Health addicts get their fix


Kyle Zimmerman/Dakota Student

‘Health Addicts Fix,’ a spinach salad with chicken and jalapeno, was the food prepared at Monday’s Wellness Center culinary corner event.

Jacob Notermann, Staff Writer

It’s typical for university courses to be taught by people who have dedicated their lives to a certain topic. For Job Stramer, he teaches a passion.

Stramer is a sixth year student in college, but this is his fourth year at UND.

After earning an associated degree in business management from Bismarck State, he is now in pursuit of a degree in mechanical engineering. A man of many trades.

As part of a work study, Stramer is now teaching a self-developed class every-other Monday. Not in engineering. Not even business management. He’s teaching a course in healthy cooking.

“It’s really easy to cook food,” Stramer said. “You save money by cooking your own food, it doesn’t take longer than going to a restaurant. It’s easy, fast, way healthier for you and it’s cheaper.”

The UND Wellness Center gives Stramer the Culinary Corner for his class “Fit Food: Health Addicts Fix.” In this class, he is more interested in cooking for bodybuilding, rather than an ambiguous healthy cooking class.

In this course, Stramer uses his own recipes that he’s been developing for the past three years. Like his own cooking show with a live studio audience.

His passion for cooking healthily derives from his own experiences with weight gain.

Many students are familiar with the “freshman fifteen” stereotype where students gain about fifteen pounds over the course of their freshman year. Stramer, though, gained thirty-five pounds over this stretch of time. He blames bad eating habits, regularly drinking the free fountain drinks while working at a certain food establishment and a lack of exercise.

“I realized I didn’t just have bad posture, I was gaining weight,” Stramer said.

Then, he met his now-Fiancé’s cousins, who are avid bodybuilders who taught him a few tricks.

The thirty-five pounds he gained freshman year melted away in just three months. He starts each morning with a banana-strawberry smoothie, eats a pound of chicken and spinach every day and exercises five times per week.

“I’m probably one of the only people you see at the Wellness Center working out five times a week that doesn’t drink protein shakes,” Stramer said.

Here’s where his mechanical engineering and business management come into play: he kept track of his calorie intake religiously.

Over time, he made spreadsheets of what he ate and how many calories there were. Now, he uses an app for data collection. Even after losing the weight, he still keeps track of calories even while cooking.

In his course, Stramer will work out how many calories of each ingredient he puts in a dish with the help of the nutrition notes and his own scale for accurate measurements.

The focus of the course may be for bodybuilders, but Stramer said that part of the class focuses on what people want to accomplish themselves.

With his experience of gaining and losing weight and now bulking up with muscle, he has the confidence to talk about any kind of food health situation his students may find themselves in.

“No one is gonna ask me something I don’t know,” Stramer said.

That idea of being informed was a central theme in his course. He said that if someone wants to bodybuild or lose weight, they must surround themselves with people who want to do the same thing.

“Otherwise, you’re only getting held back,” Stramer said.

Stramer’s passion for cooking healthy goes beyond trying to help himself. Despite only having taught one class in his life, he finds himself in a fitting position,

“Even if they had a work study for mechanical engineering, I’m not sure if I’d do it because I really like cooking and fitness,” Stramer said.

His next class will be April 24th in the Wellness Center Culinary Corner. Participants must RSVP and pay a $7 fee. Only six people can take the course at one time.

Jacob Notermann is a staff writer for the Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]