Fitness & Health

illustration by Ali Schwabe

Health Promotions talks about

avoiding the freshman 15

STUDENTS ARE BUSY by nature. With classes, exams, work, and the occasional party or two, students seldom have time to eat, let alone eat healthy. At this mid-September mark, students usually give up on all things green and leafy and resort to grease. This week, the Fulcrum sat down with the staff of the Health Promotions office to learn how students can eat better without sacrificing their time or money. Here are a few pointers to help you avoid the infamous freshman 15 and to live and feel healthy throughout the upcoming year.

Shop smart

The number one rule to eating healthy is to surround yourself with nutritious options. If you only have healthy food at home, chances are you will eat more vegetables and whole foods. Avoid the temptation to walk through the middle aisles at the grocery store—yes, where all the junk food is. It is also wise to shop later on at night when stores are looking to get rid of their stock and sell items at discounted prices.

Take advantage of the Ottawa Good Food Box

Want to be able to pick up fruits and vegetables on campus? Well, now you can. The Ottawa Good Food Box is a non-profit, community-based initiative that offers fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. It offers a box filled with fruits and vegetables produced by local farmers, which sell for $10, $15, or $20 depending on the box size (and until November, they also sell an organic box for $25). You can order your Good Food Box during the first week of the month at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa Food Bank located in room 0015 of the Unicentre, and pick it up on the third Wednesday of the month.

Avoid processed foods, go natural

Processed foods are high in sugars and fats and they do not fill you up. Instead of a bag of chips, opt for healthier snacks such as a nut mix at the supermarket or pick up a bag of apples or oranges—like they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” They all have a long shelf life, and are affordable and easy to take on the go.

Plan your meals

Spend a little time on the weekends to plan and prepare what you are going to eat in the next week. Get some whole wheat bread, ham, lettuce, and tomatoes at the supermarket and make a couple of ham sandwiches. Have carrots and celery sticks with some hummus  as a snack. You can also prepare dinners and freeze them in individual portions. Another important prep step is to ensure you have enough food to last you the week. The worst thing you can do is to go home and find out there is nothing left to eat and then resort to ordering a pizza and devouring it all by yourself. We’ve all been there.

—Richard Fong