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January 25, 2013

Living at Clark: Staying Healthy in University: Eating

Introduction

I find it rather ironic that while I’m writing this, it is 2:13 am, I’ve had half of an energy drink, a load of my mother’s delicious banana bread, and a bagel with cream cheese. Here I am writing about staying healthy in University and I am doing everything I’m about to suggest you don’t do.

But I can promise you that I spend the better part of my life working to be healthy, pushing myself to make sure that I am healthy so that in the event I have a night like tonight where homework keeps me up and I need an energy drink and some less-than-healthy food, I can do it.

So to start off, let me tell you a little bit about where I’m coming from (so you can compare yourself and your possible experience to my own). I am pretty much a lacto-ovo vegetarian. For those of you that don’t really understand the different types of vegetarianism, this means I eat eggs and dairy in addition to the regular stuff. No, vegetarian does not automatically mean you eat eggs. Plenty of vegetarians  don’t. I’m from Boulder, Colorado which is one of the healthier states and places in the USA. We have one of the lowest BMIs, and let me tell you, everyone there works out. Or so it seems.

I’m not saying I’m the best person to write about this. I’m not extremely healthy as everything goes, I can’t run thousands of miles, I’m not on any sports teams, but I do know that I can write to the average Uni student looking to remain at least somewhat healthy.

No one wants to gain the freshman 15, right?

Eating Healthy

As a vegetarian here at Clark University I actually find it very difficult to eat healthy on a regular basis. It’s not hard to find something to eat necessarily, it’s just that the options are not the best if you’re trying really hard to watch what you’re eating. On an average week, you can expect to eat a salad (which can sometimes be dry and unappetizing) for at least one – usually two – meals a day. Then there’s always the sandwich station, which unless you eat eggs, there’s no real protein available at this station. There’s often tofu and some steamed or cooked vegetable of sorts at the vegan station, and there’s always vegan pizza and cheese pizza available.

But that’s pretty much it.

My only complaint is that as a health-conscious vegetarian I try to make sure I get enough protein and variety in my diet. I find it difficult to make sure that I’m keeping too many complex carbohydrates out of my system and am fuelling it with the best possible ingredients. 

The thing about Clark and vegetarian food seems to hold true consistently:

  1. Clark is very good about making sure you can eat something and there will always be one or two options available.
  2. On days where there is good, healthy, and delicious vegetarian options there are lots of options for you. 
  3. On days when everything is meat, it really is all meat. You’re going to want to go to the Bistro (where they have about 4 options for vegetarians for swap) on these days or settle for some whole-grain toast and a salad with all the garnishing.
  4. The best meal is definitely breakfast, especially if you eat eggs and like potatoes. 

And this is what I’ve found. I tend to substitute my diet with protein smoothies/shakes and food from Price Chopper in an attempt to make sure I’m getting everything I need on a regular basis. 

I’ve heard that similar things are true for meat eaters, but I can’t speak for them as I’m allergic and can’t actually eat anything with meat in it – even if I ever wanted to.

 

 

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