Campus Wellness 101
Welcome to Campus Wellness 101! In this section you will learn how to "Eat Well" on campus and what works best for you when it comes to nutrition.
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“Eat Well” at SBU has multiple focuses around campus! “Eat Well” does not only pertain to “healthy” eating for weight management, but it also encompasses wellness tactics like mindful eating, calorie-focused eating, nutrient–dense eating, superfoods, functional medicine, and more. The beauty of nutrition and best practices is making nutrition tailored to you. As a college student, life is balanced with schoolwork, jobs, sleeping, friends, and so much more.
CALORIE VS NUTRIENT-DENSE EATING
By federal law, calories have to be posted on all menus around campus, but this does not mean you have to focus on them. Counting calories is a preference and can be helpful in certain cases, however calorically dense items can be deceiving. For example, avocados and coconut can offer such great benefits towards inflammation, brain health and heart health but they can reflect “higher calories” than another fruits and vegetables. Calories are important for certain needs which can be discussed in a nutritional counseling session with the RD or medical physician.
NUTRIENT-DENSE CHOICES WITH DIETITIAN'S CHOICE
Nutrient-dense recipes and menu items that will be flagged around campus to help students navigate nutritious choices around campus. Examples of nutrient dense foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans, and nuts.
There are many nutrition trends and lifestyles that people are interested in. If you are following a particular nutrition trend or lifestyle, it is always best to reach out to the campus RD to determine where your preferences can be found on campus!
Some examples include keto, intermittent fasting, paleo and Whole30.
FINDING YOUR FLAVOR
There all sorts of flavors from around the world. Finding your flavor is very important for enjoying your meal but also important for satiety cues. Spicy, Sweet, Umami, Sour and Savory. Combining your flavors is a fun way to bring out all the delicious features of the plate.
- Sweet - Foods that taste sweet help us savor dishes in more depth. Adding honey, maple syrup or fruit or a savory dish can help take the flavor to another level. Eating food that is sweet and salty will help achieve and maintain satiety.
- Sour - Sourness refers to the acidity in the food. Adding a sour food item like a citrus fruit or zest can additionally provide you with vitamin C which can help boost your immunity and add to your antioxidant consumption.
- Umami (Savory) - in Japanese, umami means “savory” or “meaty” which helps brings out those savory flavors. Adding an Umami flavor (fermented cheese, mushrooms, miso, nutritional yeast) can help crave the savory flavor.
- Bitter - Green bitter foods (arugula, brussel sprouts, endive) are packed with vitamins and minerals for overall body function. Combining a bitter food item with a sweet or salty food item can help balance the overall taste of the meal.
- Spicy - Capsaicin is the molecule that provides us with a spicy taste and occurs as a chemical reaction between pain receptors in the mouth. Adding spices to your food is a great way to add seasoning without salt. They additionally have anti-inflammatory properties.
EAT THE RAINBOW
A plate of color is a plate of nutrients. Changing the focus of your plate by trying to have all the colors of the rainbow present will be a simple yet effective way of receiving all your nutrients. As college students, your mind and focus may be in a million places. Focusing on something like adding color to your plate can be the simplest thing you do all day!
- Red/Pink - Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Red Chili Peppers, Cherries, Strawberries, Red Grapes, Apples, Beets, Red Cabbage, Radishes.
- Green - Avocado, Limes, Peas, Arugula, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Celery, Green Onions, Collard Greens, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Spinach, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Snap Peas, String Beans
- Yellow - Squash, Yellow Peppers, Golden Beets, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Corn
- Orange - Acorn Squash, Orange Bell Peppers, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Yams
- Blue/Purple - Blueberries, Plums, Prunes, Purple Grapes, Purple Cabbage, Blackberries, Figs, Eggplant
BUILDING YOUR PLATE
Find your Focus
Figure out your focus, are you eating to lose weight? Gain muscle? Preventative medicine? Mindful eating? Eating Superfoods for brain health and stress reduction? Avoiding Allergens?
- Base - Choose your protein source. Make your protein the focus of your meal or snack. Identifying your protein can lead you to choose the other pieces. If you are consuming a plant-based lifestyle, the protein should be carefully chosen.
- Vegetables - Vegetables will be your source of dietary fiber and micronutrients. Filling at least half of your plate with vegetables can help you get the most nutrients.
- Carbohydrates - The amount of carbohydrates depends on your focus. If your goal is to lose weight, your carbs have be adjusted for your body weight and then you must determine which carbohydrates to choose. Beneficial carbohydrates that can work for everyone are brown rice, quinoa, beans, legumes, seeds, and complex starches like carrots, beets, sweet potato, and baked potatoes with the skin on.
- Fats - A macronutrient that shouldn’t be forgotten about. Fats get a very bad reputation because they are typically high in calories, however, you still need fat to function. Most of your organs, processes, hormones are fat dependent. It is beneficial to always find fat in foods such as avocados, olive oils, coconut, nuts, seeds, fish, and lean proteins.
24/7 VIRTUAL HEALTH COACHING
In fall 2022, Stony Brook University launched a 24/7 virtual healthcare service for students called TimelyCare, allowing students access to around-the-clock mental health and medical care, including scheduling appointments with providers on evenings and weekends. This service is available to all currently registered students (undergraduate and graduate), including those who are distance learners or studying abroad.
The service also includes health coaching. Students can make virtual appointments with wellness coaches to talk about healthy habits, nutrition, sleeping habits, mindfulness, stress, goal setting, etc. Students can also watch on-demand meditation, yoga and breathing classes.
CHECK OUT TIMELYCARE