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AU Live Wholly: Healthiness Isn't Tasty

Taste can be our guidance counselor. The Princeton Review said that the job of a guidance counselor is to support the students by guiding and structuring their direction as they pass through an unstable and confusing time in their lives. This “unstable and confusing time” accurately depicts the college experience, where we must make life-changing decisions.

But there is one communal decision that we make every day, collectively and individually: what am I going to eat today? This decision cannot be taken lightly, because for many of us what we eat, where we eat and who we eat with is the dealbreaker of whether you had a mediocre day or an unforgettable experience. Therefore, what tastes good to us can be seen as a principal matter for college survival.

Aware of this matter, the Daily Wellness Themes introduced Tasty Tuesday. Tasty Tuesday recommends making healthy choices. Eat at least two servings of fruit and at least three servings of vegetables. Eat a handful of nuts. Avoid fried foods. Avoid white flour foods. Eat a healthy breakfast. These recommendations are not new suggestions, but rather reminders of the behaviors we forget or neglect.

Still, we tend to justify our questionable eating habits, saying things like, “There’s no time; We are too busy to be healthy; The fastest way to eat is to grab and go; I don’t like eating vegetables, ” unaware of the potential benefits we ultimately miss out on.  

As college students who tend to be overloaded with balancing coursework, extracurricular activities, and a semblance of  social life, eating healthy may not always be our number one priority, as Grace Lee ( senior, secondary education major) said, “Eating healthy is not easy when you’re not used to it.”

The director of the University Health and Wellness, Dr. Dominique Gummelt, however, said, “The reason that people don’t think healthy food tastes good comes down to one thing: choice. Feelings follow behavior. Even if it doesn’t feel good in the beginning, it does not mean it is bad for you. It comes down to an intellectual choice.”

Think about kale drinks. No one thought leafy greens blended in smoothies were mouth-watering until recently.  But after choosing to drink kale or spinach smoothies consistently, the taste began to grow on people. Thus, healthy options can become tasty.

Catering to the new university health agenda, the Terrace Cafe and Gazebo carry healthier options this year.

Executive Chef J. Mark Daniels, General Manager and Director of Dining Services, said “Notice that [the Terrace Cafe] has placed calorie counts on every food to help people make a conscious choice. In the Classics Too line, yearly we have tried new, overtly healthier options that make people say ‘Wait, what? [This food] looks healthy but is also tasty.’”

From eggplant-filled pastries to low-sugar chocolate bars, healthier improvements and options are available at Andrews University.

For those who have special dietary needs, Chef Daniels said, “The Cafe provides specific individuals their own meals, in which the chefs will individually cook or prepare a healthier option (available for all kinds of diets) catered to those who cannot eat certain foods.”

Among our peers, we can see that making healthy food choices is possible at Andrews. On Instagram, John Gonzales, a student of the Masters of Divinity program, shares a post about his 30-day challenge of eating a vegan diet with regular, intense exercise.

He said, “In just 30 days, I lost 12lbs and dropped my body fat 9 percent! This is the best I’ve ever felt in my life - physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Gonzalez made an intentional choice and faithfully stood by it.  

John said, “Being vegan might not be for everyone but we can all do better to remove processed foods, refined sugars and toxic oils from our diets.”

Participating in Tasty Tuesday, one of our own peers has shown that it is possible for anyone to choose to be healthy.

Healthiness is not all about taste, but rather a disciplined decision. Whether you choose to participate on Tasty Tuesday, or not, Andrews has healthy food options available for you. Ultimately, we don’t make excuses for our health. We make choices.  

 

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