Did you know we have a Registered Dietitian here for you?
NMU’s Registered Dietitian is here to help you!

Health-conscious? Vegan? Gluten-free? Diabetic? We can help!

Our goal is to provide our guests with a pleasurable dining experience while encouraging a balanced lifestyle, culinary exploration and community interaction. We ensure guest satisfaction by providing delicious, well-balanced meals, exceptional guest service and innovative award winning programs.

NMU’s Registered Dietitian has 18 years of dietitian experience and in-depth knowledge in menu planning, nutrition, and working with students who have specific allergies or dietary needs.

Contact Brett with any dining questions or set up a free consultation to discuss your unique dietary needs. He can be reached at 906.227.2520 or

Food Allergies & Special Dietary Needs +

We are happy to work with you in accommodating your special diet. We have trained our dining staff and student employees to be aware of food allergies and how to handle situations involving students with food allergies. Feel free to discuss ingredient information with any of our dining services staff.  You can also utilize MyMenu to find out what menu selections are for each day of the week.

For our guests with special diets, (i.e. vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free) we provide a separate refrigerator stocked with foods such as gluten-free breads, cereals, tortillas, desserts, various snack foods, dressings and sauces. We also stock vegan soy milk, cheeses, spreads and desserts.  At Northern Lights Dining, Robin’s Nook is our allergen friendly room.  For access, please contact us at

Although NMU Dining has done its best to provide accurate information, we ask diners with food allergies to be responsible about their diets. If you have a life threatening allergy we recommend that you wear a medic alert bracelet and share this information with the Dining Services staff, your Resident Advisor, and medical professionals. It may also be prudent to alert your roommate and friends, so they will be able to assist you in the case of a reaction.

NMU Dining has identified soy, wheat, milk, eggs, MSG, tree nuts, peanuts, sunflower, shellfish, fish, and sesame in our products. Although NMU Dining has done their best to provide accurate information with regard to allergens in our foods, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information presented on MyMenu.

Vegan/Vegetarian +

This healthy eating guide has been developed to help persons excluding animal products from their diet. Its aim is to guide food selection that meets the recommended daily intake as determined by the American Dietetics Association. Use of fortified foods or supplementation can be helpful in meeting recommendations.

Plant Based Diet: Healthy Eating Guide

Protein (g) Fiber (g) Water (oz) Iron (mg) Calcium (mg) Vit. D (ug) Vit. B12 (ug) Zinc (mg)Men 60-70* 38 64 10 1000 5 2.4 15Women 50-60* 30 64 15 1000 5 2.4 15

(based on a 2000 calorie daily intake) *Daily protein requirement: .8g protein per kg body weight


  • B12 supplementation is essential for persons omitting all animal products from diet.
  • Calcium supplementation recommended for women if requirements are not being met through daily food choices.
  • Multivitamin with iron recommended for persons unable to achieve nutritional balance through diet.
  • Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables can enhance iron absorption.
  • Vitamin D supplementation recommended when sun exposure or intake of fortified foods is insufficient.

A Good Source Of…

Calcium Protein Iron Zinc Vitamin D Omega 3 Fatty Acids Vitamin B12 RiboflavinDry Beans Tofu Fortified breads/grains Bran flakes Fortified cow's milk Flax seed Fortified cereal MilkFortified soy products Dry beans Tomato juice Wheat germ Eggs Walnuts Fortified soy milk AsparagusTofu Milk Dry beans Dry beans Fortified cereals/grains Canola Oil Nutritional yeast BananasAlmonds + Almond butter Eggs Tofu Tofu Sunlight exposure Tofu Milk productsDark leafy greens Grains Seeds and nuts Pumpkin Seeds Fortified orange juice Nuts Dried fruits Textured vegetable protein Yogurt Milk

Exercise/PEIF +

There are an endless number of fun and exciting ways to get exercise into your day while at NMU. Available is the PEIF, outdoor trails, and much more.

Recreational sports and outdoor options from the PEIF:

Healthy Choices at Northern Lights Dining +

Making healthy choices can seem like a daunting task when faced with pizza, cheeseburgers, and fried food on a daily basis. However, with a little bit of planning, you can easily make better choices to keep your waistline in check. For daily nutrition information regarding menus at  Northern Lights Dining, check out MyMenu.

Here are some suggestions for healthier eating at Northern Lights Dining: Get Creative

Also, keep in mind portion sizes when eating, even during a healthier meal. Use this document on portions to help you keep your food servings to a reasonable size. “What is a portion size?”

Sports Nutrition +

Eating right when you’re a college-level athlete can be a challenge. Use the following resources to help guide you to a better plate, which will ultimately lead to a better performance! Eating Right Before Exercise
Exercise Hydration
Eating Right For a Healthy Weight
Smart Snacking

Additional Resources +

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an organization of food and nutrition professionals. It contains a wealth of information, contacts, and is a great resource for whatever your nutrition questions are!
Nutrition & Weight Management Program BMI, or Body Mass Index is one way to assess health by measuring fat based on weight and height. It is most accurate for sedentary or moderately active people, as athletes tend to have a much higher muscle mass than fat mass than an average person.
The National Institute of Health has an entire page with links on “Wellness” that is extensive and helpful.
The American Heart Association offers novel ways to live and eat for optimum heart health.

Diabetes +

Diabetes can be considered a set of chronic metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar. The term diabetes can be divided into two main types, including type I and type II diabetes. Another form, gestational diabetes, is specific to pregnancy. While each type is characterized by a various physiological impairments, all affect blood sugar levels, which overtime can lead to other complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, skin infections and even nerve damage.

Normally, when you consume a meal, your blood sugar will rise and the body will signal insulin to release in order to control the rising blood glucose levels. The glucose that leaves the blood stream will be used to fuel your body or stored for later use. Blood glucose is necessary for normal functions, but problems result when it’s not regulated in the body. In a diabetic person, this regulation system is impaired and blood glucose levels remain elevated after consuming meals. Overtime, high blood sugar can lead to other health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet reveals that the prevalence of diabetes is increasing, with a total of 25.8 million children and adults in the United States or 8.3% of the population diagnosed with type I or II diabetes. In Michigan specifically, 9.5% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes. With the rise of diabetes, comes a rise in risk and a need for prevention and treatment. Obtaining a basic understanding of each type of diabetes and its associated treatment options and required lifestyle changes will aid in the prevention and incidence of diabetes.

Prediabetes is a term that describes elevated blood glucose levels not quite high enough to fall under the diabetic category. Those with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type II diabetes and also are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Prediabetic people can reduce their risk of diabetes with modest weight loss and by incorporating moderate physical activity into their daily routine. These lifestyle changes can also help blood glucose levels return to normal.

Type I Diabetes
Type I diabetes is less common, but still increasing in prevalence. Type I diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes because the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Remember, insulin should rise when blood sugar levels rise to maintain balance. Type I diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease, for the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result of limited insulin, blood glucose cannot be controlled and insulin injections are needed to maintain proper glucose levels.

Treatment: Treatment for type I diabetes includes taking insulin or another injectable medication, making wise food choices, being physically active, and controlling other health values such as blood pressure and cholesterol.

Type II diabetes
The majority of those with diabetes are considered to have type II diabetes. With type II, “non-insulin-dependent” diabetes, the pancreas produces a reduced amount of insulin or the cells fail to respond to the released insulin. Initially, the pancreas can compensate when the fat, muscle and liver cells do not use insulin properly and more insulin is needed to keep up with the demand. However, in time, the pancreas loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to consuming meals.

People can develop type II diabetes at any age. Being overweight and inactive increases the chance of developing type II diabetes significantly.

Treatment:Diet and regular physical activity can help manage type II diabetes. Diabetic medications are also available to help treat type II diabetes.

blood glucose chart

Signs and Symptoms:
One may have one or more signs or no signs at all. A blood test to check blood glucose levels will show whether or not one is prediabetic or diabetic.
• Being very thirsty
• Urinating often
• Feeling very hungry or tired
• Losing weight without trying
• Having sores that heal slowly
• Having dry, itchy skin
• Losing the feeling in your feet , numbness
• Having blurry eyesight.

There are several tests available to assess one’s blood glucose levels and determine whether or not one has diabetes. All diabetes blood tests involve drawing blood at a health care provider’s office and sending the sample to a lab for analysis. Note that finger-sticking devices may be a quick indicator of high blood glucose, but are not accurate to diagnosis diabetes. Tests that can be used for diagnosis include: an A1C test (hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin test), a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

A1C test
The A1C test is used to detect type II diabetes and prediabetes. This blood test reflects a three month average of a person’s blood glucose levels. The A1C test is ideal for patients because fasting is not required and the timing of the test is not a factor. The resulting values of the test are evaluated as percentages. An A1C of 5.7-6.4% indicates prediabetes, while a level above 6.5% indicates diabetes. A value of 6.0% should be monitored closely because the value is considered high risk for diabetes.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG)
The FPG test is the most common test for detecting diabetes and prediabetes. This test measures blood sugar in a person who has fasted for 8 hours or more. A prediabetic or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) reading falls between 100 to 125 mg/dL . Any value above 126mg/dL is considered a diabetic reading. A repeat test the following day is used to confirm the condition.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
The OGTT test is used to diagnose diabetes, prediabetes as well as gestational diabetes. The OGTT test is less convenient to administer, for the person must fast for 8 hours and then consume a liquid containing 75g of glucose every 2 hours. If the resulting readings fall between 140 and 199 mg/dL, the values are determined prediabetic. Any value above 200mg/dL indicates diabetes. A second test will be administered to confirm the reading.

blood test levels

Source:Adapted from American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2012. Diabetes Care. 2012;35(Supp 1):S12, table 2.

Based on the Diabetes Prevention Program, people can reduced their risk of diabetes by losing 5-7% of their body weight. Positive dietary changes and increased physical activity are vital components to reducing one’s risk of diabetes. Knowing your risk of developing diabetes based on genetics, current lifestyle and environmental factors is important. Click on the link below and follow the simple steps to assess your risk of developing diabetes through the American Diabetic Association website using My Health Advisor.

Learn more:
The information provided is intended to give you an overview and basic understanding of diabetes and the associated treatments and complications. If you’d like to know more, resources in the Marquette and the Upper Peninsula are provided to direct you to reliable information and centers. Check out the interactive tutorial from Medlineplus to obtain a visual and auditory means of understanding diabetes.

Interactive tutorial

Diagnosis of Diabetes and Prediabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. August 2012.

Diagnosed Diabetes Prevalence and Incidence in Adults. Michigan Department of Community Health. 2013.,1607,7-132-2940_2955_2980_3168-237782–,00.html/

Diabetes Statistics. American Diabetes Association. January 2011.

Type I Diabetes Facts. JDRF. 2013.

What Diabetes is. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. December 2011


Resources Available:

Additional Materials

Diabetes in Michigan

Northern Michigan University

  • Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center is NMU’s medical facility offering diabetes care
    Northern Michigan University
    1401 Presque Isle Avenue
    Marquette, MI 49855

Marquette County Resources

  • Marquette County Health Department
    184 U.S. Highway 41 East
    Negaunee, MI 49866
    Phone: (906) 475-9977
    Fax: (906) 475-9312
  • MSU Cooperative Extension
    Marquette County Extension
    200 West Spring Street
    Marquette 49855-4630
    (906) 226-4370
  • Michigan Diabetes Outreach Network
    2803 US 41 West
    Marquette, MI 49855
    Phone: (906) 228-9203
    (800) 369-9522
  • Marquette General Health System
    (906) 225-3473
    Health related links:
    For diabetes education:
  • Bell Memorial Hospital, Ishpeming
    (906) 486-4431
  • Wellness Council of the Upper Peninsula
    Encourages active involvement in fitness programs
  • Get Moving UP (related to lifestyle)
    A “region-wide initiative to prevent obesity and improve health by increasing lifestyle physical activity”.

Organization and Association web links

Eating Disorders +


What are eating disorders?
An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also characterize an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorders not otherwise specified.
What is Anorexia nervosa? Anorexia nervosa is characterized by extremely restricted eating leading to severe weight loss and may or may not include purging behaviors, such as vomiting, use of diet pills or laxatives, and/or excessive exercise. Characteristics of this disease include extreme thinness, lack of menstruation among girls and women, distorted self-body image, osteoporosis, and an intense fear of gaining weight.

What is Bulimia nervosa?
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control of these episodes. This binge-eating is usually followed for self-induced vomiting, excessive us of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise or any combination of these. People who are bulimic often are of normal weight or slightly overweight but suffer from many other symptoms such as worn tooth enamel and tooth decay, severe dehydration, gastrointestinal problems and a chronically inflamed or sore throat.

What is a Binge-eating disorder?
Binge eating is when a person loses control over his or her eating. This problem is similar to bulimia nervosa except periods of binge eating do not end with purging; therefore people with this disorder are often overweight or obese. This puts these people at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. This overeating often leads to them experiencing feeling of guilt or bouts of depression about their binge eating which can lead them to binge eat even more. Obesity, or over-weight, is not an eating disorder, but a size. People who are large may be healthy and fit. One’s normal, healthy body size may be any weight, depending largely on one’s genetics.

What is Eating disorder not otherwise specified?
Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is an eating disorder that does not meet the criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Individuals with EDNOS usually fall into one of three categories: they have some, but not all, of the symptoms of anorexia or bulimia nervosa; they have mixed symptoms of either eating disorders or abnormal eating behaviors not usually characterized with either of those eating disorders.

What is normal eating?

  • Becoming in tune with the signals your body sends to tell you when it’s full.
    Leaving some food on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow.
    Overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And undereating at times and wishing you had more.
  • Trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
  • Takes some of your time and attention but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
  • Eating 3 large meals during the day or 4-5 smaller ones.
  • Enjoying every bite of food you take in.
  • Making thoughtful decisions about the food that you buy.

How can I tell if my friend, roommate, family member has an eating disorder?
Look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Daily strenuous exercising
  • Large changes in weight
  • Anxiety and depression over concern of shape or weight
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of menstrual cycle in females
  • Yellow skin, muscle weakness, thinning of hair
  • Distorted body image
  • Eating tiny portions of food or not eating at all
  • Calluses on fingers from sticking them down the throat
  • Avoiding social situations, especially if food is involved
  • Inability to regulate body temperature
  • Sleep problems
  • Disappearing after eating

What resources do I have on campus? If you believe a close friend or family member may have an eating disorder, you may want to express your concern and encourage him/her to seek professional counseling. Professional treatment can help the person understand the causes of their problem and develop methods for getting the disordered behaviors under control. For further resources contact any of these options:

Registered Dietitian, NMU Dining Services. 1401 Presque Isle Ave. Room 1103, University Center, Marquette, MI 49855. (906)227-6624

NMU Counseling and Consultation Services 1401 Presque Isle Ave. Suite 3405 C.B. Hedgecock Student Service Center, Marquette, MI 49855. 906-227-2980

Vielmetti Health Center 1401 Presque Isle Ave. 1st Floor, Gries Hall, Marquette, MI 49855. 906-227-2355.

Marquette General Hospital 580 W. College Ave, Marquette, MI 49855. 906-225-3221

National Eating Disorders Association Toll Free Help Line 1-800-931-2237

Student Health 101 +

Student Health 101 is a monthly online magazine that gives NMU students a way to connect with the health and wellness issues that are most prevalent on campus.
Read it!

Health and Wellness Initiatives +

[accordion title=”Health and Wellness Initiatives”]“Live Well, Wildcats!” As we begin a new year here at NMU, we have also begun a new initiative aimed at promoting health in all aspects including physical, dietary, emotional, social, medical, spiritual, and the promotion of health in general. Below you will find resources that have been chosen by our registered dietitian that will provide additional aid or information for you on campus.If you have questions on certain topics beyond what these websites and handouts offer, please contact NMU Dining at, and remember to Live Well!Health Promotions
906 227 1455
1201-1202 University CenterSchool of Health and Human Performance
906 227 2130
201 PEIFHealth Center
906 227 2355
Ground Floor of GriesCounseling Center
3405 C.B. Hedgecock
906 227 2980 On Campus Ministries

Policies and Procedures +

For access to Robin’s Nook, our allergen friendly room at Northern Lights Dining, please contact Registered Dietitian Brett Peterson at or by calling 906-227-6624.
Robin’s Nook Policy and Procedures
Robin’s Nook User Agreement

More Info

Registered Dietitian featured on Channel 3
Hear Brett Peterson talk about healthy lifestyles

Check out monthly presentations on all topics Nutrition. View the archives.
Nutrition Presentations