7 Tips For a Healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. We get a much needed break from classes, get to see family and friends, and there is deer hunting and Black Friday shopping. Oh, and don’t think I forgot the best part of it all: FREE FOOD. I don’t know about you guys, but free and food are two of my favorite words, especially when the food is free. However, I can’t help but notice my metabolism isn’t as fast as it used be and the holidays are famous for being an unhealthy time of year. So here are few tips to healthier Thanksgiving:

1) Exercise before dinner


Now, I’m not saying you should do a full 30 minute workout or anything like that, but there are other things you can do. Go for a short walk or play a quick game of football with your family. Both of these allow you time to bond and catch up with your family. It also kills time before dinner, so the wait does not seem as long.

2) Eat breakfast


You know what they say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and that includes Thanksgiving. In the past I have skipped breakfast on Thanksgiving as a way to cut back on eating, however this can make you eat more. You are so hungry by the time dinner rolls around that you eat more. Breakfast can help you avoid overeating.

3) Position yourself well


What do I mean by this? When you finally sit down to eat, do not put yourself by dessert or the candy bowl. They are just going to be more tempting and easier to sneak. If you are across the table, the temptation will be limited.

4) Portion Control


Speaking of limits, another helpful tip is to keep your portions limited. Choose smaller portions to avoid overeating. It seems like every year my Dad tells me, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” meaning I always take more food than I actually eat. Because I am so stubborn I do my best to eat all of it to make a point. This is absolutely unnecessary and I will try to avoid it this year. You should also try to choose equal portions of turkey, vegetables and whatever else your family has to offer. This way you can eat from all the food groups!

5) Eat slower


This may seem silly but it really is helpful. With all the excitement of a home cooked meal and your Grandma’s homemade stuffing, you may eat faster than you realize. This also results in overeating. If you eat slower than your stomach can recognize, then you become full quicker.

6) Skip the soda


Instead of grabbing a Diet Coke or a Mountain Dew, reach for a glass of water instead. Soda is really unhealthy for us; according to my doctor, the equivalent is consuming a cup of sugar. He has a PhD so I didn’t question him. But a cup of sugar is kind of gross if you think about it. If you don’t want to give up all the delicious food, this tip is for you.

7) Don’t feel guilty


Finally, if you do eat too much or take a second and third helping, don’t feel bad. Personally, I set out to eat better every holiday season, yet every year I give in. Granted half the time it is because I’m trying to avoid the question none of us want to answer. You know, the “What are your plans after graduation?” I don’t know yet, okay everyone? Anyways, I may give in every year, but I also get better at following these tips every year. I mean it is Thanksgiving after all and it is a day for eating!

Kayla Severson

Friends 'Til the End: How to Deal With Conflict


With finals just around the corner, it is a stressful time for everyone and sometimes tensions run high. This can lead to problems in your friendships. Maybe you snapped at your friend because you are under stress. Maybe you are roommates and you had a huge fight over something stupid, like not doing the dishes. I don’t know your situation and it is none of my business, but I have definitely been through my share of friend drama.

Based on past experience, the best thing to do right away is give yourself, and your friend, space. Allow yourself to calm down and collect your thoughts before talking to your friend again. It is only fair to give them a chance to do the same.

The next thing to do is confront, but do not blame, your friend. After you have collected your thoughts and feel like it is time to move past the issue you should go talk to your friend. Make sure they are also ready to talk, and then tell him or her your side of the story. Or tell them what they did that bothered you. Also, listen to his or her side of it. If you start by accusing your friend before you hear his or her side it probably will not end well. As my mother would say “put yourself in their shoes and see how you like it from where they’re standing.” As much as it annoys me, she is right.


Apologize, apologize, apologize! I cannot stress enough that apologizing is important. Lets be honest here, we’re not in high school anymore, so who cares who says sorry first? If you want to work things out with your friend then just say you are sorry. Let them know you care. If you are like me then you are super stubborn and think you are always right. However, right or wrong, I apologize. At the end of the day it is your friendship that matters – not who has the best argument.

Do not forget to be honest. It might be awkward at first, but it could prevent a fight in the future. Your friend or roommate is not a mind reader and do not realize they have said or done something that has upset you. Tell them. You don’t have to be rude; just pull them aside and explain how you feel. Maybe even make a pact to always be honest in the future.

Finally, move on. Do not dwell on a problem after it has been discussed and worked out. You will most likely just get annoyed and angry all over again, which is not good for anybody. Like I said earlier, at the end of the day your friendship is what is important.


Cue Toy Story’s “You’ve got a friend in me.”

Kayla Severson

Put Down the Turkey Leg, it's Time to Run!

Thanksgiving – a time of thanks, eating, football, family and running. Yep, you read that right; Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest running days of the year, according to a post in The New York Times.

My family typically keeps it traditional. We usually have most of our family over for the feast. Lots of turkey, stuffing, pie and laughs are shared among us. The past few years we have added a new tradition: the Turkey Trot.

My friend (right) and I at the 2014 Turkey Trot. Start a tradition with your friends and family and start running!

Me (left) and my friend (right) at the 2014 Turkey Trot. Start a tradition with your friends and family and start running!

The Turkey Trot is a run hosted all across the country that takes place Thanksgiving morning. You can also choose to walk it! It can be a distance anywhere from a 5k all the way up to a 10k. The races are often tied to a fundraiser or food drives for local charities. The one hosted in my hometown goes to the local food pantry.

Of course, many people are motivated by the meal later on. Why feel bad about stuffing your face if you ran a 5k earlier in the day?! So lace up your shoes, find the nearest Turkey Trot by googling your location and create your newest family tradition!

Hannah Peterson

Tips to Managing it all as a Student


I am exactly 1,148.6 miles from home. I came to Winona State to study Graphic Design and Dance. I came to Winona to be independent. To do all of that, I had to take on three jobs. To do all of that, I had to move off campus as soon as possible. To do all of that, I had to learn how to juggle it all. So what is my secret? Sometimes even I don’t know that.

I currently work for the Web Communications Department on campus where I am also second in command of the blogs. I also work at the College of St. Teresa in their Alumni Office. I haven’t been working much there, but will get calls to shovel snow when it comes. And finally, I also work at Hyvee in their kitchen.

I am currently taking only 14 credits, but most of my days still end at around 4pm. Most of my days consist of waking up at around 8am and going to my Web Comm job for our 9am meetings. I stay till noon, then go to lunch, only to head to my 1pm class that goes till 4. Not too bad, right? But that’s only Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesdays I have class from 9:30 am till 8pm with only an hour and a half break to quickly eat and get some kitten snuggles. Thursdays are better with me ending at 5pm, but on those days not much gets done. And Friday is my work day. I used to work from 9am till midnight but my schedule changed.

And somehow with all that work, I still find time to hang out with my roommate and play with my cat.

One of my biggest piece of advice to someone with a busy schedule would be to let your place of work know when you start to get busy with homework. School comes first, especially when you are paying a lot of money to go to it.

Also, don’t put things off till last minute. I am still trying to kick this habit since I know that next semester will be even harder since I might have to actually find a fourth job (yikes!). I will also be taking around 17 credits, all of them being gen ed courses. To top it all off, I am becoming the crazy cat lady my father told me I would be, and getting another kitten this week (hopefully – the Humane Society hasn’t told me if I have been approved yet).

But honestly. Don’t stress. I tend to be more productive when I am relaxed and not stressing than when I am super stressed. Take a breath, put on some classical music, make some hot cocoa and believe that you can get it all done in the short 13 hours we have in a day (taking out the time to sleep and eat). And don’t forget to reward yourself when something good happens, like getting a really good grade on a hard test or just making it through a really tough week. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself motivated, so find what works and keep at it!

We will get through this together!

Rachel Adam

Tricks, Treats and Smart Choices: Halloween Guidelines

Pumpkins are everywhere and every shelf in the store has skulls on it. There can only be one explanation: its Halloween. This means eating tons of candy (somewhat) guilt free, shamelessly taking a questionable amount of selfies in your costume and spending 10 minutes rounding up the crew to try and get a decent group photo of you all dressed up. But, you should still be as safe as possible and keep in mind how you are acting on this fun-filled day.


When it comes to social events, go have fun dancing and mingling. But be careful. Go with a group of friends that won’t leave you behind or let anything happen to you. It’s a good idea to have a meeting place designated if your group gets split up – even though everyone will undoubtedly have their cell phone glued to his or her hands anyway. You never know when a phone might die! We all know that tends to happen at the worst times.

Also, keep in mind that certain costumes may be offensive to some people, even when you think otherwise. That being said, keep in mind what pictures you are posting to social media during Halloween. Who knows, in a couple of years your future boss could be scrolling through your Facebook and find a picture of you wearing a giant penis costume, and next thing you know you don’t have the job.

To sum it up, everyone should have tons of fun on Halloween. This doesn’t mean that common sense and good judgment calls should be thrown out the window. Stick with your friends, be mindful of how you are presenting yourself and have fun with the new slo-mo, fast-forward and rewind filters on Snapchat while in costume!

Rachel Adam  and Allison Mueller


Sexual and Relationship Violence is Real...What Would You do to Help?

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Winona hosted Megan Rae, the director and author of the play “When….”  Last Monday I attended Megan Rae’s production, which was held in the Somsen Hall auditorium.

“When…” is an interactive play written, produced and performed by WSU students about sexual and relationship violence. Overall, the play was a very realistic portrayal of some of the violence that happens in our society today. The performance was broken up into three scenes that were all scenarios based on true experiences.

In the first scene, a verbally abused wife (standing) searches for a friend to listen to her experiences.

In the first scene, a verbally abused wife (standing) searches for a friend to listen to her experiences.

The first scene portrayed an abusive marriage where the wife was constantly being verbally abused by her husband, and eventually physically abused. The wife was desperately searching for a true friend to just listen to her, but no one would.  Instead, all of her so-called “friends” just gave their input on her marriage and told her that she had made a mistake or that she was fine, that she needed to get over herself. All of the reactions by her friends in this scene were examples of what not to do as a friend in this kind of situation.

After the scene was over, Megan Rae walked around the auditorium and asked people in the audience what they would do if they were one of the wife’s friends in this situation. From the audience’s feedback, we came to the conclusion that the best thing to do as a friend in this situation would be to listen to the wife, and ask her what she wants to do instead of just telling her what we think she should be doing. At the very least you could tell the wife, “The decision is up to you, but I can give you options.” This way she is not feeling blamed, and she doesn’t have to feel like she has to please everyone else.

According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, every nine seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten, and women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner. What we need to realize is that these facts are real even here in Winona. As much as we don’t want to think about these things, it is extremely important that we do so we are prepared to handle a situation like this in the best way possible.

Scene two focused on bystander intervention as a bar fight breaks out.

Scene two focused on bystander intervention as a bar fight breaks out.

The second scene consisted of a bar fight between two individuals. Meanwhile, the bystanders are gossiping about the fight and egging or cheering them on. I think it is safe to say that all of us have witnessed this type of situation at some point in our lives. But the question is, will you step in? This scene really focused on bystander intervention and how important it is to not only step into a situation in an attempt to help, but also determining when is the right time to step into a situation.

Megan Rae once again cut the scene when the fight was at its climax and asked the audience “What would you do?” The audience came up with many insightful ideas, but this time Megan asked them to come up on stage and act out their ideas to see if they would work or not. The improv was quite entertaining, especially when one of the ideas wasn’t successful. Megan explained the key to success in trying to break up a fight like this is to remember the three D’s: Direct, Distract, Delegate. Through trial and error we found that being a distraction was one of the most successful of the three.

The third and final scene also illustrated bystander intervention as a party scene leads to sexual assault.

The third and final scene also illustrated bystander intervention as a party scene leads to sexual assault.

Lastly, the third scene was at a college house party, but the focus of this scene was on sexual assault. The plot consisted of a guy putting a drug in a girls drink as an attempt to convince her to go upstairs and “take a nap” with him. All of the girl’s friends that were at the party witnessed what was happening, yet didn’t step in and stop the guy from leading her upstairs. This is another situation that is commonly seen on college campuses, even here in Winona. This is real!

Again, this scene really emphasized bystander intervention. When the scene ended, Megan asked the audience, “What would you do?” A few people from the audience went on stage once again and demonstrated how they could step in as a bystander and attempt to stop the horrible situation that was about to unfold.

Alcohol is the #1 drug used to facilitate sexual assault. Therefore, the best way to avoid this from happening to you is being aware of what other people are putting into your drinks, or just not putting yourself in the situation to be vulnerable in the first place. Be smart about what you are doing when you go out with your friends. Decide who you want to be before you are in the situation.

Overall, this play was one that really made me think. It made me think about what I would do if I were to encounter any or all three of these scenes, and if my ideas would actually be successful. The truth that I took away from this play is that these situations are REAL. It is one thing to know that this is real, one thing to agree that what was going on in these scenes was and is wrong, and one thing to TRY! There is no perfect solution to any of these situations, but the worst thing you can do as a bystander is to not try.

There are many ways that you can take action and help people who have become victims of sexual and relationship violence. To find out how to get involved here on campus, check out WSU’s RE Initiative, a program that “supports survivors of gender-based violence and works to create a culture of respect and responsibility.”

                                                                                                –Erin Kloepping

Through With the Flu!

health-369782_1280I will be the first to say that I’m not always the most health conscious person. I know in the back of my mind that I should pay more attention to my health. I know I shouldn’t eat McDonald’s often and I should get 30 minutes of vigorous exercise everyday, but more often than not I put off my health concerns until I can’t ignore them anymore. Like realizing I’ve had chicken nuggets for dinner every night this week, or the last time I had something green was two weeks ago in a ham sandwich. So it’s not surprising I’m not always the most diligent when it comes to being vaccinated every season for the flu. My most common arguments are it takes too much time, and I didn’t understand why I should do it. But last week I made the conscious decision to schedule my flu shot, possibly because spending more time in The Well and listening to a next-door nutrition class has made me a little more conscious of my heath needs.

To my surprise, scheduling an appointment took less than a minute. The entire appointment took less than five. It took longer to walk to the examiner room down the hall than getting the actual vaccine. My nurse, Joyce Peckover, RN was courteous and knowledgeable. She told me that flu season doesn’t really have an end or beginning, so while most people get vaccinated in October or November, getting your vaccination as early as they become available is always the best option, unless notified otherwise by your physician.

This made me feel proactive because it wasn’t even October yet, and that I must be an amazing, superiorly healthy person for thinking ahead. Or that’s what I would tell my friends when I told them to schedule their appointments because I wasn’t taking care of them if they got sick. One friend I was talking to thought you could get the flu from the vaccine, which is some made-up fact (that still isn’t true) that I remember going around in middle school. I’m not even sure how this rumor got started because, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines use either dead or weakened flu virus to create the vaccine – not active or live virus.

Joyce added at the end of my appointment, “The single best way to prevent seasonal illness is to get vaccinated.” I would rather take the ten minutes to get a vaccine than spend two to three weeks recovering from the flu at the height of midterms or finals. If you don’t care about getting the flu, maybe think about someone other than yourself. While you might not get sick, you can still carry the virus to people who may be more susceptible to the life-threatening effects of the flu, like young children and the elderly.

Well, students are in luck because flu vaccinations are available on campus! Health & Wellness Services offers flu vaccinations and they can be charged to your student account or billed to your health insurance. Call 507-457-5160 to make an appointment at H&WS.

Have further questions about getting vaccinated at Health & Wellness Services? Call the Ask-A-Nurse Message Line at 507-457-2292 to get your questions answered. The Ask-A-Nurse Message Line calls will be returned within two hours during the business day. Calls placed after hours will be answered the following business day.

Be sure to get vaccinated and stay healthy this cold, busy season!

-Roxanne Zweber

Snooze Right! 5 Tips to Achieve the Best Shut-Eye

College is all about finding that certain balance. A balance of friends, homework, extracurriculars and then on top of it all, somehow finding a spare few hours to get a good night’s sleep. Most of us find ourselves tired all day and wide-awake at night. If you are anything like me, you rely on an unhealthy amount of caffeine to get you through the day. But some quality snooze time is one of the most important parts of the day. To help get your sleep schedule back on track, here are some tips:

1. Learn the art of a nap


Luckily for us students, our class schedule typically allows some free time for naps. To prevent grogginess after waking up or not being tired at night, one must learn the art of a nap. One-hour naps are a no-no. The ideal is 10-26 minutes for the perfect power nap if you want to get back to work.

2. Set a regular sleep schedule


Pulling “all-nighters” is a college norm, but be careful not to resort to them too often. In order to get healthy sleep it is important to get into a routine. Go to bed at a regular time and try to consistently wake up at a regular time as well. I typically try to go to bed around 11pm most nights and wake up no later than 9am!

3. Cut down the caffeine!


I used to refuse to be a coffee drinker but now, I can barely go a study session without it. Caffeine consumers must be weary though, because it could prevent some good sleep later on. According to a study done by the Sleep Foundation, even drinking coffee 6 hours before bedtime is disruptive to your sleep.

4. Put away the technology


One of the biggest contributors to poor sleep is artificial lighting from electronics. These devices emit a blue wavelength that tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime. Try to avoid sitting on your laptop, cellphone or iPad for too long before bed.

5. Work out wisely



Those who workout regularly report higher-quality shut-eye. It’s okay if running or lifting weights isn’t for you – a simple walk and enjoying scenery will help you sleep better! Be sure to get your exercise 3-4 hours before bedtime incase a post-workout energy burst hits you.

-Hannah Peterson

Too Busy For The Gym? 5 Tips For a Healthy Lifestyle


With over one month of the 2015 school year under our belts, homework and studying is starting to take over our lives.  You may be feeling like you cannot find any time to get your nose out of your books and head to the gym. Well, there are a few easy things you can do to help squeeze some gym time into your busy life.

Start by prioritizing exercise. You can do that by planning ahead. When you are planning out your weekly schedule, try to figure out what days work to give up 30 minutes to head over to the gym. Too often people say that they do not have enough time for the gym, but that is because they do not plan ahead and set a time to exercise each week.

Here are some other ways that you can stay healthy without having to go to the gym everyday:

  1. Join an intramural team


Intramural sports are not a huge commitment. They are only once a week for about an hour. They serve as great study break and are a great way to meet new people. There are a ton of intramural sports offered here at Winona State so sign up with a team and start having some fun!

  1. Pack healthy snacks to munch on during a busy day


It is better to snack during the day than to go home and pig out in one sitting after a long day on campus or at work. A healthy snack that I like to munch on is trail mix that consists of cranberries, chocolate chips and raw pecans or almonds. This trail mix is a great energy booster and it really fills you up!

  1. Walk 10,000 steps a day


That may seem like a lot but you probably tackle most of those just by walking to all of your classes. Setting a goal like 10,000 steps per day is a great idea because it serves as an encouragement. Most smart phones have apps that track your steps for you so that you can see if you are meeting your goal or not. Having a goal to meet each day will motivate you to get up and move.

  1. Find an exercise partner


This is a very important tip because if you have someone to exercise with, they will hold you accountable. My friend and I compared our schedules and found times throughout our week when we could meet up and run together or play racquetball together (even though we are terrible at it).

  1. Try to get 8-9 hours of sleep every night


Sleep is very important because lack of sleep can affect your concentration, energy and stress levels, body image and defense against sickness. If getting an adequate amount of sleep is hard for you, try writing in your planner what time you are going to sleep each night, and what time you are going to wake up. If you are a late night crammer, try to adjust your schedule and do most of your studying throughout the day and in the early evening, rather than at midnight.

-Erin Kloepping

10 Ways to Keep Off the Freshman 15 on a College Budget

Don’t fall victim to the Freshman 15! Adjusting to a new environment can be hard, so here are a few easy ways you can stay healthy in college while keeping you and your bank account happy.

 1.  Get your exercise on using campus resources


Take advantage of everything you can during your years at Winona State! The IWC is great for any type of workout whether it’s running, playing basketball or weight lifting – there’s stuff for every one! Remember, you won’t have free access to a gym forever.

  1. Drink lots of water!


Dehydration can slow down your metabolism, so why not give your body more energy to burn those extra calories? Carry around a reusable water bottle and fill it up as many times as you can each day. It will also help keep you full so you won’t feel the need to snack as much.


  1. Join intramural sports


What’s more fun than getting together with your friends and playing your favorite sport? Intramurals are a low-commitment opportunity that helps you exercise in a way that’s fun for every one! Winona State offers many different intramurals for coed, men and women that include basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, flag football and kickball.

  1. Take advantage of the nature around you


We live in a valley of pure beauty so take advantage of it by using the lakes, river and the bluffs! From hiking up to the top of Sugarloaf, riding your bike along the water or canoeing in the lake – the opportunities are endless. Check out the lake lodge website for year-round activities on Lake Winona.

  1. Don’t drink your calories


It’s so easy to waste a whole days worth of calories on liquids such as sodas and juice that won’t fill you up. Be mindful of what you’re drinking – there are so many healthy options that taste better than you think!


  1. Boost your metabolism with breakfast


Just like you need caffeine in the morning to get yourself going, your body needs food to kick start the day! It doesn’t have to be fancy. A couple of eggs, a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal will help your body metabolize more throughout the day!

  1. Get a good night’s sleep


When you’re tired it’s so easy to reach for those sugary snacks to help boost your energy. Let sleep take place of those pesky snacks and/or reach for carrots instead!

  1. Find social hangouts that don’t involve going out to eat


Food is a simple and appealing way to hang out or see your friends, but a simple switch to hiking or taking a walk can make a huge difference (and save you lots of money, too)! Of course, the occasional triple order of topperstix won’t kill you.

  1. Drink your coffee black or drink tea


We all need a little boost in the morning to help us get through our busy schedules, but adding all that extra sugar and cream in your coffee can really add up! Try drinking your coffee black or try other caffeinated drinks, like tea, that are calorie free!


  1. Don’t multitask while you eat!


Multitasking when you eat is a turn down the road to eating an entire bag of chips. When you’re not focusing on what you’re putting in your mouth its easy to lose track of all that you’ve eaten. Be mindful of what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. No one likes feeling sick from too many Doritos.

-Lauren Reuteler