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COLUMN: Eating healthy isn’t simple

As I walk toward the Thorpe Hall cafeteria, I go over the intended meal plan in my mind.

Fruit, chicken salad, water. Simple enough.

And then I get to the cafeteria. And what do I see? Food and beverages that look much, much more tasty than fruit, chicken salad and water.
Butterfinger cupcakes. Fresh pizza straight out of the oven, the gooey, melted cheese still steaming. A big, fat cheeseburger with perfectly seasoned, greasy fries. Well, you only live once, right?
Right. And that’s the problem. You only live once, which means that in my case, I’m going to die by 60 if I keep this up.
What’s worse is that my weight doesn’t fluctuate as much. Five foot three and 120 pounds, I’m average. I’ve been blessed with decent genes.
So since eating healthy or eating junk pretty much results in the same body, I choose the latter — although my fast metabolism may only be temporary.
What I often don’t take into consideration is the possibility of poor health later in life due to consuming food with low nutritional value. Diabetes. Memory loss. A higher chance of disease in general.
According to livestrong.com, an unhealthy diet can even cause night blindness, due to a lack of Vitamin A.
A couple of short-term effects of eating poorly are exhaustion and mood swings. I think back to the past week. Yes, I felt tired quite a bit. Yes, I might have snapped at my roommate once or twice. Could it be because of the junk food I consume on a daily basis? Probably. The stress of classes, tests and projects are also factors, but I’m sure that eating garbage certainly doesn’t help.
I know I don’t need junk food. A couple of weeks ago, I ate healthy for an entire week. I use the word ‘entire’ because five days of eating nutritional foods was a little painful for me. But during that week, I realized that the need for sizeable amounts of sugar gradually decreased as the health kick endured. So I survived.
My cut-back of bad foods ceased once the following weekend hit. And I shrugged it off, as usual.
But you know what? I think it’s time to stop shrugging the matter off. After all, I’d prefer not to have dementia, diabetes, fatigue, mood swings or (heaven forbid) night blindness. What I eat now affects both my current health and my future health.
It took me years of brushing off the truth to finally realize eating healthy is important. And I think that Monday morning, starting with breakfast, is the perfect time to begin again.
Hopefully, the chefs hide the cinnamon rolls.

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