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Amanda_Schlink, OCL, staff

Amanda Schlink is a Registered Dietitian, former competitive athlete, and culinary nutrition expert. She is passionate about higher education and translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for the students, faculty and staff at AU. In today’s society of diet trends and fads, Amanda believes in keeping it simple, by nourishing our bodies with real foods and being physically active in ways that complement our busy lifestyles. Research has shown that incorporating good nutrition into an active lifestyle leads to academic success, not only today but for many years to come.

Amanda is available for consultations with students with special dietary needs. Individual and group tours with students, parents, and campus organizations can be scheduled throughout the semester to help familiarize the university community with the numerous healthy options offered throughout the residential and retail dining locations. Keep an eye out for Amanda on campus, where she provides nutrition, health and wellness education at numerous events throughout the year. Please email aschlink@american.edu with any questions or to schedule a consultation.

Simple Tips To Stay Healthy

1. Keep hydrated

You may not feel thirsty when it is cold out, however, your body loses a great deal of water vapor through breathing in the cold air. We may not notice, but under heavy clothing, our body is working harder and sweat can evaporate faster. Although the amount of fluid you should drink daily varies based on your age, gender, and activity level, the easiest rule to remember is “8 of 8” which means consume eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily.

2. Increase your Vitamin D

Vitamin D is made by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight and research states that almost ¾ of American’s are deficient in the “sunshine vitamin”. During the winter, it’s much harder to get the recommended 15-20 minutes of sunlight daily since we’re bundled up inside staying warm! Lower Vitamin D levels can affect your mood, so it’s important to get your recommended dose. A few great natural sources of Vitamin D are salmon, tuna, milk, eggs, and some cereals. If you feel that you’re not getting enough still, consult a health professional about taking Vitamin D3 Supplements.

3. Up Your Iron

Studies show that people who are deficient in iron have a harder time regulating their body temperature, which can make you feel much colder. Not only that, low iron levels can make you feel weak and tired more easily. Increasing your iron intake is simple because it is found in several food sources such as dark green leafy vegetables, lean meats, iron-fortified meats and poultry, and beans. Eating foods high in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, will aid your body in absorbing iron. The recommended daily intake of iron for men ages 18-50 is 8mg/day(about two cups of beans) and 11mg/day for women (about 1 packet of instant oatmeal). Reading food labels will help you get a better understanding of how much iron you are consuming.

4. Be Consistent

Having consistent meals every 3-4 hours helps you to avoid peaks and troughs in your body’s blood sugar which helps to regulate your metabolism. Cold weather may have you reaching for extra portions for comfort, but maintaining a proper and steady eating schedule will help to avoid this overeating at meal times to ensure you don’t pack on any winter weight.

5. Balance Your Plate

A great way to ensure that you are getting balanced meals is to use the MyPlate Method (pictured below). MyPlate is simple, make sure half of your plate at meal times is fruits and vegetables, a little less than a quarter is protein, and a little more than a quarter is healthy starch such as brown rice, roasted potatoes, or whole wheat pasta. Following this simple method will help you to know that you are including the right food groups that you need. For more information, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.