Fall has returned, and along with the stress of a new term, Clark students are faced with the challenge of eating healthy. Rather than taking the time to cook, students often turn to quick alternatives like ramen and fast food. However, doing so leads to a host of health concerns such as increased stress and a heightened risk of diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. A poor diet can also have an adverse impact on mental health.
With all of the different food choices out there, eating healthy may seem like an overwhelming task. Luckily, there are resources to help make it less daunting. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about personal and environmental health, developed the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists to help people make better food choices.
The “Dirty Dozen” list explains which vegetables and fruits have higher concentration of pesticides and should be bought organic, while the “Clean Fifteen” list shows produce that is safer and can be bought from non-organic sources. These shopping guides allow consumers to better decide where to invest when shopping organically.
Clark health instructor Kristen Myklebust teaches a course titled Food and Your Health, where she teaches students how to use the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists.
“Cook your own food. It’s such a valuable skill, and you have so much more control,” Myklebust said.
Myklebust also provides grocery shopping advice for students. She suggests not purchasing foods with more than five ingredients listed, or products with sugar in the top three ingredients.
Garrett Hoyt, a health instructor at Clark, also chimed in regarding healthy eating tips.
“Eating right is going to absolutely affect your mental health. It’s going to keep you going,” said Hoyt. He also suggested that students find ways to be more physically active.
Though eating organic and cooking at home may seem daunting, here are two recipes to try out for Fall:
Butternut Squash Pear Soup
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Approximate Cost: $15.75
- 3 tablespoons butte
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger
- 2 organic pears
- 3 organic carrots
- 3 organic celery sticks
- 1 large butternut squash
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 onion
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Wash and finely chop the onion, celery, carrots, ginger and parsley.
- Peel the squash and then chop into 1 in. cubes. Also peel and dice pears.
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat add butter. Once butter melts, add onions and stir until browned.
- Add garlic, carrots, ginger and celery. After a few minutes, add pear and squash.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock to the pan. Lower heat to medium, cover with lid and let sit for 30 min.
- Remove lid and check squash. Once squash is tender, move the ingredients into a blender.
- Blend well.
- Return to pot, add cream, dry ingredients and ½ cup water.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bacon Tomato Avocado Panini
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Approximate Cost: $14
- Sandwich bread of choice
- I package of bacon
- 2- 3 avocados, depending on size
- 1 lime
- Monterey cheese, sliced
- Brown mustard
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- Slice avocado in half and scoop out into a bowl. Mix with the juice of half a lime, salt and pepper.
- Cook bacon and slice tomato thinly.
- To assemble sandwich, spread butter on the grill-side of the bread. Spread mayo and mustard on inside of sandwich.
- Add bacon, cheese and tomato.
- Spread avocado mixture onto second slice of bread and place on top.
- Grill on medium low until golden brown and cheese is melted. About 1 min. 30 sec.
- Serve with soup.