Get Fit with Ask Katie

Get Fit with Ask Katie

The Building Blocks to a Healthy Diet

   Many of us grew up with the food pyramid guiding our dietary choices.  Since then, the concept has evolved into what is now known as MyPlate, which has been established by the United States Department of Agriculture.  MyPlate focuses on healthy eating choices which include focusing on variety, amount, and nutrition.  It is important to ensure that you are consuming the proper amount of calories as well.  You should make sure that you are reading nutrition labels to make sure that you are eating foods low in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar.  Much of what you need to consume is based on your age, sex, and level of physical activity.  So a person’s dietary needs vary, however, there are several things that everyone can follow to make sure that their plate is healthy.  

  •    Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables

o    Fruits and vegetables are a source of many essential nutrients including, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid.  Having a diet high in fruits and veggies can help reduce one’s risk for heart disease as well as some types of cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.  It’s important that when making your plate you choose to include whole fruit rather than things such as fruit juice.  It’s also important that you vary your vegetables.  There are five different subgroups of vegetables which include: dark-green, red and orange, legumes, starch, and other.  It’s important that you get variety.

  •    Make half of your grains whole grains

o    Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel.  Some Examples include whole-wheat flour, cracked wheat, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice.  When grains are refined, they lose much of their nutritional value such as dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins.  That is why you should choose whole grains when you have the option.

  •    Consume low-fat and fat-free dairy products

o    Milk is critical for ensuring bone health and provide nutrients such as calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.  It’s important to choose low-fat and fat-free products to avoid saturated fats and bad cholesterol.  

  •    Vary your protein

o    Protein helps build bone, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood.  Your body needs it to survive.  Proteins include foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy, nuts, and seeds.  You should be consuming a variety of different proteins from both plant and animal sources.  It’s better if you choose lean or low-fat meats because they provide less empty calories and processed meats contain a lot of unnecessary sodium.  

  •    Limit your oils

o    Oils are an essential part of the diet as they provide things such as vitamin E and fatty acids.  What needs to be monitored is refined oils which include: soybean, canola, and safflower oils.  It’s critical to consume no more than your daily recommended amount of oil.  

Eating Healthy on a Budget

   There are many strategies in place to help ensure that you maintain a healthy diet without breaking the bank.  Listed below are some ideas to help you save money.

  •    Write down the meals you plan to make for the week to make sure you’re only buying what you need.  Look around your kitchen and make note of what you already have so that you can save money by including them in your meals.  Using some worksheet to plan out your meals can be helpful.  When planning out, your meals try and look for healthy recipes online.  You can also go to for healthy recipes.  It’s also important to include foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk on your list as they are the basis for healthy eating.  
  •    Look for coupons for items that you plan on using in your meals, but if you don’t need an item throw away that coupon.  This prevents you from buying unnecessary items that weren’t on your list.
  •    You should eat before you shop because people tend to impulse buy when they go food shopping hungry
  •    Scan the aisle before grabbing an item because stores tend to stock their most expensive brands at eye level.  You can often find the same thing for cheaper above or below the most expensive products.
  •    Be able to identify the unit price of something, which is how much you are paying per pound, ounce, or quart.  You may think what you are buying is cheaper when in reality you are paying more for less of an item.  
  •    Join your store’s loyalty program to get exclusive offers and discounts.  
  •    Buy in season produce as they are usually less expensive and taste better.  Make sure that you only get as much as you plan on using so that none goes to waste.
  •    Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh and often are a lot cheaper.  They also last a much longer time so that they can easily be added to meals.  Just make sure you’re reading the labels.
  •     When shopping for grains look for items that have a whole grain listed first. Whole grain rice and whole grain pasta are budget friendly grain options.
  •    There are many protein options to choose from, but beans and peas are often your cheapest choices while providing a good amount of protein.  
  •    If you want to lower the amount you pay for meat options, buy the family-size or value packs and freeze whatever you don’t use.  Also, be conscious to choose lean meats for a healthier alternative.
  •    Eggs are also a low-cost protein that is easy to prepare
  •    When buying dairy try and buy low-fat or fat-free since those are healthier.  You can also purchase a larger sized plain yogurt rather than individual flavored ones and add you own flavor by mixing in fruit.
  •    Instead of buying soda and juice try and stick with water.  It has zero calories and won’t cost you money.


Healthy Eats on Campus:

We have all heard it before; “Where is the healthy food? Where are our options? Why am I gaining so much weight?” The first scapegoat students have been the dreaded dining hall; more specifically, Sodexo. But what if Sodexo wasn’t the problem? What if it was us? What if we are in such a rush to go to class and so blinded by the same boring sights we see three times a day, that we forget about the options that are given available to us?

   Under the new direction of Terry Mellum and intern nutritionist, Tori Soderberg, the dining hall and the Pulse have been revamped to offer the best possible form of healthy and diverse nutrition. Not only may you have noticed the extended hours both places have acquired, but also the little wildcat signs throughout the dining hall. These have been set as a visual cue of healthy alternatives. The small green apple is also for healthy options.

Another healthy option is near the sushi bar. A refrigerator with many choices for the on the go lifestyle such as peanut butter and jelly, fruit and cheese, ready to eat salads, yogurt, and hummus. What is unique to St. Kate’s dining options is that all food items are individually priced, allowing students to mix and match different foods to create a meal. An example would be asking the classic line for just their greens and then going to the deli to purchase a sandwich on wheat bread. The dining hall also weighs different food items. For example, I could mix and match different flavors of yogurt and add different toppings such as fruit or granola and get charged by the ounce. I know what you’re thinking, “This takes a long time. Why can’t it go faster? It’s so inconvenient!” As growing adults, we need to understand that good health cannot be rushed and neither can nutrition. Sometimes the fastest available options are the worst ones for you. We will continue to see this as we move throughout life.

The dining services offer something that is essential to a great environment, and that is customer service. If you are allergic to a food item, there are lactose intolerant, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. If you may need other accommodations or have questions about what is available not on display; they are there to answer any questions you may have! You may not think so, but they are willing to help you and make your visits to the dining hall valuable.

   Even as busy college students, we can still find time do our part. The staff and management understand that coming from a place of home cooked meals seven days a week to a dining hall is tough. Personnel and management are looking for students to bring in recipes from family and friends to share with them online or as a suggestion. They also have a suggestion box which is available on site! These methods can be replicated by the staff to be made for the entire student body featuring you and the family member or friend! The dining services also offer a suggestions box of new items you would like to see or perhaps ideas to make the environment more enjoyable! Currently, a team is working together to place nutritional values, such as grams of sugar and calories, on the items served in the Pulse before spring break. Lastly, we would love for students to like the Instagram and Twitter pages to keep updated on nutritional facts, upcoming events, menus, and changes!


Twitter  :SCU_DINING

Let’s talk about fitness:

    • Here are five reasons to get you to the gym.  Reason number one: It’s healthy. Going to the gym is never easy; working out is not an easy thing to do, however, it’s not impossible. A gym is a magical place, but it’s not mystical; you cannot just walk in and walk out with a healthy body. It’s going to take lots of work and dedication. Seventy-five minutes per week is recommended for physical activity.
    • Reason two: You feel better about yourself. There is a sense of pride that comes with achievement. When working out you are pushing your boundaries, and when you look back on that first try and compare that to where you are now, you cannot help but feel proud.
    • Reason three it’s a great way to relieve stress. I don’t know about you, but school gives me the most stress; hitting the gym is one of the best stress relievers you can find. By treating your body right, you’ll start to feel better mentally; that great feeling will make all that stress disappear.
    • Reason four: You will live longer. To live a long healthy life, you need first to be healthy.
    • And finally, reason five working out makes you more productive; personally, my favorite part of working out is how it clears my mind. Working out gives the mind and body a chance to reconnect; you become aware of your strengths and limitations and how you are going to use them.

If you are someone like me, and you hate running here are some tips to help you enjoy it. Running has so many benefits, one example is that it relieves stress. Go outside and run, the best way to start running is simply to put on a pair of good running shoes and hit the pavement. Start a routine try running three times a week. This will help build endurance; running once a week won’t cut it. Spacing out days to go running will allow for recovery time between sessions. Try listening to music as you run; moving to the beat will help you maintain a healthy pace. The best part of running outdoors is mapping out favorite routes to run. My ideal location to run would be around the pond because it’s right on campus so it’s very convenient and has an excellent view. After a few runs, you might be inclined to think you aren’t cut out for running. However, that is not true after a few weeks of pushing yourself by following a running routine you will begin to feel lighter, faster and you will start having more fun.

Work your way up the next level, push your endurance, raise your heart rate, build strength the treadmill does not only have to be about running. “Today is your day to start fresh, to eat right, to train hard, to live healthy, to be proud.”


“Choose MyPlate.” Choose MyPlate. The United States Department of Agriculture. Web. 06 Mar. 2016.    <;.


Roses are red, Violets are blue, Intimate Partner Violence can happen to you.

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Intimate Partner Violence can happen to you.

February is typically a reminder of our relationships as the pink, red, and white decorations fill the stores and chocolate appears around every corner. Pink roses, chocolate heart boxes, and red balloons are all nice gestures of romanticism, however relationships extend much deeper, and it is nice to take the time to examine these relationships and evaluate the safety within them.

Did you know that…

According to the American Psychological Association 2016:

  • Nearly half of all women in the United States have experienced at least one form of psychological aggression by an intimate partner.
  • On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriend every day.
  • One out of three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abased during her lifetime.
  • Intimate Partner Violence occurs across age, ethnicity, gender, and economic lines, among persons with dis abilities, and among heterosexual and same-sex couples.

There also are a couple of risk factors for experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) such as poverty, less education, young adults, females, living in a high poverty neighborhood, and dependency on drugs or alcohol.

The American Psychological Association describes two types of psychological aggression that are experienced by victims of IPV.

  • Expressive aggression is when your intimate partner has called you names for example fat, ugly, crazy, or stupid. If they have insulted or humiliated you by calling you a loser, a failure or not good enough and told you no one else would want you.
  • Coercive control is when your intimate partner has tried to keep you from seeing or talking to family or friends, made you keep a detailed record of your schedule and threatening if you do not keep them up to date, or if they have kept you from using your own money.

Intimate Partner Violence has lasting implications.  

If you have been victimized by an intimate partner – recently, or in the past- you may experience the following:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Low self esteem
  • Inability to trust
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Isolation
  • Risky behaviors (unhealthy eating, sexual behaviors, dependence on substances)
  • Post traumatic Stress disorder
  • Emotional detachment
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Flashbacks
  • Replaying assault in mind
  • Poor physical health (frequent headaches, chronic pain and activity limitations).

What do you do if you or someone you know has been victimized by an intimate partner:

Connect with supportive and caring people who you can comfortably talk with and who will not blame you for the situation.

Seek help from a psychologist or other licensed mental health provider who will be willing to direct you to resources, tell you the next steps, promote healing, and help you establish healthy behaviors.

St. Catherine University has a Counseling Center located on the third floor of Derham Hall. They have walk in emergency appointments Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 AM – 12 PM or Tuesday/Thursday from 2 PM – 3 PM. They are open Monday – Friday 8 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 4:30 PM for scheduled appointments. They can be contacted by phone at 651-690-6805.  St. Catherine University Health and Wellness Clinic located in the Butler Center is open 8:30-4:30pm Monday through Friday.  Please call for an appointment at 651-690-6714 or email questions to


American Psychological Association. 2016. Intimate Partner Violence Facts & Resources. Retrieved from

Before You Binge Watch

It is tempting to celebrate post finals with a session of lounging and binge watching over the winter break. The hours fly by episode after episode, and before you know it, you have reached season 2 of your new favorite show. Binge watching is becoming a new cultural norm, however new research suggests that every hour of TV watching seriously impacts your health.

According to Health Magazine, a new study from Diabetologica found that for every additional hour of TV watched per day, the risk of diabetes goes up by 3.4% (2015). In addition, a lower metabolism, increased snacking, and less sleep is also to be expected (p. 24).

What’s even more alarming is that increased TV viewing and low physical activity in early adulthood are associated with worse midlife cognition (Hoang et al., 2016). The association of anxiety and depression is also being studied for association with high volume of television viewing (Teychenne, Costigah, and Parker 2015).

Studies suggest that television viewing in excess of three hours is when the brain is significantly affected over a long period of time (Hoang et al., 2016). Limit television viewing to only three hours per day at maximum. Three hours per day is also excessive, however paired with a sedentary lifestyle is extremely dangerous. Try watching your episodes while jogging on the treadmill, peddling on a stationary bike, or while on an elliptical. It is easy to watch episodes late at night, however it is important to maintain your normal sleep schedule over break to promote overall wellbeing. Staying up late, and sleeping in late is not doing your body any good. It is common to watch TV during meals, but it is important to not view television during mealtimes. Mindless snacking is easy when your body is hungry. Keep healthy snacks in your dorm or apartment and maintain a regular eating schedule!

Take time to relax over break. If you prefer to stay inside- catch up on some books you’ve been wanting to read, or try a new exercise class. Enjoy the outdoors- go for a walk or go ice skating in the parks. Be social – catch up with old friends. Let 2016 be the year you make time for your physical and mental health. Reducing time in front of the TV is a great start!



Hoang TD, Reis J, Zhu N, et al. Effect of Early Adult Patterns of Physical Activity and Television Viewing on Midlife Cognitive Function. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(1):73-79. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2468.

Schatzker, Mark. 2015. Your body on a binge watch. Health, 29(7): 24.

Teychenne, M., Costigan, S. A., & Parker, K. (2015). The association between sedentary behaviour and risk of anxiety: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 15, 513.

AIDS Awareness and Sleep Promotion

In the month of December we wanted to focus on personal health as well as expanding our world view.  With finals approaching it is important to focus our attention on our health.  Healthy sleep is a crucial component to an overall healthy life.  Included below are some facts about how to achieve a better night’s sleep as well as information regarding an event put on by Ask Katie regarding healthy sleep.  The other topic we focused on this month was AIDS.  Regardless or not if AIDS has affected us personally, it has become a world problem.  We have included information regarding this syndrome to help teach how to prevent as well as what is being done to treat it.  Ask Katie also encourages you to watch the film, “A Closer Walk” if you would like to learn about more information regarding the AIDS epidemic.  



One of the December events presented by the Ask Katie Peer Educators will be focusing on AIDs and HIV, as December 1st is World AIDS day.   Ask Katie and the Public Health Club will be showing a movie, in Fontbonne 103 at 6pm on December 1st with a guest speaker following the movie.

The Facts Are:

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDs (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) are completely different things.  HIV is a virus that causes infection and attacks our immune system, and if not treated right away can lead to AIDS. AIDS is a condition that happens when somebody is not treated for HIV. Both of these diagnoses can lead to a person becoming very ill, but also can be controlled with medication. There is still not a cure for HIV/AIDS.

  • At the end of 2014, 37-40% people were being treated for HIV/AIDS worldwide
  • It is illegal to knowingly pass along HIV
  • Eliminating the transmission from mother to child is the biggest priority for the AIDS foundation and researchers right now
  • Living with HIV/AIDS is manageable  

How does HIV spread?

  • Unprotected sex-anal, vaginal and oral sex with an infected person
  • Transfusion of contaminated blood
  • The sharing of contaminated needles or any other sharp instruments
  • Mother to child-during the pregnancy and also through breastfeeding

How to prevent transmission of HIV?

  • Practice safe sex with your partner using condoms and other barriers
  • Get tested and treated for any sexual transmitted infections
  • Abstain from Injection Drug Use
  • Have the conversation with your Healthcare provider regarding the blood being administered during ordered Blood Transfusions  
  • ALWAYS have the “talk” with your partner, not only to protect yourself but to protect your partner as well

Early Signs/Stages of HIV

  • Swollen glands
  • Fever (most common symptom)
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • The early stages of HIV is described as “Flu-like symptoms” many HIV patients describe it as, “the worse flu I have ever had.”

Later Signs/Stages of HIV

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Recurring fever or night sweats
  • Extreme and unexplained tiredness
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits, neck and groin
  • Diarrhea that lasts longer than a week
  • Sores in the mouth, anus or genitals
  • Pneumonia
  • Red, brown, pink or purplish blotches on or under the skin in the mouth, nose or eyelids
  • Memory loss, depression and other neurological disorders
  • Many other infections can occur because your immune system is under attack and not working properly

What does Treatment look like?

  • Anti-HIV medications are the most common medication. There are many different kinds of drugs. The main goals of these medications is to attack the virus and to stop it from progressing to AIDS
  • If the HIV has progressed to AIDS, then you will start on a different kind of medication to help with the symptoms that occur with the disease
  • HIV/AIDS treatment is a strict medication plan-Many patients set alarms and reminders for themselves so they do not miss a dose, many have emergency doses in their cars and purses in case they are not in close range.  It is stressed to contact your pharmacy when you have 2 weeks left of your dose.
  • VERY important to keep up with doctors appointments
  • Many healthcare providers recommend therapy and support groups-in these groups you would learn how to manage your disease and also learn new ways to cope with your disease
  • Each individual will have a different medication plan, depending on how far your disease has progressed

If you think you have been exposed to HIV, it is important to get tested right away.  The test includes a simple blood test.

For more information, please contact:

The other event that will be occurring during the month of December presented by the Ask Katie Peer Educators is called, Got Sleep?  Come join Ask Kate on December 8th in the Rauenhorst/Morrison Seminar Room between 8-10 pm for our event “Got Sleep?”.  There will be more information on healthy sleep as well as hot tea and lavender oil pillow spray.

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Promoting Healthy Sleep

There is no surprise that college students are one of the most sleep deprived groups around.  It’s difficult to find time to sleep in college when you’re trying to balance school, work, and friends.  College students need on average at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.  There are many things that can interfere with a good night’s sleep, but lack of sleep can wear you out and affect your judgement, mood, and ability to learn. Healthy sleep is crucial to a higher quality of life and can be improved through good “sleep hygiene”.  The following information comes from the National Sleep Foundation and Harvard Medical School and contains information about the importance of sleep as well as helpful advice on how to practice healthy “sleep hygiene”.


How Does Sleep Affect Us?

No one quite knows why our bodies need sleep and it is something that scientists continue to study.  Sleep has been shown to have a large impact on our ability to remember information and learn.  Without sleep it’s difficult to focus on things going on in class.  Sleep also plays a role in consolidation of memory, meaning that it takes the information that you have learned and stores it in your brain for long term use. This is why cramming before a test tends to have less than desirable outcomes for most people.  So if you are not getting enough sleep this may be having a negative impact on your GPA.   Sleep deprivation can also negatively affect one’s mood which can have negative effects on one’s relationships with others.  People that get very little sleep tend to have more mental and physical health issues as well.  Poor sleep is also associated with lower life expectancy.  Staying up late once and awhile is fine but it’s good to have a plan in place for long-term healthy sleep so that you can live a longer and healthier life.


Tips for Healthy Sleep

  1. Make a sleep schedule and stick to it
    1. It’s important to set a bedtime for yourself and follow it every day (this includes weekends)
    2. This is helpful with regulating your body’s clock
  2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual
    1. This helps you separate your sleep time from day time activities
    2. It helps relax your mind from everything that has gone on during the day
    3. Meditation may help you clear your mind before going to bed
  3. Avoid naps
    1. If you have trouble falling asleep at night it’s best to avoid naps during the day
  4. Check out your mattress and pillows
    1. It may be time for a new mattress or pillow
    2. Most mattresses should not be used for more than 9 to 10 years
    3. Make sure you have comfortable pillows as well
  5. Control your lighting
    1. Avoid bright lights in the evening
    2. Make sure you are exposed to sunlight in the morning
    3. This keeps your circadian rhythm working
  6. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and heavy meals at night
    1. These can all play a part in disrupting sleep
    2. That cup of coffee may give you that energy boost to power through a study session but it will also prevent you from falling asleep
    3. Big meals can cause indigestion making it more difficult to sleep
    4. If you are still hungry before bedtime try eating a light snack
  7. Exercise daily
    1. This helps to get out any extra energy and relieves stress to allow you to sleep easier at night
  8. Evaluate your room
    1. Your room should be free of excessive noise and light this can be done through: Blackout curtains, Ear plugs or eye shades, “white noise” machines, and Humidifiers
    2. Get rid of any distractions
  9. Leave time to decompress
    1. You need to let your body shift into sleep mode
    2. Spend the hour before sleep doing calming activities such as reading
    3. Avoid any screens (phones, computers, other electronics) before falling asleep so it’s probably best to read a paperback rather than off of your Kindle or Nook
  10. If you can’t sleep go into another room until you feel tired
    1. Keep all work and school materials away from your sleeping environment
    2. You should only associate your bed with sleep


For more information, please contact:

The Sleep Foundation

Harvard Medical Institution


Feeling Good – Mentally and Physically!

Feeling Good – Mentally and Physically!

Depression – How to cope and how to help

Depression can be hard to deal with, whether you’re personally dealing with it or one of your friends is dealing with it. It also can be hard to tell whether or not someone is suffering from depression or are just having an “off” week. Knowing that one of your friends is dealing with depression can be hard to cope with. You want to help, but you don’t know how. Here’s some information on depression, how to cope with depression if you’re personally suffering from it, and tips on how to help your friend who’s living with depression. The following information comes from the National Institutes of Health’s Mental Health division.

Here’s the Facts

  • In a recent survey, it was found that “about 30 percent of college students reported feeling ‘so depressed that it was difficult to function’ at some time in the past year”
  • Some of the symptoms include, but are not limited to:
    • Feeling sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, guilty, worthless, helpless, irritable, or restless
    • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
    • Lack of energy
    • Problems concentrating, remembering information, or making decisions
    • Problems falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
    • Loss of appetite or eating too much
    • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
    • Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not go away
  • Depression does not have one single cause, it can often be attributed to several things including:
    • Living away from family for the first time
    • Missing family or friends
    • Feeling alone or isolated
    • Experiencing conflict in relationships
    • Facing new and sometimes difficult school work
    • Worrying about finances
  • If you think you may have depression, a doctor or mental health care provider can help you
    • Kate’s Health and Wellness Clinic
      • Monday – Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm
      • (651) 690-6714
    • Kate’s Counseling Center
      • Derham Hall 330
      • (651) 690-6805

How to Cope

If you have depression, you may feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless. But it is important to realize that these feelings are part of the illness. Treatment can help you feel better.

You can also:

  • Try to see a professional as soon as possible—research shows that getting treatment sooner rather than later can relieve symptoms quicker and reduce the length of time treatment is needed
  • Give treatment a fair chance—attend sessions and follow your doctor’s or therapist’s advice, including advice about specific exercises or “homework” to try between appointments
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, and do what you can as you can; try not to do too many things at once
  • Spend time with other people and talk to a friend or relative about your feelings
  • Do not make important decisions until you feel better; talk about decisions with others whom you trust and who know you well
  • Engage in mild physical activity or exercise
  • Participate in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually with treatment
  • Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thoughts as your depression responds to treatment

How to Help a Friend

If you suspect a friend may have depression, you can help them get diagnosed and treated. You may need to help your friend find a doctor, mental health care provider, or mental health services on our campus. If your friend seems unable or unwilling to seek help, offer to go with them and tell them that their health and safety are important to you.

You can also:

  • Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
  • Talk to your friend and listen carefully
  • Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your friend’s therapist or doctor
  • Invite your friend out for walks, outings, and other activities. If they refuse keep trying, but don’t push
  • Ensure that your friend gets to doctor’s appointments and encourage them to report any concerns about medications to their health care professional
  • Remind your friend that with time and professional treatment, the depression will lift

Check out our event on November 17th! We’re showing the movie “To Save a Life” in the Pulse at 6:30pm. Come check it out to learn more about depression and suicide.


Ways to Feel Good This Winter – Mentally and Physically!

As the season changes and classes are in full swing, it’s easy to forget about yourself and let your routine change. In the summer it is much easer to eat healthy, exercise, and do things that make you happy! During the winter we often find ourselves eating less colorful plates, and consider walking from the dorm to the CDC exercise for the day- I mean, bundling up and staying warm is exercise, right?? This winter we want to challenge everyone to switch up their typical winter routines and come up with creative and fun ways of feeling good both mentally and physically.

This month Ask Katie Peer Health Educators are holding two events to get you out of your dorm and actively involved on campus! We are hosting Aqua Zumba November 18th 8-9 pm in the pool! And the film ‘To Save a Life’ on November 17th at 6:30 pm in the Pulse!

Here are a couple things to add to your routine this winter:

  • Sleep Routine- you may need to get to bed earlier so that you can wake up and enjoy the daylight as much as possible!
  • Indoor plants keep air fresh and clean, and bring nature back to life.
  • Keeping physically active- switch your outdoor workout routine to indoor activities such as yoga, swimming, indoor cardio, or attend a group fitness class! Check out the Butler Center’s website for class times, pool hours, and activities available.
  • Find activities outdoors – ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, snowboarding
  • Attend group events- look for things to do both indoor and outdoor with your friends, attend Ask Katie, Seek, and club events! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
  • Work on art or crafts that you love!
  • Walk around and look at Christmas lights
  • Bake cookies
  • Brisk walk outside in the afternoon with the warm sun
  • Have a Netflix night in with your friends and eat popcorn
  • Learn to cook!

We are incredibly blessed to live in a state with all four seasons! Taking advantage of all the different activities to be done can seem daunting, but adding a few new things every so often will help you maintain your mental and physical wellbeing through the cold winter months.


If you feel like you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Here are some resources here on campus.

  • Kate’s Health and Wellness Clinic
    • Monday – Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm
    • (651) 690-6714
  • Kate’s Counseling Center
    • Derham Hall Room 330
    • (651) 690-6805
  • Kate’s Public Safety
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • (651) 690-8888
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Check out our event on November 17th! We’re showing the movie “To Save a Life” in the Pulse at 6:30pm. Come check it out to learn more about depression and suicide.


Alcohol Awareness

12045513_1618023838450393_5520470212961405771_oIt was National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week this past month and Ask Katie Peer Educators and SEEK teamed up to host a night of Katie Pong and Alcohol Awareness.

Sexual assault among college aged women are more common than you think. An estimated 20% of college aged women have experienced sexual assault, and 9% have experienced drug facilitated sexual assault (date rape) (Lawyer et al., 2010, p. 453). This is a subject that people are afraid to talk about, and it often seems farther away than it really is. There is also many preventative measures you can take to ensure that you are safe through your entire college experience.

A house party may seem like a safe place to drink because you would not be driving or walking around, but it 37% of sexual assaults occurred in this setting. A house party is an easy place to feel comfortable with the people around you, most of them being friends or friends of friends; however this also poses another threat because women are more likely to be sexual assaulted by someone they know (31%) (Lawyer et al., 2010, p 457). House parties can also be dangerous because alcohol consumption may be unmonitored and illegal drug use may be more accessible. College women are most likely to be involved in a date rape scenario where they are voluntarily drinking and using drugs.

Drug facilitated sexual assault can be prevented. Knowing the names of drugs used can help you be aware of your surroundings and help you pick out the slang names from conversation. MDMA (also called Ecstasy or X); GHB (also called Grievous, Bodily Harm, G, or Liquid Ecstasy); Ketamine (also called Special K); Rohypnol (also called Roofies or the Forget-,e pill); Marijuana or pot are the most common date rape drugs.

Strategies for reducing your risk for sexual assault are outlined below. Watching your drink at all times and making sure that you are not allowing someone else to mix your drink or pour it. Having a solid support group when attending the bar scene or a house party can increase your safety by having friends check in on you and knowing where you are at all times. Being mindful of your alcohol consumption. Binge drinking is defined as having  4 consecutive drinks for women which is a harmful and potentially life threatening practice (Adams, Alic, & Longe, 2015).

The signs and symptoms that you or a friend may have been slipped a date rape drug include: sudden intoxication, no coordination, blood shot eyes and slurred speech. Sedation can occur as soon as 20 minutes after ingestion. The drug’s effect will peak within 2 hours and may last for up to 8 hours or more. Other effects associate include visual disturbances, drowsiness, confusion, decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, gastrointestinal disturbance and urinary retention. When mixed with alcohol they may cause respiratory depression, aspiration or even death (Rape Crisis Center, 2015)

“Binge drinking.” Jill U. Adams and Margaret Alic, PhD.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 5th ed. Detroit:

Gale, 2015. 9 vols.

Lawyer et al., (2010) Forcible, Drug-Facilitated, and Incapacitated Rape and Sexual Assault among Undergraduate Women. Journal of American College Health. 58(5) p.453-460

 Rape Crisis Center. (2010) Date Rape Drug Information Sheet. Retrieved from

Meet the 2015-2016 Ask Katie Peer Educators!

Hello Fellow Katies! Welcome to or welcome back to St. Kate’s for the 2015-16 school year. My name is Hannah Keuler and I am one of six Ask Katie Peer Educators here at St. Kate’s. I am a junior and am double majoring in Public Health and Spanish. The other Ask Katie educators are:

  • Kate Becker, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry
  • Emma Green, a senior majoring in nursing
  • Caitlyn Holm, a sophomore majoring in nursing
  • Ashley Johnson, a senior majoring in public health
  • Ayan Omar, a first-year majoring in nursing

So now you’re probably wondering two things; ‘What exactly is an Ask Katie Peer Educator?’ and ‘What can they do for me?’ As an Ask Katie Peer Educator, our mission is to promote awareness, as well as host education programs on healthy lifestyle choices to you, as St. Catherine University students. We are dedicated to fostering student-to-student communication about common health concerns that arise during college. We also strive to educate and support a community that encourages healthy and safe behaviors through personal responsibility, positive social norms, and academic engagement. The programs that we host as Ask Katie Peer educators are open to all students, so come join us for some educational, yet fun programs this school year!

There is a lot we can do for you as an Ask Katie Peer Educator. First and foremost, we want to provide you with accurate information pertaining to all facets of health, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. We will also be putting on monthly programming pertaining to a different area of concern for college students, so keep an eye out for flyers announcing our newest events. We also have a Google form where you can ask anonymous health questions ranging from, “Where can I go just to talk to someone about how I feel?” or “I want to eat healthy in the dining hall, but I don’t know how. Can you give me some tips on eating healthy on campus?” The link to this form will be at the bottom of this article, which I swear is almost done!

The 2015-2016 Ask Katie Peer Educators are incredibly excited to get to know you and talk to you about health. We promise to answer all of your questions in a fast and accurate way. Feel free to contact us at any of the platforms mentioned below. Our next event will be on October 14th from 6-8pm in the Pulse. We are working with SEEK to create a fun and educational program about alcohol awareness. Hope to see you there!

How do I contact the Ask Katie Peer Educators?

Ask Katie Group Picture

From L to R:

First Row: Ayan Omar, Ashley Johnson, Hannah Keuler, Emma Green

Second Row: Kate Becker, Caitlyn Holm