Resisting red velvet cupcakes and other ways to eat healthy

The choice between red velvet cupcakes or a piece of fruit. Photo provided.

Things I cannot resist: ballet flats, a good cup of tea and red velvet cupcakes. Those little red spheres of deliciousness topped with cream cheese frosting are the definition of sinful. If I could, I would snack on them all day long, but I don’t think my metabolism – or anyone else’s for that matter – would be able to handle it.

Unhealthy snacks can completely derail a person’s healthy eating plan. Whether living in a dorm or in an off-campus apartment, it can be hard to find the motivation, money and time to incorporate healthy snacking into a college diet.

Emily Stulock, a junior strategic communications major, has experienced this problem.

“I think it can be difficult to eat healthily because you may not have enough options at your disposal. It’s slightly easier when you live off-campus because you can control what you buy and what goes into your food,”said Stulock.

The most destructive type of snacking is the one bred out of boredom; the kind that includes wandering to the fridge during every commercial break and being convinced that another cookie couldn’t possibly do any harm. Constant snacking due to boredom can  potentially lead to putting on those dreaded fifteen pounds students hear so much about.

Katlyn Diddle, a sophomore studying forensic science, finds herself using her meals to buy junk food at the markets around campus.

“I do find myself buying more processed food rather than healthy. It’s easier because of the lack of kitchen space,” Diddle said.

Many students see fluctuations in their weight during their college years due to the over consumption during meals, as well as an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. But with a little bit of originality and a bit more effort, it can become easier to incorporate healthy eating into a daily routine.

Remember that ever-present food pyramid from our youth? Go back to that for inspiration. Fruits and vegetables are nature’s finger foods. The newly remodeled Nelson Market has recently began stocking their aisles with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet, when venturing into the dining halls, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can be hard to come by. A trip to the Athens Farmers Market might be in order. The market, which runs Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., boasts a wide assortment of healthy and tasty locally grown products. There are also several mini-markets planned that take place on campus for students to partake in.

Natasha Adloau-Ajijola, the senator for the College of Health Sciences and Professionals, thinks that students should take advantage of the mini markets on campus.

“If you start eating healthy, you’re more likely to eat healthy later in life,” Adloau-Ajijola said.

Eating a few grapes instead of that handful of M&Ms to curb a sweetness craving is much better than the bittersweet remorse that comes with unhealthy snacking.

If fruits and vegetables on their own won’t satisfy a craving, try to add a dipping sauce or two. If popular demand means anything, Nutella is a Godsend that can turn an apple into the most delicious of treats. Peanut butter adds excitement to a piece of celery, and carrots with ranch dressing can make the most reluctant snacker’s mouth sing.

Another snack staple is the granola bar. Many are made out of healthy oats, but have enough sweetness to trick your taste buds, so the taste and health benefits are equal. A favorite granola brand is Nature Valley, which incorporates natural ingredients and high amounts of nutrition into their snacks. Packaged snacks tend to get a bad rep due to massive amounts of salt and preservatives, but some can be beneficial and tasty, like cups of applesauce or bags of mixed nuts. Many nuts are high in protein and a natural source of fiber.

An easy snack to carry around while in a hurry is cheese and crackers. This snack is not only simple and filling, it’s also classy. Cheese and crackers are served at swanky events across the world. Feel free to lift a pinkie while devouring this healthy, refined snack of choice. But if waning self control becomes a problem and something chocolaty is a must have, opt for a piece of dark chocolate, which has been proven to have beneficial amounts of antioxidants; a little indulgence goes a long way.

There’s a saying that goes, “Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.” While this may or may not be true, incorporating healthy habits into your daily diet can ensure that life is a little bit sweeter, without the added sugar.

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