By: Cecilia Podrecca, Contributing Writer
Eating healthy on campus between classes and under a heavy work load can be difficult. But luckily, among the burgers, fries and expensive dinners, UNF has healthy and fairly low-cost options.
The Student Union’s four food vendors, the Boathouse, the sushi-smoothie joint Freshens and Outtakes are stocked with healthy options that are not only delicious but affordable for the average college student.
Lacey Durrance, a UNF nutrition professor, seeks to motivate students to make the healthiest choices they can on campus.
“I believe nutrition impacts everyone physically, emotionally and mentally, and taking the time to eat healthy while on campus will help every student and faculty member to reach their full potential in those areas,” she said.
Durrance supports on-campus eateries through patronage. She said she likes to grab a six-piece California sushi roll for lunch and pair it with fruit from Outtakes. Alternatively, she orders a veggie bowl of brown rice and beans from Salsarita’s with salsa, guacamole and low-fat cheese.
Durrance’s support of the vendors echoes student sentiments. Benjamin Winograd, a UNF undecided freshman, prefers options offered by the food court as opposed to My Meals, the fifth vendor in the court and inside Sbarro that meal plans cover.
“When I’m trying to eat healthy on campus, I avoid My Meals because there’s such a small selection, and the food normally creates an unhealthy meal,” he said.
Ashley Gantner, a UNF communication senior, also searches for healthy options on campus.
“I like grabbing a snack at Freshens, like the Strawberry Oasis smoothie because it’s low on sugar and fills me up in a healthy way,” she said.
Chick-N-Grill features options for the health-conscious on-campus eater. If you’re looking for a healthy choice, consider ordering a bowl of brown rice with marinated all-white-meat chicken breast or choose a build-your-own salad option with light dressing, both of which are under $8. Instead of ordering a soda, go with a bottled water.
Although Coyote Jack’s may seem like the classic greasy, unhealthy food joint, it offers a few wholesome options, such as the grilled chicken sandwich, with little or no sauce, at a total cost of $5.34. It also has a garden burger, which is barely over $4, and you can skip the fries and pick your favorite flavor of Baked Lays for a side.
Salsarita’s has quite a few salad options that are healthy. Order the salad in a bowl instead of a shell with light dressing, and you’ve got a healthy lunch in front of you. Not in the mood for a salad? That’s OK. Salsarita’s offers a small veggie or grilled chicken burrito on a wheat tortilla at a rather affordable $5.55.
Bread may be heavy in carbs, but what you put between the slices can make a sub a nutritious meal. Quiznos’ honey bourbon chicken sub with no cheese is a delectable and healthy lunch option, as is a veggie sub, both just $7. The Cobb salad with little or no dressing is another possible choice, a small being just $3.19 and a regular priced at $5.99.
The Boathouse has different specials every day, so be sure to ask what the healthy choice would be. On its day-to-day menu, you can pick from any of the salads between $5-8. Alternatively, you can try the popular tomato caprese. It also has meal deals all amounting to $5.99, so try the fettuccine alfredo — but skip the garlic bread. The Boathouse also offers delicious fruit smoothies at $3 apiece.
Freshens has numerous sushi options ranging from $4.89 to $8.00. Just be sure to snag the fat-free sauce packets, and avoid anything tempura. It’s also got low-calorie smoothies with no added sugars, and you can even incorporate healthy boosters such as vitamins, energy and protein.
Outtakes, the mini food market, has choices including salads under $5, yogurt variations, hummus with pretzels and fresh fruit, which will cost you only a dollar. It also has a wide variety of cereal bars and different soup options every day.
Email Cecelia Pondrecca at [email protected]