There are many ways to ‘hack’ Barone in order to make a healthy meal that tastes good and also leaves you satisfied! If you know where to look, you can easily find healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! With Fairfield’s new nutritionist Mackenzie Gordon, Barone dining hall has already made multiple positive changes under it’s new healthy initiative. With the help of Mackenzie, I have compiled facts, hacks, and tricks on how to eat healthy at Barone no matter what the meal. Three things to be on the lookout for if you want a healthy meal in Barone are:
Mindful Options: These are served daily, just look for the mindful icon- a green apple. These dishes are lower in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.
Simple Servings: These are the foods in the green section located by the green plates. This allergen free station is great because it usually has healthy options that are made with minimal ingredients.
Myzone Station: Located next to simple servings, this station has a fridge and cabinets that are stocked with allergen, vegan, and vegetarian options including gluten free, peanut and tree nut snacks and granola, dairy free milk and yogurt options, vegan cheeses and butter, and chia seeds and flax seeds. A lot of people never even notice this section but it has some great options! A personal favorite of mine is the Silk vanilla soy yogurt, which you can easily grab and go.
Also, know how to build your plate! An ideal meal is three-part: the majority being veggies and greens, then whole grains (brown rice, quinoa), and then protein.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Barone gives a lot of clean options in order to start it off right. I usually grab a bowl of oatmeal and a small side of fruit in the morning.
Oatmeal : A bowl of oatmeal can be a great breakfast choice because it acts a complex carbohydrate, burning slowly in the body-leaving you feeling fuller, for longer. You can eat this with fruit like I do, or top with cinnamon for some sweetness.
Fruit: Reach for antioxidant rich fruits like blueberries and blackberries, an apple which is high in fiber and packed with antioxidants, a banana for a great source of potassium, or a handful strawberries or an orange both will do the trick if you are looking for a vitamin C boost. Not to mention grapefruit, a great choice that is hailed for weight loss and high water, fiber, and vitamin C contents. Fruit just like many things is good in moderation because of its high sugar content, so make sure you pay attention to this!
Yogurt: The plain greek yogurt located at the yogurt bar is also a great option if you are not a fan of oatmeal, and can be sweetened as well by adding some fruit! Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, and also a pro-biotic. You could easily make your own parfait, just go a lil easy on the granola! For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, look to the Myzone station for the dairy free milk and yogurt options, and vegan cheeses and butter. The chia seeds and flax seeds in the fridge could also be thrown on top of yogurt or mixed into oatmeal!
Eggs: If you are more in the mood for something savory in the morning, and a little protein, great healthy option could be an omelet. There is always an omelet station in the morning, and this is a great way to work veggies and protein into your breakfast! A simple veggie egg white omelet is a great choice and could be loaded with peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, broccoli, etc. If you want a little spice besides salt and pepper, the stir-fry station has siracha, enough said. If you want to make your own omelet, there are eggs and egg whites along with tons of veggies at the stir fry station! If you just want the protein from the egg and no hassle, grab a hard boiled egg or two.
Salad bar: The salad bar is your friend. It is your rock. This is the source of all of your fresh veggies and leafy greens!!! Wahoo!!! No but seriously, the salad bar is great because the veggies are always fresh, and there are tons of options allowing you to get creative. Some say that they get bored of making a salad every day- but you can switch things up and still enjoy your meal!
Build the salad:
Greens: Start with the darker greens, and make this the base of your plate, choose the kale, spinach,arugula more often than romaine lettuce. The darker the greens the more vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables: Color your plate with those crunchy, cruciferous, and juicy vegetables for a variety of flavors and textures. This is an area to bulk up, these veggies help increase fiber, keeping us satiated for longer.
Protein: Whether you are bulking up for pre and post workout or simply getting in your protein for the day; take advantage of the variety at the salad bar with the vast vegetarian/vegan protein sources: tofu, eggs, beans, lentils, and quinoa. My favorite is tofu and quinoa! Quinoa is a great way to get my whole grains in for the day. For those who are not vegetarian/ vegan, a great way to add protein to your salad is by grabbing a piece of grilled chicken!
Salad Blends: These are the prepared blends of things like beets, corn, chickpeas, or things like pasta and fruit salad. These are a nice way to add a different flavor to your salad, but just be careful of your portion sizes because these are already dressed/seasoned and more calorie laden than your other raw salad parts.
Cheese: Dairy is great source of protein, but again just be careful of your portion sizes! One ounce of cheese about the size of your thumb is 100kcal.
Toppings: The toppings at the end of the salad bar are a great way to add flavor, nutrients, fiber, and protein to your salad. Especially sunflower seeds! Fruit and dried cranberries are a great way to add sweet flavor your salad and mix it up.
Dressings: The dressing of the salad can make or break it. Choose oil based dressings such as oil and vinegar, or balsamic vinaigrette. I usually go with balsamic because you don’t need too much to get a lot of flavor!
Soup: I always go for the mindful option mentioned above when I get soup, because it is usually a simpler recipe with more veggies. They have this everyday! Soup is a great way to warm up and eat something filling. Check the labels by the soups to find the mindful option. The labels also tell you kcal per ladle and all of the ingredients. My favorite mindful soups are the broccoli and veggie!!
Bread: Choose any of the whole wheat options; or a whole wheat wrap. Be aware of your bread choices- each slice has 100-160 calories per slice and each wrap has around 200-400 calories.
Base: Make the base of your sandwich vegetables, this is a great way to bulk up your meal, and add additional fiber to make you feel more satisfied. choose a variety of lettuce, peppers, onions, or cucumbers.
Protein: Make the most of your protein by having turkey, chicken salad, or tuna salad. You can also bring tofu, beans, or hummus to the deli station to make a protein and fiber packed sandwich!!
Cheese: Cheese is a nice way to add some additional flavor. Pepper jack adds a little kick to any sandwich!!
Spreads: Choose healthier spreads such as mustard, hummus, oil and vinegar, or balsamic instead of creamy Caesar, ranch, or mayo. Spread the word!!!
Drinks: I usually stick to the lemon/lime water, because it’s refreshing and simple. This and the other fruit infused waters are a great choice. Other healthy drink options are tea, seltzer, varying milks (cow’s milk, soy & non dairy milks), and coffee.
If you follow these hacks, tricks, and facts, and build a proper plate, every meal at Barone can be healthy and good! The options are more than one might think, and will only expand next year when ‘The Tully’ is finished! Happy eating:) #fuelthebod