Healthy Meal Options on Campus

Whether you live on campus, or commute for classes, it is important to know where the healthy meal options are for when you inevitably get hungry. It is important to make sure you incorporate plenty or fruits, vegetables, and protein into your daily diet.  Below are just some of the healthy meal and snack options that can be found around campus.

There are salad bars located in both Drumlin and Esker Dining Halls which make a great meal or side option that is offered for lunch and dinner daily. In addition, Esker Dining Hall has a stir fry station with various vegetables you can cook and prepare personally to your liking. The dinning halls also usually provide apples, bananas, and oranges which make for the perfect snack.  Prairie Street Market has opened a salad bar as well during the week called The Green Leaf, where they will prepare an individual salad for you as well.

The University Center’s Chopped in Ike Schaffer Commons is open for lunch during the week. At chopped you can also have a salad made for you personally with a wide variety of lettuce, protein options, and vegetables. Also, there is Willie’s 360 located in the University Center when there are a wide variety of smoothies are available. A smoothie is a great option when you need to take something to class with you.

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You Salty, huh?

saltyWe as humans are creatures of habit, we do what we’re used to and don’t even question it. This personally reigns true for me when I’m sitting at a dining table and sprinkle some table salt on my food when it doesn’t meet my flavor standards. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that this additional ingredient puts a toll on my well-being.

I generally eat pretty clean, so I had to pause for a minute and question why my seemingly harmless avocado toast was making me feel so bloated and sluggish. My thought process was that I’m better off adding salt and pepper to my food rather than a hefty sauce, butter, cheese, or dressing. Which is true in most senses, but becoming too dependent on salt only causes sluggishness, bloating and cravings for fatty foods.

I realized that once I stopped adding salt to my food I felt comfortably full, extremely energized and not bloated. Once I noticed this difference it made it easy for me to decide to give up table salt for the year. I found myself broadening my horizon to the healthy alternatives to salt and realizing how little sodium we actually need in our diet.

According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that we consume 1,500 mg of sodium a day -which is less than the amount of salt found in a teaspoon. Despite your current health status, this is an easy initiative to limit your risk factors to cardiovascular disease.

If your preferred salt intake is that of a deer’s attraction to a salt lick, this might be a troubling thought to you. However, it is easier than you think to flavor your food without salt, here’s how.

 

  • Lemon: What we tend to love about salt is it’s slight tang. What better way to make up for this with a squeeze of some fresh and tangy lemon juice?
  • Pepper: I have always added pepper to my food, personally if it’s not spicy or flavorful I’m pretty bored with that food. So I always make sure to add Cayenne pepper, or black pepper.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a great alternative to salt. Balsamic vinegar can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels according to livestrong.com. Plus, a little bit goes a long way when it comes to vinegar.
  • Garlic: Adding garlic to food is the perfect zest for you non pepper eaters. Not only does it give food a satisfying, hearty taste but it helps speed up your metabolism and is a good source of iron according to whfoods.org.

 

February is just around the corner, which is American Heart month. What better time than now to make this simple change that can greatly improve your cardiovascular health? Broaden your palate horizon, limit your salt intake and indulge in an energized and healthy lifestyle.

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

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