BOONE, N.C. — Is “a healthy chocolate peanut butter cup” an oxymoron? Is Banana Nice Cream a thing? Is it possible to cook spinach and Parm pasta in a stovetop popcorn pot?
No, yes and absolutely! These healthy concoctions can be found in the AppEats virtual cookbook, and junior Lisa Pham wants Appalachian State University students to get cooking. The program is sponsored by Appalachian’s Wellness and Prevention Services, part of the Division of Student Affairs.
A public health and nutrition and foods double major from Hickory, Pham is promoting AppEats during her AppState Instagram takeover the week of May 20. Her own Instagram account, Phamphitphood, is definitely for foodies. She said she hopes the Instagram takeover will get more students thinking about healthy eating.
The cookbook — for students, by students — features a variety of healthy and relatively inexpensive recipes created for easy preparation in a dorm or small kitchen. Recipe categories include No Cooking Required, Microwaveable, Stovetop, Oven and One Pot. The flavor profiles, according to Pham, are “delicious.”
The cookbook was first imagined by Courtney Harris ’18, who was also a nutrition and foods major. “She passed the project along to me,” Pham said, “and I’m carrying it like my baby.”
Pham promotes the cookbook at tables at a variety of campus locations, where she hands out samples of power balls — snack spheres made of oatmeal and peanut butter.
Pham, who plans to graduate in 2020, is a member of Appalachian’s WE CAN or Wellness Educators for Change, Advocacy and student Needs. She is ardent about its mission to “positively impact student wellness by empowering peers to change health behaviors, working as an advocacy group for student well-being, and addressing student needs to promote and protect healthy lifestyles.”
Pham’s parents immigrated to America from Vietnam and quickly adapted to a stateside eating culture, she said. “It was McDonald’s all the time. My dad developed Type 2 diabetes and my mom’s cholesterol is high. I want to prevent disease and educate everyone about nutritious eating. McDonald’s is OK every now and then, but not every day!”
Standing a firm 5 feet tall, Pham appears fit and strong; she is a weight lifter and works as an attendant in the weight room at Appalachian’s Student Recreation Center. She likes to bake and, like her mother, she never measures. “I get the food science of baking, so I just eyeball it,” she said. “The problem is I stress bake. That’s no good. So, I share it — you have to share it.”
Pham said she came to Appalachian as a first-year student thinking she would transfer to North Carolina State University as soon as possible. “Then, I joined WE CAN,” she explained. “I felt more at home there than ever before. My advisers were so supportive, and I love my professors here. They’ve helped me find internships and empowered me as a person.”
Next year, Pham plans to work as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Alisha Farris, assistant professor in the nutrition and foods program. After that, she is considering graduate school for global public health.
“I hope to work internationally for women and children, developing (a) healthy and nutritious food program,” she said.
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About the Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 14 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Intercultural Student Affairs, Student Legal Clinic and Off Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Health and Exercise Science
The Department of Health and Exercise Science in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences delivers student-centered education that is accentuated by quality teaching, scholarly activity and service. The department includes two undergraduate academic disciplines: exercise science and public health. The department also offers two master’s degrees: athletic training, which leads to professional licensure, and exercise science, which prepares students for advanced study in a variety of related fields as well as research. Learn more at https://hes.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management
The Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences provides graduate and undergraduate programs. The undergraduate health care management program prepares students for entry-level management positions, while the online Master of Health Administration degree is designed for working professionals who desire to advance their careers. The undergraduate nutrition and foods program prepares students for careers in dietetics or food systems management in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, nursing homes and food banks. The highly competitive master’s degree in nutrition provides a pathway for students to become registered dietitians. Learn more at https://nhm.appstate.edu.
About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian's Beaver College of Health Sciences opened in 2010 as the result of a strategic university commitment to significantly enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities in North Carolina and beyond. In 2015, the college was named for an Appalachian alumnus and pioneer in the health care industry — Donald C. Beaver ’62 ’64 of Conover. The college offers nine undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Exercise Science; Nursing; Nutrition and Health Care Management; Recreation Management and Physical Education; and Social Work. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.