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The Subject: Seth Gassman “I eat like s–t,” says Seth Gassman, an NYU law school 2L. Don’t believe him? Picture a fried mozzarella patty the size of a man’s wallet. One piece could give Dean Ornish an aortal blockage. Gassman likes three at a time. No wonder he gained 20 pounds in his first semester. Gassman usually skips breakfast, but when he does eat in the morning, it’s eggs — fried or in an omelet (extra cheese, naturally). Two years ago, Gassman worked on Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign and often packed a decent lunch. Now, he eats out at midday, often a carton of greasy General Tso’s shrimp. For dinner, he might scarf down half a large pizza. The causes of Gassman’s Tom Arnold�style eating habits will be familiar to anyone who is now or ever has been a law student: lack of time and money. (“Some people are so strapped for cash the last few days of the semester that they hardly eat anything,” Gassman says. “At least I never got that desperate.”) Old-fashioned human weakness plays a role, too. Of his fondness for junk food, Gassman says flatly: “I love the stuff.” The Expert: Hughie O’Malley “Sad,” says Hughie O’Malley, the manager of sports medicine administration for the U.S. national soccer teams, whose duties include packing his charges full of healthy foods to give them the energy to run, kick, and tear their jerseys off on national television. For everyday Gassmans, there’s no diet magic bullet, says O’Malley, just the same advice you’ve heard from the USDA and Mom: Lay off the fatty foods, eat moderate amounts of protein, and load up on fruits, vegetables, and other complex carbs. For new lawyers and law students, a diet also has to be easy to follow and preferably not too expensive. Here, O’Malley’s plan. No breaded mozzarella patties? Sorry — no one said this would be easy. Breakfast � 1 cup of unsweetened cereal with fat-free milk or yogurt, or two eggs scrambled with nonfat cooking spray � 1 piece of fresh fruit or 3/4 cup canned fruit Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day: After eight or more hours without food, your body needs to be stoked for the daylight hours. “Three cups of coffee will only work for so long,” says O’Malley. Nothing’s cheaper or easier than cereal. On weekends, when you have the time, try the eggs. Morning Snack � one energy bar or one piece of fresh fruit Don’t force yourself to stop snacking; it will only encourage a binge later. Just make snacks healthy, says O’Malley. Stick an apple, a banana, or an energy bar in your briefcase or backpack in the morning. When you get hungry but can’t spare five minutes, you won’t have to reach for a Moon Pie. Lunch � Turkey, chicken breast, or tuna sandwich on wheat bread, with bean sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, and/or low-fat mayonnaise � Soup and salad (as much as you want, as long as the soup is clear and the dressing is low-fat) � one piece of fresh — you guessed it — fruit Again, note that protein, carbs, and anything that grows in the ground are in, while the F word (fat) is out. Sandwiches are ubiquitous and cheap; eat them on the run if you must. To make soups and salads more satisfying, use bold (but nonfat or low-fat) spices and toppings. If you have to have a slice of cheesecake, do it now. Give your body the rest of the day to burn off the calories. Afternoon Snacks � Do like you did mid-morning. Dinner � 4 ounces of grilled salmon, lean beef, or grilled chicken breast � one cup of rice or pasta (with margarine, not butter, or a low-fat topping or sauce) or a baked potato (with low-fat cottage cheese in place of sour cream or butter) � one cup of steamed broccoli or green beans or a fresh salad � one more piece of, yep, fruit Learn it, live it: Grilling is good (fat ends up in the fire, not around your middle). And watch the portions. The typical 8- or 12-ounce portion of meat is too large, says O’Malley. No time to cook every night? Stock the fridge with several meals’ worth of food once or twice a week. Out to dinner with a client? Choose a lean meat entr�e, ask if it can be grilled, and get the sauce on the side. Throughout the Day � Drink six to eight 12-ounce glasses of water; it keeps the system moving, flushes toxins, and maintains hydration, which boosts energy and mental alertness. Drink up. Note: This is a weight-loss diet. Check with a doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. This article originally appeared in the September 2001 issue of JD Jungle.

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