I could go on and on about nutrition considering it's something I have a passion for, but that doesn't sound like the most fun post for the blog. So, as the bulletin board in my hall informed me, it is National Nutrition Month - weeee!
I know this isn't a huge deal, but I thought I'd take the time to jump aboard the "healthy on campus" wagon and share my fastest tips to eating healthy...especially since I have come to realize it is one of the hardest things you'll do all year.
So, just try your hand (or mouth I guess?) at these quick tips and feel the difference. I cannot wait until I'm in my house next year, so I can share some easy and healthy recipes, but for now, I'm all about that meal plan life.
1. Load up on veggies
-When in doubt, get the veggies. The dining hall may be lacking in the yummy department, but they do tend to have a pretty good supply of vegetables. I hope you can say the same for your campus, and if not, write a strongly worded letter or lay down in front of the dish dispenser with a clever sign or something. Your veggies should take up more of your plate than anything else.
2. White meat over dark/red
-I actually haven't eaten red meat for about six years now. (Backstory: When the book, "The Last Song" came out, I wanted to be just like Roni and be a vegetarian. My parents were worried for my health, so they said I could just eliminate red meat. I call myself an almost-vegetarian, and I also allow myself to eat bacon if I can't find turkey bacon.) Anyways, try having the chicken breast over the hamburger patty.
3. Make sure you get some fruit in there, too
-Especially super fruits like blueberries, bananas, and grapefruits, for these carry beneficial antioxidants and fibers. Since fruit tends to be heavy on sugar, I'll consider it my dessert and be wise with my serving.
4. As always, WATER
-I think about the rule we used to have at my summer camp: two glasses of water before juice. I always have water with my meal - not because I'm a health freak and feel like shunning other beverages but because it's the easiest way to make sure I get enough water in my day. If I've had a glass or two with lunch and dinner, I know I'm keeping well hydrated. Try it!
5. DO make sure you eat enough
-Sometimes I get a little bent out of shape that my dining hall doesn't have the best options, so I don't eat enough and I'm hungry within an hour. I developed a solution: I keep food in my room to have if the dining hall doesn't pull through. Let's say I go in for lunch one day and all I can find to eat is some veggies. Since this isn't enough, I keep tuna cups in my room. If tuna isn't your thing you could keep some microwavable grilled chicken or even turkey sausage back at your dorm.
6. Don't restrict yourself
-Eating healthy isn't dieting and eating healthy isn't restricting yourself. Nourish your body with what it needs to work properly and stay balanced. You can totally have that cookie on those days where the bake them just right. It's all about balance!
I hope these tips help. If you'd like more information on National Nutrition Month visit eatright.org to find out more.