09-02-2015

6 Healthy Foods To Keep In Your Dorm Room

It’s back to school season! Which  means fall weather is right around the corner…bring it on!

Today was the first day of classes at the community college I work and coach at. I love seeing campus full again and am always jealous of  first year students…such an exciting journey ahead of them.

If you’re living on a college campus, you probably only have a small fridge and microwave (if that) in your dorm. Side note: as a higher ed professional, we were taught to say “residence hall” instead of dorm, but I’m going to stick with dorm ;)

Even if you don’t have a fridge, you can still stock up on some healthy foods and snacks which will be perfect when you’re on the go or just hungry and lounging around in your room.

Keep reading and I’ll talk more about these items!

6 Healthy Foods To Keep In Your College Dorm!
Protein Powder

I love PlantFusion protein – it’s free of all major allergens and plant based. I’ve tried other plant based powders but didn’t like the chalky taste or after taste. PlantFusion has a variety of flavors (like cookies and creme!) and also has a nutritional shake called Phood, which is more of a meal replacement type shake. You can order samples of their different products on their website for just $10! Can’t beat that.

While I had never even thought to buy protein powder in college, it’s a good thing to have on hand. You can easily make shakes with just water, or if you do have a fridge, you can stock up on almond milk, fruits, etc. to make delicious smoothies for breakfast or snacks.

Nektar Honey Crystals

I should have added tea to this list but oh well. If you’re a tea lover, Nektar Honey Crystals are perfect for you! I have been working with the Nektar team for a bit, but genuinely love the product.

I have written about them before, and love that they are perfect for on-the-go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought my honey bear (lol at that phrasing) to work and have it leak all over my lunch bag. They also just released a pourable bottle which is perfect for baking. If you bring tea to class (or oatmeal), pack a few of these packets and you’re good to go.

Peanut Butter

Does this even need an explanation?? Stock up on peanut butter! Eat it by the spoonful or spread of on apples and bananas. My favorite pre-workout snack is a piece of bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas on it. I also always add peanut butter to my oatmeal and overnight oats. Oops, just realized I should have added oatmeal to this list too!

Granola Bars

I love Nature Valley bars, but this new product is now my favorite granola bar (the simple nut bar). Minimal ingredients and a great snack to pack in your bag. Also good for pre and post-workout. When shopping for granola bars, make sure to read the ingredient labels…some are packed with random ingrediets and loads of sugar!

Larabars

These are also another good snack option. I like them because they can be kept anywhere (cold, hot, etc.) without it going bad. So you can keep a few in the car or in your purse for emergencies. While they do have a bit more sugar than I would like, I’m comforted by the fact that it is all-natural. I like to snack on these before runs for a little energy boost.

Beanitos

These are a recent discovery of mine. I have tried the BBQ flavor and the restaurant style and both are delicious! If you love chips and salsa, try Beanitos. It’s a healthier alternative to other chips. I eat them with hummus as well. Dan doesn’t like beans so he’ll never try them, but I swear it does not taste like beans!

Have you tried Beanitos? Let me know if you do.

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

If you’re starting school, tell me what college you’re at! Maybe we are Big 10 rivals ;) #Rutgers

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01-29-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Does anyone feel like this week is just dragging? Yesterday I felt like it was Wednesday, and today it feels like a Thursday. And I think I’m getting sick, so I’d just like it to be the weekend. Well, at least we are halfway through the week!

Here are your health links for today:

  • 5 Flexibility Standards (Mark’s Daily Apple) – Which one of these are you able to do? If you can’t do some, work on those trouble spots.
  • 15 Minute Barbell Workout (Grit By Brit) – I just found Brit’s blog and already know it will have some great content. This is a total body workout and all you need is a barbell!
  • Avocado Chickpea Salad (Naturally Ella) – This looks so good. If you want to try some meatless meals, this site has great recipe ideas, and I can’t wait to go through them. I’ll be making this for lunch in the next week or two for sure!
  • 10 Healthy Plant-Based Snacks For Road Trips (Running On Real Food) – Great snack ideas, whether you’re on a road trip or just need some healthy snacks in your life.

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Please share!

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11-13-2013

Eat This, Not That

Yesterday, I was able to attend a nutrition seminar held at the college I work at. I almost didn’t go but am glad I did because there was a lot of great info, which I knew I wanted to share with my readers.

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The seminar was geared towards busy college students, and the goal was to show them what choices they have when eating out at places like McDonald’s, Applebee’s, etc. We all know what’s healthy and what’s not, but if you’re faced with a few not so healthy choices while out, would you know what to pick?

The nutritionist gave us 4 things to look out for when buying “fast-food” or dining out:

  1. Type of food
  2. Size of food
  3. Prep
  4. Accompaniments

Food Prep

I’m sure you know that grilled chicken is better than “crispy” chicken sandwiches (aka fried), but do you know how much the difference is?

A KFC grilled chicken sandwich isn’t too bad…250 calories

A KFC extra crispy chicken sandwich is…510 calories!

Still not TOO bad compared to the stuff I’ll talk about in a bit.

Accompaniments

This conversation started with mayo. I love mayo. My mom has been buying the olive oil Hellman’s recently in an attempt to get a “healthier” mayo. Well, guess what…it isn’t that much better! Mayo is made from soybean oil (the cheapest oil they can use) and the mayo that says “olive oil” actually only has a tiny, tiny bit of olive oil, and the rest is soybean oil. They basically put the minimum they can in it so that they can put “olive oil” on the label.

The good news is, she stated that, “unless you’re eating jars at a time, don’t worry about whether you get olive oil mayo, low-fat mayo, etc. They’re all basically the same.”

Next, let’s go through options for each meal of the day. Some of the stuff I will outline, you may already know, but it’s good information for those who may not know, and a good refresher for those who eat out!

Breakfast

The nutritionist said, “muffins are donuts for rich people.” They really have no nutritional value, even bran muffins, which you may think it does. You will eat it, and you will still be hungry, and that’s how your day goes downhill (eating wise).

Oatmeal > Muffins. A medium sized oatmeal is about 260 calories, and a bran muffin is 480 calories.

Next, ham > sausage. Always. Why? because it has less fat. Even 2 pieces of bacon is still better than sausage. An Egg McMuffin = 300 calories, and a Sausage McMuffin = 450 calories. She said that if you need to get breakfast while at a McDonald’s (obviously oatmeal is the best), the Egg McMuffin actually isn’t that bad.

SIDE NOTE: She told us that the Egg McMuffin has the ham on the top, and the Sausage McMuffin has the sausage on the bottom (of the egg) due to scientific research by McDonald’s about what the best way for the egg and meat to hit your tastebuds is. So weird…

PicMonkey Collage

Okay, lastly, let’s talk about omelettes. I believe this is from Applebee’s, but a Simple and Fit Omelette is only 330 calories. Not bad at all. But if you get the regular spinach and mushroom omelette, it is……….910 calories! I couldn’t believe that. I have ordered omelettes many a time at diners, thinking it can’t be that bad because it’s just eggs and stuff. The killer is the cheese. That is what adds a ton of calories. Think about that next time you want to order an omelette!

Lunch

So you’re at Burger King..which do you choose? The Original Chicken Sandwich? Or the Double Hamburger?

If you’re like me, you may have thought the hamburger would be worse…but it’s actually half the calories of the chicken sandwich. 330 calories vs. 630.

Also, she talked about how fries really aren’t THAT bad if you get a small, and if you are really craving them. A small only has 230 calories. A large, however, has 500 calories.

Other great fast food options are:

  • oatmeal
  • fruit & yogurt parfait
  • side salad
  • fruit dippers
  • fruit
  • Wendy’s chili
  • Wendy’s baked potato (not loaded)

If you’re going to a deli for a sandwich, the top 3 deli meats are:

  • turkey
  • roast beef
  • ham

As she mentioned, “if you can see the fat, then don’t eat it,” referencing salami.

Snacks

“No 100 calorie snack pack will make you feel like you ate anything. You’ll just eat more snack packs.” Truth!

Here are some points she made on snacks:

  • Nuts are good in moderation
  • Lays will not fill your stomach, which is why you could eat a whole bag of them.
  • Nature Valley granola bars are a great option. But any granola bar that has chocolate or yogurty dip/base is not.
  • Fig newtons aren’t a bad snack option when in a pinch.

Keep a stash of these at home, at your desk, in your car if possible:

  • Crackers
  • Bars, such as Larabars which you can keep in your car for a while.
  • Peanut butter
  • Chobani
  • Hummus
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast. Not the best breakfast, but it’s something for on-the-go when you need it quick.

I love Larabars. They are all natural and have a lot of great flavors. I like having them when my sweet tooth strikes.

Dinner

“Healthy sells.” Restaurants know this. They know you want to eat healthy, but that doesn’t mean the dishes are, in fact, healthy.

Let’s say you go to Applebee’s and get a salad. They actually have a salad on their menu that is 1,200 calories!! That’s almost as much as some people need to eat in an entire day. And that’s a salad. Make sure to check the ingredients. If it contains cheese, it will most likely have a lot of calories, because restaurants load it up with cheese to make it taste better. This applies to any dish.

She suggested also getting a sirloin as opposed to a chicken dish if you’re dining out. A sirloin can be served plain with a side. When is grilled chicken ever served just plain? It usually has cheese, sauces, it’s breaded, fried, etc.

What about if you want Chinese food?

The Good

  • Dumplings if shell is thin
  • Egg drop soup
  • Sichuan dishes (less fat)

The Bad

  • Egg rolls
  • Spare ribs
  • General Tso (or any of those types of chicken)
  • Sweet n’ Sour Chicken
  • Lo Mein
  • Fried Rice

How can you make it better?

  • Skip the rice
  • Steamed veggies

Dessert

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know that Ben & Jerry’s is WAY higher in calories that normal ice cream. But it’s so good =(

A 1/2 cup of Eddy’s ice cream is 130 calories. A 1/2 cup of Ben & Jerry’s is 360 calories! And who eats only a half cup? I certainly don’t…

Here are some good dessert options if you have a sweet tooth like me:

  • Luigi’s Italian Ice
  • Klondike bars
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Skinny Cow ice cream
  • Fudgesicles
  • Slim-A-Cow ice cream

So there you have it folks. A key thing I will remember when dining out is cheese! I actually wasn’t aware it was so high in saturated fat and calories.

Another key point to remember, that the nutritionist stated as well, as that eating things in moderation won’t kill you. Indulge if you want, just don’t eat the whole bag of chips or the whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Though I know that’s hard ;)

I thought her seminar was very informative, and feel like I can make better choices if I’m out at a Burger King (which is rare but sometimes my friends want to go), or out to dinner.

What did you find interesting about this seminar? Did you learn something new? 

What’s your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor? I love Half Baked!

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