College is infamous for being the most fun, most hectic and more than likely the most unhealthy four years of your life. Within weeks of arriving on campus, the “freshman 15” becomes all too real. No matter how many seemingly pointless trips to the Rec Center you take, or how many times you reluctantly choose a Rand Bowl over a cheeseburger and fries, it seems like nothing will stop the inevitable weight gain.
Junior Sloane Chmara was no exception to falling into the trap of Commons’ sweet potato fries when she decided to take her love for cooking and entrepreneurship to the next level. She created a health and wellness Instagram account, “@KaleandKravings,” to help inspire and coach students on living healthy lifestyles.
“I didn’t really realize until I came home for summer after freshman year how big of an impact food really has on every aspect of your health and your life. I was tired, I came home sick, I was in bed for over a week with a really bad cough and cold. I wasn’t as energetic, I wasn’t sleeping as well and I just didn’t feel like me,” said Chmara.
She took a leap of faith creating this account, not realizing the effect it would soon have on students campus-wide.
The account mostly features healthy food options and recipes, but it also features tips and tricks on all aspects of health, from exercise to mindfulness and spirituality. Chmara has one-on-one clients that she coaches for a variety of health and wellness goals mostly focused on nutrition, but also focused on smaller things like getting hydrated and intuitive eating.
“The most rewarding part is having people come up to me that I don’t know and telling me that they love my account or that I’ve helped them. Especially after each summer that I’ve come back to school, people that I don’t know give me a big hug and say thank you, and I literally want to cry,” said Chmara.
Since starting her account over a year ago, her recommendations and recipes have evolved through both research and trial and error. She mostly experiments in her dorm room with her microwave, but she has been able to come up with the perfect way to balance the demands of college with a healthy lifestyle.
“The first thing I would recommend is really be to be intuitive and not follow one trendy diet. My second thing would be to focus on plant-based eating. A lot of people think that means being vegan, but it’s not. It’s basing your meals on plant foods. And then the third thing would be water. I’m really big on hydration and just drinking water throughout the day,” said Chmara.
She also recommends that students pay attention to their bodies. She claims that the body is smarter than we give it credit for. Chmara promises that if we really start to pay attention to what our bodies demand, it will go a long way.
See Chmara on the Vandy TV Network in her show called The Vandy Cookbook or come to her workshop on healthy college living here in East Nashville at Lemon Laine on Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m.