Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Students want to diet

My students, most of whom are first-year women, often comment that they need or want to diet in order to lose weight. I tell them to eat well. I don't just mean vast quantities, nor do I mean just expensive food. I mean eat good food that is good for you.

They are poor college students. All the better my dears. They don't have much money, so they need to spend it on good food. By that I mean chemical free, locally grown, high quality grains, vegetables, fruits, and meats if they're into them. Let me take meat for example. We are close to some of the highest quality beef grown in the country, Matsuzaka beef. It is beautiful and a meat eating experience like no other (if you're into meat), but it is expensive as blazes. No student could afford very much or very often. That would be the way to go. If they limit themselves to quality food, they will get less in grams, but more in satisfaction and health. Brown rice costs more than white (for reasons I can't explain), and chemical free is even more costly. Chemical free fruits and vegies are hard to find, but available at a higher cost. Everything will be less affordable when buying quality, but will satisfy and less is more when you want to lose weight in a healthy way.

If they eat this way, they can also be healthier than if they go for quantity rather than quality. When the buy for quantity, they get large loaves of white bread or white rice, lots of sugar and chemical additives, as well as more salt than they need.  I hear students say that they had instant noodles for breakfast. They will crash long before lunch, they will binge eat large quantities of crap, and then then they will feel bad. Why bother? Have some brown rice in your rice cooker and a kettle the stove for a cup of quality instant soup (not the variety that they sell at supermarkets), and a cucumber, and there is a breakfast that will stay with you until lunch.

Since many of my students are women, so they want to eat sweets (a phenomenon that I was not aware of in the US) often in the form of cake. I tell them not to bother with hormone tainted cream cakes and white sugar when confections made with tofu cream and raw sugar are available at a few good cafes around the area. Granted, they won't be filling up on cake at the prices that quality sweets cost, but they will enjoy themselves and get something good for themselves in the process.

Don't know how many students take my advice, but if they are happy with themselves and healthier, we'll all benefit.

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