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Green Dining Awards

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What’s Eating You?

If you’ve never heard the term ‘mindless eating’, you are not alone. Mindless eating is much more common than you would think especially in college students.

What is mindless eating?
When you eat an amount of food large or small in quantity (usually large) while not paying attention to the food or how your body feels as you eat it.

Mindless eating typically occurs:
Late at night after long periods of studying, watching TV
● If you have gone long periods of time without eating
When you finally eat you are so hungry you consume a large amount of food quickly which can lead to overeating.

So how can you prevent mindless eating? Good question!
It is important to know there are two pieces to help you avoid mindless eating; physical and emotional.

• Eat regularly throughout the day (three meals and snacks in-between as needed). This will help prevent you missing meals and then becoming too hungry later in the day.
• Try to identify your own personal hunger cues (they aren’t the same for everyone). Physical hunger can be your stomach talking to you (growling) and feels empty or you begin to feel weak and low on energy, you may lose concentration or become cranky (“hangry”). Those are all signals your body uses to tell you it needs fuel and you need to eat. It is important to honor these cues by eating either a meal or snack.

• Learn to cope during periods of higher stress in your life. During periods of higher stress many of us turn to food for comfort whether it is for reward, or coping with stress and anxiety. When you catch yourself wandering to the vending machine or fridge or that box of cereal sitting in your room, and you don’t feel physically hungry you are about to mindlessly consume whatever is the next thing you eat.
• There are many ways you can cope with periods of stress in your life. Attending a yoga class, meditating, deep breathing, talking to a friend, taking a walk, working on a puzzle or doing moderate (45-60min) exercise at the Wilson Recreation Center can help. If you feel you need more help and want to talk to someone, Duke Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) can help.

On the flipside you also want to be a mindful eater
Pay attention to what you are eating
● Notice the tastes, feels, and smells of foods
● Notice how the food makes your body feel
● What type of mood are you in before you begin eating?
Positive moods make it easier to eat mindfully versus negative or sad moods make it difficulty to eat mindfully.
● Do you get hungry soon after eating these foods; do you feel energized or sleepy after eating?
● Pay attention to how well the food you eat makes you feel. And most of all enjoy your meals.

If you would like to talk to a nutrition professional in more depth about how you can become a mindful eater visit Duke’s Student Health Nutrition Website.  You can email any of our Registered Dietitians and make an appointment. This service is included in your tuition and does not cost extra.


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5 Reasons to Visit the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

As a freshman I would rarely ever stop by the center. I believed that it didn't have much to offer me aside from a couch to power nap in between to classes on. However, as one of my good friends kept dragging me along to the LGBT Center's events (as it was then called), I began to realize that there was much I could gain from the Center. And so, I've compiled a short sweet list of reasons to come visit the CSGD (and me when I'm working).

1. Discussion Groups! The center provides discussion groups lead by students for students that want a space to discuss topics that we don't talk about in every day life, from sex and relationships to local and international news that affect our communities. Man to Man is a discussion group for men who like men, Women Loving Women is the female equivalent, Spectrum provides a space for trans men and women, and Athlete Ally provides forum for athletes and their allies to discuss issues that affect them. All these group welcome questioning individuals, and provide a safe, discreet space to openly discuss issues that affect us all.

2. Profiles in Sexuality and Keynote speakers! The CSGD is constantly on the look out for speakers to come in and talk about their research related to the queer community. In the past we've invited Nanette Gartrell who spoke about her research on Lesbian families, and Hudson Taylor the founder of athlete ally! These speakers provide resources in fields of study and activism that help to enrich the lives of our community.

3. Kickback Fridays! Previously, known as Fab Friday, is a social event every Friday that gives students the opportunity not only to meet others in the community but also allies and potential mentors. The social events range from Holiday themes to simple board games in order to provide unstructured, casual opportunity to meet others in an open environment.

4. Monthly Events! The CSGD provides the opportunity for students to get involved and give back to the community. Every semester brings along new opportunities to participate in events such as the Annual NC Pride Parade, National Coming Out Day, Trans Day of Remembrance, AIDS Awareness Day, Women's History Month, Lavender Graduation, and Ally Week! The Center works hard year round to plan for these events but ultimately it is through student participation that makes these events successful.

5. Building Community! The CSGD's new and more visible space is great place to interact with others in the Duke Community, queer or not. A great number of students stop by the center every day, whether it is to each their lunch, study, nap, in search of resources, or even simply to come in and talk to our staff. The student assistants are more than happy to answer questions or simply strike up a conversation. I encourage everyone to stop by in between classes or during your more free time to come hang out and explore the CSGD."

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Student Health Closed Saturday 3/8

The Student Health Center will be closed on Saturday, 3/8, due to Spring Break.

For after hours care, please contact us at 919-681-9355.


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Student Health Closed Today Until 1:30pm

The Student Health Center will be closed today until 1:30pm for a staff retreat.


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Choosing Recovery

I don’t know where to start. I was asked to write about my experience with an eating disorder, but it’s complicated. I’m anorexic, and I have been for exactly half of my life—thirteen years. To me, there’s not much to tell. I’ve known this world so intimately for so long that I simply see it as my state of being. It’s difficult to distinguish where the eating disorder stops and I begin. So, I guess I should start at the beginning…

I was eleven or twelve when I first learned about eating disorders. We watched a video in my sixth grade health class. It was one of those made for TV after-school specials that explained the seriousness and consequences of eating disorders. I remember very vividly walking through the gym after class and thinking, “I can do that.” I remember being fascinated by those girls. Their resolve. Their willpower. Their determination. It all seemed so attainable, except the part about losing control and being sick. That part seemed messy, and I knew that I could do it, and do it right.

In retrospect, and to my best guess, this is where it started. This is where I chose it. I often tell this story starting a year later, around the age of thirteen. This was the time when the symptoms became visible. However, I think I’ve always known the truth—I chose to have an eating disorder. I often lie and say it in terms that people can better understand…I say that it was a diet that got out of control. No. I wanted it. The thrill. The power. The simplicity. I don’t know what about it made it so attractive, or what it was about me that made me so inclined to pursue it. But I did, and a year later I met the criteria for anorexia nervosa.

My weight dropped from 120 to 90 lbs (and would continue to decline in the years that followed), bradycardic (with a resting heart rate of 40bbm), and orthostatic (with the nasty habit of passing out if I stood up too fast). I was constantly cold, my nail beds were blue, my skin was dry, my hair fell out by the hand-full, I outgrew all of my clothes (including children’s sizes), my bones ached constantly, and I was too tired to do anything but not eat and exercise. I was hospitalized three times. And at my worst, I was just under 80 lbs and bat-shit crazy. My life was reduced to food, weight, and exercise. I did nothing else but think about food, weigh myself, and exercise. I could go into the details, but they’re painfully boring.

I had a bunch of therapists, doctors, meds, etc., and by the end of my fourteenth year, I had gained enough weight to lose the panicked attention of my parents and healthcare providers. I was not, however, in any way better. I hadn’t changed. I had just gained enough weight to be left alone. Fast-forward thirteen years of self-loathing and resentment at having to keep up appearances, and we arrive to a relapse. The details and even the reason why are largely unimportant to me. What is important, this time, is that I made a choice. This time I chose to try and get better, instead of succumbing to the idea that is who I was. I looked in the mirror and chose a reality that is completely foreign to me. It’s scary and difficult, and I resist and fight it every day (much to the dismay of my support team). Like I said earlier, I don’t know where the eating disorder starts and I begin. I don’t know if I’ll ever know. I do know that I’m tired. I’m tired of counting calories, having nightmares about gaining weight, choosing the eating disorder over my friends, and hating myself. So, in the end, I try. I succeed and fail on a daily basis, and that’s a part of getting better. And honestly, it’s better than the alternative…loneliness, sickness, and death. All for what?


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The Student Health Center will be open for urgent care (walk-in only) on Saturday, 2/15, from 9am until 1pm.


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Dear PNMs

Dear PNMs,

You're finally done. You can finally breathe and try to return to normal life, untainted by the judgment of women (yes, women, not girls) you hardly know and who hardly know you. You're done with the silly title of "Potential New Member." Some of you are new members now, some of you are not. Some of you knew what sorority you'd be in throughout the entire recruitment process because you're friends with the older members and you're a legacy and you know how to socialize with the right people. Some of you went into rush bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and completely unaware of where you'd end up and now you couldn't be more thrilled to call these new friends your sisters. Some of you got into a top-tier sorority only to experience Bid Day, alone and excluded, wondering if you made a mistake in your choice. Some of you opened your envelopes to bid cards bearing the name of a sorority you never wanted to begin with but had to list as a choice. Some of you cried on Bid Day. Some of you cried before Bid Day. Some of you didn't even make it to Bid Day.

Every single one of you dressed your best for each round. Some of you bought entirely new outfits for the process. You curled your hair, or you straightened your hair, or you tried the messy bun look or a braid or maybe you just let it go natural. Women of color, the courageous few of you probably tried to look as Caucasian as possible, because that's how you make it in this system. Some of you wore makeup, or maybe you didn't (but you probably did). All of you went into this whole process knowing that you would be judged (on how you looked). Before each party, you would ask the women next to you in line if you had any granola bar stuck in your teeth (the Convention Center refused to feed you...as if Potential New Members of sororities needed another thing to worry about). You'd pop a mint or a piece of gum, and hope no one could tell how much you were sweating.

You enter the room to clapping, singing, shouting, and other overwhelming noises. You are surrounded by smiling, laughing, happy, "beautiful" women who have been granted the power of judging you and deciding your social fate simply because the system favored them in one way or another. You make small talk about majors and hometowns with women who seem truly, genuinely interested in you. You try to be as engaging as possible. You try to stand out, but not too much. You leave the party feeling good about how your conversations went, relieved that rush isn't as scary as everyone made you think it would be.

Before the next round, your Gamma Chi gives you the tiny slip of paper (that you'll try all day not to lose) listing all the parties you've been invited back to. Some of you get all of your top choices (and you knew you would); some of you are pleasantly surprised by how many you got invited back to. Some of you realize the conversations you were so confident went so well didn't go as well as you thought, because some of you get "cut." Some of you get "cut" by several sororities. Some of you drop out of rush.

Some of you get called back to all of your top choices for the next two rounds; your conversations move beyond small talk and you start to see these women (who will judge you) as friends, as Potential New Sisters. Some of you tell your friends what sorority you know you'll join; some of you get over-confident. Some of you receive your slip on the day of Round 4, only to be crushed by the power of judgment. Some of you finally get cut. Some of you move on, making the best of it all and continuing with recruitment. Some of you quit.

And now, fast forward through preference night and Bid Day and it's over. Now, whether you're in a sorority or not, you can look back on the process and reflect. If you didn't end up where you thought you wanted to be, you may blame yourself. You're not pretty enough or smart enough or funny enough or unique enough. And if you're saying any of these things, you're wrong. But no matter how many times your friends and family tell you you're perfect just the way you are, that it's the sorority's loss that they missed out on you, you won't believe it. Because you still got cut. You weren't enough. You didn't fit the mold established by a system that encourages and promotes young women judging other women on entirely superficial standards. And even though you should believe and know that you are worth so much more than the meaningless and unfair judgments of girls who do not know you, that you are beautiful because you are you, that your worth is not determined by the letters or lack of letters on your sweatshirt, you will still probably think that there is something wrong with you, when, in fact, there is nothing wrong at all.

And if you did end up where you wanted to be, you're probably ecstatic right now. And you should be happy and excited, because you are special. You might start to see yourself as better than other women; you were selected, they were not. You are in a certain sorority, while they are in another. And while it's easy to do this, and the system reinforces this thinking, you can't let these letters change the way you act or treat people. Because just days ago, you were a PNM just like everyone else. No one is better than anyone else in this system, despite what some may think. You are just as terrified as everyone else of being judged.

So, PNMs, or NMs, or independents, or whatever title you prefer, I urge you to take your new letters or lack of letters with a grain of salt. In the end, they are simply letters. We attach meaning and significance to them, no doubt, but they do not define you or anyone else. Ultimately, what matters is not the judgment of women you hardly know who hardly know you, but instead, the fact that you are awesome, wonderful, kickass you.


Sorority Member Still Being Judged

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