Spotlight On: Laila Hammam
Name: Laila Hammam
Department: Health & Wellness
Position/Role at UNH: Nutrition Counselor & Educator
Year Started at UNH: 2016
1. What does health mean to you?
Health to me is not just about physical health, but overall health that encompasses all the dimensions of the wellness wheel.
2. What do you do to make a healthy UNH?
I get to counsel students one on one on how to make healthy choices while at UNH whether they eat at the dining hall or if they live off campus and are cooking for themselves. I also get to work with a great group of Nutrition Peer Educators; Nourish UNH, who work on promoting healthy nutrition on campus. One of the new outreach programs we were able to start in January are the “What’s Cooking Wednesdays” cooking classes in our amazing new demo kitchen! These classes have been a great way to educate students on how to make cheap, easy and healthy meals while seeing how the meal is made in addition to getting some nutrition education about the meal. These classes are free to UNH students.
3. How do you stay fit?
I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of working out, so I stay fit by watching what I eat and staying physically active by speed walking a lot! I love walking and also enjoy group fitness classes whenever I have the time. I allow myself to eat whatever I want, but always balancing it out. I am a true believer in everything fits in your diet!
4. Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?
Don’t skip meals! It’s one of the worst things you can do to yourself. I always try to get my three main meals and some snacks in between. I’ve always been a big snacker, especially at night, but I try to choose healthy snacks. This also prevents me from over eating during meals because I am not starving when I sit down to eat. Some of my favorite healthy snacks are fruit, raw veggies (pretty much any kind!) with hummus or dip made with Greek yogurt, trail mix, almonds and dark chocolate when I’ve got a real sweet tooth.
5. How do you find motivation to stay healthy?
There are a few things that motivate me to stay healthy, but particularly the desire to live a long and healthy life! I also want to be a good role model for my daughter.
6. Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?
I have tried to be better about getting enough sleep at night. When I first became a mom sleep was something I definitely did not get enough of. It’s amazing what sleep can do to a person. By sleeping better my eating habits have improved, I am not constantly tired throughout the day, and I am able to concentrate better.
7. Anything else you would like to add that might encourage others on campus to make health efforts too?
Take advantage of what is available for you on campus to help you stay healthy. Have fun with your meals by balancing out your Wildcat Plate with all the amazing options at the dining halls, go check out the wonderful fitness classes and equipment at the Rec Center, we have Wellness Coaches at Health & Wellness who can help you work on your overall wellness, and I am available for appointments if you want to make some changes to your diet. Stop by Health & Wellness to pick up your #BeWellUNH guide to find out more about all the exciting events, classes, workshops and drop-ins we have to offer.