Tag Archives: food

Healthy Dorm Room Snacks

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography
Nobody wants to fall victim to the freshman fifteen, or whatever they call it when you still gain weight as a senior… Ugh. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already learned, the older you get, the harder it is to keep a fit figure. Luckily, there are a few snacks that are not only tasty, but have a much better nutritional value than the chips in the vending machine down the hall.

Here are a few healthy dorm room snack ideas to satisfy the cravings and keep fit:

1. Meat & Cheeses

I’ve been keeping turkey jerky and light cheeses around to eat for a snack. The turkey gives me protein and keeps me full, and the cheese gives me a dose of calcium. Try beef sticks or regular jerky if you aren’t a turkey fan.

2. Popcorn

This is probably my favorite snack, which is evident when you open my pantry. I buy almost all of the flavors of Smart Pop, and I always have a box of microwave popcorn on hand. Popcorn has a great amount of fiber for you, and it’s very low in calories and fat. As long as you don’t eat movie theater butter popcorn, it is a very healthy and tasty alternative to chips.

3. Yogurt

I used to say I didn’t like yogurt, but that’s before I even tried it. Seriously, how can you know if you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it before? Now, I treat yogurt like it is dessert. I always get the pie flavors because it satisfies my sweet tooth without taking a big hit to my daily caloric intake. There are several types of yogurt, and many flavors.Test them all out until you find something that will alleviate your sweet tooth!

4. Fruit

This is one of the more obvious options, but it’s so important to learn early on how vital fruit is in our diet. A lot of weight loss systems, such as weight watchers, don’t even require you to log when you eat fruit because of all of the benefits you receive. When you shop right, fruit can be a lot cheaper than buying bags of chips, or candy. I make small to-go containers everyday that have just a small portion of my favorite fruits to take with me because it’s easy to pull out and snack on in class.

There are so many foods andsnacks out there that are delicious, but you have to find the balance between tasty and good for you. It’s so easy to snack when you’re in the dorm and just hanging out, but try to think of healthier options. This will prepare you for when you need to start being completely in control of your own meals (if you’re not already). Start creating these good habits!

Share your favorite healthy dorm room snacks with us in a comment below!

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6 Foods To Avoid At The Dining Hall

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you have a college student meal plan, then you know the struggle of dining hall food. Sure, not having to cook the food or clean dishes is great, but you have to choose what to eat from what is offered. At first it may seem like there are endless options, but after a while you will realize that they often provide the same kinds of food over and over again, easily allowing you to get into a habitual eating pattern that may not be the healthiest option. The Freshman 15 is not a myth.

Try to become more aware of what you are eating at your next dining hall visit. Here are six foods that I recommend you avoid for the following reasons:

1. Fried Food

Although fried food can taste good, and it may be in abundance at the dining hall, it doesn’t have any nutritional value so try avoiding it if you can. Did you know a grilled chicken sandwich has about 420 calories and 10 grams of fat compared to a fried chicken sandwich that has about 530 calories and 20 grams of fat? That extra breaded layer really does add up. Typically anything breaded or crispy is fried and should be eaten in moderation.

2. Sauces

Some sauces can have up to 40% of your daily recommended sodium intake in just one serving (and by the way, one serving is often the size of one scoop from a spoon). And how many of us can honestly say we measure out the serving size before dumping BBQ sauce on a steak and cheese or the teriyaki sauce before drizzling it over some rice? Sauces may make something taste better, but they are a source of hidden calories and often can take away the health benefits of food without it.

3. Salad Toppings

Salad is great. It has lots of vegetables and a minimal amount of fat, but the taste can be so bland for most people. If you’re just starting to eat salads or want to trim down the fat in yours, consider avoiding toppings like bacon bits, excessive cheese, croutons, and creamy dressing. Using an oil-based dressing will spread more easily and cover up more leafy greens, tricking you into using less.

4. Processed Foods

Most processed foods like chips, pre-made desserts, and even some breads/wraps can have high fat content and may even contain trans fats, which are much worse than saturated fats and is something you never want to consume. Essentially, trans fats can slow down brain function by disrupting communication between brain cells. They also contribute to cardiovascular disease. If you have access to nutritional labels (which is not always the case in a dining hall where the food is prepared for you), look for words like “partially hydrogenated oils” and stay away from them. It is the one “food” that experts say is not okay at all even in moderation with one source saying it’s more like plastic than food.

5. Soft Drinks

If you haven’t seen the graphic of how your body reacts to a can of coke within one hour, I highly suggest you check it out. Soft drinks contain extremely high amounts of sugar, which your liver will be straining to keep up with and turning it all into fat. Any nutritional value that could possibly come from a soda is flushed out of your system by the caffeine’s diuretic properties.

6. The Same Thing All The Time

Once you have been in school for a couple months, you may notice that dining halls operate on a set schedule. They often offer up some types of food on one day and others on different days, but the schedule does not vary wildly. Though this makes it easier to serve a large student body consistently, it also makes it easy for the student to fall into a habit of eating the same foods every time. For example, there were many meals in any given week when they were serving food I didn’t like or didn’t think I’d like. My initial response was always to just go get a couple slices of pizza. It’s important to balance your meals, and just eating pizza all the time is not that; despite whatever toppings are on there.  Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things at the dining hall. You may find that you actually really enjoy healthier options that you wouldn’t normally consider.

This is not meant to be a strict nutritional guide, but to make you aware of your eating habits. Don’t be afraid to ask one of the employees at the dining hall for nutrition information on any and all food being served in order to better plan out your meals. You have to remember that you’re in control of what you put into your body.

It may be hard to avoid the “yummier” foods, but it will benefit in the long run if you substitute that cookie for a side of broccoli.

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Cheap & Easy Recipes For Students On A Budget

Filed under: Food, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography




A college diet can sometimes be a struggle when you’re on a tight budget. The dreaded Ramen meal can sometimes be a nightmare to your taste buds, but have no fear! Here are some cheap and easy recipes that will leave your mouth watering. These recipes consist of five or less ingredients and are quick to make. Try them out!

1. French Bread Pizza

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and cut a loaf of French bread in half and place it on a baking pan. Spread spaghetti sauce onto the bread and then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Add any toppings you desire (pepperoni, olives, ham, bacon, etc) and add a touch of spices for some extra zest! Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread has toasted and the cheese has melted. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then cut. Now you have your own homemade French bread pizza!

2. Avocado Egg Bake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut avocados in half and remove the seed. Use a spoon to gently scoop out enough space for an egg. Crack eggs into the avocado halves, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Bake the avocados for 15-20 minutes, or until the yolk is cooked to your liking. Toast on the side couldn’t hurt either!

3. Garlic Butter Pasta

Cook angel hair pasta for 8-10 minutes and heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate pan, on medium-high heat. Once the oil has warmed up, add 3 to 4 crushed garlic cloves. Add ½ a stick of butter as the garlic begins to brown. After the butter has melted, mix in with the pasta. Season to your liking and add any fresh herbs, cooked shrimp, or grilled chicken slices.

So, the next time you are running short on time or cash, give one of these recipes a try. If you have any quick and easy recipes, share with us in the comments below!

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Preparing For The Stuffing

Filed under: Food, Health & Fitness, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham Blogger Biography





We all know Thanksgiving is infamous for making us feel sluggish and bloated. We may even incidentally gain a few pounds from holiday meals and then feel guilty for eating all of that wonderfully delicious food. For the past couple of years, I discovered a way to make my Thanksgiving meals more enjoyable by preparing for a giant feast. About two weeks prior, I have done a small “almost diet” to balance out the weight gain. I want to share the four steps I take to prepare my body before I hit that huge bowl of stuffing!

1. No Soda

UGH, I know, this isn’t easy. Soda has become a dominant drink for our consumption, especially for college students. I’m a huge diet coke drinker, and even though it is diet, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a ton of sugar. I cut it out completely and stuck to sparkling water. I always lose a few pounds just from that alone!

2. No Fast Food

Again, as a college student, fast food is sometimes the answer to all my problems, but a few weeks before turkey day, I lay off. Even if you get a prepared salad, it will have twice as many calories as if you were to prepare it yourself at home.

3. Drink Water

I’m a pretty decent water drinker on a regular basis, but during this season I quick it up a notch. I drink about 8 bottles a day, and I add lemon because it is an amazing natural detox.

4. Add Some Exercise

I go up and down through phases of exercise, and definitely around midterms I hit a lull. So, for the few weeks before the holidays I make sure that I at least walk 1 mile, do 50 pushups, sit-ups, and a plank every day. It really doesn’t take that long at all, and it’s amazing how great your body feels just from that small amount of exercise!

I encourage you to tweek this list and make it your own, but I promise it will make your Thanksgiving meal (and the following upcoming holiday meals) that much more enjoyable knowing that you are aware of your body’s limits and that you are taking care of it!

Just remember that it is normal for everyone to add a couple of pounds during the colder season, especially when big heavy meals

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5 Healthy Meals for College Students – Brought to You by BookRenter™ and ZocDoc

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Money/Budget, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Eating well while you’re in school can be a challenge for a myriad of reasons: it’s expensive (I’m looking at you, Whole Foods, you temptress); there aren’t enough hours in the day for extensive prep time; and dorm rooms don’t usually have the necessary appliances to create that gourmet experience.

That’s why BookRenter partnered with ZocDoc to create five healthy, quick meals on the cheap to add variety and protein to your daily food consumption.

Each meal:
• Is less than 500 calories
• Costs under $3 per serving
• Takes 30 minutes or less to make
• Requires only a microwave

These quick and easy ideas are sure to satisfy your hunger pangs, wallet, and other limitations. So get to cooking!

healthy meals

5 Healthy Meals for the College Student – An infographic by the team at ZocDoc and Bookrenter

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