Clues from a shoulder bag: healthy habits of a Steinhardt freshman

Based on the contents of her everyday shoulder bag, it is clear that Steinhardt freshman Huda Asfour is interested in nutrition. The items she carries around on a regular basis serve important purposes for both her Nutrition, Food Studies and Public

Health major and her everyday life.

Fruit and vegetables

Instead of grabbing a bag of potato chips or a cupcake for a mid-day snack, Asfour munches on fruit or vegetables from one of the ziplock bags she always stores in her shoulder bag.

“Huda can most likely be found nibbling on carrot sticks or indulging in a large pouch of grapes,” said LSP freshman Priyadarshini Das, a friend of Asfour’s.

Food journal

To make sure she never overeats or consumes too many unhealthy foods, Asfour keeps a daily food journal, which she takes pride in and carries just about everywhere. Asfour transformed the simple notebook into a representation of herself — she decorated the front and back covers with images and quotes from various magazines and postcards.

“After every meal or snack I record what I ate, an educated estimate of how many calories it was and the food group which it belonged to,” Asfour said. “I find this a very helpful tool to use not necessarily for weight loss, but for staying healthy and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.”

Asfour, who aspires to be a nutritionist, also said that she plans to provide food journals to all of her future clients.

Handmade gloves

Asfour, an international student from Jordan, carries a pair of handmade gloves knitted by her aunt back home. Like Asfour, many of her relatives in Jordan work and are interested in nutrition. With winter coming soon, the neatly stitched, gray wool gloves are coming in handy for Asfour, who said this is her first time experiencing the harsh season. The gloves also serve another purpose — they remind her of her family, which inspires her to work hard in classes and follow her professional dreams.

Kimberly Schu is a contributing writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

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