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Here’s how to stay healthy in the dorms

Staying healthy can be hard in the dorms, especially when Cheesy Grillers, hamburgers, and giant burritos are so readily available. But take a closer look and you’ll see plenty of healthier options that are inexpensive and easy to access. Here’s a guide on how to stay healthy while living amongst so many temptations.

1. Don’t skip breakfast. Even when you need to rush to class, don’t forget the most important meal of the day. Grab a few apples and bananas and store them in your dorm room for breakfast. If you have a refrigerator, berries are good too.

2. Find the healthy options at Barnhart and Carson. You can find menus for every meal on a weekly basis from the dining halls at Plan when you want to eat at those locations based on what they’re serving. Meats or tofu, potatoes, fish, brown rice, lentils, and vegetables are usually wholesome options.

3. Take advantage of salad bars. These can be found at Barnhart, Carson, Grab ‘n’ Go, and Dux Bistro. Fill your bowl with darker lettuce or spinach, and don’t go overboard with the dressing.

4. Order custom bowls (pasta, noodles, rice). At the Global Scholars pasta bar, order gluten free pasta if you don’t mind the taste. Steamed broccoli is always a good topping. Try to avoid getting cheese, but if you really want it, make sure you specify that you want a small amount. Global Scholars Hall and Fire ‘n’ Spice offer custom bowls, which usually have a protein, a starch, and a vegetable. Order brown rice and a protein and fill your bowl with as many vegetables as you can.

5. Be aware of large serving sizes and excess condiments. It’s okay to not be able to finish your food if it’s too much (you can also take it to go!). Also, when ordering foods such as sandwiches or burritos and asking for condiments, ask for a small amount.

6. Always keep snacks on you. Fruits are good options, but don’t forget to eat raw vegetables frequently. In the grocery areas of Grab ‘n’ Go and Global Scholars Hall, there’s usually bags of carrots. You can also ask for spinach from salad bars.

7. Stay hydrated. Have water on you always: in your backpack and in your room. Drink a glass with every meal, and also drink it throughout the day. Try to minimize your intake of sugary drinks and sodas.

8. Avoid unhealthy snacks. Try not to overeat breads, fried or cheesy foods, and very creamy or heavy meals. Resist the temptation to buy things such as chips, goldfish, or ice cream from the grocery areas.

9. You can still eat your favorite foods. Don’t get too hung up on trying to stay perfectly healthy. Save a couple meals a week for that macaroni and cheese you’ve been craving or indulge yourself in a Fried Fridays meal. What matters is that you’re not eating these every day. Think of the less healthy meals as something special, like a reward for eating healthy foods for most of the week, and enjoy them.

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Anna Lieberman

Anna Lieberman