Not only is it hard to find time to get to the gym at college, apparently its also hard to find well cooked food in the dining halls. Being physically fit isn’t just about exercising 3-5 times a week, so why is it that dining halls are almost always lacking in the health department? While the school does do a good job in putting a good selection of healthy foods out, they aren’t properly cooked. Steaming veggies is by far the tastiest, best way to bring out their flavors and still keep their nutrients. However, that does not mean steam the life and color out of them. Its understandable that it might get harder during rush times, but I still don’t think that’s an excuse for the poor effort being put into the cooking. As a paying customer, I’d like to see an improvement. But in the meanwhile, I’ll stick to salads at D-Hall and try my own hand at cooking at home.
Eating right is really, really hard to do. Most of us would rather have pizza and fries for dinner over veggies and a lean protein. At least, when it come to the dining hall. However, there are other options. If you don’t have a kitchen, then there really isn’t much to be done. If you do have access to a kitchen and cookware, making a healthy dinner is as easy as 1-2-3. For around $20 or less you can cook a hearty meal for two. I know a lot of college students don’t have income, but if they use that $20 they do have to make one homemade meal per week instead of ordering a pizza or buying alcohol, they are already headed in the right direction.
There is another problem: alcohol consumption among college students. According to the CDC, more than 40% of college students have engaged in binge (5 or more drinks in a row for a man, 4 or more for a woman) drinking within the last two weeks. No doubt that after drinking, or during, those students are also eating junk food that’s lying around at a party. What they might not realize is how many calories are in one drink. Or they might, but choose to ignore it for a night of fun, which is okay every now and again, but this happens every weekend in some cases. If exercise is done throughout the week, weight gain might not occur but its still likely and just exercising isn’t going to help anyone get fit. Here is a calculator to tell how many calories in the drinks consumed: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/collegestudents/calculator/alcoholcalc.aspx
For those of us who need a little help figuring out what to eat, my plate is always a good place to start: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
A healthy meal for under $20: Grilled or boiled chicken breast, steamed carrots and green beans (both fresh) and brown rice.