Avoiding the freshman 15

By on September 3, 2014

The “Freshman Fifteen” is an interesting concept that has come about over the years, but is this really the fate for all college freshmen? Well, some freshmen tend to eat more because of the availability and variety of food provided by college cafeterias. But on the other hand, if the food is redundant, not as tasty or well-prepared, students will tend to eat less.

Regardless of the scenario, eating is important. With that simple fact comes the responsibility of also gaining the proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals from food that the body needs in order to function.  Just because students are not home and no longer have “mom’s cooking,” does not in any way mean that being healthy and eating healthy is not possible.

Being healthy all starts with the food that is put into the body. Some students don’t find the cafeteria food appealing. Despite this, both cafeterias on campus have healthy options that encourage and promote a healthy living style. Some students can be picky eaters, but nonetheless, there is always something to eat for everyone and for different dietary needs.

Sophomore Matt Dillane describes himself as health-conscious and says he’s always looking to improve his eating habits.

“I work out a lot and need a regimented eating style,” Dillane said. “So the fact that I can go to the cafeteria and try something new and healthy every day is very a important step in my progress.”

College is a try-new-things experience, so the least students can do is try new food.  According to CNN Health, eating cultural foods such as couscous, hummus, or even a roll of sushi, is a great way to incorporate multiple food groups, as well as adding variety to an eating style.

Of course eating an assortment of raw fruits and vegetables is also beneficial, but eating them in a unique, different form, is just as rewarding for the body. Take broccoli for example. Not many people love raw broccoli or broccoli by itself; so change it up and try cheddar broccoli soup. Not a fan of soup? Get stir-fry with broccoli, or pizza with broccoli— the options are practically endless.

For those students who love healthy eating but do not think the cafeteria reaches their standards, or those students who love healthy eating but are on a tight budget, have no fear. For one, every week in the fall and the spring at QU, local farmers markets come to campus, selling fresh produce, breads, mixes and other goodies that are easily accessible.

Shuttles on campus can take students to local supermarkets and areas where students can get all the healthy food they desire.

“When I was a freshman, my friends and I would explore places that sold organic food,” sophomore Amy Hooker said. “One of our favorites is the ‘Elm City Market’, which is in short walking distance of the New Haven, Chapel Street shuttle stop and provides a variety of organic food.”

It’s possible to get healthy food, even if you are on a budget. Taking some time to plan out costs, as well as searching for coupons that can be used at grocery stores will be extremely helpful and will get students the food they need to be on a healthy track.

What many people do not understand is that food, whether good or bad, is acceptable to eat.  The issue forms when people eat too much of one thing, leaving deficiencies in everything else.

The Mayo Clinic website states “vitamin B 12 is found in various foods, including fish, egg yolk, milk, and fermented cheeses” and that “seafood, red meat, poultry, beans, spinach, and peas are foods rich in iron”; if these foods are lacking in the body, then deficiencies become clear and may cause further symptoms.

Moderation and variety is really the best way to fix the problem and ensure a well-rounded diet. Have a doughnut once in a while, but never forget about the vegetables, fruits, proteins and dairy products that need to be in every body.

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