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How To Make Your Favorite Local Takeout Food Healthier

You shove open your dorm room door, throw down your backpack and jump face first into a pile of blankets. As you let out a deep sigh, you hear a gentle tap at your door. You peek up to see your roommate. “Long day?” she asks. You nod your head in reply and burrow deeper into your cocoon. She jumps up on the bed beside you and nudges your shoulder, asking that dreaded, inevitable question: “Wanna order some food?” You’ve penciled in one too many Scantron bubble sheets, you can’t find your UCard and you’re running on 4 hours of sleep: of course you want to order food! After the week you’ve had, you deserve it!

You gather the take out menus strewn throughout the room and debate. Calzone? Sub? Quesadilla? You are about to dial – practically salivating – when you remember where you started your day this morning: the Rec Center. How can you indulge without compromising your hard work? We’ve found some healthy alternatives to your Amherst takeout favorites!

When you’re craving something Mexican, reinvent your favorite steak burrito!

Steak Burrito: steak, white rice, black beans, Fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and romaine lettuce

1225 calories, 55g fat, 59.5g protein

Try a Burrito Bowl!

 Chicken Burrito Bowl: chicken, brown rice, black beans, Fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa and romaine lettuce

545 calories, 15.5g fat, 44.5g protein

Trade white rice for brown, and ditch the cheese, sour cream and (sigh) guac. Forfeiting the tortilla automatically saves you 300 calories!

Psst! Skip the side of chips – they’re 570 calories.

When your stomach is grumbling and you want to refuel on the go, trade your BLT for chicken breast!

BLT: white pita, bacon, lettuce, cheddar cheese, light mayo

785 calories, 49.5g fat

Chicken breast: wheat pita, chicken breast, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, light mayo

455 calories, 18g fat

Swap fatty bacon for a lean chicken breast. Swiss cheese is a healthier alternative to cheddar, saving you 50 calories and 12 grams of fat!

Psst! If you’re feeling particularly disciplined, try Fork Style (served as a salad).

When you’re having an infamous Buff Chick Kick, stay strong! It’s okay to flirt a little, but don’t go all the way.

Replace your Buffalo Chicken Calzone with a Buffalo Chicken Saladgrilled! You’ll satisfy your craving but jettison dough’s empty calories and the fried coating of crispy chicken.

Psst! Beware of Bleu Cheese dressing. Opt for oil and vinegar or every healthy eater’s go-to: balsamic!

Embrace healthy alternatives and say goodbye to guilt-inducing takeout!

Happy HEALTHY eating!

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Brilee Weaver

U Mass Amherst

Brilee is a Journalism and Storytelling double-major from Oxford, Massachusetts.
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