It’s the new year and everyone has their new year’s resolutions that they are determined to follow through with this year. If your resolution was to have a healthy diet, then you are in the right place. I get it, going to the dining hall and seeing the gooey pizza and sweet ice cream can be tempting when you’re holding a bowl of leafy greens. However, there are a lot of options available that can provide just as satisfying tastes as well as make you feel better than ever.
Let’s start with the West Virginia University Dining Halls. While the dining halls contain a plentiful amount of food, one issue with this is knowing what food choices are the right choices. WVU’s school dietician, Cami Haught, is here to provide free nutrition counseling to students who need help. Haught has been a dietician for 18 years and works with WVU dining services. Haught’s biggest tip for students trying to maintain a healthy diet is “learning how to manage yourself and know to make better choices the majority of the time and then go ahead and have that treat but make it more of an occasional instead of every day”. Knowing when to treat yourself to an unhealthy snack is important in your attempt at a healthy diet. It is OK to have a cheat day when you are eating healthy a majority of the time!
The first place you should go to when in the dining halls is the Simple Servings dining station. These are located in each of the school’s various dining halls and will be the best place to ensure you are eating healthy meals. The Simple Servings station provides foods that are allergy-free and gluten-free. This station will provide some of the healthiest options. While the dishes change every day there is typically a protein, vegetables and starch/grain provided. For information concerning the Simple Servings dining station refer to their website.
If the options at Simple Servings don’t look appetizing try the salad bar! The salad bar can provide various options for you. Remember to not just have a bowl of lettuce and dressing. It is important to add toppings so that you are still receiving a well-rounded meal. According to Healthline, the top five healthiest toppings include; raw vegetables, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, whole grains and beans and legumes, all of which WVU salad bars provide. Some other options also include adding hard boil egg, cheese and tortilla chips or pita chips. A combination of these toppings, as well as a low-calorie dressing that is drizzled, not drenched, over your salad, can provide you a healthy meal that fills you up and gives you the nutrients you need!
Now, what about when you are in your dorm? According to the United Stated USDA, a mini-fridge makeover is the key to keeping a healthy diet. Some of the things listed on their top 10 list include hummus, fruit, nuts and nut butters, yogurt and vegetables. All these things can be eaten as snacks that will fill you up and keep you on track to a year filled with health. Some other options from Pinnacle Health include; trail mix, pretzels, rice crackers, popcorn and dry roasted edamame.
With all these tips in mind staying healthy in the new year can be simple. The main thing is that you are the one to control what you eat. Staying conscious of what you put into your body and what you keep but will help you in the long run!
If you would like to schedule a meeting with WVU’s school dietician, email her at [email protected].
Edited by Rachel Johnson