Monday, October 5, 2015

Color Your Plate!

By: Samuel Young | Intern

According to the CDC, amounts of fruits and veggies recommended daily varies based on a person’s needs. Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may protect against chronic diseases. Color Your Plate encourages individuals to consume the appropriate amounts of fruits and vegetables daily, based on MyPlate guidelines. The first week of the program begins on September 28th and runs through the week of November 16th. Upload pictures of your plate, fruits, or vegetables and tag them with #eiumyplate for a chance to win a prize! Listed below are the themes and recipes for each week.  

WEEK 1: Introduction to the Program!
September 28th -- October 2nd
Week's Theme: Snap a Shot

Visit our photo booth from 11 AM to 1 PM on Tuesday in Taylor Hall, Wednesday in Thomas Hall, or Thursday in Stevenson Hall. Find us next to the entrances of the dining centers.

WEEK 2: Red Fruits
October 5th -- 9th
Week's Theme: Make it Half
Recipe: Snack Sized Strawberry Cheesecake

Red fruits are a colorful, tasty, gift from nature. They offer many health benefits due to their high levels of the plant pigments lycopene and anthocyanins. Red fruits also contain vitamin C, folate, flavonoids, and much more. Lycopene may help reduce cancer and heart disease risk, while anthocyanins may protect our cells from damage. Finally, flavonoids have antioxidant functions and can reduce inflammation. Overall, red fruits can play a key function in protecting our bodies.

Examples: • Red apples • Pomegranates • Cherries • Radishes • Cranberries • Raspberries • Pink grapefruit • Red grapes • Strawberries • Watermelon

WEEK 3: Yellow & Orange Fruit
October 12th -- 16th
Week's Theme: Go Bananas!
Recipe: Perfect Microwave Banana Oatmeal

Yellow and orange fruits contain over 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids!  Yellow and orange fruits are also known for encouraging anti-inflammatory responses. Combined with their antioxidant functions, these fruits may prevent cancers and lower heart disease risk. The vitamin C in yellow and orange fruits promotes the immune system, as well as skin/bone health. Lastly, these fruits have been linked to helping individuals regulate their blood sugar.

Examples: •Yellow apples • Peaches • Apricots • Pears• Cantaloupe • Persimmons • Pineapple • Grapefruit • Lemons • Mangoes • Nectarines • Oranges• Papayas • Tangerines

WEEK 4: Green Fruit
October 19th -- 23rd
Week's Theme: Get in "Lime" with Nutrition
Recipe: Green Apple & PB Breakfast Wrap

Besides being appetizing and nutritious, green fruits contain lutein. Like beta-carotene, this plant chemical also protects our eyes from damage. These fruits are also a great source of vitamin C, which works as an antioxidant to protect cells and improve skin/bone health. Green fruits are also a great source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and much more.

Examples: •Green apples • Honeydew melon • Kiwi • Avocados • Limes • Green grapes

WEEK 5: Red Vegetables
October 26th -- 30th
Week's Theme: Healthy from my Head Tomatoes
Recipe: Tomato Mozzarella Basil Quinoa Salad

Red vegetables contain all four major carotenoids:  alpha- and beta- carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Red vegetables are also great source of vitamin C, needed for proper absorption of iron.  They are a great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium, which may be linked to decreases in anxiety and prevention of hypertension.  So when it comes to veggies, seeing red is a good thing!

Examples: •Beets • Radishes • Red bell peppers • Red chili peppers • Red potatoes • Red onion• Tomato • Rhubarb

WEEK 6: Yellow & Orange Vegetables
November 2nd -- 6th
Week's Theme: Veg Out
Recipe: Pumpkin Smoothie (no blender needed!)

Yellow and orange vegetables provide small amounts of almost every essential vitamin and mineral! Vitamin C and vitamin B6 are the most common in these fruits and vegetables.  These vitamins support your immune system, as well as growth and repair of body proteins.  Other important nutrients found in these veggies include beta-carotene, folate, potassium, and phosphorus.  Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A promotes skin and eye health. Potassium plays a large role in maintaining proper muscular function in the body. Phosphorus assists in bone/teeth health.

Examples: •Squash • Carrots • Yellow peppers • Yellow tomatoes • Pumpkin • Rutabagas • Corn • Sweet potatoes • Yellow potatoes

WEEK 7: Green Vegetables
November 9th -- 13th
Week's Theme: Get Leafy With It
Recipe: Microwave Lemon Garlic Broccoli

Green vegetables are great sources of fiber, folate, vitamin A, C, E, and K as well as chromium.  Green veggies are also rich in glutathione, an antioxidant.  Green veggies have folate and vitamin B12, which work together to reduce cognitive decline.  Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes and skin, vitamin C keeps the immune system strong, and vitamin K is known for its role in blood clotting.

Examples: •Artichokes •  Arugula  • Asparagus  • Broccoli    Brussel sprouts • Cabbage • Green beans •Celery •Cucumbers •Lettuce  • Green onion  • Okra  • Peas  • Green peppers  • Snow peas  • Spinach • Zucchini

WEEK 8: Color Your Plate Overview
November 16th -- 20th
Week's Theme: Make it 1/2

The last week of Color Your Plate is an overview of tips for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption based on MyPlate guidelines.

We hope that you take advantage of the weekly challenges and show us what you are eating! Upload pictures of your plate, fruits, or vegetables and tag them with #eiumyplate for a chance to win a prize! Be sure to tag us on social media using the handles listed below:

Health Education Resource Center- EIUInstagram: @eiu_herc
Twitter: @eiu_herc

For more information, or to bring the competition to your hall, visit or contact our Nutrition Promotion Coordinator by email at

Click here to see our fruits and veggies parody of 'Worth It' originally performed by Fifth Harmony!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flu Blog

By: Alyssa Carlson
September: The month where the leaves start changing color and where pumpkin spice everything hits the shelves. However, even though fall is such a beloved season, it is also the time where the flu makes its grand debut. Some might think of the flu as just a bad cold, but according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the flu is far more dangerous than a bad cold. It's a disease of the lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia. Each year about 114,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 20,000 people die because of the flu. Here at EIU, we offer current and retired faculty, staff, and students FREE flu shots. EIU offers flu shots because as College students, we live in close quarters with our roommates, share bathrooms, and participate in social activities that make us more prone to catching the flu. Since college students are prone to getting the flu we all need to practice a healthy lifestyle. Some tips for flu prevention include: washing your hands regularly, avoid close contact with another person who has symptoms, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough, get a full night’s sleep, stay hydrated, and lastly, visit the doctor’s office if you are running a fever. By getting vaccinated for the flu, you are practicing a healthier lifestyle and being less of a risk to other students on campus.

Be sure to visit Health Service if you have the following symptoms:
  • Fever 100 degrees F or higher
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Severe body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Severe fatigue
Mark your calendars!! 
ü  Date: Wednesday, October 14th
ü  Time: 9AM-4PM
ü  Where: MLK Student Union
    MYTH or FACT?
 1.      The shot can give you the flu.
MYTH. Flu vaccines are made from killed influenza viruses. These viruses cannot give you the flu.
       2.      The side effects are worse than the flu.
MYTH. The worst side effect you're likely to get is a sore arm.  The risk of a rare allergic reaction is far less than the risk of severe complications from influenza.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

HERC Services

HERC Services
By: Sam Young | Intern

At the Health Education Resource Center, your health is our mission. The HERC strives to
prevent and reduce health risks and illnesses that interfere with academic performance, learning, student retention, & personal growth opportunities. The Health Education Resource Center serves as a resource for students, faculty, and staff by providing programs, campaigns, interventions, and one-on-one consultations regarding health-related topics. The HERC offers health programming in the areas of alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention and education, flu and cold prevention and education, nutritional analysis and education, and sexual health education, in addition to many other health-related topics. Most services are FREE to students! The HERC is a branch of Health Services and part of the totalEIU initiative.

Alcohol & Substance Abuse
Alcohol prevention, intervention, and recovery work is completed through this office. The HERC offers a Collegiate Recovery Community, on campus, for EIU students. Please visit the website for additional information,

There are multiple programs that focus on risk factors and prevention associated with substance abuse. The programs educate students on the effects of alcohol and drugs, along with possible perceptions. Additionally the HERC implements and manages the required online training for all incoming and first time students, called AlcoholEdu.

EIU is a tobacco-free campus! The Health Education Resource Center provides education and intervention strategies on tobacco use. Freedom From Smoking clinics are available on campus to students, faculty, and staff at a low cost. To learn more or to sign up, visit Registration is required.

Schedule an appointment today to discuss your current sleep habits! The HERC staff can provide tips and information to enhance the quality and quantity of sleep. Also offered are presentations that focus on healthy sleep habits. Through these presentations, students learn about healthy behaviors to ensure proper sleep habits.

The HERC offers a three-part nutritional assessment conducted by the Nutrition Promotion Coordinator. Using current intake, general information is provided about your eating patterns to improve nutrition and overall lifestyle. There is also a Registered Dietitian on staff to work with students with nutrition-related health conditions as well as weight management concerns.

Sexual Health
Students can choose to meet one-on-one with the Sexual Health Educator to discuss ways to reduce risky sexual behaviors or complete the online sexual health assessment. All consultations are confidential and free to students.

Peer Health Education
Students have the opportunity to make a change on campus by becoming a Peer Health Educator. Through Peer Health Education, students are trained through the national BACCHUS network to educate the campus on health-related topics. These topics include, but are not limited to: alcohol, tobacco, cold and flu, sexual health, nutrition, stress, and sleep. Through Peer Health Educators, students gain leadership skills, teamwork building and have an opportunity to build their resumes. But most importantly, Peer Health Educators promote a healthy EIU! For more information or to get involved, e-mail or call 217-581-7786.

Some of the programs and presentations offered include:
  • What is Consent?
  • Snoozing Like a Panther
  • EIU StepsUp!
  • Kognito                                    
  • AlcoholEdu
  • Collegiate Recovery Community
  •  Healthy Cooking 101
  • EIU Moves
  • Rubber Lovers
  • Freedom From Smoking
  • For more information, to schedule a consultation, or to register for a program, please call (217) 581-7786, email, or visit

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Peer Education

Peer Health Education

Alyssa Carlson | Intern

Helping, Educating, Advocating, and Learning Through Health
Eastern Illinois University’s Peer Education Program is where students are able to lead their colleagues in making positive, lifestyle choices. How awesome would it be for a college student to be able to make a difference in their community and have their voice heard? EIU’s peer education program, “Provides an opportunity for students to promote positive lifestyle choices among fellow students as well as sharpen, practice, and develop professional skills.” They raise awareness, the learning of knowledge, and change of behavior concerning health- related topics. Learning professional and business skills in college really helped me become a better student, presenter, and professional. These types of skills are not only crucial to have for school, but to have in the real world. Training and development can play a huge role in any type of environment, whether they are teaching a classmate on how to work a computer or even teaching them to do certain tasks in the office. What is special about this program though is that health-related topics are incorporated into decision making every day. Students will learn about topics such as flu awareness, bystander intervention, sleep and stress management, safety tips for trips, and alcohol awareness. When the students themselves promote and implement their ideas about each topic they will eventually become a pro and be able to spread awareness about the topic to their peers!

Programs may be presented to:
  • residence halls
  • fraternities and sororities
  • interested student organizations
  • organizations within the community (school system, youth groups, etc 

Join Today!
Reasons to become a peer educator:
  • Be happier and healthier
  • Become certified in peer education
  • Build a resume through leadership opportunities
  • Become a role model
  • Gain confidence, leadership skills, and presentation experience
  • Gain experience with motivational interviewing and team building scenarios
  • SAVE LIVES of your fellow peers
Take the time to join this great student organization that really strengthens your skills and inhibits you to become a role model for students on campus and throughout the community. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Peer Health Educator click here to fill out an application form. You may also contact the Student Engagement and Leadership Coordinator via e-mail at or call (217) 581-7786.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fruits & Vegetables Campaign 2013

EIU Fruits & Vegetables Campaign 2013

Here at EIU, students and staff alike are always looking for new ways to help improve the daily lives of the campus community. So what is the HERC up to this Spring semester? One of the new programs that are being featured during Spring 2013 is the EIU Fruits & Vegetables Campaign!
What is the Fruits and Vegetables Campaign? The HERC is getting together and working with County Market and EIU Housing and Dinning in an attempt to get students to increase their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables to 5-9 servings per day. According to the American College Health Association, the average servings a college student consumes of fruits and vegetables each day is only about 2.
So what is the proper serving amount when it comes to our fruit and vegetable intake? Well according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MyPlate, on average half of your plate each meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables.
The HERC is determined to show students that eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to ‘suffer’ through boring foods that they easily get tired of or may never have the taste for. Each week the Campaign will have a theme in which there will be certain goals that the participants will take part in. From "Getting Leafy with it" to “Going Bananas,” there are a wide variety of fun and interesting themes. Each week participating students will also get an informational card that has tips for the week that go along with each theme. The informational card will also include a yummy recipe on it! And let’s be honest… What can go wrong with a free healthy recipe for brownies or omelets?
To accompany this campaign, which will primarily take place within the dining halls, there will be posters and paw prints located throughout the dining halls, student union, and County Market that will help provide students with more helpful tips and information. A presentation will also be made available upon request which would be great for floor programs, student organization meetings and more!
This year can be a year for change, so why not start with a change for the better? Start with learning about proper nutrition and about the importance of fruits and vegetables by taking part in this year’s Fruits & Vegetables 2013 Campaign! For more information or to sign up in the focus group, please email the Nutrition Education Coordinator at
Want a sneak peak at the campaigns themes? Check it out!

Timeline of Events:
Eat 5-9  Servings to Fuel Your 9-5 Life
Make ½ Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables
Get Leafy With It
Go Bananas
Veg Out
Get Fruity

EIU Fruits & Vegetables 2013 Campaign PageEIU:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Online at 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Attack of the 2013 Flu Season!

The ever present sounds of sneezing and coughing ahve begun to surround us once more Panthers! This can only mean one thing... Cold and Flu season has reared its ugly head once again.

While we all pretty much know the basics about the cold and flu and what we can do to prevent it, and this year it is especially important to keep all of that in mind. Why you say? Because according to the Huffinton Post: Huffpost Healthy Living Online, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday [1/18/13] that "the country is facing a particularly bad flu season - one that struck early and is likely to last for several more weeks," according to CDC director Dr. Tom Friedman, "the disease is now widespread in 47 states, up from 41 last week."

Now, while to many this information may sound a little scary, it is important to remember these numbers include both sever and mild cases of the flu. So don’t fret dear readers! There are many ways in which you can protect yourself from catching the flu. We all know the drill: wash our hands, cover our nose/mouth with a sleeve or, better yet, a tissue when we cough or sneeze, and of course get our flu shot. Unfortunately, the last one is often ignored.

It is a well known fact that the Flu vaccination can help prevent and or lessen the effects of the Flu. Everyone is recommended to get the shot, but it is very important for young children (over the age of 6 months) and the elderly to get one, along with those who have a compromised immune system. These are only some of those that are at the highest risk of infection, others can still be easily infected including those that spend a lot of time in classrooms and offices, along with those such as college students that room together in close quarters. According to Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, “a flu season’s severity boils down to the susceptibility of the population and the types of viruses that are going around” (The Huffington Post: Huffpost Healthy Living Online).

It is important to get a flu vaccination every year because the “strands” or types of viruses have a tendency of changing from year to year. So with each change, there is a change in the vaccine to help cover a wider variety of strands.

With news of this year’s outbreak being one of the worst in 10 years spreading across the nation, it is no surprise that people are scrambling around to try and find places that are still providing the vaccine. One pharmacist, Keila Mena, was quoted saying that "No one wanted shots at the beginning of the season. We were basically begging people" (The Huffington Post: Huffpost Healthy Living Online). Flu vaccinations generally start circulating around the month of October, so why is there always a scramble once the flu actually starts coming around?

There are the common reasons as to why people wait: They don’t like shots, or they are too busy to stop and get one, or the very lame excuse that ‘I never get sick!’ But when it comes down to it, there isn’t a person alive that is 100% immune to everything. Yes, using proper hand washing techniques and covering your nose and/or mouth when coughing/sneezing can help prevent the spread of these viruses, but getting vaccinated is still the number one recommendation for everyone.

Now, while a lot of this may, again, seem a little scary to some: I urge you not to freak out! Worrying is only going to cause unnecessary stress, which can then lead to getting sick easier. All you need to do is make sure you are as prepared as you can be. Follow these nice easy steps, and you can help keep yourself protected on a daily basis:

Get the Shot!
Check with Health Service to see if they have any vaccinations available! They run many flu clinics throughout the fall semester that provide free shots for students and staff. But if you have missed those windows of opportunity, it doesn’t hurt to call and ask to see what is available! If they don’t have any in stock, they may be able to point you in the right direction as to where you may be able to find someone who does!

Yes, Washing your Hands is a Must!
I know we hear it all the time, but it’s true! Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds to effectively kill germs. You can measure the time by singing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. When you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Cover your Coughs & Sneezes!
It is common courtesy… Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing/sneezing can help prevent those around you from getting sick. It is also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth because it makes it easier for germs to travel after you’ve touched a possibly contaminated surface. ICK!

Keep Shared Surfaces Clean!
Office equipment, handrails, desks… They all are used by several people throughout the day. So it is important to keep these shared areas cleaned and disinfected more often than other times of the year.

Most Importantly: Listen to your Body
You know yourself better than anyone else. If you aren’t feeling 100% then something is up. Remember to drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 glasses of water a day), get enough sleep, and avoid close contact with those who may be sick and/or if you are sick. Plenty of rest is needed in order to fight any bug, so make it a priority!

Getting the right information is important, especially when it comes to keeping yourself and others around you healthy. For more information about colds and the flu, contact the Health Service at (217)581-3013 or check out the HERC’s Cold and Flu Page online at:
“Flu Outbreak 2013: Many Americans Caught Off-Guard; CDC Unveils Updated Numbers” by Lynne Peeples for the Huffington Post: Huffpost Healthy Living Online. Posted on 01/11/2013 at:

“Flu outbreak in 2013 expected to be among the worst in decade, CDC warns” by Heidi Evans for the New York Daily News. Posted on 1/7/2013 at: