You awake from a wondrous night of dreams and adventures, get out of bed, and start prepping for the day ahead. However, as you step inside your kitchen, you begin to relive the nightmare from the night before.
Pots and pans everywhere, glasses half-filled with juice and milk and the oven is still on. You skip breakfast and tell yourself that eating out is the only way to go because there is no way you will ever be seeing your kitchen like this again.
According to a study done by Bethel College School of Nursing in Mishawaka, Ind., students have a hard time keeping a healthy eating lifestyle.
In short, they found that while most students are aware of healthy nutritional diets and know the steps needed to reach them, the food choices that they end up making are not necessarily the healthiest.
But you know what most students don’t think about, and maybe don’t care to? Food.
Not just food but healthy food. Is that even possible? The fact that you’re reading this and not snacking at the same time right now is incredible. Or are you?
According to the study, it was indeed convenience that trumped all, with students finding that it is just easier to dine out and spend cash at a fast food joint.
University of Ottawa students Josh Dawson and Anthony Capy – both human kinetics students – agreed that eating healthy can be a challenge.
“It’s definitely challenging, but it’s for sure doable,” says Dawson.
Capy is eating out three to four times a week and struggles to find time to prepare meals for the days ahead. However, he does try to keep meals as healthy as possible.
“We have to pack a lunch in the morning,” says Capy. “Again, we can do it, but we just have to set up a time for it.
“I try to choose healthier foods, just because I feel better. I care about how I feel, how I look,” says Capy. “I wouldn’t eat out if I didn’t have to.”
Dawson finds that because he is on campus for seven to 10 hours at a time, roughly three times a week, it’s just easier for him to eat out.
“It’s also tough when you’re on campus for 10 hours, you need more than one meal,” says Dawson. “You can bring one meal but then have to go out for a second.”
Charlene Kennedy, a registered dietitian and owner of Kennedy Nutrition, operates as a nutritional coach and helps her clients daily to live healthier lifestyles.
“For the most part, start looking at meal-planning and trying your best,” says Kennedy. “[by doing that] You’re minimizing those unexpected take out options at a restaurant.”
She recommends a cookbook for those who want to budget while eating healthy. Good and Cheap by Leanne Browne is full of tips and tricks for a healthy but affordable meal plan.
Kennedy knows that it’s sometimes hard to manage eating well with scheduling and just the general life of a student. She encourages students to get into habits and reinforce healthier eating.
“It doesn’t matter what they’re cooking at home as opposed to getting them into a habit and learning the skills and building up their cooking skills,” says Kennedy.
Opportunities to eat healthier lie around us and are easy to find if you are motivated to do so.
If students take the time to prepare meals and fit this into their schedule, what’s stopping them from developing a healthier lifestyle?
More importantly, what’s stopping you?