Students take on five week healthy living challenge

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Chocolate and beer for dinner with hours of “Downton Abbey” aren’t necessarily the cornerstones to healthy living.

With the new year comes the inevitable resolutions to be healthier. Just like everyone else, I made a goal to clean up my food intake, exercise more, and get more sleep. By volunteering for a healthy student challenge I am now going be accountable.

First, I need a plan that adapts to my class schedule and my crazy work schedule, where I often work until 2 to 3 a.m. At this point, I just tend to fit in sleep whenever I have a chance.

Also, I do have the dreaded dietary restrictions due to food allergies that I have to keep in mind. This is a no-compromise zone for me.

Cost concerns for purchasing quality food about three times a week are also a consideration. This just comes with the territory of being a student.

This challenge came at a time when I started to really evaluate my values on health and optimal living.

My main focus is to get back to clean eating with having a serving of a fruit or a vegetable with every meal; eating foods that are as close to nature as possible, like Michael Pollan’s philosophy; and drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day. I am allowed one cheat meal per week, which I will have to save my Redbridge for. 

For my workouts, I am required to work out at least four times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. I do high-intensity interval training, run, ride my bike, or do compound lifts. Part of the challenge is to vary one’s exercise routine to one new thing a week, so I know I am looking forward to trying out a few new exercise classes like pole dancing and ballet.

I am curious to see if the pressure of making a serious effort to put the value of “clean eating” and a exercise routine at the top of my priority list will end up being worth it, or if it will just make me even more stressed out.