You are what you eat, and then some

The season of early morning commutes and late night studying is around the corner and once it gets started, personal health and well-being are pushed further down the list of priorities. How can we think about eating right when there are three essays and an oral presentation due before we make it to week two? Enter Concordia’s Health Services, here to make your life a tad easier when it comes to all things health-related.

“[Students] can come into health services where we have a lot of reliable, evidence-based information [to] find out more about what is healthy eating,” said Concordia Health Services health promotion specialist Gabriella Szabo. “That’s a great place to start.”

Instead of starting mid-semester or waiting until New Year’s to get healthy, make a pledge to start right now. Easier said than done, probably, but you might be surprised how easy it is to stay on track once you have the right amount of commitment.

“We don’t have to only want it, we have to want to want it,” said Szabo. “If the person wants to eat healthier, they need to build that commitment to that goal of eating healthier and it needs to be really important [to them].”

The Health Services website has tools and guides including booklets on living well, customizable plans and lists of food resources in Montreal. In addition to that, Szabo recommends taking a look at Canada’s Food Guide for more information. Throughout the year Concordia students can also participate in workshops discussing eating well, working out, stress management and other health-related topics.

To live a healthy lifestyle you won’t have to start stuffing your face with kale smoothies or start substituting an apple for a burger. There’s room for all kinds of food, including junk food,it all depends on portion control and balance.

“There’s no such thing as good food or bad food, there are just foods you should choose more of and some you should choose less of,” said Szabo.

Plant foods such as fruits and vegetables are at the top of the list of what we should choose most of. It just happens to be that these foods are easily portable for an on-the-go snack and are usually mess-free and perfect for class.

“If you already eat lots of fruits and vegetables then that’s great keep doing that and if you don’t, then one goal to set for yourself might be ‘I might introduce one new fruit or vegetable into my diet every week,’” said Szabo.

If you’re one to run out the door without bringing a lunch and find yourself exposed to the temptations of fast-food utopia, we’ve got you covered. Concordia has healthy eating options right on campus: the People’s Potato on the seventh floor of the Hall building, and the Loyola Luncheon which has free vegetarian lunches every day in the Hive. If you want to stock up on discount-priced fruits and veggies you can check out the Good Food Box.

We’ve all had to fight the desire to face-plant on our desk and take a nap, but if you avoid skipping meals this will help with alertness. However it’s about more than just food intake, there are several other factors that play a part in our performance in or outside of school.

“Getting enough sleep and enough physical activity regularly is so important because it gets the blood flowing and it gets the oxygen going to the brain which helps us stay awake,” said Szabo.

There’s no doubt it’s hard getting started, but with the right mindset to complete goals, nothing is unattainable.

“We need to build our commitment, make a plan and track it,” said Szabo. “So if we ever get off track we can get right back on.”

For more information about what is offered at Concordia’s Health Services, visit

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