Finals done? Check.
Bags packed? Check.
Gifts purchased? Almost!
For many of our readers, we are preparing to return home for the holidays – a time of fun and festivities. Before we return home though, we have the ‘chore’ of packing AND unpacking.
This fun chore has us with endless trips to our good ol’ bessie (or our Mom’s car), lots of sweat, and the need for a full meal once the last bag is packed (or strapped onto the top of the car). We reach for our soda or our last favorite ‘meal’ before returning home. As a sip our drink, we may think, ‘Wow, I am a little bit more out of breath than I thought I would be’ or even ‘New Years is around the corner, how can I get in better shape?’
With tons of information (and yes, misinformation) it is easy to be swayed to start a wonderful program and yes, start a program that may not be the safest for a college student.
College Lifestyles Editor-in-Chief Shelly Marie Redmond had the amazing opportunity to attend the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston, TX this past October to find out the answers on this topic. Redmond, a dietitian herself, always loves to find out the newest resources for her readers. While she ‘clowned’ a little with a nut and a mini-wheat, she also sat down with Academy Spokesperson Ruth Frechman, RD, CPT, and author of ‘The Food is my Friend Diet’ to discuss her pressing questions. Frechman recently completed a booking signing and speech at the University of Southern California on the best eating and fitness practices for college students. Frechman shared some tips and answered our questions on the topic.
College Lifestyles: What obstacles do college students face when developing a healthy eating and fitness plan?
Ruth Frechman: This is the first time one is truly ‘on their own.’ Students not only have the dining hall selections to deal with, but the grocery shopping and preparing their own snacks. Students may be stuck in class all day for a lab and run to the dining hall to see it is shut down. When it comes to fitness, a student may have been active in high school, but the sport or activity may not be available on campus at a time where the student can participate. The best way to overcome these obstacles is to plan ahead.
CL: What are some planning tips you have?
RF: When I work with students (and even the parents) we come up with a very basic plan. I always discuss how it can be very affordable to supply healthy snacks for the dorm/apartment and a ‘small’ gym in a dorm room. For the mini fridge and dorm food storage, I encourage the lower fat popcorn, yogurt, string cheese, mini milks, and cottage cheese. For setting up a gym in a small space, look to purchase a resistance band and possibly jump rope. If your dorm has stairs, take the stairs a few times daily. We want to keep it very simple.
CL: What are some apartment food combinations/recipes students can prepare that are quick and inexpensive?
RF: Some of my personal favorites include tortillas + cheese (melt in the microwave for 20 seconds), yogurt + nuts, tuna salad, and even a whole grain/high fiber cereal + milk.
CL: Let’s talk about the approaching holidays. What tips do you have for students to stay on a healthy plan?
RF: I tell students like I tell everyone, listen to your hunger cues and eat when you are hungry. It is very easy to overindulge during the holiday season simply because the food is out on the table.
For a fun stocking stuffer, you can purchase Ruth’s book, ‘The Food is My Friend Diet’ to start your New Year’s off on the right foot! For more information on Ruth, visit her website at www.ruthfrechman.com.