“When you’re tired or stressed, your body is craving quick energy, so students usually go for bad foods with carbohydrates like pizza, sugars, and chocolates.”
Those were the words of Laura Dimic, organizer of a food-sampling seminar called Eat a Rainbow, which presented healty alternatives in Salon A Nov. 28.
The event not only presented healthy alternatives to such students’ favourites as french fries and burgers, but also gave the audience an opportunity to taste some of the healthy and nutritious foods first-hand.
“We touch around 10,000 people every day and we find that a lot of people don’t really know all the different options that we have,” said Algonquin Executive Chef Russell Weir, who has been in charge of all the meal plans on campus for 11 years. “There are a lot of hidden things around that are good.”
One such hidden gem can be found in Bits’N’Bites. Every morning 76-year-old former Algonquin executive chef creates his unique not-known salad that he makes out of his head and brings to the campus eatery in T-building, said Dimic.
And yet, students don’t take advantage of such healthy alternatives.
“All the locations on campus have quick options like french fries, but they all have salads and vegetables as well,” said Kobzan. “And instead of getting burger and fries, I can have burger and salad.”
According to Dimic, people need to understand that each colour of vegetable and fruit has different benefits whether it be different vitamins, nutrients or different benefits on your body.
Algonquin food services sous-chef Brendan Kobzan, was responsible for providing samples of healthy meals that can be found at different food locations on campus that included stir-fry vegetables with tofu, smoothies with kale and mango and baked taco salad with different dressings.
“It’s easy to say you need to eat better, but they never say why,” said Kobzan, who changed his eating habits after gaining 50 pounds of extra weight.
“In this side of the world people tend to wait until problems arise,” he said.“They eat whatever they want, their bodies go into not the healthiest state, they become sick and then they make this lifestyle change.”
But his point is that this process needs to be reversed. And by incorporating colourful fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients and vitamins in our diet, we can help prevent illnesses and diseases.
“People should look at food as a fuel, as opposed to eating for emotional satisfaction,” said Kobzan. “Unfortunately many eat because it makes them feel good.”
One of the goals of the event was to get people into the habit of eating healthy by offering students more nutritious swaps for their regular poutines, french fries or pizzas.
“You really need to eat a rainbow everyday, you can’t just stick with green or red,” said Dimic.
“And the rainbow is bright and cheerful and it also shows that food can look good and taste good.”