School Cafeteria Advice

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Some of our best college moments happen in the dining hall. It’s a place for friends and roommates to gather and enjoy a meal together, or for college students who might need background noise and a hot fudge sundae to study efficiently for their next exam. It can also be a social and nutritional nightmare if you don’t know anyone or are trying to keep the freshman 15 a personal myth.

If you’re going off to school in the fall and don’t know what to expect when it comes to the cafeteria on campus, CL has a few fabulous tips to put your mind at ease.

There are always a lot of different options to choose from. Typically, dining halls provide a few “hot options” at each meal in addition to a grill line, salad bar and even an all-you-can-eat ice cream machine. The most important thing to remember is to try new things each time you go. You don’t want to have pizza for every meal for the first two weeks and not be able to look at pepperoni for a month afterward.

“When I was a freshman and on a meal plan, the biggest struggle I had was choosing from the same options on a daily basis. I tended to stick to the same meals every time I went, thus I got sick of them fairly quickly. I would constantly get up in search of something new, and I would end up leaving overly stuffed an unsatisfied! I would advise students on a meal plan to branch out and try the daily special options.” – Andy Hitt, senior at Georgia College & State University

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

You can eat healthy and still enjoy all your school’s dining hall offers. Whether you’re unsure how to turn a bland chicken breast into a delightful main course or you’re worried all the options will be too overwhelming to make healthy choices, eating foods from each food group and choosing a variety of foods at each meal throughout the week will keep you feeling full and fabulous. Include a mixed salad, any available fresh fruit or vegetable soup or stir-fry with your meals to obtain your necessary nutrients from food that tastes good, too.

“It was a little difficult to eat healthy at times because it was all-you-can-eat. But I tried eating salads or veggies with every meal. And if my friend and I didn’t like what was on the menu, we’d head straight to the cereal bar – because you can never go wrong with cereal! – Emily Bastaroli, senior at Point Park University

“My roommate and I would set goals for ourselves each week in regard to what we would eat at the dining hall. For example, no ice cream a certain week or eating a salad before every meal for another week.” – Whitney Mosel, LSU

Image courtesy of Apolonia /

Image courtesy of Apolonia /

Usually, the cafeteria isn’t your only option. Aside from restaurants off-campus, many schools provide other meal options outside the cafeteria such as a grab-and-go lunch stations, smaller sandwich places and coffee shops. Even if these options don’t always coordinate with a meal plan, it’s sometimes refreshing to meet up with friends in another quieter location and try something new for dinner.

“I was ready for lines and mediocre food. I did really like the made-to-order pasta and stir-fry lines though. Mostly, I was already used to the atmosphere due to high school, and the food was much better quality. What I really enjoyed was also having other options such as the convenience stores on campus and two other a la carte eateries. –  Kaitlin Green, Duquesne University alumnae

While keeping a variety of foods in your diet and trying out different cafeteria options while at school are important, you can’t enjoy a good meal alone on a daily basis. Making mealtime social time will help you to balance your college social life with healthy eating habits as well as academics extracurricular clubs. Ask your roommate if she wants to head to breakfast before your morning classes or head to an early dinner with a few classmates from your afternoon activities. The food, the atmosphere and the laughs are what make meals in the cafeteria moments you will never forget.

Check out the articles below for more college tips and preparation advice. How do you use your school cafeteria to balance your classy college life?

Living Away from Home

Your Dorm Checklist

Top Five Healthy Mini Fridge Foods

Image courtesy of BJWOK /

Image courtesy of BJWOK /

CL’s Guide to: Food Allergies

Image courtesy of Meg Dowell

Image courtesy of Meg Dowell

Your campus’s dining hall may be filled with enough good and tasteful food to satisfy the average hungry college student, but food allergies don’t always fit the typical hot-line cafeteria mold. Your dairy product allergy often leaves you with a bowl of lettuce and half a plate of plain pasta for dinner, and lately your energy levels have been a negative reminder of this.

The bottom line: you’re hungry—not just for food itself, but for flavor and variety in addition to adequate nourishment. While everyone else around you gets to enjoy all your campus’s food service company has to offer, you’re limited in your options. You want a solution, and you’ll do whatever it takes to find one.

Here’s the good news: CL cares. We have a delicious bundle of tips and tricks to keep you eating right and help you enjoy what you’re eating. College life is hard enough without the burden of food allergies and intolerances weighing you down.

No matter what your mind and body have trained you to stay away from, there are always alternatives to the foods you can’t handle. Check out these tips for handling food allergies while in college—it might be easier than you think.

Image courtesy of  healingdream /

Image courtesy of healingdream /

Set up a meeting with your university’s food service manager. This might seem a little extreme at first, but the best way to handle special circumstances like food allergies is to let the people in charge know what’s going on. Staff will be more than willing to work with you to come up with alternatives to dairy, glutton and even moderate to severe sensitivities such as oil, grease and food acidity.

Look into the options available to you. Before or even in addition to speaking with a food service director, check with staff or online to learn more about what alternative options are already offered to students. Often, products such as soy milk and glutton-free meals are readily available behind the scenes if you ask for them.

Learn to love to cook. You know what you can and can’t eat. When you’re in control of what goes into the food you’re planning on eating, it’s much easier to sit down for dinner knowing what you’ve made is both tasteful and safe for you.

Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed. If you think people around you will judge your eating habits or behaviors, think again. Even if your friends don’t fully understand what you’re dealing with, they won’t point fingers at you on purpose for choosing foods you know won’t make you sick. You never know—you might be able to persuade them to try some of the food alternatives you’ve grown to love.

Evie Jansen, former nursing student at Prairie State College, has dealt with lactose intolerance, food allergies and sensitivities for years. Though she is still learning how to cope with her body’s unpredictable reactions to certain foods, she hopes to have a handle on her habits before returning to school as a veterinary technician student.

“I have been cooking for myself on a day-to-day basis since I was 12,” Jansen said. “That has given me the freedom to experiment with food as my body tolerates it.”

Sometimes the most dangerous foods to eat when living with certain food allergies are still tempting when you’re craving them. Jansen recommends knowing where you’re going to be, who you’re going to be with and whether or not there will be food involved in order to determine your best pre-party food options.

“If I go to an event where I know there will be food that I am allergic to, I simply eat a meal before I go, so I am not tempted to eat while I’m there,” Jansen said. “Cooking or hanging out with others has not been a problem. I have some go-to recipes my friends and family love and are safe for me to eat. The majority of people that I see regularly know I have allergies and accept me the way I am.”

Image courtesy of Meg Dowell

Image courtesy of Meg Dowell

Though Jansen has come a long way since she first began noticing symptoms of lactose intolerance at the age of 8, there are still areas of her life related to food she is determined to command and conquer.

“I do not eat out often. I really struggle with this area because of how sensitive I am to lactose and how many food products it is in. I have a habit of simply going for the time with friends and family, but not actually eating. It’s a bit awkward the first few times you do this, after all, the whole point of going to a restaurant is to get food.”

No matter where you go, food will often follow. This isn’t always easy when you’re on a constant lookout for foods known to make you sick. But the more you experiment with different ways to work around the boundaries set by your allergies, the easier each meal will become. Surround yourself with understanding roommates, patient friends and food fanatics. They’ll help you remain on good terms with your diet no matter how many roadblocks try to stop you.

Want more CL tips and guides? Check out these fabulous how-to articles and let us know your favorites.

 “CL’s Guide to Fitness Apps”

“CL’s Guide to: Strengthening Your Back”

“CL’s Guide to: Toning Your Calves”

Image courtesy of marin /

Image courtesy of marin /

5 Ways with Raspberries

Image courtesy of Robert Cochrane /

Image courtesy of Robert Cochrane /

With a defeated sigh, you close your textbook and stare out the nearest library window. It’s the first seventy-degree day since spring began, and you’re stuck inside studying while everyone else on campus seems to be busy socializing, playing Frisbee and enjoying the final weeks of university life before summer begins.

The only way to keep yourself focused, it seems, is to count your blessings. Three more weeks until the semester is over; three more weeks of being trapped in stuffy libraries and tasteless dining halls, longing for a decent deli sandwich or just one fresh piece of fruit to brighten your otherwise dreary day.

Instead of hovering over complex chemical equations, it seems much simpler to daydream about the percent compositions of the smoothie ingredients you’re going to try once you’re living back home, where there’s an available kitchen with a top-notch blender just a few steps away. Fifty percent yogurt, 30 percent banana—and hey, why not a few raspberries to shake things up a little?

Image courtesy of Inferno Pix /

Image courtesy of Inferno Pix /

Did you know raspberries are considered a super food? They’re loaded not only with flavor, but also Vitamin C and plenty of other beneficial minerals. There are over 200 species of raspberries, and just as many ways to prepare them.

  1. Yogurt add-ins. Have you ever mixed blueberries or apples into your yogurt for a little extra texture and flavor? Why not try adding raspberries next time you grab a container of your favorite Greek flavor?
  2. Strawberry substitutes. Raspberries can be added to many dishes and recipes that call for strawberries. If you’re allergic or just aren’t a strawberry fan, try this similar fruit in your salad, shortcake or pie.
  3. Smoothies. As with many other fresh seedy fruits, raspberries make a great addition to your daily morning summer smoothie. You can even mix and match: the numerous combinations might surprise you.
  4. Lemonade. Homemade lemonade is a fabulous summer treat—why not make it even better with a handful of raspberries, too?
  5. Tasty desserts. Pies, cakes, covered in chocolate—if you’re hungry for a healthy dessert, consider adding raspberries into the mix. Desserts taste even better when there’s something fresh to taste.

If you have some extra berries chilling in your freezer, but aren’t sure what to do with them, check out one of CL’s favorite fruit-filled desserts.

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Raspberry-Banana Trifle by Good Housekeeping

Need a simple yet beautiful dessert to serve your friends or roommates to remind them how much you care? Good Housekeeping’s fruity and fabulous dessert (2011, p. 652) is certainly worth the prep and bake time. Its fresh, satisfying flavor will make sharing the greatest challenge of all.


Makes 24 servings.

  • 1 pound cake, thawed
  • 6 tablespoons red-raspberry jam, seedless
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large ripe bananas, sliced
  • Whipped cream and fresh raspberries to garnish


  1. Cut crust from pound cake with serrated knife. Place cake on one long side and cut lengthwise into 4 equal slices.
  2. With small spatula, spread 2 tablespoons jam on top of 1 cake slice and put another cake slice on top. Repeat with remaining jam and cake and end with cake on the very top.
  3. Slice jam-layered cake crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices, keeping slices together. Cut cake lengthwise in half down the center.
  4. In medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar and cornstarch with wire whisk. Set aside.
  5. In 4-quart saucepan, heat milk until boiling. While constantly beating, gradually pour half of hot milk into egg mixture.
  6. Pour egg mixture back into milk in saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble around edge of pan.
  7. Simmer custard 1 minute, whisking constantly, until a mandatory temperature of 160˚F is reached.
  8. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in margarine and vanilla.

Summer is on its way, which means more time for cooking, baking and every college student cook’s favorite—experimenting. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Don’t forget to let us know how your new creations turn out!

“Intern Kitchen: Vegan Carrot Cake”

“5 Graduation Desserts”

“5 Ways with Spaghetti Squash”

Image courtesy of adamr /

Image courtesy of adamr /

Fight The Freshman 15

Maintaining a healthy body weight and eating right are important when you are trying look and feel your best.   Packed schedules, erratic sleeping habits and multiple nights of wings with the girls have a way of adding up quicker than the amount of homework you need to get done over the weekend.

One of the biggest challenges college brings is fighting the “freshman 15.” Learning how to eat properly in the dining hall is the first step towards living a healthy life.  With unlimited pizza, burgers, French fries and ice cream, how do you avoid their appeal and maintain your figure? Use these six tips as your guide to mastering your college’s dining hall.

Set a splurge day

Pick one day each week to indulge at the ice cream bar, pizza counter, or cupcake station.  When you mentally pencil your splurge day into your active and healthy lifestyle, you are much less likely to binge other days of the week. Your splurge day gives you something to look forward to.

Eat breakfast the right way

While pancakes, French toast and jumbo muffins look tempting, they aren’t going to keep you feeling full or fuel you for your busy day.  Your dining hall super foods consist of oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, fruit and whole grains.  Use these basic entrees as a blank canvas to create a healthy and nutritious morning meal. Mix your eggs with some raw veggies for a healthy omelet, top your yogurt with fresh fruit or try adding berries to your oatmeal.  The possibilities are endless.

Don’t overlook the salad bar

You will find some of the healthiest dining hall fare at the salad bar. Instead of choosing a fatty side dish with your entrée, (we’re looking at you mashed potatoes!) fill your plate with broccoli, carrots, green salad and dried fruit.  The salad bar is where you will find the fresher, less processed foods packed with vitamins and minerals.  Vegetables are a natural source of fiber, which is not only good for your digestive system, but leaves you feeling full and helps you to live longer.

Protein, protein, protein

Protein is essential to muscle development and helps you to feel satisfied after eating. Try and squeeze in some sort of protein at every single meal. Here are some healthy ways for you to get your protein fix:

Breakfast – eggs or a whole-wheat bagel with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a banana

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, turkey sandwich on whole grain bread

Dinner – bean salad, turkey burger, grilled chicken quesadilla

Get creative

If you want to survive eating in the dining hall, you must learn how to get creative. Can’t find any grilled chicken today? Get some turkey at the sandwich bar and throw it into your salad.  Take brown rice and add it to your beans instead of using the sour cream that’s provided on the side. With school dining halls now offering an abundance of options, you have the ability to customize your meals and really get the most out of them in terms of nutrition.

Look around

While it may be tempting to travel in packs in the dining hall, branch out and explore every nook and cranny of the cafeteria.  Some of the healthiest and most unique items may be found in a corner that you never thought to look in before. When you take the opportunity to really search the dining hall, you are bound to find meal inspiration that could easily have been overlooked if you went straight to the table of entrees.

What are some of your tips for eating right at college?

Casey Galasso is junior at Marist College. Follow her on Twitter at @omggcasey. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds, be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Bye-Bye Bloat! 7 Foods For A Flat Tummy

Did you know over 10 million Americans complain about feeling bloated on a regular basis? Many of us have experienced an uncomfortable feeling usually caused by consuming salty, fatty foods. Classy co-eds want to avoid feeling (and looking!) bloated in the summer more than ever.  Between the beach, bikinis and short-shorts, there is just no room for a bloated belly.

Luckily, eliminating bloat doesn’t require an insane exercise regimen or crazy diet. Here are seven stomach-saving foods that will help you beat the bloat!

Oranges and Watermelons

Enjoying foods with high water content is key when it comes to managing bloat because they help to flush waste and excess water from your body.  Watermelons contain 92 percent water and oranges are composed of 80 to 90 percent of H20.


Yogurt promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach. This bacteria reduces gas that accumulates over time and leads to a flat belly.

A cup of fruit and yogurt is a great way to keep your body trim throughout the day. Photo Credit: Static


Oatmeal is high in fiber, which helps to relieve constipation (a common cause of bloating.) Consuming oatmeal or bran cereal with about five grams of fiber per serving will help everything move through your system much more quickly.

Oatmeal: a delicious, nutritious, bloat-beater! Photo Credit: Quaker


Strawberries and Blueberries

Also high in fiber, snacking on these fruits will help you keep your system clean.


A fruit rich in water, pineapples contain an enzyme that helps break down proteins, promotes good digestion and also eliminates pesky stomach pains.

And six foods to avoid…

Avoid consuming too many carbonated beverages this summer. Photo Credit: Google Images

  • Salt
  • Carbs
  • High-Acid drinks (alcohol, coffee, tea, etc.)
  • Fried foods
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Gum

While it is not easy to avoid all foods that cause bloat, making a few simple lifestyle changes will have you looking and feeling healthier before Labor Day weekend!


How do you beat bloat?

Be sure to check out the CL Intern Kitchen  for fresh and fun recipes to try this summer!

Casey Galasso is a Health & Lifestyles Writer for College Lifestyles. She will be a junior at Marist College in Poughkeepise, NY this fall. Her hobbies include running, increasing the size of her DVD collection and baking. She is looking forward to a relaxing summer filled with friends, family, warm weather and good books.


SKC: One Pot Meal – Mac and Cheese!

The following post is from our friends at Small Kitchen College (SKC)!  College Lifestyles is excited about our partnership with SKC and will bring you their yummy(!) articles on a bi-weekly basis!

Mac and Cheese from Small Kitchen College

Earlier last week I had one of those days. My heart felt broken, my eyes could not stay awake and no amount of caffeine could break me from my slump. As the day went on, the jingle of a popular blue box of macaroni and cheese came into my head. With the words, ” I’ve got the blues” playing in my head, I began craving a rich, indulgent cure for my heartache. Rather than succumbing to the blue box, I searched through my food blogs to find a recipe that would distract me long enough in the kitchen. Once I stumbled upon White on Rice Couple’s One Pot, Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese I knew I had found a remedy.

Because the recipe requires constant attention, it was just the thing I needed to help clear my focus. Not only does it use only one pot, but also the lack of baking means it can be enjoyed on even the hottest summer days. The recipe is also flexible enough so that it can be prepared with various combinations of cheeses. Despite the popular slogan of that specific macaroni and cheese box, making the dish from scratch on the stovetop is an easy, satisfying prescription for the blues.

Bethany Imondi, a junior studying Government and English at Georgetown University and a self-proclaimed carbohydrate queen, shuns the Atkins Diet for all its suffering. Read more…


One Pot, Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from White on Rice Couple
Serves 2-3

I used whole grain shell pasta for this recipe, but you can easily substitute any type of large elbow macaroni.


2 cups large elbow or shell macaroni, uncooked
1 tablespoon butter
¼ onion, diced
2 cups of low fat milk
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup of grated cheese, any one or combination (cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, swiss, gruyere)

Place raw macaroni in colander and quickly rinse under water. Let drain.

In a medium saucepan, about 2 quart, melt butter over medium heat and add diced onion. Sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add milk, raw, rinsed macaroni, salt and pepper.

On medium heat, slowly bring mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently. Stirring will separate the pasta and keep them from sticking to one another. Do not leave the stove; leaving the mixture unattended could result in an over-boiled mess.

Once mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn heat down between medium and low. Too-high heat will evaporate the milk too quickly.

Continue to stir the mixture frequently for about 15-20 minutes, or until milk has been fully absorbed and pasta is cooked al dente. Judge to taste. If pasta is not fully cooked after this time, add a little more milk or water to the mixture. Liquid amount will depend on how much longer pasta needs to cook.

When milk has nearly evaporated and thickened, stir in cheese.

Turn off the heat and allow cheese to melt into the mixture. Add additional salt to taste. Before serving, stir one final time to mix everything together.

Small Kitchen College is a guide to cooking, eating, drinking, and living on and off campus, with recipes, tips, and tales generated by college students across the country. If it’s campus food, we’ve got it here.

Eat This, Not That: Breakfast Edition

We’ve all heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, why? Many studies have shown that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who skip it. So if, like many first-time college students, you’re worried about the dreaded “Freshman 15”, do what your mother always told you to do and eat your breakfast. But, it is also important to make the right choices when making that glorious morning meal. Beginning the day with healthy choices may help you continue to make healthy choices throughout the day. Here are 4 simple breakfast swaps that add up in a big way:

Eat This: Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puffins
Not That:
General Mills Reese’s Puffs

They share the same ¾ cup serving size, but Puffins have half the sugar, three times the fiber, and 1/3 the fat of that other peanut butter and chocolate cereal. Puffins also have more calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C. Fiber fills you up and the sweet taste keeps a smile on your face.

Eat This: Chobani Plain 0% Greek Yogurt
Not That:
Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt

One 6-oz. single serve cup of plain Greek yogurt has three times the protein and almost half the sugar of Dannon Light & Fit. Protein gives this choice staying power to help carry you through your morning and stave off the hunger pangs until lunch. Watch out for fruity yogurts though, they tend to have a hefty dose of added sugar.

Eat This: Whole egg
Not That:
Egg whites

Yes, eggs have gotten a bad rep in the past, but the latest research is showing that eating the yolk may not actually raise cholesterol levels. You don’t have to eat the yolk every time, but consider keeping them a couple of times a week. The yellow part of the incredible, edible egg contains choline which is important for brain function, folate, iron, vitamin D, and calcium which is not present in the whites.

Eat This: Thomas’ Plain Bagel Thins
Not That:
Lender’s Plain Bagel

A typical bagel is the equivalent of eating 5 slices of bread. Bagel thins cuts out a lot of the filler and still leaves you with a great vehicle to enjoy spreads like cream cheese and fruit preserves. Thomas’ Bagel Thins also have twice the fiber and half the sugar of regular bagels and cuts the calorie count in half.

Fresh or frozen fruit is always a good addition to get your morning boost. They’re packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help co-eds feel vibrant and defend against illness. Have a glass of low-fat milk instead of whole milk or add soymilk to your morning cup of coffee instead of creamer. Small changes lead to big results.


Ellen Ratliff is a Health Writer at College Lifestyles ™. She is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in Dietetics with a specialization in Health Promotions. Her favorite breakfast foods are oatmeal, smoothies, and pancakes.

Foods to Avoid in College: The CL Guide

Leaving for college is a mix of emotions, and you’ll have advice coming from many places: don’t walk by yourself at night, don’t fall behind in your homework, be outgoing, et cetera. When it comes to nutrition and balancing a healthy diet the two words that pop into the minds of many college freshmen are: Freshman 15. It doesn’t have to happen to you. Know what foods to avoid, how to portion your meals in the cafeteria and maintain a regular workout schedule. To help you, CL has put together a list of foods to stay away from if you’re looking to keep off the freshman 15. This is also a great way for sophomores, juniors and seniors to clean up their diets.

Fast Food: Located right outside my freshman dorm was a McDonald’s. Very tempting, especially when you’re sick of cafeteria food. Fried foods are something you should definitely try to avoid. Even though it’s quick, and affordable, the fried food isn’t going to do you any good.

Soft Drinks: Cut them out of your diet entirely or start limiting yourself to a Diet Coke a week. Even if they are diet and say they have zero calories, they are still bad for you. Switch to drinking water, it will help you burn calories throughout the day and keep your body hydrated.

Late Night Meals: Around Midnight a bag of chips starts sounding great, or even a whole pizza. Half of the reason you are hungry is because you are tired and your brain is fried from studying. Drink a big glass of water and eat some fruit or a 100-calorie pack. You’re not as hungry as you think you are, and you will end up being happy you didn’t over indulge in the morning!

Condiments: Limit the amount of butter, ketchup, mayo or any other type of condiment you are putting on your food. The calories add up faster than you think. Go for the “light” versions of food instead of the “non-fat” they are healthier for you!

Desserts: Most colleges have a store that is basically a mini gas station. For me, the hardest thing was avoiding the candy aisle after we would eat dinner. If you eat a dessert after every meal think of how many calories you are racking up every week – limit yourself to once or twice a week!

There you have it co-ed’s, some foods to avoid for incoming freshmen and tips for existing students to learn from.

Lindsay Dressen is an intern at College Lifestyles (TM), and is a junior magazine journalism major at Drake University minoring in sociology. She is a movie buff that loves to be with her friends and family, and enjoys working out, ethnic food and indie music! Follow her on Twitter!

CL’s Guide to Help Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Fat by Adding These To Your Diet

Exercise and a balanced diet go hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to shaping your diet, there are a few essentials to add that not only regulate your diet, but also boost your metabolism and help you burn calories!

Water: Hydrate yourself. Drink 8-10 glasses of ice-cold water rather than soda or coffee; it’s not only the healthiest choice, but it also increases your metabolism. Your body is working to increase the temperature of the water in your body therefore you’re burning calories.

Green Tea: Not only is green tea a mood enhancer, but it helps boost your metabolism. It also is an antioxidant that is considered to help assist in chronic diseases. Where can you go wrong?

Protein: Egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, sea bass, salmon, shrimp, et cetera. Lean protein helps burn calories, boost metabolism and helps you gain the muscles you have been working your butt off for.

Vegetables: Eat your fruits and vegetables our mothers always tell us – well it’s true. Vegetables are not only essential for our diet, but they increase our metabolism and promote a healthy diet, especially broccoli and spinach.

Fresh, steamed broccoli.

Fruit: Apples, grapefruit, pears, citrus fruits and berries are some of the most essential fruits for metabolism increase along with regulating a healthy diet. Finding fresh fruit in the summer shouldn’t be a problem, so take advantage of the season!

Spices: When your body is heated up from the spice in the food, it has to cool itself down and this requires calories to be burned. The hotter the better!

Garlic: With many cleansing properties and working as a metabolism increaser, garlic is one herb that should be added to many of your dishes. Not only is it tasty, it’s healthy for you!

Organic or Greek Yogurt: Yogurt is a great protein provider, along with being great for your digestive tract. Make sure your yogurt has active yogurt cultures – check your labels! Yogurt is great for a snack, or additive to any meal.

Nuts: Nuts are a great source of protein, along with being a great fuel source. Walnuts and almonds are just two great choices for your intake that also help boost metabolism.

Remember co-eds, in general you can have some of everything in life as long as you live by the old adage, “everything in moderation.”

Lindsay Dressen is an intern at College Lifestyles (TM), and is a junior magazine journalism major at Drake University minoring in sociology. She is a movie buff that loves to be with her friends and family, and enjoys working out, ethnic food and indie music!

What We Love: Healthy Alternatives in Dining Hall Food

When you think dorm food, no one necessarily thinks nutritious, good for you foods, but recently dining halls have been working hard to incorporate the needs of all students.  At my college, for example, we now have organic, soy yogurt and milk options available, along with nutritional information for just about every food served.  I think it’s amazing that dining halls are willing to take a chance and purchase healthier foods that may not be “popular” by the average 19-20 year old, but are definitely better for our health.  I think it’s true when students see nutritious foods available, they are more likely to choose those over other unhealthy options.

It’s great that nutritional facts are available too.  I cannot say this for every college obviously, but it really makes eating healthy so much easier.  I can look up what foods there are, how much sodium, grams of fat, calories, etc. and have an idea of what I am putting into my body.  It is great for anyone with specific dietary needs or just any student curious to what calories are in dining hall food.

Here are a few new, healthy alternative products I’ve noticed stocking the dining hall shelves:

For dining hall food, these snacks are amazing finds.  I was so proud of my school for introducing Rachel’s products and Sabra’s hummus.  Dining Halls are really stepping it up, so make sure to look out for new, healthy alternatives around your college dining halls!

Jennifer Williams is a sophomore at Ball State University and a College Lifestyles (TM) intern.  She loves green grapes and listening to indie rock music.

5 Super Foods you can Find in any Dining Hall

Welcome to the life of Jenn, a returning college student on a mission to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while living off dining hall food.  I will be sharing my experiences with healthy eating, nutrition, tips, and tricks on living life to the fullest while in college!  Here are a few great food finds to boost your mind and body throughout those exhausting classes and busy schedules.  Dining halls are mostly full of greasy, cheesy, loaded with fat foods, but here are a few healthy lifesavers you can find in practically any dining hall.

  • Salad.  Don’t be afraid to load up your plate with salad and veggies.  Just steer clear of full fat dressings and cheese.  Add plenty of veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, etc. to keep your belly full.

  • Grilled chicken.  Grilled chicken is a great source of lean protein.  Just make sure to ask if the cooks have added a special sauce or have cooked it in a mountain of butter.  See if you can get it prepared without the butter. Then add some fresh salsa on top for flavor.

  • Peanut butter on whole grain bread.  Peanut butter is very satisfying and keeps you fueled throughout long study sessions.  Most dining halls have peanut butter sandwiches you can purchase or make yourself.

  • Non-fat yogurt/greek yogurt.  If you can find greek yogurt in your dining hall, stock up.  Greek yogurt can contain as much as 15 grams of protein making a very satisfying snack.  If greek is not available, choose non/low fat yogurts, which still contain calcium that your body needs.

  • Fresh fruits.  Dining halls usually keep a nice variety of fruits on hand.  You don’t have to settle for just an apple or banana.  Try to find kiwis, strawberries, grapes, or watermelon, which all provide plenty of nutrients.

Jennifer Williams is a sophomore at Ball State University, a College Lifestyles(TM) intern, and a laid back gal who loves hazelnut lattes and Urban Outfitters.