Students can easily manage their nutrition by using free campus resources provided through Peer Nutrition Counseling (PNC) and even a new dietetic business that was launched this summer by CSUN student, Anna Tigranyan.
PNC offers cost-free, professional dietetic help to CSUN students, while Fresh Bites L.A., the business created by Tigranyan, delivers fresh, healthy, homemade meals to its clientele.
Professor of family consumer sciences (FCS), Dr. Terri Lisagor, explains that in order to become a peer nutrition counselor, the student must have taken several prerequisite courses and is willing to invest extra work into the program.
The one-on-one consultations are followed up with professional advice as the nutrition peer counselors discuss notes and health concerns with Lisagor and all information remains confidential. Nutrition counseling can assist anyone who is seeking help with their weight, workouts, or diets.
“It’s a great program and we’re lucky to be here at CSUN,” Lisagor said. “It provides high quality nutrition services.”
Appointments can be scheduled at the Klotz Student Health Center. Other health resources can be found at the Oasis Wellness Center and the Marilyn Magaram Center.
Balance, variety, moderation, and exercise are words that have become Lisagor’s mantra to a healthy life.
“Balance your food groups, try different foods, don’t feel guilty if you want a cookie or potato chip, balance it all out with exercise,” Lisagor said.
However, eateries and snacks at school might not have the healthiest reputation.
“Sometimes I don’t have the time,” Jesus Pina, CSUN senior, said. “I go to the quickest options. When I’m at home, I eat healthier.”
Another CSUN senior, Cindy Jimenez, said she packs healthy lunches, even though she is still tempted to eat junk food.
Tigranyan, who is a junior biology major and pharmacist at CVS, developed an early interest in cooking, along with the taste and presentation of it.
“Options are very limited at school,” Tigranyan said. “I feel like we don’t have that choice, that wide variety [of healthy food].”
Tigranyan was around 4-years-old when her father began to battle cancer. Her parents did not explain the father’s health condition to her as she was considered too young of age. Without much understanding of the situation, she wanted to do anything it took to help her father.
In later years, she discovered the corruption in food industries by reading books and watching documentaries such as “Food Inc.”
“I’ll never look at junk food the same because of the effect it had on me,” Tigranyan said.
She vowed to eat and cook healthier for herself and her family. After many conversations with her father’s doctors and collaboration with her mom’s cooking, she soon realized the positive effect on her father’s health.
Her father has recently recovered from cancer.
“I was that student at one point,” Tigranyan said, as she spoke about indulging in Oreos and Hot Cheetos as comfort foods. “When health became a risk, I stopped that excuse and made a change in my life.”
Wanting to take this step further, she created Fresh Bites L.A.
“I personally wanted to make [this business] so that people, students, anyone who is always busy and on the go, can know how to cook for themselves and have a meal prep service,” Tigranyan said.
Fresh Bites L.A. encourages customers to design a meal plan that works for them. Allergies, medical histories, and preferences are taken seriously when preparing individual meals. Each dish has the appropriate portions of carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
Tigranyan said nature’s pharmacy is the best source of self-improvement.
She takes into notice students who drink Red Bulls during finals, which leads her to discourse that the same energy can be received through natural foods. Similarly enough, she compares anti-depressants to a handful of cashews.
“Eating healthy is possible and better for the long run,” Tigranyan said.
*CSUN’s Peer Nutrition Counseling is a non-profit organization, free to all students. PNC is made up of Nutrition majors whose area of expertise is nutrition science. Fresh Bites L.A. is a for-profit business created by CSUN student Anna Tigranyan. The two health-related resources are not connected or affiliated to one another.