Healthy eating for busy students

Karla Karcioglu, Contributor Ω

Food that are low on the glycemic index aren't hard to find. These foods were found in roving editor Courtney Dickson's home (without telling her we were coming to visit). - Photo by Karla Karcioglu

Food that are low on the glycemic index aren’t hard to find. These foods were found in roving editor Courtney Dickson’s home (without telling her we were coming to visit). – Photo by Karla Karcioglu

January is the month of resolutions and Chelsea Corsi, coordinator at TRU Wellness Centre, has focused this month’s issue of Bladder Chatter on common resolutions such as healthy eating, fitness and quitting smoking.

TRU Wellness Centre recommends the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting system, which focuses on five important aspects of successful goal setting: specificity, measurability, attainability, realistically and timeliness.

Corsi recognizes four major barriers for students trying to eat healthy — time, budget, knowledge and access to convenient foods, such as pre-packaged foods.

“We don’t spend as much time preparing foods,” said Corsi. “We’re getting very convenience-driven.”

The four major food staples Corsi thinks students should be eating are whole grains (to help stabilize blood sugar levels), fruits and vegetables (to get essential vitamins and nutrients), calcium (especially for women) and protein (especially for vegetarians and vegans).

Corsi also advises students to avoid too much sodium, sugar, and caffeine, which are typically abundant in convenient, pre-packaged foods.

When trying to eat on a budget, Corsi emphasized that it is cheaper to prepare your own foods than it is to buy convenience foods when on the go.  Meal preparation ahead of time is her number one suggestion for students.

“To eat healthy, you have to have a plan,” said Corsi. “It’s cheaper for you to bring carrots and celery to campus than it is to buy them from the campus cafes.”

She also recommends checking prices and buying in bulk in order to save money.

“Don’t be afraid to try new things,” said Corsi. Quinoa and tofu are both healthy alternatives you may enjoy.

The number-one benefit for student eating healthy is brainpower. Corsi also stresses the importance of not missing breakfast, even if it’s just a small meal to kick-start your metabolism.

Registered dietitian Laura Kalina and certified personal trainer Cheryl Christian, is are both native to Kamloops. They are also authors of the national best seller, Low G.I. Meals in Minutes. On Jan. 24 they presented Healthy Eating for Families to a crowd of 50 at the Kamloops North Shore Library.

“Many people are on the carbohydrate rollercoaster,” Kalina said. “They eat foods that temporarily spike their blood sugar and then quickly cause it to crash, leaving them craving another instant fix.”

Kalina and Christian promote “moderation, not deprivation.”

“I don’t believe putting yourself on a diet is the right thing to do,” Christian said, adding that most people on diets gain the weight back within two years. “It takes about 90 [days] to change your eating patterns.”

Lless-common foods that are low on the glycemic index and easy to cook and prepare meals with. - Photo by Karla Karcioglu

Lless-common foods that are low on the glycemic index and easy to cook and prepare meals with. – Photo by Karla Karcioglu

“It’s not about counting calories,” Kalina said. “It’s about eating wholesome foods.”

Corsi is a believer in the low glycemic index method and has been using Kalina and Christian’s book, herself. She believes it is a healthy way to eat and recommends it to anyone who wants to make a healthy change, especially university students who require stamina to make it through long school days.

There are many resources for students who are unsure of how to eat healthy. Corsi is available for one-on-one chats and can be reached via email at ccorsi@tru.ca. She also highly recommends Healthy Families BC’s website (www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca), or calling 811 to talk to a registered nutritionist. The TRU Wellness Centre’s website (www.tru.ca/wellness) also offers links to nutritional information.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s