AVI providing more healthy comfort foods for winter months

Published by adviser, Author: Stephanie Cheek - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 7, 2013
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Winter is a time where students just want to hibernate in their bed and keep warm, but this makes staying healthy difficult.

SRU offers many ways to stay healthy all year round, and students just have to implement them into their everyday life, explained AVI’s corporate dietician, Michelle Apple.

“What is nice about Slippery Rock is that students have to walk almost everywhere on campus,” Apple said.

Apple said staying fit does not always have to mean exercising for hours, but can be as simple as walking everywhere, to and from class, and when driving park farther away from the entrance. According to Apple, being healthy is not just eating right, but also exercising, because exercising gives the body more energy.

While some students struggle with getting the motivation to exercise on or off campus, freshman dance major Michelle Russ, 18, said engaging in physical activity just comes with going to class.

“I am a dance major, so my classes help me stay in shape all year no matter the weather,” Russ said.

While she is forced to exercise during classes, Russ explained how she understands why winter hinders exercise because students cannot do many strenuous physical activities outside due to the cold.

While exercising is a big part of staying healthy, Apple explained that eating right is just as important because you have to balance what you eat to how many calories you can burn. Apple said she believes that students should follow their “mother’s rules” when eating healthy, like avoid a lot of fried foods, and eat fruits and vegetables – basically follow what they have been taught growing up.

According to sophomore biology major Ethan Finver, 19, another way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to drink water on a regular basis.

While being healthy is a good thing, students should not fully deprive themselves of all unhealthy food as well, Finver explained.

“Every so often it is not a bad thing to eat something fried or sweet,” he said.

While students are at school, AVI is helping Boozel and Rocky’s try and help students stay healthy, according to Apple.

“Slippery Rock has a great culinary team who are compassionate about food,” she said.

According to Apple, one of the ways that AVI tries to incorporate a healthy diet into the food that is served is to use what they call the “stealth approach.” The stealth approach is taking a type of food and making it as healthy as possible but still tasting good, explained Apple. Some examples of how they make food taste better in a healthy way is by using natural ingredients, using herbs and spices rather than sodium, using low fat milk instead of whole, and lastly already having the food plated so that portions can be controlled.

“I work closely with the chefs to make the food served healthy, and to make it taste good too,” Apple said.

In the winter months, AVI tries to serve more comfort food appropriate for the season such as soup, according to Apple. One of the ways that they make the winter dish of soup healthy is to make more broth-based soups instead of cream-based soups, she said.

According to Apple, students are always welcome to leave comment cards on how the food can be improved. Another way that AVI decides the food that is served in the dining hall is through observing what the students enjoy eating so that they continue to serve enjoyable food. Also in Boozel is a nutrition kiosk that allows students to look at the nutritional information of all the food that is offered at the dining hall, she said.

Students are encouraged to continue to care about their health, and Apple said she offers a great resource to students through the AVI website, www.avinutrisource.com.

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