South students explain dietary choices

Brigid Murphy, Staff Reporter

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When one hears the word “diet,” weight loss regimens often come to mind.  However, around South many students practice diets, and they vary from the typical expectation.  

According to senior Grace Kilpatrick she eats a gluten free diet, and has followed it for a year and a half.  Kilpatrick says that it began as a recommendation from her doctor, but it turned into a way to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  

“The idea first came from my doctor actually who suggested it as a means of a skin care routine,” Kilpatrick said. “A lot of people were finding that not eating gluten was improving their skin, so I tried it for that reason. That worked to some extent, but I found it as a good way to give myself a healthier diet.”

Junior Eden Krenzel, who moved to the United States from Israel when she was nine, follows a Kosher diet. Krenzel followed this diet in Israel, and decided to continue after moving.  

“We are Israeli, and we moved here from Israel, and we are Jewish, and so it was a part of the culture,” Krenzel said. “It was something we did back there, and when we moved here it just seemed appropriate to do it here too.”

Like Kilpatrick, junior Jane Carpenter practices a choice driven diet: vegetarianism. According to Carpenter, she sticks to a diet void of meat and fish, and has done so since the end of her freshman year.

“One day I just couldn’t eat meat anymore, which is kind of a strange thing,” Carpenter said. “I had watched a documentary on the manufacturing of meat, and basically the second I took a bite of ribs later that night, I couldn’t do it anymore, and I haven’t eaten meat since.”

According to Carpenter, the sudden shift in diet was difficult because she was not sure how to begin adapting to life without meat.

“When I first became a vegetarian it was harder, because I didn’t know what kind of foods I wanted to eat or what would give me protein,” Carpenter said. “[Now] I know that I can get protein from sunflower seeds or nuts. I know where to get my nutrients, and I know my favorite foods without meat.”

Kilpatrick also experienced a hard change to her eating habits when she first adopted the gluten free diet.

“At first it was really hard because when I started I was one of those people who would eat three waffles for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and cookies and cake after dinner,” Kilpatrick said.  “That [change] was difficult for the first month, but […] now I don’t think twice about it!”

Contrasting to Carpenter and Kilpatrick, despite minor instances, Krenzel feels that her diet is nonrestrictive.

“I basically eat the same things [as everyone else],” Krenzel said. “There’s certain types of meat I’m not allowed to eat, like pork, but usually I’m allowed to eat everything that has a stamp of Kosher on it, and the diet involves that you’re not allowed to eat meat and dairy products together.”

Although Krenzel does not consider her a diet a hindrance to what she can eat, when she first moved to America, her diet shocked some of her new friends and their parents.  

“It was weird, because you know when you go to your friends houses they’re like, ‘Here’s a ham and cheese sandwich,’ and I was like, ‘But I’m not allowed to have a ham and cheese sandwich,’ and they’re all freaked out,” Krenzel said. “After awhile parents would [say], ‘That’s really interesting that you keep Kosher,’ and good friends of mine would know not to give me meat and dairy.”   

According to Krenzel, because Kosher keeps her tied to her faith and gives her diet healthy, she feels as though it is not something that disrupts her everyday life.

“It’s not something that bothers me, or makes my life harder, so there’s no reason I should stop,” Krenzel said.