Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement’s Health and Wellness Fair

Kayce Fuentes, Staff Writer

On advising day, the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement hosted a health fair for all students in order to learn how to be healthier in their everyday life.

On Nov. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. organizations such as the DISC, The Main Place Hair Salon, Planned Parenthood, Growing Strong (Sexual Assault Center), Decatur Memorial Hospital, Avon (the makeup company), Familia Dental and The Medical Spa set up in lower RTUC for students to enjoy. Students could also get a free haircut or massage at the fair.

The fair was a great way for students to get on top of their health. November is a stressful time in the semester, and with so many essays and projects, health often times gets pushed to the side. The fair gave students a chance to do something good for their wellbeing.

While visiting the health fair, freshman Cassie Marts said, “Being healthy makes you a better you and helps you live a long healthy life, and hey free stuff!”

One big thing at the health fair was keeping cancer in mind, mostly breast cancer and skin cancer. A few things that can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer is exercising, not smoking and keeping a good diet. According to the representatives at the Decatur Memorial Hospital table, people can reduce the risk of skin cancer by limiting their time in the sun and wearing sunscreen. They also discussed how it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise to prevent diabetes.

Also featured at the fair was plant-based cooking with the director of the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, Molly Berry. Berry shared some plant-based recipes with students of Millikin and even gave a demonstration.

“A plant based diet is a step beyond vegan,” Berry said. “You don’t eat any dairy or any meat. The main rule is, if it doesn’t grow, we don’t eat it.”

Berry started her vegan lifestyle after she watched a documentary entitled “Plants over Knives,” where she learned that meat has a lot of cancer causing agents, known as carcinogens.

While Berry admits that cooking with plants can be expensive, there are an abundance of health benefits with being plant based. Another positive element of a plant-based diet is that it’s an easy and healthy way to lose weight. The menu included tofu pad thai, red lentil dal, eggplant “meatballs” and pumpkin cookies.

“Being plant based is difficult, but you really just have to watch it, and it’s totally doable,” Berry said.

Berry also said that she gets many of her recipes from a blog she found called Happy Herbivore. Berry stated that she eats a lot of hummus and said that students can check out her Pinterest account for more plant-based recipes.

“You don’t need to be Rachel Ray to cook plant based, it’s easy!” Berry said.

The fair was meant to be informative about health and overall wellness. Stress can often be the prime suspect if students aren’t feeling their best. It was a nice way to give students a chance to take charge of their health and make it a top priority.