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Thursday, August 12 2010

It's August! Which means that across the nation, endless loads of laundry are being done--dare we say mostly by mothers--and school supplies purchased in preparation for students going off to college for the first time, or returning to their college dorms to start a new adventure in what has already become a home away from home.

All summer long, mothers of America, you've tried to keep an eye on your kids and their nutrition, and now you're sending them back to the land of instant noodles, candy bars and cafeteria food. It's no secret that college students are often pressed for time, settling for fast food, energy-dense snacks and instant meals. The hard news is that these bad habits increase their risk of getting chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

The good news is that college students are really good at forming good habits, too. Studying harder than they ever did in high school, for example, and cooperating with others on team sports. Good eating habits aren't that hard to implement, and yield high rewards. Healthy eating makes them (everyone!) feel better, cope with stress better, rest better, and perform better in the class-room and on the athletic field.

So why not pack these tips in with that clean laundry?

1. Breakfast. Let's start with the beginning, no? I know you've heard it before, but think of it as one of those old songs that gets better and better as the years go by. Start the day off with good energy! Real fruit, protein bars, cuppa tea if that's your cuppa tea (we suggest green for antioxidants). Just eat breakfast. Please.

2. You can eat instant noodles and other instant meals, but choose which ones you eat wisely. There are plenty of organic and all-natural options on the market these days. You can still have quick and easy, but not so much MSG, sodium, and other unhealthy, hard-to-pronounce ingredients.

3. Fresh, perishable food beats packaged foods with mysteriously interminable shelf lives. Haven't you read your Michael Pollan? "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Get a mini fridge. At least supplement those instant noodles with fresh carrot sticks. Just be careful of the ice cream if your mini fridge has an even mini-er freezer. The point here is to be proactive, by having fresh foods on hand and inviting. Bonus: is there a farmers' market near your college? Go!

4. Water. You know it. Cheaper and better for you than juice, even, and certainly, infinitely better in every possible way than the high fructose corn syrup laced sodas that are being fiendishly marketed to you. Stop being a victim of corporate advertising dollars preying on your health! Be a hydration fanatic instead. Nothing keeps you healthier. Nothing keeps you slimmer, either, in a good way. Half the time you think you're hungry, you're really just thirsty. See if mom and dad will splurge on a water cooler! You'll be the most popular room in the dorm. (Mom, if you're reading this...)

5. Mindset. The most important thing you can do is start to think of what you put into your body as real nourishment. Vitamins, minerals, water--these things work on your behalf inside your body, whereas empty sugar calories don't. They weigh you down. They make you unhealthy. It's like having a terrible player on your sports team or a terrible lab partner. Work with your food so your food will work for you. offers healthy and flavorful soft Asian noodle bowls that are a great alternative to fried ramen noodles. For the best in Asian noodles, it doesn't get any better than Luck Chen!

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:16 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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