By Emily Klingman
Most college students have gone through a period of stuffing their faces with food. Under the pressure and stress of work, students often become overly enamored of the taste, smell and sight of food. Living with a meal plan does not help control the newfound love either.
Author Jane McClaren suffered from an eating disorder. She became obsessed with food and constantly ate. It took over all aspects of her life and controlled her thoughts and actions. Eventually she pulled herself out of the dark hole that was consuming her. She found salvation and shares how in her book, You Can: Love Food, Love Yourself, & Love Life.
In her book, McClaren talks a lot about knowing what is in the food you eat. She emphasizes counting calories and being informed about what chemicals could potentially be in food. She also discusses how to discover why you eat what you eat. All of this is important when taking charge of your health.
Overall, this book is helpful to anyone looking to change his or her eating habits and is beneficial for students who want to be more conscious of eating right. You may be tired of feeling sluggish, want to look better, or just want a change in your daily life. Obviously not everyone will have to make the same drastic changes McClaren did, but there are aspects that anyone can relate to.
It is easy to agree with this author’s general principles about eating habits. However, her work is focused on her eating disorder, which can be hard to relate to. Nevertheless, she offers some valuable points to remember when trying to change your nutrition lifestyle.
One of the points McClaren discusses is making food fun again. For many who are trying to change their lives around, food is a very stressful topic. This book aims to make it enjoyable. She describes many ways to do this, including not being afraid to make homemade meals. Home-cooked meals are often much healthier, and cooking can be a perfect opportunity to relieve stress.
Another way to make food fun is simply going to a farmers market, where visitors can discover new and different foods grown right in their community.
McClaren also stresses the idea of self-reflection. The “Why do you eat?” section of this self-help book attempts to help the reader look in the metaphorical mirror. Self-reflection is an important step in any lifestyle change. Without it, it would be almost impossible to ensure that a relapse does not occur. McClaren explains the importance of understanding and accepting oneself before making a huge lifestyle overhaul.
An issue with the book is McClaren’s lack of emphasis on exercise. Going to the gym is not always the most enjoyable activity, but exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle.
Exercise does not have to be a terrible chore. Simple changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving or even getting up and taking a walk when you need a break can burn calories.
Making simple changes not only help you look better, but also feel better. Cutting out some of the late-night greasy foods can improve health and mood. A simple walk during a study break can do wonders, leaving your mind and body refreshed.
In college, it can be hard to eat healthy, or even remember these things when you are surrounded by bad eating habits, a job and schoolwork. You Can: Love Food, Love Yourself, & Love Life is a great book for those who need that extra push to start, or continue, their lifestyle change. McClaren is there to remind those who need it that change is possible for everyone, and it is worth it.
Printed in the 11/13/13 edition.