People of UCA: Rebekah Csonka

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Food is undeniably one of the biggest parts of human life. It fuels not only the body, but the soul as well. This highly important part of life is one girl’s professional life as a nutrition major.

Junior Rebekah Csonka recently moved from Colorado to the south near Shreveport, Louisiana.

Since moving to Louisiana, this nutrition major and avid subscriber to the holistic lifestyle has had an interesting and educational experience with traditional southern food.

“In the north everybody is self-conscious. There are a lot of hippies and everybody eats sushi all the time and they have different noodle places like “Tokyo Joe’s” and everything is made with natural ingredients or organic ingredients. There are a lot of vegans and people thinking about their health and then you move down south and there is Popeye’s, McDonald’s, Chik-fil-A. What are these people eating? It’s all fried, I don’t think they ever get their daily intake of fruits and vegetables,” she said.

Don’t be fooled by her condemnation of fried southern food, though: this former Chik-fil-A employee uses plenty of butter and whole milk in her cooking.

As a nutrition major she fully believes that food has not only properties to nourish the body but the mind as well.

“Your body has an effect on your mind and your mind has an effect on your body,” she said. “They go hand in hand. And I feel like if you take somebody and say that they can eat fast food their whole life and they’re never going to be lethargic or sometimes depressed, or they’re missing certain key vitamins that are going to make them not function to their fullest capability, that influences your mind and has bad effects on your mind in general. So it goes back and forth.”

Csonka is not only a nutrition major, but has aspirations to be an occupational therapist as well.

Occupational therapy is similar to physical therapy, but physical therapy helps heal the injured muscles and occupational therapy takes the muscles that physical therapy works and applies them to the patient’s daily life to help them get back to a sense of normalcy and live the fullest life they can, Csonka said.

Though she wants to be an occupational therapist, being a nutrition major will prepare Csonka to help her future patients in all aspects, which is why she chose to major in nutrition.

Csonka and her feelings about food can be summarized by how she shops for groceries.

“Look at why you’re eating,” she said. “Where did it come from? Don’t eat it just because there’s a label stuck on the side that says “no fat” because there is something else in there that is filling that up and do you want to eat the fillers over the natural food?”

This article originally appeared in the March 2, 2016 print edition of The Echo.

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Mary Kate Mansfield is a senior at UCA, an Oreo enthusiast and can usually be found buried under the mountian of homework she calls home for the time being.

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