Day 4 – Navigating the Grocery Store

There are about 600,000 food items in a grocery store. Eighty percent of them have added sugar. Food is marketed to get you to buy it with words like “Reduced Fat,” “Diet,” and “Light.” When you take the fat out of food or reduce the calories, it still has the same amount of sugar. Three reduced fat oreos are just as bad for you as three regular oreos. Diet Coke is just as bad for you as regular Coke, in fact, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda makes your body crave sugar even more. So how do you navigate a grocery store when you’re bombarded with all these unhealthy choices?


It’s not easy, especially when you’re going completely sugar free. I almost started chewing some Orbit Sweet Mint while I waited for the guy at the deli counted before I realized it has added sugar. The biggest tip is to stick to the outside of the store- the food in the aisles is more likely to be processed and packed with sugar. When you do venture down an aisle, read the label! Unfortunately, you can’t just look for sugar. There are over fifty different names for sugar including galactose, panocha, dextran, and muscovado. My rule of thumb is if there is an ingredient in the list I don’t know I put it back, even if it isn’t sugar it’s something my body can do without. Also be weary of packages that try and advertise a “healthier” sugar. Whether it’s cane sugar, agave nectar, natural sugar, or anything else our body processes them all the same, and too much of them will lead to metabolic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.


With all these rules is there anything left to buy in the grocery store besides apples and eggs? You bet! Here is what I bought on my last trip to the grocery store:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Pepperidge Farm Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • Thomas Whole Grain English Muffins
  • Turkey Breast (from the Deli Counter)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Chobani Original Greek Yogurt
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Nash Brother’s Trading Company Organic Pasta Sauce
  • Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter
  • Eggs
  • Skim Milk
  • Triscuit Brown Rice Sea Salt & Black Pepper Crackers
  • Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate
  • Feta Cheese
  • Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Less Sodium Soy Sauce
  • The Ojai Cook Lemonaise Light (Mayo)


Keep in mind, bread needs sugar for the yeast to rise, so I’ve given myself a little leeway. There’s nothing wrong with bread, but look for whole wheat bread. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Stay tuned for sneaky foods you think are good for you, but are really packed with sugar, and some better alternatives!

All statistics and facts from Fed Up 

Soeching, S. (Soeching, S., Olson, S., Marson, E., Lazure, K., Gibson, S., & Couric, K.).(2014). Fed Up [Film]. Atlas Films


Day 1 – Fed Up Challenge

It is no surprise the United States has a problem with obesity. In 2010, 57,638 adolescents were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In 1980 that number was zero. It is predicted that by 2050 one third of all Americans will suffer from the disease. The solution has always been to eat less and exercise more, but that’s not the solution. To burn off the calories in a 20oz coke you would have to bike for an hour and fifteen minutes. For one cookie? You’d have to jog for twenty minutes. One hour and twelve minutes of swimming is equal to a medium sized fry. Realistically speaking, we cannot burn the amount of calories we eat, and not all calories are created equal.


When you eat sugar, your body processes it in the liver. When the liver reaches its limit, the pancreas produces excess insulin. Insulin turns sugar into fat and blocks the signal to your brain telling you you’re full. This leads to feelings of hunger, crabbiness, tiredness, and overall just not wanting to do anything. So why do we eat so much of it? Studies have shown that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine, and it’s everywhere! You can buy junk food at the checkout of any store, be it Gordy’s or Best Buy. When you walk into Davies you’re bombarded with junk food options just a step past the cashiers.


Because of this, eating better is hard. It requires time and effort. You have to cook real food instead of relying on packaged meals and long lists of artificial ingredients. Following the Office of Sustainability’s showing of Fed Up I have decided to take the Fed Up Challenge. For ten days I will not be eating any added sugar. I will avoid processed foods and unknown ingredients. I will make use of my stove. I will share with all of you what it feels like to be sugar free. Right now, it’s not that great, and I am craving chocolate covered everything, but after ten days who knows. Will I feel more productive? Have more energy? Maybe even a little more money without feeling the need to buy a candy bar whenever the craving strikes me? Keep checking back for grocery lists, recipes, and healthier alternatives to processed foods. In the meantime, I’ll settle for some carrot sticks over a handful of sour patch kids…

All statistics and facts from Fed Up 

Soeching, S. (Soeching, S., Olson, S., Marson, E., Lazure, K., Gibson, S., & Couric, K.).(2014). Fed Up [Film]. Atlas Films

Fitness-Student Orgs Edition

Looking for a more social way to stay fit? Learn about all the organizations on campus that blend your physical, social, and emotional well being!


The Badminton Club meets Wednesdays from 6-9 and Saturday from 12:30-4:30 in McPhee. You can find out more by joining their Facebook group, Badminton Club UWEC.

Cross Country Sking

Also known as the Nordic Ski Team, they get together and enjoy the snow either by skiing recreationally or through competition. Their meeting times and places vary. If you’re interested join their Facebook group, UWEC Cross Country Ski Team.


The majority of the Cycling Club open group rides occur in the fall, but anybody interested in getting involved should contact the captain Luke Rankin ( or like their Facebook page, UW-Eau Claire Cycling Club.


The Dodgeball Club meets on Fridays from 7:30-9:30 and Sundays from 4-6 in McPhee. You can find out more by joining their Facebook group, Eau Claire Dodgeball.



Ever see people playing a game with plastic bats and rubber balls on campus? That’s Johnball! They meet Mondays from 5-7 and Saturdays from 2-4. Right now they’re playing in McPhee, but when the weather is nice they play in Towers Field. You can find out more by joining their Facebook group, Eau Claire Chapter of Johnball.



The Equestrian Club, also known as Blugolds Horsin’ Around, is a group that gets together to talk about and ride horses. Their meeting place varies, but they hold meetings every Tuesday at 6pm. To find out more and when you can get out and ride join their Facebook Group, UWEC Equestrian Club – Blugolds Horsin’ Around!

Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do

The Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do is a martial arts club. They meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 in the McPhee wrestling room. They also will offer a free self-defense class on February 25, from 7-8, in McPhee’s dance studio. You can find out more by requesting to join their Facebook group at UWEC Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do.


Internazionale is a club that meets for pick up games of soccer. They often meet on Fridays, but the location and time varies. Find out where to find a game and more by liking their Facebook page, Internazionale Eau Claire.


Men’s Rugby

The Men’s Club Rugby Team is always looking for more players. They currently have two to three practices a week in McPhee. To find out more and get involved contact the president Michael Lindquist (

Women’s Rugby

Just like the Men’s Club Team, the Women’s Club Rugby Team is also looking for more players. They practice Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9pm on McPhee Track and Sundays from 4-6 in the Ade Olson addition in McPhee. You can find out more by liking their Facebook page, UWEC Women’s Rugby.


Women’s Lacrosse

The Women’s Lacrosse team is also looking for more players. Their Facebook page is currently under construction, however; anybody interested in playing can email

Mixed Martial Arts

The Mixed Martial Arts meet in the McPhee wrestling room Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:30-8 and Sunday 6:30-10. To find out more you can like their Facebook page, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Mixed Martial Arts Club.


Ping Pong

The Ping Pong Club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 and Fridays from 4-6 in the McPhee Racquetball Courts. You can find out more by joining their Facebook group, UWEC Pin Pong Club.


The Running Club is currently looking for more members to help organize group runs. If interested, contact president Kelly Cronin ( (507-322-8300). You can also join their Facebook group, Running Club of UWEC.

Salsa Clara

Salsa Carla is a club where members can get together and salsa dance. Meetings are on Tuesday nights from 6-8 at the Lookout. The meetings start with dance lessons and ends with a free dance. When El Patio opens on Water Street again, they will meet there on Thursday nights too. To find out more join their Facebook group, UWEC Salsa Clara.


The Triathlon Club works to help students interested in all aspects of a triathlon, biking, running, swimming, or all three. Meeting times vary, so to find out when to meet and train join the Facebook page, UWEC Triathlon Team.

Two to Tango

Two to Tango is a dance club that teaches a variety of different dance styles. They meet in the McPhee Dance Studio Sundays from 6:30-8:30. You can find out more by joining their Facebook group, Two to Tango.

Waterski & Wakeboard

With the river frozen, the Waterski and Wakeboard Team only holds a couple meetings a month, but will meet weekly once the weather warms up. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Emily Kutchera ( or Dylan Sturtevant ( or join the Facebook group, UWEC Water Ski and Wakeboard Team.

You can find out more information about the clubs listed here, and all student organizations, by visiting and checking out our video from the Blugold Organization Bash in Student 101 coming out on March 1!

Step It Up

How many of you set New Year’s Resolutions on losing weight, working out more, eating healthy, etc.? Well, SWATeam is here to help you! Last year we wrote this post about how resolutions don’t usually work ( and while we stick by this, we are launching a new challenge to help you create lasting lifestyle changes. We have teamed up with University Recreation and other campus organizations and offices to create Step It Up—a 6-week program that highlights a new exercise and nutritional goal each week. We will also be highlighting resources and recipes to help with the challenge.

Along the way we will motivate you with our app that lets you track your progress, events around campus that relate to current challenges, and prizes! This challenge has been almost a year in the making and we are very excited for everyone to try it. We launch on Sunday, March 1st and go three weeks, then a week off for spring break before continuing and wrapping up the last three weeks. Remember, the best way to make life changes is to be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely in your goals. There is no penalty for not completing the challenges, we just wish everyone to try their best and try new things when it comes to taking care of your health. Our goal is that participants learn new ways to keep health at the forefront and create good habits that last a lifetime. If you’re looking to make some lifestyle changes or simply want a challenge then I encourage you to join! So, are you ready to Step It Up?