General Health/Exercise Question

Here's something I've been wondering about: exercise. Since I'm at college, there's a pretty snazzy new-ish gym available for my use free of charge whenever I feel like it. I go when I have the chance, and it's pretty neat.

What I'm wondering is this: is going to the gym at all better than nothing, or do you have to go on a frequent, consistent basis to do any good? I know it's "advised" that people get something like 30 minutes of cardio a day to stay at optimum health, but does an hour one a week do anything, or just serve to placate my "OH GOD I'M A FAT AMERICAN" guilt? I'd do it even if it doesn't really serve a long-term purpose, because I feel like such a badass when I go. Nerdy girls don't get hot and sweaty in public very often. Blum 3

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Davik's picture

Embodiment

In general, any exercise is better than none, but to really improve on something like endurance or strength you need to set a schedule. I'd say try to pick 3 to 4 days a week and get in for half an hour to an hour at least if you really want to improve in an area.

Voyeur's picture

I am of the opinion that some exercise is better than none. However, if you want to see results you need to go at least 3 times a week. This is what the Gold Gym trainer said to me.

I've been working with the Wii Fit for a few weeks now. Although my scores have improved, I've gained 3 pounds. I dislike going to a gym. So, having a system in my home that is fun to do is critical to me actually working out. I'm told I am probably gaining muscle. I think I am not watching my calorie intake as much cause I have the excuse that I'm working out so I can eat more.

You can always try the work-threw-you-a-curve-ball workout that I did last year. Over the course of a month I lost 20 pounds on the 'Standing in hot weather, walking all over the concrete parking lot in heavy construction boots' workout. You sweat, you drink loads of water, you cant eat hardly anything because your too hot, and you get a great nights sleep. Do watch out for the charlie horses. Oh and use sun screen as you will burn/tan fast.

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

My summer job is a full-time office job. It's at a Parks and Recreation association, so I do occasionally do events that get me out and about, running and chasing kids, but that's once every couple of weeks.

Also, to clarify, I'm not trying to lose weight; just trying to be a little bit healthier, a little more toned. If I could convince my circadian rhythm that getting up before 9 was a good idea, I'd be able to go to the gym more often, but that's not working out so well right now. Wink

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

of course working out gains you some weight--muscle is denser than fat.

Epikouros's picture

I found that weight training once a week for 90 minutes did help, although several trainers have told me that several times a week for an hour or less is better. Then again, I started out pretty well out of shape so I didn't need much to improve! Looking for excuses to walk or bike places is also a good idea.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I did weight training twice a week for like a year, and I just felt a lot better. I only had about forty minutes, so I ran on an elliptical or did stairs climbing for 20, and lifted for 20. I don't know what you mean by results, but I just felt better. It made me start eating a little better, because I was like, why did I bother if I'm just going to eat crap all the time, and I liked feeling muscley, even if it was just all in my head. The other thing you could do is just get a jump-rope and a set of small free-weights for your spare time. That way, even if you don't make it to the gym all the time, you can take 20 minutes and work out. That, plus taking the stairs every once in a while has worked out pretty well for me.

Also, it's super funny to take exercise advice from a pair of doughnuts Smile

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I don't have an easily accessible car on campus, so I bike everywhere, and I live on the third floor of a building with no elevator. Smile

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

You should be fine then. Going to the gym once a week will be a great way to supplement your already awesome lifestyle. I wish I lived somewhere where I could bike everywhere...that's pretty cool.

Ryan's picture

An hour or so at the gym once a week will help, but like others have said, you won't really see much improvement. Try adding in other things to help out: Walk more or walk faster, take the stairs rather than the elevator, eat healthier (more variety, smaller meals, water rather than pop, etc), and so forth.

b2creative's picture

I'm a fitness instructor, so I guess I'm qualified to answer this ... Smile

Going to the gym once a week, while better than nothing, isn't really going to do much for you. If you have to pay a membership for your once a week workouts, then it's bordering on a waste of money.

So, what to do? That depends on your current physical condition and what your goals are. It sounds like you're doing all right in terms of exercise that improves your cardio-respiratory function. If you weren't biking and climbing those stairs, I would suggest going for a brisk, 10 minute walk. EVERY DAY. That's the key, but fortunately, just about everyone can find 10 minutes in their day to get this started. If it's raining/snowing/30 degrees below zero, then zoom around inside your office building for 10 minutes (this will have the added benefit of making people think you're really busy and shouldn't be bothered). Don't work in an office? Find a mall or other large public building that you can use. At home, you can try going up and down stairs. The trick is to make it convenient and easy, so you can stick to it. EVERY DAY. This gets your body used to doing some aerobic exercise on a regular basis, and you can slowly increase the time as it gets easier for you to do.

In terms of strength training, you really need to do it at least twice a week in order to see any results. Again, if you think you can only get to a gym once a week, then maybe it would be easier and more cost effective to do it at home. Free weights and a couple well illustrated books will be a lot cheaper than a gym membership. Working out at home requires a bit of self-motivation, but if time/getting to the gym is an issue, then you're still more likely to get it done than if you joined a gym.

I don't want it to sound as if I'm anti-gym - heck, they're the main source of my income right now. And there are some advantages to going that route. If you take a class, such as spinning or Pilates, then you're more likely to stick to it. There's a time and a place that you're supposed to be, so you feel obligated to make an effort to get there. You make friends in the classes, who will then give you a hard time if you don't show up. And you have an instructor who is helping you with motivation and form, something you really can't get from a book or video.

b2creative's picture

I just read through your original post again, and realized you mentioned that the gym was free. (Sorry, I need sleep)

So if it's free, by all means take advantage of it. But if motivating yourself to get there more often than once a week is the problem, then go with my "do it yourself" suggestions.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Hey, if you're a fitness instructor, maybe you can answer a question for me! I have a really hard time with nutrition, because I feel like I should be eating differently now as an adult than when I was a kid. For instance, when I was a kid, I considered cheese and crackers a healthy snack, but now that I'm an adult, apparently cheese is full of fat and not good for you at all. I generally try to go with the "everything in moderation" approach, but I really like red meat, and I enjoy things like fruit juice (usually Juicy Juice or some other 100% juice cocktail thing). I also eat a lot of pasta and stuff like that. I even go through spurts where I don't have time to work out, so I'm really lazy and I feel like I should be eating a certain way to reduce my calorie intake since I need less, and another way when I work out every day. I also feel like there are so many diets you can go on (Atkins, Zone, California Beach, Wait-Watcher, etc), but I'm not looking for a "lose-weight" diet really. I'm just looking for an "eat-healthy-and-try-not-to-die-early" diet...more like a way to know what to eat than a diet-diet. So...if you get around to leaving an opinion, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Repeat after me: "Animal fats from healthy, well-fed animals is good for me!" If you can find a source of raw milk cheese, or cheese from primarily or totally pasture-fed animals, eat it! Goat cheese is a great and easy source for those kinds of cheeses; goats are almost entirely pasture-fed.

The things you can do with your diet:

--Eat pasture-raised meats. They're harder to find, but factory meat is very bad for you, while pasture-raised is very good for you.

--Eat raw milk and raw milk products as much as you can. Again, pasture-raised.

--Eat fermented foods at least once a day. Kefir, kombucha, kimchee, raw sauerkraut, yogurt with live cultures. Luckily these foods are easy to make at home; kombucha is dirt cheap

--Stop drinking fruit juice. Learn to love plain tap water, filtered if you can to get rid of the chlorine. Stay away from soda completely, with the occasional splurge for a real soda with real sugar, not diet or high fructose corn syrup.

--Do I have to say, stay away from high fructose corn syrup? It's literally industrial waste.

--Eat whole grains and beans, and soak them for at least a few hours before cooking them. This deactivates phytates that hinder absorption of nutrients.

--Cook from scratch. Cook ahead for the busy times.

--Stop eating so much pasta.

A great book that I believe saved our lives: [amazon 0967089735 inline] by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Now, you may be saying, "But Mei! You've had all these health problems!" They started BEFORE I started eating this way. The first time they looked inside my heart--and I mean that literally--my occlusion rate was 8%. After I ate like that for three years, they had to look again. My occlusion rate had halved, to 4%. Sir dropped 50 pounds; I've dropped 30. We eat absolute handfuls of butter, cheese and meat, but I'm very careful as to the sourcing of said animal products; if I have a choice between beans and factory farmed meat, I'll eat the beans. (Besides, I love beans.) We also eat a ton of vegetables.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

As a farmer, I have a HUGE problem with terms like "factory farms". I will restrain myself from ranting about terminology, mostly because my frustration with the anti-any-agriculture-except-organic-sustainable-heirloom-soybeans-and-tomatoes movements will probably get in the way of my communicating critical points clearly. But I do want to raise a point about raw milk/dairy products -

I support people having a free choice in what they want to eat (another reason I'm refraining from the terminology rant), but there is a reason 99.99999999999999999999999% of dairy products are from pasteurized milk. That's because raw milk is a ridiculously good at incubating bacteria. To be safe drinking raw milk, you need to get it from an animal you know is absolutely healthy, included tested negative as a carrier of tuberculosis, and then you better be on top of handling it safely and drink it ASAP. Even though there are state health inspector-approved protocols for all the extra testing and work involved in providing somewhat safe raw milk, it's difficult and expensive and most of us dairy farmers are way too afraid of the potential liability to risk it. It's one of those things where when they started requiring pasteurization back in the 1930s and 40s, the death rate of infants/toddlers during the summer months were cut in half from one year to the next. Seriously. I don't recommend raw milk to anyone unless you're drinking it straight out of a healthy teat of a healthy cow like a suckling calf, and I would actively discourage anyone with compromised health/less than stellar immune system from trying it, especially young children.

PS - for researched, non-ranting information on modern animal husbandry, check out http://www.animalagalliance.org. For information "straight from the farmer's mouth" on almost any agricultural issue, spend time looking around the American Farm Bureau website at www.fb.org (Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization by farmers for farmers and is the most representative voice of American agriculture in all its wide-ranging diversity).

:packs up soapbox and shuffles off sheepishly:

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I love it when people have the guts to stand up for the somewhat-demonized "mainstream" way of doing things. I'm not someone who's ALL ORGANIC ALL THE TIME OR ELSE I DON'T EAT. Especially with meat or dairy; 1. it doesn't occur to me, 2. it's not readily available at the TINY campus convenience store we call the S'ex Change (Student Exchange), which runs out of milk period at least once a week, 3. I can't afford it, and 4. People seem to be doing just fine eating and drinking the regular stuff; maybe not perfect, but not bad at'all. Plus, I'm on a meal plan: I eat what the school gives me where the school wants me to have it and either I like it or I don't, but at least I have food to consume on a regular basis that I don't personally have to shell out $$$ for daily.

I have a lot of respect for farmers of any kind. Thank you for giving your side!

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I used to bike out the right side of the V that defines campus to the grocery store there--though it's hard to find a place to lock up. You can get a better selection than at the SexChange.

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I just don't feel like getting all the way out there every time I want to by a quart of milk. (And I just lock up to the metal ramp on the side near the hardware store, out of the way.)

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

My Jr. and Sr. years, I had roommates with cars--that makes grocery shopping MUCH easier. Wink

MeiLin's picture

Most High

My problem with standard animal husbandry (is that better? Smile ) is what they feed the animals. It's not good for them, and it results in meat with the wrong balance of omega fatty acids.

I'm not saying the farmers don't care about their animals. That's not what I'm saying at all. Farming is a difficult way of life. I'm saying ruminants were not meant to live on grain. One can argue all one likes about "well, grain-finished is more tender, grain-finished is what the consumer wants, etc" and that's fine if people want it. I don't.

Grain-feeding is why meat has its bad health reputation. I'm literally living proof. The more grassfed animal protein I eat, the better my health is. As for the meat being tough (which is not an issue you raised), if it's properly cooked it's as tender as anything else. So I eat grassfed beef, small farm pork, and pasture-raised chicken and eggs, and I get my raw milk from a scrupulously clean and regulated dairy with an excellent reputation. I raised my own eggs until a few months ago, and I miss my chickies. Best eggs in the known universe. I'm going to see if I can talk Sir into building a permanent chicken house now that we don't have room for a tractor.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

You're absolutely right that ruminants were designed to eat grass, not grain. That's not what bugged me. What really caught my eye, and has prompted this much longer post, was the "factory farms" phrase. That really hit my button, because it implies some many horribly negative things about vasts swaths of agriculture that really aren't the evil black/white issues that the folks in charge of groups like PETA & HSUS would have the public believe. So I guess I'm gonna get into some of the rant I was trying to avoid earlier. It's a doozy, sorry!!

This whole thing is a HUGE anxiety in the farming community. Most of us learn 80% of what makes us good farmers from the wisdom handed down from our fathers and grandfathers (college is still more for getting that final/well-rounded polish and some details on the latest tech). Part of the problem we're having is that our forebearers never had to deal with all this anti-agriculture propaganda, so mine is the generation that is trying to play catch up in the public relations arena. My sense is that there is still the widespread-going-back-to-the-dawn-of-agriculture sentiment that farming is good, but now it's mainstream belief that many of the tools and tricks we've developed over generations of farming and decades of research are Bad! and therefore must be banned. Now if someone wants to or need to buy some specially-produced food for health or religious reasons (kosher!), go right ahead. Where there's demand, some farmer will supply! But make it *illegal* to do it anyway but whatever happens to be PC at the moment? Um, no thanks! And many people don't seem to realize just how cheap food is in the US compared to the rest of the world - I'm talking developed nations, too, not just the third world - and how productive American farmers are. It takes all the tools and tricks we've got to let 1% of the US population feed not only the other 99%, but also large chucks of some other countries' populations, too!

I'm not advocating zero regulations on agriculture - that's ridiculous, like zero regulations on doctors or bankers or lawyers. Every industry needs a little moderation imposed from the outside, to kick out the bad apples before their rot spreads too far in the barrel. But it's hard for me as a young farmer, fearing that my beloved livelihood is going to be regulated out of the country (wanna buy all your food from China & Ukraine?) and watching the senior generation floundering because this is the one risk factor they didn't used to have to worry about at planting/breeding time. And honestly, a lot of the time the anti-some-production-methods propaganda feels like a personal attack on us and our way of life/beloved work/communal values. So yeah, there is angst in this rant, and I'm sorry for that but it's late at night and I'm afraid my anti-angst/drama filter shut down awhile ago.

But, since this is already a ridiculously LONG post, some more commentary if anyone's still interested about cow feeding practices... With dairy cows, we are obsessed with making sure our cows get enough forages (most common sources: hay and the leafy, stalky part of corn the we humans *can't* eat) in their diet. In very simplistic terms, it fucks up their guts if they don't get enough fiber. However, dairy cows are like professional marathon runners: they gotta have a perfectly balanced, but super-high energy/protein diet, and including some grain is the only way to get that extra fuel into them. The feed ration sitting on my desk in front of me (seriously!) is 19.6% grain/corn, 9.6% soy by-products, and the rest is forages (hay/silage).

As for beef cattle finished with corn/grain, I can't say exactly because I haven't worked directly with those kinds of operations. But again, the generally motivation there is to get top performance out of the animals with a high performance super-ration. Up until about 50 years ago, top performance by everyone's standards meant most calories for least money, with flavor/texture somewhere second. It's only in the last few decades that those of us in developed nations have had the luxury to care about the subtleties of nutrition beyond calories with a little salt and citrus. Again, if someone's health or religious values are such that they need to or want to consider more than calories/cost, then there's a farmer out there who'll raise what you want. But there's still plenty of people who's top food priority is that calories/cost, and we'd really like it if we weren't demonized for still serving them, too!

And the reason I bothered to write this all even though it's late and the post is probably way too rant-y is that some of us farmers have to at least take a stab at countering the worst of the publicity about us, or else the only messages everyone off the farm will hear are from those who are deeply set against us.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...that I demonize farmers. I just have to be pretty careful with what I eat to stay alive, literally, so I am.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

I was trying to be very careful not to attack you personally, because I didn't think you were. You fall into the category of "making consumer choices based on health reasons" which I tried to get at a few times.

It's using terms like 'factory farms' that sounds like buying into PETA/HSUS's thinking, tho, and they *do* demonize us and are actively banning us from doing anything that doesn't fit their mental fashions (see: California Prop 2, among many others). You just indirectly opened the door for me to mention something, and I really do feel a lot of pressure to counter their negative publicity when I can.

www.animalagalliance.org, folks. Check it out and share the link. And if you want to, google anti Peta; there's a lot of other good sites out there that deconstruct the truth behind PETA, HSUS, ALF/ELF, etc. I think there's even a "Bullshit!" episode on PETA Wink

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

You make me want to hug you. Rock on, you; I think my milk tastes great the way it is.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

People Eating Tasty Animals.

Sorry, veggies. Your Mileage May Vary, and very probably does. I love you anyway! Smile

Willow's picture

Devotee

... except the fruit juice bit. I think it's fine to drink 100% juice since you aren't drinking that corn syrup crap. It can be easier to get your daily fruit/veggies if you are drinking some of them. I eat plenty of red meat (about 4 servings per week) and my cholesterol is great, better than most vegetarians I know. I also recommend staying away from fluoride as that is also industrial waste. I have a special filter for that since most can't remove it from water.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

We drink fruit juice, but it's an occasional thing, not an everyday thing, and certainly not as a substitute for water. And I agree 100% on the fluoride thing. Luckily I live in a town that doesn't fluoridate.

V's picture

Embodiment

I'm very thankful to have grown up and live in towns that DO fluoridate the drinking water...I'm walking proof, literally, that you can take a little while before learning the "good dental hygiene" bit and still keep your teeth (don't worry, it was years ago). I'm also thankful that widespread pasteurization leads to cheap, readily available milk that provides important nutrition to a lot of people. Don't get me wrong, I also think fermented food is helpful and necessary, but given the particular challenges, risks, and costs associated with getting things like raw milk to consumers, I'm glad that there are other options as well.

I'm trying not to be too ranty here, but there's a whole mix of these opinions on these boards and I didn't want Capriox to feel like she was alone on a limb--I agree with many of her points, she just says them much better than I could. (p.s. I'm guessing on gender...I might be wrong and the intro didn't say)

MeiLin's picture

Most High

you should. If you can't, for whatever reason, do what you can.

As for fluoride, in toothpaste, fine. In water, not fine. It should not be ingested.

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Not drawing any conclusions, BUT
Flouridated water good:
http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v186/n8/abs/4800122a.html
(it does seem to reduce the risk of cavities)
Flouridated water bad:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119936966/abstract
(Most children ingest TOO MUCH flouride)

V's picture

Embodiment

Also see http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=second-thoughts-on-fluoride for another critical article. I'm not afraid to draw conclusions (anyone who knows me will tell you that) but debating these topics rather than just acknowledging the diversity of opinion might merit a new thread Smile

Davik's picture

Embodiment

I've always lived in places with fluoridated water, and between what I've seen in my experience and what I've learned in my studies, I can't see anything wrong with fluoride in my water aside from one small issue. That issue is something my dentist pointed to me, that excessive amounts of fluoride in your diet will cause yellowed teeth, but since I've never had a cavity and every dentist I've ever had has commented on how hard my teeth are....

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

I'm watching my calorie intake over the last two months because I honestly need to lose some weight. I'm 30-40 lbs over what's healthy - yikes! One thing I found helpful was seeing what 1/2 c (~120 mL) actually looks like on a plate. 1/2c (~4 oz.) is a serving of most foods, so it helps to know "oh, whoops, I just put three servings of pasta on my plate."

I think if you're just trying to eat healthy and not actually lose weight, you can probably just find a few problem foods and work on replacing them. If you can, you should talk to a nutritionist or at least your family doctor. Make a list of things you eat in a day and look for the problem areas. One of the big ones is getting away from fried foods and using other methods, like grilling or broiling to cook. Believe it or not, you can actually find some pretty healthy alternatives at major fast food chains these days - but beware the salad dressing if you're going to get some greens!

If you really enjoy your crackers and cheese, then consider using whole wheat crackers and a lower-fat cheese, like mozzarella or a goat cheese. I know some groceries carry part-skim alternatives to certain cheeses.
Even pure fruit juice can have a lot of sugars in it. Admittedly, fructose is better than glucose, but it's still going to break down into other sugars.
I'm certainly a fan of red meat and it's perfectly fine in moderation but give other sources of protein a chance too, every now and then. I really like edamame - which are a complete protein, meaning that they contain all the amino acids you need to be healthy. Salmon can be a really great source of certain nutrients too.
As much as I like pasta, I just don't have enough calories in my day to eat much of it - that's why it's really great to know what a serving looks like. You can get whole grain pasta instead of the refined type, too. I try and choose marinara-type sauces over alfredo sauces because most white sauces are cream-based.
I also ran across a study the other day that mentioned that starting your meal with soup can actually lead to eating less during the meal.

While I was living with my aunt in France, I used to wonder why the French were so skinny. It certainly helps that they walk everywhere, but I noticed that they eat less refined foods with more flavor and quality than Americans. They eat less meat overall, and more vegetables. They also start with soup and end with salad before dessert and cheeses or yogurt. Lunch is the main meal and they eat way slower.

This got way longer than I intended, but hopefully it gives you some ideas. Just remember you don't have to make all the changes at once. Start small, like switching to diet soda or ordering a side salad instead of fries. Once you get used to a few changes, add a few more. ^_^ Good luck!

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

I have a meal plan here at school, by which I mean that I eat what the school cooks. However here's what I try to do...:

I only drink skim milk, water, or watered down fruit juice. Regular fruit juice is way too sweet, it's cloying. In fact, though I used to be able to drink a Mountain Dew any time I wanted, since going to school it tastes WAY too sweet. I just don't like it. I do drink "Naked" juice smoothies, but those are treats, not everyday beverages.
I eat a good deal of fruit; my mom has an obsession with sending me the dried kind, which isn't really very healthy anyway, but I usually have peaches and cottage cheese every other day or so.
I try to get some fresh veggies once a day or so; usually broccoli and cucumbers.
Other than that, it's kind of "what the kitchen's cooking today." Sometimes that's fried, other times it's pasta, others it's really overcooked veggies cooked in oil. If I had the room to store food and cooking supplies more than I already do, I'd try to be self-sufficient, but I don't, so I can't. An entire precious shelf in my closet is already dedicated to food, and I just don't have any more space in a dorm room.

The thing is, even with all the things I'm doing that feel like they're good, I'm just not built quite the way I want to be. I'm definitely in the healthy range for my height and age, but the tummy pudge just seems like a slap in the face to someone who's active, eats well, and is only 19 years old.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

I'm in my third year of college, still in a dorm, still on a meal plan. Luckily, I go to a large university with a great selection in their cafeterias. There's usually a choice of two or three hot entrees and always a salad bar and pizza/pasta available. Add in the choice of a soup of the day (and UT's soups are frickin' awesome) and I've rarely had a problem finding something I can eat. Usually if they have nothing but fried, I can wander over to the grill area and get a plain chicken breast, or over to the pizza area for some veggie pizza.

I also don't eat my breakfast in the cafeteria so I'm not tempted into an omlette and toast and hash browns and ... you get the picture. I've started going for Special K 90 calorie bars. They're just enough to get me going in the morning, easy to grab on the way out the door, and taste pretty good. I also like oatmeal when I actually wake up early enough to cook something.

The thing I've found is that making a trip to the grocery store every month or so isn't that bad. I pick up enough perishables for about a week and work on eating those first. Dry roasted nuts keep well and are a great quick snack in moderation (as in a handful - no more than 20-25) If you have a micro-fridge, look at getting some frozen veggies (and soybeans!) they keep practically forever frozen and they're quick to make. Admittedly, they're not as nutritious or flavorful as fresh ones, but they do help.

I can't stand the tap water here, but I love drinking tea. I keep a shoe-box sized stash pretty much at all times. I use my coffee maker to heat the water, and a french press to brew it if I'm making loose leaf.

All the kitchen stuff I use on a regular basis - food included - could probably fit into a smallish box. 12"x18"x24" maybe. The trick is to only keep what you actually use on hand. Doesn't hurt to take the bus to the grocery so you can't just stick it in your trunk either!

Sounds like you're doing a pretty good job with what you have to work with. (And you're right, should probably steer clear of the sulfates in a lot of dried fruits and certainly away from any fruit sparkly with sugar.) You may be able to talk to whoever is in charge of the equivalent of the 'Department of Food and Housing' that we have here. I know that UT uses a lot of local produce because people started asking for it.

MsGamgee's picture

Embodiment

not too bad here; we're just TINY.

And it's not even so much the actual food that takes up space, it's more the supplies needed to cook it. We don't have group supplies, so I have to have my own skillet, pot, spatula, measuring cups, knives, baking pan, etc. I've got a huge bin of just cooking supplies that takes up more than half the floor space in my closet, but even that's not enough for everything I'd want/need to make. I do fine with what I can, and I do drink a lot of tea, and I stock up on fresh foods when I'm home; it's just way less convenient that I'd love it to be. Thanks for all the advice; it's good to know other people go through the same annoyances!

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

When I was attending college, I worked at the foodservice. Ya'll wouldn't believe how much is wasted. So much so that as much as possible goes in the garbage disposal, several actually.

Anyway. Depending on the length of the shift, there was at least one free meal from either the fast food burger theme, or the cafeteria. There was the salad bar, pizza bar, dessert bar, a small grill, deli bar, main course and a vegiterian bar. Even with a six week rotation, after a while it gets old. The deli, pizza, dessarts, salads and grill seldom change. With some imagination, something few students showed, there were almost limitless combinations. Still even with a six week rotation, I tired of some areas. I also found that with trying something new, if it looks tasty, don't read the title or description. This didn't always work out, but I found some very tasty tofu dishes.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

Something like 2 tons/ week at UT. They're working on ways to be greener - like composting a lot of the food waste and encouraging people to 'take less, waste less' and avoid using trays, but with 30k+ undergrads, it's understandably difficult to control.

It's always a little interesting to follow the leftovers' paths. Carrots go from the salad bar, to the veggie bar - steamed, and into soups and entrees. We had a rather interesting soup the other day which I can only describe as cajun chicken and rice - not quite thick enough to be gumbo. My guess is that the andouille from the African History Month dinner made its way in there.

I've come up with some pretty creative tricks myself - one of my favorites is to use the cinnamon meant for waffles in my oatmeal. There's also a microwave available, and I used to make myself cheese fries on occasion before I started watching my weight. ... yum... cheese fries....

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...went to Reed College here in town. There was a tradition of impoverished students standing at the dirty tray line cadging still-edible food off the trays and eating it. Kinda "ew," but if you're hungry and broke...

Cheez-It's picture

I'm jealous, our campus has ONE dining hall with nearly 10,000 students; the food is terrible, and if you're on campus, it's mandatory. Usually what we do is steal ingredients like milk or peanut butter etc and then make our own food if what's being served is nasty.

It's easier to go there and snag a nalgene full of milk or juice, and a tuperwear full of spinach than go to the store, PLUS you've already paid for it instead of paying for the meal AND extra groceries.

Jacob's picture

Little history first I've been a athlete for near a decade now, during this time I've weightlifted played team sports ( read soccer and rugby) ran track long distance running yoga , acrobatics, aerialist and trapeze I think I'll summarize in saying I've been fairly active. For me I might spend a few years developing my skills and abilities in any one of these till I become fairly proficient, however the thing that has always tipped the scale in favor of being very healthy is finding something that I can be passionate about when I was weightlifting it was nice to throw around 2-3 times your body weight. When I was playing soccer and rugby I had coaches and fellow players I enjoyed working with so coming to practice daily and beating my body up was not just good for me but something I sought, after my body gave out a couple years ago I started yoga as a light exercise to keep me in shape, I found that I thoroughly enjoy finding parts of my body that need to be more flexible and have worked to get a complete range of motion,the circus stuff is because I found that spinning through the air and doing big drops( only 30 ft I have access to a small rig is really exciting and rewarding ohh ya fun. But what I feel is most important is findig something that you wanna do for your own reasons most propel don't have the issues required to be able to work out solely to improve their looks.
Taking this into account my weight and strength has fluctuated greatly and it's simply because what I chose to do at the time pushed me one way or another. For example I looked in the mirror a couple months ago and realized that I have a 6 pack am very lean and well built now but I wasn't aware of it because I exercise not for my feeling of getting fat but because if somebody said hey you wanna do this for a job I wouldn't hesitate. Without finding a sport or activity that you crave to do all improvements will wb temporary. I guess in the end be passionate would be a good way of summing it up.
Jacob
Sounds nice to have a free gym I only shell out 40$ a semester for my school gym
Ps this was written on my phone please don't yell to much at my fat finger typing.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

OkeeDokee- I have three (I think questions) for you all and then I'm off to the Glass Studio for a few hours (What.. .Its requirded for my major ^-^)
Question 1- Any suggestions for helping 2nd(closer to first in my opinion) burn heal with out being uber-irritating/slightly painful
Question2- Instant Breakfast and a bagel with on of the following on it- butter, honey, honey butter, peanut butter, peanut butter and honey, cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese spread thing. Is this a good, or at least somewhat acceptable, breakfast?
Question 3- Martial Arts once a week- good place to start with physical fitness?

Thank you ^-^
("We're off to play with molten glass in the wonderful . . ." yeah, I failed at that one. Either way, have a good day and thanks for any avise you folks care to toss my way ^_^)

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

Definitely not an expert, but I can give some opinions...

1 -
Aloe. Find some 100% aloe vera gel and use it ASAP after getting burned. Mom used to keep an aloe plant right next to the stove, just in case. Smile You should find it at your local drugstore near any sunburn supplies or sunscreen. I usually leave it uncovered and try to resist popping the blisters. The Mayo clinic recommends no dressing on it, but you can read that here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-burns/FA00022

2-
Sounds pretty high carb, and it would depend a bit on what kind of instant breakfast since different brands probably have different nutritional values. Bagels are not the best thing in the world to have for breakfast, especially since they invite fatty or sugary spreads to go on top. If you're going to eat one, maybe a whole or multi-grain or something with fruit in it?

3-
Yes. Just take it easy, and be sure to be careful to stretch gently before hand. Ask around and try a few classes - most places will let you visit a class before you sign up. Make sure you like the teacher and that the other students seem to be happy there. Also, think about what style you want. Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, or Karate will give you a good aerobic work out - especially if there's sparing involved, but something like Tai Chi is significantly lower impact.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

1- Me and my silly self didn't do anything about the burn until a good half hour after the fact (I've gotten all sorts of wierd burns and such in kitchens). Once I did do something about it it was putting a cold cloth on it, snow (I know not the best idea but it helped. . .for about a minute >.

2- I currently have the Carnation Instant Breakfast (thinking about maybe trying Slim-Fast at some point too. That would be easier to pack into class than getting up at 7 to make breakfast, lunch, get dressed, etc, etc. . .). I'm also thinking of maybe getting some sausage patties and making breakfast sandwiches (Oooo. . . sausage links are sounding good now. . . )

3- I've taken Tae Kown Do in high school (9 months, Mom didn't want to help me pay for it, drive out there blahblahblah) and a Judo and (excuse me if I spell this wrong >.

Yup, thats about it. Off to bed (while I love going to see my Dad play [and get some great sketches from it, the going to bed at 3 am kinda sucks). G'night ^_^

Willow's picture

Devotee

Try some antiseptic gel with silver in it. It will help with pain. You can get it in a drugstore near the Neosporin.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

"antiseptic gel with silver in it"- OK
And what about the Band-aids that have the antiseptic with silver on them? Would that be a good way to go or should I still keep it uncovered- its starting (starting) to scab over a bit.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

I'd like to suggest being cautious about things that use silver in an antibactieral manner. This may be nano particles of silver, and I've heard reports suggesting that there hasn't been enough research on the long-term safety effects or what these particles do when they get into the environment. Personally, I'd be hesitant to use anything with antimicrobial function based on nano-silver.

I haven't looked into this in a few months, so if I'm out of date on the science, I'd be happy to hear other thoughts.

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