Everyday Healthy Food

College students like to eat. Saint Leo University students enjoy a wide diversity of food, no matter the location: Lion’s Lair, Cafeteria or in a residential area. Food is the simple, yet one of the most crucial needs for any human. That is why there are numerous types of food all around the world that appeal to the various types of cultures and personal tastes. However, many often forget that food is more than an indulgence; rather, food is a source of energy and stability for the human body.

Then when a tough test comes on the same morning the alarm clock went off late, one is left with little time to think about what they will eat. Then they grab the first convenient item available, often a snack from the vending machine or a small bag of “junk food.” Once in a while it is alright to choose something greasy to juicy, or salty to crunchy, but making unhealthy decisions daily will end up with bad consequences for both body and mind. After numerous amounts of “junk food” in one week, a student might find themselves becoming grouchy, hungry more often, feeling fatigue, unable to maintain focus and gaining unnecessary weight. So how does a college student find healthy alternatives? Crystal Evans, an Assistant Athletic Trainer here at Saint Leo University, says that it is important to plan ahead by making all one’s meals on one day of the week, then putting the food in Tupperware containers. Then, there are no decisions that need to be made mid-week; simply warm up the food and clean-up! Try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Plan meals that are filling, in order to reduce snacking. Choose soups, lentils, salads, chicken, turkey and then consider having some fruit for dessert. Although, when the time does come for snacking, choose wisely. Organize some on the go snacks like nuts, granola, trail mixes and only yogurts that contain mostly fruit and protein. One could also bring dried fruits, carrot or celery sticks or even a pre-made sandwich that are simply to put in a sandwich bag and can be taken anywhere. Dr. Bala of the Saint Leo University Health and Wellness Center suggest snack foods like broccoli, cranberries, raisins, and prunes which help in preventing a few types of cancers. Then Dr. Bala also states that to help wake up in the morning, choose tea, which contains caffeine, over coffee. Black and green teas are the best choices and are available in both the Learning Resource Center in the Student Activates Building and the Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library. Although Dr. Bala does explain that it is “up to the individual to choose their healthy foods.” Along with choosing healthy foods also comes with choosing healthy liquids. The number one liquid to drink has always been and forever will be water. Drink water or clear liquids, as in Crystal Light flavor packs, six to seven cups per day to stay fully hydrated.

Evans says that “you can either drink your calories or eat your calories.”

This includes all liquids, and especially alcohol. Stay away from sodas and juices unless they are mostly pure fruit. Make smoothies are fruit shakes with fresh fruit that is filling, healthy and easily portable. Students are among one of the top groups that struggles with maintaining a proper diet. However, with proper planning and an open mind to try need things, one can become healthy and have more energy to smile a little extra every day.

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