Q & A Thursday
Here are two great questions from a couple of my fabulous readers. Today’s questions are focused on healthy eating for college students but these tips can easily be applied to people on the go, busy moms, professionals, and people travelling for business.
I read your blog all of the time and am I huge believer and fan of everything you post! I manage to maintain a healthy diet.. when I’m at home! The problem/question I have is how to keep that same healthy diet while I’m away at college. Of course I exercise and eat as best I can but, do you have any tips or easy recipes for a broke college girl living on dining hall food and snacks between classes? I figured if there was anyone to ask it would be you!
I’m sorry you’ve been struggling with dorm food! I can relate, I’ve been there too… I would recommend starting each day with 16-32oz of green juice or a green smoothie. Green Smoothies are VERY easy to make and it should be really easy to make these in your room. You can get a cheap blender at Walmart or Target – Hamilton Beach makes a great 16oz travel blender too. You could probably get your fresh fruit (bananas, apples, grapes, oranges, etc. depending on what’s available) and possibly even spinach from the cafeteria. Blend everything up with a bit of water and ice (again you can get the ice from the cafeteria) and voila, a delicious green smoothie on the cheap!!
As far as snacks, things like apples, carrot sticks, Hummus or guacamole for dipping, and green smoothies will all travel well. When I was in school I would bring fruit like apples & grapes, mineral water (you can flavor it with lemon/lime & stevia, see recipe here), herbal teas, a veggie sandwich or a thermos of veggie soup which I made in a crock pot (best invention for college students, btw!).
While eating at the dining hall, focus your meals around lots of veggies, both cooked and raw. Veggies, veggies, veggies!!! Start each meal with a large raw salad, load it up with assorted veggies as desired, then move on to your dinner meal which should be focused around lots of veg as well with smaller portions of starch and/or protein.
I have been following your blog for about a month now
I am on a Division I College Varsity women’s rowing team and have been rowing for 7 years. This year I am “red-shirting” because I have a disc herniation in my lower back which I am going to need surgery for. Since I have been out of the rowing loop, I have taken the time to think about how I can improve other aspects of my life and your blog was definitely an inspiration. Perhaps if I improve areas in my life, like my diet, I will feel better about myself and my health even if this back issue is constantly causing me pain. It becomes more clear to me everyday how true the saying “you are what you eat” is. I have always viewed my diet as “healthy,” eating a lot of lean animal proteins and cooked veggies, etc., but I am trying to incorporate more raw veggies into my diet and fewer animal products.
Anyway, in reading your “about” section, I saw that you too were an athlete in college. What sport did you play? What made you turn to your new version of a “healthy” diet versus what you thought was healthy?
Yes, I was a college athlete too! I was a springboard diver for 13 years.
How did I get into this field? Well, I continued my training after college at the University of Texas and although I was training with Olympic Coaches and some of the best athletes in the world, something just wasn’t right. I couldn’t maintain my weight, I would fluctuate up and down, get depressed, anxious, my skin was breaking out like crazy, and basically I just had this constant nagging feeling like “this is not me”.
It’s hard to explain. I was training in the best facilities, with some of the best coaches and athletes in the world and although my physical performance was improving, I just couldn’t shake feeling that there should be more. I didn’t feel confident in my own skin. I didn’t feel good and I knew there was something holding me back from reaching my highest potential. BUT HOW COULD THIS BE?! I was in EXACTLY the right place with EXACTLY the right people! In addition, I also had a reoccurring back injury (like you) that just wouldn’t go away. I’m sure the injury was in part attributed to so many years of intense training but interestingly enough, once I changed my diet, my back healed.
That’s where food and nutrition came in. The body – mind connection is absolutely astounding. Nutrition is, of course, fundamental for a healthy body but it is also a fundamental part of our mood and sense of emotional well being. Once I learned to properly food combine, starve the yeast, and truly cleanse via colonics, my physical, emotional, and spiritual & physical health skyrocketed! I’m still on the path and I must say it gets easier and more fulfilling with each month and year that passes. Just like sports, you have your good and your bad days but you are always working towards feeling and performing your best. That is what has kept me motivated and on the path for so long.
I used to think that a healthy diet consisted of lots of protein, yogurt, diet foods, fat-free foods, sports drinks, and “healthy snacks” like wheat crackers, pretzels, etc. Now I focus my meals around REAL, UNPROCESSED FOOD predominantly focusing on veggies, both cooked and raw. Veggies, veggies, veggies!! With an injury, you need as much mineralization as possible in order to get better. Vegetables are also going to be much easier to digest thus putting less pressure on the intestines – most people don’t think about the fact that an inflamed intestine puts undue pressure on the discs in back. All acid foods result in inflammation to some degree.
If you are looking to change your diet I recommend focusing on LOTS of vegetables, some lean protein like eggs & goat cheese, and a moderate amount of whole grains like millet, buckwheat, quinoa, and sprouted bread. Have fun making different recipes and trying fun, new combinations.
For breakfast have 16-32oz of:
Try these recipes for lunch and dinner:
- Sweet Potato Fries, Rosted Beets, Italian Cauliflower with Marinara
- Summer Salad
- Bean Free Hummus
- Egg & Avocado
- Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
- Healthy Ice Cream
- Zucchini wraps
- Chocolate Milkshake
- Crispy Chicken Salad
- Veggie Stew
- Potato Leek Soup
I hope these answers have provided all of you with some insight on how to adapt a healthier lifestyle. I say it all the time, but there is no better feeling then the one that comes from true health!
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