Hey, There! I’m Mary, The Campus Dining Dietitian. I love FOOD. Real, whole foods. I have a passion for helping people fuel their bodies with it. You’ll probably see me running around campus asking people to try free samples of new & exciting foods (You should try them- they’re always delicious). I know that as most of you are busy College students, so taking time to evaluate food choices to make sure you’re making the BEST one, is tough. I’m here to help. Every week, you’re going to see some mini-posts from me on how to eat healthy on campus. Topics will range from Fueling your Workout to the Freshman 15. So read up, it’s good stuff!
As far as my education goes, I finished my undergraduate education at Eastern Michigan University. Knowing I wanted to be a dietitian, I pursued my Master’s degree in Dietetics & Exercise Physiology at Washington State University.
What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian & a Nutritionist?
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (‘RD’ or ‘RDN’) are awarded the credentials after each individual has earned at least a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from an accredited University, has completed 1,200 hours of supervised practice under experienced Dietitians in multiple areas of the dietetics field, & passed a National Examination. Whereas, anyone with any sort of nutrition experience can call themselves a ‘Nutritionist.’ After all, everyone eats- so everyone must be a nutrition expert!
Choosing the Right Fuel to Make Gains in Your Workouts
Written By Morgan Muchez, GVSU MS Clinical Dietetics Student
Food is fuel. Have you ever heard of this saying? Well, it’s true. Every piece of food you put in your body affects your brain and functioning. The worse the food is for you, the more damage it does to your body. So when you decide to start going to the rec center to help avoid the “freshman fifteen,” make sure you are fueling your body with the right stuff, before and after your workout. More studies have been showing that it is important to get micronutrients like vitamins and minerals; as well as macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates after that workout. Here are some tips on what to include or avoid to help boost energy before working out and to help muscle recovery after:
- Vitamin B:
Need help finding energy before the workout? Try eating dark leafy greens, pork, black beans, peanuts, or lentils. These items include the vitamin B group consisting of B6, B12, thiamin, riboflavin and folate. The body uses these to help convert protein and sugar into energy to energy. Try to eat some of these foods 2-3 hours before working out and notice the performance difference!
2. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D can be found in milk, salmon, trout, mushrooms, and egg yolks. Remember taking cell biology? Well here’s a throwback. With enough vitamin D, the mitochondria, muscle fibers can regenerate energy after muscle contraction. Be sure to include some of these foods after your strength building workout!
Iron is important in carrying oxygen to muscles. Providing oxygen to the muscle after a workout is vital in muscle repair. Be sure to include beef, eggs, spinach, broccoli or fortified cereals as a post-workout meal.
Magnesium helps provide energy during the workout because it plays a role in breaking down energy. It even comes out through sweat! Because of this, some people deplete their magnesium stores, leaving them to have less energy. Try having leafy greens, almonds or quinoa in your pre-workout snack.
5. Sodium and Potassium:
Lacking potassium and sodium can lead to cramping after a workout. Especially during hot weather when the body sweats out most of the sodium. This is because these play an important role in balancing water content throughout the body and helps the muscles and nerves work properly. For potassium, try incorporating sweet potatoes, avocado or banana into the post-workout meal. For sodium, include salty nuts or pretzels after the workout!
It may be hard aft first to incorporate all these foods into your snacks or meals before and after workouts, so try working one or two in. You can find most of these items as offerings on campus at the dining halls. Fuel your body before and after workouts to help reach your goals!
The “Freshman 15”- the notion of gaining weight during your first year that your parents & friends all warned you about. As a new student on campus, it can be difficult to adjust to eating in a restaurant for every meal. However, with a little help from MyPlate, you can eat healthily every day. MyPlate gives a general outline of what every plate should look like. Research shows that if Americans follow these guidelines they will improve overall health, reduce incidence of nutrition-related diseases, & have healthier weights.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables:
Whether fruits & vegetables are fresh for the season, frozen from the freezer aisle, canned or dried, they should be the foundation of every healthy plate.
Make half your grains whole grains:
Whole grains contain significantly more fiber and other nutrients than refined grains. To see if your grains are whole grains, check ingredient labels for words like: “whole wheat”, “oatmeal”, “brown rice”, “whole grain cornmeal”, & “quinoa”.
Vary Your Protein Choices:
The protein food group includes animal sources like meat, poultry, seafood, & eggs as well as plant sources like beans, peas, soy products, nuts, & seeds. Since many of our meat choices can contain unhealthy saturated fats, keep meat portions small & lean, and mix in plant based proteins like beans, soy, & nuts more often.
Switch to Skim Milk:
Dairy is recommended because of calcium &protein it provides. Fat free or low fat versions of milk, yogurt, cheeses, & other dairy products have less unhealthy saturated fat. Fortified dairy alternatives & dark green vegetables like kale, collard greens, and broccoli are also good sources of calcium.