Navigating Nutrition Labels

Do you ever go to the grocery store and get completely overwhelmed by the information on a nutrition label? How are you supposed to eat healthy if you don’t even know what you are looking at? Or you skip reading them altogether?

Not to fear, we have a quick guide below for navigating those nutrition labels, including what to look for and what to avoid.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you want to look at 4 main points: serving size, how many calories in one serving, % (percent) daily value, and the ingredients list.

Starting with the serving size. Products and food items that you may think are only one serving (like a ramen noodle packets, a bottle of juice, pints of ice cream, etc), may sneakily have more servings than you think. For example, one pint of Ben and Jerry’s has 3 servings. Check out the serving size at the top of the nutrition label to see how many are in food items and try to stick to one serving.

Now that you know how many servings is in the food item, you can check the total number of calories. The Mayo Clinic goes on to state that 40 calories is low, 100 calories is moderate, and 400 or more per serving size is high. Remember based on the serving amount, the total calories may need to be multiplied based on how much you consume.

Check with your doctor or a dietitian for more specific information on how many calories you should be consuming daily based on your age, sex, height, weight, overall health and physical activity level.

Next, look closely at the % (percent) daily value. This is the percentage of daily value each nutrient has in the serving of food. These are typically based off a 2,000 calorie per day diet. The % daily value shows how much that particular food and nutrient contributes to a total daily diet. And helps you to determine if a serving is high or low in a specific nutrient. General guidelines for % daily value if a nutrient has 5% or less per serving, this is considered low. If a nutrient has 20% or more per serving, this is considered high.

General rule, try to choose foods that are higher in % daily value of fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. And lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.

Lastly, review the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed by volume, meaning the higher up on the ingredients list the more of that item there is in your food. Try to avoid foods that have sugar listed as the first ingredient, this includes sugar going by other names such as high-fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, and more.

Bonus tips: watch out for ‘added sugars.’ The  ‘total sugars’ lists the total number of sugars in the food product, both naturally occurring and those added during processing. If you are watching your sugar intake, watch out for the added sugars we see in a lot of products. Check the allergens list. Under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, companies are required to list a ‘contains’ statement near the ingredients list and advisory statements for addressing potential cross-contamination associated with the 8 major food allergens – milk, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, eggs, and soybeans. If you are someone that struggles with food allergies, pay close attention to these statements.

For more support in your nutrition needs, check out some of the free and low cost support services on our campus, such as the Student Wellness Center’s Nutrition Coaching, Student Life Dining Service’s Nutrition and Wellness team and Wilce Student Health Center’s Nutrition Therapy services.

-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator


How To Read Nutrition Labels (

How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label | FDA

Understanding Food Labels | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

A New Take on the New Year

As the pressure builds to create new habits this time of year, it can be overwhelming to make goals that align with what you truly desire. Diet culture, social media, and even friends and family can push us in the direction of weight loss and dieting. This can encourage quick fixes and fad diets that – let’s be honest – don’t work. Making realistic goals using Intuitive Eating can help you form a healthy relationship with food, your mind, and your body.What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive Eating is an approach to health and eating that focuses on listening to your body’s needs and making choices to honor what it is telling you. It teaches you to understand physical cues like hunger and satisfaction and grants you freedom to let your body be your guide. The 10 principles of Intuitive Eating include:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  6. Feel Your Fullness
  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Movement – Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

5 Non-Diet New Year’s Resolutions Using Intuitive Eating

  1. Find Joyful Movement Instead of Strict Exercise – Focus less on the hours spent at the gym and experiment with movements that you feed good and enjoy doing. Try a yoga class or join a local kickball team with a friend.
  2. Clean Your Social Media Feed – Unfollow or mute accounts that trigger comparison feelings or make you feel bad about yourself. Follow people who empower and inspire you and encourage your same values.
  3. Buy Clothes That Fit – The thought of buying bigger clothes can be scary but wearing clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable can make body image worse. Donate clothes that don’t fit your here-and-now body and stop overanalyzing sizes. Remember, the clothes are supposed to fit you, not the other way around.
  4. Develop Other Coping Mechanisms – Emotions are normal and part of what makes us human. Food and exercise are common outlets people turn to cope with emotions, but they can be taken to extremes. Create a list of alternative activities you can do when you feel triggered by an emotion, like calling a friend, going for a walk, or painting.
  5. Shift the Language – Stop labeling food as ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Morality has no place in food, and this practice will just increase feelings of shame and guilt. The next time you notice yourself labeling food as ‘unhealthy’ or ‘guilt-free,’ try reframing your thoughts using neutral terms like colorful, satisfying, or fueling.

Adopting Intuitive Eating can give you a sense of peace and freedom. Food is meant to be eaten; our bodies are meant to be fueled. Reframing the way you approach your health and wellness goals can positively impact your likelihood of making long term changes.

To learn more about Intuitive Eating, schedule a free nutrition coaching appointment or participate in the Intuitive Eating Workshop Series.

-Janele Bayless, Wellness Coordinator


What Are the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating (And How They Can Help You)

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating


Eating Plant-Based in Columbus – 5 Vegan Restaurant Highlights 

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, Columbus has lots of options to meet your needs. This article will highlight a variety of vegan restaurants in the area that you can check out. 

5 Vegan Restaurant Highlights in Columbus 

Willowbeez SoulVeg | 59 Spruce Street (located in the North Market) 

  • Willowbeez SoulVeg is a family-owned vegan restaurant located in The North Market that specializes in vegan soul food. Willowbeez SoulVeg also offers catering services. Menu items include starters, entrees, soups, sides, and desserts. Willowbeez SoulVeg features a range of options including their Curry Bella, BBJerk Bella, No Fish Fry, So’Lasagna, Doc’s Cajun Pasta, Mac and Plz, Cornbread, and much more! Prices range from around $10-$14 for most entrees.  
  • Willowbeez SoulVeg’s location in the North Market is a quick car or bus ride from campus. You can take the COTA bus for free with your BuckID to reach the North Market in about 20 minutes. If you have a car, it’s only about a 10-minute drive.  
  • As students, you can purchase gift certificates to the North Market that are worth $20 for a discounted price of $10 through the D-Tix Program at the Ohio Union! 

Portia’s Café | 4428 Indianola Ave. 

  • Portia’s Café only serves food that is vegan, organic, local, gluten-free, and GMO-free. 
  • Portia’s Café offers a wide variety of menu items featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, dips, appetizers, soups, and salad, as well as desserts, coffee, and drinks.  
  • Portia’s Café is located in Clintonville. The restaurant is only a 10-15 minute drive from campus or about a 30-45 minute bus ride. 

Eden Burger | 1437 N. High Street 

  • Eden Burger is a local fast-casual 100% vegan restaurant. Menu items include vegan burgers and sandwiches that range in price from $8.00 to $13.00. For an additional cost, burgers and sandwiches can be made a double. Burgers are made with lentils, sunflower seeds, rice, mushrooms, gluten free oats, beets, liquid aminos, and spices. Eden Burger’s sandwiches also feature breaded tempeh, chick’n patties, and vegan bacon.  
  • Eden Burger’s sides and drinks feature loaded fries, onion rings, and vegan milkshakes. 
  • Eden Burger is conveniently located near campus. The restaurant is just about a 10-minute walk from the Ohio Union. You can also easily hop on the COTA Bus on either the 1 or 2 line on High Street to reach Eden Burger. The restaurant is located directly next to the Northside Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. 

Pattycake Bakery | 3870 N. High Street  

  • Pattycake Bakery is a Worker Owned Cooperative located in Clintonville that specializes in organic, vegan baked goods. Their menu features vegan cookies, muffins, cakes and cupcakes, as well as other treats like whoopie pies and a variety of gluten-free items. 
  • Located on North High Street in Clintonville, Pattycake Bakery is a 10-minute drive or 25-minute bus ride from campus! 

The Nile Vegan | 1479 Worthington Street (South Campus) and 1223 Goodale Boulevard, Grandview Heights 

  • The Nile Vegan is a vegan Ethiopian restaurant with a location right by South Campus on Worthington Street, as well as another in Grandview Heights. You can order appetizers, lunch and dinner specials, and combination platters at The Nile Vegan with dishes like lentils, curried vegetable medley, chickpea sauce combo, and more! Entrees and Combination platters range from around $7.99-$12.99. 

Looking for more options than these five quick highlights? Columbus has many different vegan restaurants with a variety of cuisines. Be sure to check out other spots such as Lifestyle Café, Seitan’s Realm, Vida’s Plant Based Butcher, Can’t Believe It’s Vegan, Roots Natural Kitchen, and 4th and State. For more recommendations, check out the following articles: 

Finally, if you want to learn more about plant-based diets or nutrition in general, you can schedule a free one-on-one nutrition coaching appointment through the Student Life Student Wellness Center for support and education.  

Eating Plant-Based on Campus 

Did you know that Student Life Dining Services has over 30 dining locations on the Columbus campus? These locations incorporate many different styles of dining and types of food. Even if you don’t have a meal plan, you can still eat at most of the locations on campus by paying with cash or card. 

Eating plant-based has become increasingly popular, and options are continuing to become more accessible. Although not everyone can become vegan or vegetarian – or even wants to – there are ways to incorporate different plant-based options into your diet while maintaining healthy, well-balanced meals. Plant-based meals also tend to be more sustainable, which can enhance and promote environmental wellness. Check out this list featuring several different plant-based options you can grab right here on campus! 

Plant-Based Meal Highlights on the Columbus Campus 

Woody’s Tavern | Located in the Ohio Union | 1759 North High Street 

  • Woody’s Tavern is a casual spot that’s great for gatherings. If you’re looking to hang out with friends, check out an OUAB Open Mic Night, or just stop by and grab a quick meal, you can order ½ pound of Vegetarian Wings for $5.00, or an entire pound for $8.00 at Woody’s Tavern.  

Union Market | Located in the Ohio Union | 1759 North High Street 

  • At the Fired Up! Grill station in the Union Market you can buy a Veggie Burger Box for $7.95. The Veggie Burger Box is served with french fries and your choice of toppings. 
  • For more plant-based options in Union Market, check out the Buckeye Passports Station. You can order a Vegetarian Rice Bowl with Ginger Rice, Shiitake Mushrooms, Pickled Daikon, Edamame & Teriyaki Sauce for $8.00, as well as a Vegetable Roll with cucumber, carrot, and avocado for $6.00. 

Mirror Lake Eatery | Located in Pomerene Hall | 1760 Neil Avenue 

  • The Mirror Lake Eatery specializes in chicken tenders and milkshakes, but they haven’t forgotten about plant-based eaters on campus. If you are vegan or vegetarian, there are options available for you! Check out their $8.00 Vegetarian Combo which includes 3 plant-based tenders, fries, an iced King’s Hawaiian roll, and a drink. For $4.00 more, you can purchase the Vegetarian Combo with a milkshake instead of a drink. For vegan students, Mirror Lake Eatery offers a Plant-Based Combo for $7.50 which comes with 3 plant-based tenders, fries, and a drink. 

Courtside Café | Located in the RPAC | 337 Annie and John Glenn Avenue  

  • Courtside Café in the RPAC features lots of plant-based items. If you are vegetarian, check out their Vegetable Lo Mein ($7.50), Vegetable Stir Fry ($7.00), Tofu Lo Mein ($7.50), and Pasta bowls. They even have specialty dishes such as Sauteed Garden Vegetables with asparagus, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and red onion with garlic, as well as Chia Pudding ($4.75) with coconut, pineapple, strawberries, almonds, and honey. Additionally, Courtside Café has vegan meals like their Tofu Stir Fry ($7.00) with seared tofu, mixed vegetables, jasmine rice, and stir fry sauce. Whether you’re taking a break between classes, squeezing in a quick workout, or just looking for a spot to grab dinner, Courtside Café has many options to meet your needs. 

12th Avenue Bread Co. | 251 W. 12th Avenue 

  • Located on South Campus, the 12th Avenue Bread Company has both vegan and vegetarian sandwich options. Their vegetarian Green Goddess Sandwich ($8.00) includes white cheddar, avocado, lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts, and house-made green goddess dressing on whole grain bread. For vegan eaters, check out the Ultimate Veggie Club ($7.00) with avocado, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, roasted peppers, spinach, pickled red onions, and red pepper hummus on multi-grain bread. 

Curl Market | 80 W. Woodruff Avenue 

  • Curl Market is another location that features quick, marketplace style dining with multiple stations. There are a lot of ways you can eat plant-based at Curl Market. For example, you can build your own burrito for $7.00 with veggies, plant-based chicken, or plant-based chorizo for protein. Curl Market’s pasta station also offers a build-your-own option with plant-based meatballs and plant-based cheese sauce on the menu. 
  • In addition to build-your-own options, you can grab a Plant-Based Meatball Sub Sandwich or a Veggie Sandwich for $6.50 each at the sandwich station in Curl Market. At the sushi station, plant-based options include a $6.00 Vegetable Spring Roll with Green Leaf Lettuce, Cucumber, Avocado, and Carrot rolled in Rice Paper. 

Marketplace on Neil | 1578 Neil Avenue 

  • Similar to Curl Market, Marketplace on Neil has many build-your-own meals that you can customize to be plant-based. For example, you can build your own pizza ($7.50) with plant-based sausage and vegan cheese or build your own deli sub ($6.95) with plant-based shredded chick’n and Daiya vegan cheese. Marketplace on Neil also offers a General Tso Bowl ($7.50) that you can customize to include plant-based chick’n nuggets or roasted tofu for your protein. You can also build your own pasta meal! 

Sloopy’s Diner | Located in the Ohio Union | 1759 North High Street 

  • Sloopy’s Diner is a unique feature on the Columbus campus as the only sit-down restaurant operated by Dining Services. Carry-out is also available at Sloopy’s Diner. In addition to its special atmosphere, Sloopy’s Diner offers unique dishes, including many plant-based meals.  
  • For breakfast, Sloopy’s Diner offers a vegan Plant-Based Breakfast Burrito ($7.95) which consists of a flour tortilla filled with scrambled tofu, mushrooms, spinach, grape tomatoes, onions and black bean salsa with vegan chorizo, vegan cheese, and guacamole. The Plant-Based Breakfast Burrito is served with hashbrowns on the side. Another plant-based breakfast option is Sloopy’s vegan Tofu Veggie Scrambler ($7.95), made up of scrambled tofu with mushroom, grape tomatoes, spinach and onions. Sloopy’s Diner also serves Vegan Pancakes ($2.75 for two, $3.75 for four, and $4.75 for six) and Overnight Oatmeal ($4.95) made with almond milk and coconut yogurt and served with chia seeds, as well as your choice of brown sugar or raisins.  
  • For lunch or dinner, try Sloopy’s Beyond Burger ($8.95). A variety of toppings can be added to your burger for an additional cost so you can customize your meal to your tastes. Sloopy’s menu also includes a vegan Pasta and Plant-Based Meatball Dinner ($10.00). This pasta dish includes 4 plant-based meatballs served with fettuccini pasta and marinara sauce topped with Daiya plant-based cheese. 

Thyme & Change Food Truck 1.0 | Located at 136 W. Woodruff Ave. 

  • Another unique and exciting feature of dining on Ohio State’s campus includes three Thyme & Change Food Trucks.  
  • On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you can purchase plant-based burgers at the Thyme & Change Food Truck 1.0. Options include the traditional Beyond Burger ($8.00) which is a plant-based cheddar burger on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Dijonnaise. For a different type of burger, check out the Mushroom & Mozzarella Beyond Burger ($8.00). This item is a plant-based mozzarella burger on a toasted brioche bun with griddled mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and onion. 
  • Korean BBQ is also available at the Food Truck on Wednesdays. Check out their vegetarian Spicy Tofu Tacos for $3.50 each. 
  • Finally, on Tuesdays and Thursdays the theme is Thyme in India. Depending on your preference, you can get either a vegan Basmati Rice Wrap or Basmati Rice Bowl for $8.00 from the food truck. Vegan Vegetable Tikkis, otherwise known as potato and vegetable croquettes served with cilantro or tomato chutney, are also available for $6.00. 

This list is just a starting point for all of the plant-based options available on campus! Many other locations have plant-based meals, and there are a variety of vegan or vegetarian sides, baked goods, build-your-own meals, and grab-and-go items available across campus. If you are interested in learning more about eating plant-based, schedule a free one-on-one nutrition coaching appointment through the Student Life Student Wellness Center. For more information about dining on campus, menu items, or nutritional facts, please visit the Student Life Dining Services website. 

-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant   

Disordered Eating, Perfectionism, and the Graduate Student 

4 Strategies for Addressing Disordered Eating in Grad School 

One of the known factors that may cause the emergence or exacerbation of eating disorders is stress. Stress is also a part of life that many graduate students share. It is not, then, completely unsurprising that there is a link between higher eating disorder occurrence/severity and graduate education. A study published in the Journal of American College Health found that, out of the 305 graduate students surveyed, 82% had some level of body image dissatisfaction (with 36% reporting moderate to severe dissatisfaction) and 45% exhibited moderate to severe food avoidance or dietary rules in their everyday eating patterns (Parker, Lyon, & Bonner, 2010).  

Graduate students are at high risk for experiencing overwhelming stress, perfectionism, and anxiety. All three of these have been shown to increase the risk for disordered eating. For some, disordered eating behaviors become a way to feel a false sense of “control” when life becomes overwhelming. For others, the perfectionist attitude that allows them to succeed in school spills into a desire to lose weight to conform to the “perfect” body ideal.  

Here are some important reminders for any graduate student who may be experiencing body dissatisfaction or disordered eating behaviors: 

  1. You can desire success without desiring perfection. In fact, perfection will always be out of reach. You do not need to be “perfect” or “exceptional” to have the success that you’re pursuing.  
  2. Your desire to change your body may be driven by a need to feel “in control” or fulfill a need to be “perfect.” Unpacking these feelings through counseling, coaching or treatment can help enormously with recovery. 
  3. You can pursue recovery and treatment while still in graduate school. A professional will be able to help you determine what intensity of treatment you need, but for some, treatment may be possible without taking time off school. In other words—do not put off treatment or recovery just because you can’t afford to take time off. Talk to a treatment provider about your needs and concerns before making any major decisions. 
  4. You have a right to privacy around your health, but supervisors or mentors in your academic life may be able to provide support if you feel comfortable communicating with them. Faculty and staff are here to support you in your academic journey, that includes your health and well-being. Opening up to a trusted mentor could provide the additional support and connection to resources you need to work towards recovery.   

Most importantly, treatment and recovery are possible and deserved. Take a few moments to reach out to a medical professional if you feel that your relationship with food and/or your body has gotten out of control.  

Additionally there are many free and low cost Body Image and Disordered Eating resources at Ohio State including: Nutrition CoachingCounseling and Consultation Services, and the Eating Concerns Consultation Team. 

-Graduate and Professional Student, Student Wellness Center

Recovery and Support: Eating Disorders and Substance Use Disorder 

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, nearly 50% of those struggling with eating disorders also struggle with substance abuse (5 times higher than the general population) and approximately 30-35% of those with substance misuse disorders also suffer from eating disorders (11 times higher than the general population). 

While the two diseases may seem entirely unrelated, both conditions are, at their core, coping mechanisms to escape pain, anxiety, or sadness. Both disorders provide temporary “escapes” from whatever may be plaguing the sufferer, but these behaviors ultimately become all-consuming, and compulsive. 

Similarly, eating disorders and substance misuse disorders share many of the same risk factors: brain chemistry, family history, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and social factors (National Eating Disorder Association).  

There are notable differences between eating disorders and substance misuse disorders, including the traditional treatment plans of both. For substance misuse disorders, abstinence from substances is considered the most effective plan of treatment. This is considered a “power over” approach to recovery. Additionally, many substance misuse recovery communities instruct the individual to claim the disease as an identity.  

On the other hand, eating disorder recovery focuses on moderating overcontrol and normalizing eating patterns (one cannot be “abstinent” from eating,) which is called a “power with” approach to recovery. Moreover, treatment almost always focuses on shifting the patient’s identity away from the disease.  

Furthermore, substance misuse disorders are characterized as chronic, non-curable medical illnesses, while eating disorders are conceptualized as curable psychiatric illnesses. 

Recovery from both eating disorders and substance misuse is possible, although patients who struggle with both may want to consider comprehensive, parallel treatment that recognizes the link between the two conditions and treats both together. Studies have shown better long-term recovery outcomes for patients who struggle with both ED and SUD when the two are treated together.  

However, these kinds of integrated treatment programs are rare (only 16% of the 351 publicly funded treatment programs for drug abuse also offer eating disorder treatment), and this disparity often leaves patients to seek treatment for the two conditions separately. Medical and psychiatric professionals are urging treatment centers to offer more comprehensive treatment options for the many people suffering from this comorbidity.  

For Ohio State students, there are many free and low cost Disordered Eating and Substance Misuse support resources at Ohio State including: Nutrition CoachingCounseling and Consultation Services, and the Eating Concerns Consultation Team as well as the Collegiate Recovery Community and the Wexner Medical Center Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Services. 

 -Graduate and Professional Student, Student Wellness Center

The COVID-19 Chef  

With months of quarantine and most things still online nowadays, you may have found yourself having some extra time on your hands that you’re not sure what to do with. If you haven’t already picked up a hobby during the pandemic, a great one to consider is cooking!

The pandemic has changed the lives and daily routines for many, but it could be for the best in some ways. If you used to be so busy that you found yourself grabbing takeout most nights, now may be the time to start trying to cook from home. If you are already pushing this idea away out of fear that you would be a horrible cook, this doesn’t have to be true!

In the times we live in today, with so many apps at the touch of our fingertips, there are many resources out there with step-by-step instructions on how to cook certain recipes. To name a few, Healthy RecipesAllRecipesSideChef and Kitchen Stories are great tools to help you in becoming a COVID-19 chef!

Aside from just being a hobby, cooking has also been shown to save money and boost mental health. Here is a list of some of the benefits:

  • Causes Feelings of Accomplishment– when you cook you are setting an achievable goal for yourself
  • Allows You to Exercise Your Creativity- cooking gives you the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen
  • Can Help to Improve Your Relationship with Food– teaching yourself how to cook can improve your confidence
  • Can Help You Be More Aware of the Nutritional Value of Foods– recipes often come with nutritional facts
  • Allows You to Practice Mindfulness- it can help you reconnect and focus on the physical world

Cooking can seem intimidating at first, but you can just start out trying one recipe a week and adding on more as you go. With the holidays coming around, you can even start practicing a recipe to bring to an upcoming family event. Hopefully you found this helpful and as the chef from the movie, Ratatouille, once said “anyone can cook.”


 – Sierra Schwierking, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador

Cooking (and Saving Money) on a College Budget 

College can feel stressful and overwhelming at times which can make dining out or ordering food appealing and convenient; however, the cost can add up! Check out the cost of homecooked meals versus their counterparts at various restaurants for examples, along with tips and ideas for how to save money by making your own food.   

Pad Thai 

With chicken, rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, and peanut sauce  – Makes 4 servings 

  Tai’s Asian Bistro  Home 
Cost per Recipe  $10.95  $14.48 
Cost per Serving  $5.48  $3.62 

 Pasta Bowl 

With breaded chicken, marina sauce, chickpeas, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, tomato, and parmesan cheese  – Makes 5 servings 

  Piada  Home 
Cost per Recipe  $9  $14.13 
Cost per Serving  $4.50  $3.68 

Chipotle-Style Burrito Bowl  

Using frozen grilled chicken, canned black beans, mild salsa, cheese, fajita veggies, and guacamoleMakes 2 servings 

  Chipotle  Home 
Cost per Recipe  $9.60  $6.23 
Cost per Serving  $4.80  $3.11 

Cheese pizza 

Using a crust mix, stewed tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, and oreganoMakes 4 servings 

  Donatos  Home 
Cost per Recipe  $5.29  $2.93 
Cost per Serving  $5.29  $0.73 

Bibimbap-Inspired Bowl 

With white rice, soy-seasoned tofu, fried egg, kale, carrots, cucumber, green onions, chili garlic sauce, and kimchi  – Makes 2 servings 

  Bibibop  Home 
Cost per Recipe  $8.29  $4.12 
Cost per Serving  $4.15  $2.06 


With salmon, edamame, avocado, carrots, onion, cucumbers, black sesame seeds, and yum yum sauce  – Makes 4 servings 

  Fusian  Home 
Cost per Recipe  $9.00  $16.04 
Cost per Serving  $9.00  $4.01 

Tips for Cooking on a Budget

  • Join a grocery store rewards program. Membership is often free and requires only a phone number or email address to join. Depending on the store, coupons may be automatically applied to your total as you shop. 
  • Download a budgeting app. Tracking your spending on groceries and other items may be easier with an app like Mint, PocketGuard, or Goodbudget. 
  • Find and bookmark affordable recipes. Cooking healthy meals does not have to be costly. For budget-friendly recipes, try BudgetBytes$5 Dinnersand Frugal Nutrition. 
  • Depending on preference, try store brands instead of name brands. Many stores sell generic versions of foodstuffs which taste just as good. Saving a few cents here and there adds up and results in significant savings over time.  
  • Don’t fear the canned and frozen food aisles. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are nutritious options when shopping on a budget. If you’re concerned about sodium or added sugars in canned foods, you can rinse off fruits, beans, and vegetables.  
  • Stock your cabinets, fridge, and freezer with staple foodstuffs which you plan to use often. Examples of foods to have on hand include cooking oil, frozen or canned vegetables, grains such as pasta, rice, and quinoa, condiments and sauces such as soy or mustard, spices such as salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  

-Graduate Professional Student

Hydration Tips + Tricks 

How much water have you had to drink today?   

Something most people don’t do enough of is drink water, especially college students!   

The human body is made up of around 60% water, so its super important to make sure you stay hydrated in order for your body to carry out its normal functions. Your body needs water in order to regulate your body temperature, protect your joints, spinal cord, and tissues, and to rid your body of waste. While you can hydrate your body with the obvious help of drinking plenty of fluids, you can also hydrate your body by consuming foods with higher water content including most fruits and vegetables.  

Proper hydration is more than just “drinking more water.” A big part of hydration is also making sure you’re replenishing your electrolytes as well. Electrolytes are essential minerals that are necessary for many bodily processes to take place. They can help your body retain water, and also may help prevent muscle cramping. Some electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. You can naturally ingest electrolytes through your food choices, or you could choose to supplement them with your fluid intake. Here are the answers to some common questions on the topic of hydration: 

 How much water should I drink each day?  

  • The average person should aim to drink at least half of their body weight in fluid ounces. To calculate this, take your body weight (in pounds) / 2 = # (fluid ounces) that are needed daily.  
  • If you are physically active, then you should aim to drink more than this because your body needs more water to make up for sweating.  

What foods can I get electrolytes from naturally? 

  • Fruits: avocados, strawberries, watermelon, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, olives 
  • Vegetables: potatoes, broccoli, beans 
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale 

 What electrolyte supplement options are there? 

  • As a runner, I’ve tried many different electrolyte supplementation options. One of my personal favorites is the Ultima Replenisher electrolytes. Their electrolytes are gluten-free, plant-based, keto and paleo and they contain all six electrolytes.  
  • Another one of my go to electrolyte supplements is the Mio Sport Liquid Water Enhancers. They come in a variety of flavors and they are meant to enhance your water with electrolytes and B vitamins. This is also a great option for if you don’t like to just drink plain water because it adds some flavor to your water. 
  • Some other great options that I haven’t tried yet but are highly recommended are Nuun Hydration and Liquid IV. 
  • While it’s not necessary to supplement electrolytes every day, these are great to help with rehydration after prolonged exercise! 


– Taylor Dewey, Nutrition Wellness Ambassador 

A Beginner’s Guide to Plant-Based Meals 

Though meat can be consumed as part of a healthy diet, some may be interested in incorporating more plant proteins into their diet for personal, ethical, financial or health-related reasons. This might look like excluding meat altogether or choosing a few nights a week to eat vegetarian meals.  

This article can help if you are new to preparing plant-based meals. It can be intimidating cooking with new ingredients for the first time, however, trying new things can also be exciting. You could start by trying one of these plant-based staples: 


Protein: 5-9 grams per ½ cup 

Certain legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, peanuts, and soybeans, are commonly consumed as part of a plant-based diet. Often beans may be paired with rice to create what is known as a complete protein, or one which has all the necessary amino acids to make proteins for our bodies. You can try canned or cooked beans in a variety of dishes, including this spinach dal recipe or this veggie burger recipe.  


Protein: 8-12 grams per 3 ounces

Tofu is commonly eaten by vegetarians because of its versatility. Made from the curd of pressed soybeans, tofu can be purchased in a variety of forms and can be crumbled, sliced, or diced. Tofu takes on the flavor of the rest of the dish. This marinated oven-baked tofu recipe is a great place to start when exploring cooking with tofu. 


Protein: 16-19 grams per 3 ounces 

Like tofu, tempeh is also made from soybeans. Instead of a soft texture, the soybeans which make up tempeh have been fermented and pressed into a denser block. The flavor is stronger than that of tofu and may be described by some as nutty. Tempeh can be cut into strips and used in place of grilled chicken or pork, or in this tempeh stir fry inspired recipe.  

Pre-Made Options

Protein: 8-12 grams per ½ cup 

There are a variety of pre-made plant-based frozen or refrigerated options to choose from. Soy crumbles are easy to heat from the freezer and are great for use in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, tacos, curry, and stuffed peppers. Alternatively, these faux steak-style strips can be used in fajitas or rice-based bowl dishes, or plant-based sausages can be cooked on the grill.  

This article provided a brief overview of ways to add more plant-based options to your weekly meal rotation. Check out the Student Wellness Center’s nutrition resources page for handouts on vegetarianism and well-balanced vegetarian meals 

Janele Bayless, Wellness Coordinator, Nutrition Education

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