I’m bringing home healthy eating
- Aug. 15, 2012
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Biting into a slice of warm, cheesy pizza and popping off the lid to a cold, bottled drink is the quintessential college lunch, dinner, and sometimes breakfast, that I enjoy on a regular basis.
Even while studying abroad in Paris this past summer, I found time for a pizza or two, and don’t get me started on my “No Pastry Left Behind” rule.
It never hits me that I should watch what I eat until I’m cursing all the stairs on campus behind Malott leading up to Wescoe. This year is going to be different though. While I probably will never be one of those die-hard gym-goers, one who writes what they eat in a daily journal, or takes handfuls of supplements every morning, I have started eating less of the bad stuff.
A world with low-sodium, zero grams of fat, and no preservatives has opened up to me. I now not only see the doughnuts in the Union, but the healthier options too. The wraps and shakes have been there all along but much like the footnotes in my textbooks, I glazed over them. I mean if the author can’t incorporate a description in the text, why should I bother? I had the same reasoning with food. But if I learned anything from “The Colbert Report” and his description of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco as a brightly-colored traffic cone warning you of massive flavor ahead, it was that sometimes the first thing our eye is attracted to isn’t always the best thing.
My grocery cart is now often-filled with yogurt, salsa, eggs, Cheerios, milk, salmon, broccoli, other healthy items and sometimes the occasional pint of 2nd St. Creamery ice cream (copper kettle caramel is the best with actual swirls of caramel). I don’t like using the word “never” but I will never cut out all the bad stuff. I don’t need to give up my pizza and beer nights, nor do I need to ignore the welcome invitation of online pizza ordering around 1 or 2 a.m., but I can do it less frequently.
Upon coming back from Europe I learned that it feels good not to eat until you’re stuffed. The French don’t even have a phrase for “I am stuffed” because it does not exist in their culture. Here we indulge until our buttons pop off our jeans, and I was just as guilty as the next person in the drive-thru. But with less of the bad stuff I’m able to do more.
The same stairs that I used to curse, I run up them with ease to begin my evening jog on campus. I am not overweight so I can’t go on about how my life has changed, but I can tell you that I feel better.
I may always have a borderline obsession with pizza, but I indulge less on my addiction. I’m a foodie with a wider variety of options and smaller portions because let’s face it, when you start to ask the pizza guy if he can bring more peppers tomorrow, then you know you might have a problem. So like the French, I too have taken out the phrase “I am full” from my vocabulary and enjoy food just the same.
— Montano is a senior majoring in strategic communications from Topeka.