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By Lauren Miele

Now that class schedules are settled, it’s time to hit the gym. Ryerson has the resources to pump you up, but to maximize your potential you may need to change your diet.

Fortunately, eating well while getting fit can be as simple as making a few small changes to the way you eat and live. It starts by remembering that food is your friend.

“You should enjoy food and you should enjoy it with others,” advises Dr. Janet Chappell, Director of the Ryerson School of Nutrition.

She says that staying fit and healthy boils down to being more active in everyday life.

“Students can do simple things like walking up the stairs to keep in shape,” says Dr. Chappell.

“The Ryerson campus is expanding and students should take time to enjoy the walk between classes, instead of rushing from one place to the next.”

Dr. Chappell also encourages people to be more aware of what they eat. She recommends eating a variety of foods across all food groups, as well as a variety within each specific group. Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating is a good guideline to help you select what to eat, along with the recommended daily servings for food intake.

If you prefer to consult with a person instead of a brochure, you can book a consultation with a fitness specialist or trainer at the Ryerson Athletic Centre (RAC). Fees start at $25 and can increase depending on which services you want.

If you’re strapped for cash, you can also book a consultation at the Ryerson Health Centre. It’s a free service offered to Ryerson students, staff and faculty.

Besides making the right choices, it’s also important to be aware of portion size and eating habits.

Michael Grey, the manager of trainers at Extreme Fitness at Yonge and Bloor, recommends eating a small meal every two to three hours. Grey suggests trying to include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and good fats in each meal, especially if you’re physically active.

“You need carbs for energy, fats to assist with brain function, and protein to help repair your muscles,” Grey explained, adding that good meals can help maximize a workout’s potential. “If you put crap in your body, that’s what you’re going to get out of it.”

Organic food is regulated and grown without the use of conventional pesticide or artificial additives. Unfortunately, it can be more expensive than non-organic food and can be harder to find.

A good place to check out is the Riverdale Farm Farmers’ Market, just a short walk from the Ryerson campus. The Market operates from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Tuesday until Oct. 28 and offers a wide selection of organic and vegan food choices.

If you’re still confused just remember these three simple words: everything in moderation.

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