Students can find help with dietary habits at Campus Recreation

By Chelsey Boutan

Yogurt? No. Cottage Cheese? No. Peanut Butter? No. Orange Juice? No. Vegetables? Only if I have to.

I began to feel embarassed as Martha O’Gorman, coordinator of nutrition programming at Campus Recreation, rattled off a list of foods to include in my diet and I told her with each passing item, “Sorry, I don’t like that.”

I felt bad for O’Gorman. Sure, I warned her I was a picky eater, but I must have been one of the toughest students she’s done a nutrition consultation for.

Well, at least O’Gorman didn’t have to evaluate my diet when I was a child and my two main food groups were chicken nuggets and strawberry Jell-O.

When O’Gorman pulled out my three day food log, I expected her to chastise me for my weekend diet, which consisted of Jimmy John’s, McDonald’s, Mexican food and ice cream.

Instead, O’Gorman surprised me when she said, “I’m not looking at this food log to see what Chelsey is doing that’s bad, but what she is not doing.”

O’Gorman noticed that I don’t have a regular intake of dairy products. This concerned me because osteoporosis runs in my family and I’ve been told that my petite 5’3″, 107-pound frame increases my chances for developing this chronic disease.

On a daily food planning worksheet, O’Gorman showed me how I can increase my dairy intake by drinking a glass of milk and eating string cheese everyday. Because I don’t like yogurt and most other dairy items, O’Gorman said I should take calcium citrate daily.

To demonstrate what my dinner plate usually consists of, O’Gorman placed plastic food items on a plate.

“Your plate is looking like this,” she said. “How would you improve that?”

Looking at the pretend dinner plate, I noticed that grain products like rice and bread are the majority of what I eat. O’Gorman said I need to increase my intake of vegetables and fruits to ensure that I’m eating items from all food groups.

Having the nutrition consultation showed me how important it is to have healthy eating habits because it could potentially decrease my chances of contracting chronic diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol which my family members have.

Before leaving the one-on-one session, I made a follow-up appointment to work on meal planning in two weeks. Sorry, O’Gorman; I guess you’ll have to deal with this picky eater one more time.