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In the University Cafeteria

HULKAMANIA

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Alright, folks, this is a very broad and open ended question. Unfortunately for you, I'm not well versed enough in the subject of diet to manage anything more. My question is this:

Do you think it's possible to eat healthily in a University cafeteria? Does the way they prepare the food pretty much screw up it's nutritional value? Is there some hope of a poor college kid ever eating really well?
 
depends on what they have there.

My caff at work (very similar to a uni caff) has a lot of healthy options.

For example today I had a chicken salad and some skim milk for lunch, no worries there.

*shurgs* look and see if they have a salad bar, ask for healthy choices etc
 
HULKAMANIA said:
Alright, folks, this is a very broad and open ended question. Unfortunately for you, I'm not well versed enough in the subject of diet to manage anything more. My question is this:

Do you think it's possible to eat healthily in a University cafeteria? Does the way they prepare the food pretty much screw up it's nutritional value? Is there some hope of a poor college kid ever eating really well?

It's hard, but u gotta limit yourself to some basic things. Here (At the university of washington) i mostly eat sandwiches on whole wheat bread with turkey, lots of fruit and protein bars, and pasta with chicken breast.
 
Making your own lunch is the best way to go. That's what I did/do. It's cheaper and you know exactly what you're getting.
 
Caf's at Michigan always had a huge bin of hard boiled eggs. I'd take 12-15 of 'em, eat four or so and stuff my pockets w/ the rest. There was always cottage cheese, too, though I'm sure it wasn't the low fat version. Skim milk (or any kind of milk) is a cafeteria staple, as well... three or so glasses w/ each meal.

Of course, that's not all I ate; I did become mildly voluptuous when I lived in the dorms.
 
I found the same thing when I was in college. I ended up in a dorm with a kitchenette attached so I could prepare a lot of my own meals. I found when I ate at the cafeteria, all the grease made it blast out the backend at supersonic speeds.
 
Going on my experience (early 1990s, a State college in the Northeast USA), University food was actually passable.

My school made sandwiches to order at lunch, so it was real easy to ask for exactly the kind of bread and the type of contents you liked.

Breakfast was overloaded on fat (oils/butter/bacon/sausage) and carbs (waffles/panckaes/muffins/bagels). It wasn't bad, you just had to force yourself not to overdo it and get some oatmeal and eggs. Back then, though, I knew a lot less about diet, so I pretty much ate everything...but had the metabolism to burn it all off.

They also had a couple of "pasta nights" each week that really sucked for refined carb intake, because if you love pasta, it was hard to resist eating quite a lot of it. My roommate was one of those waaay too thin types though, so I used to try to drag him down to the pasta meals and encourage him to eat several bowls.

You know...all this has me nostalgic for school. Hulk - enjoy it while you are there!!

P.S. If you are trying to cut weight, that might be difficult on school food. I don't think you are.
 
So how bad are fried chicken and fried fish for me? I can get those in vast quantities at the Caf. What does frying do to a food nutritionally?

I can also get a lot of cooked vegetables. Are those sucky? Should I stick to fresh veggies and fruits only? What if they come from a can?

My cafeteria has cereal, bagels, and milk 24/7. There is also a sandwhich line. I can also get grilled chicken for lunch and dinner. I can get eggs (scrambled, boiled, or fried) for breakfast and sometimes I can get an omelet for lunch. Chili's also a perennial presence on the food line.

What kind of questions should I be asking myself as I choose the foods I need? What's a good system for constructing a meal.

Keep in mind that I am not trying to cut weight for a fight or anything. I am actually trying to gain weight so that I can move more weight in the gym. I just don't want to be filling my body with crap that will hinder my progress and fitness.
 
HULKAMANIA said:
What kind of questions should I be asking myself as I choose the foods I need? What's a good system for constructing a meal.

First of all, the fried chicken and fish is caked w/ fat. Stay away. It sounds like you have some viable options, so go w/ the grilled bird. From what I recall, you weigh about 200 or so, so shoot for 200 grams of protein a day and try to limit that to 35-40 grams per serving or you'll pee a portion of it out. The eggs are a great option for breakfast, preferably boiled.

Hold on, let's see how this works...

Breakfast:

4 hardboiled egg whites w/ one yolk: 28 grams protein
1 glass milk, preferably skim: 8 grams protein
Bowl of cold cereal or oat meal: 5 grams protein

Lunch:

Tuna sandwhich on whole wheat (approx. 3 oz. tuna): 30 grams protein
1 glass milk: 8 grams protein

Dinner:

Chicken, 3.5 oz.: 30 grams protein
1 glass milk: 8 grams protein
Baked potatoe, brown rice or whole wheat pasta if available : 2-5 grams protein
Veggies, raw, but cooked will do.: varies... black beans are nice at 15 g/cup.

That takes you to 120-125 grams of protein, so you've got 80 or so to make up.

You should drink a whey protein shake immediately after your workout, about 23 grams per scoop + 10-12 grams worth of milk to mix it with for 35 total.

Up to 155 grams...

Eat 1 cup of low fat cottage cheese before bed. Mix it w/ some fruit or applesause for taste. This will give you 31 grams of pure casein protein, which is exactly what you want before bed. Unlike whey, casein is slow absorbing and will work throughout the night.

There's 186 grams...

That should actually be plenty, but since you're currently involved in a hernia inducing program, you might want to shoot for a bit more. Make it up w/ snacks when you're hungry... a hard boiled egg, a handful of almonds, peanut butter sandwich, etc.

Use this chart to help mix it up a bit.

http://www.ntwrks.com/~mikev/chart1.html
 
No fried foods. I think I'm going to cry.

Then I'm going to get my diet in order *sigh.*
 
HULKAMANIA said:
No fried foods. I think I'm going to cry.

Then I'm going to get my diet in order *sigh.*

Moderation, Hulkster. Just don't eat them on a regular basis. Eating's not very enjoyable if you try to stay too strict.
 
fat_wilhelm said:
Moderation, Hulkster. Just don't eat them on a regular basis. Eating's not very enjoyable if you try to stay too strict.
Yep. If you aren't overweight, nothing wrong with a nice meal with fried chicken now and then. Just monitor your fat gains and adjust diet from there. Especially if you are in your teens/early 20s.
 
Nutrition is a lot like lifting, you'll never know everything there is to know, but you can keep learning. I've been eating "healthy" as long as I can remember, but I'm always refining my diet. A good diet is a product of constant education.....and knowing when to say "fuck it, I'm havin pizza and Guiness!"
 
Caf's at Michigan always had a huge bin of hard boiled eggs. I'd take 12-15 of 'em, eat four or so and stuff my pockets w/ the rest. There was always cottage cheese, too, though I'm sure it wasn't the low fat version. Skim milk (or any kind of milk) is a cafeteria staple, as well... three or so glasses w/ each meal.

HA HA HA!! Pockets full of boiled eggs. You must have smelled GREAT.

College usually = obesity or starvation. One thing I tell a lot of college kids is get used to the idea of either hunger or emotional eating. With financial burdens, time constraints, stress, it's very tough to maintain physical health. So you have to manage your priorities pretty well. The ONLY kids I ever saw prosper both physically and educationally in College were honestly the ones who went to very few parties and didn't get involved in the carnage that goes on in Dorms (the dorm of the Art school I went to, let's just say if a flood wiped it out due to Wrath of God, I wouldn't have been surprised). You're there for education first. Organization is one of the single most important tools you could learn.

Now how does this pertain to your eating? There's a couple of things:

1) As bacon suggested you can manage your finances to be able to make your own lunches. $30-$50 per month is actually managable if you know what to buy. Drawback is you'll have to get used to the same shit all the time. But you will be healthy.

2) Becoming such a regular at your Uni caf that the people who work there might actually fix things specifically for you. I love chicken salad, but I abhorr the overuse of mayo. So at my place I was such a regular there they'd not be beyond whipping up a special batch light on the mayo for me, on wheat bread, with lettuce and tomato, because they know I'd show up regularly to eat it. Making friends with the staff there has it's perks.

3) Making your cheat-day where you have the fried foods few but somewhat routine. As has been suggested. Say every second Saturday. Your body will be better used to it if it usually falls on the same day. Sporatic cheating is what confuses it.

Hope those help. And good luck in school.
 
HULKAMANIA said:
Alright, folks, this is a very broad and open ended question. Unfortunately for you, I'm not well versed enough in the subject of diet to manage anything more. My question is this:

Do you think it's possible to eat healthily in a University cafeteria? Does the way they prepare the food pretty much screw up it's nutritional value? Is there some hope of a poor college kid ever eating really well?
No way, they only have fatty food at my university, but I live in Sweden so I suppose that there's the whole cultural barrier
 
I'm glad ya'll had this thread. I'm a freshman at a college in Arkansas and I'm trying to eat healthy at the caf. It's hard, but I can usually find something at least semi-healthy to eat. It's nice to get different opinions about it.
 
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