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Fram Fram to Fitness: Health Tips from a Vegan

Hello HC Fitness Readers!

It has been two weeks since I last wrote you, but with new classes, hikes, and road trips it has been a busy two weeks. I just arrived back from Queenstown, a beautiful New Zealand city in the South Island, after a very quick, but well worth it, overnight trip. While I was there I relaxed around the lake front and did a beautiful hike to get a 360 degree view of the area. It was lovely and also much needed after a hamburger from the famous “Fergburger’s” where you can literally get a burger that will keep you full well beyond lunch. 

 [Me at the top of the mountain in Queenstown.]

In my last post I mentioned my wonderful friend Hannah, who I must say exudes healthiness. Trust me, you can’t help but wonder why her delicious vegan dishes aren't straight out of a gormet café (she would beg to differ, but it’s completely true). So, on my way back from Queenstown to Dunedin I asked her if she would mind being featured in this blog, and she happily agreed.

[Meet my flatmate Hannah Kendall; Vegan and well, just an awesome person in general.]

Even though Hannah is a vegan, she offered some great insights into healthy eating, even for those of us who do like meat and eggs every now and then! 

Q. What are some of the healthiest foods college women should include in their diets?
A. “You have to have a lot of fruits and vegetables and when you do, preferably eat them raw, not cooked-otherwise you will lose a lot of the nutrients. In addition, make sure to drink a lot of water. Many people think they are hungry, but they are really just need some H2O. However, probably one of the healthiest vegetables for anyone is kale, it is high in iron, calcium and vitamins. I’m still trying to learn some different ways to cook it, but you can put it in your salads or sauté it with some onions and other veggies.”

Q. What are some important nutrients that HC readers might be lacking within their diets?
A. “Make sure to get your omega-3s.They are important fatty acids for your body. I often have flax or chia seeds (which help to suppress hunger, making you feel fuller) with my food, which are filled with omega- 3s. I often soak the chia seeds in water for 15 minutes in water and then drink the water to get a hydrating and nutrient field glass of water. But otherwise you can get omega- 3s in walnuts, avocados, and fish. Another important vitamin, if you are like me and don’t eat meat or dairy, it is wise to consume a B12 vitamin every day, a lack of B12 unfortunately results often in fatigue and depression, so make sure you get that!”

Q. I have a hard time figuring out what is a healthy salad dressing – any recommendations?
A. “I always just make my own. Stay away from the creamy dressings they contain a lot of sugar. I like mixing balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, with some Dijon mustard. Although, most of the time I just do balsamic vinegar and olive oil because it is easiest. I usually have a salad for lunch and I recommend this, but make sure you have some sort of protein on the salad, whether it is beans or meat, otherwise a salad probably isn’t going to suffice your appetite in the long run.”

Q. Any other health tips for our Fram Fram readers?
A. “Make sure you have a breakfast that is protein filled. Whether it be eggs with spinach or granola with almonds and nuts, it is wise to have protein with your breakfast; Otherwise later in the day you will find yourself hungry and craving some sugar. It will keep you full and satisfied longer. Also avoid eating two hours before bedtime. Trust me, I am completely guilty of the whole ice cream before bedtime thing, but if you must have something to eat reach for an apple or a carrot, because your metabolism slows down at night.”

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