How To Eat Healthy At Brown

One of the most difficult aspects of adjusting to college is becoming accustomed to the reality that you are now 100% in charge of your own diet. I went to boarding school for the past four years, so I have been used to eating cafeteria food in lieu of my parents’ cooking, but for many first-year students, this is not the case. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, it can be difficult to make sure you’re making healthy choices when you’re eating in dining halls and cafés all the time. Below are a few helpful tips to ensure that, at the very least, you’re putting forth your best effort to do so.

Keep your plate colorful

An important part of eating healthy, no matter if you’re swiping into the Ratty or ordering from Blue State, is to make sure your meal is balanced. This is a general (and seemingly obvious) rule of thumb, yet so many times we succumb to the urge to fill our plates with pasta and—if we’re lucky—some tomato sauce. Eating pasta is totally fine, just make sure you’re including a portion of vegetables and protein with it. Hack: get a bowl from the cereal bar in the Ratty and fill it with pasta, grilled chicken from the salad bar, and peas or your vegetable of choice, and add pesto or alfredo sauce to really enjoy it.

Mix it up

Everything in the Blue Room is amazing: the sandwiches, the coffee, the muffins, the sushi. You name it, it’s great. However, it’s easy to fall into a routine of going there each day after class and getting the same exact meal you had and liked the day before...and then continuing to do so for the next few weeks. Not only is this absolutely crushing for your points/Bear Bucks accounts, but it’s also not good to eat the same thing every day. Try getting a sandwich one day, then sushi the next, and then maybe a different type of sandwich the following day. The same goes for any other campus eatery; Andrews may be awesome, but having a seemingly healthy and balanced Pho Bowl daily can be more detrimental than beneficial.

Quit Snacking

One of the easiest ways to reverse all your hard work making healthy choices at major meals is snacking between them. While the occasional bag of popcorn or pretzels is great to tide you over until your next trek to the V-Dub, making a habit of it will leave you with a messed up meal schedule and unbalanced diet. Plus, why not save your snacking tendencies for that late night trip to Jo’s with friends after a long night! A great way to reduce snacking while still enjoying those snack foods you love so much is to incorporate them into your meals. For instance, have some hummus and pretzels as part of your lunch so that you don’t crave the salt later that afternoon. If you’re thinking who on earth has that type of self control!?, try swapping your unhealthy snack for some yogurt, a banana, or cheese and crackers!

 

More specific tips

  • Utilize the Ivy Room! Smoothies, Naan sandwiches, Avo toast, Naan bowls–they’re all great options and they’re super yummy!

  • Go to the Blue Room before 10:00AM to get the new Acai Bowl! It’s good –and worth the early wake up—I promise!

  • In the mood for Baja’s? Go to the V-Dub and get a taco bowl with lettuce! While it may not be as indulgent, it’ll satisfy your craving!

  • Uber or walk to Whole Foods on North Main street and grab some snacks for your fridge! This will allow you to save yourself a trip outdoors for a meal, and mix up your diet a bit.

  • Want something filling and delicious but don’t want to eat too much? Get a small Poke bowl from Pokeworks on Thayer street! If you don’t finish it, you can put the rest in your fridge and finish it later that day.

  • In the mood for something sweet but don’t want to be too unhealthy? Go to Froyoworld on Thayer Street and get the Original Tart yogurt and add some fruit as toppings. You can even drizzle some Nutella on top if you’re feeling it.

  • Everything in moderation. While all of the above tips and tricks are valid, it’s important to remember that rules are made to be broken. It’s okay to indulge once in a while (the frequency of “once in a while” is up for interpretation). With all the hard work you do at Brown, rewarding yourself with Ben and Jerry’s or Insomnia cookies is by no means a bad thing!