What’s on the Menu?

Knoch’s Eating Habits

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Paige Duke, Photo/ Video Editor

Eating healthy can sometimes be difficult. Especially factoring in if you’re gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, have any diets, or are the bottom of the food chain and have a peanut allergy. (So sorry if you have a peanut allergy and are reading this).

Last year, for a couple months, I started trying to cut meat out of my daily life, and tried my best to stick to a vegetarian or pescatarian diet. It was harder than I thought it would be, and I rarely found myself eating because of how hard it is to find healthy vegetarian meals that aren’t tofu. It was difficult to stay after school most days, go to work, and find time to make a meal or get some food on the way to my job that was vegetarian friendly. Being a student and doing all of that impacted my eating habits, and I couldn’t imagine me sticking with that now or even having a food allergy getting in the way as well. 

I decided to interview students and some teachers around the school with odd eating habits like allergies or diets to find out how it impacts them and their daily life. 


Brooke Valentic- Gluten Allergy:

How many meals do you eat a day?

I usually eat 2 meals a day. I don’t typically eat breakfast. But I do get snacks throughout the day if I’m hungry.

What does a typical meal look like?

School lunches are always fairly boring. Sometimes I run late in the morning and end up with leftovers from dinner the night before or an apple. Something to grab quickly is usually my go to. Dinners my mum always cooks something really good, typically her latest creation or a Pinterst recipe she can’t wait to try out.

What do other people consider “odd” that you eat?

Some people think the gluten free stuff I eat is strange but no odd food in particular.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Pasta! I love pasta even though I’m allergic to most pastas.

Do you have any allergies or diets that stop you from eating normally?

I have an allergy to bleached wheat and sulfites. Which means most breads, pastas, or any kind of yummy food I usually can’t eat. I’m also allergic to seafood because they are preserved in sulfites.

If yes, is it hard to find things you can actually eat?

Yes! Before going to restaurants, I usually have to call ahead to see if I can even eat anything other than a salad. Even when my mum cooks food, she’s very cautious to make sure she doesn’t accidentally almost kill me. There’s been many times I’ve eaten foods and quickly realized the mistake I made trusting the ingredients. More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve had to hurry up and give myself medicine to avoid a scary situation.

If you changed anything, what do you miss about the ways you used to eat?

I miss being able to eat cake at birthday parties! It is so sad to go to a party and have to say I’m sorry I can’t eat your cake. Even to get cake for my own birthday it’s challenging and my mum always ends up making me one instead.

How has this quarantine impacted your eating habits?

When I’m bored I usually snack, so I’ve definitely eaten my fair share of snacks during quarantine.


Mr. Atwood- Vegan Diet:

How many meals do you eat a day?

I typically eat three to four meals a day.  Breakfast, Lunch, Small snack, and Dinner.

What does a typical meal look like?

I will typically have a sandwich, veggies and hummus, and fruit.

What do other people consider “odd” that you eat?

I would say my diet in general is considered “odd”.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

I would have to go with tacos.

Do you have any allergies or diets that stop you from eating normally?

I do my best to stick to a vegan diet. So that means I do not eat anything that comes from an animal.

If yes, is it hard to find things you can actually eat?

It can be difficult at times, especially when I go out somewhere to eat.

If you dieted, was it hard for you to adjust to your new diet?

It was challenging at first. I started with vegan lunches and slowly worked my way to each meal being vegan.

If you dieted, why?

I started a vegan diet after a course I had at Slippery Rock, Environmental Issues. It went into how much food we waste. We also looked at the vast number of people who are starving in other countries, as well as the United States, which was a big eye opener. The reason I do the vegan diet is because of the amount of food that we use on animals.

What do you miss about the ways you used to eat?

I would say I miss not having to check every label before I eat or buy something. I also miss dairy, much more than meat.

How has this quarantine impacted your eating habits?

It has not really changed it too much. It is honestly a little easier because I am not tempted by different restaurants that would typically be open.

Is there anything else you would like to add

I would add that I do not try and push people to do a vegan diet just because I do. I only try to explain the reasons why I do it and why it works for me.


Frau Cramer- Peanut Allergy:

How many meals do you eat a day? 

At least five small meals a day.

What does a typical meal look like?

Most of my meals involve a protein, a carb, and a vegetable.

What do other people consider “odd” that you eat?

I usually eat very weird and stinky breakfasts. My first period students like to try and guess what I ate that morning. It’s usually two eggs, brussel sprouts, and potatoes. Smells terrible!

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

French Fries.

Do you have any allergies or diets that stop you from eating normally?

I have a severe peanut allergy, and I also have a lot of random food sensitivities.

If yes, is it hard to find things you can actually eat?

Not at all! I just have to be careful with peanuts, and I am always very cautious when trying foods I did not prepare for myself.

If you dieted, was it hard for you to adjust to your new diet?

I’ve tried to diet during certain periods of my life but found that balance is key. Just eat healthy most of the time, and you can indulge here and there.

If you dieted, why?

I think everyone wants to look better, feel better, and be healthier than they are right now. What’s the easiest way to do that? Changing your diet. Thankfully, I no longer diet and hope that everyone reading this knows that you can achieve health (and happiness) in other ways.

How has this quarantine impacted your eating habits?

I ended up snacking quite a bit back in March! Once the weather was nicer, though, I was back outside and snacking much less.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

There is so much pressure on teenagers (and adults) to look a certain way. I remember thinking I had to be very thin in high school because that’s what the media was portraying at the time. It’s very dangerous to try and change your weight and shape by yourself.

“If you truly want to change your eating habits and become a healthier version of yourself, see a nutritionist and/or a doctor. He/she can help you safely reach your goals! Be kind to yourself :)”

— Frau Cramer


Knoch Alumni Hope Goldsheitter- Keto Diet:

How many meals do you eat a day? 

Depending on my work schedule 1-2.

What does a typical meal look like?

It’s usually small; I like to have cauliflower and nuts and string cheese.

What do other people consider “odd” that you eat?

 I don’t eat around people, but my sister would say collard greens.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Bread less chicken pot pie.

Do you have any allergies or diets that stop you from eating normally?

I’m lactose intolerant, but it’s not stopping me. I am on a keto diet as well.

If yes, is it hard to find things you can actually eat?

No, once I figured out which foods I can have on my diet I stuck to them. I’m always customizing orders when I go out. 

If you dieted, was it hard for you to adjust to your new diet?

No, because I was already having an unhealthy relationship with food where I would eat like once every 2-3 days. Keto is like one step towards intermittent fasting. 

If you dieted, why?

 I’ve been overweight my whole life,   and since I’m entering my 20s later this year, I figured to try to lose weight. I’ve already lost 18lbs!

How has this quarantine impacted your eating habits?

 I miss not having to look at the back of food to see how much calories, sugars and carbs are in it. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

 I’ve been dealing with an eating disorder for a few years now, and I think quarantine motivated me to actually take care of my overall health.


Zane Inklovich- Diet

How many meals do you eat a day?

3-4 meals a day.

What does a typical meal look like?

Steak, rice, broccoli and an apple.

What do other people consider “odd” that you eat?

People consider it odd that I use steak instead of chicken.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Crab legs

Do you have any allergies or diets that stop you from eating normally?

Nope, I am fortunate.

If yes, is it hard to find things you can actually eat?

I mean it was hard at first, but I know it will benefit me in the long term. 

If you dieted, was it hard for you to adjust to your new diet?

 I wanted to organize what I ate like I do with my six day a week workout plan.

If you dieted, why?

I used to eat basically everything so I miss having that freedom I guess.

What do you miss about the ways you used to eat?

The increased amount of free time to meal prep.

How has this quarantine impacted your eating habits?

Always, Only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible. People that don’t have any dreams for themselves, they tend to be dream killers. They will laugh at you. They will call you names, because they have no dreams. They don’t want it as bad as you want it. Don’t be a part of that self-destructive behavior.