Comfort food. Two words more closely associated with college than textbooks and cheap beer. Whether it is from a lack of time, a shortage of cash, drunken munchie cravings, or just because it tastes so damn good, too many college students load up on fatty, high calorie junk foods each day and night of the semester. Although the freshman 15 is a major concern for many incoming students, there are other major health risks to consider when your two major food groups are brought to you by Colonel Sanders and Ronald McDonald. Fortunately, one young woman has made it her goal to whip you into shape through a carefully executed health and nutrition plan that will dramatically alter your lifestyle and put you on the road to elite fitness.
Faryl Blatt is a holistic health and nutrition counselor and has been kind enough to share her views on dieting, weight gain, and exercise among college students as well as her business experiences and relationships with clients. Faryl and Precious Time Concierge (the good people who bring you the Campus Socialite) plan to partner up to make the college experience a little less heavy and a lot more rewarding. Pay close attention as Faryl weighs in and sheds some light on some significant personal health issues.
Campus Socialite: Just to start things off, please let our readers know just how you got into the health and nutrition field and what drives you to help others with their physical wellbeing?
Faryl: I have a real passion for health and nutrition, it’s what motivates me. I was a chubby middle school child, I not only hated how I looked but I didn’t like how it felt to be overweight. Even back then, I vowed if I could train myself to exercise more and eat less, I would make it my mission to help others.
CS: The freshman 15 scares the bejesus out of so many incoming freshman, whether it be girls trying to avoid packing on pounds or guys concerned that their girls will let themselves go, do you have any suggestions to reduce the fears of young, health conscious college students?
FB: My best advice is not to snack late at night – www.farylblatt.com teaches healthy eating habits. It’s all part of a 3 part program called “EAT”.
- Eating habits and choices
- Teaching and training
This is a major portion of a program I designed and implemented. My clients are successful because each program is individualized for that person’s needs as no one diet works for everyone. What my clients particularly like is that I make myself available by e-mails, phone, AIM, BBMs and text messaging…I am pretty much accessible 24/7.
CS: What advice do you have for students who want to lead healthy lifestyles, but claim they are too busy with classes and their social lives to find time for the gym and nutrition-based diets?
FB: Everyone can find time for exercise, for example: walk to class and activities, if you must drive, park a long distance away. We tailor exercising to fit your exact situation. I tell busy clients when they do have time to watch T.V., do crunches and jumping jacks during commercials. At www.farylblatt.com I teach my clients that there are good choices everywhere from all the food groups, whether snacking or a meal. The teaching and training part of my plan encourages my clients to think ahead.
CS: Typically, first year students are restricted to eat in the dorms and are limited to the food provided by the school. This often leads to a lack of healthy dining options and freshmen are forced to eat whatever is available. Do you have any ideas on how to adjust the menu so it appeals to healthy-minded kids?
FB: Today at all college campuses, they serve whole wheat products, salads, and protein. Health conscious students can incorporate all these food groups into a balanced lifestyle.
CS: Judging from my own college experience, there were many times when I was in such a rush that I had to eat whatever was nearest or most convenient at the moment. If that is the case, what do you suggest is the best “fast food” style meal if a healthier option cannot be found?
FB: In a fast food restaurant, I would suggest a grilled chicken or turkey sandwich preferably on whole wheat bread.
CS: When people think of freshman dorm rood foods they imagine Easy Mac, Wheat Thins, Ritz crackers, and Ramen noodles – not the healthiest snacks. What foods would serve as better choices for students looking to avoid weight gain?
FB: Freshman students should keep bottled water, fruits, cut up vegetables, raw nuts, low fat popcorn, and low fat yogurt. These are easy to purchase, will reduce weight gain, and keep the students feeling satisfied.
CS: Many universities offer one-credit physical fitness courses ranging from tennis and golf to cardio kickboxing and weightlifting. Are there any particular classes that would complement your fitness counseling program effectively?
FB: My first selection would be cardio kickboxing for the most rigorous workout. Any type of exercise is better than no exercise at all. I like to keep my clients moving.
CS: What are some of the more unique motivational tactics you employ to keep clients motivated and focused on their personal fitness?
FB: Personal fitness can be tricky; some do not like exercise at all. We start slow and work our way to better fitness. Remember, my eating program uses 3 parts, I find the motivation tactics that work best for my clients emotionally and to fit in their lifestyle.
CS: Please share with us some of your more memorable success stories with clients who have lost a significant amount of weight or drastically altered their lifestyle to attain their health goals.
FB: A college student found out about www.farylblatt.com through a manager of a clothing boutique. She gained the freshman 15 and kept it on through her junior year. She finally decided it was time to change her lifestyle. She felt lethargic, and didn’t like how she looked in clothes because she was eating a lot of junk. In a few short months she not only lost the freshman 15 but an additional 7 lbs. as well. She couldn’t be happier!
A young women engaged to be married contacted me for a healthier lifestyle. She subsequently lost 22 lbs. in 2 months. Her wedding is in September and her goal is to lose 30 lbs. She will clearly obtain her goal. She has more energy, her skin looks better and she feels much more confident. She tells me my program is effortless. At first she wasn’t passionate about physical fitness but we started slow and now she can’t wait to get to the gym five days a week.
CS: What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with young students who are looking to enjoy their college experience to the fullest but keep in shape both physically and mentally during their time at school?
FB: Don’t start your college experience with junk food, think healthy from day one. If you can’t do it alone and need support www.farylblatt.com will be happy to help.
CS: As far as the business side of your service is concerned, what was the biggest obstacle that you faced when launching your own company?
FB: I didn’t face all that much difficulty in setting up my business because not only did the school I attended provide great nutritional training, it also helped me to develop some basic business skills. My biggest obstacle was getting a client base. I soon discovered Facebook and other social networking sites were great tools for developing and growing my business. Client testimonials of their success with www.farylblatt.com and word of mouth can really go a long way. Of course, I am also very fortunate to have clients who haven’t been shy to spread the word of their success on my program.
CS: Who are some of your competitors and how do you separate and boost your program above theirs?
FB: My main competition stems from well known diets promoted by the likes of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins and the South Beach Diet. Putting aside the fact that these diets are extremely difficult to maintain over one’s lifetime and lack nutritional balance, what makes my counseling special is that it offers a new way of life to clients. Although initially, calorie intake is lowered, clients quickly become accustomed to their tailor-fit wellness plan and work toward establishing a healthy lifestyle complete with a moderated diet and regular exercise. New clients come in lethargic, eating junk food and drinking soda in week one. Within a few short weeks through my program they are able to gradually adjust to a regimen of whole/organic foods and healthy beverages without artificial sweatners. My program is unique because it is not a diet, it is really a way of life.
CS: Do you work alone or have you had people help you along the way while growing your business?
FB: Since the company was officially started up in March, I still work by myself and feel as though my current workload is manageable. My goal is to expand www.farylblatt.com to the point where I will need to hire other certified holistic health and nutrition counselors. At this point, I’m happy to be able to provide each client a very high level of personal attention and service.
CS: Describe your management style, particularly how you handle a busy daily agenda and stay personally connected and invested in your clients’ fitness goals?
FB: Like I mentioned earlier, I work diligently and check up on my clients every week through e-mails, phone calls, texts, AIM, and BBMs, so I am always aware of what is going on in their lives. For example, one of my newer clients is particularly overweight and was having a rough day. She went out to the drug store to pick up some things for the house and ended up eating several candy bars and called me to let me know that she was extremely upset that she took a step back in her diet. I need to hear these personal stories so I can encourage clients to stay the course and teach them ways to avoid the pitfalls of a new fitness routine. In the beginning of any program I check up on clients every 3 days and encourage them to call me as often as possible so they can remain on point and not overeat. In my experiences I have learned that whenever somebody binges it is due to some external cause such as stress from work or at home, boredom, or a troubling relationship. With that in mind I offer suggestions on how to keep busy and take one’s mind off eating. I often tell clients to get their feelings out in a way they feel comfortable, whether it be going for a walk or keeping a journal, just fill your time and keep from emotionally eating.
CS: To wrap up, what are some key suggestions you can offer to young entrepreneurs looking to start up their own company much like you did?
FB: Plan ahead, set goals and know exactly what you want out of your business. Always know what you are aiming for. If you are really passionate about something, don’t hold back and just go for it. You have to be willing to take risks because if you don’t you never know what will happen and when you do eventually find success, your effort will be worth the hard work.
For more information on how to stay fit despite a busy school or work schedule, visit Faryl at www.farylblatt.com. Stay tuned as Faryl’s program will be available to students via Precious Time’s campus concierge services this coming fall.