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Old 08-23-2010, 01:04 AM   #1  
One pound at a time...
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Default Question for College Chicks

Hey ladies,

I just moved into my dorm for the year, and I rediscovered exactly how unhealthy dining hall food is. I decided to go grocery shopping tomorrow so that I can have some healthier options around for snacks/quick meals when necessary...

That said, I was wondering what foods you keep in your dorms!
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:24 AM   #2  
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My fave foods to eat that are easy to make/filling/yummy:

1. Oat bran. Seriously, 2 minutes in the microwave and it's done - add natural peanut butter and fruit (berries, nectarines, bananas are my faves) and it is practically dessert
2. Pita and hummus. Eat as is, or stick hummus on pita and add veggies for a delicious pita pizza! Yum! Okay, and hummus on anything is pretty fantastic - another staple of mine is hummus/cucumber sandwiches.

If you're feeling incredibly lazy, instant oatmeal is filling and super fast. I keep it in the lab where I study, along with some larabars and tea for emergency hunger.

Happy munching!
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:36 AM   #3  
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i don't live in a dorm, but i am in college and have to have a lot of snacks with me that are easy to carry around and eat. i carry lot of fruits with me, like apples, peaches and nectarines. i also like carrying around a pre-portioned almonds and nuts, sometimes dried fruit. luna bars are great too, and any meal replacement bars if you're into that. they're so easy to carry around, and totally fill me up along with a bottle of water.

and i always carry water.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:13 AM   #4  
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I'm not in college anymore, but I used to do salads in the crappeteria, and lunchmeat sandwiches in my dorm room so I could control how many calories were in my bread and meat and such. I was always a calorie counter, so it was always hardest to try to guess how cafeteria foods were prepared. Also, we had a take-out line in the caf, or sometimes we smuggled out fresh fruit under our coats (apples, bananas, etc).
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:43 AM   #5  
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My college had a deli in their cafeteria too. You could ask what brand of breads they use in that and then keep track of it on sparkpeople. A big help would be maybe to get measuring cups and then even if you don't want to use them in the cafeteria, you could see how big of portions sizes you are taking. That way if you do end up taking something in the cafeteria you can learn what would be an appropriate size to take.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #6  
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Haha well dorm life was actually how I gained about 70 of the pounds I'm carrying now because of how awful the dining halls are. I now live in an apartment and no longer have a meal plan where eating healthier is much easier.

As far as the dining hall goes - I would suggest salads (I don't like salads though so that was a problem for me) or sandwiches (my dining hall always had a deli bar open). I also had the experience that they usually had vegetables and select fruit (i.e. green bananas and red apples, sometimes oranges) but that's about it for the dining hall. In your dorm - quakes rice snacks, wheat crackers and laughing cow cheese wedges, sandwiches of course, fruit, almonds, granola bars (but only have one - most have like 100 calories and 10g of sugar or whatever), 100 calorie packs (again, only have one - they often have a few grams of fat and lots of sugar), soup, beans, etc.

The last two were if you want a hot meal. Soup is a good option depending on what you get. I like regular chicken noodle but I get the 25% less sodium version but even better if you like vegetable. Cheese is out, obviously. And beans are a superfood as long as you're not getting sugary baked ones or whatever. Many vegetables come frozen or canned so you can heat them up in a microwave. Also, does your building have a kitchen? If so, utilize it when you can to make a healthy meal and then save the leftovers to heat up in your room.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:37 PM   #7  
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Does your college have a food co-op? A lot of schools do, and they usually have a sandwich line attached. Cheap, healthy, 100% un-processed sandwiches? Sounds like a deal to me. A lot of them need volunteers too, which you can usually parlay into a food-for-time deal.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:28 PM   #8  
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I went to a small, liberal arts college and even my school had a dining hall that was health conscious. Does yours have that option? It was open for lunch and dinner. When you're already paying for a meal plan, sometimes you want to try to avoid eating on the run/ in your room so much.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:32 PM   #9  
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I usually have some snacks ready, like granola bars and almonds, but I mostly just paid really good attention when I was in the dining hall. What is your dining hall like? I think if you look closely it's might not be too bad health-wise. My cafeteria had a salad bar, a sandwich bar with lunch meats, and a small fruit bar with either melon, strawberries, or grapes and cottage cheese. We also have a cereal bar, which did have the unhealthy cereals like cocoa puffs, but also had some granola (which goes great with yogurt!) and Special K.
Also, there were always apples and bananas so I would usually take a couple for snacks.

We also had a home-cooking line, which would occasionally have very high calorie foods like lasagna, but every few days would have something leaner like turkey.

I think that dining halls get a bad rep because the cooked foods can be very high in calories, and they also offer an endless amount of cookies, ice cream, and pasta. But I actually had the most well-rounded diet when I was eating in my dining hall, because I certainly cannot afford to stock my own kitchen with that variety of salad greens, fruit, and deli meat.

I would suggest buying food for your dorm based on what you know you can eat in the dining hall, and just use dorm food to snack and fill some gaps in your diet.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:05 PM   #10  
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When I was in the dorms, I ate really unhealthy. But now that I'm living in apartments instead, it's a whole new challenge because YOU decide EVERYTHING that you buy. And sometimes that Ben and Jerry's Key Lime Pie ice cream controls you. This is the best time to build a healthier eating lifestyle.

Most schools have nutritional information online now, it's just difficult because the people dishing everything out to you may not follow what the exact serving size is...and salads and sandwiches get tiring very quickly for some people. When you go to the dining hall, choose meals that you actually know what every single ingredient is in your meal.

As for snacks, choose ones that won't allow you to eat when you're bored. Or if you buy a bag of pretzels or something, portion them into baggies immediately! Snacks that I like to eat...fruit, hummus and pita chips (or melba toast), baked tostitos and salsa, and granola bars.

Also, do you eat breakfast in the dining hall? I always thought it was easier and healthier to have cereal and oatmeal in my dorm room for breakfast.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:24 PM   #11  
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I stock my room with tons of carrots, yogurts, nuts and oatmeal. Granola bars can be good for me sometimes, but other times I just end up eating half the box in one night. I buy tons of fruit (apples, oranges....) and veggies!
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:09 AM   #12  
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fruits - any kinds. But I think most students prefer banana, apple, cherry - since they are easy to divide into portions.
And nuts, and yogurt.
I prefer to not store any snack like granola bars and such thing. I don't think I can stop at one serving lol.
And base on your cooking skills as well as meal schedule, you can buy things that are necessary such as meat, rice, bread, etc...

Good luck.
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