The Right Stuff: Eating Healthy at Wash. U.

Lana Goldsmith
Scott Bressler

So besides knowledge, fun, new friends and good times, what else are you hungry for at Wash. U.? Food is going to be an important-and necessary-part of your college experience. You will bond over meals with your newfound friends and learn just how long certain potables and comestibles can marinate in your mini fridge before the smell becomes utterly offensive to your roommate. There is a lot of fun to be had with food, but it is important to recognize that your eating habits could change. Here are a few suggestions to help you maintain healthy patterns of eating.

Make time for breakfast: You’re in college now-one of the best ones in the nation, at that!-and you will need all the brainpower you can get. Nine and ten o’clock classes are going to continue to feel earlier and earlier as the semester progresses, but remember to take the time to fuel yourself with a nutritious breakfast. Bear’s Den offers breakfast food in the mornings where you can sit with some eggs and toast and read Student Life before leaving for class. Something like fruit, cereal or instant oatmeal is easy enough to prepare in your room while you get ready. Eating breakfast will ensure that you are prepared for the busy day ahead of you. Also, it is best to eat carbohydrates earlier because they will give you the most energy to burn throughout the day. As the day winds down, you do not need as much energy-which will turn into fat if you do not use it-so you can cut back on the carbs.

Remember portion control: Just because the guy in the pasta line manages to stuff three pounds worth of pasta with meat sauce into that tiny white box does not mean you have to eat it all. Stop when you’re full and try to remember to diversify what you eat-meaning some protein, some dairy, some fruit and vegetables, etc. You can be sure to get all the different food groups in by eating several small meals a day instead of stuffing yourself with a few.

Don’t eat late at night: It is tempting to stop at Bear’s Den at two in the morning just because you can, but it is not the healthiest choice. Eating so close to bedtime does not give you the chance to work off the calories you just took in, so it turns to fat. It may also interfere with your sleep schedule.

When in doubt, check it out: It seems that Wash. U.’s catering service, Bon Appétit, does its best to provide students with a plethora of food options, some healthy, some not. Their web site provides the nutritional information for most of their meals so you can keep track of your caloric intake.

Eat fresh, eat healthy!: By now, you know which foods are good for you and which are not. Try to eat things that are unprocessed, such as fruits and veggies. Don’t eat too much of one thing and don’t overindulge in fried foods and sweets. Michael Pollan expands on the notion of eating more natural foods in his book In Defense of Food if you’re interested in learning more about food, like stuff we eat and when we should cut back on red meat.

Don’t be afraid to use your kitchen: Dorms are equipped with functioning kitchens, so have at it if you like to cook or are hoping to learn how. Unfortunately, they do not have pots and pans, so bring your own or find a friend who has some and wants to share some quality cooking time with you.

Open packages alone: If you do get some eatable goodies shipped to you, you may want to assess if you want to share them or not before others know you have it. It’s not everyday anymore that you get to have your mom’s awesome oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or something of the like, so guard those puppies and eat them sparingly!

There are a number of exciting new culinary prospects ahead of you. Your class will be the first freshman class to experience the new dining facilities in the University Center, as well as the old classics. So get out there while the eating is good and enjoy your meals.

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