Fit choices for a hectic schedule

Josselle Sison

Your alarm clock goes off and when you finally decide to stop hitting the snooze button, it’s time to start another day. With class, work and maybe a few moments to yourself, the instant gratification of fast, cheap food is what keeps you going.

Unfortunately, juggling a chaotic schedule and living off a tight budget can often set the stage for unhealthy eating habits.

In a society with catchy jingles, well-known commercials and flashing neon lights promoting fast food, how is the average student expected to eat healthy? Studies show that in the past 20 years obesity rates in California are up 22.6 percent as of 2007, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Though CSUN houses a variety of fast food restaurants such as Burger King, El Pollo Loco and Panda Express, healthy options are still attainable. Eating well is not far from any college student’s reach as long as the student is aware of their options. Rather than picking meals off of the various enticing dollar menus on campus consider alternatives.

Many Subway sandwiches have less grams of fat than a cheeseburger, and yet are just as filling. Instead of a bag of chips, opt for fruits and vegetables as snacks. They are easy to fit into backpacks and help keep you energized during long class lectures. Fruit cups, yogurt, salad and other health friendly items are available at the Sierra Center. Replace a Pepsi that contains 100 calories in an eight ounce serving, and quench your thirst with a bottle of SOBE Life Water that contains about 60 calories less. CSUN offers programs to students that can assist them in forming a healthy way of life.

Ellen Mayer, director of Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating and counselor of the University Counseling Services, said JADE gives people an opportunity to dialogue about issues involving eating habits. Students from a variety of majors receive extensive training on recognizing and communicating causes and symptoms related to eating disorders.

‘Everybody talks about dieting and it can be overwhelming. JADE helps put it all in perspective,’ said Mayer.

If you are concerned about whether or not you are eating properly, consult a health care provider on what you should be doing to maintain a balanced diet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offers tips on how to manage a steady and healthy routine amidst a busy lifestyle. Substitute driving with power walks; take the stairs up the parking structure instead of waiting for the elevator. Even if you always feel pressed for time, there are tons of quick and easy exercises that you can fit into your day.

So the next time you feel the need to super-size something, consider grabbing a large bottle of water. You should never have to sacrifice your health for your schedule .