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How to Healthy Eating at The U

Throughout this semester I have strived to eat healthy, and follow a nutritious diet and lifestyle.  Being at school can make this challenging at times, since we are often tempted with the unhealthy yet delicious foods on our meal plan, late night eating at Goodfellas and CK’s during the weekends, and our busy schedules that cause us to grab the easiest food choices available.  Despite the challenges, eating healthy at Scranton is doable, and overall makes me feel a lot better.  Therefore, for anyone looking to improve their diet I will share some health friendly food choices I learned to be beneficial throughout the semester!


1. Always Eat Breakfast

Research shows that breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day.  While many of you probably have heard this before, I truly believe it is true.  I have found I overall feel more energized when I eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning.  In addition, I feel I am better able to control my food cravings, and am more leveled out throughout the day.  I believe it is important to make sure I am eating a nutritious and healthy breakfast in order to feel good.  I personally love to start my day with a bowl of plain instant oats.  I add some water and stick it in the microwave for one minute.  I love to add a chopped up banana, along with drizzling honey on top.  If you are not an oatmeal type of person, or would like to use your meal plan that is okay too.  On first floor of The DeNaples Center I recommend the breakfast sandwiches.  I love to get egg or egg whites with cheese on an English muffin.  This is a healthy option that keeps me full for a while.  If you enjoy going to third floor, I would recommend a healthy bowl of cereal with almond milk, an English muffin with peanut butter and banana, or a bowl of fruit. 


2. Grilled Chicken

A great healthy lunch or dinner option is the grilled chicken from POD underneath the Montrone Apartments.  The grilled chicken from Chick-fil-A is also a healthy choice.  Perhaps try to avoid the bread it comes on.  Grilled chicken is a great choice because it is a lean meat that is low in fat, but high in protein.  Eating grilled chicken can help you stay full longer, as well as help your heart and your immune system.  To add some excitement, I love pairing my grilled chicken with the sweet sauce from POD, and string beans.


3. Zoca Taco Salad

Another healthy option at Scranton is the taco salad from Zoca on first floor DeNaples.  I like my taco salad with lettuce, chicken, a little bit of cheese and avocado ranch.  However, you can make your taco salad even healthier by adding black beans and tomatoes.  I would stay away from the queso and the sour cream to avoid excess calories and fat. 


3. Create your own salad

Creating my own salad from the POD is one of my favorite lunch and dinner options.  In my salad I put a hard boiled egg, cucumbers, broccoli, avocado, tuna, and an assortment of nuts.  However, there is a wide variety of healthy veggies and toppings you can add into your salad.  For dressing, I either eat my salad without or put balsamic vinaigrette (not the creamy one).  I love creating my own salad because I get in a lot of greens, veggies, and nuts, which are all heart healthy and feel good foods.


4. Third Floor

Eating healthy on third floor can be tricky due to the many temptations of so much food, and the availability to continue to eat as much as you would like.  When eating on third floor I like to look at the nutritional information posted online.  This helps me put into perspective the calories and fat of each meal being served.  When I go to third floor, I usually create my own salad, or try to stick to proteins like chicken or fish.  I believe in moderation eating sweets and treats is okay, but if you are trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle, limit the ice cream, pizza, pasta, and fried foods from third floor. 

5. Healthy Snacks

Besides the food choices I previously mentioned, I like to keep healthy snacks in my apartment too.  I recommend buying mostly healthy snacks, so that you don’t tempt yourself into eating unhealthy foods in your dorm room or apartment.  Some healthy snacks I love to have are apples, peanut or almond butter, oatmeal, low salt or salt free plain rice cakes, vanilla Greek yogurt, low fat cheese, almond milk, rice pudding, bananas, grapes, whole wheat pasta and frozen vegetables.  These foods are my essentials that I eat in between meals, or before or after a workout.

6. Drinks

If you are trying to follow a healthy diet, nothing makes me feel better than drinking a lot of water.  I recommend only drinking water or tea, and staying away from sugary beverages, sodas, lemonade or iced tea.  Coffee is not always a bad beverage choice; however, try and limit the amount of cream and sugar put into your coffee!


I hope some of these ideas helped you, and can fit into your day!  Always remember to keep trying, and its okay to indulge every once in a while too!  J

Kaitlin is a junior Early and Primary Childhood Education major, and due to her love for children, hopes to become a teacher. She also plans on studying abroad in Australia next semester. Besides going to class, she loves spending time with her family and friends. Some of Kaitlin's favorite things include summertime, country music, reading, and being near the water.
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