It is April and North Dakota’s current temperature: 32 degrees F; snow still covers the ground. This seems like a picturesque scene perfect for curling up to a fire with a cup of hot cocoa… Wrong. We want spring and we want it NOW. We are so ready to transition to eating light meals with fresh vegetables and fruits that are not only good for you but finally in season. The chilly temperatures have another agenda for our food decisions. It’s hard to make the decision between zero star creamy soups and a three star crisp salad when the weather just isn’t cooperating. We still crave warm comfort foods that tend to weigh us down, instead of lighter choices that put a spring in our step.
As we wait for the blustery temperatures to subside and snow to vanish, we write this blog in high hopes that Mother Nature will smile on us. Daydreaming about sunshine, we came up with a perfect Guiding Star spring plan for each meal of the day.
To begin, breakfast is essential. As college students, we are typically in a rush in the morning and look for a quick fix for our morning hunger. What better way to start then with a fruit and low-fat yogurt parfait? With whole grain cereal to top it off, well…that especially does the trick! Fiber from the cereal keeps you full during those early lectures, while the creamy-cold consistency of yogurt creates just the right combination of taste and goodness, loaded with calcium and protein. We decide to add blueberries for extra nutrients and taste. Stars? This breakfast has got you covered!
After a pop-quiz and finding out about a few new exams to study for, we are off to lunch. Stressed? You could say that. Hungry? You betcha. We are ready to imagine all the fun we will have once the sun decides to come out, while eating a balanced, Guiding Stars meal. The smell of bread from the oven attracts us to the deli bar, where we begin by building a sandwich on the freshly baked oat bread. We then add shaved turkey, spinach, tomato, sliced green peppers and a dusting of red onion. We add a dash of vinegar and as Rachel Ray would say, some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for all of you non- Rachel Ray fans). We then spot the freshly prepared hummus, thanks to our fabulous, Executive Chef, Greg Gefroh. We add vibrant orange carrots to dip into the delicious hummus as we think… somewhere it must be nice outside. Since Katie is preparing for a half-marathon, we decide to choose lactose-free soy milk as our drink. This meal packs plenty of stars, including multiple vitamins and minerals that give us added energy until supper and allow us to face the cold and wind of springtime in ND.
In-between lunch and supper we decide we deserve a quick snack after our long hours of hitting the books and before heading to the wellness center to work out. We find that a mix of almonds and raisins have us wanting to hit a trail soon. It is the perfect pick-me-up snack that not only has us ready for an outdoor adventure, but meets Guiding Stars requirements as well.
After a solid run, we decide it’s time for supper. What screams spring more than a Hawaiian Chicken Salad, you ask? Not a whole lot. This salad is comprised of crunchy romaine lettuce, sliced red peppers, fresh pineapple, green onions, and hormone- and antibiotic-free sliced grilled chicken. A great way to satisfy our sweet tooth includes a piece of whole-wheat (did we mention 3 stars?) toast, spread lightly with peanut butter. A glass of ice water infused with fresh melon is a tasty spin on a typically blah beverage. It keeps us our ever-moving bodies hydrated. This meal is jam packed with stars and tasty goodness.
As we close, we hope that wherever you are reading this that the weather is a little nicer than here in ND and you are able to really enjoy your spring foods with sunshine. Until we meet up next time, we are “stuck in colder weather, maybe tomorrow will be better” (a little inspiration from our friends, the Zac Brown Band).
Jaclyn Collins is an energetic, active, and very busy student at the University of North Dakota. She is studying Dietetics and is passionate about nutrition. She believes balance and moderation are the keys to success in many areas of life, including one’s diet. Jaclyn is the president of the Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics and is an activist in promoting the education of a healthy diet and lifestyle during one’s college years. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, running outside, watching the stars, and drinking a good cup of coffee.
Katie Bachmeier is a fun-loving and creative student studying at the University of North Dakota. Bachmeier’s enthusiasm for reading and writing is pursued as she is majoring in English and communications. She is currently a staff writer for the student led paper, reporting on issues and events applicable to college students. Fitness and nutrition has always been an essential part of her life. Her main focus on the related topic is promoting a healthy and positive body image in today’s ever growing media dominated world. When she is not writing papers or reading novels, Bachmeier could be found training for her first half-marathon, playing guitar, and attempting to find the world’s best piece of cheese cake.