Friday, September 28, 2012

Scholarly Decisions at the Campus Dining Hall

This may be specific to the University of Hartford dining halls, but the takeaway can be applied to many college campuses. 

Our dining hall, offering unlimited food and multiple options, is called the University Commons. Upon entering Commons, you surrender your appetite to the Aramark chefs. Passing by those plates of stale food, you scan your options, hoping for your favorites. Three grilled cheeses and two baked potatoes later, you’re ready to vomit into your bowl of banana cream pie. Sure, you want to eat better, but that means heading for the salad bar each and every time you go to Commons, right? Nope. Just making these simple swaps can prevent you from slipping into another Commons Coma:

Water it up. Yeah, you’ve heard it a million times, but this time it includes kicking those diet sodas and iced teas to the curb, too. A study out of Yale shows that artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks may actually contribute to weight gain and cause you to crave unhealthy foods. Water, on the other hand, promotes faster metabolism and regular digestion, and we all know those factors are key when it comes to Commons.

Peace, grill line. In case you haven’t noticed, Commons kicked the grilled chicken off the grill and into the sandwich and salad bar. That means the only chicken you can get from the grill comes deep fried and covered in bread. How about this: ditch the grill line, and get yourself a grilled chicken wrap stuffed with all the healthy essentials. Your stomach will be happy, and you won’t be burping up that extra grease in your next class. Besides, I think it’s fair that we all boycott the grill line for taking away our beloved quesadillas.

Cheerios for dessert. Good move, Commons, placing the dessert buffet so we’re forced to walk by it at least three times. Those cookies can be pretty tempting, but are they really worth all that extra sugar? Turn right around and head for the cereal bar, but be sure to avoid those sneaky sugar-packed cereals. Even raisin bran has an unnecessary amount of sugar. Cheerios have only 100 calories per serving and have less than a gram of sugar. Best of all, they have whole grains and protein that keep you healthy and feeling full.

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