The month of January is known for cold winter days and of course, a new year and a new start. With that in mind, a music industry arts student chose to make a resolution in hopes of bettering herself in the year ahead.
For Ailsa Stille, cutting out junk food and eating healthier is her goal for the new year. The motivation stemmed from her grandfather’s recent illness, which was partially a result of his poor eating habits throughout his life.
“I thought it’d be a great thing to do because it’ll help me feel better as a person and it’s a lot healthier for myself,” said Stille. “I’ll appreciate it a lot more when I’m older.”
But making healthier food choices has been hard for Stille. “It’s definitely been challenging because I work at a grocery store and I see everyone coming through with cakes and stuff like that and I just really wish I could have some,” said Stille.
Algonquin’s registered dietitian, Donna Law, suggests balance is the most important thing in changing eating habits.
“I often tell people: don’t deny yourself anything, but just overall try to even things out and average,” said Law. “Anything in moderation is okay.”
Stille often worries about eating on campus. Although she likes that there are a variety of options, it’s difficult to make healthy food choices with a student budget.
“The cheaper and more convenient foods are always the unhealthy foods and the healthier foods like subs just take longer to make,” said Stille.
Ashley Schoenherr, a health promotions educator on campus, also believes that convenience plays a large role in food choices for students. It’s always easier to just grab a coffee and some sort of pastry on the go but the danger lies in not knowing what levels of sugars, fats, and calories those products contain.
Stille’s isn’t alone in her goal to change her eating habits. Healthier eating seems to have spread campus wide according to Linda Malboeuf, an employee at the Marketplace Food Court.
“I see that students are more often hitting the salad bar and having vegetarian dishes,” said Malboeuf.
Food Services wants to further encourage that healthy eating. A large portion of the food offered at the eateries around campus managed by Food Services are made from scratch. Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options have also recently been introduced. Executive chef Russell Weir is proud of the shift in food prep over the past years.
In fact, Weir says homemade meals and fresh, local vegetables are a privilege for Algonquin. There aren’t very many colleges who prepare their products from a raw state on a daily basis, he says.
Food services manager, Mary Baxter understands the pressures and demands of being a student. “We know you’re busy and we know you have a lot on your mind but don’t forget that you’re important and that your health is important,” said Baxter.
Stille hopes that she can keep her resolution for the whole year. She plans on starting slowly and then cutting out one unhealthy product a month.
“For the month of January I’ve decided to cut out sodas,” said Stille.