By Kelsey Meany
You’re in your triple block watching a video that you’re not sure is relevant, again. You’ve managed to write one thing in your notebook – the date – because you’ve been distracted by one beautiful, juicy, majestic thing: Chick-Fil-A.
You told yourself today was your Chick-Fil-A day, after that horrid class you had a date with some nugs and Chick-Fil-A Sauce and no one can stop you. But with a sandwich and fries you’re already up to an 800 calorie meal – add a milkshake and you’ll break 1,000 and then some. So what are some better options for the dining on campus that will keep some extra holiday cheer from hanging off your love handles this holiday season? Oh, let me count the ways.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
The bad part about Einstein’s is that most of the meals come with a bagel – which already puts you into carb-o-nation. For example, the pizza bagel and the bagel dog are both delicious, but not very nutritious. Your best bet here is to get a half deli sandwich with a cup of soup. Stay away from their mayo drenched potato salad and cold slaw sides, according to the “Eat This Not That” books.
Chick-Fil-A is surprisingly a pretty awesome choice because of their protein-loaded entrees, as long as you stay away from the milkshakes and fries. The chargrilled chicken salad only has 170 calories and has delicious chicken to get your protein fix. The chicken nuggets, an 8-count, has 28 grams of protein – way more than your average Zone bar. There’s lots of healthy options for sides, too, like the fruit cup or a side salad.
We’re just sticking to food here – but we all know the horrors of what a grande caramel whatever-cioato can do for your heart (like clog your arteries and kill you). Food wise, anything that stares at you in that case of pastries, do not let it suck you in. Pumpkin scones are delicious, but come on, how much pumpkin have you had this season already? The sandwiches available, even though they are small, provide a full helping of protein-packed egg and some form of meat. Try getting it without the cheese if you really want to go health cray-cray. The spinach, tomato, feta and egg wrap is one of the healthiest – and the “perfect oatmeal” is also a filling way to start your day that keeps you full past 11 a.m.
Anywhere that starts the dining experience with an option of carb A, carb B and carb C is really up to no good. Panda is cheap, and as college students there’s really nothing that can stop us from choosing that over more expensive options like Starbucks (a $6 plate of cheese and fruit? No thank you.) Just say no to the Chow Mein (490 calories) and fried rice (470 calories) from the beginning. Don’t even think about it and get the mixed vegetables (70 calories). Some of the entrees are better than others, meaning some are less drenched in some form of (gourmet?) Asian sauce. The broccoli beef is a great source of protein and you get your extra servings of veggies. Stick to their “wok smart” menu items and you’ll usually be pretty good – aside from the large dosage of sodium, but hey, we’re young right? Some of those menu items have more than 1,000 mg of sodium (black pepper chick has 1,050 mg), which would probably kill your grandfather or a small dog.
Whole wheat crust FTW! No really, they’re one of the only mainstream pizza companies to have a whole wheat crust, according to “Eat This Not That.” There are some pretty healthy toppings when it comes to all of the veggies they provide and ask for light cheese. Just please, for the love of all things good, do not get that side of garlic butter dipping sauce they provide. You would drop dead if you saw fat in that baby.
Hmm, well, Burger King has never really screamed health to me but if you REALLY want it there are some options but you’re better off hitting up any other place in the Reitz Union practically. According to Eat This Not That, the only things you should ever consider in terms of burgers are the regular hamburger or the Whopper Jr. and always ask for no mayo because Burger King’s version of mayo is like a mayo explosion everywhere.