This past week Boston College hosted a Nutrition Night, where a panel of experts lent their expertise to help students become health-savvy with minimal effort, and without sacrificing their favorite foods. The well versed panel included Red Sox Nutritionist Nancy Clark, BC Nutritionist Sheila Tucker, and BC Professor Dr. Hogan.
Clarke led the talk by stating, “Be as nice to your body as you are to your car.” Her talk was centered around teaching students how to fuel their bodies for life at college, especially if they were involved in exercise and sports. She discussed common barriers that hinder optimal fueling, such as fears that food is fattening or the enemy, and sleep deprivation. One of my favorite lines she used was, “Fat is not a feeling.” In fact, when people feel “fat,” most likely they are feeling imperfect, inadequate, or out of control. It is important to remember that food is fuel, protects your health, and that you can eat well and be lean. Over the past year I have had to remind myself of these facts by looking at food as nourishment, rather than the enemy. One cheat day, or a day off from exercise does not make you “fat.” A healthy lifestyle is just that, it takes place over the course of your life. So as long as most days consist of nutritious foods, good sleep, and exercise, you are living a healthy lifestyle!
Similarly, Lynne Anderson talked about broadening not only the ideas surrounding food, but the literal foods you eat. Some many students think that healthy eating means Greek yogurt for breakfast, salad for lunch, and grilled chicken for dinner. But there are other options at the dining hall, and beyond, that allow you to eat well, while experimenting with your diet. She suggested trying one new food a week. For example, swiping around the colors and type of plants you eat. Instead of grabbing the apple you eat EVERYDAY, grab some edamame, carrots, or a banana. Try to use dining hall food to your advantage and be your own chef.
Lastly, after hearing all of the experts views, I have some ideas I wanted to express. I think people tend to go to the extremes with their diet, myself included, which makes eating healthy seem unattainable or intimidating. Eating healthy does not mean no dessert, all veggies, 24/7. A good diet means everything in moderation. Some days I just really wanted a slice of cake, homemade cookies, or 7 layer bars. And that is ok. Those treats make my day happier and taste darn good. You do not need to cut out foods from your life. You just need to have balance, so that the majority of food you eat, gives you nutrients, energy, etc. We all need good wholesome food to live. And we all need not so wholesome food (like cake) to live a little bit more 🙂