Ever spend hours staring at the menu before a friend’s birthday dinner? Struggle with how much salmon is really just the 4-ounce portion that you’re supposed to eat? As college students who are just trying to be healthy, we’ve all been there. That’s where Tovita Nutrition comes in. Tovita is a personalized concierge nutrition service run by Molly Rieger and Leah Silberman. Molly and Leah create specific plans for each client and conduct all sessions via video chat, customizing nutrition services to a whole new level. We sat down with Molly and Leah to talk all things nutrition, wellness and their new college student package.
TSS: First thing’s first. Tell us about this college nutrition plan.
Tovita: We get that college is a hard time to stay healthy. That’s why our plan is perfect for on-the-go college students. For just $75 a session, students hold video chat conferences with us and are provided with constant nutrition counseling. Our standard packages are either three, five or eight sessions, in addition to the counseling. You can even use our app to take photos of your food so we can check your portion control.
TSS: Wow, sounds amazing. As relatively healthy college students, we find ourselves struggling with breakfast, especially as we are always on the move to class. What would you guys suggest as a good breakfast when we’re running to class?
Tovita: Greek yogurt, a banana and a few nuts is perfect. You can even grab a hard boiled egg for natural protein at your campus' mini mart. If you need to grab a bar, go for the all natural Rx Bars or Shanti bars. Stay away from artificial protein bars and powders!
TSS: Okay, so we got breakfast covered. What do you guys remember being the hardest part about staying healthy in college?
Tovita: Definitely the late night eating, especially with all the Wisconsin cheese! Never skip meals in anticipation of eating late night. If you make sure to eat a proper dinner, then you won’t be hungry for pizza later.
TSS: So, speaking of drinking...what would you suggest for hangover cures?
Tovita: Water, water and more water. Don’t go for sugary Gatorade; it won’t do you any favors. Get lots of sleep and make a healthy breakfast, such as avocado toast or oatmeal with banana. Complex carbs will soak up the alcohol and help you get back on track.
TSS: Noted. What do you guys think of juice cleanses?
Tovita: Definitely not into them. If anything, it can help jumpstart a healthy diet but we really don’t recommend them. Most juices are just all sugar — it’s better to eat the actual fruit or vegetable so you get all the nutrients and feel fuller.
TSS: Very true. It seems like college students resort to juice cleanses as a way to get back on track after a typical college weekend of binge drinking and eating. Instead, what do you guys recommend for recovering from a gluttonous weekend?
Tovita: The best thing you can do is plan ahead. On Sunday night, look at the following week and decide how you’re going to implement healthy choices into your schedule. For example, if you know you have class from 12-3 one day, what snacks are you going to pack so that you don’t get out of class feeling ravenous? Or sign up for an exercise class ahead of time so you’re held accountable.
TSS: Yes, planning ahead is so important when it comes to a maintaining healthy, balanced lifestyle. As for the meal plans you guys design for your clients, is there a unique “Tovita diet” or does it vary?
Tovita: No, we definitely don’t take a one size fits all approach. Instead, we really base each meal plan on the individual person’s needs. A client’s meal plan will reflect what their goals are and what’s realistic for them. People come to us for a variety of reasons beyond weight loss, for example because of a medical condition, like diabetes. We believe it’s really important that each meal plan is highly individualized to make sure that each client receives the personalized care they need.
Interview conducted by Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18), Abbey Fernandez (Vanderbilt '18), and Molly Levine (Wisconsin '18).