By Nina Saluga | Staff Writer
So you just got out of night class, Towers is closed and Milano’s and its greasy, cheesy, ooey-gooey college special is calling your name. Making healthy choices on campus isn’t always an easy task, and the hustle and bustle of college life with its crazy hectic schedules doesn’t make it any easier. That’s why we here at The Duke have created this guide to eating your way around campus the most health-conscious way possible. From Options to Incline and everywhere in between, there’s something for the inner health guru in all of us.
This one is pretty safe, as you probably already imagined. Each of Freshens handcrafted crepes and salads are made with sustainably-sourced ingredients. If you’re looking for a tasty low-calorie lunch, try the fajita chicken, pesto chicken or honey mustard chicken crepes. For breakfast, the egg white Florentine is only 280 calories and weighs in at only eight grams of fat. Stay away from the Nutella Supreme and the Denver with bacon, though, as these are the highest in caloric value and fat content. The salads and rice bowls at Freshens are also surprisingly high in calories and fat as well, but have one on occasion with a smoothie to treat yourself!
Incline is great for a quick on-the-go meal when you don’t have much time to relax and enjoy. The pizza, chicken fingers and fries may seem tempting, but the extensive salad bar it offers should not be overlooked! Choose your choice of greens — spinach, mixed greens or romaine — and pile on the fresh toppings. They offer everything from chickpeas, tomatoes, peppers and carrots to tofu, Craisins, peas, corn and beets. The toppings change daily so you’ll never get bored. Choose a dressing like balsamic vinaigrette (typically low in calories and fat content), balsamic vinegar or olive oil (which are full of healthy fats). Avoid dressings like ranch or thousand island that add up in calories and fat pretty quickly and make your salad a questionable choice.
You might find it impossible to navigate your way around Towers’ ice cream machine, pasta bar and chili cheese dogs, but there actually is a way to make healthy choices here. Start here for breakfast and make some peanut butter toast or an egg white omelet from the omelet bar. Choose veggies over cheese or fatty breakfast meats. Avoid sugary cereals as well. For dinner, start with a salad (be careful of your dressing!) and hit up the Daily Dish. Here, they usually offer a protein, a few veggie options and a carb. Avoid any “buttered” veggies and stick to roasted ones instead. The vegetarian section also offers some interesting, healthy eats like broccoli and chickpea pita pockets and stuffed sweet potato, which is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and B6.
Options is a great place to get a combination of healthy meal options. The deli offers a combination of sandwich ingredients that you can customize yourself. They offer wraps, hummus, turkey breast and a plethora of other fixings that you won’t get bored with. Put your sandwich under the panini press for a minute or two and voila! Dinner is served. Add a cup of the soup of the day or check out Options’ salad bar too. It usually offers choices similar to those at Incline. Also be sure to check out the yogurt bar, with features like peanut butter and granola (both full of plenty of healthy fats) for a pick me up.
Coffee is a pretty unavoidable facet of college life. It’s not just a drink but a social convention we all must adhere to in order to maintain thriving socials lives and our sanity. But a pumpkin spice latte a day will definitely not keep the pounds away. Stick to an iced coffee with soy milk — dairy contains inflammatories and growth hormones that can cause acne — or anything that doesn’t sound laden with sugar. A tall frappuccino can contain upwards of 400 calories. Avoid sweet pastries for breakfast and opt for one of the reduced fat options the chain offers. They’re just as tasty, even more filling and guilt-free!