Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Becoming a Vegetarian: Does it help with weight loss or just weigh you down?

So you want to lose weight and think that you can do so by cutting back or completely eliminating meats. Although lean proteins derived from animals can be an important component for weight loss, some consumers tend to feel that they prefer to lose weight by adopting a vegetarian diet. A common mistake usually made here is when we decide to substitute a meatless item in place of meat assuming that meat is high in fat and cholesterol. But the meat isn't always the culprit...

So what do we do? We decide to order the baked potato with dressings and toppings instead of the steak, or add hash browns instead of bacon to breakfast, or order the refried beans instead of the shredded beef/chicken at our favorite Tex-Mex joint. In a sense, we are substituting carbohydrates and unhealthy fats instead of proteins, which can actually deter you from your weight loss goals.

So now I’ve brought up yet another nutrition myth--- carbs. Carbohydrates are essentially simple sugars which are absorbed quickly by the body so their stores are quickly depleted and hunger can be triggered quicker. If you are trying to lose weight, it is important to choose the right carbohydrates and to do so in moderation. Good sources of carbohydrates for vegetarians-and-meat-eaters-alike include beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and eating whole grain forms of carbohydrates rather than refined.

So all-in-all, if you want to go meatless go for it! Vegetarianism can most definitely be done in a healthy way. Just be sure to substitute healthy proteins such as beans and soy products while incorporating healthy carbs and fats. The important lesson is this: you don’t need to cut protein, fat, or carbs to lose weight. It’s about moderation across the board. My favorite motto remains as this: “Moderation is key… always!”

Any questions? Need help managing your weight? Want to know how to incorporate a vegetarian or vegan diet while eating on campus? Contact the Campus Dietitian, Sarah Feye, at 832-842-5996 or today to set-up a free nutrition consultation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Into the Grain of Things

Do you ever find yourself standing in the bread department staring at all the different grains of bread and find yourself asking, what is the difference between “whole wheat” and “whole grains”? Well you are amongst the many who also wonder that.

Whole grain is the whole kernel which includes the bran, endosperm, and germ; whereas whole wheat includes only the germ. Whole grain contains much more nutrients such as vitamins, calcium, iron, and fiber compared to whole wheat because it does not undergo a refining process. Whole grains are lower in fat, denser, and keeps you full longer, compared to whole wheat. Next time you are in the bread aisle just look for the first ingredient on the nutrition label, if it states “100% whole grain” you know what you are getting.

Want to sample some whole grains and know more about the wonderful power of whole grains? Stop by the Campus Dietitian’s tabling event on September 17th (@ Cougar Woods) and September 18th (@ Fresh Food Company) from 11:30 am- 1 pm to learn more. We'll be passing out samples of quinoa!

Check out this video showcasing quinoa!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Meatless Mondays!

Since it's Fruit & Vegetable Month I think it's only appropriate to talk about Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is EVERY Monday! Going meatless each Monday is easy! I know, I know... going meatless seems really difficult but trust me, it's super easy especially if you eat in our dining hall locations.

So why go meatless? Here are some health benefits: - limit your risk of cancer- studies have found that processed meats (ie: bacon, luncheon meats, etc.) may contribute to developing colon cancer.
- Reduce heart disease- lower your risk by replacing the saturated fat found in meat with healthier fat options such as vegetable oils,nuts and seeds.
- Fight-off the risk of diabetes- studies have found that high consumptions of red meat can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Live longer- as previously mentioned, high consumptions of red and processed meats increase your risk of chronic diseases.
- Improve your diet- let's face it--- fruits, veggies are great for your health!
Not convincing enough? Take a look at the enviornmental impacts of eating meatless ONE DAY each week:
- Reduce your carbon footprint- gas emission from the meat industry is far higher than their produce counterparts.
- Minimize water usage- the amount of water needed to feed our livestock is quite a lot; 1,800-2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef... yikes!
- Help reduce fossil fuel dependence- 40 calories of fossil fuel energy goes into every calorie to feed a lot of beef. Compare that to produce, which only requires 2.2 calories of fossil fuel.
Look for our meatless options in the dining hall each Monday! Going meatless is easy!
For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be There

What to learn more about nutritious eating and living healthfully? Go no further than these excellent campus events!

Events for September:
- 9/4 (Cougar Woods) & 9/6 (Fresh Food Company) 11:30- 1 pm---- Eat More Breakfast Want to learn more about what a healthy breakfast can do for you? Then this is your event. Afterall, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I'll be passing out yummy samples of granola, too!
- 9/9 (Fresh Food Company) 11:30- 1 pm---- Meatless Monday: Showcasing Fruits & Veggies It's easy to go meatless one day a week. Going meatless is budget-friendly and sustainable. For this event, the Campus Dietitian will be showcasing delicious ways to incoporate fresh fruits and veggies into your meals. Going meatless doesn't have to be boring to your taste buds!
- 9/17 (Cougar Woods) & 9/18 (Fresh Food Company) 11:30- 1 pm---- The Power of Whole Grains As you may have seen from recent blog posts, carbs ARE good for you! Learn more about how you can incorporate nutritiously packed carbohydrates into your meals. Have you ever tried quinoa? It's a power packed grain... and we'll have samples for you to taste!

You don't want to miss these oppurtunities to learn more about nutrition on campus! For questions and comments email the campus dietitian, Sarah Feye, at