Sorta-Healthy Tips from a Sorta-Healthy Girl

by Jessica Gregory

Don’t laugh at me while eating your salad!

Okay, I admit it. I’m not ready to jump headfirst into the ultra-structured “kale and quinoa” type diet. I have no issue with anyone who IS, but I’m just not there yet.

What I have recognized, and what I think we can all learn, from those who are disciplined
in their health practices is that we all need more good stuff to go into our body. It helps us sleep better, study more efficiently, and feel on average brighter and ready to go. So even though I’m not ready to make a 180 degree lifestyle change in my eating habits, I’ve found some ways to get better foods into my body more often so I feel better inside and out.

Put greens on your sandwiches: Guys I promise this tastes good. As someone who used to shy away from putting lettuce in between my turkey and mayo, this was a surprise to me. Now I pile on the greens (things like baby spinach and arugula taste best) and still get that amazing sandwich that I wanted. For that matter put greens in all your carb-heavy meals.

Plan your meals as often as you can: This tip was stolen from a myriad of BuzzFeed articles, but it really helps me stay on track. Planning my meals on a Sunday in a very basic way helps me navigate the week and avoid making last-minute dinners, which can turn out to be the least healthy of meals.

If it’s not in your home, you can’t eat it: This one is hard. Try not to buy too much of the ‘last minute dinner’ type things when shopping. If you don’t have it in your fridge/cabinet/pantry then you won’t be able to grab it. Don’t even walk down the cookie aisle just ‘to look’. Cookies jump into carts now guys, I’ve seen it myself.

Pay attention to how your body feels: You know how people say they crave McDonalds, eat it, then feel horrible afterward but go back three weeks later anyway? Yeah, avoid that. If something makes you feel bad after you eat it, that is your body telling you that you shouldn’t eat it again. Stahp.

One cookie won’t make or break you!

If you crave the cookie, eat the cookie: This does not mean we should all hit-up Insomnia every other day, but sometimes you have that craving like an itch you really need to scratch. We are not meant to be perfect and we’re not going to live forever…eat the piece of cake. A La Mode. It really is all about moderation (and of course exercise!)

Eat the favorite on your plate last: Buttery Mashed potatoes had to give up some of their reserved seats for broccoli, so yes, there are less mashed potatoes for you to enjoy. But if you eat your dose of veggies first, you can end with that amazing flavor even if it happens to be less than you’d normally eat.

Buy juiceboxes instead of cartons: Okay, I know this one sounds weird, but as a lover of fruit juice it’s difficult for me to give it up entirely. So what I try to do is buy juiceboxes and limit myself to one a day. Yeah you’re still drinking a sugary drink but you’re drinking a lot less than if you poured yourself a giant glass. The rest of the day? Drink water. Another good tip with juices is to look at the serving size. Some drinks have x amount of calories and you think, ‘oh, that’s fine!’ but then realize that the bottle has 3 servings which means three times the sugar. Brands like ‘Honest Tea’, instead, have a set amount of calories and the serving size is the entire bottle.

And lastly, get moving: You didn’t think you’d get out of here without an exercise tip, did you? Take the long way to class, take the stairs at least downward (though it’s not gonna give you the same burn as walking up, at least it’s not taking the elevator). When you stop working on an essay, do a few jumping jacks while watching that Netflix movie to get your mind back on track.

That wasn’t too hard, was it? These little changes won’t turn you into pure muscle or put you on the front page of a health magazine, but they’re certainly healthier than the vending machine/frozen pizza/soda/nutella diet so many college students fall victim to despite their previous food upbringing. Plus, the little changes can really add up. Try it!

Jessica Gregory is a sophomore at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of and The Wellness Train


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