Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Try It! - OR - Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot, Plus Other Tips to Take With You While You Eat This Holiday Season and Beyond.

I have heard countless people comment upon seeing a food item that is labeled, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, etc. pass it up due to the label that somehow translates to them as… “That must taste bad”

I suggest a little more thought be placed around this decision.

Your steak, be it tenderloin, flank or chuck is wheat free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, soy free, fish free.

Hershey’s kisses could wear a sign proudly announcing “gluten free”. Would this cause you to drop them and grab another bag?  (A marketing test I would LOVE to perform.)

Your apple, orange, mango, pea pods are all free of the big 8 allergens.

What are the big 8 allergens you ask?
Crustacean Fish
Tree nuts

Let’s not forget that most fudge and flourless chocolate is also gluten free. OH, what a CRIME to have missed that taste sensation with a poor judgment call to assume sand gluten = sans flavor.

The list goes on and on!

Keep these things in mind as you travel to parties and gatherings.  I promise you, you will be AMAZED at what sensitivity friendly taste treats are hiding out there to be discovered and enjoyed. If you are not someone that has had to deal with food sensitivities, you may find the various “frees” intimidating and perhaps feel as if they are a subtle warning to stay away.   They may just be the product of a very conscientious host.  Food sensitivities and allergies are on the rise at phenomenal rates. This is something you will likely see more often. Hosts and catering services are reaping the benefits of business with this extra effort.

That being said… use common sense when the plate of gluten free, dairy free, peanut free chocolate chip cookies contains a much smaller population than the regular “everything” cookie platter.  You may want to back off for the sake of ensuring the guests in need of food sensitivity friendly foods have had their fill.  (Have you seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother with Martian Short at Marshall and Lily's party? He plays a vegetarian. There were vegetarian egg rolls at the party but they were so good everyone else ate them and he had nothing left at the party to eat. It was NOT pretty.  Just something to consider!). This can be solved by confirming with the host or catering. And who knows, your consideration and awareness may pay off in impressing the person you have been desperately wanting to flirt with all evening!

There is a difference in being respectful and being persnickety and passing up the well labeled food due to new food fears. Don't shoot yourself in the foot!

Go forth and have a wonderful and delicious holiday season! 

Judy B. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Water -Save the dates! See a movie, participate in a discussion and share your thoughts and voice

Save the dates...

Tuesday December 4th
10 am -2 pm
Lake Superior Hall Lobby
Fill out a survey about access to drinking water in the dorms, bottled water and other dorm life topics and win a prize

Thursday December 6th
Watch Tapped - click to watch the trailer
Visit the movie website here
Discuss water, bottled water and our Duluth and UMD community

Editorial Reviews
Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Stephanie Soechtig's debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water. From the producers of 'Who Killed the Electric Car' and 'I.O.U.S.A.,' this timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. 

Keep your eye out for more information. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Enter a heart healthy recipe, support a good cause, win prizes!

To add a little incentive and community support to our previous recipe contest post...

SHAC (Student Health Advisory Committee)  has joined with The American Heart Association, UMD, and the College of St. Scholastica to help raise funds to bring a school in Duluth a teaching garden.

Please help us reach our goal!
Your simple act of submitting a heart healthy recipe will help make the cook book fantastic and help us raise money for the garden. 

What have you cooked lately?  Alone or with friends? A simple snack? a delicious meal?  Send it on in. Add your tips for making the recipe great, pictures if you have them and send them to...

Deadline for the cook book Tuesday November 13. 
Deadline for SHAC contest is Friday November 30

Bring 'm on...
Heart healthy
dorm friendly
ethnic (Feel free to include specific locations to get ingredients)
gluten free
super simple snacks
tips for dorm eating, shopping, cooking, eating healthy with a busy schedule, etc. 

Your name, email address, role in the community (student, faculty, staff, etc), recipe, if possible photo of food, and nutritional information ,spark has a recipe calculator (
Your submission could be published and by submitting your recipe you are giving your permission for publication

Learn More about the teaching garden


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Recipe Contest! Enter Your Healthy Recipe For College Cooking!

What have you cooked in your dorm room, with your friends, by yourself.
Share your successes and win prizes!
Send your healthy recipe entries to 

we also welcome dorm room friendly recipes, ethnic recipes, tips for eating healthy while in college both on and off campus. shopping tips.  Use your imagination and bring it on!

Have a recipe you want to try? GREAT! Try it tonight, tell us how it went and send a picture too! 

Look for the posters around campus.!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

MEET OUR FOOD COACH! Upcoming event and contact information

I'm very excited to introduce Jean Rodvold, UMD's Food Coach!
Far more than just a food coach Jean not only works to inform direction in Dining Services, she serving as a resource for staff, faculty and students.  If you have a question about your food here at UMD, what is in it, both ingredients as well as nutritional details, or maybe you would like some nutritional advice and guidance around your specific diet Jean is a fantastic resource. 
Having the chance to meet and work with Jean I can honestly say she is a great addition to UMD. She has already done great work that is not evident to the naked eye. She is a driving force in expediting having nutritional information available more readily and easily for all of us. She has made small but significant changes such as moving the gluten free bread from a bin in the sandwich bar to its own separate container off to the side.

Jean's bio and contact information is below. 
First... details about a free event providing a perfect opportunity to meet Jean and gain helpful information supporting our eating through the stress surviving finals week and the holidays.  And, let's be honest here... who couldn't use a boost around that time that has us feeling good and our brains at optimal capacity. When all systems are go and on full throttle keeping our nutritional support in place helps minimize the highs and lows keeping us consistently energized as well as smarter!
 "Eat Through Stress"
Monday December 3rd
Garden Room
Join us to talk about eating healthy during FINALS WEEK and through the holidays!!

Please join us!

Jean Rodvold, UMD Food Coach

Jean received her B.S. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She completed her dietetic internship at the Mayo Clinic, Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, MN. She worked as a Dietetic Technician at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN for two years before joining the University of Minnesota Duluth. She enjoys running in her spare time and is a self-proclaimed foodie.

Jean provides nutrition related expertise within both Dining Services and the UMD Employee Wellness Program. Her services are free to students under the Division of Student Life. UPlan members are able to schedule appointments with her under the Health Coaching Program.

Contact Jean with any nutrition related questions at (218) 726-8345 or
Check out Dining Services Nutrition website for nutrition, health and wellness resources, as well as information to help you eat well on campus,
For more information about the UMD Employee Wellness Program, visit

Welcome Jean!