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Food as Medicine

Healthy Eating, Setting Goals, and Nutritious Recipes with UNC's Director of Strength and Conditioning, Tyler Hill

Though we all know healthy eating provides countless benefits for our well-being and immune system and boosts our energy, why is it so difficult to cultivate healthy eating habits? Tyler Hill, Director of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), says we often set our goals too big. Hill oversees all sports performance training for some of UNC’s top sports teams like football, wrestling, and swim and dive. Though Hill works with collegiate athletes who know the importance of proper nutrition, many still struggle to create consistent eating habits that benefit their performance.

“Conversely to popular belief, clean eating is not about going cold turkey,” Hill explains. "It's about choosing your battles -- choosing one unhealthy habit and working to reduce it." Whether that's limiting your soda consumption from 3 cans to 2, small goals are what can lead to a consistent pattern of healthy choices. Hill says, “You won’t understand the importance of healthy eating until you do it right,” but as soon as his athletes make the switch toward a cleaner diet, “they never go back.”


●  1 cup, Non-fat vanilla Greek Yogurt

●  2 spoonfuls Chocolate protein powder

●  1 spoonful Peanut Butter Fit powder

●  1 spoonful Hershey cocoa powder

●  Granola

●  Fruit of choice

When Hill feels those nighttime cravings approach, he makes this simple yet effective snack. This combination of food has slow digestive proteins, making it sit in your system longer, so your body feeds off of it at a slower rate. This snack can help you burn calories while you sleep. Here’s how: Combine Greek Yogurt, chocolate protein powder, PB Fit powder, Hershey cocoa powder in a bowl and stir. Add granola and fruit to the top and enjoy! This recipe is sweet, yet healthy, and will curb those cravings we once thought only potato chips could.


  • 1 cucumber, sliced

  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced

  • 1 cup green pepper, sliced

  • ½ cup Feta Cheese, cubed

  • ⅓ cup onion, sliced

  • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whether you’re in a hurry at lunch or after school, this Greek Salad recipe is perfect for a quick, healthy lunch or dinner option. Start by slicing your cucumber into lengthwise parts and dicing your tomatoes, onions, and green pepper. Add cucumber, tomatoes, onions, green peppers into a bowl and mix. Add olive oil and vinegar to the veggie mix and stir. Finally, add feta cheese and Kalamata olives to the bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!