Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy [Healthy] Holidays!

The holiday season often parallels with lots of family time, relaxing, and tons (and I mean tons) of food. You'll probably be faced with many not-so-healthy meal and snack options, but it doesn't mean you should let your health fall to the wayside. Here are some tips for how you can eat healthfully during the holiday season.
  • Don't Deprive Yourself. Deprivation only lasts for so long. In fact, avoiding your favorite Holiday foods may mean giving in and eating too much down the road. Allow yourself to have a small serving of your favorite dessert. (for me, it'll be apple pie... yumm!)
  • Don't Skip Meals. I know, I know. This one is even tempting for me, but remember- skipping meals often means consuming more later in the day. Instead, opt for healthy snacks throughout the day. Try snacks with fiber, protein and complex carbs as they are satisfying and will give you energy.
  • Drink in Moderation. Calories from alcohol adds up fast. Rule of thumb: 1 drink/day for women; 2 drinks/day for men.
  • Eat Slowly. Be mindful of what you're eating and enjoy your food. Eating slowly may mean consuming less overall.
  • Engage in Physical Activity. Even if it's a walk around the neighborhood, every little bit helps!
  • Plate Size Matters. Choose a smaller plate for tighter portion control.
  • Remember MyPlate. Yep, even though it's the Holidays you can still adhere to these guidelines: 1/2 your plate fruits and veggies, 1/4 your plate lean protein, and 1/4 your plate whole grains.
  • Wait for Seconds. Allowing some time to pass will help you decipher if you're still hungry vs. over-indulging.
And most of all... ENJOY the Holiday break! Health doesn't just mean eating nutritious food. We should all take care of ourselves mentally as well. Take time to relax, recoop, and re-energize for the Spring semester. Have a happy, healthy, holiday season!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Not-So-Traditional Turkey

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. You don't just have to have traditional turkey... get creative! I found this recipe using turkey bacon that I just had to share. Cupcakes for breakfast? Who would have thought!?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Kombucha. I'm seeing a product grow more-and-more in popularity. People ask my take on the health benefits of kombucha. Well here it is folks!
 Kombucha is a fermented drink that combines bacteria, tea, sugar, and often other ingredients. This beverage is definitely a hot trend right now! Many people have been moving towards pro and prebiotics for their ailments. Regular drinkers of this tonic claim beneficial effects of improved immunity, weight loss, prevention of cancer and chronic disease and improvement of liver function.

Kombucha can help grow good bacteria in your gut, AKA your “second immune system”. But here's the bottom line: If you choose to drink kombucha, choose a pasteurized brand. Unpasteurized kombucha can increase the growth of unhealthy bacteria which can lead to food borne illness. Despite the health claims by kombucha-enthusiasts, be warned that there is limited evidence of the actual benefits of kombucha. In my opinion, eating yogurt may be a healthier choice or alternative. Yogurt still has beneficial bacteria plus other great nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium and often vitamin D.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


That's right... it's NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY! We're in Texas so this is great, right? Avocados are huge right now and for good reason. Loaded with folate, potassium, vitamin B6 and monounsaturated fatty acids (AKA the "good" fat), avocados should be apart of your diet whether it's guac day or not!

Need creative ideas for incorporating avocados into your diet? Try these...
  • Salad. Add grapefruit slices, avocado chunks, and grilled shrimp onto a bed of mixed greens- yes, this is as delicious as it sounds ;-)
  • Chicken Salad. Skip the mayo, add avocado and blend 'til smooth.
  • ALT Sandwich. A vegetarian twist on your favorite sandwich using avocado, lettuce and tomato. Yum.
  • Creamy Salad Dressing. Combine lime juice, cilantro, non-fat plain yogurt, a pinch of salt and sugar + half of an avocado in your blender. This combo is refreshing and budget friendly (it's also a great substitute for Ranch)
  • [Healthy] Chocolate Shake. Yep. That's right. Add some avocado in your shake.Try it for yourself by clicking on this recipe by Eating Well.
Are you craving some delicious avocado now? Come by Cougar Woods today during lunch. We'll be serving Wholly Guacamole in honor of this great, healthy holiday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Processed Foods Can Be Healthy? WHAT!?

"To eat processed or not to eat processed foods?" That, my friends, is the question! Well, it may surprise you to learn that processed foods are more than frozen pizzas and a box of mac and cheese. Even cut up apple slices, whole wheat breads, and homemade soups are technically processed. Did I just confuse you? No worries... it'll make sense in a second!

Bagged spinach, cut veggies, canned nuts. What do they all have in common? Well, they are minimally processed foods.  Other healthy food staples that have been processed include canned tomatoes, beans, and frozen fruits and veggies. Fortified juices are also considered processed. But are these foods bad? NO! And the reason is this is simple--- these foods are simply prepared and packaged, usually at the peak of season with little additivies. Frozen produce, for example, has the same nutrient content as fresh. Even better? They're often cheaper and you can buy your favorite fruit that may not be in season otherwise. As a personal example, I love frozen mangos for these reasons:
  1. A fresh mango is costly and can be hard to find year round.
  2. I don't have to worry about it going bad. I can take out as much mango as I need then pop it back in the freezer. How easy is that?!
  3.  Frozen mangos are already cut up. If you're a fellow mango-enthusiast then you, too, must know how hard it is to cut up a mango. I'm always scared I'll chop of a finger!
Now, I'm not encouraging the consumption of all processed foods mind you! Eating processed foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation, but please be on the look-out for added fat, sodium and sugar. Try these tips for optimal health:
  • Limit frozen TV dinners and pre-prepared boxed meals--- these foods are the most processed! 
  • Avoid foods with trans fat; trans fat has absolutely no health benefits
  • Watch the sodium! Keep in mind that a serving of salt is 1 tsp/day, or 2,300 mg.
  • Rinse your canned veggies and beans
  • Look for added sugar in the least expected places. Even breads can have added sugar to aid in a brown hue. The first couple ingredients of your whole wheat bread should not include maltose, cane sugar, or honey.
  • Pick foods that are not packed in oil or syrups

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good 'Wich, Bad 'Wich

Sandwiches are a fairly regular meal for many college students. What's not to love? They're quick to make, great for a tight budget, and there are so many delicious variations. Many people associate sandwiches as a healthy, but beware... the calories and fat can add up fast!

Let's take a look at the making of a Good 'Wich vs. Bad 'Wich.

The Good 'Wich:                                          The Bad 'Wich:            _                     
Whole grain bread- has more fiber, protein                                     White bread- less fiber and protein
Lean protein (turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna)- less fat, calories       Fatty deli meats (bologna, salami...)- adds fat, calories
Veggies or even slices of apples- adds fiber, texture                       Lots of avocados or veggies packed in oil- adds fat
Low fat mayo and spreads- less calories, fat                                    Cheese and regular dressings/spreads- adds calories, fat

Luckily, dining locations around UH offer plenty of healthy alternatives to some of your favorites. Here are a few delicious sandwiches that don't pack on calories and fat.
  • Einstein Bagel Bros.: For 30% less fat, choose the Southwest Turkey Sausage Bagel Thin
    • (350 calories, 14 g fat, 23 g protein, 2 g fiber)
  • Chick-fil-A: for a lower fat sandwich, choose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich w/ lettuce and tomoato (hold the mayo and/or sauces)
    • 290 calories, 4 g fat, 28 g protein, 1 g saturated fat
  • Burger Studio: for 50% less fat and more fiber, choose the Turkey Burger w/ banana peppers, tomato, lettuce and mustard
    • 254 calories, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 3 g fiber
  • Subway: for a vitamin packed, low calorie meal choose the 6" Veggie Delight on Whole Wheat w/ lots of veggies and brown mustard
    • 290 calories, 3.5 g fat, 5 g fiber, 460 mg sodium
Want more info on making healthy sandwiches? Stop by UH Dinig's tabling event on November 4th (@ Cougar Woods) and 5th (@ Fresh Food Company) from 11:30 am- 1 pm. We'll have sandwich tips-and-tricks and free giveaways!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Non-Fat Diet Whoas

"Stop worrying so much about fat in your diet." See? Dietitian's aren't always the food police!  This article from the Chicago Tribune has some great points.

When we continuously patrol the fat we consume, we may miss out on the good fats that are essential to our health. Instead of thinking of dieting/eating in negative terms, let's focus on the positives--- look for healthy, nutrient dense foods when dining around campus. What are some "good fats", you ask? Incoporating foods like avocados, olive oil, fish, and nuts into your diet are all great ideas! And as always--- moderation is key.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Food Day 2013!

Thursday, October 24th is Food Day! Want to celebrate with UH Dining? Stop by the Bare Bowls food truck and get a free sample! All of their food is local and sustainable (not to mention delicious). We'll have information on their local farmers, a trivia wheel with prizes, and more!

In the meantime, check out these priorities for Food Day.

· Promote safer, healthier diets: Yet, every year we spend more than $150 billion on obesity-related health care costs, plus another $73 billion in reduced productivity.

· Support sustainable, organic farming: Currently, sustainable farms receive little to no federal support and often lack market access to keep them competitive. Meanwhile, the largest 10 percent of industrialized farms—which contribute to poor health and severe environmental degradation—receive 75 percent of all farm subsidies.

· Reduce hunger: Currently, around 50 million Americans are considered "food insecure", or near hunger, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) participation is at an all-time high. SNAP is vital to reducing hunger, but the program’s budget is under constant attack while federal measures to increase food access are minimal.

· Reform factory farms to protect the environment and farm animals: Today, most farm animals are confined in “factory farms”—sometimes containing as many as 50,000-100,000 cattle, hens, or pigs. These practices result in needless animal abuse and illness, environmental degradation, and harm the people who live in and around those facilities.

· Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers: 20 million workers throughout the U.S. food system harvest, process, ship, sell, cook, and serve the food we eat every day. And yet, many farmworkers earn well below poverty levels while the tipped minimum wage for restaurant servers has remained at $2.13 per hour for the last 21 years.

***For more information, visit: ***


Monday, October 14, 2013

Fad Diets--- do they really work?

It seems that there's always a new fad diet emerging. I've heard it all. But do they work? NO! Instead, we should be mindful of our hunger cues and deprive ourselves less. Now, doesn't that sound like a relief? It should. Fad diets are grueling!

Check out this video by LUNA. They've hit the "so no to fad diets" message right on the nose!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Eat Orange!

It’s October (finally!). I must admit that fall is my favorite season. With so many seasonal, delicious fruits and vegetables in the super market, it just feels easier to eat healthfully. It just so happens that many of my favorite veggies are the staple color of the fall season--- orange!. While the color palate is fitting for the season, the orange hues actually have health benefits.
Deep orange vegetables like squash, sweet potatoes and yams are packed with vitamins A and C. They’re also great sources of fiber. Vitamin A helps keep our eyes and skin healthy, vitamin C has antioxidant powers, and the fiber helps our bodies reduce our cholesterol levels while reducing risk of heart disease. Let’s take advantage of these orange veggies! Here are some cooking tips for the fall season.
-          Sweet Potato Salad- potato salad is always a staple in my house during football season. Jazz up the norm and use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.

-          Butternut Squash Pastas- butternut squash blends in perfectly in pasta dishes. Cube the squash and sauté in a little olive oil, or cook directly in a hot saucepan of tomato sauce.

-          Butternut Squash for Dessert- top with sliced granny smiths and a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar, then bake to sweet, delicious perfection.

-          Sweet Potato Mash- mash hot, cooked sweet potatoes in a tiny bit of orange juice and zest. This is a great twist on the traditional mashed potato side.

-          Sweet Potato Chips- ever tried microwave sweet potato chips? Well you should! They have less fat, are easy to make, and are yummy to boot! Don’t be afraid to vary your seasonings. I like rosemary and a touch of sea salt, but you can make it sweet with cinnamon, or spicy with chili powder. Here's my favorite microwaved potato chip recipe.
Want to try some sweet potato chips for yourself? Join UH Dining Services & Student Housing and Residence Life tonight at 7 pm in the Cougar Village I lobby. We'll be demo-ing and handing out free samples as part of our second episode for the "What's Cooking, Coogs" Cooking Tour!
Don’t forget to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily! Enjoy the fall season… Eat Orange!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wellness Walk- Updated

Are you a health conscious eater that's curious about your dining options on campus? Learn how you can eat healthfully on campus whether you're in the dining hall or in need of healthy fare to go by checking out our updated Wellness Walk!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Apples to Apples

Apples seem to be the quintessential Fall fruit. They're crisp, delicious, and come in an array of varieties and colors.

But remember--- not all forms of apples are equal. To ensure that you’re getting all the nutritional benefits from apples, be sure to eat the peel and pulp. A whole medium apple has 4.4 g of fiber; an apple without the skin has 2.1 g of fiber; applesauce has 2.7 g per one cup; apple juice has only 0.5 g fiber per one cup. In other words, eating the actual fruit is your rule-of-thumb for optimal nutrition!

Enjoy the Fall season to the fullest! Eat your apples!

Want to try some healthy apple desserts? Stop by the Fresh Food Company on Tuesday, October 8th. Our pastry chef Missy Campbell will be showcasing her culinary skills!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Becoming a Vegetarian: Does it help with weight loss or just weigh you down?

So you want to lose weight and think that you can do so by cutting back or completely eliminating meats. Although lean proteins derived from animals can be an important component for weight loss, some consumers tend to feel that they prefer to lose weight by adopting a vegetarian diet. A common mistake usually made here is when we decide to substitute a meatless item in place of meat assuming that meat is high in fat and cholesterol. But the meat isn't always the culprit...

So what do we do? We decide to order the baked potato with dressings and toppings instead of the steak, or add hash browns instead of bacon to breakfast, or order the refried beans instead of the shredded beef/chicken at our favorite Tex-Mex joint. In a sense, we are substituting carbohydrates and unhealthy fats instead of proteins, which can actually deter you from your weight loss goals.

So now I’ve brought up yet another nutrition myth--- carbs. Carbohydrates are essentially simple sugars which are absorbed quickly by the body so their stores are quickly depleted and hunger can be triggered quicker. If you are trying to lose weight, it is important to choose the right carbohydrates and to do so in moderation. Good sources of carbohydrates for vegetarians-and-meat-eaters-alike include beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and eating whole grain forms of carbohydrates rather than refined.

So all-in-all, if you want to go meatless go for it! Vegetarianism can most definitely be done in a healthy way. Just be sure to substitute healthy proteins such as beans and soy products while incorporating healthy carbs and fats. The important lesson is this: you don’t need to cut protein, fat, or carbs to lose weight. It’s about moderation across the board. My favorite motto remains as this: “Moderation is key… always!”

Any questions? Need help managing your weight? Want to know how to incorporate a vegetarian or vegan diet while eating on campus? Contact the Campus Dietitian, Sarah Feye, at 832-842-5996 or today to set-up a free nutrition consultation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Into the Grain of Things

Do you ever find yourself standing in the bread department staring at all the different grains of bread and find yourself asking, what is the difference between “whole wheat” and “whole grains”? Well you are amongst the many who also wonder that.

Whole grain is the whole kernel which includes the bran, endosperm, and germ; whereas whole wheat includes only the germ. Whole grain contains much more nutrients such as vitamins, calcium, iron, and fiber compared to whole wheat because it does not undergo a refining process. Whole grains are lower in fat, denser, and keeps you full longer, compared to whole wheat. Next time you are in the bread aisle just look for the first ingredient on the nutrition label, if it states “100% whole grain” you know what you are getting.

Want to sample some whole grains and know more about the wonderful power of whole grains? Stop by the Campus Dietitian’s tabling event on September 17th (@ Cougar Woods) and September 18th (@ Fresh Food Company) from 11:30 am- 1 pm to learn more. We'll be passing out samples of quinoa!

Check out this video showcasing quinoa!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Meatless Mondays!

Since it's Fruit & Vegetable Month I think it's only appropriate to talk about Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is EVERY Monday! Going meatless each Monday is easy! I know, I know... going meatless seems really difficult but trust me, it's super easy especially if you eat in our dining hall locations.

So why go meatless? Here are some health benefits: - limit your risk of cancer- studies have found that processed meats (ie: bacon, luncheon meats, etc.) may contribute to developing colon cancer.
- Reduce heart disease- lower your risk by replacing the saturated fat found in meat with healthier fat options such as vegetable oils,nuts and seeds.
- Fight-off the risk of diabetes- studies have found that high consumptions of red meat can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Live longer- as previously mentioned, high consumptions of red and processed meats increase your risk of chronic diseases.
- Improve your diet- let's face it--- fruits, veggies are great for your health!
Not convincing enough? Take a look at the enviornmental impacts of eating meatless ONE DAY each week:
- Reduce your carbon footprint- gas emission from the meat industry is far higher than their produce counterparts.
- Minimize water usage- the amount of water needed to feed our livestock is quite a lot; 1,800-2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef... yikes!
- Help reduce fossil fuel dependence- 40 calories of fossil fuel energy goes into every calorie to feed a lot of beef. Compare that to produce, which only requires 2.2 calories of fossil fuel.
Look for our meatless options in the dining hall each Monday! Going meatless is easy!
For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be There

What to learn more about nutritious eating and living healthfully? Go no further than these excellent campus events!

Events for September:
- 9/4 (Cougar Woods) & 9/6 (Fresh Food Company) 11:30- 1 pm---- Eat More Breakfast Want to learn more about what a healthy breakfast can do for you? Then this is your event. Afterall, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I'll be passing out yummy samples of granola, too!
- 9/9 (Fresh Food Company) 11:30- 1 pm---- Meatless Monday: Showcasing Fruits & Veggies It's easy to go meatless one day a week. Going meatless is budget-friendly and sustainable. For this event, the Campus Dietitian will be showcasing delicious ways to incoporate fresh fruits and veggies into your meals. Going meatless doesn't have to be boring to your taste buds!
- 9/17 (Cougar Woods) & 9/18 (Fresh Food Company) 11:30- 1 pm---- The Power of Whole Grains As you may have seen from recent blog posts, carbs ARE good for you! Learn more about how you can incorporate nutritiously packed carbohydrates into your meals. Have you ever tried quinoa? It's a power packed grain... and we'll have samples for you to taste!

You don't want to miss these oppurtunities to learn more about nutrition on campus! For questions and comments email the campus dietitian, Sarah Feye, at

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Healthy Breakfast is a Start to a Healthier Day

Students are constantly on the run, and who can blame them? I’m sure your day typically starts with jumping to your feet at the sound of that alarm, hopping into the shower, quickly getting dressed, then running out the door and straight into that packed lecture hall. College students are often so busy trying to get somewhere that it’s easy to forget to charge our bodies to meet the demands of the day.
It’s crucial to start our day right by first replenishing our energy. And how do we do that? Why with a good breakfast of course! The nutritional choices we make can greatly impact our energy levels and metabolism throughout the day. No matter how busy you may be, breakfast can easily be incorporated into our busy schedules with these tips.

- Grab a banana.
--- Helps sustain energy and blood sugar
--- Improves mood and aids in stress relief
--- Helps maintain strong bones and strengthens the nervous system
- Peel an orange the night before and place it in a Ziploc bag for the next day.
--- Packed with sources of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber
--- Aids in prevention of cancer and improves heart health
- Bag-up some berries.
--- Packed with antioxidants to help fight against free radicals
--- Good source of energy
- Take a Greek yogurt on the go.
--- Good source of dairy and protein
--- Contains the good bacteria, Lactobacillus, which fights against the bad bacteria in the gut
- Throw a few granola bars into your backpack
--- often a good source of fiber
--- Helps sustain hunger
- Pack a peanut/almond butter with sliced banana sandwich on whole or multigrain bread.
--- Contains a nutrient dense fat, a serving of fruit, and two servings of whole grains, and fiber to keep you full longer
- Invest in a to-go blender to quickly whip up a nourishing smoothie with Greek yogurt and fruits and take it to class with you
--- Nutrient-packed breakfast which is convenient and will help you sustain your hunger.
- Put a handful of granola with almonds and dried fruits in a Ziploc bag.
--- Contains healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber
So you see? Breakfast can be worked into your busy schedule.

Want to know more about how to make a healthy breakfast and sample some yummy items? Stop by the Campus Dietitian’s tabling event on September 4th (@ Cougar Woods) and September 6th (@ Fresh Food Company) from 11:30 am- 1 pm to learn more.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Stock Your Dorm Pantry

Congratulations! You are now living the life of a college student...without mom's pantry to keep you full when you need a snack. Here are the top 10 foods you can store in your dorm room...and...even better news: these can all be bought on campus!


1. Nonfat Greek Yogurt:
Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium and beneficial bacteria (to help your gastrointestinal tract stay healthy). Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, which may help you stay fuller longer. This is a great study snack when you are up late or an easy food to eat as you rush out the door for your first class.

2. Healthy Convenience Meal: 
It is well known that cooking at home is the healthiest way to eat, but let's be honest and acknowledge that as a busy college student you will need to reach for a convenience food every now and then. When you are looking for a healthy microwave meal, reach for something whole grain with vegetables. Try Barilla Whole Grain Fusilli with Vegetable Marinara, with 11 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Look for Amy's frozen meals featuring brown rice and vegetables. Many of these are vegan or vegetarian. 

3. Instant Oatmeal:
Oatmeal is a very nutritious whole grain that you can eat for breakfast or as a snack. You don't really even need a microwave. If you have an inexpensive kettle, just add very hot or boiling water to the instant oats. Plain instant oats are the most nutritious and you can add your own toppings (nuts, bananas, apples)...but there are some great flavored packets of instant oatmeal. Try Dr. McDougall's Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Light with a low 6 grams of sugar per packet!

4. Whole Eggs:
Eggs contain some of the best protein you can get and can help create a really nutritious meal. Did you know you can microwave an egg? Simply spray a small microwaveable bowl with cooking spray, crack an egg into the bowl, break the yolk with a fork, and microwave for 1-2 minutes on high until it is no longer runny. Grab a whole grain tortilla and you have a breakfast taco!

5. Skim Milk: 
Adults should eat 3 servings of dairy daily in order to meet their calcium needs. Skim milk can be used to make instant oatmeal in the morning, a smoothie for a snack in the afternoon, and as a beverage while you study the evening away. Drinking skim milk will help keep your saturated fat intake at a minimum...which will be good for your heart!

6. Fresh Fruit:
A whole piece of fruit is one of the best snacks you can grab. The natural sugars will give you energy while the fiber will help you stay satisfied. Reach for whole fruit over fruit juice any day. You can also create a delicious smoothie with fruit, yogurt, and skim milk - three of our top 10 dorm foods!

7. Whole Grain Cereal: 
You may be surprised, but lots of college students don't make it to the dining hall for breakfast. Keep a whole grain cereal (like Grape Nuts) on hand for a quick breakfast. Whole grain cereal will also be a more nutritious choice than chips or candy for a midnight snack. When you read the ingredient list, make sure the first ingredient is a whole grain

8. Microwave Popcorn:
Microwave popcorn is a whole grain! Whole corn kernels is the first ingredient, thus making microwave popcorn a great snack to keep handy. When available, choose a low fat popcorn to minimize unwanted calories. One serving is more than 2 cups and contains only 120 calories and 4 grams of fiber.

9. Tomato or Vegetable Soup: 
Keeping in mind that soup is high in sodium, a cup of soup every now and then is a good salty snack or can accompany a sandwich for a quick meal. Look for lower sodium soups when you shop and enjoy it with a slice of whole grain bread.

10. Healthy Granola Bar:
Many granola or "specialty" bars are high in sugar and saturated fat. Read the food labels and compare brands to help you choose a lower amount of saturated fat, sugar, and a higher amount of protein and fiber. For specialty bars try a plain old Cliff Bar, Larabar or Larabar Uber. For a run-of-the-mill bar try the crunchy Nature Valley Granola Bars. If you look at the ingredient list on these bars, you will see it to be relatively short with a small number of additives.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For the Love of Carbs

Good news!!! Carbohydrates are not going to make you fat and they can be healthy for you! Enjoy a piece of bread. Make a fresh pasta salad. Luna Bar has a great video to teach you more.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Choosing Your Daily Fare

A UH student recently emailed us to help with weight loss...

Q: What foods should I include daily and in what quantities in order to lose weight?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What is Gluten?

Thank you to the student who asked us this...

Q: What is gluten and why do people eat gluten free?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Fat that Adds Up fat bad for you? What if I just didn't eat any fat...that would make me healthy, right? Does eating fat make me fat? These are some questions that I get asked frequently by college students. Fat is not bad for you, your body actually needs fat, and eating fat doesn't make you fat. Easy answers...but it is important to remember that fat does add up.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Salute to the Red, White, and Blue!

Colorful food means nutritious food...and I'm not talking about Fruit Loops or Skittles. Fruits and vegetables are rich in compounds called phytochemicals. These compounds give fruits and vegetables their beautiful colors. Filling your diet with (natural) color ensures you will receive a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Celebrate these red, white, and blue foods this week! P.S. Throw in some feta cheese and yogurt to make a complete more to see why these two white foods are included.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All Diets Aside...Part Deux

Stop counting calories and try to think more about the quality of your foods. Choose your foods are what you eat.

Video is courtesy of AsapSCIENCE.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

All Diets Aside

College seems to be synonymous with weight gain. I frequently have visits from students who have been in college for a couple years that are looking to lose the 15-20 pounds they seem to have gained. Many different factors contribute to weight gain: late night snacking, eating more meals out, exercising less or not participating in sports anymore, lack of sleep that leads to increased appetite...and the list goes on. Instead of stressfully counting calories and tracking calories burned through exercise, take look at what you are eating to see if there is anything you can do differently.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vegging Out

So you've decided to try a vegetarian or vegan diet. What do you need to do to make sure you are still eating healthfully? Is it possible to eat a vegetarian diet and still remain healthy? Of course! There is plenty of evidence to support the health benefits of a diet high in plant-based foods. You can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. With careful planning and understanding of your needs,  you can get all the nutrients you need to be healthy and energized.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What does Greek Mean?

Thanks to the UH student who recently emailed me this question...

Q: I have always heard that yogurt is good for you. Now I see all these Greek yogurts at the store. Are they actually healthier for me? What makes them "Greek"?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fuel Up to Exercise Right

Summer time for you might mean less studying and more time to get in shape. Whether you are training for something serious or simply exercising for health, it is good to understand a few healthy eating tips to help your workout.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

School's Out...Where to Eat?

With finals almost over and the campus slowing down, you might be wondering what you are going to eat! Here's your guide to eating healthy during the May Intersession (Monday, May 13 to Sunday, June 2, 2013). Hours of operation will be in parentheses.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Snacks for Finals

As you are studying for finals, remember to fuel your body with good food. Late night studying goes hand in hand with late night snacking. Reaching for snacks high in sugar, salt, and fat can leave you feeling tired and drained. Focus on foods that have natural sugars (fruit, low fat dairy, whole grains) and are minimally processed. Eat healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olives, avocados) in moderation and minimize added salt from packaged or prepared foods.

Try some of these delicious snacks that require close to zero cooking skills! Each recipe below serves 1.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pump It Up with Protein

I recently had a student tell me this...

"I can't find enough protein in the campus dining hall. I am stuck eating protein powder to make sure I get enough protein."

I politely gave him this answer..."Don't waste your money! We've got plenty of options"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The 8pm Cutoff

It can be 8pm, 7pm, 6pm...everyone has a different cutoff. When should you stop eating for the day? Debunking the Diet is a great video series from LUNA Bar. Watch the video below to see what is actually correct.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Anatomy of a Salad

Recently a student emailed me concerned that her “healthy” salad was a whopping 700 calories! All the good nutrition decisions she thought she was making seemed to be thrown out the window. Salads are healthy, end of story…correct? Tap the brakes, friend. You need a little nutrition 101 to help you understand how a salad is healthy and what causes it to cross the line.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Under Pressure

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.  ~Aesop, Fables

Everyone would agree that a meal eaten in peace is better than one eaten in haste. College students, whether undergraduate or graduate, are stressed out. Eat, sleep, and exercise (three keys to health) are thrown aside to complete projects, write papers, and study for tests. Diet can play an important role in stress management. A diet void of wholesome, nutritious food can make a stressful time even more challenging.

Here are some basic nutrition principles to help manage stress...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Snack Attack

Snacking isn't just for little kids. A busy college student, who may skip a meal or two, may be in need of a snack on-the-go. These thoughts may run through your head from time to time…did I remember to eat breakfast…do I have time to grab dinner before my night class…I’m not going to get lunch with this project due. Snacking can help your blood sugar remain stable throughout the day, keeping your energy up. Avoid snacks high in fat, sugar, and caffeine to make sure you don't crash in the middle of your 3 pm class.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Does Brown do for You?

Many think in terms of nutrition, brown is always best. Unfortunately, sometimes the “brown” things are not much different than “white”. Read on to learn how to navigate the grain world.

Make half your grains whole. Health professionals recommend increasing whole grains to reduce the risk of chronic disease: stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Taking this recommendation to the grocery store is a little harder than it might seem. Choosing the brown stuff (breads, crackers, cereals, chips, etc.) will not always ensure that you are choosing a whole grain, in spite of the front of the box labels. Ignore the front of the box labels and flip to the ingredient list where you will know for sure if you are choosing a whole grain. To be the most nutritious option, a whole grain ingredient must be the first on the list. This rule leaves many of the “brown” breads, crackers, cereals, and chips in the dust. Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers and Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips are just two examples that advertise whole grains, but are actually very similar to their “white” counterpart.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Midterms are coming and Spring Break may feel like it is a world away. All of a sudden your throat is scratchy and you feel exhausted...all...the...time. Nutrition becomes even more important when school seems to run you down.  Help protect your body and strengthen your immune system by doing the following...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Everybody Knows Somebody

Everybody knows somebody who has struggled with food and weight issues, especially during their college years. Messages about dieting and weight loss paired with the stresses of college life can lead students to unhealthy behaviors. This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so challenge your very own diet mentality and get back to the basics of nutrition.

Thought #1
There are good and bad foods. I should never eat the bad foods.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just Nuke It!

A recent poll of UHealthy readers found out the following about how UH likes their pizza…

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Super Size it...or not

Did you make a New Year's Resolution to lose weight or eat healthier? Have you been able to keep this resolution? Many times, people feel that fast food is their downfall. Here are some tips on making better meal choices at the UC Satellite.

When eating fast food, look for meals lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium - certainly a challenge when it comes to fast food! Below are some healthier meal options that you might find at the Satellite

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Break Me Off a Piece of That

When you walk into a convenience store or gas station, what grabs your attention? Cheetos...Pop Tarts...Slushies...all the healthy stuff, right? Many items at convenience stores are frozen, prepackaged, or processed and they tend to be high in sodium, artery clogging fat, and calories!

Here are some on campus heart healthy snacks to consider:

Give Your Heart Some Love

February is Heart Health Month, a time to remind you to take care of your heart. You’re young, your heart is fine…why worry about it now? Even though heart disease takes years to develop, the evidence of fatty buildup in the arteries can be seen as early as your adolescent years. You may feel young, but what you eat now can affect your health later.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our Pie Takes the Prize

Did you know…the University of Houston serves a pretty good slice of pie? Pizza pie, that is. Pizza might be the first food that comes to mind when you think of college…late nights…junk food. You feel me, right? The good news is, if you eat your pizza right, it can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet and UH is helping you do just that.

A key to having a balanced diet is learning how to include things like pizza in a healthy way. A good place to start is to have only one slice and fill your plate up with fresh salad (light on the dressing!) and/or steamed veggies on the side. A second step would be to healthify your pie. Thanks to our wonderful culinary team, our pizza is officially healthified. Keep reading to see the truth behind students' thoughts about pizza.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Give Veg a Chance

…Join Meatless Monday at the University of Houston.

Have you visited one of our dining halls on a Monday lately? You may find something a little different…more meatless options. What’s going on and why has UHDS put chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers aside?
The University of Houston is now a part of a global campaign called Meatless Monday. We have joined schools, restaurants and cities across the country to encourage our diners to eat meatless on Mondays. Interested? Confused? Worried? Read on to find answers to the FAQs.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Are you Yawnin' with Ramen?

Based on the UHealthy poll: "What's in your pantry", ramen seems to be a staple. Let's be honest here and acknowledge that ramen is not good for you. Coming in a 370 calories, this pack of noodles has more than 30% of your daily needs for saturated fat (the kind that clogs your arteries). It also has 1730 mg of sodium - almost meeting your daily allowance for sodium. In addition to this bad news, ramen will not really fill you up or keep you satisfied for any significant period of time. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Right Way to Eat Mor Chikin

Thanks to the curious student who asked me this...

Q: What is the best item to eat on the Chick-fil-A menu?

A:            Is it possible to eat out and eat healthy? Of course! The “best” item depends on what you are looking for. Are you trying to trim down? Are you trying to eat more veggies? Are you trying to bulk up (which makes it easy – one of everything please!)?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Your Pantry's Resolutions

Did you decide to eat healthfully this year? Diet and weight loss resolutions are the most common resolutions made after the new year. This year, try focusing more on developing healthy habits and less about weight loss or only eating fruits and vegetables. Start by stocking your kitchen with these healthy foods. By having these foods on hand you can easily build a healthy meal without breaking the bank.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Navigating Nutrition

Have you ever wondered…

                Why does my college dining hall only serve pizza and burgers?
                How can I stay healthy while I am in college?
                How can I eat good foods when I have no money?

Hopefully this blog will help you. It was created to help college students navigate nutrition information and understand how to make it useful for them. Written by the University of Houston Dining Services dietitian, come to UHealthy to learn healthy eating, cooking, and shopping tips!