The New Best Diet 

Chocolate = bad  
Salad = good 
Pizza = bad 
Vegetables = good 

Isn’t it tiring having all of these “good” and “bad” labels racing through your head, controlling your thoughts, as you decide on what to eat? Now, imagine if you stopped categorizing food as “good” and “bad” and listened to what your body craved instead. 

The new best diet is having no diet: it is listening to your body and eating intuitively. Intuitive eating is the concept of listening to your hunger cues and what your body is craving and allowing yourself to have it, no matter what it may be.  

This concept may be hard to digest at first. When I first came across the idea of intuitive eating, I did not believe in it at all. In fact, I thought it was ridiculous. I didn’t understand how eating whatever I wanted could do any good for my physical health, mental health, or my appearance. I thought that if I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, I would never stop binging and eating the foods that I thought were “bad” for me.  

When you restrict your body of what it needs, it can lead to extreme hunger and uncontrollable cravings. This can then trigger your body to go into binge mode, where you feel out of control with your eating. After binge eating however, you feel guilty, so you start to restrict again. Only, restriction doesn’t work for long, because you eventually end up going through the cycle again. This is known as the binge-restrict cycle, and it can have negative physical and emotional effects on you. 

After focusing on intuitively eating for over a year now, I can say that it has tremendously helped to heal my relationship with food by eliminating the binge-restrict cycle from my life. Some days I want a burger with fries, so I will eat a burger with fries. Other days, I want a salad, so I will eat a salad. Allowing my body to listen to its cravings has tremendously helped me with overcoming binge eating. Not only is intuitive eating something that has worked for me personally, but many studies about intuitive eating have been conducted, and they all show very positive results.  

Starting to focus on intuitive eating can seem very daunting at first, and it is totally okay if it does not initially come naturally. It is so hard to break the repetitive patterns of dieting that society has ingrained into our heads. Even as someone who whole-heartedly advocates for intuitive eating, I still struggle every once in a while to do it myself. 

You can start practicing intuitive eating by asking yourself, “Am I hungry right now?” If you answer yes to that question, you can then ask, “What am I craving?” After choosing what you would like to eat and allowing yourself to have it, be in tune with how your stomach and body is feeling. If you are full before finishing all of your food, there is no pressure to force yourself to finish it. If you finish your food and still feel hungry, go for some more! There are no strict rules with intuitive eating: just principles to help guide you and your body to a healthier relationship with food. 

Overall, intuitive eating has allowed me to have the best relationship with food that I have had in many years. Allowing your body to have freedom with food frees up so much of your time and energy. Instead of spending unnecessary time thinking about what foods you can and cannot have, you can spend time doing activities that will enhance and fulfill your life instead. I highly encourage you to give intuitive eating a try and start to better your relationship with food. Intuitive eating has changed my relationship with food for the better, and I hope it will have a positive impact on yours as well.  

-Kelly Lin, Body Project Student Assistant

Basic Needs Insecurity

Get the facts on basic needs insecurity: Answering 3 key questions about basic needs insecurity on college campuses (content warning

What is basic needs insecurity? 

Basic needs refer to the everyday things that people need to survive and lead healthy, fulfilled lives. These necessities include nutritious food, safe and secure shelter, water, and personal care items. Other examples of basic needs can include access to technology, transportation, healthcare, childcare, and more. 

Barriers to accessing basic needs security are rooted in oppression and discrimination, not individual behaviors or factors. As a result, underserved and under-resourced communities are more likely to experience basic needs insecurity. 

Why is it important to talk about basic needs insecurity on college campuses? 

Meeting basic needs is foundational for health and wellbeing. For example, if a student hasn’t eaten, doesn’t know where their next meal will come from, or doesn’t have a safe place to return home to, it can understandably be extremely hard to focus on coursework, extracurriculars, and other college experiences.  

Students should be able to thrive and focus on their education, wellness, and personal development while in school. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that many students struggle with basic needs insecurity on a regular basis. 

Many students experiencing general basic needs insecurity struggle with food insecurity, housing insecurity, and even homelessness, all while trying to juggle classes, jobs, and other responsibilities. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 58% of students reported experiencing basic needs insecurity. 14% of students reported experiencing homelessness. 

Most students experiencing basic needs insecurity are employed, typically in low-wage positions. Students experiencing basic needs insecurity also tend to work more hours per week. 

Students of color, students with children, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation students all experience disproportionate rates of basic needs insecurity.  

What is the impact of experiencing basic needs insecurity? 

Students experiencing basic needs insecurity are more likely to struggle with academic performance. They are also more likely to experience negative mental and physical health outcomes. Specifically, students experiencing basic needs insecurity may experience higher levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. Overall, there are a variety of implications for students’ health and wellbeing. 

To summarize… 
  • Basic needs insecurity is widespread on college campuses 
  • Basic needs insecurity disproportionately affects students from under-resourced communities 
  • Basic needs insecurity has a major impact on student health and wellbeing 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food and/or basic need insecurity, Buckeye Food Alliance (BFA), the on-campus food pantry, is available to all students. BFA does not require proof of need and does not collect any financial information. Students only need a valid BuckID to access the pantry. BFA is located in Lincoln Tower, Suite 150. BFA is currently offering online ordering and can be reached at 614-688-2508. The Student Advocacy Center also offers financial assistance, including the Student Emergency Fund. 


-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant 

Establishing a Healthy Body Image and Relationship with Food in a Digital Era 

In an age where we are constantly connected and get almost all our information through our phone screens, the media we intake can be equally as important as the food we consume. The people and accounts we follow on social media can have a huge impact on our mental health and how we view our bodies. When conditions like orthorexia (an unhealthy obsession with being healthy) emerge, because of our time spent on social media, it is important to closely monitor the information we are absorbing (Amidor, 2018).  

When we are so influenced by what we see on the internet, it only makes sense to want to be influenced positively! Here are some ideas on how to strengthen body images and relationships with food by making some changes to our online actions: 

  1. When it comes to the people and accounts being followed, ask yourself “what kind of message the page is sending?” Is it promoting body positivity at all shapes and sizes or broadcasting one body size as best? Avoid following “thinspo” accounts or any page that gives a narrow scope of health and beauty. We are all meant to be happy at a genetically predisposed weight and we should follow accounts that promote and celebrate that idea. 
  2. Ask yourself what kind of language the accounts you follow and the people around you use when talking about food and fitness. Food should be thought of as fuel and never as a bad thing. It isn’t something that needs to be “worked off” with vigorous exercise. Food and exercise should be used as things that make us feel better! Follow pages that encourage intuitive eating (which includes being mindful and respectful of hunger cues) and eating all foods in moderation. It is also a good idea to think about adding healthy foods to your diet rather than subtracting anything. Totally limiting certain foods has been found to be less healthy (mentally and physically) than enjoying all foods in moderation (Bacon and Aphrmor, 2011). 
  3. Contribute positively on your own pages to add to the healthy conversation surrounding food and body image. When a friend posts a cute picture, leaving a comment that isn’t specifically about their body can help you and others (follow @VictoriaGarrick4)! “Looks like so much fun!” or “I love your outfit!” are some examples.  

Look after your own mental health by filtering what your news feeds are showing you. Strive for positivity surrounding all foods and bodies and add to the change in rhetoric by encouraging your friends and family to do the same! 

 P.S.- Here are some of my favorite body positivity/healthy relationship with food accounts: 

  • @dietitian.rachelgoodman on Instagram
  • @maryscupofteaa on Instagram 
  • @effyourbeautystandards                                                                         
  • @VictoriaGarrick4 on TikTok 


– Sarah Haskins, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 

Ways to Prep Your Food Pantry Items

While the world may feel a little less stable with COVID-19, Buckeye Food Alliance (BFA) continues to be a staple in offering students a selection of food and personal care items. Check out the following ideas of what you can do with a pre-made bag of grocery goodies from BFA!

Frozen blueberries can be mixed into smoothies, oatmeal, and pancake mix, or topped on cereal, pancakes or waffles. One of my fave smoothies is this Creamy Chocolate Blueberry Shake by Hummusapien, a former OSU student and Columbus-based food blogger and restaurateur. For this recipe, consider swapping the cocoa for a chocolate-flavored protein powder to add a boost of protein and satiety to this blend.

Plenty of canned peaches abound in BFA so for ways to enjoy this juicy fruit, consider adding it to smoothies, topping it on oatmeal or yogurt, or even making a breakfast crisp which you can swap out with other fruits like apples, pears and berries (recipe below).

Nuts and dried fruit can be added to meals like a salad or used to make a trail mix for a snack. Check out this trail mix handout with a variety of ways to spice up your mix!

Beans can be used in a variety of ways by adding them to meals like chili, tacos or salads. Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, can be roasted or made with hummus to have as part of a snack. Other savory recipes include this Chickpea Broccoli Buddha Bowl with Peanut Sauce, black bean hummus and salsa (recipes below).

Vegetables like zucchini can be spiralized to make “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) in lieu of or to have with pasta. Zucchini can even be used to make these Flourless Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies for a delectable treat. Stir-fry is another option for incorporating veggies such as broccoli, bell peppers, onions, and more! You can either use fresh or frozen, with most grocery stores having different blends of stir-fry veggies to choose from.

For meals with pasta, consider how you can include a mix of macronutrients to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients that will help to satisfy and sustain you. For instance, with spaghetti, add a protein source such as chicken, lean ground beef or turkey, or a meat alternative such as soy crumbles (textured vegetable protein). Add a sauce like marinara with cheese or nutritional yeast, pesto or alfredo for a little fat. Additionally, add a vegetable with your meal, such as having a side salad, mixing in broccoli or spinach (if it’s a dish with alfredo sauce), or having roasted veggies on the side like asparagus, broccoli, zucchini or squash.

Canned fish can be used in dishes like tuna noodle casserole, tuna salad, or salmon burgers. Canned chicken can be used to make chicken salad for a sandwich or served with whole wheat crackers, added to meals like tacos or quesadillas, or used in a buffalo chicken dip (recipe below).

Stay tuned for more ideas on how Buckeye Food Alliance can support you!


Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • 2-3 tablespoons Caribbean Jerk seasoning
  • 1 can (15 oz) canned peaches, in its own juice, drained
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed in colander
  • 1 cup corn, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 lemon, juice

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate in an airtight container. Serve with pita chips or whole wheat tortilla chips.


Black Bean Hummus

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil (depending on how soft you like your hummus, or you can add some juice from the can of garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Blend ingredients together using a food processor and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Eat with pita chips, pretzels, and vegetables (i.e. baby carrots, sliced bell peppers).


Buffalo Chicken and Cauliflower Dip

  • 3 cups frozen cauliflower florets, cooked according to package directions
  • 8 ounces canned chicken, drained
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, reduced fat
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, low-fat
  • ¼ cup hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cauliflower, chicken, 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce in a large mixing bowl. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and pour mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle top of casserole with remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes. Eat with whole wheat tortilla chips.


Fruit Crisp

  • 4-6 cups fruit (i.e. apples, blueberries, peaches, pears)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 dish with cooking spray or rub with margarine. Prep fruit by washing (if needed for produce like apples) and chopping into bite-size pieces. No need to peel fruit, such as apples, peaches or pears. Place in cooking dish. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, and oil until crumbly and sprinkle over fruit. Bake for 40 minutes, uncovered. Can enjoy having with vanilla yogurt or on its own.

Buckeye Food Alliance

To keep our community safe in response to COVID-19, Buckeye Food Alliance will operate out of Lincoln Tower Room 150. Upon arrival at the Lincoln Tower loading dock, call BFA and our staff member will be out to greet you. We are currently providing pre-made grocery bags (gluten free, vegetarian, or no dietary restriction options are available) as well as your choice of fresh produce, dairy, meat and personal care items.

Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Monday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    If these hours do not accommodate your schedule, please email 

Watch the video below to understand the location of BFA and hear from Nick on current operations.