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What a difference 10 years make: Food is tastier, more nutritional

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POSTED October 30, 2009 2:48 a.m.
It’s been almost 10 years since I went through the lunch line at Sierra High School – where it wasn’t uncommon for me to grab a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke.

Odds are I was going to burn it all off at football or track practice.

But now that I’m lucky to get to the gym twice a week, the habits that were commonplace for both myself and practically everybody I hung out with have definitely taken their toll.

There might only be one or two people I can think of that couldn’t stand to hit the treadmill for an extra 20 minutes every workout.

So now that Senate Bill 12 has taken virtually all of those bad food choices off of the table, it was virtually a whole new world for me to walk into when I started at my first of five high schools I’ll be dining at for lunch to see exactly what students get to choose from and how far their money will go.

And I have to say that the first day was pretty much a shocker.

For $1.75 I was able to get two massive cheese filled breadsticks, a side salad, a pear, a granola bar, and a bottle of water – which was almost too much for me to carry.

While I thought that I knew what I was getting when I heard that breadsticks were on the menu – with Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread being a normal part of my high school diet – there wasn’t an obscene amount of grease seeping through the bag like I had expected.

Even the marinara dipping sauce tasted like it was going to be healthy for me.

By the time I threw in the side salad, the piece of fruit, and the granola bar it was pretty safe to say that my hunger had been adequately addressed and I was walking away happy.

It seems that just about everyone else does as well.

Students were chomping at the bit to get into the cafeteria before they actually started serving. They kept coming for virtually the first 20 minutes of the half-hour mid-day break.

With students broken up into different portions of campus there wasn’t a massive line at any one place and people seemed to be spread out enjoying an afternoon without gusty winds blowing everything away.

I was definitely satisfied with my first stop – even though it was a whole lot different than what I remembered when I walked through that same cafeteria as a student.

But that change appears to be for the better, and I’m sure that those students that are still cruising through a two-mile run each afternoon almost 10 years after they graduate will be glad that they weren’t stuffing their face with Lay’s or junk food for their four years.

This is going to be an interesting five days.
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