The Vital Balance

by Georgie Bridger

In an environment where fast-food chain menus are read more than class materials, the question asked on Chapman’s campus is how to keep healthy. Students like Baldwin Liu have figured out how to do it.

At the end of every week Liu, a sophomore business major, prepares ingredients to cook a mass of meals for the week. Liu has been precooking meals for two months, stemming from his desire to look good again.

Scores of studies will tell you: Students gain weight their first year of college. But Susan S. Deusinger, principle researcher for such a study out of Washington University in St. Louis, said it’s no surprise.

“Normally, eating habits in this group are not great. Most don’t eat five fruits and vegetables per day, and many don’t get enough exercise,” said Deusinger.

There’s a wealth of tips and tricks to living a healthy lifestyle. And Chapman students are trying out their own.

Precooking meals has helped him Liu plan nutritionally balanced, and easy to cook meals.

“It's helped me because I can just pop the meal in whenever I'm hungry and I know it's already portioned out,” said Liu.

Liu has found it a lot easier to eat healthy now that he’s been continuously planning meals in advance – but that doesn’t mean fast food cravings don’t occasionally arise. The solution for him is to take a moment to think about convenience and price.  His premade meals can be quickly heated, saving money and time.  

Kyle McGanty, junior business major, wakes up most morning and puts on athletic clothes. Working out is part of his daily routine and he is a familiar face to anyone at the Chapman Fitness Center. For him, keeping healthy is about exercise, not diet.

McGanty will often grab fast food for dinner if he needs a quick meal or if he’s feeling lazy.

“Living in a house it’s easy to get lazy and stop cooking your own food,” said McGanty.

It’s all about balance between bad food and exercise.

“I normally do cardio everyday so I don’t feel bad eating bad food,” McGanty said.

In Orange you can drive within 10 minutes and find any food you desire at your fingertips.

A month into classes, junior Nicole Reyes woke up and instead of reaching into the cupboards for cereal like other students, reached for a Nekter juice. Nicole went on a juice cleanse for three days.

She brought the juice cleanse from Nekter Juice Bar in Brea, after seeing a promotional sale. The cleanse consisted of six juices a day, spaced two hours apart for three days.

“I really wanted to detox my body and give myself a clean slate so I can start eating healthy and exercising,” said Reyes.

The juice cleanse has helped her curb cravings for sweets and greasy foods.

“I feel amazing and energetic and a lot of people have been commenting on how nice my skin looks,” Reyes said.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health eating your fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep a healthy diet and can even ward of certain diseases. For students drinking fresh juices and smoothies, using fruit and vegetables, has become an excellent, easy source of nutrients.  

Since the beginning of her college career, junior kinesiology major, Kita Romanzov has been practicing yoga. She has recently been accepted into the teacher-training program at Core Power Yoga Studio at Tustin – now training four hours on Thursday, Saturday Sunday, and taking five additional classes a week.

“It's not just a physical outlet, it’s also spiritual,” said Romanzov.

Romanzov also takes care of her body, by monitoring her diet. Everyday she wakes up one hour early and prepares food for the day.

For her home cooking is the key, and she buys all organic food from Sprouts and Trader Joes.

“I try to go out and buy food as little as possible,” Romanzov said.

Romanzov schedules her yoga classes at the beginning of the week in a log, making time to workout. After her Chapman day she hits the road to Irvine where she decompresses any stress, and lets go of the hustle and bustle.

“I'm in the best shape of my entire life,” Romanzov said.

Many students have the same goal to enjoy good health in the body and mind, while balancing studies. What must be realized is that there are many different methods to maintain good health. Research, practice and experimentation are key.

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