Senior runners find healthy alternatives to school lunches

Between school, homework, sports, music and work, CFHS students barely have time to pass in the halls between classes, yet alone eat healthy meals. However, seniors Brianna King and Allison Gregg not only make time for activities, athletics and school work, but they also value healthy eating.

While students may find junk foods easy to grab, King would much rather choose a healthy option. “Eating healthy is important to me because the food lasts longer due to the protein in it, which is really important since I run every day after school. Eating healthy makes my running workouts feel easier, and the healthy foods I eat taste better than junk food to me,” King said.

Gregg also eats healthy in part to give her the energy to get through her workouts. “Eating healthy is important to me because it is my fuel for running. It is simple: without the proper fuel, I cannot complete my workouts at the level of intensity that is needed,” Gregg said.

Instead of packing lunchables or sugary PB&J, King packs healthier, non-traditional alternatives.

“Generally I pack a turkey and spinach sub, some type of side dish like macaroni salad or quinoa (a grain-like dish that contains a lot of protein), homemade apple zucchini bread, red peppers with homemade veggie dip, cheese and crackers, some kind of fruit and a juice box. I also pack a protein bar for after school in case I want a snack before running,” King said.

Both girls pack similar foods, and it doesn’t take too much extra time for them to prepare lunches for the day. “I typically pack a grilled chicken and spinach panini with an apple and cottage cheese. It takes me about 10 minutes to make my lunch and pack it, so it is good that I have a release in the morning,” Gregg said.

For students interested in making the switch to healthy eating, Gregg has some tips. “It is not difficult to eat healthy if you have the right foods stocked in your kitchen. If you surround yourself with healthy options, then it is easy. One thing I do to make healthy snacking easy is washing fruit or veggies right after I buy them and bagging them in small bags,” Gregg said. “Whenever I need a quick snack, I just grab one out of the refrigerator real quick. Another important part of eating healthy is understanding menus when you go out to eat. You can always alter menu items to make them healthier: ask for grilled instead of breaded and fried, sauces on the side, and you can always replace unhealthy sides that ‘come with the meal.’ Eating healthy does take a little bit of effort, but it is well worth it. Your body will feel better, and you will also mentally feel better.”

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