College students - learn simple health hacks and ways to maneuver your campus dining halls in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle on (or off) campus. See our health tips, favorite dorm room recipes and official Slender Seven guide to Whole Foods from our panel discussion at Wake Forest University:
NAVIGATING THE DINING HALLS
Balance your plate
Prioritize lean proteins, veggies and fruits before piling on the carbohydrates and fat. Avoid getting up for seconds and you’ll be on track with portion control. Try to enjoy desserts as a treat not a routine.
Carrots + Hummus
Carrots are a great snack, and even better when paired with hummus. Add a small serving of hummus to your plate for extra protein and fiber and you’ll stay full and satisfied for a longer period of time.
Add Grilled Chicken
If your dining hall go-to includes a salad or veggies, try adding grilled chicken or a lean protein alternative to your plate. Consuming lean protein regularly in your diet has countless health benefits and adding that piece of chicken will give you extra energy and more control over your hunger.
Omelettes For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Omelettes packed with veggies are a healthy source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals — and studies show that starting your morning with an omelette can actually lead to weight loss. The key: don’t sabotage your healthy meal by adding high-fat, high-calorie fixings (like bacon, cheese, butter or oil). If you are looking to cut back on calories, ask for egg whites. 1 cup of egg whites has 125 calories, 26 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat, versus a cup of eggs, which has 210 calories, 14 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein and higher cholesterol.
Oatmeal > Cereal
Did you know your big bowl of cereal could be over 500 calories, exceeding 50 grams of sugar? Go for the oatmeal instead. Whole grain oats have numerous health benefits and eating a bowl of oatmeal will help you control your hunger. It is high in fiber and contains protein, iron, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Add natural sweeteners like banana or raisins and keep your bowl low in sugar (do not add brown sugar!).
Stevia in the Raw
Coffee lovers - try using raw stevia or Truvia if you want to sweeten your coffee (or sugar in the raw). Stevia is a zero-calorie natural sweetener, and is much better for you than Splenda, Sweet N Low or Equal.
Turkey Sandwich Salad
Looking to cut down on carbs during the day? Turn your turkey sandwich into a salad. Ask the sandwich station for plain deli meat and mix it with your vegetables.
Ditch the Dressing
Avoid the bottled salad dressings. Not only are these extremely processed and packed with unnatural ingredients, they can be adding over 200 calories to your healthy salad. Instead, dress your salad with balsamic vinegar or hummus.
DORM ROOM HEALTH HACKS
Use the Slender Seven App
Healthy recipes with 7 ingredients or less... created for college students like you! Browse recipes, save favorites and generate your grocery list right in the palm of your hand. Get the app >>
Almond Butter + Fruit
Snack on almond butter (or peanut butter) and fruit. The key: portion size. Don’t overload on the nut butter or you could be consuming a 400 calorie snack. If you are buying your own nut butters, choose all-natural ones WITHOUT hydrogenated oils (those are very bad and very fake).
Need a grab-and-go meal or snack? Choose healthy bars that have identifiable ingredients and are minimally processed:
- Health Warrior Chia Bars
- Simple Squares
- Lara Bars
- The Good Bean
Ditch the diet sodas and stock up on Bai5 drinks. These antioxidant infused drinks are low in calories and sugar (sweetened with stevia) but will give you the jolt of energy you need.
Cooking Without Oil
Cooking in a kitchen? Be careful how much oil you add to your recipe. One tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories and 14 grams of fat to your healthy meal. Try substituting an all-natural nonstick cooking spray from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or use nothing at all. But if you do use oil, be sure to measure it out so you know your serving size.
Go Greek (Yogurt)
Stock up on low or non-fat Greek yogurts. Choose the plain flavor to reduce your sugar intake, then add healthy toppings: fresh fruit, nuts, chia seeds, oats, etc.
Buy a Blender
It’s worth it. Make easy meals by blending healthy fruits and veggies, low calorie (unsweetened) almond milk, nut butters, seeds, yogurt, etc. Freeze fresh fruit or peeled bananas in plastic baggies in your dorm room freezer for anytime smoothie blending.
DIY Sundry Snacks
Sure, the on-campus snacks are tempting, but if you can satisfy your sweet tooth with something healthier than you’ll feel better about it later. Visit slenderseven.com for inspiration (trail mix, “milkshakes,” Copycat Chex Mix and more) plus see the Slender Seven guide to Whole Foods for snack suggestions.
Favorite Dorm Room Recipes
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons PB2 powder
2 packets stevia (optional)
1/4 cup blackberries, mashed
1/4 cup raspberries, mashed
Stir oats, almond milk, and 1 packet stevia and microwave 2 minutes. Remove and stir in 2 tablespoons PB2 powder and remaining 1 packet stevia. Top with mashed berries.
OATMEAL POWER BALL
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons PB2, prepared (or almond butter)
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract cinnamon
Melt the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract in the microwave. Immediately stir in the nut butter. Pour in the oats and sprinkle with cinnamon then mix to combine. Shape into a ball and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serves 1.
PEANUT BUTTER & HONEY SMOOTHIE
1 frozen banana
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons Justin's (Honey) Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon honey
Combine ingredients in a blender until creamy.
COOKIE IN A CUP
1/2 banana, mashed
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon flour (regular or gluten free)
1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon toppings (chocolate chips, sprinkles, raisins)
Combine ingredients in mixing bowl until smooth then pour into a microwave-safe mug. Microwave for 1 minute.
PALEO SWEET POTATO PIE
1 sweet potato
1 banana, sliced
2 tablespoons almond butter or PB2 (prepared)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pierce sweet potato with a fork that place on a plate. Microwave for 7-9 minutes until soft (maybe longer depending on size of potato). Cut the potato open through the center like a hot dog bun. Spread nut butter inside. Add banana slices. Sprinkle cinnamon and enjoy.
2 large bananas
1 cup quick oats
2 tablespoons of each of your favorite toppings:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients. Spoon dollops onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
SKINNY CHOCOLATE SNACK MIX
1/4 cup agave
5 cups plain cereal (Multigrain Puffins or Rice Chex)
1 cup dried bananas (we like Barnana)
3 cups skinny popcorn
1 3-ounce bag coconut chips (we like Dang)
Pour cereal and bananas in a large mixing bowl then set aside. Mix chocolate almond butter and agave in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 45-60, stirring halfway through. Pour over the cereal mixture and stir with a spatula until lightly coated. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to cool off, then remove and add popcorn and coconut. Toss to combine. Enjoy as a snack mix, yogurt topping, or cereal!
SLENDER SEVEN GUIDE TO WHOLE FOODS
Cereal: Nature’s Path (Mesa Sunrise, Envirokidz Koala Crisp)
Frozen: Van’s Gluten Free Waffles
On the Go: The Chia Co Chia Pod
Granola: Purely Elizabeth’s
Oats: Bob's Red Mill
Oatmeal: Gluten Freeda
Superfood: Vigilant Eats Superfood Cereal
Greek Yogurt: Fage
Probiotic: Good Belly
Milk: Horizon Organic
Salad Dressing: Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressing
Salt: Himala Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Soy Sauce: San-J (Gluten Free) Tamari
Ketchup: Simply Heinz
Condiments: Sir Kensington's
Fries: Alexia Sweet Potato fries
Smoothies: Sambazon Acai Smoothie Packs
Veggie Burger: Dr. Praeger
Pretzels: Snyder’s (Gluten Free)
Popcorn: Boom Chick a Pop
Veggies: Brad’s Raw Chips
Chips: Food Should Taste Good
Crackers: Blue Diamond Nut Thins
Potato Chips: Pop Chips
Chickpeas: The Good Bean
Dehydrated Fruit: Barnana
Dried Fruit: Made in Nature
Nut Bar: KIND
Nutrition Bar: Quest, Simple Squares, KIND
Cookies: Tate’s (Gluten Free)
Candy: Justin’s PB Cups
Frozen Yogurt: Stonyfield Organic
Pre-made Mixes: Pamela’s
Baking Flour: Bob’s Red Mill
Coconut: Let’s Do...Organic
Sugar: Sugar in the Raw
Seeds & Grains
Quinoa: Bob’s Red Mill
Flour: Bob’s Red Mill
Chia: The Chia Co
Non-Dairy Milk: Almond Breeze Almond Milk
Coffee Creamer: So Delicious
Tea: Honest Tea Zero Cal Passion Tea
Coconut Water: Zico
Water Enhancer: True Lemon
Nut Butter: Justin’s
PB Alternative: PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
Hummus: Cava (local) or Sabra