K’s Corner: Dining Hall Dilemmas

K's CornerI asked my roommate what advice she’d give to people new to a dining hall in college, and her reply was: “Don’t eat pizza and ice cream, or drink soda every day!” Let’s face it, if you have a meal plan, it’s hard to resist unhealthy food when there’s LOTS of it right in front of you every day. Eating pizza every once in a while isn’t bad, but every day… well, that’s a bit much. Eating high calorie foods day after day will eventually catch up with you. So, my advice is this; when you go to the dining hall, try to be mindful of what kind of food you choose to put in your body.

The first time you go into the dining hall take a minute to walk around and scope out all the options. I was fortunate to have a spectacular dining hall with tons of options to choose from. If you don’t have that many options, get creative. Many days, I went to the salad section and got a few pieces of turkey to put on a salad. If one station had broccoli (I know what you’re thinking… “broccoli?!” – but it was really delicious) and the other had chicken, I’d stand in both lines and pick and choose what I wanted.

There is a way to avoid the temptation of picking up the not-so-healthy food; don’t even look at those sections of the dining hall! This concept of avoiding unhealthy food can be applied to grocery shopping too. Everyone gets hungry at times other than breakfast, lunch, and dinner – that’s why they invented SNACKS! Think about getting snacks that are both tasty and healthy. Granola bars high in fiber and protein are an excellent choice because you can bring them to class and they’ll satisfy your hunger until you’re able to sit down and have a full meal. Fruits and vegetables are always good snack choices. Nuts are packed with protein and a convenient snack to have on the go. One of my favorite late night snacks is carrots with hummus. If you don’t buy unhealthy snacks in the first place, you can’t eat them!