Tag Archives: Diet

Eating Healthy While At School

When everyone is home for summer or winter break it can be easier to find yourself eating healthier than you did while away at school. When you return to school you want to continue your healthy habits and buy fruits and vegetables and only make healthy meals. There are a few problems with that goal including expenses, expirations, and expectations.

Healthy foods are significantly more expensive than junk food or fast food. It’s sad to say but it’s the undeniable truth. Whenever you go to the store to get gluten free bread it’s 3-5 more dollars than regular white bread. When you choose to buy fruits and vegetables at the store instead of chips and salsa, it’s more money than you planned on spending. You want to eat healthy and keep up with your diet from home but it can be a difficult task to follow through on when you have to spend all of your money on these meals and snacks just to lead a healthy lifestyle.

fruit and vegetable
“Healthy foods are significantly more expensive than junk food or fast food.”

Another problem is the expiration dates of healthy foods. If you buy strawberries, blueberries, spinach, etc it can be difficult to get your money’s worth because they are going bad after just one short week. You are only buying for one person so it can be hard to consume all of those fruits and vegetables in just one week to get what you paid for. A good alternative to buying fruit is opting for the frozen fruits. They will last you a very long time and you are sure to get your money’s worth.

The last problem is the unrealistic expectations. When I am home, I’ll go to the grocery store with my mom and get all of the foods that I want or need. I don’t have to spend any money on them, I don’t have to worry about them expiring because the rest of my family will also be eating them, and I can replenish them whenever I need to because I’m not having to budget my money like when I’m at school. It’s good to remember that it won’t be as easy eating healthy at school as it was at home for you. There are always alternative options such as the frozen fruit example and many more that can improve the chances of you constantly eating healthy!

I eat what I want

Sometimes, I feel like I have a secret identity, because I’m a vegetarian and most people don’t know. This is due to me not broadcasting it. Sure, I chose not to eat meat, but that doesn’t mean I feel the need to share that. There are many people out there that push a huge stereotype onto me every time they find out this little fact about me and it couldn’t be more irritating. You’d think that I would be the one with a judgmental attitude towards others simply because of my choice, but that couldn’t be more wrong.

Ron Swanson eats what he wants, so should you. Graphic from Very Funny Pics
Ron Swanson eats what he wants, so should you. Graphic from Very Funny Pics

When I’m offered a food that contains meat, I’ll politely refuse. Here is where I quickly state that I’m a vegetarian and no thank you, I can’t eat that without puking my guts out. Right off the bat, people assume that I’m self-righteous and think I’m better than everyone because I haven’t eaten meat in close to a decade. Usually the instant response I get is “I had no idea! So, what can you even eat?”

Well, I eat what I want, folks. I eat just about anything that never had a face. Being a vegetarian is a tricky affair. Here at RU, there aren’t many dining options for us. If you catch Chick-fil-A before 10:30, there’s a breakfast biscuit with egg and cheese. It’s a decent breakfast, especially with the small addition of a box of hash browns.

Also, in the Bonnie, is Hisho. There you can eat some edamame, seaweed salad, avocado sushi, or some tofu stir-fry. Moving to Dalton, the options get slimmer. There’s the Dalton Dining to Go option or some french fries at Wendy’s right across from it. Other than that, there are some soggy sandwiches and expensive fruit for purchase from ABP and-of course-there’s always the Papa John’s pizza option.

Vegetarianism is a huge change to your diet. After a while, eating any meat could make you physically ill if you haven’t had it for long enough. If it’s hard for you to grasp why people chose to diet in a certain way, then treat it like an allergy. I can eat meat if I want to, but the consequences will be grave. Be kind to vegetarians, they’re people too.

There’s no right way to have a body

I’ve written extensively about body shaming. However, it seems the world is still lagging behind in understanding just what body shaming is.

Lane Bryant, a plus-size lingerie retailer, recently launched the “I’m No Angel” campaign. The campaign includes pictures of gorgeous plus-sized models. Even though the campaign aimed to celebrate realistic body types, it also shames Victoria’s Secret models.

The women in the campaign are all plus-sized, which doesn’t represent all women. Not all women are plus-sized, just as not all women look like Victoria’s Secret Angels. Even though Victoria’s Secret doesn’t represent the average woman well either, it’s not fair to shame the models who work hard to maintain their healthy lifestyles and famous bodies. Although Victoria’s Secrets ads aren’t representative of their customers, if you’ve ever had your bust measured at Victoria’s Secret, you’d know their bras and products are friendly to many shapes and sizes. Ironically, Lane Bryant’s products are more geared towards plus-sized women, yet they have the nerve to shame Victoria’s Secret.

I follow several of the Angels on Instagram because, quite frankly, I’m obsessed. Many of them post photos of their healthy meals they’ve put together or photos from their exercise routine. Some even post goofy pictures of them and their BFFs, such as Karlie Kloss and her bestie Taylor Swift. They’re real people, and even though their body types may be hard to obtain, their bodies are real, too.measuring

There have been many campaigns, such as Dove’s Real Beauty, which still seem to leave out several body types. The women in their campaign are mostly average to plus-sized. Being a girl with a fast metabolism, I was often teased for how skinny I was. Even now that I’m older and have gained some curves, I still don’t feel that my body type is represented in any of these campaigns.

Many times, women feel the need to tear other women down so that they can feel better about their own appearances. I reject this idea . I believe the best way to feel confident is not to compare yourself to others, but to love your own body and appreciate what it does for you. Blogger Maria Kang has started a website which supports fit moms. She shared a photo of herself in workout gear, her fabulous abs showing, with her three kids and the title, “what’s your excuse?” One mother posted a picture similar to Kang’s photo with her three kids, in a sports bra with the title, “My ‘excuse’ is that I’m okay with this.”

It seems to be the trend that women shame each other. Although Kang’s photo could be misinterpreted as body-shaming, taking a look at her website, you can tell she promotes a healthy lifestyle for mothers who may not typically have time to hit the gym regularly. Kang’s nonprofit, Fitness Without Borders, promotes healthy lifestyles in underprivileged neighborhoods. She not only encourages mothers to be healthy, but she also fights against childhood obesity. Fitness Without Borders has several “no excuse” support groups throughout the country which consist of several different categories including “No Excuse Mom,” “No Excuse Dad,” and “No Excuse Kid.” The overall mission of Fitness Without borders is to promote healthy eating and a love of real, healthy food in American families.

Overall, Kang’s mission isn’t to shame anyone. She supports mothers and families in their journey to live a healthier lifestyle. On her website, there’s also a clear presence of diverse body types.

Whether you have ripped abs, a flat tummy or a little more junk in the trunk, there’s no reason not to love yourself. I consider myself very fortunate to have female role models of many different body types who are the epitome of confidence and grace.

Ideally, I’d like for women of all skin colors and body types to be represented in advertisements. I want to see women with badass scars,tattoos, and piercings. Many of these campaigns fail to address the truly unique body types that women have, but those women are still very real. You simply can’t put bodies into a black-and-white format, as if there’s a right and wrong way to have a body. So long as you are healthy and care for yourself, there’s no reason you should have to feel ashamed of your body.

Highlanders Anonymous: Diets, Netflix, and so much more

How do I even diet?

To start a diet, you need a good reason  and a clear goal. Once you have those, you can plot out the course to success. The closer  track you keep of your progress, the more motivated you will be. There are a variety of  free online resources to help you diet in a safe and healthy way.

food weight
“Diet in a safe way that’s healthy.”

 

How much Netflix is too much?

Once you’ve started flaking out on commitments or become buried alive in an avalanche of dirty laundry. At that point, you may be escaping from reality a bit too much.

What’s the best way to keep from falling behind in my classes? I’m just trying to make it to spring break.

First of all, it’s good that you have something to look forward to. Hang in there, okay? The best way to keep from falling behind is to keep track of when everything is due. Also, keep in close contact with your professors to avoid confusion. Turn in assignments early if possible. Then you can cruise by until you finally get to relax over break.

I’m so over being stuck inside the house during snow days. How do I keep myself from going crazy?

Enjoy the snow to its fullest–go outside and be active. You can always study and spend some quality time with your roommates. There are many conventional types of entertainment to enjoy, too.

Dust off the old board games from the closet or switch the PS2 back on. Better yet, do some actual dusting. That will help you burn off all that excess energy that you’ve built up from being stuck around the house. Get your spring cleaning done way early. It’s helpful to get things done in a more zen environment. There isn’t much of a downside to cleaning your house or going the extra mile to clean things you usually ignore. After all, you have all the time in the world.

I feel like I’m stuck in my major. Am I just wasting my money going on this way?

If you feel like you’re stuck in your major, maybe you should be exploring other options. If that’s a big or expensive leap for you, talk to people in your field that already have the job you want. Speaking to those professionals will help you get some perspective and direction on what you need to achieve your goals.

Body-shaming has to stop

In many forms of media, it seems like there is a war against skinny girls. In Nicki Minaj’s song “Anaconda,” she talks down to “skinny bitches.” The same goes for one of my favorite songs of the moment, “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. Although I get annoyed with how most modeling companies use anorexic-looking models exclusively, isn’t there a more productive way to promote a healthy body image?

I’ve always been rather slender. It’s just how I’m built. I don’t try to look this way with diet or exercise; I’m actually quite lazy. I always appreciated my fast metabolism even when it slowed down a bit. Although I’ve always been pretty comfortable with my body, I’ve never thought that being thin was superior to having more meat on my bones. There seems to be this movement going on that, on one side, is fighting against the “ideal” image of being thin. The downside of this movement is that it seems like many people feel that they have to choose a side. There’s one side that seems to support that cookie cutter image of being thin and then there’s another side that is so extremely against the other side that, in the process, they’ve started bashing skinny girls. But there’s a perfectly sound middle ground that we can all come to, if we try.

Happy woman on scale
“It seems to me that we’ve lost sight of what’s most important: promoting a healthy body image.”

It seems to me that we’ve lost sight of what’s most important: promoting a healthy body image. When I say “healthy body image,” I don’t mean you need to be a gym rat and be ultra-fit. A healthy body image, to me, is accepting your natural build. Although I wouldn’t encourage anyone to gorge themselves on Oreo’s, I think if you eat a well-balanced diet and are healthy, that’s the best you can ask for. Of course, you can strive to be ultra-fit if that’s what you want, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all need to accept that there are many different body types, and there is no “perfect” body type. Whether you’re thin or whether you have a little more meat on your bones, as long as you’re healthy, keep being yourself and don’t let anyone convince you that you need to be fixed.

What I’m getting at here is that we should all support each other’s no matter who we are or the healthy decisions we make towards what we want to be. If a girl wants to lift and be muscular, more power to her! There’s no need to body-shame each other. We’ve all been tricked into competing with each other to try to be whatever it is that guys like. At the moment, girls seem to be obsessing over their, well, assets. I’m guilty of looking in the mirror to see how good my booty looks in my jeans before I leave the house. But we shouldn’t point fingers or discourage each other.

A healthy body image is important to a healthy life, so let’s all support each other and just strive to be ourselves. It’s hard enough to be a girl in today’s world, on top of the insecurities we make up for ourselves. Let’s not make it more difficult on each other, and let’s stop body-shaming.

Is a dirty diet healthy or trendy?

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Some gourmet food doesn’t even look that appetizing. Photo from Creative Commons.

If you went through elementary school without taking a bite of mud pie, you missed a staple of wacky childhood hijinks. Eating dirt, or being dared to, is just a thing kids do. How could we help it? They’re called mud pies! Pies are delicious! How does that in any way mean we’re not supposed to put them in our mouths? Screeching mothers aside, all children at heart can relive their glory days by taking a quick trip to Tokyo, Japan, where Chef Toshio Tanabe is making heads turn with his unique menu. Continue reading Is a dirty diet healthy or trendy?

RU fit?

College students are more known for their love of video games and consumption of Ramen noodles than for workouts and salads. The stereotype of a “college kid” is that of a young adult so consumed with either academics or partying that he or she has no time to even think about living healthfully.

While it’s true that one’s schedule can easily fill up with classes, club meetings and homework, it’s unfortunate when students disregard their physical and mental well-being in order to keep up with the hectic pace of college life. Continue reading RU fit?

The importance of vitamin D

When we think of vitamin D, we think of the vital nutrient supplied by the sun to nourish our bodies. While it’s true the sun is a major source of vitamin D, we must remember that during the short, cold days of the winter months it’s less likely that we are going to absorb the proper dosage. Therefore, you may want to consider vitamin D supplements. Continue reading The importance of vitamin D

Earth Day program to promote foods healthy for the Earth and our bodies

Radford University nutrition students are hosting a series of special events to celebrate Earth Day. The nutrition students are teaming up with other classes to promote making good food choices for their health and for the health of the planet. Continue reading Earth Day program to promote foods healthy for the Earth and our bodies

Don’t let the Angels get you down

If Facebook and Twitter are accurate indications of what people are doing, which I think they are, then most people were watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The fashion show drew 10.5 million viewers. That’s a lot of people watching those models walking down the runway in next to nothing.

And if Facebook and Twitter are accurate indications of what people are thinking, most women were resolving to hit the gym. I’ve never seen so many statuses about going to the gym, starting a diet or developing an eating disorder. Seriously, some girls were thinking of starving themselves. I don’t get it. Sure, these women get paid a lot of money to walk around in underwear, look hot and lead fabulous lives. And, yes, they get to wear a bra worth $2.5 million (you can see Miranda Kerr in all her post-baby glory here).

Photo from Creative Commons.

Guess what: These girls have to go on a serious diet and exercise routine. Adriana Lima, one of the most famous “Angels” said she worked out every day with a personal trainer for two months leading up to the show. Then, for nine days before the fashion show, she consumes nothing but egg shakes made with powdered eggs. And 12 hours before the show, she consumes absolutely nothing.

That’s disgusting. I can’t imagine being restricted to shakes made of fake eggs for over a week. Actually, I don’t want to imagine that. I think prisoners get better food than that. Not only is it disgusting, it’s unhealthy. You need many more vitamins, minerals and, well, food than that to remain healthy.

Photo from Creative Commons.

Health aside, imagine being backstage at those shows. These models are literally starving and stressed and all running around trying to get ready. Talk about a huge bitch-fest. While these women probably have great personalities, that will get to you. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame them one bit for biting off the heads of anyone who even looked at them wrong.

While I’m writing this article, I’m trying to imagine a point in my life where I’ve been that hungry. And, while I’ve never in my life been that hungry, I can tell you I’m no angel when I’m waiting for some sustenance. I get pale, cranky, immature, cranky, bitchy, cranky and crazy. That’s not a fun sight.

So, sure I could be watching the fashion show in total awe at their dedication to that lingerie and the immaculate wings they get to wear. I could dream about how awesome it would be to be that beautiful. I could curse them for being so smoking hot while my boyfriend can barely keep his mouth shut.

But, alas, I’ll sit there and enjoy my pizza and beer and be thankful that I will NEVER have to eat nothing but protein shakes for nine days.