Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Down the Shore with...Daphne Oz

Show of hands: How many people gained the dreaded freshman 15? I did, and I didn't lose them until after I'd gotten my master's degree.

Daphne Oz, a student at Princeton, came up with a plan to ward off that beer-and-pizza weight gain, and wrote all about it in The Dorm Room Diet: The 8-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works. Aside from writing about the South Jersey shore, I also contribute articles to Men's Health,Oxygen and a slew of other fitness magazines, so I see a lot of these kinds of books. My conclusion: this one is sound, whether you live in a dorm or not.

Oz, like me, spent a lot of time on the Seven Mile Island as a kid, and shares my love of Green Cuisine restaurant in Stone Harbor which of cousre makes her perfect for a "Down the Shore with..." interview.

1. What do you consider 'your' shore town and why?
My shore town would definitely be Stone Harbor, since I grew up going down there during the summers to my grandparent's home on the beach. Although they sold that house when I was about 10, I've never forgotten how much I loved the place.

2. I grew up spending my summers in Avalon and Stone Harbor, too -- what do
you think has changed the most?

I think what's best is that, even though I only go down a few weekends a year, Stone Harbor always brings me back to my childhood precisely because so little has changed. It's still the perfect North East beach community.

3. A lot of people go down the shore just to eat -- what's your favorite

That's an easy question: I've driven the 3 hours from my home to Stone Harbor just to have a California Sandwhich--avocado, mushrooms, sprouts, sweet peppers, and dressing on a whole wheat pita--at the Green Cuisine. Oh, and vanilla fudge from the Fudge Shoppe on special occasions.

4. What gave you the idea for the The Dorm Room Diet?
When I got to college, I realized what a unique environment it was. I wanted to get the full college experience without packing on weight, so I developed the tips and tricks that became the Dorm Room Diet largely so that I could live the best, healthiest college life possible. They worked so well for me that I had to write a book and share my advice with the students and young adults around me who were struggling with trying to find this balance.

5. Have you gotten a lot of your friends at Princeton to try it?
The beauty of the Dorm Room Diet is that there are no strict rule or regimes. To "go on" the DRD is simply to appreciate the DRD motto of "substitution where you can, moderation where you can't," which means you can eat anything you want, so long as you make conscious decisions to eat healthily where possible (trade that store-bought brownie in for an apple) and eat in moderation when you feel like indulging (definitely have a slice of your friend's wedding cake, or your favorite homemade goodie, but don't go back for seconds). There's nothing wrong with enjoying small portions of all the foods you love, just make sure that you don't overindulge yourself too often. This is definitely a guiding principle many people at Princeton have found useful.

6. You're already a published author -- what do you plan to do after you graduate?
After I graduate I would love to enter news broadcasting. And continue writing, hopefully!

7. I found it very difficult to eat healthy while down the shore. Any tips that I can take with me for summer 2008?
My tips for summer 2008 are first and foremost to enjoy yourself! Have fun making incredible memories with family and friends, and don't let "off limits" foods bog you down with anxiety and paranoia. Instead, follow the DRD principle outlined above and make sure that every time you can make a healthy substitution, you're doing your health a huge favor. But don't miss out on those special treats that may actually help you by fueling your resolve to eat healthily the rest of the time.


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1 comment:

Trish Ryan said...

Sounds like good advice even once dorm days are over. And that California sandwich sounds yummy!