It can be difficult to eat mindfully when eating in the dining commons. How much should I be eating, is the amount on my plate the right amount? You might be asking me, why should you care now? I'm young, and it doesn't matter what I eat? Well, the dietary habits that you as a young adult establish now tend to have a long lasting impact on your health. Here are some clues to making the right decisions.
When making selections in the dining commons try to choose the following:
1. Fresh Fruit. Did you ever notice that the fresh fruits are right next to the desserts in the dining commons? Instead of grabbing the cookie try an apple instead. It is ok to treat yourself once in a while but try to make the switch and keep this good habit.
2. The Salad Bar. Load up on healthy, fresh vegetables. Of course, proceed with caution as a full fat dressing can add extra unwanted calories and fat. Don't forget to use the salad bar when making your sandwich or taco.
3. Whole Grains. Choose the whole wheat bread option for toast or a sandwich. Try choosing the whole wheat tortilla if creating your taco. Whole grains are the way to go, just try them I know you will like them.
4. Know our Drinks. I know the juice and soda are so very tempting . . . But the way to go is truly just water. Water, water, water. Water, skim milk, almond milk or soy milk are great choices too.
5. Breakfast Cereals. With so many options try choosing cheerios, oatmeal and any cereal with >3 grams of fiber. The fiber will make you feel fuller longer, so when you are in class, you don't have to worry about your stomach making hunger noises.
6. Say no, to
A. Soda, it is so tempting but try your hardest not to allow it into your diet. Try the water and milk like we discussed earlier.
B. Breakfast- we want to start our day off right? Right! So try avoiding the breakfast burrito, or an egg sandwich, instead try egg whites or the whole grain cereal we discussed. Maybe a piece of the whole wheat toast with peanut butter and some fresh fruit and nonfat milk. Delicious.
C. Now let's talk about French fries. The temptation is there every day, arg. So maybe instead of the French fries you have a potato? Might that work?
Peer pressure, we all know it's there. We know the food looks good. But what I tend to remember when I am eating something refined or high in fat, I think about how much exercise it takes to burn it off and how fast I end up eating it. It's not worth it for me.