.

Unsure how to move forward with your resolutions alone? Try Adulting IU, our student wellness coaching program, or Wellness at Work, our employee version. We’ll help you set goals and attain them. Students, you can even charge it to your bursar bill!

Happy New Year and good luck!

Cook with Katie – Holiday Salad Style!

CookWithKatie_logoBy Katie Shepherd

Welcome back to Cook with Katie—holiday style! The semester is over! Woot, hoot! Whether you’re faculty, staff, or a student, I think we can all agree that it feels good to finish up another semester. Now, it’s time to prepare for the holidays!

On that note, today’s post is a healthy (surprised?) holiday party dish! You miiiiiight have noticed there are a lot of celebrations and gatherings this time of year where the food is heavy. This makes it tough to preserve our waistlines and can lead to some crazy New Year’s Resolutions.

Trying to come up with a holiday work potluck dish, I racked my brain for something light, but also tasty and festive. I wanted to use vegetables, while trying to be more creative than the standard veggie and dip platter. Alas, Katie’s Kale and Pomegranate Holiday Salad!

This is a super easy recipe that simply requires assembling ingredients (which gives you more time to spend shopping!). Not only is this salad a nutritional powerhouse, but your guests will rave about how they never believed greens could taste so good. Really! So, let’s get mixing!…

Katie’s Kale and Pomegranate Holiday Salad

katie-saladI like to start this salad with the “power greens” mix from Kroger. This is a lovely mixture of kale, spinach, chard, and mizunala. I love kale in salads like this because the leaves are quite hearty and won’t wilt when you add dressing. Next, add pomegranate arils.

Never had pomegranates? Pomegranates are a seasonal fruit typically available from October through February. You can buy a whole pomegranate and remove the seeds yourself, or you can buy one ready-to-eat. Pomegranates have a tough leathery skin and the sweet juicy arils are covered in a pith that isn’t edible, so I usually buy the ready to eat variety. (I grow impatient when I have to work too hard for my food!)

Next, add a 4 ounce container of crumbled feta cheese. Feta adds an essential saltiness to this dish (plus a little calcium and protein).

Finally, I finish this salad off with my favorite dressing, Marie’s white balsamic shallot vinaigrette. Normally, I would say to add whatever vinaigrette dressing you like (or make your own!), but honestly, this is one of the best out there and the flavors match so well with the other ingredients in this salad. You can typically find it in the refrigerated section. I generally add 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup depending on how much dressing you like on your salad.

That’s it. You’re done!

Another great thing about this salad is how pretty and festive it is with the colors of green, red, and white.  The greens add earthy flavors, pomegranates add sweet and tart notes, feta adds a touch of salt, and the vinaigrette adds the perfect amount of acidity.

Bon Appetit and happy holidays!

Semester Break Hours

For the semester break, the Health Center and other service locations will have limited hours.

Main facility hours (10th and Jordan):

  • December 17-18: Closed
  • December 19: 8:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-4:30 p.m.
  • December 20-22: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • December 23-26: Closed
  • December 27-29: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • December 30-January 2: Closed
  • January 3-6: 8:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-4:30 p.m.
  • January 7-8: Closed

Additionally, the Let’s Talk counseling program will be closed through January 8. Those needing counseling assistance should contact CAPS directly at 812-855-5711.

In town during break? Stop by the IMU Wellness Center (Room M005) and enjoy a relaxing massage or purchase a gift package for a loved one!

Wellness Center Break Hours:

  • December 17-18: Closed
  • December 19: 8:00-10:45 a.m. and 1:15-5:00 p.m.
  • December 20-22: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • December 23: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • December 24-27: Closed
  • December 28-29: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • December 30-January 2: Closed
  • January 3-6: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • January 7-8: Closed

Finally, Wellness at Wells is now closed and will reopen for the Spring 2017 semester on January 18, Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Wellness at Wells takes place in the Wells Library Learning Commons, Room 138 on a weekly basis.


Our Medical Services: What and When


First time away from home? Have your parents always scheduled your doctor’s appointments for you? You might be wondering how best to use the medical services at the Health Center to meet your needs when you’re sick or injured. Maybe you’ve been dealing with a chronic health issue and you need to see a medical professional before you can return home to see your regular doctor. Maybe you’ve injured yourself playing basketball at the SRSC. What do you do? Where do you go?

It’s not uncommon for students to contact our after-hours call service and ask if they can wait until the morning to be seen at the Health Center or if they should go to the emergency room for a problem.

It is helpful to understand the differences between our walk-in clinic, a scheduled appointment, and a visit to the emergency room. In one study, it was reported that nearly 50 percent of the diagnoses at emergency rooms could be treated by a walk-in clinic at a fraction of the cost and wait time.

Certainly, if you’re experiencing a potentially life-threatening illness or injury, you should call 911 and go to the emergency room immediately. The ER is meant for true emergencies and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In Bloomington there are two hospitals with emergency rooms – IU Health Bloomington Hospital (not affiliated with us) and Monroe Hospital. If you are experiencing a serious health problem such as an allergic reaction, severe shortness of breath, severe chest pain, serious wounds or trauma, continuous bleeding, unconsciousness, or serious head injury, you should definitely visit the ER.

However, many health problems that you may encounter while you’re in college can be managed in our outpatient clinic here on campus. It’s recommended that you try to make an appointment with one of our medical providers, however, if an appointment isn’t available, you can come to our walk-in clinic for acute illnesses and injuries such as high fever, cough, sore throat, flu, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, minor injuries and burns, sports injuries, cuts, and more. The walk-in clinic is available to you Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30 and most Saturdays during the academic year from 10:00-2:00 for urgent health problems. You don’t need an appointment to come to the walk-in clinic.

In other cases, you may have a health problem that you’ve been dealing with for some time. Possibly a chronic health condition that you see your hometown doctor for, but you need care in town while you’re in college. In another instance, you may have a concern about something that has been bothering you for a few months, such as fatigue. If that’s the case, and your problem isn’t urgent, it’s recommended that you schedule an appointment with one of our providers. This allows you to establish care with a provider that you can get to know and trust and return to for follow-up visits, if needed.

The Health Center offers medical care to students in several areas including:

You can schedule an appointment for any of the above on our website or by calling 812-855-7688. Our free after-hours medical question service is also available until 11:00 p.m. each night during the fall and spring semesters at 812-330-3790 for those times you’re just not sure what to do.

Stay tuned for future blogs on how and when to use our counseling and wellness services!

It’s Get Yourself Tested Week!


The week of November 28-December 2, IU Health Center will partner with the Community Capacity for Prevention and Education (CCPE) Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention Project for Get Yourself Tested Week, which includes free, confidential HIV testing at the IMU Health and Wellness Center (Indiana Memorial Union, room M005). Testing will occur daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. There is no blood draw required; swabbing and results take approximately 30 minutes.

Thursday, World AIDS Day, will also feature an educational booth and games from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m, with our Peer Health & Wellness Educators offering tips on how to own your sexual health through communication with sexual partners, sexual and reproductive health product options, and information on where to get tested for other STDs. All events are open to the entire IU and Bloomington community.

The CCPE Grant is a project funded by SAMHSA and is designed to reduce, and ultimately prevent, the onset of Substance Abuse and HIV among target population members in Monroe County.

IMU Wellness Center Gift Packages Available!


Looking for that perfect gift for a friend or family member–or even yourself? The IMU Wellness Center is offering a holiday gift package which includes three of our relaxing services. 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

Head over the the IMU Wellness Center (Mezzanine M005), or call 812-856-4468 to purchase (beginning 11/28)! This offer is available to students, employees, and the public. Limited quantities are available and certificates expire one year from the date of purchase.

Flu Shots Still Available at Health Center

flu-vaccine-flyerDid you miss our campus clinics? Flu shots are still available to students, faculty, and staff at the Health Center.


Students: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30; Saturday 10:00-1:45

Faculty and staff: Monday-Friday 8:00-11:00 or 2:00-4:00; Saturday 10:00-1:00

Please note that there may be a wait for a nurse. Refer to the health center’s website for hours as they may be limited over Thanksgiving and semester breaks.


  • Employees, Graduate Appointees, Fellowship Recipients, and Retirees (under the age of 65) covered by an IU-sponsored medical plan (with valid medical plan ID card presented at time of immunization): No cost to you (paid by university)
  • Employees not covered by an IU-sponsored medical plan: $37.00 (IU employee ID required)
  • Former employees with IU Retiree status: $37.00 (IU employee ID required)
  • Students who have paid the health fee: $26.00 (check or bursar options)
  • Students who have not paid the health fee: $37.00 (check or bursar options)
  • Please note: Cash, check, credit, and debit cards are accepted at the IU Health Center only. All other clinic sites are check only. Ineligible individuals include spouses/partners who are not IU employees, former employees without IU Retiree status, and dependent children of employees.

Influenza is a serious disease and is highly contagious. More information about the Influenza Vaccine and Disease is available here.

For additional questions, please call the nurse’s hotline at 812-855-5002.

Cook with Katie, Thanksgiving Style!

Hi and welcome back to #CookwithKatie—Thanksgiving style! I love Thanksgiving. It’s all about my four favorite F’s: Food, Family, Friends, and Fun!

Did you know that Thanksgiving food can be tasty AND healthy simultaneously? For today’s recipe we are going to make a stuffed acorn squash!

Acorn squash is in the winter squash family. Butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash are all common varieties of winter squash that you can find in the grocery store. They have tough outer skins which make them shelf-stable for long periods of time, and tender orange flesh that is loaded with cancer fighting carotenoids and antioxidants. These bright orange veggies are also packed with vitamin A and potassium. Even better, acorn squash is low in calories! At just 56 calories per cup, it has about half the calories of potatoes or sweet potatoes…which means I can eat twice as much for the same amount of calories? Count me in! Now let’s get cooking!

Winter squash ckatie-thanksgivingan be steamed, baked, or even microwaved. For this recipe we are going to bake it. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Rinse off your squash and slice it down the center lengthwise into two halves (the skin is tough, so make sure you use a sharp knife). Then, scrape out the seeds and place the squash face down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (pro tip: the foil leaves less mess to wash off later!). Bake for about 1 hour, until the inside flesh is soft and tender. While your squash is baking, saute ½ cup of diced onion and 1-2 cloves of chopped fresh garlic in one teaspoon of butter and one teaspoon of olive oil (you’ll need this later). I like to use real butter in this recipe because it adds a nice rich flavor and after all, it’s the holidays!

Next, we are ready to stuff the squash (and soon, ourselves)! Once the squash is cool enough to touch, scoop out the inner flesh and place it in a medium sized mixing bowl. Don’t throw away the shell (we are going to re-stuff it later)! Next, you’re going to mix the following ingredients:

  • the inner flesh you just removed
  • ¼ cup chicken or veggie broth
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan and asiago cheese
  • Sautéed onion and garlic mix from earlier
  • 2-3 sprinkles dried or fresh chopped parsley
  • 2-3 sprinkles ground nutmeg

You may need to adjust the amount of wet ingredients slightly according to how big your squash is. Using a potato masher will make a nice uniform consistency. Your mixture should resemble mashed potatoes when you are done. Next, stuff the mixture into both saved shell halves and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese (about another ¼ cup). Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or so (until the cheese on top has melted) and you’re done! Bon appetit!

This recipe is more time consuming than my previous posts, but the techniques used are all very simple, and it creates a nice holiday dish–I love the savoriness of it! I often find that holiday squash and sweet potato recipes add ingredients such as marshmallows, brown sugar, and/or maple syrup. There is a natural sweetness to squash and sweet potatoes alone that personally, I don’t want to mess with. Adding other sugary ingredients detracts from the nutrition, and simply isn’t always necessary. I did add some richer ingredients, such as the cheese, butter, and cream to this recipe. When it comes to the holiday season, I (like everyone else, I think) like to indulge, but I do so in moderation. Using strong flavored cheeses like asiago and parmesan allows you to use just a small amount with a lot of flavor (more bang for your buck). This recipe is a good side dish for four adults and per serving provides about 130 calories and 7 grams of fat. So enjoy, guilt free!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Want more tips on holiday nutrition? Check out this piece with tips from our Healthy IU team member and registered dietician, Steven Lalevich!


Transgender Awareness Week: The Importance of Pronouns!

aimes-photoThis Sunday wraps up Transgender Awareness Week, a week in which individuals and organizations around the country strive to raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and address the issues the community faces. For our contribution, here is a guest post from IUB senior Aimes Dobbins. Their area of study is queer advocacy.

An Open Letter to Students, Staff, and Faculty,

Let’s briefly talk about one simple tip on how to make a classroom environment a safer space for Queer/Transgender individuals!

Remember when you were in grade school and you learned about Pronouns? These words are used to describe a person’s gender identity (ex. She/Her, He/Him, They/Them [singular]). Every single person, no matter who they are, has a gender. A gender is how a person identifies themselves (man/woman/neither/both). It is important to remember to state your pronouns whenever introducing yourself to a new class. It’s easy!

Example: “Hello, my name is Aimes. I am a senior at IU Bloomington, and my Pronouns are They/Them/Theirs.”

Even if your own pronouns may be seemingly obvious, there may be other individuals in the room that might benefit from you initiating pronoun awareness. What this does is creates an environment where the transgender individual(s) in the room won’t have to single themselves out by designating their gender only when someone misreads their gender.

Why is this important?

Having to single yourself out can make an individual feel uncomfortable or even anxious. Experiences like this can be detrimental to an individual’s mental health (when your identity is invalidated intentionally or unintentionally). If you are the person, “the informed ally,” who initiates acknowledging everyone’s pronoun upon introduction, you can help foster more a positive and welcoming environment for all individuals in the room. Eventually, it will become a common thing to do when an individual introduces themselves.

Lastly, I want you to remember…

We are all growing into someone new, every day.

We are always learning about and teaching each other, every day.

In reading this, you learned something today. Please, share it. Pass it on.

You just might make someone’s day, every day!



Aimes Dobbins

IMP Queer Advocacy BA
Class of 2017