Let’s Talk Nutrition

By Stephanie Nekoroski

Everyone has their own unique relationship with food. Think about your relationships with your friends, roommates, family, and peers… It is likely that the happiest relationships are the ones that are balanced—where both people feel safe, valued, and loved. There is no reason to believe that your relationship with food can’t be as fulfilling! Most students that we work with in the iNourish specialty recognize the bipolar relationship between many college students and their diets, which is extremely restrictive on the weekdays and unmonitored and binge-like on the weekends. iNourish encourages students to find balance on their plates, with their relationships with food, and with themselves with these four key messages:

 

Moderation

There is no such thing as a ‘“good” or “bad” food. Sure, some foods can make you feel better or worse, but it is important to recognize that all foods can fit into a balanced diet if you are eating in moderation. The key is to give yourself permission to eat all foods. BY giving yourself permission to eat a cookie at lunch, you may realize you don’t want it and opt not to eat it, or you may want it and eat the portion that makes you feel satisfied and full. And, if you do eat more than makes you feel good, take note of that rather than pass judgement.

If you do want a sweet treat, permission-giving will reduce any guilt associated with the feelings of restricting certain food groups out of your diet. Moderation is about being mindful, and not about a standard portion size or number of days a week you can eat something.”

 

Variety

Eat the rainbow! What does your plate look like during each meal? Daily? Weekly? If it seems to be pretty monochromatic, try expanding your horizons to diversify the colors on your plate with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Always eating broccolI? Try asparagus! By eating different types of foods throughout the week, you are introducing new types of vitamins and minerals into your diet. Variety also encourages us to try new foods and flavors that will keep our taste buds guessing! Again, it is about being mindful of what types of tastes you want, as variety will occur when you’re more mindful

 

Adequacy

Adequacy simply means eating adequate calories and eating until you’re satiated. Depending on your level of hunger, you may choose to eat more or less, but what is important is making sure the quantity of food you eat fuels the rest of your day.  It is also important to remember that sometimes overeating and underrating are part of a normal diet, and not all meals need to be “perfect.”

 

And most importantly?

 

Weight is not worth!

Food has so many incredible purposes, but it is truly meant to nourish and fuel our bodies and minds… not to serve as a vehicle for changing the number on the scale or our body shape.

It is important that we respect our bodies and avoid using food choices or amounts of food to manipulate weight or “make up for” overeating or drinking. As a community, we can encourage each other to strive for balance in our diets to contribute to an overall healthier and happier college experience!

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The Micronutrient for our Favorite Macronutrient

by Maria Meyer

It does not take much more than a quick walk through any of the Boston College dining halls to realize that BC students love their protein. Grilled chicken breast, beans and legumes, and eggs are ambiguous on campus. But how much is too much? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, you only need .36 grams of protein per pound per day to meet your dietary recommendations. This equates to about 54 grams for a 150 pound person. Even if that sounds like a lot, to put it in perspective, a 3.5 ounce chicken breast (a typical serving) already provides you with 30 grams of protein. But, we students will most likely keep over consuming protein to build muscle at the Plex and because we generally enjoy and benefit from our high protein diets.

While there is no protein deficiency, college students here on the Heights could definitely benefit from more calcium. The relationship between calcium and protein may not be evident. However, our bodies actually use calcium to break down protein. So the more protein we eat, the more calcium we need to actually facilitate the use of that chicken or omelet in our body. If we do not get that calcium in our daily diet, we end up taking calcium from our bones. Over time, this results in a higher susceptibility to breaks and fractures. So while one may think eating protein helps you build muscle while you are lifting at the Plex or running the Res, it is not very useful and may actually be harmful long term if you don’t get in your calcium as well!

As you take a glance around Lower or Mac, you most likely will not see enough calcium rich foods. It may seem difficult to sneak in the recommended 1,000 mg of calcium every day, but it is so important to ensure your body is able to stay strong! Making conscious decisions to increase your calcium intake can be easy and delicious. A cup of skim or soy milk can easily give you 200-300 mg depending on the brand. Adding in some yogurt to your fruit from the salad bar is a simple 150-200 mg of calcium. A slice of cheese on your garden or beef burger runs you approximately 100 calories and 200 mg of calcium. For vegans, soy milk is a great calcium source as well as tofu, which has an astonishing 400 mg of calcium per half cup.

Our 20s really is our prime time- not just because we get to have the times of our lives at BC, but also because we are at the best age to strengthen our bones. So next time you find yourself making dinner for your roommates or find yourself in a dining hall, grab a glass of milk or some tofu on top of your salad- your bones will thank you!

For more information about healthy eating schedule an Individual Health Plan (iHP) or iNourish group program here, bc.edu/healthpro.

Off-Campus Meal Prep 101

by Kim Chook and Andie Babusik

I have been featuring BC students for #RealHealthatBC features on all of BC Health’s social media platforms. I wanted these features to showcase how regular BC students incorporate health and wellness into their (busy) everyday lives. A recent feature was of Kim Chook, a Boston College junior.

Kim has a health and wellness instagram account called @balance_beaming where she posts about finding her balance, making healthy foods, and her fitness routine. It’s a beautiful and inspiring account that you should definitely give a follow, if you haven’t already!

A lot of Kim’s posts are healthy recipes that she used to make delicious looking meals and snacks. There have been a plethora of nights when my friends and I didn’t feel looking cooking and ended up at a local fast food restaurant. With the off-campus life comes new responsibilities, like cooking and feeding yourself!

Eating healthy off-campus is tough, but Kim has mastered the clean-eating off-campus lifestyle. How? I asked! Her secret is meal prepping. Listen to what Kim had to say about meal prepping:

“The biggest advice that I have for students trying to eat more healthily, is to prepare your food in advance. I tend to choose processed foods or unhealthy options when I am short on time, or too tired from a long day to cook. Meal prepping can seem daunting at first, but it can be easy as roasting all your vegetables (which can be added into salads or eaten as a side dish), cooking all your carbs (pasta, rice, or quinoa can be stored in the fridge for several days), and pre-portioning little containers of snacks (my favorite lately has been a mix of raw cashews, dark chocolate, and medjool dates). Even breakfast can be pre-portioned (overnight oats!) and ready to grab and go in the morning.”

For more information about healthy eating choices, schedule an iNourish program or an iHP (Individual Health Plan) through the Office of Health Promotion at  bc.edu/healthpro.