Healthy Choices

Choosing an apple as an afternoon snack over a bagel can be just one small change you make towards a healthier you. 

Freshman year is stressful for all sorts of reasons — the campus is huge and all the buildings look the same for the first couple of weeks.

The basic needs of human survival must be met if you are to make it on your own. Luckily, sleep is covered since you are in the dorm.

As one of the colleges with the best dining, Virginia Tech also has you covered when it comes to food.

But we might have you a little too well covered. My freshman year, we had a joke that on our campus we were in danger of the freshman 50 rather than the freshman 15. 

If you want to, you really can have milkshakes and cake for every meal. You might quickly notice that you are tired and irritable much of the time, and your stomach will not feel too awesome.

It is OK to enjoy the delicious variety of foods available. Just make sure to eat real food with nutritional value for the bulk of your diet.

If you want to reach the peak of health, don’t even have one milkshake a day. Your meal plan will run out before you know it, and the freshman 15 will become a reality for you. Having a treat two or three times a week is plenty. 

Maintaining a healthy diet your first year of college takes work, but it is not hard. Just keep some guidelines in mind when choosing what to eat. 

With each meal, have fruit and vegetables on the side. Get a side salad instead of french fries — greasy fried foods are never ideal. 

When you get London broil at West End, choose a side of at least one vegetable. 

When you decide to eat really healthy and get a salad from Leaf & Ladle, just know that the salad with chicken tenders is not one of the healthy options. 

D2 at Dietrick Hall is a decent buffet. Eat as much as you want for a flat rate. I only tend to go there for Sunday brunch, but dinner can be good too. 

I recommend starting with a plate of fruit and a plate of vegetables from the vegan counter. Sometimes they have roasted sweet potatoes and those are delicious.

If you want to see the specials for the day or plan your meals ahead of time, all of the dining hall menus are online.

Make a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Consistency is necessary in college.

Eat three meals a day. Or six small meals. Or however many meals you want at specific times.

Avoid snacking. If you must, keep healthy food in the dorm. Dried fruit is better than chips. No sugar added is even better. 

It is very possible to be healthy in college. College is a bubble. You are venturing out from your home bubble to a new college bubble.

Practice eating like a human. A successful human. A human who will leave the bubble and get a job. That’s why you’re in college, isn’t it?

Read all of Tech Fundamentals here.

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