I’m A Freshman

January 30, 2008

And eat in dining halls!! It was so fun. I think of dining halls as just a huge buffet of vegetables – a salad bar of variety, soups, and cooked ones that I can round out with some grains and dairy (and dessert if need be!). The meats, pasta dishes, and “grill” items (burgers, etc.) are never appealing to me. But it is always fun if there’s a “main dish” that I like, such as salmon.

For lunch today I had vegetable soup with a spoonful of the “lentil and rice pilaf” on top. I love putting more things into my soups to make them heartier. The rice was actually really good – it had hints of cinnamon and you all know how much I love cinnamon!


I also had a salad with spinach, mushrooms, ~1/4 cup pineapple, carrots, green pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, jalapeños, about 2 tbsp cottage cheese, and red wine vinegar for dressing.

On the side I had a toasted piece of rye bread from the “sandwich area.”


My estimate was about 450 kcal –


Chem Lab

Lab absolutely SUCKED!! Uggg. It took us 3 hours to measure water. So tedious and annoying. And everyone was so confused on this Excel graph we had to do and my lab instructor (an older man) kept talking to me about where I grew up and stuff and I just wanted to finish so I could be done! When I went to turn in my “lab report” (basically just our data and calculations) he told me it had to be done in INK (I used pencil) so I had to re-write the whole thing in pen!!! I just need to remember the long term goal of all this chemistry….


Finally got out of lab at 4:30. Lunch actually held me over really well! I decided on a LaraBar, but on the way home I remembered the sourdough bread and the leftover plantain we have in the fridge and decided to have that instead! Here’s the LaraBar that I did NOT end up eating – just for kicks because the photo uploaded :)


And here’s what I DID have: ~ 1 oz of toasted bread, plantain chips (cut ripe plantains into slices, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with spicy spices – whatever you like – and bake at 400* until crisp) and a small apple with hot tea. About 230 kcal –


Off to study and then make dinner a little late tonight because the husband has a meeting.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katherine January 30, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Kath, I do not need to lose weight. Would weight lifting 3-4 days a week be sufficient? Do I need to do cardio, if so, why?


2 Loren January 30, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I would love to learn to make soups-but find them intimidating. How did you learn which spices go together, when to use diced or crushed tomatoes versus broth, versus stock etc? I would really appreciate a mini primer!


3 Cara January 30, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Oh how I miss the salad bar when I was in college. Can I go back to college too? haha


4 BethT January 30, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Hey Loren – soup is one of the EASIEST things to make. The key is using a high quality broth – if you’re a beginner, look for Kitchen Basics which is a brand most markets carry nowadays.

Beyond that, the possibilities are endless! If you are unsure of what to put in your soups, think about going to recipe sites like foodnetwork.com and just enter “soup” as a search term. That way you’ll get ideas as well as quantities for spices and veggies. Experimentation is the way to go!


5 alex January 30, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Does anyone know what happened to the foodie 911 blog?


6 Christin January 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Ok, I have a confession, and I need help! I try to eat healthy foods, but I don’t have time to cook, and am never home, so my shopping trips are just frustrating! I always end up with healthy items, because I know what to look for on an individual ingredient level, but I end up with things like organic light whipped cream cheese and whole grain crackers, a bag of oranges, and pre-cooked chicken, and other sandwhich or snacking items…do you all make grocery lists based on recipes you find? I want to try to make dinners when i am home, but the grocery store just intimidates me when it comes to putting together whole meals…I just end up with various peices of meals. Any suggestions to assist me in my plight, Kath??


7 kathleen January 30, 2008 at 6:28 pm

This question is directed at everyone not just Kath…all those questions and a full course load I am so impressed that you can accomplish all of it and get to bed at a decent hour. Sleep is where my question originates from I am a college student who works about three nights at a bar, which means I don’t get out of work until 4am and have to be up for class by 7:30, so how do I calculate my daily caloric need if my days are insanely long? I know I should be getting more sleep, but right now I just can’t seem to squeeze it in. Any insight regarding calculation of calories on longer work days/school days would be great. Thanks!


8 Ana January 30, 2008 at 6:36 pm

i know most people try to throw together healthy meals from scratch, but i have a rushed schedule too, and have found frozen and canned foods to be my staples. frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh, and can last a lot longer. i usually buy frozen sides (i especially love Green Giants vegetable sides-really delicious, healthy, and FAST!), pre-cut steaks, fish fillets, and veggie burgers (morningstar is a favorite). pre-packaged frozen meals are also good here. they are an excellent way to get many food groups, watch calories, and enjoy a great meal at the same time! i usually buy ones that i could never make myself (asian food, mexican cuisine, special dishes, etc) you can find really healthy ones in the organic section (i know kashi makes some and i love anything by Amy’s. my store also has this far east brand that has delicious indian cuisine). the way i shop is i buy a couple of meat choices (these will form the basis of my dishes), grab some yummy looking sides, hit up the protein bars, fruit from produce, any good veggies that i can use fast (potatoes and squashes as well as salad mixings), throw some hearty soups in, grab some canned beans and tuna, and hit the dairy section. this system has worked really well for me and i always have meal items available. when it comes time, i sit down and throw things together! i’ve actually come up w/some great tasting dishes!


9 Christin January 30, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Kathleen, I am gonna take a stab at it, and say that based on my findings at mypyramid.gov, which calculates your caloric intake based on weight, height, age, and activity level, I think that your level of activity may be more, (depending on how much you exercise)…I would use that to guide your calculations, and then spread your calories out throughout your awake time.


10 Christin January 30, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Thanks Ana!! :)


11 Mary January 30, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Do you all like omelets/frittatas? I feel like I am the only one in the world who does not. I use egg beaters-could that be it?


12 Annie January 30, 2008 at 7:22 pm

I am so jealous of your plaintain! I had it a couple months ago in St. Thomas, but can never find any up here (I live just north of Boston).


13 Sarah January 30, 2008 at 7:39 pm

alex—This is foodie911, and in another attempt to change the blog title/address, the entire site was somehow taken over by what looks like an advertising site or something…I have no idea how that happened so quickly, or even why they would pick that address. :-/

Sorry about that! I may still open up a new blog, but haven’t decided yet, since it would mean having to change the address and starting afresh with a new title/name and everything. If I do, I’ll definately let you know!! :)

Kath—goodness, I wish my old cafetaria had food like that! :) Looks pretty yummy…I never think to bulk up soups with rice…GREAT idea! :)


14 DL January 30, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I was wondering what everyone thinks of Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars? I eat them a couple times per week for a snack, but have noticed that I never see them on a food blog…got me to thinking there may be a reason they are not eaten by healthy eaters! Just for some nutrition info, if that will help responses:
1 pkg = 2 bars = 42g
180 kcal
6g fat (0.5 saturated, 0 trans)
160 mg sodium
29 carbs (2 g fiber, 11 g sugar)
4 g protein
ingredients: whole grain rolled oats, sugar, canola oil, crisp rice with soy protein (rice flour, soy protein concentrate, sugar, malt, salt) honey, brown sugar syrup, salt, soy lecithin, baking soda, natural flavor, peanut flour, almond flour pecan flour
Is it the sugar that makes it a “don’t”? Just curious for your input. Thanks!


15 alex January 30, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Sarah (foodie 911) I think you should start up a new one! I loved your blog!


16 goalie30 January 30, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Weight lifting is a great activity and performing this 3-4 times a week will help you build lean muscle which 1 pound of lean muscle burns about 50 calories a day and 1 pound of fat only burns about 3 calories a day! So weight lifting is fine, but it really is a good idea to round out your workout routine with some cardio. I usually recommend a minimum of 30 minutes 3 days a week to my patients (most of them are elderly, so usually they are walking or riding a bike slowly), because cardio increases heartrate (where lifting usually does not unless you’re performing a circuit), and increasing the heartrate helps to put some strain on the heart and lungs which helps to strengthen then, burns calories/fat to help with weight loss and weight maintenance, and in the long run helps to prevent elevated cholesterol levels, heart attacks, and strokes.
So to answer your question, no there is nothing wrong with making weight lifting your focus for your workouts, but try to add 20 minutes of cardio in with it (such as warming up 10 minutes and cooling down 10 minutes before and after weight lifting on the elliptical/bike/or treadmill; or form a “circuit” with your weight lifting routine by alternating a weight lifting move with a cardio move i.e. bench press then jump rope for 1-2 minutes for 2-3 sets)….

I used to work days/nights/weekends/and everything in between in a hospital ER…you definitely burn more calories when you are awake and active at a job/school/workouts for longer hours at a time. The days when I was up at 8am and worked out and then worked 7pm-3am, I often ate dinner before work and then still brought about 2 snacks with me to work to help me stay energized before coming home at 4 or 5am and falling into bed. If you can’t get enough sleep, at least fuel your long hours with small frequent meals and snacks every 3-4 hours to help keep your blood sugar levels stable and to help keep fuel going to your brain so you can stay sharp. Hopefully you can catch up on the sleep during the weekends or your days off 😉

For people on the go:
I am also on the go and work 9 hours a day and workout an hour a day, so I don’t like spending long hours in the kitchen. I make a lot of stir fry dishes with noodles or rice on the side and lots of different veggies mixed with either pork tenderloin, shrimp, or chicken. You can add peanut sauce, teriyaki, or spicy sauces to make it different each time. I often cut up fruit on the side. Other easy things are crockpots! I often put potatoes/ sweet potatoes/ baby carrots in the bottom with a lean pork loin or lean piece of beef or chicken breasts and you can do light italian or catalina dressings or low fat/ low sodium cream of mushroom soups; start it in the morning and when you come home the food is ready! I also like homemade taco salad: cook up some lean ground beef or chicken, add a packet of taco seasoning, and just fill a bowl with lettuce/ tomatoes diced/ green peppers diced/ salsa/ some refried beans/ and some crushed up baked doritos, top with some of the meat and a little 2% cheddar and you’ll have dinner in 1/2 hour or less! You can mix up the taco salad, I also like avocado and diced black olives sometimes, too!

I like the nature valley bars, but the third and fifth, and 6th ingredients are sugar. I have tried to find some healthier bars than these that still taste good….I tend to eat either the Kashi cranberry/chocolate chip bars, south beach diet cereal/protein bars (about 140 calories and at least 10 grams of protein, keeps me fuller longer thanks to the extra protein), and before my A.M. workouts I use the pria 110 calorie bars or Luna Teacakes which are pretty good. Most of the granola bars out there have a good amount of sugar, so I just try to be mindful of this and keep sugar lower at other meals. They are still good for a snack becuase they have whole grain oats which counts as a serving of bread/grain group.

hope this helps!


17 Katherine January 30, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Thanks so much goalie. That was so nice of you! How did you learn so much-honestly, I find exercising overwhelming b/w the theories of what to eat before and after, injury prevention etc.


18 cb January 30, 2008 at 8:35 pm

sarah (foodie911) – i really miss your blog as well!! you should def start one up again!


19 goalie30 January 30, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I’ve picked up a lot on nutrition/exercise/fitness over the years, partly because of being a top level highschool and college athlete, and also because of my current profession in the medical field. I had the opportunity to attend sports camps and even special lectures where some of the nations finest dieticians spoke at. My master’s program as required me to learn a lot about the basics of diet/exercise, since I have to counsel patients on a daily basis about these things. I read a lot too; since I started playing sports, I’ve been a student in a sense that I’ve read a lot of books not only about the conditioning for my particular sports but also how to fuel my workouts appropriately. I enjoy looking at some of the blogs mainly for some ideas for some of the new snacks out there (i’ve really gotten into the kashi crackers and bars!) and also for some meal ideas mainly. The other blogs I’ve visited I haven’t commented too much, but I really like this blog and its viewers so I’ve found myself reading the posts almost daily, and I like to chime in when I feel I can help someone out… :)


20 sirenjess January 30, 2008 at 8:43 pm

If you don’t mind me asking goalie30 what do yo do for a living?


21 goalie30 January 30, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I’m a physician assistant.


22 VeggieGirl January 30, 2008 at 8:50 pm

I’ve actually never had plantains before (shocking, since I’ve literally tried EVERY vegetable and fruit out there, haha) – how does their taste/texture compare to that of bananas?


23 Kath January 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Goalie gave excellent advice!! My 2 cents would be to do at least some cardio throughout the week. It’s good for the heart and soul! But I don’t think you have to do lots of it to maintain good health.

I do make a meal plan and a grocery list for the week. Why don’t you try starting with 1 or 2 planned meals and buy the ingredients for them. Choose something simple too so you don’t have to search for strange things. If you can mange planning ahead for 1-2 you can add more when you get better at planning. We sometimes just leave a day blank and see what we can pull out of the pantry and freezer – tuna, diced tomatoes, soups, frozen meats, frozen shrimp, veggies, breakfast for dinner night, etc. I always also try to have carrots, celery, a bell pepper and a bag of greens/spinach on hand for quick salads and base ingredients for recipes. Happy cooking!

I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer this – I’m honestly not sure how the body’s metabolism and caloric needs changes when you’re low on sleep and on your feet. That would be a good question for a trained R.D.!!

I miss your blog too :(

I don’t eat Nature Valley bars mostly because I think there are better choices out there that are more filling and taste better, but there’s nothing about the ingredients that raise red flags for me. I can say that it wouldn’t fill me up very much. If you really like them and they work to tide your hunger, sounds fine, but you could also try some of the other bars and see how you feel etc. with a different mix of nutrients.

Thanks for your expertise!!

Plantains are more like potatoes to me than bananas. They’re much starchier and not as sweet. And kind of chewy when cooked. Think a cross between a potato and a underripe banana. Sounds kind of gross actually, but I thik they’re good!



24 Meg January 30, 2008 at 10:07 pm

hey kath,
just curious… i know how much you loathe onions, but arent they going to show up in practically any kinda of soup you get from your cafeteria?! like the vegetable soup you got today? and if they arent in whole pieces you can make a good bet that they have onion powder. does this not bother you?


25 Kath January 31, 2008 at 7:28 am

Just about the ONLY thing I will eat onions in is soup – because usually they have been simmered for so long that they have no flavor. I picked out a lot of the big chunks in my soup today, but I did eat some of them. It just depends, but usually soups are “safe” (unless it’s a fresh one and there are lots of them, or French onion, of course!)



26 Becky A. January 31, 2008 at 8:19 am

Mmmmmmmm French onion soup!


27 Mariposa January 31, 2008 at 9:38 am

Annie- the question about the plantains..

Spanish food stores have plantains! also sometimes the grocery stores carry them right next to the bananas, if you blink you might miss them though. I love plantains… platinos maduros (i think thats spelled wrong..LOL) sweet plantains are the best!

also worth a shot is yucca.. kind of like potato as well, but meatier..


28 Christin January 31, 2008 at 10:18 am

thanks for the great ideas, Kath! :)


29 rachel January 31, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Has anyone tried “NO PUDGE FUDGE BROWNIES”. My husband LOVES brownies (more than any human should…) He’s not chubby by any means (yet!), but he eats brownies often (like 2 boxes a week and 4 during exam periods. he’s a medical student and substitutes caffiene for brownies……). Anyway, this brand seems like a good alternative and he is open to change. I just want to know how they taste. Thanks


30 Justy2003 January 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm

I’ve had the No Pudge Brownies and love them! :) I haven’t had any in a while, so maybe I’ll hafta pick some more up soon!
I’ve never made the entire thing at once (like normal brownies). I always just do the single-serving thing…and plop a little frozen yogurt on it…yum!


31 Gilly January 31, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I always make them for my husband with a scoop of vanilla yogurt. I put them in heartshaped cupcake molds just to be cute. I might do them in a football shape for the superbowl. Go PATS! They are high in sugar though so I wouldn’t do it too often.


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