hangryshan
What better way to get college students to eat healthy foods than high-quality, mouth-watering Instagram posts? (Illustration by Rinah Kang, Rhode Island School of Design)
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hangryshan

The foodie and fitness guru reminds followers that you can be healthy and still eat ice cream by the pint.

If you ever get on social media and search the web for public figures to give you that extra push to organize your gym schedule, alongside your professional career and hobbies, then Shannon Palmer, or @hangryshan, is the woman who will help you do just that.

Palmer is a master’s candidate at Florida State University (FSU) working on her Master of Science in Exercise Physiology. The FSU College of Human Sciences offers a dietetic internship that is available for admitted students, should they qualify. Palmer posted a video to her Instagram account, in April 2018, detailing the time that the internship opportunity presented itself to her, one of the many doors that have opened for the prospective sports dietician with a bright future.

Though the path that Palmer is taking toward a career as a personal trainer is unconventional, her Instagram page, @hangryshan, inspires many across the globe to remain serious about fitness while still having fun.

As a fitness junkie, she shares tips on exercising that are realistic for people of all ages and fitness levels. Her high-quality photos are pleasing to the eye and aim to increase her followers’ enthusiasm to eat healthy foods with fun twists, such as the spices and toppings she adds to her signature egg tacos.

Then, after a week filled with peeks into her fitness lifestyle through her Instagram story and motivating her 8,000 followers to start and keep at their own, she frequently features the hashtag #fridaynightpint on her page, inspiring anyone with a sweet tooth to follow her suggestions as to which ice cream they should treat themselves to.

These interesting components are some of the many reasons why you should follow @hangryshan on Instagram. If you would like more to convince you, then let this Q&A with Palmer herself do just that.

Meagan Bess: What motivated you to begin your page?

Shannon Palmer: I can’t remember a specific reason, other than my friends telling me my food always looked amazing! I have always been extremely passionate about food and got into dietetics my junior year in undergrad, so I think having the passion and education made me feel confident enough to create @hangryshan.

MB: Why are you passionate about your degrees?

SP: I think there is so much nutrition misinformation circulating around social media and the internet now that it’s nearly impossible to figure out what information is evidence-based. I’m passionate about spreading the correct information to whomever I can reach. Nutrition doesn’t have to be as complex as people make it.

MB: What do you hope to do with your degrees after college?

SP: After completing my master’s degree and dietetic internship I hope to become a registered dietitian and work with professional sports teams. I would also love to continue to do consulting on the side for the general population looking to get healthier in all aspects of their life.

MB: Who inspires you off and/or on social media to keep going?

SP: The people at my gym constantly inspire me to lift more weight and train harder. On social media, I would say I’m inspired by any and all ladies who lift heavy, have muscles and don’t try to fit the mold that society expects of us.

MB: What advice/tips do you have for those who want to begin their exercise journey or strive to do it each day?

SP: Start small! You don’t have to work out for two or more hours a day to see results. Start by hitting 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day. Add in one or two gym days a week and focus on weights instead of cardio. Grab a friend and go together to hold yourselves accountable.

MB: What tips/advice do you have for those when it comes to healthy eating?

SP: Keep it simple. Eat vegetables at a majority of your meals, focus on lean proteins and whole grains and switch up the sauces and seasonings you use so you don’t get bored. Healthy food doesn’t have to take hours to prepare — I use frozen turkey burgers, steam-able veggies and rice on a weekly basis.

MB: Do you think people should splurge and eat fun foods too? If so, why.

SP: Absolutely. I think a balance of healthy and fun foods prevents people from feeling too restrictive — people should be striving for a lifestyle approach they can sustain throughout their life, not just one month or one year.

If you can go the rest of your life without eating cookies, ice cream or your favorite fun food then go for it, but I don’t think that’s a sustainable approach for the majority of the population, myself included.

MB: What recommendations do you have for college students and those beyond them who want a healthy lifestyle even with the stress of many deadlines?

SP: Prioritize. Make the conscious effort to prioritize your health along with your school work. Sometimes that may mean waking up a little earlier to get a quick workout in before class, prepping meals and snacks that fit your goals or going to bed early instead of going out with your friends for the fourth time that week.

If it matters to you, you can find a way to fit it into your day, even with the busiest of schedules. Thirty minutes of exercise is still better than none and if that’s all you have time for, do it!

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