Fighting the Freshmen Fifteen
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Fighting the Freshmen Fifteen

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

By Victoria Fry, Program Assistant / Independent Living Skills Instructor

Gaining the freshman fifteen is a common experience with today’s college students. Trust me, I once shared in the communal weight gain. I gained weight because like any other college student, my stress was high, my time was valuable, and my budget was small. Naturally, I problem solved by eating out regularly. However, I learned the hard way that eating out wastes time, money and eventually, can cause serious health impacts.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the data:

Restaurant Panda Express Pizza Hut Chipotle
Meal Orange Chicken Bowl Pepperoni Pizza Steak Bowl
(With guacamole)
(There and back)
30 minutes
30 minutes
54 minutes
(Excluding fare)
$5.70 $24 $10.10

Now let us compare the above data to the following home-cooked meals:

Meal Time Cost: Per Serving
Pesto Pasta 19 minutes $1.10
Mozzarella Sticks 15 minutes $3.13
French Toast 12 minutes $1.55
cmpic1 cmpic2 cmpic3
Brandon’s Pesto Pasta Chrissy’s Mozzarella Sticks James’ French Toast

As you can see, cooking is an essential part of fiscal and nutritional health. Additionally, cooking saves precious time out of your day. Therefore, it is vital that you smoothly transition into a pattern of cooking. Below are a few tips that I found to be helpful in this process:

cmpic41. Create a cooking routine. Allot a half-hour daily to cook something. Don’t have a half hour? Cook all of your meals on the weekend and then reheat your meal during the week.
2. Create an Eat Sheet. Your Eat Sheet will help you decide what you are going to cook, when you will cook it, and what ingredients you will need to purchase while at the grocery store.
3. Understand that you don’t have to be Gordon Ramsey. Some of the most delicious meals are made using premade ingredients.
4. For those who are technologically savvy, take and share a picture of what you choose to cook. This is a fun way to share what you cook and interact with others. #foodie #yolo
5. Understand that you have resources at your fingertips. Don’t know how to cook something? That’s totally fine, YouTube it! You can teach yourself almost any skill online through video.
6. If you learn a new skill in a cooking group or online, go home and try it yourself. Remember, knowing is only a fraction of the learning process. Applying the knowledge is a true test of understanding. Think you can do it? Prove it. I double-dog dare you!

When you transition into a steady pattern of daily cooking, you will save time, money, and you will see an improvement in your health. Keep in mind; you either make healthy choices or unhealthy choices. At the end of the day, the amount of effort that you put into making those choices is going to be the same. Therefore I ask you, how valuable is your time, money, and health? If they are assets to you, go home and cook something.

Pesto Pasta Mozzarella Sticks French Toast
Bowtie Pasta:
1.79/4 = $0.45
String Cheese:
$7.89/2= $3.95
$3.95/4= $0.99
2.61/4= $0.65
$2.89/4= $0.72
Bread Crumbs:
Whipped Cream:
$2.49/8= $0.31
$2.88/4= $0.72
$1.10 Per Serving
$1.55 Per Serving

Newsletter Articles – August 2014

Independent living cooking at CLE

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Michael and Danny1

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Superheroes cookbook

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Nicolas with aspergers at CLE

I wake up one lovely summer morning. The sun is shining. Birds are singing on the rooftops. Overall, I feel on top of the world. As I saunter down to the kitchen for breakfast, I hear my parents’ voices. They say curiosity killed the cat, but I’m more of a dog person, so I approach them. Little do I know that today is the first day of the rest of my life.

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