We recently had the pleasure of interviewing author Daphne Oz (daughter of Dr. Oz), about her dorm-room-self. Her responses are below.
1. What inspired you to write Dorm Room Diet?
People find it difficult to understand how I could have been so overweight growing up, given that I was part of a medical family with access to all the information I would have needed to get my health on track. What I realized as part of the process of finally recovering my health while in college is that, oftentimes, the emotional component can be even more important than the physical information.
As my dad always likes to say: “People don’t change their behavior based on what they know, they change based on what they feel.”
That was certainly true for me. It took recognizing that college marked the beginning of my adult life–and, more importantly, that I wanted my adult self to have optimum health so I could accomplish anything–to spark the change that would lead me towards a permanent, healthy lifestyle and make it possible for me to put the information I had had my whole life to good use. I wrote the Dorm Room Diet to share the tips and tricks I had developed throughout this process so that my peers looking for a friendly, accessible voice to guide them on their journeys to health would have a one-stop manual.
2. What’s your favorite healthy meal?
I’m a huge fan of vegetarian chili–it has lots of protein in the bean and legume varieties (I add lentils to mine!), some complex carbs if you put it over brown rice, and that great spicy, tomato sauce flavor. Perfect for fall days!
3. What’s your favorite junk food?
I’m a sucker for pretzels and chocolate chip cookies, and I love banana pudding. Everything in moderation, though!
4. If you could talk to your dorm room self what would you say?
Remember to plan ahead! It’s the only tool you need to succeed. If you can crowd out all the “bad” junk foods with healthy items on hand, you’ll be that much less tempted to go off your healthy eating plan. Set yourself up for success!
5. What’s your motto?
“Substitution where you can, Moderation where you cant.”
What this means is, if you’re happy to have an apple instead of the stale, store-brought brownie you’ve been eyeing, that’s a great way to cut down on sugars and processed carbohydrates. But if you’re out at a friend’s birthday party, don’t skimp on a small piece of birthday cake, or even just a bite, just so you can say you didn’t have any. The whole point of a healthy lifestyle is that there is room for anything, so you never need to feel deprived–which is why healthy lifestyles last permanently while fad diets are only a race against the clock until you “fail” and go on a binge of all the things you haven’t been allowing yourself.
Make room for the experiences you know will help you feel like you’ve been able to share and have fun, but be sure to keep unhealthy eating in check by remembering to “indulge for a good cause” (as in, only eat those foods you know you are really going to enjoy, and make them count!).
6. What do you do when you’re having a bad day?
For so many years, emotional eating was a crutch for me, as it is for so many. It’s hard to give up the comfort foods, and it’s still tempting to drive into a chocolate bar if I’ve had a bad day, or even if I want to celebrate (emotional eating works both ways!).
But what I’ve found is the most helpful is to take a few minutes to write down exactly what is bothering me or making me upset, to talk it out with someone I love or whose opinion I trust, and then, if I’m still feeling down, to go out for a long walk or jog, ideally with someone else. Socializing is the best cure for the blues, because it forces you to feel good when you’re in good company.
7. Does your dad have a cure for Bieber fever?
Ha, I don’t think anyone would take it!
8. You’re the oldest of four. Do your sisters come to you a lot for advice? Do you have any advice for girls?
I’m thrilled to say I do think my two (younger) sisters come to me for advice, for health and other things. I think my main advice for girls would be to keep everything in perspective. Friends change, boyfriends change, schools change…don’t put too much pressure or focus or importance on anything that is likely to change in the next year, if not the next couple weeks or months. Just enjoy every minute as best you can, and be sure to get any toxic people out of your life asap! Especially if you’re trying to create a healthy lifestyle, curating an environment that facilitates healthy, balanced emotional health is just as important as getting your physical health on track.