Kelsey Lynn Stokes is a published author and working actress. Originally from Canada, she was raised in Dubai and currently resides in New York City. Kelsey published her debut novel, ‘Clouded Visions’ at the age of seventeen, and has since starred in three feature films. She graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and Adelphi University. Kelsey enjoys running mud races, Broadway shows, and cupcakes.
Nobody wants to come home for Christmas break after his or her first semester in college sporting the widely mentioned ‘Freshman 15’. Rather than suggesting that it will not appeal to that cute frat boy you saw last Wednesday at the cafeteria, or that you may need to buy a bigger dress for Spring Fling, I want to tell you point blank that it will outright impede your success as a student. The way to power through classes, all-nighters, and yes, the parties you so desperately want to attend (or not), is to eat healthy. If you wanted to drive home four hours, would you put water in your gas tank? Absolutely not. When you do not provide your body with the proper fuel to function, you will very quickly start to see consequences. Fatigue, problem skin, brain fog, etc. Luckily, there are ways to avoid that fifteen pounds, and screw the pooch! Two words. Grocery stores. Wherever your college is located, there must be a grocery store nearby. If it is within driving distance, grab some friends and carpool. Now, I never said you have to switch to a gluten free, vegan, organic, all-natural, only tofu and quinoa diet. Pick up snacks that are easy to grab on the go; apples, oranges, bananas, baby carrots, mini cucumbers, dried fruit, raisins, almonds, peanuts, cashews. Pick a day that won’t be busy (read 5pm weekdays or Sunday nights) and wander around to see what you find. Get familiar with reading nutritional labels. College is hard enough as it is without having to always run to an overpriced coffee shop or cafeteria on campus to grab a snack that’s probably filled with sugar that will make you crash halfway through Statistics. I know. My tried and true Snickers bar before my 7pm Statistics class had me snoozy by 7:02. While I’m certainly no angel, and indulge in chocolate fairly frequently, I am also a Type 1 Diabetic (that’s the genetic-caused kind). Why is that important? I stick to eating lean meats and vegetables whenever possible, and everyone who has ever followed in my footsteps has immediately lost weight and felt better, happier and more energetic. Stop looking at the nonsense words on packaging that says ‘low-fat’ or ‘no sugar added’. Usually, ‘low-fat’ means more added sugar, and ‘no sugar added’ means it is already probably full of naturally occurring sugar. This rule applies most often to yogurt. Again, learn how to read nutrition labels! The more protein, the better! The less carbs and sugar, the better! As a general rule of thumb, I compare things to bagels. Weird, right? Bagels are, on average, sixty grams of carbohydrate. Would you drink a bottle of juice knowing you could be having a bagel instead? They’re the same number of carbs! If you are sincerely trying to stay healthy, stick to water or seltzer. Anything artificially sweetened will actually make you crave more sugar. Counterintuitive to say the least. Good luck and fight the fifteen!