Fueling your body with the right ingredients can help you stay focused, feel energized and stay healthy. How often do you go for the quick food option because you literally have 10 minutes between classes and grabbing a slice of pizza at the dining hall is much easier than hunting down healthier — but seemingly harder to find — options? Or worse, how often do you skip a meal because there is just not enough time in the day to do everything?
I wanted to find out how I could eat well with my busy schedule, so I sat down with the new nutrition educator/counselor at Health Services, Laila Hammam, M.S., R.D., L.D.
I found out that skipping a meal never has to be a choice, no matter how busy you are. Coffee will only get you so far; healthy snacks can keep you going. Laila suggested packing a bag of snacks before heading out to class. If you are like me and have four classes lined up in a row, you might be going hours without a meal break. If you keep a secure pack of healthy snacks that can sit in your backpack for a few hours without going bad, then you can grab one whenever you need a little boost throughout the day. Think you don’t have time? 6 Snacks For Busy People Who Don’t Have Time To Cook
Laila suggests varying snacks on a daily basis to avoid getting tired of eating certain ones. “Have snacks in between so you don’t go too many hours without eating anything. A lot of times students just have a granola bar or fruit, but there are so many other choices,” says Laila.
Not sure where to start?
Students who aren’t really sure where to start can make an appointment to meet with Laila. While discussing her new role, I learned that students can meet with her to get nutrition counseling, discuss eating concerns and get involved in nutrition peer education.
“Students can come in for one-on-one sessions with me. We can talk about building healthy eating habits on campus or health concerns that may have a nutritional component. For example, reining in eating habits that are all over the place; skipping meals; nutrition management for chronic illness, or even nutrition support for vegan and vegetarian students. I also work with students who have eating concerns or disorders,” Laila says.
If you or a friend have eating concerns, you can also get support from eating concerns mentors (ECM). Mentors hold events to raise awareness and give one-on-one peer support for students with eating concerns. Students may request an ECM online.
Interested in nutrition and eating right but don’t want to meet with a counselor one-on-one? Keep an eye open for new nutrition programs coming soon!
Cooking programs coming soon
These programs will be offered in a NEW demonstration kitchen that is under construction and scheduled to open next semester in the Hamel Recreation Center. Programs are in development, but they’ll be designed to meet a variety of interests and abilities. According to Laila, Nourish peer educators will play a role in these programs. “Nourish peer educators teach healthy eating habits. They are looking forward to teaching fellow students about how to eat healthy on a budget, easy snack ideas and cooking basics.”
Have an idea or topic you want to learn more about? Laila wants to know. send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember folks, food is fuel. Make a plan so you can eat well on the go, even if you can’t sit down for a meal. And if you need help, Health Services has a lot of great ways you can learn about nutrition at UNH.