Student health: How to protect yourself from meningitis

Meningitis is common on college campuses due to crowded dorms and busy cafeteria settings. (Courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Meningitis is common on college campuses due to crowded dorms and busy cafeteria settings. (Courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Since March, Princeton University has seen seven cases of bacterial meningitis. What’s notable about the Princeton cases is that they are the rare strain B. Meningitis, which can arise in crowded dorm rooms on college campuses. Living and eating in close proximity, such as in college dorms, help spread the disease. Here is some information on meningitis, the risks for contracting it and tips for prevention. Also ask your student health center for information.

Causes and risks of meningitis

Meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes around your brain and spinal cord, is caused by a viral infection or a bacterial infection, the latter of which is the more serious form. Read more

Gluten-free recipes and tips for your Thanksgiving dinner menu

Your Thanksgiving meals can still taste delicious even when recipes are made to be gluten-free. (Courtesy of Ongjulian)

Your Thanksgiving meals can still taste delicious even when recipes are made to be gluten-free. (Courtesy of Ongjulian)

Thanksgiving may be over a week away but it’s a good time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving dinner menu. This is especially true if you’re going to need gluten-free recipes. The good news is that there are plenty of tasty gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes that will make your dinner a success. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

Gluten-free Thanksgiving

A good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the gluten-free lifestyle is at the site GlutenFreeGirl.com where Shauna James Ahern shares her vast knowledge about gluten-free cooking. Read more

Thanksgiving dinner on campus for international students

Credit: Michelle S. Kim, University Communications at UCIrvine

Credit: Michelle S. Kim, University Communications at UCIrvine

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up soon. Classes get out, vacation week starts and everyone packs up to go home. But international students and those who live far away might not be able to travel home over the break. No fear. College life doesn’t end with the holiday. There are many ways to have a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner in the company of others: attend a campus sponsored dinner, visit a local family, cook dinner in your dorm rooms or make a restaurant reservation. Read more

How to go green on campus—environmental ideas for college students

Being environmentally responsible even while in college is easier than one might think.

Being environmentally responsible even while in college is easier than one might think.

College life is all about studying, meeting new people, having some fun, figuring out who you are and … recycling? Well, while how to go green on campus may not be what first springs to mind for college students, there are a lot of environmental ideas they can incorporate into their university life. Whether you consider yourself a caped crusader for the environment or not, read on for some simple ways you can make a difference to the planet without breaking the bank.

On the cheap

Think that to go green you have to spend a lot of, well, green? Not so fast. Environmental ideas for college students don’t have to deplete your bank account. Read more

Seasonal farmers’ market offers whole foods for student health

Buying fresh produce locally is not only easy on the wallet, but the fresh food is also great for your health.

Buying fresh produce locally is not only easy on the wallet, but the fresh food is also great for your health.

This is the season for apples, homemade breads, pumpkin pie and artisan cheese. Get them all at your local farmers’ markets, which are springing up this fall and winter to feature a bounty of foods. College life doesn’t have to be bland and full of processed foods. Good student health means plenty of fruits, vegetables and fresh whole foods. Buy some fresh veggies, bread and apple cider at the farmers’ market, bring them home to your dorm rooms and have an indoor picnic on the floor. Read more

Surviving Thanksgiving away from home—Quick and easy dinner ideas

With a few helpful tips, you're sure to have the best Thanksgiving ever.

With a few helpful tips, you’re sure to have the best Thanksgiving ever.

The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. If you aren’t able to make it home to engage in the all-day turkey fest followed by a glutenous shopping trip that commences in the wee-small hours of the morning, never fear. Surviving Thanksgiving away from home is possible, from quick and easy dinner ideas that even you can manage to tips on meeting your significant other’s family. Whether you aren’t able to make the trip home because of time or budget constraints, or because you have plans to go to a friend’s, you can make it through the long holiday weekend away from kith and kin.

Create a home, away from home

Maybe you love hanging with your family, from your crazy Uncle Herb to your cousin who talks to her chia pet. Read more

Pumpkins! From pumpkin carving to pick your own

Now that it's Fall, pumpkins are very in season and can be used for many purposes.

Now that it’s Fall, pumpkins are very in season and can be used for many purposes.

It’s pumpkin fever! This is the time of year when this uber-popular winter squash is king. Pumpkins are being carved, roasted, baked into pastry and chucked. Colleges are hosting pumpkin carving contests and pumpkin drops. Check if your local farm offers pick your own pumpkins and if your local community has a pumpkin festival and corn maze. Get into the spirit of college life and do something with a pumpkin!

Pick your own pumpkin

This is the time of year when you can go to a local farm and pick your own pumpkin (“pepon,” Greek for large melon). Prices are per pound, and you can select the biggest one you can find, tiny ones for decorations, medium ones for carving or cooking or whatever size you find the most manageable. Farms may also have pick your own apples, apple cider, a corn maze, hay rides, and pies and breads. Read more

Eating healthy: Tips for quick healthy meals on the run

Eating from the salad bar of your college dining hall is a great option in order to maintain a healthy diet. (Courtesy of Tudokin)

Eating from the salad bar of your college dining hall is a great option in order to maintain a healthy diet. (Courtesy of Tudokin)

Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day even for essentials like eating and sleeping. So finding quick healthy meals that you can take and eat on the run is pretty important. Eating fast food or even school cafeteria fare can be tricky if you’re trying to avoid excess fat, salt and preservatives. Once you learn a few tips and tricks, you can save money and time while still eating healthy.

Do you eat healthy?

First off, don’t fool yourself that you’re already eating healthy. Just because you’ve declared yourself to be a vegetarian or a vegan doesn’t mean that you are. Read more

Study Tips: Top 10 Brain Boosting Super Foods

Not only are blueberries and strawberries delicious, they are also good for the brain!

Not only are blueberries and strawberries delicious, they are also good for the brain!

As midterms approach, remember this study tip: getting your mind and body in top shape can help increase your chances of acing those finals. So, resist the urge to pig out on junk food and turn your attention to healthy foods instead! In addition to getting plenty of sleep and exercise, eating a balanced diet rich in brain-boosting foods can help increase your mental sharpness, balance your mood and help you succeed. Even though the junk food may taste great  try not to give in! Instead, incorporate these 10 super foods into your life. Your body and your brain will thank you, and so will your GPA!

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College tips for student health and staying in shape

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh veggies are important components of a healthy diet!

How to be healthy in college? That’s a big question. With the dreaded “Freshman 15” weight gain looming, college may not evoke a place of healthy eating and exercise, what with the pizza, late parties and extensive napping. But some very common sense tips for college life can help you stay in shape and maintain student health while you’re juggling classes, a part-time job and a social life.

Exercise tips

Exercise: make a plan and do it. Map out a fitness schedule each day or a few days a week for some vigorous exercise to give your body and mind a good workout. Read more