Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Healthy eating is possible

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Southeast alum Ariel Dumars runs @freshgirlfit, an Instagram page dedicated to helping the community learn about healthy eating. Dumars offers meal planning and preparation to her clients.
Photo submitted by Ariel Dumars

Everybody eats, whether it be nachos for dinner in the University Center, or in the Scully building for the Subway lunch rush. Southeast alum Ariel Dumars shows how to incorporate health and nutrition on her Instagram, @freshgirlfit.

Dumars originally began her journey at Southeast studying psychology but became interested in studying nutrition after an introductory elective course. Studying nutrition introduced her to community nutrition, which she is passionate about.

Shortly before receiving her Master’s degree in nutrition, she started her @freshgirlfit to educate the community about healthy eating. Dumars uses her Instagram page to share recipes and tips for a healthier lifestyle while also providing meal prepping or planning services for clients. In addition to offering educational content, Dumars has crafted a food-centered aesthetic.

“I use a lot of produce as my pictures,” Dumars said. “I like to look at aesthetically-pleasing things like that.”

The Southeast nutrition and dietetics alum provides meal plans for approximately two clients each week and a meal prep service for approximately three clients each week. She said the decision to offer these services was based on a desire to help people.

The informational page originated as a way of providing nutritional education to the public. Dumars said she asked herself what she could do to be more hands-on with community nutrition and decided to offer meal services.

“I know how to meal plan from a tremendous amount of classes, and I know how to cook, luckily,” Dumars said.

Dumars said it is possible for college students to eat healthy on a meal plan at Southeast. Her tips include limiting Starbucks intake and choosing healthier options, like Subway instead of Chick-Fil-A. In addition, Dumars suggests maximizing the amount of greens in any meal, such as choosing a salad for a side instead of french fries.

Dumars said mindfulness is important when it comes to mealtimes.

“If you're thinking about what you're doing as far as food, you'll automatically change your habits,” Dumars said.

Smarter shopping is another way to pursue a healthier lifestyle, Dumars said. Choosing places with a healthier selection of goods, such as Aldi, can make a difference. Additionally, using a delivery service such as HelloFresh or Imperfect Foods is a way to have produce and other goods conveniently available.

Dumars said adding flavor is a good way to enjoy healthier eating.

“I feel like people don’t know how to season anything,” Dumars said. “I love garlic; it’s probably the best on everything.”

To learn more about a nutritious diet, follow Dumars on Instagram, @freshgirlfit.

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