Bradley provides us with different food choices from places around campus such as the dining halls, Student Center, Center Court and the P.O.D. Even though it may seem difficult to make good decisions for yourself with Chick-fil-A or Moe’s right on campus, but that all begins with your willingness to try. I will provide you with the tools, resources, and perspectives that are important to make better, nutritious choices for yourself at Bradley.
To begin, when you wake up in your dorm or even apartment or house, you should eat breakfast. Many people miss out on breakfast because they do not have time or they’re not hungry. Breakfast gives your body the fuel to wake up and have a great day, so it is important to keep breakfast in your home so you are less tempted to avoid it. There is a reason your parents tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There are many advantages in eating breakfast that may surprise you and make you think twice about skipping the meal. There is food in the P.O.D. such as cereal, milk, oatmeal, breakfast bars and even protein shakes that you can easily pre-purchase so you have no excuse for missing breakfast. If you think about it, you would never give cars water instead of gas when on empty. You must do the same to your body by avoiding those convenient donuts, and instead put some Cheerios in low-fat milk.
For lunch and dinner, most of your options come from the Student Center, Center Court or the dining halls. Of the three, dining halls should be your go-to spot at least once a day. That way you have a maximum variety of fruits, veggies, protein, carbohydrates and grains to choose from. Geissert offers a salad bar, action station and daily features that provide you with the most essential nutrients needed in a day. Try to keep meals at the Student Center or Center Court to a minimum because there are limited options of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and grilled (not fried) protein. However, it is okay to want to order a delicious quesadilla from Moe’s once in a while!
When going to the grocery store or P.O.D. to purchase your meals and snacks for the week, you should bring a list with you and stick with that list. Without one, you may be tempted to pick up whatever you want at the moment instead of what you need. Some believe it is difficult to make better food choices for yourself without going over budget. There are many tips that will help you form a grocery list on a budget. For example, pick up some whole grain items such as pasta, bread, and brown rice. Buy a few bags of frozen vegetables and cheese, some of your favorite sauces, a bag of frozen chicken, and fruit for your week. You can make more meals than I can count with these items. This is practically my shopping list for the week and I only spend about $25 at Walmart! To add flavor and variety, switch up your protein of choice and your spices if you are cooking similar meals within a week. If shopping at the P.O.D. for meals, they provide many soups, bread, pasta, milk, peanut butter, and jelly. You can also make a few meals with these items, which helps you avoid going to the Student Center for every meal.
Be creative and try something new. You never know if you will like something healthy for you, such as veggies and whole-grain options if you do not try them. I thought that whole grain bread was terrible when I was younger just because of the color. After only buying whole-grain bread in college, I have come to love it! MyPlate is a great resource to gain further knowledge on what foods work well with your body based on your weight, height, age and preferences. They also give you recipes to try, you can set up personal goals, and it shows you what food groups to look for and avoid. Something as simple as choosing an apple dipped in peanut butter (my personal favorite snack) versus a cookie can make all the difference in your day! College is supposed to make your mind healthier, but you cannot forget to make your body healthier. Making good food choices is not about losing weight if you do not want it to be. It is for you to be at your best mental, physical, and emotional capacity so you can perform your best not only in school now, but further down the road when you decide to have children or run a marathon. Think of it like this: eating healthy is fun because you can try something new, be creative, cook for yourself and others, and add your own twists on recipes!