My Tips and Tricks for Eating Healthy in the Dining Program
As many of you know, college brings a lot of changes. This may the first time you’re planning meals for yourself, you have access to food 24-7, your hormones are changing, you may be sleeping and working out less, and may even be more stressed out. All of these things can have an effect on your health throughout college. Here are some of the healthy habits I have created during my first year at Elon.
The most important thing is to be mindful of what you are eating in the dining halls or other retail locations.
I have had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with our on-campus dietitian, Amanda Cerra, who has taught me a lot about what every meal should look like. According to Amanda, each meal should be balanced, and incorporate a variety of lean proteins (plant and animal based), a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, and low-fat dairy. I try to base all of my meals off of this concept to keep myself healthy. Here’s what my meals typically look like:
I alternate every other day between a cup of oatmeal with fruit and a cup of Greek yogurt with fruit.
Pro tip: I usually get a small bowl take away container because that limits the portion size and prohibits the temptation of getting seconds!
Because I am always in KOBC I almost always go to Clohan Hall for lunch. I make sure that at each meal I have a lean source of protein, which could be chicken, salmon, or beans, with at least two different vegetables, plus a whole grain.
Green World is an excellent choice because it offers many vegan and vegetarian dining option, so they have plenty of plant based protein alternatives and a variety of different vegetables.
If you don’t see a whole grain as an option (which is very rare) there is always quinoa in the salad bar which is a great source of protein as well as a source of whole grain.
Around dinner time I am usually heading back from the gym, so I often grab a salad or soup from Freshii, or go to the dining hall and chose similar options as I did for lunch.
Rather than grabbing a soda or an artificial sweetened beverage, I grab a Suja juice, which are in Winter Garden and Fountain Market. I’ve learned to look for “made with 100% fruit juice.” This way, you know the sugar is occurring naturally from the fruit itself and not from added sugars.
I also always get whole fruit like pears, apples, bananas, and oranges from the dining halls to snack on throughout the day. This is an excellent source of fiber and it also satisfies my sweet tooth, therefore preventing me from grabbing anything from the dessert table!
Hopefully these tips and suggestions help you make healthier choices in the dining halls and keep you happy and healthy!