Having lunch with...

Having lunch with...

How healthy is their lunch?

USC nutritionist Kathelijne Mischner & Ramon Wolf, an expert in orthomolecular nutrition, shine their light on the eating habits of students and staff.
Starting October 26, every working day of the Healthy University week, there will be a new lunch review. Our Vice-Rector Magnificus will be the first on Monday. Followed by a professional athlete and more...

Friday – Having lunch with Victor Koppelmans
Victor is the head of the Communication Department of Campus The Hague. He runs 3 times a week en tries to run, preferably, 2 marathons a year. Unfortunately that’s impossible now. Victor has even ran a marathon on the Chinese Wall. Victor also likes to sail and play golf, although he thinks golf is not an active sport. He takes at least 10.000 steps a day and registers this on his swatch . And no matter how tired Victor is, he always uses the stairs, everywhere. ‘I often choose a diner salad for lunch, the kind you buy at thesupermarket. Or some crackers with old cheese or a boiled egg. With my lunch I almost always drink half a liter Coca-Cola Zero.Once, when I was training for a marathon,I ate sugar free for a month. It’s insane how much sugar is added in food, even in prepackaged fish. The influence from food on your athletic ability is fascinating. You can find a lot of information about this on the internet but much info is contradictory’.

Even though Victor knows it’s too salty, every once in while (like 2 weeks) he gives in to his drop craving (a Dutch black candy).

Ramon ‘It’s almost as if we selected on athletic lifestyles, which is not the case. Victor is another good example of an active lifestyle. Always taking the stairs, especially at work, helps you to make healthier choices. I have little complains about Victors lunch. The sugars and carbohydrates are fit for an active lifestyle. He could cut down on the salt. Prepackages food like salads contain much more salt than the one you prepare yourself. Crackers, old cheese and most soups (because of the broth) contain a lot of salt. Off course this is also the case with drop, but he eats this not so much. Too much salt can lead to heart and vascular diseases, a high blood pressure and kidney problems. The western eating pattern contains a lot of salt. You can easy but alternatives these days (sodium is the problem). Lemon juice can also replace the taste of salt and is very healthy. When Victor has questions about nutrition or training, he can always cross the street to The Buzz in Beehive and ask Zak Nathan, the fitness manager.

Having lunch with Robert Guillaume Chin A sen

Robert studies International Law in The Hague, his background is Surinamese. He works out 6 times a week at The Buzz, the sports center of Leiden University in The Hague. Robert wants to be in shape and works on muscle growth. He also enjoys playing basketball. A Dutch cheese sandwich is not for Robert.
‘For lunch I like a pasta or rice with chicken or beef. When I don’t eat at home, I will choose a tortilla wrap with meat. I think my lunch is healthy considering my training schedule, overall it has a good balance. My guilty pleasure is white chocolate Oreo’s. And you can wake me up for my father’s famous ginger chicken rice’.

Kathelijne Working out for 6 hours a week is impressive for a student. With rice and pasta Robert gets enough carbohydrates. Especially chicken contains the protein Robert needs for muscle growth. I miss vegetables in his lunch but I can’t imagine that’s left out of a rice or pasta dish. Vegetables contain fibers your body needs. With an active lifestyle as Robert you can cheat with some Oreo’s.

Wednesday – Having lunch with Luca Cantineau

Luca, age 25, is a law student and professional soccer referee. For this he must be in top shape and live a healthy lifestyle. The Dutch soccer federation advises in his diet.
‘In general my lunch contains of one piece of fruit, a salad without dressing (a little bit of olive oil and salt & pepper or a yoghurt dressing), two whole grain slices of bread and a handful of nuts. On a game day I will have a breakfast that contains a high level of carbohydrates to compensate my lunch time. At the end of the morning I will eat a protein bar. If the game is in the afternoon, I will try to eat some salad, yoghurt and fruit. On a training day I need to get enough proteins to recover, like salmon, tuna, spinach and egg’.

When we ask what Luca misses most in this healthy diet, the answer is Dutch ‘ontbijtkoek’ (dark breakfast cake) covered with butter. His grandmother treats him to this when he visits.

Kathelijne ‘Because Luca works out 10 hours per week, he needs his carbohydrates and proteins. His training is very intense, that’s why he has the status as a top athlete at Leiden University. Luca is spreading of his (5 to 7) eating moments during the day. That’s a good way to not give in to your cravings. Because of his trainings regime Luca’s need for nutrition is much higher. You can not get this in 3 meals a day.

The Dutch ontbijtkoek contains lots of sugar and combined with butter, it’s a calorie blast. But treating your self every now and then is also important! Luca’s lunch has variation and contains all the needed nutrients. It fit’s his active life style. For an inactive person it would be way to high’.

Tuesday - Having lunch with Yiping Deng

Yiping is a resident assistant of international student housing, her programme is Asian Studies; History, Art & Culture of Asia. Yiping is from Shanghai, China. She loves The Netherlands and is happy to go to this famous university.

‘I always skip breakfast and eat a late brunch. When I brunch in European-style, I take a sandwich with cheese and sausage or some other slice of meat. Or I will take a dish with fried rice with sausage cubes and eggs. For drinks I choose a cup of milk or orange juice, sometimes some lemon tea but I almost never drink water.
I dislike spicy and pungent food. In Shanghai we prefer the sweet and umami taste, so I always put in some sugar to make the dish more umami. I miss many Chinese dishes like hot pot malatang and shao kao (barbeque street food). But mostly Jiuxiang Caotou because I can’t find the clover-like vegetable in Leiden. The clover is sautéed with garlic and rice cooking wine. It tastes great. ‘

Ramon ‘I’m no supporter of skipping breakfast but at the USC we do understand that this is a lifestyle during study. The research for chrono-nutrition (chronos = Greek for time) is ongoing. When we eat, how much and what does this do to our body. Skipping breakfast on a regular base could cause cardio-metabolic illness. Yipings lunch is not the most healthy lunch because of the white bread, pork and cheese. These contain a lot of sugar and salt and little fibers. If you have to drink during lunch, tea or water (without sugar) would be the best choice. Orange juice (especially from a bottle or carton) contains a lot of sugar.
The Asian kitchen is generally healthier than the Western kitchen however. They use much more diversity of vegetables in the dishes, the meal contains fish more often and the portions are smaller.
Umami flavors may not be known to everyone. It’s added to artificial flavors because it increases the saliva and strengthens salt & sweet flavor experience. Adding sugar to the tea to create this is something I would not recommend’.

Monday – Having lunch with Hester Bijl

Professor Hester Bijl will be appointed Rector Magnificus of the Executive Board of Leiden University on February 8, 2021. She will be the first female Rector Magnificus of Leiden University. Her hectic life includes long working hours and also some meetings in the evening. When the weather agrees she cycles on her electric bike from The Hague to the office. She plays tennis on a weekly base and likes to do zumba & salsa dancing.

'When we were still working at the office, I tried to schedule half an hour for lunch. In our restaurant I choose a slice of whole grain with a light cheese, a salad and fruit. The banana or apple are my afternoon snack. I try to have a balanced eating pattern. My lunch break is sometimes short when I have lots of meetings. That's hard to change'.

Hesters favorite in the UFB-restaurant is a fried egg with cheese on 2 slices of whole grain. Or a white bun with cream cheese and salmon. She doesn't care much for a greasy snack like the Dutch kroket.

Kathelijne ‘Hester is a great example for a healthy life style. It is tempting to rest when you had a busy day at the office. While being active gives you back energy. Hester’s lunch is nicely balanced. It has the necessary fibers from the whole grain, the salad and fruit. A fried egg or a cream cheese with salmon bun is no sin when you are so active. Salmon is a very healthy choice and gives you a high sense of saturation. When you want to have a healthy alternative for the white bun, you can choose a seed cracker'.

'As a food nutritionist I think it's important to, besides the needed nutrients, find a moment of rest. When you eat in a rush and chew less than necessary, insulin cannot do its job in your body. The energy will not reach your muscles, it will end up as body fat. Mindful eating is becoming a big trend. To enjoy your meal, chew sufficiently and focus on the food, not on your phone. The satisfaction signal will arrive sooner and you will feel less tiered'.

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