It’s Mindful Week! Make sure to look for Green Apples above healthy options in the dining halls. We understand that sometimes, when there are delicious, freshly made french fries, and hot cookie bars, it can be tricky to eat well and mindfully at every meal. We hope that the signs with tips and tricks in the dining halls this week with help you! But, there are so many articles out there with a million ideas and pieces of advice for co-eds facing their dining halls, that we thought we could help you even more by compiling the best of those tips into one handy article.
So, here you are: all of the internet’s the best tips on how to approach Northwestern’s Dining Halls!
1. Eat your fruit!
Get in the habit of grabbing a piece of fruit as you leave the dining hall. Grab an apple after dinner to eat when those midnight munchies hit! Grab a banana after lunch to get you through that two hour econ lecture in the afternoon. Grab an orange after breakfast to get you to lunch without any complaints from your stomach. Speaking of breakfast…
2. EAT BREAKFAST!
We know that this has been drilled into your head forever. We know that you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We also know that after staying up with that project until all hours of the night, leaving time for breakfast before your 9 am class is not exactly a top priority. Make it one! It’s amazing how much more energy you’ll have going into that first class after a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. If you do not have time to sit down with oatmeal, whip up a quick peanut butter and banana sandwich to go.
3. Get creative!
Buzzfeed has a plethora of ideas to spice up your meal in a healthy and easy way (see link below). Some of my favorites? Use a small bowl to mix together peanut butter, soy sauce, and Sriracha to make any chicken Thai Style. Put tomatoes, olive oil, and salt on the bread of your choice to make a simple bruschetta.
4. Drink water!
It’s no secret that drinking plenty of water is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies. Why not make that fun? Lucky for us, there’s an infused water station in every dining hall. Stock up on water while enjoying the taste of a fruity drink without the sugars that come in juices and sodas. Fill your water bottle with some cucumber water before leaving the dining hall and you’ll be set for the day.
5. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself!
Being Mindful does NOT mean quitting your hot cookie bar addiction. It means setting goals for yourself. Don’t eat breakfast? Eat it today and as a reward get yourself some hot cookie bar this week! Usually find yourself eating chicken tenders at frans at 2 AM? Reach for an apple instead and then treat yourself to dessert tomorrow. Being Mindful is about finding that balance between healthy and happy eating.
Further reading (not specific to NU Dining Halls, but still helpful!)