For us college students, it can be ex- tremely challenging to find the time to make ourselves a decent meal every now and then, especially while having to balance assignments and due dates, but when you are tempted to resort to stress eating, Marcelina Garza encour- ages you to rethink that bag of chips and go for something healthier.
Garza is a resource for all students on campus, offering nutrition through counseling, whether through one on one nutrition meetings or couples cooking sessions, group seminars, and cooking classes for affordable prices. Cooking classes are 10 dollars for four classes or $2.50/week for those who are not com- fortable in the kitchen.
“We start with knife skills in the first class, we don’t even touch a heat source,” Garza said. “We build it each week to gradually get you to be more se- cure with yourself in the kitchen. With the cooking classes, you come and you learn, but it’s also a hands-on experi- ence and you get to walk out with an (almost) free meal with the recipe card, so it’s really meant to be educational.”
Although prices are the number one thing to keep a student from buying healthier choices, Garza has even given some suggestions of more convenient and healthier choices for your everyday snacks such as visiting Fruit King’s Pro- duce on Ayers St. for convenient prices for bigger quantities of produce.
Garza said she has been interested in nutrition since about middle school, stemming from a childhood where she was constantly sick.
“I was on tons of medication for my sickness,” Garza said. “I couldn’t ex-
ercise, I couldn’t be outside, I was just always sick and in bed. My medica- tions had also impacted my life such as weight, my metabolism, my growth, and at the time I didn’t know that it was the disease and the treatment that were causing the issues. All I knew was that I was the eight-year-old who looked dif- ferent because of my illness.”
Miraculously, Garza got better, al- lowing her to finally go outside, but when it came to exercise, her struggles came back.
“I’ve always had a struggle with weight and still had an issue from the impact from my medications, making me very self-conscious–and people can be very mean even at a young age,” Garza said “I didn’t know it then, but those insults and those tough times re- ally set me up for my life now, because I became interested.”
At first, Garza said she couldn’t even exercise for 10 minutes. She started
with the elliptical, barely holding on at first until after a year of training herself to keep doing better.
“I eventually worked my way up from 10 minutes on the elliptical to 45 min- utes,” Garza said. “I kept going until I moved to the treadmill, then moving on to the indoor track,and just after gradu- ation, I ran a 5K in my hometown.”
If you thought that’s all Garza has in her, you’re mistaken because she even went on to complete multiple 5K and 10K runs, three half marathons, two du- athlons, three triathlons, and one Cross- Fit competition, giving you all the more reason to make more healthier choices in your diet, slowly making more progress each day.
“My main goal is to educate students sothat they are able to lead healthier lives and understand nutrition in a way that supports their goals so when they leave the university, they have the tools that they need to be successful,” Garza said.