beating the freshman 15

September is here and that means the new school year is upon us. Among all of the excitement that can come along with moving to a new area, leaving home and adjusting to new roommates can always make college interesting.

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So often we hear about the “freshman 15″ – the dreaded freshman 15 actually, that anyone who is going to college is fully aware of. What can you do to prevent weight gain in college? There are some things to focus on to keep your college experience a healthy one!

Snacking: Schedules tend to vary while in college (late nights and later mornings) and snacking can be a great way to keep a semi-normal eating schedule.

  • Keep healthy snacks in your dorm room: microwavable popcorn, oatmeal, granola bars, cereal, nuts, whole grain crackers, peanut butter, whole grain bread
  • If you’ve got a refrigerator stock it with: cheese sticks, greek yogurt, cartons of milk

Meals in the Dining Hall:

  • Be sure to eat something in the morning (even if breakfast doesn’t come with your plan) whether its a piece of fruit and milk from the night before or a piece of bread with peanut butter
  • Utilize the salad bar! I loved dorm food, when else do you have access to a wide variety of vegetables that are cut and prepared for you? Aim for 3 servings of veggies at lunch and dinner
  • Sandwich Bar: these can be a great place to build a sandwich of your own – choose whole grain bread + lean protein like turkey or ham + veggies + mustard and a bit of mayo or other flavor spread
  • Hot Foods: Instead of having pizza and pasta every day look for stir-frys, lean proteins and roasted or sauteed veggies
  • Limit: pizza, burgers, pasta and desserts. Sure, you are going to have pizza from time to time, but it doesn’t need to be an everyday thing

*Drinking certainly doesn’t help – don’t go overboard on drinking, it can lead to bad decisions and also that late night pizza habit not to mention that it is illegal until you are 21.

Exercise:

Not only will exercise help keep you focused for study sessions, consistent exercise will also help keep those extra pounds to a minimum.

  • Try out new classes at the gym
  • Need a quick routine to do in your room? Try free online exercise videos!

Gained Weight?

Don’t stress yourself out too much about gaining a few pounds. Get settled into your new routine, get moving and make some healthier food swaps.

Do you have any tips to share?

red onion & gorgonzola pasta

My favorite thing about pasta is that you can always make a delicious meal, even if your pantry or veggie drawers are empty. Nothing in the house? Sprinkle pasta with salt, pepper and fresh Parmesan cheese. Or if you’ve got a few staples, you can make something a little more special.

We generally have onions in our house and we generally have some sort of cheese. It may not always be the cheese I want, but it would be a really sad day if we are completely cheese-less. When I was thinking about meals for the week I thought why not combine the sauteed onions and blue cheese  that we love alongside grilled steak with some pasta. After-all, you can’t go wrong with pasta.  The chewy fusilli with sweet onions and salty cheese turned out to be just what that steak needed. In fact, I don’t even think we needed the steak.

Red Onion & Gorgonzola Fusilli

  • 1 medium sized red onion, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz fusilli or pasta of choice
  • 2 oz Gorgonzola crumbles
  • salt & pepper

Prepare pasta as directed. Set aside.

Heat large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and when hot add onion and garlic. Saute for about 3-5 minutes, until onions are soft.

Add pasta to pan and toss together. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve onto plates and sprinkle with Gorgonzola crumbles.

heirloom tomato bloody marys

This may be my favorite tomato recipe to date. And that’s saying something when you consider recipes like simple summer pasta, moussaka, and grilled bruschetta.

I went through a bloody mary phase, a few years back (clearly I’m in the wine phase now) and it was the only thing I drank for a some time. A little odd yes, but I also owe my love of olives to bloody marys. I was never a fan until I started nibbling the green olives that customarily come with bloody marys. I certainly don’t drink them very often anymore, but organic bloody marys and an over abundance of heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market got me thinking about them again.

But this bloody mary was so very different than any others made with a mix.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back – oh fresh tomatoes, please don’t leave me yet, I’m not ready to give you up!

Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary – 4 servings

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 small yellow tomatoes
  • 1 small green zebra tomato
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 oz vodka
  • seasonings: A1 sauce, worcestershire sauce, celery salt, pickle juice, dash of cholula
  • garnishes: pickle, lime wedges, olives, pickled asparagus, celery, shrimp, cheese/beef stick

Roughly chop the tomatoes and pepper, discarding stems. Process with lemon juice until desired consistency. Chill.

Combine vodka, tomato mixture and desired seasonings. Stir to combine.

Fill 4 glasses with ice. Pour bloody mary mixture over ice and top with desired garnishes.



So grab some heirloom tomatoes and make this bloody mary, it’s Friday after all!


in my cupboard: Ranch Yogurt Dressing

Sometimes the only dressing that will work  (for things like salads, veggies, fries, pizza, etc.) is the dreaded ranch. We all know that ranch is typically not very good for us and should be saved for special occasions. (like chicken wings!) But the light ranches just will not work in my opinion. I always find myself wanting that “restaurant ranch,” and even the full-fat versions from the grocery store are disappointing.

Lucky for us it doesn’t have to be dreaded anymore. Bolthouse Farms has come out with a Yogurt Dressing that naturally decreases all of that fat and calories that usually come along with ranch dressing. What is even more amazing than the nutrition stats? The flavor! It is reminiscent of the “restaurant ranch” that I love. You know, for those chicken wings. ;)

Nutrition:

2 Tbsp – 1 serving

70 calories

6 g fat

2 g sugar

Other varieties include: Chunky Blue cheese, Caesar Parmigiano, Thousand Island, Honey Mustard, Original Coleslaw and Creamy Italian.

Have you tried these dressings? Thoughts?