Q + A, Part 5

Your nutrition and fitness questions answered! | The Slender Student

Do you ever take a break from eating all healthy and just stop at a fast food place to get a cheeseburger?
Yes.

Do you think that overnight oats are good to eat everyday? I eat mine like so: 1/3 cup oats, 1 tub (170g) 0% fat free Chobani Greek yogurt, some cinnamon, 2 teaspoons chia seeds and in the morning I add 1 banana, 1/4 cup All Bran,  1/4 cup berries and sometimes a tablespoon of PB. I’m worried that this is too many calories for one meal?
So I checked this out, and it looks like that’s about a 500 calorie breakfast. It’s hard to say if that’s “too many” for one meal because I don’t know your activity level or what you eat for the rest of the day, but it’s definitely within the range of acceptability. If you’re still worried, though, there’s definitely some ways to get that number a little lower. Chia seeds and peanut butter are both fat sources, so I’d probably halve the amount of peanut butter (that’ll take you from 100 calories to 50…bonus points if you switch you all natural almond butter). While you’re at it, halve the banana as well since you already have carbohydrate from the oats, yogurt, and berries (this will also save you about 50 calories.) Since you’re getting in some grains from the oats, you could also decrease the All Bran. Oh, and to answer your first question, overnight oats is the breakfast of champs. A+.

I can not get it working in my head how foods high in fat like avocados and coconut oil are healthy? Fats are bad right?
No! Fats are not bad (though some are better choices than others), and eating fats won’t make you fat. Eating in excess of your caloric needs will make you fat. Get the full low down on what your best fat sources are and why in this post: Fat Decoded

See if your questions have been answered in past Q + As, or ask one of your own now!

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Pack A Snack

Airport snack ideas for slender travels! | The Slender Student

How many times have you started a trip with every intention to “be good,” only to be sidelined by the unhealthy airport selection that leaves you spiraling into a vacation of cheat meals and despair? Hopefully I’m not alone on this one, otherwise I’ve over shared to the max.

Per usual, all it takes is a little planning on your part to start your travels off on the right foot. The following snacks are all airplane safe and ideal for traveling because they can be stashed in a Ziploc bag in your carry on. Depending on how long you’ll be airborne, you might want to pair a few of these together for a more complete, low calorie, high protein meal.

Low calorie, filling snacks perfect for bringing on a flight! | The Slender Student

  • 15 almonds (105 calories, 4 g protein)
  • 1/2 C shelled edamame (100 calories, 8 g protein)
  • Babybel Light (50 calories, 6 g protein)
  • 1 oz turkey jerky (100 calories, 19 g protein)
  • Health Warrior chia seed bars (100 calories, 3 g protein)
  • Pop Secret 100 Calorie Pop (100 calories, 3 g protein)
  • 1 hardboiled egg (80 calories, 6 g protein)
  • Horizon Organic string cheese (80 calories, 8 g protein)
  • dark chocolate energy bites (55 calories, 3 g protein)
  • cinnamon raisin protein bread (70 calories, 5 g protein)
  • brainola (155 calories, 3 g protein)
  • sweet and savory muffins (125 calories, 4 g protein; 100 calories, 9 g protein)

In the event that you can’t throw any of these together, check out airport convenience stores for my go-to snacks– Greek yogurt, high protein/low sugar/low calorie snack bars, raw nuts, turkey sandwiches (no mayo, plz), etc. What are your must munch travel snacks? Leave a comment!

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Q + A, Part 4

Today I’m answering another handful of the questions y’all have submitted. Be sure to readpart 1part 2, and part 3 to see if I answered your question or just to check out the answer to something you probably wanted to know anyway. If you’re still feeling snubbed, please submit any question you’d like!

Answers to commonly asked nutrition and fitness questions! | The Slender Student

Will doing 100 ab crunches a day for thirty days give you evident results?
The most definitive answer I can give you to this question is no. Unfortunately, you can’t really target fat loss that way and, more often than not, the moves you make in the kitchen will deliver more results than the moves you make in the gym. Think about it this way: you can consume calories far faster than you can burn them. So, if you’re looking to get bikini-ready abs, I’d suggest a calorie-conscious diet full of whole foods, cardio, and strength training (including those crunches, if you’d like).

You mentioned that you did Weight Watchers when you were younger. What are your thoughts on it now?
I’ve had a couple stints with Weight Watchers and excluding my undergraduate nutrition education, it has probably provided me with the most knowledge about healthy eating. Recording your food as PointsPlus is a great way to exercise portion control and hold yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth.

My only qualm about their new system (assuming this is still how it works) is that fruit is zero points. For most people who don’t particularly enjoy fruit as a snack, this is probably an effective way to get them eating more. And while fruit is a nutrient-dense alternative to many snacks that are nutritionally empty, it still has calories. As someone who loves fruit, I was happy I could consume cups of it between meals to stifle my hunger without dipping into my daily PointsPlus for the day. That extra couple hundred calories or so, however, definitely stifled my weight loss, as well.

I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth ever, which has been a problem since I am trying to lose the 20 pounds I gained freshman year. What can I do to keep me away from the sweets?
I think your best bet will be to indulge in your cravings from time to time, but in a slender way. There are lots of lower calorie alternatives to satiate a sweet tooth, and totally avoiding the things you love is just going to set yourself up for failure. I like to have a 100-150 calorie “safety net” left over at the end of the night for sweets that satisfy my sweet tooth. This includes things like sweet slender nachos, single serving mug brownies, or chocolate Greek froyo.

Q + A, Part 3

Today I’m answering another handful of the questions y’all have submitted. Be sure to read part 1 and part 2 to see if I answered your question or just to check out the answer to something you probably wanted to know anyway. If you’re still feeling snubbed, please submit any question you’d like!
Your nutrition questions answered! | The Slender Student

How did you get into the whole healthy lifestyle thing? Is it how you were raised, or was it a decision you made for yourself as you got older?
I’d say that my inclination toward health has been a work in progress. As an overweight kid, I’ve always been very body conscious. Losing that weight occurred through a combination of simply growing into my body, Weight Watchers, and sessions with a registered dietitian. Plus, my mom’s a naturally thin woman with naturally healthy eating habits (ugh, lucky lady), and I’m sure that’s also played a significant role in how I ended up where I am today (though I’m definitely not nutritionally perfect by any means).

So, since nutrition was an interest of mine throughout my adolescence, it seemed like a natural choice to major in it. Since then, my passion for the subject has only grown, as manifested by The Slender Student. In about a year, I’ll be set to take the certification exam to become a Registered Dietitian, making it not just a hobby, but my full time career too. 

I am dependent on at least 2 cups of coffee a day (one in the morning and one in the early afternoon) to stay awake for a whole day of classes. Are there any healthy alternatives that pack the same punch? I love my coffee but worry it’s inhibiting my true slender potential!
Ah, a caffeine fiend; a reader after my own heart. Before you go any further, read my Coffee Talk post.

Are you back? K, great. So, if by “coffee” you mean coffee, then sit back and enjoy your two cups. But, if by “coffee” you mean a grande caramel macchiato double syrup with heavy whip, then it’s probably time to reevaluate. How do I get my slender caffeine fix while maintaining a bit of decadence? So glad you asked. On colder days, I’ll get my grande coffee with steamed nonfat milk and Splenda . The thick frothiness makes the drink a little creamier, which makes it seem more like a treat than its low calorie count lets on. In the summer, I’ll ask for a half pump of sugar free vanilla syrup in my grande iced coffee. Leave the sugar, whole milk, caramel drizzle and whipped cream behind the counter and it’ll stay off your waist too.

Hi, I am a lactose-intolerant vegetarian, and find it really hard to get enough protein in my diet. I normally end up with meals made majorly of carbohydrates. Do you have any suggestions of ways to incorporate more protein into my diet? Thanks :)
Hey! Ok, so I’m really excited to answer this question because as you may have noticed, I’ve been incorporating Meatless Mondays into my weekly routine so I’m just, like, super revved up about plant-based proteins. As a vegetarian, it’s crucial that you understand how to combine complementary foods to make complete proteins. Once you understand that concept, it’s time to shop. To prepare for my vegetarian meals, I make sure to purchase at least one alternative source of protein (tofu, tempeh), some sort of bean (canned black or garbanzo; reduced sodium is best), quinoa, almond butter, and, of course, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I’m able to combine these ingredients into nutritious, protein-packed vegetarian mealsSince you’re lactose intolerant, I also suggest you check out dairy alternatives made from soy, almonds, or coconut that are calcium fortified.

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The List

I often struggle with how personal I want The Slender Student to be. I hesitate to put it all out there for two reasons. Firstly, you could all be Craigslist Killers, or strangers with candy that want me to get in your van. Secondly, I’m just some random college girl whose blog you stumbled upon after clicking through some pretty food pictures on Pinterest. Admit it, you’re here for the healthy food porn, not to hear my life story.

Recently, however, I was telling an acquaintance something about a fast food venture fueled by libation, leaving her in complete disbelief that, “The Slender Student drunk eats?! At WHATABURGER?!” In that moment I realized that in sharing my healthy tips and recipes, I’ve (unintentionally) made myself out to be a nutritional saint. So today I’ve decided to share my list. My list consists of five things (though I’m sure there are more) I’m working on to improve my health. These are the things that I know I should be doing as a nutrition student, a health blogger, and a human, but that I don’t do because I’m well…a human.

My list of health things to work on... What's on your list? | The Slender Student

I know from my own experience (and a buncha geeks’ research) that writing things down helps keep you accountable, so feel free to leave your own lists in the comments section. Immortalizing your goals on the interweb could make you that much more likely to achieve them, plus I’d just love to see them.

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