Food as Fuel: Living a Healthy Life at College

By Emily Satin

Your college years are supposedly the best years of your life.  These four years consist of living with your friends, taking advantage of opportunities, meeting new people, and most importantly, unlimited meal swipes.  For those of you who adore the dining hall, it is important to consider the benefits of eating well-balanced meals.  No, this does not mean download calorie-counting apps on your smart phone, and nor does it mean you should be eating spinach for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  However, it means that you should take into consideration what you are fueling your body with.

Why is eating healthy worth your while? Well, it may not seem like it now but as the years go on after habitually consuming processed food (which is typically lower in nutrients than unprocessed, fresh food) your metabolism can and will catch up with you and your body will become unhealthy and consequently, you will put on weight.  By implementing better food habits as a college student, you will get into the routine of eating well and using food as fuel for your body.  Many people want to enjoy yourselves to the fullest while they are still a "kid"  but the truth is, living healthily is about as fun as life can get. 

The first step of this whole journey is learning how to conquer the dining hall.  For those who  don’t enjoy the Sodexo menu, keep an open mind and expand your horizons here.  For breakfast, you should take advantage of the abundance of options there are to offer.  One example of this is the fact that Marist has an omelet chef almost every morning. Despite the long line, this station is an easy way to consume a nutritious breakfast to energize your body for a day full of classes.  If eggs aren’t for you, try to avoid the sugary cereals and instead go for some Honey Nut Cheerios or Special K.  If you aren’t much of a breakfast person, definitely do not skip the meal in totality.  Instead, maybe grab a piece of fruit or a bowl of yogurt just to start the day properly with a satisfied stomach.  Secondly, for lunch try to hit up the salad bar that is stocked with leafy greens and vegetables!  No, this doesn’t have to be your entire meal for lunch, you can pair up your salad with some pasta or a slice of pizza.  The key is moderation.  Lastly for dinner, the dining hall alternates meals daily and has a very eclectic spread.  Why not try the grilled chicken? The chicken is a staple and can be paired with a variety of dining hall classics such as vegetables, rice, pasta, or even in a wrap.  Eating any of the given options will ensure that you will have enough protein for the day.  By having a meal packed with protein or whole grains you are guaranteed to be full for a longer duration and therefore, you may not be tempted to grab a desert on the way out.

The Marist salad bar. 

The Marist salad bar. 

Those are the fundamentals of eating healthy without allowing it to consume your social life or plummet your grades.  With just a little bit of practice and a moderate restriction for some foods this will leave your body feeling revitalized.  Aside from consuming food, it is also an obvious necessity to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day in order to keep your body hydrated. It seems rudimentary, but in college, it's all too easy to forget to do this as you tackle long hours of studying in the library and in classes.  These tips are not hard to follow, and be sure to continue eating this way over the duration of breaks when you’re home.  You can eat anything your body craves, just in moderation.  Make sure to treat yourself too and don’t take this “healthy lifestyle” too seriously.

Embracing the Spirit of Giving

Marist College Celebrates its 26th annual Giving Tree Mass

By Brian Edsall

On Sunday night Marist College held its annual Giving Tree Mass, continuing a tradition of charity which has been ongoing since 1991.

Hundreds of students and others filled Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel bearing gifts. Eyes and smiles were visibly glistening in the presence of the festively decorated room and the astounding accumulation wrapped presents.

“The sheer number of donated presents displayed…is staggering,” said President David Yellen. “It’s a physical manifestation of the great kindness and generosity of the Marist Community.”

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Campus Ministry contacts social service agencies in the Poughkeepsie area in early September to determine families that have the most need. The five families nominated by these agencies may request four household needs. In addition, each child may request five needs and three wishes.

These needs and wishes are metaphorically used as ornaments to decorate giving trees throughout campus. Students, faculty and staff then pick these ornaments, providing families and children with gifts in time for Christmas.

Over 1,000 gifts were requested this year from 31 families with 128 children. The gifts will be counted on Monday, December 11, along with monetary donations which continue to pour in.

Though members of campus ministry do not get to meet the families owing to confidentiality, Brother Frank Kelly, Director of Campus Ministry stated that the agencies are always overjoyed.

“The Giving Tree Ceremony is a unique and inspiring event because its focus is on giving to those who have been less fortunate than us and genuinely caring about the wellbeing of fellow community members,” said Yellen.

“Service to others is a central part of the Marist mission,” he continued. “It’s a value handed down to us by the Marist Brothers, and the Giving Tree is a wonderful way for us to fulfill our mission.”

Statue of Saint Marcellin Champagnat - founder of the Marist Brothers - featured outside of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel.

Statue of Saint Marcellin Champagnat - founder of the Marist Brothers - featured outside of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel.

The commitment to service is one of Marist College’s three core ideals—predicated on the “belief in the dignity and value of every human being.” With this event, students commit to this ideal by helping to “make Marist a better place to live and learn while developing a sense of personal responsibility and civic engagement.”

Kelly emphasizes that this great outpouring of generosity from students year after year affirms the perpetual commitment of Marist students to give back.

Sophomore Carly Horowitz, member of campus ministry, appreciates the sense of unity formed through this commitment. “You can see how much everyone contributed right in front of your eyes,” she said. “I think the ceremony is a great opportunity that Marist provides for the students and the community as a whole.”

Waking up to presents on Christmas morning is a luxury which millions of families cannot afford. Through this ceremony, Marist continues to spread joy during the holiday season. Giving back, especially to those less fortunate, is a gift in itself. As St. Francis of Assisi once said, “For it is in giving that we receive.”

Marist’s Students and Staff Give Back on #GivingTuesday

By Makena Gera

#GivingTuesday is a global initiative aimed at giving back during the holiday season. This year, Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts Lyn Lepre decided it would be a perfect opportunity for the school, as well as the entire Marist College community, to come together and donate their time, money, and energy this great cause.

“I’ve been here for about 10 years, and bar none [Marist] is the most giving community I have ever seen; it’s just Marist’s culture,” says Lepre, who served as the coordinator for Marist’s #GivingTuesday event.

Lepre and her faculty came up with the idea to create “Comfort Kits” for cancer patients in the area. The kits will contain items of comfort and inspiration to help make the patients’ fight against cancer a little easier for them and their families. Once completed, the kits will include blankets, scarves, and words of encouragement and will be sent to cancer centers throughout the area including Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Westchester’s Cancer Center, Albany Medical Center’s Cancer Center, and the local charity Sparrow’s Nest.

Marist School of Communications and the Arts staff at the #GivingTuesday event. 

Marist School of Communications and the Arts staff at the #GivingTuesday event. 

Unfortunately, cancer has touched a vast majority of people’s lives in some way or another, and Lepre and her team recognize the massive number of people who know someone who has been affected by it.  They understand how difficult it is go to through treatment, or to see a loved one go through it, and came up with the idea of creating these Comfort Kits as a way to make the fight a little easier.

For the past six weeks, the school has been asking students and faculty for donations of items that could be used in the kits, including scarves, hats, slippers, tea, candles, magazines, and playing cards. The response from the Marist community was overwhelming. Students and staff went above and beyond in contributing more than just the items on the list; they created handmade items and meaningful messages of support to be included in the Kits as well.

Jen Eden from the School of Communications and the Arts and Meg Bollmann of from the School of Management held crochet nights over the past few weeks to create handmade hats and blankets with students and staff. Additionally, Marist’s Music Department created a Spotify playlist to be included in the kits, the Mporium gave coupons to students who donated items to the cause. Joanna D’Avanzo of the School of Communications and Jen Finn from the Fashion Department even designed and created t-shirts for volunteers creating the Comfort Kits. Most importantly, however, was the outpouring of students who gave their time during the #GivingTuesday event on November 28.

The #GivingTuesday shirts. 

The #GivingTuesday shirts. 

The event on Tuesday afternoon was the culmination of the past month’s efforts. In the second floor lounge of Lowell Thomas, students and staff took the time to come in and create handmade no-sew fleece blankets, write out cards of encouragement and support for the patients, and stuff the kits with supplies. “The outpouring has been amazing” says Lepre of the Marist’s communities contributions, “we have terrific students, an amazing faculty and a fabulous staff. People have been working [so hard] to help with this.”

The lounge was full of volunteers, chairs were piled high with blankets, and the tables once overflowing with supplies were empty as over 150 Comfort Kits were being packed and prepared to be sent off. The sheer amount of students and faculty who selflessly took time out of their day to work to make the holiday season a little easier for those affected by cancer is a testament to the giving culture here at Marist.

Creating the Comfort Kits. 

Creating the Comfort Kits. 

The support, donations, and enthusiasm of volunteers was overwhelming, and whether they had ever been personally affected by cancer or not, they gave their time and efforts to make someone else’s holiday season a little more joyful. Students were more than willing to give whatever they could to a good cause, and this year’s #GivingTuesday project serves as an excellent example of Marist’s culture of kindness and charity.

In the corner of the Lowell Thomas lounge, a sign was full of volunteers’ reasons for contributing to the event. One response encapsulated the sentiment of selflessness in the Marist community, stating “I am giving my time on #GivingTuesday...because I can.”