Wellness at Berkeley Module 10: Nutrition

Wellness at Berkeley Module 10: Nutrition

September 13, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer


(soft music) – You’ll remember that this course was born out of a recognition that we need to nourish the whole student, body, spirit, and mind. But what about actually nourishment? My name is Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton. I’m a psychology professor,
here at UC Berkeley. And I’m joined by my
cohost, Dree Kavoussi, fourth-year undergraduate
and ASUC Senator. To talk about the topic of
nutrition and nourishment, we have two distinguished guests, Toby Morris, Clinical Dietitian in University Health Services, and Renee Simpson, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist in Cal Dining. Thank you for joining us and welcome. Renee, you and I were
exchanging emails earlier and I noticed that your signature was from the food critic character
in the movie Ratatouille. Tell us about that a little bit. – The quote is, “I don’t
like food, I love it. “If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.” When I heard that in the movie, it made me think of my own personal philosophy of how I eat. I eat what I love. I don’t think that you should eat food just because it’s healthy. It needs to be delicious as well. So that keeps you from overdoing it. – And Toby, how did you
get involved in nutrition? – I’ve been involved in
nutrition for a long time. I’ve been a dietitian for, I guess, about 12 years now. I just love working with people. I love teaching, talking, and counseling people working one-on-one and
also in group settings. So I became a dietitian because I realized I really wanted some in-depth knowledge about a certain topic, I
came out of my undergraduate program with a breath of knowledge and decided I wanted to go
a lot deeper into a topic that I was really interested in. I’ve always been interested
in food and health. – So speaking of undergraduates and Renee, you hit on this, a lot of new students,
first time out of the house, they’re eating on their own, how do they eat healthy and well and tasty food without
going over the limit of eating too much junk or too healthy? – The thing is, they have
to get used to the fact that all this food is available to them. One of the things that
we do at Cal Dining, I’ll provide the students
with some guidance through the dining hall. I will do a class where
I walk them through and show them the different
options that we have, let them know, “Yes,
there’s pizza everyday “but there’s also the organic salad bar “options everyday. Like I said, “if you don’t love it, don’t swallow. “So if you wanna have some pizza, “have it every now and then. “If it’s your absolute favorite, don’t just eat it just
because it’s there.” ‘Cause I think that is what
happens a lot of times. They just eat the things
just because it’s there, get used to it being there. – [Rodolfo] Renee, can I ask you, you mentioned, “I offer a class.” Can you tell us a little
bit more about this class, keeping in mind that many of our viewers may never have heard of it? Where do they go, what’s the class called? – What I’ll do is I’ll
adjust the class or design it for the students’ needs. Usually the students
will contact me and say they’re interested in
bringing some other students over and learning what we have to offer. So I’ll find out what
exactly do they need. A couple of times, they’ve wanted to know something about how to navigate through the dining halls
without overeating. So that will be the topic. I’ve had students to come over to learn how to make their own pizza dough. Just depends on what they’re looking for. – And where do they go, is
there a specific address, a specific building, or a phone number? – Usually they’ll contact me directly at rmsimpson@berkeley.edu and we’ll email back and forth, and I’ll have them come
over and meet with me, and we’ll meet at the
dining hall and take a tour, and adjust the class to meet theirs needs. – Through Cal Dining Services? – Through Cal Dining. – I remember in my own entry into college, the terrible joke, the freshman 15. What is that, does it still exist? Does it go away? How do you prevent it? – I can address that– – Go ahead.
– if it’s ok. I think that this concept
of the freshman 15 is a bit of a myth, actually. I think that most of the
research that I’ve read actually suggests that students might gain two, three pounds during
their first year of college. So I think the idea that
everybody is putting on 15 pounds is really not true. When you’re a teenager, a young adult, some growth and development
is actually normal. It’s a part of becoming an adult. So I think a little bit of
weight gain for some people is perfectly normal and healthy. Unfortunately, this myth feeds into an underlying anxiety
and fixation about food, weight, and body image, in what I feel like is a negative way. – What resources are
available for students that they’re fresh out of the house, wanna know the nutritional value? They might be eating
in the dining commons, have their own apartment, or living in parent housing. How do they make food for themselves or learn about nutrition? – I think it’s amazing that
we have Renee available to students who are involved
in the dining common so that they can get some one-on-one help and other resources available through the dining services. As far as on campus,
University Health Services, the Tang Center, I’m there
so I provide one-on-one nutrition counseling for
20 to 30 students a week. I try to offer as much as I can in ways that will reach more students at once. For example, this video
series is an amazing opportunity to reach a
lot of students at once. We try to offer information on our website at the Tang Center. We, occasionally, will offer groups so I can reach more students at one time. If students have individual concerns, they’re welcome to come,
make an appointment. Any student has access to me. Graduate, undergraduate
students can all see me for one-on-one nutrition
session or several sessions depending on what their needs are. – To switch gears to
actually eating right, does the time of day matter when you eat? A lot of students, they wake up, they don’t have time for breakfast. They maybe have a cup of
coffee and run to class. What should we be eating? When should we be eating? – That’s a really good question. What I see a lot in
the one-on-one sessions that I do with students is that students are struggling with sometimes going very long
periods without eating. For example, they’ll skip breakfast. They may skimp on lunch or skip lunch, not begin eating until afternoon time. What happens then, is that their tendency is to want to overeat
later in the evening. Sleep schedules can get discombobulated in college, too, right, staying
up really late at night. What I find is that sometimes
the later at night it gets, the worse the nutrition choices become. Students tend to wanna snack on lower nutritional-quality
foods late at night. So they’re studying and munching on chips or they’re eating fast food or fried food in the middle of the night. That’s not necessarily a
healthy choice for them, and nor is it gonna help support their studies that they’re doing. So it’s not necessarily the time of day. It’s that if you go very
long periods without eating, you’re going to be more prone to choosing unhealthy foods. – In fact, night time is a period of fasting, so waking up represents a period during which you haven’t eaten
for a long period of time. Does that make breakfast
an especially important part of your nutrition cycle? – Breakfast definitely is important but it also depends on
the personal schedule of that individual. We say breakfast, so
we’re thinking 6am to 8am. But if someone’s schedule
has them waking up at eight and going at 10, then they’re gonna end their day quite a bit later as well. So it depends on your personal schedule. But one thing I wanted to add, was that for students on the go, we’ve started adding a healthy smoothie. We already had the regular smoothies, maybe they have some sugary items in them, but we actually have some
very healthy smoothies that have no sugar added,
fresh fruit and vegetables, they’re non-dairy, so
we’re starting to see those gaining popularity with the students who are on the go, and those
are served all day long. – Not (mumbles) to my
next question, how does a student who has
minimal time eat healthy? – [Renee] That is one of the ways, and also we have the
chews to reuse program at all four of our dining commons, where it used to be a
disposable box you could get, a to-go box, but now it’s
a box that you can purchase and, not sure the price
right now, might be $5 now, but you purchase it at the front door when you walk into the dining commons, and whatever food you
choose to put in that, you take that with you and
you can eat that on the go. The next visit, you return that box and you’d get a clean one. – What about students
who don’t have access, for any number of reasons, to Cal Dining? What are some healthy options for students on the go? – I talk with students a
lot about this topic of, “How do you squeeze healthy eating “into a busy lifestyle?” which is an issue throughout life, right? It’s an issue for me, even though I’m no longer a student. But I’m busy, I’ve got
two young children at home who need to eat, so juggling
all of that can get tricky. I think this is a really
important time of life to begin to develop those habits
that are gonna take you through the rest of your
life in a healthy way. Learning how to do these healthy behaviors on your own, without the
support of your family, your parents doing it for you. It’s establishing those
habits, and I think that making the time to actually
eat something healthy, whether it’s three
meals a day or, ideally, with maybe a snack or
two in between there, because often times students
have a very long gap between meals, for example, lunch in the middle of the day and maybe not dinner until 7, 8, 9 o’clock at night. So they definitely need
to be having some kind of fuel coming in, even
those afternoon hours. So I work a lot with students
to help them figure out how to put together a
healthy balanced meal and sometimes pack it and
bring it with them to eat or locating the places on campus where they can grab something balanced. It doesn’t need to be
elaborate, home-cooked, and complicated, it
really could be something quick and easy on the go. I think it’s making it a
priority to actually stop, eat something, take at least a few minutes to consume those healthy calories. It’s a really crucial part of being a healthy person. – Also, just wanted to add that Cal Dining is for anyone
who wants to come in and pay for a meal, it’s
not just for the students. It is open to the public. We also have retail locations where you can go in and
purchase snacks to go. – Part of the raison d’être of this show is to expose students to precisely that kind of information
that you just mentioned. Retail outlets, can you tell
us a little bit about those? – If you have a meal plan or if you don’t have a meal plan, they take credit cards,
cash, and you can come in and make purchase of pretty much anything. There are snacks, toiletries, frozen meals–
– [Rodolfo] What are the retail locations that you refer to? – There’s Golden Bear. There’s Bear Market. There are several of them all over campus. – You can find those on our website? – Yes, caldining.berkely.edu. – [Rodolpho] caldining.berkely.edu. – Thank you for mentioning that. I know my freshman year, I would buy loads of
bread and peanut butter from those stores with my meal points, just to pack my lunch for the next day. Additionally, and I know Cal Dining has their hand in this, and
maybe you can elaborate. Eating locally, sustainably,
healthily, and affordably. What resources are there for students around the campus to eat
this way, to do this? – Berkeley is an amazing place for food. Students who are
interested in food and have passion about food have
come to the right place. I’ve worked a bit with the
Student Food Collective, which is an amazing group of people and run by a lot of student volunteers who are passionate about food. They have the storefront
right on Bancroft, just up from the Tang Center. They sell locally grown
produce there in the store, as well as some packaged items, cooked packaged foods that
you could grab for lunch, beverages, but also staple items as well. It’s all great, organic stuff. The produce, I believe,
is all grown within maybe 250 miles of campus. It’s a really great
chance to support a campus organization, but also try
out some local produce. – I just wanted to say,
when you said 250 miles, just the other night, we had a dinner at all of our dining commons where all of the food
that we served was local. – [Dree] Wow.
– So it came from within 250 miles,
pretty simple meals, but they were very, very good and they were very
popular with the students. – Does Cal Dining have
theme nights or programs– – Yes.
– that are centered around particular topics? – That was actually for Earth Day. And we did a similar menu for Food Day, which is in October. We have Cinco de Mayo coming up. Pretty much every month,
there’s a theme dinner. – We’ve talked about the
options in Cal Dining, options for healthy eating
outside of Cal Dining and in the retail spaces that are managed by Cal Dining. We’ve also talked about being on the go and the importance of
planning ahead for meals. I think it’s really important to remember that there are individuals on this campus who can help students think through their dietary choices, so
that it’s not a sea of food out there and they have nowhere to go. Let’s talk a little bit
about eating and fitness. – Yes, you mentioned
that a lot of students aren’t necessarily getting
the proper nutrition when they first come to Cal. And I know, as a young
person, as a young woman, young man, anyone in between, there’s a lot of pressure in our society to be fit and thin. What would you say to
someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, or might have eating
disorder habits themselves? What advice would you give
them as a nutritionist? – First, I would say
that if someone is coming into Berkeley as a new student and has been suffering
from or dealing with or in recovery from disordered eating, that coming to college is
a really big transition. It can be an exciting
but also stressful time, an important time to
get some extra support. Whether they have,
perhaps, a treatment team at home that they are
staying in contact with, or whether they wanna
establish care here locally, which I recommend, depending
on where someone is in their recovery process,
it can be really important to have support nearby that you have regular contact with. Usually, we recommend
multidisciplinary care, which involves, perhaps,
meeting with a therapist on a regular basis, having a dietitian that you can talk to on a
regular basis, or as needed, having medical care, medical
checkups every so often depending on, again, your health status and where you are in
your recovery process. We sometimes have students coming in who, right away, establish
their team once they come. We do have eating disorder specialist at the Tang Center, so I’m a member of our eating disorder treatment team. We also have a medical doctor who specializes in eating disorders. We have therapists who specialize. We also collaborate with
therapists in the local area who have expertise in eating disorders, so that we can really get students into the right care setting. If they do end up needing
higher level of care, we can refer them to other programs in the community. – How does one identify or raise a flag when there is an eating
disorder, in other words, how do you distinguish healthy eating, the occasional overeating, from some kind of eating disorder or
under-eating, I should say. – That’s a hard question to answer. Eating, I believe, is on a continuum. So often times people
will engage in behaviors, in fact, the research
tells us that the majority of college students have, at some point, engaged in disordered eating habits in an effort to change
the shape of their body. So, that is very common, but a behavior, occasionally, that isn’t
necessarily healthy behavior or an over-fixation on weight or shape, does not necessarily mean that that person has a clinical eating disorder. It can become more severe, and once it takes on a life of its own and the person’s no longer
in control of that behavior. Often times, there’s pretty serious medical consequences, too. That becomes a serious clinical disorder that requires multidisciplinary care. – [Dree] A lot of students
that do come to college, they might, first semester,
gain a few extra pounds just eating unhealthily. Next semester, they say, “I’m gonna try to eat healthy
and exercise everyday.” Does that involve eating
salads for every meal and having to go to the
gym five hours a day? Or are there easier or
different ways to do that? – Yeah, it doesn’t have to just be salads. There’s all kind of grilled
and steamed vegetables. I often recommend 50% vegetables on your plate. If they can get past
that bakery, that helps. Because (laughs) we do
have a bakery right there in our largest dining hall, and we have baked goods in all four, but if they can get past that and get over to the vegetables, and we always have lean meat options available, lean protein. – [Rodolfo] What about
specifically for students who are interested in
fitness and exercise? Let’s say that they are
in a competitive sport or a club sport. Is the recommendation different there? – Yes, those students who
are doing more exercise, have different nutrition
needs than students who are more sedentary,
so I think it’s wonderful for students to be physically active. The intercollegiate sports
teams have a dietitian who works specifically with them. Her name is Susanne. She’s wonderful, really knowledgeable. Athletes at that level definitely need really specific nutrition,
and for the rest of us, recreational exercisers, yes, I think a nutritional, balanced
diet is extra-important and they’re welcome to see me for specific individual help with that. – [Rodolfo] Renee, just to ask you specifically about the 50% of the food on your plate should be vegetables, does that also hold for
people who are trying to, let’s say, bulk up on muscle or cut down on their body fat? – Definitely for cutting down on body fat, but it’s pretty individual. It depends on what they
were eating like before. In general, 50% is good
but it just depends on what their diet was
prior to me meeting them. – Do you see a lot of
students, I know a big fad right now is taking supplements to bulk up really quickly, different diet pills. What do you all have to say about that? – I’m very weary about supplements, just mainly because they’re not regulated by any oversight body,
so it’s at your own risk if you decide that you
wanna take supplements. In general, food is an
excellent source of nutrients and the best source. – [Dree] If you’re eating the amount you’re supposed to, you should be getting those nutrients anyway, yeah? – [Renee] Yeah, and if
they’re trying to bulk up, they’re gonna have to
do something physical to do that, we’re talking about long-term so if you’re doing supplements short-term that’s one thing, but if
you want something lasting, you need to develop habits that can carry you for long-term. – An important point
to make, which is that if you wanna develop
muscle, you actually need – to move those muscles–
– Gotta develop the muscle. – not only the musculature
around the mouth. – Right. (laughs) – We’ve talked a lot about healthy eating and healthy nutrition. Let’s turn our focus, for
the remaining minutes, on malnutrition. – What do you all consider
to be malnutrition? – Any area that you’re deficient in, if you’re lacking in certain nutrients, that’s malnutrition. There’s also over-nutrition. If you’re obese, overweight,
that’s the opposite, over-nutrition. But mal meaning to be
lacking in any nutrient. – What different resources
are available for students who might run out of money for food or might have food insecurity? – This is happening on our
campus, believe it or not. Many students find that their budgeting isn’t quite right, they run out of funds, and access to food isn’t always consistent. So there’s a fairly new
student pantry on campus where students can go
up to two times a month, if needed, it’s meant
to serve as an emergency food source while
students continue to look for more sustainable sources of food. – What kind of items does
the food pantry have? – Lots of great stuff. It’s many ready-to-eat items, cereals, granola bars, that kind of thing, but also some ingredients that students can use
to make simple meals, like pasta sauce and pasta, for example. – [Dree] You were saying
to me before, earlier, something about fresh food,
locally harvested food. – [Toby] Mm-hmm, our campus has a farm called the Giltrap farm, and the pantry folks have
teamed up with the farm, and they do a Harvest Day once a month, where they talk about issues around food at the harvest, and they also bring back the produce to the pantry where students can take a bunch of fresh produce home, in addition to the non-perishables. – In addition, in Cal Dining,
are there any scholarships or food programs that one could apply for? – I’m not familiar, not to say there aren’t
but I’m not familiar, but are you speaking of the Bear Pantry, is that the same thing? – There’s a pantry at
the University Village that’s for a family, so
students who have children can get access to the Bear Pantry at the University Village,
but now there’s a pantry for all UC Berkeley students here. It’s right up on Bancroft at Stiles Hall. All students can access that,
in fact, if they have kids, they can also attend
that pantry and get even a little bit more to support
their family members. – You said you could
go there once a month? How often– – [Toby] You can go up
to two times a month, if needed, so it’s a
really wonderful resource. – [Dree] Absolutely. How does one who might have these food insecurities,
what would you say to them? How can you fight that stigma to being unable to buy food? How can we get food
security on this campus for all the students? – That’s a really hugh question. I wish I had the answer to that. I think it’s become a
really important topic, and there’s a lot of campus-wide but also UC-wide initiatives
going on to address that very problem because
I think it’s a big one. Also, just for our country as a whole. This is an issue, so I don’t have a good
answer to that question. – For the students that are
living in the dorms though, however, the meal plan is
automatically a part of that. So they are covered
with some sort of meal. The basic meal plan is going to give them, I believe, about 10 to
12 meals a week anyway. – [Dree] That’s excellent. – Let’s talk a little
bit about the experience of walking into a dining hall. Renee, you mentioned the goal of if you can get past (Renee laughs)
the bakery and onto the salad. But what are some strategies
that, as dietitians, you might be able to
share with us about making those healthy choices right there and then when there’s so much
temptation and the potential for healthy, as well as unhealthy eating, what can students do? – Like I said, if I don’t
love it, I don’t swallow. If you go to the bakery, the Honey Bear Bakery, and you see all these items and they’re there everyday. There’s gotta be something
that’s your favorite. They can’t all be your favorite. Pick your favorite and enjoy
it when it’s available. Pick and choose, as they
say, “Pick your battles.” You could also choose a day. Friday is the day that I’m
going to enjoy the pizza, the bakery, the frozen
yogurt, or whatever it is. Pick a day, but you have to make up your own strategy that’ll keep you from just going in there
without boundaries. – Can you talk to use about Late Night? I know that’s a really popular thing for incoming students, and can you tell us what Late Night is, for
students that might not know? – We do have late night meals available, service at the dining commons. It is a lot of fatty
food, though, (laughs) and that tends to be the
request at that time of night for some reason, but
we do have some healthy options available as well, and I’d like to push for
more healthy options. – As you’ve been saying,
everything in moderation. You pick one day a week, maybe, to go to Late Night with your friends. – [Renee] Right. – Also, I just wanna
piggyback on something that Renee said, in that
plate model, this idea of filling up half your plate
with fruits and vegetables. I usually encourage my clients to have some lean protein on their plate, have some healthy high-fiber carbohydrate if possible, like some kind of starch. If you use this model
of this balanced meal with plenty of fruits and vegetables, that tends to fill people up
and feel pretty satisfied, and it’s a really nutritious way to eat. If you add in a treat onto
that, or what I like to call a fun food, occasionally,
as a treat on top of that, I think it’s a great basis
for a balanced way to eat. – What about that old food pyramid? Is that still something– – [Toby] It’s a plate now. – [Dree] It’s the plate.
– [Toby] It’s not a pyramid, it’s a plate, (laughs) yeah. choosemyplate.gov is the new USDA model. – What is at the drink spot of that plate? – I think there’s a little dairy, right? A serving of dairy. I know this is getting
into political issues but I think the point
is that in moderation, low-fat, non-fat dairy
products, yogurt, milk, for some people, is also
part of a balanced diet. Many of my clients
don’t even consume dairy for whatever reason, maybe
they’re lactose intolerant, so that model isn’t for everybody. – That brings up an excellent point. At Cal Dining, are there
options for vegans, vegetarians, are there
other options available? – Plenty of options. We always have vegan or vegetarian options available, as far as the milk, we have soy and we’re now starting to have almond milk available as well. I see a number of students
with food allergies so we have gluten-free
options available as well. I’d like to see a
gluten-free pantry or station come up in the next few semesters. Hopefully we’ll get that as well. – As you know, these segments are short. They’re short on purpose, to be chock-full of information. One of the things that we offer our guest is the opportunity to
provide that 15-second nugget of information
that you would like each incoming undergraduate to
the university to remember as they move forward in
their journey at Berkeley. Let me ask you to think
about that for a second. Renee, is there something
you would want to say? – This is a great time to develop lifelong eating habits. One of the things that I
didn’t get to mention was that I also provide, or Cal Dining, we provide cooking classes as a
life skill for students. I’ve actually gone in to
the dorms with a hot plate and taught simple cooking skills. So this is a time for them
to explore different foods. We have lots of foods
from different cultures. Just develop good healthy eating habits. – The idea of habits, again,
is one of these themes that keeps coming up
throughout our segment. Toby? – I guess one most important
piece of information that I wanna offer students is that while there’s lots and lots
of information out there about healthy eating,
nutrition, food, and nutrients, ultimately, our bodies are equipped with really amazing internal information, wisdom about
what it needs, right? We know when we’re hungry. We can find out when we’ve had enough, we feel full. We can pay attention to
cravings and the desire, the taste of food, really
eating like a connoisseur, as Renee was saying, and
I think that cultivating that awareness, a mindfulness,
a mindful awareness of your body’s cues is
really crucial for students, and will serve them in lots of great ways, to help balance that out
with all this factual nutrition information
that they’re also getting. – Thank you so much. Toby Morris, Renee Simpson, thank you for being here,
and thank you for watching. We’ll see you on the next segment. (soft music)