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 16 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, Campus Activities, Office of Community-Engaged Leadership, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Service, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, 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 Public Health and Exercise Science
The Department of Public 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 a master’s degree in exercise science, which prepares students for advanced study in a variety of related fields as well as research. Learn more at https://phes.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 State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS), opened in 2010, is transforming the health and quality of life for the communities it serves through interprofessional collaboration and innovation in teaching, scholarship, service and clinical outreach. BCHS offers nine undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Nursing, Nutrition and Health Care Management, Public Health and Exercise Science, Recreation Management and Physical Education, Rehabilitation Sciences, and Social Work. The college’s academic programs are located in the Holmes Convocation Center on App State’s main campus and the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art, 203,000-square-foot facility that is the cornerstone of the Wellness District. In addition, the college supports the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services and has collaborative partnerships with the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program, UNC Health Appalachian and numerous other health agencies. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.