Spotlight On: Lizzie Shell

September 6, 2017


Spotlight On: Lizzie Shell
Photo Courtesy: Lizzie Shell

Name: Lizzie Shell
Department: Nutrition
Position/Role at UNH: Student
Years at UNH: 3

1.What does health mean to you?

To me, health is a balance of multiple factors. When most people think of health, they of think physical health (absence of disease/injury, physical fitness, etc). While physical health is important, I believe it’s just one piece of what makes up your health. Health is a state of optimal physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social well-being that allows you to perform all activities of daily living with a positive outlook on the world. It’s the key to a fulfilling and long life.

2.What do you do to make a healthy UNH?

I’ve found that UNH makes it surprisingly easy to be healthy. I take full advantage of its healthy choices at the dining halls, as well as the spacious Hamel Rec Center. The College Woods trails are also a favorite of mine. I found great friends through dorm life, which greatly improved my social well-being.

3.How do you stay fit?

I’m a very active person, and have found love for many different physical activities. I do weight training 6 days a week, as well as run. Half marathons are a favorite of mine. I love getting outdoors whenever possible – I love hiking, rock climbing, and surfing, to name a few. Exercising is really important to me and it’s my favorite way to start the day!

4.Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?

Try and incorporate vegetables/fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins into every meal. UNH makes this easy to do with the diverse menus and focus on fresh foods. The salad bar, stir-fry station, and omelet station are personal favorites of mine. Try new things too! Ever had lentils or quinoa before? Here’s your chance! You may find some new favorite healthy foods! When buying snacks for your room, buy healthy snacks. You can’t eat junk food if you don’t have it. Oatmeal, almonds, and fruit are my go-to dorm snacks.

5.How do you find motivation to stay healthy?

Health is the key to a happy, fun, and rewarding life for me. I want to be my best always, and it’s hard to be my best if I’m not healthy. There are so many activities I enjoy doing, and those things would be much harder and less enjoyable if I was unhealthy. I also have a lot of goals I’d like to accomplish in the future that require me to be healthy, such as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, running a full marathon, and learning to ice climb.   

6.Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?

Yes! A few years ago, I became vegetarian and since then I’ve noticed an increase in my energy, health, and overall happiness. I also found balance in my exercise routines. For a few years in high school, all I did was distance running. I over-trained and my body constantly hurt. I realized I wanted to do something else, so switched to CrossFit, which again, I overdid. My goal coming to UNH was to find balance, and that I did. I now mix up my routine and include anything from running, to lifting, to paddle-boarding, to climbing, to yoga. I improved my mental health after my freshman year when I learned how to manage my stress better, as well as making more friends! 

7.Anything else you would like to add?

There are so many ways to be healthy, so find healthy habits that you personally enjoy, and stick to those. Don’t force yourself to run on a treadmill if you absolutely hate treadmills, and if you don’t like broccoli, find other vegetables you enjoy. Another important thing to think about is that there are so many little things you can do to improve your health. Walk everywhere instead of taking the bus. Take the stairs when you can. Add variety to your plate. Little things make big differences. 

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