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Teams vie to live healthy in Live, Love, Nutrition Challenge

March 18th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

By Kristi Ottley

LOGAN—March is National Nutrition Month and USU’s Dietetic Student Association (DSA) has been promoting it through Facebook and the group’s Live, Love, Nutrition Challenge.

Living a healthy lifestyle is quite simple, but many people don’t realize just how easy it really is, according to DSA President Cami Jo Satterthwaite. She and her leadership team wanted to do something during National Nutritional month that would get students across campus involved and help them realize that being healthy is easy and important. It was with this desire that the Live, Love, Nutrition challenge idea began.

Students and faculty members were invited to form their own four-member teams and join the challenge via the group’s Facebook page.

Nine different teams are participating in the challenge. Each week there has been a different challenge posted on the page for team members to work on throughout the week. At the end of the week the team captain reports to the DSA how their team did and points are awarded. Weekly prizes are given to the team that scores the most points. The points awarded are added to the previous week’s points to determine an overall winner at the end of the challenge.

“We wanted the challenges to be something easy that people would be able to do,” said Satterthwaite. “We just people to focus on taking care of themselves.”

The first weekly challenge was for participants to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables for at least one meal each day. There was also a bonus challenge posted to Facebook during the week for each team to share a recipe consisting of mostly vegetables, said Satterthwaite.

“Making half my plate fruits and veggies is pretty hard,” said Emily Jenkins, the Lollipop Gang team captain. “I eat fruits for snacks, not really with meals. And I don’t eat as many vegetables as I should. This challenge at least helped me realize that I need to add more vegetables to my diet.”

The second challenge was for participants to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. “We purposely scheduled this challenge for the week of Spring Break,” said Satterthwaite. “This can be hard for some college students to accomplish and we thought they might have a better chance during a week of no classes and homework.”

The adequate sleep challenge was chosen because of its many benefits. Everyone needs sleep and most people perform much better throughout the day and have more energy if they were able to get a good night’s sleep, said Satterthwaite.

The competition has been fierce so far. Participants are able to keep tabs on the other teams and their accomplishments, adding to the fun and intensity of the challenge. Teams have been posting photos on the Facebook page of at least one of their team members completing each weekly challenge, Satterthwaite said.

For the final task, participants are challenged to eat breakfast within the first two hours of waking up each morning for a week.

“Eating breakfast is very important,” said Satterthwaite. “Your body functions much better throughout the day when you start it with a nutritional breakfast and you feel better physically and mentally.”

During the final week of March there will be an evening celebrating National Nutritional Month and the winning team of the Live, Love, Nutrition challenge will be announced. Satterthwaite says the goal is to have a fun night and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments during the month.

“Nutrition is important because it affects our bodies and our daily life,” said Jenkins. “When you eat healthy, you feel better. You get benefits like staying slim or getting more energy throughout the day.

“Nutrition also affects things that can come later in life like heart disease or cancer,” she said. “Eating healthy can prevent those diseases and improve quality of life for everyone. And it can taste so good.”

“It is so easy just to forget the basics; the little things you can do to take care of yourself to be more productive, and to have more energy,” Satterthwaite said. “They are all things college students really need.”

The prizes are underwritten by a $200 grant to USU’s DSA from the Utah Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


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