By Kristian Schooler | LSU Student

From early morning classes and long nights of studying to a stressful work schedule and extracurricular activities, time is precious in a student's world. A fast-paced, stressful environment, however, doesn't have to mean unhealthy eating habits.

Nutrition, exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, good self-care, stress and time management, staying hydrated, balancing school, work and social activities and maintaining healthy relationships are all key steps to living a healthy lifestyle, according to LSU Dietitian Vanessa Richard.

Eating healthy and exercising holds is important, Richard said. When bodies are nourished properly, they help prevent sickness, fatigue and brain power.

Skipping meals, she says, inhibits memory. The brain runs solely on carbohydrates, while protein helps to balance the nutrition by keeping the carbohydrates working longer.

Richard recommends eating "lean proteins," such as chicken, turkey breasts, fish fillets, eggs, reduced fat cheeses, yogurt, milk, beans, or seeds. She spotlights easy, healthy on-the-go food items, including string cheese, whole grain crackers, trail mix, a bag of cereal or self-contained fruit, such as apples, bananas and grapes.

If someone craves a burger and fries, Richard recommends "keeping it simple." Order a plain burger or limit the size by ordering the kids' size. Be mindful of the condiments. Swap out the sides and beware of beverage calories, Richard adds. Order a water bottle instead of a soft drink and switch a side of f

French fries for a side salad, a baked potato, a fruit cup or some baked chips.

"Get Your Plate in Shape" is the theme for March National Nutrition Month, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year the stress is on plate portions. This is especially true of proteins and carbs.

. Portions work in combination with each other, Richard said, adding that what is normally missing on the plate are fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

Richard recommends getting at least three meals a day with snacks between meals. Focus on listening to the feedback your body is giving you about hunger and fullness; focus on balancing quality combinations, such as using the plate approach.

For more information on portion control, offers tips on proper meal portioning.

In celebration of Nutrition Month, LSU is hosting the 29th annual Wellness Fair on March 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Royal-Cotillion Ballroom of the Student Union,

More than 50 campus and community health and wellness agencies will be present to provide all students, staff and faculty with free information and free health screenings on heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, vision, height, weight, cholesterol, body mass and HIV.

LSU Student Health Center asks attendees to bring a non-perishable food item for the Heart Healthy Food Drive.