Eat Well and Stay Healthy: Advice from Amanda Rigsby, RD, LDN

As the Culinary Arts Club–made up of all seniors–move on to college next year, this presentation steered them towards food habits they might embrace as they confront many of the eating–and drinking–challenges that await. Helpful information and an array of healthy snacks led the students to appreciate what Ms. Rigsby had to say and take her advice to heart.

“I loved the fact that she made the general basics of nutrition simple. A lot of the time, you hear all about new, convoluted and trendy diets but don’t really know where your own nutrition stands. It was really cool that I can now tell for myself whether or not something is healthy for my body.”   —Mia Wright ‘19

Ms. Amanda Rigsby taught our group both how easy it is to eat right, but also how easy it is to eat poorly. With college right around the corner, this seminar was much needed as a reminder to not get overwhelmed by the plethora of food choices. A common mistake is to feast on fried foods and sweets, but it’s what really provides energy and keeps your body feeling, functioning and looking right is sticking to, as Amanda puts it, a “colorful plate.” I, personally, will be trying to follow the simple advice she gave us and definitely be on the lookout for healthy snacks like the ones provided during the lecture. They were delicious! —Abby Gibbons ‘19

The most interesting thing that I took away from the lecture was the importance of fiber in a diet. Since it provides no nutrients in itself, I feel it’s kind of an overlooked facet of nutrition. Reviewing my own eating habits, I realized that although I was mostly aware of the balance between proteins, fats, and sugars, I really needed to do more to incorporate fiber into my meals, especially as I move into the unrestricted dining halls of college. –David Sozanski ‘19

Listening to Ms. Rigby talk about nutrition and staying healthy in college was very helpful and informative. She taught us about the “fab five” to look for on the nutrition label and how to think about building a plate of food in college dining halls. She highly encouraged an 80/20 diet, which seems a lot more realistic to live with especially in college. The snacks provided also showed an easy way to eat healthier.—Elise Banderob ‘19

The presentation led by RD Amanda Rigby was incredibly informative. I learned that there should be no more than 5g of sugar in a food. I also learned that by adding hydrogenated oil, companies can hide trans fat. I knew trans fat was unhealthy, but I didn’t know that it was as dangerous as being toxic at one gram’s worth or that trans fat is banned in most other countries. The healthy alternative snacks that were introduced were really good. I enjoyed the Cedar’s red pepper hummus with pita chips.—India Roemlein ‘19

Looking forward to college as a child, I thought nothing of dining halls and food in general. I expected to happily eat go-gurts every day and Annie’s white cheddar shell pasta for dinner. As I understand college more, I realize the importance of knowing what I am eating. I really appreciate Amanda’s ‘fab 5’ rule which made it very easy to understand nutritional labels and the standards of a good meal/snack. I also liked how we had many healthy snacks present to show how nutritious food could taste good. I also appreciated how Amanda acknowledged the realistic food choices of college life, like Chik-fil-a every weekend, with the 80/20 rule. —Bella Hannigan ‘19

Amanda gave us a lot of helpful advice for a healthy diet. Everyone is familiar with “freshman 15,” which also scares me a lot. However, she introduced many eating options that are both healthy and delicious, from meals to snacks. Most importantly, she taught us how to read the food labels, which can sometimes be misleading. Before, I ignored the serving size on the food label, especially on ice cream, and did not realize how many calories and sugar I consume, which is far above the recommended amount per day. Moreover, her “80/20” principle is really helpful which suggests that we can have “junk food” 20% of the time without being too guilty. After Amanda’s sharing, I have a better understanding of a healthy diet and how to fulfill it. -–Sylvie Qiu ‘19

Ms. Rigsby was able to effectively communicate the foundation and essentials to healthy nutrition in such a way that made what she was saying truly engrain in our minds. She made her talk interesting yet informative, delivering essential information in an easily digestible manner. Those who went to the talk clearly left with a much better understanding of a healthy diet as well as amazing tips and tricks to keep in mind while making the transition to college campus dining. From reading nutritional labels to understanding the importance of a healthy diet, Ms. Rigsby has definitely made me much more conscious about what I put in my body as well as helped me understand how to healthily approach a more open dining style. —Jonathan Susilo ‘19

This talk was absolutely great! I was expecting the usual spiel about eating junk foods in moderation, etc, etc, but was very pleased to hear that she had more sensible points to speak to us about. I appreciated how practical Amanda was about how college students actually live and the types of food we will be seeing next year. Her healthy snack buffet provided us with great substitutes for the usual snacks we might be craving. My favorites were the chocolate hummus and the individual sized chips and guac! She also gave us a better insight as to what we are putting in our bodies by teaching us how to be more mindful when reading ingredient labels. —Juistine DelMastro ‘19

The nutritionist discussion was very informative in the way that it opened my eyes towards the change we will be experiencing when we head off to college next year. Our bodies were not made to consume and digest junk food all the time. We need to be mindful when considering what we are putting in our bodies and focus on the benefits we could be receiving from healthier options. There were simple tips introduced, such as not wasting calories on drinks and understanding the labels of the foods we buy, that I will begin to consider and hopefully continue to think about as I am surrounded by large quantities of food next year.—Maddie Burt ‘19

I learned so much from Ms. Rigby! One thing I found especially interesting and helpful was the lesson on how to read nutrition labels. It surprised me how much fiber we should be eating in a day. And the pretzels and tzatziki tasted so good!—Sarah Costa ‘19

         Our sit-down with registered dietician and nutritionist Amanda Rigby was an eye opening experience for all those who had the chance to listen. We were served up some tasty snacks, and learned that satisfaction can come from more than just chips, soda, or ice cream. What I took away from the most was our time spent delving deep into the concepts behind a simple nutrition label. Comprehending the label required much more than just reading skills. We found understanding print on the back of every item for consumption to be an integral part to understanding one’s health. With Ms. Rigby’s help, I feel more knowledgeable about what I put into my body than ever before, and will be sure to stay away from the dreaded hydrogenated foods!—Tatum Bach-Sorensen ‘19