Public Health Nutrition Expert
Author of By Any Greens Necessary
McQuirter wasnâ€™t always the vigilant vegan that she is today.Â â€śI was introduced to vegetarianism in the seventh grade,” she says. “I thought it was a crazy idea and never gave it a second thought.â€ťÂ But after hearing comedian and activist Dick Gregory speak about the state of health in the African-American community her sophomore year in college, McQuirter changed her lifestyle.
â€śHe graphically traced the path of a hamburger from a cow on a factory farm, through the slaughterhouse process, to a fast food restaurant, to a clogged artery, to a heart attackâ€ť recalls McQuirter, of Gregory’s words.Â â€śIâ€™d never heard anything like that before in my life and that stopped me cold.â€ť
She also knows from personal experience what it’s like to pack on the weight in college.Â â€śMy freshman year I gained 25 pounds instead of the 15 pounds,â€ť she jokes. Now McQuirter has made it her lifeâ€™s goal to educate others about the benefits of eating right. Here are a few tips for first-years from a first-rate nutritionista:
McQuirter says breakfast should be your largest meal of the day.Â â€śEvery freshman should be eating breakfast everyday, it makes you eat less throughout the day,â€ť she says.Â This doesn’t mean, however, that you should have a short-stack of pancakes every morning. McQuirter says a fruit and veggie smoothieÂ is very filling. Her recipe consists of fresh dark greens, like kale or spinach, frozen or fresh fruit, and a little almond, rice or coconut milk with water and dates.
McQuirter isnâ€™t talking about being eco-friendly. She says you should have veggies twice a day and they should make up one-half to one-third of your plate.Â â€śWhatever vegetable it is that theyâ€™re serving, put that on your plate twice a day,â€ť McQuirter says.Â She also advises that you should have a raw salad five days a week, substituting dairy based creamy dressings with oil and vinegar.
GRAIN IS GOOD:
McQuirter says whole grains like brown rice, bread and oats twice a day are a must.Â â€śUsually these days you can get brown rice in your cafeteria, theyâ€™re not just serving white rice,â€ť she says.