Thursday, October 4, 2012

Healthy Meals Lead to Better Life Balance By Jannifer Ju

Great Food leads to Great HealthDuring my childhood, my family was somewhat health-conscious, but we did not take it seriously. When I started high school, my family began to eat more organic and natural food. I ate several pieces of fruit every day and switched to whole grain cereals for breakfast. This is when I first discovered that eating wholesome food is a great way to balance your life. I had always gotten reasonably good grades, but in high school my grades skyrocketed and I graduated with high honors.

During college, I continued to eat healthy food. While my roommates lived on frozen pizza and other instant meals, I took pride in preparing real meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. To save time, I washed them all right after I bought them, chop them up, and stored them in the refrigerator for use throughout the rest of the week. This method served me well, and I continued to keep up my stellar academic performance.

Unfortunately, I did not have access to my favorite fruits and vegetables over the summers when I worked as a merit badge instructor at a youth camp. The apples and oranges were tolerable, but the canned green beans and corn were unbearably salty. Although I tried to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, I found myself snacking on unhealthy garbage and gobbling up sugar-loaded desserts to increase my energy levels. Unfortunately, it had the exact opposite effect. By the end of the summer, I felt lethargic and only regained my energy when I got home and started eating right again.

Today, I cook dinners with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I love steamed vegetables because they are flavorful and full of nutrients. With a little rice and protein, the meal is complete!

Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that eating healthy food plays a role in occupational performance, but I know from experience that eating healthy food can make a person more alert and perform better in any occupation. Don't just take my word for it; balance your life by including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet every day!

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