Category Archives: Recipes

Browse our collection of healthy recipes for college students.

De-Stress at the Wellness Suite

Enjoy end-of-semester activities at the new Wellness Suite! Visit 20 Intramural Building for stress relieving activities this week. Tuesday, November 14th join HealthWorks and Healthy Penn State Ambassadors from 6-7pm to color and create your own trail mix as part of de-stressing before finals. On Wednesday, stop by the suite for game night 7:30-8:30pm. Bring your friends and enjoy an hour of fun. More activities scheduled for after break! Check in for updates.

Healthy and Affordable Off-Campus Eating

College students often say that cost is one of the biggest barriers to eating nutritious foods. So we’ve got some tips that will help fuel your body for academic success without breaking the bank.

Cook your own food

Convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables, and instant rice, oatmeal, or grits cost more than if you prepare them from scratch. And meals cooked at home cost much less than eating out at a restaurant. Cooking at home eliminates the tax and tip at restaurants, and leftovers can be used for a second meal.

Grocery shop with a plan

Before you head to the grocery store, plan your meals for the week. Include meals like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries, which “stretch” expensive items into more portions. Make a list of foods you need for the week and stick to it. This will decrease over buying and buying on impulse.

Visit your local farmer’s market

Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. This can help you save some cash and the produce tastes fresh.

Compare and contrast

Most grocery stores provide “price stickers” on the shelf for every item.  The “price sticker “includes the unit price, or how much the product costs per pound, quart, or some other unit of measurement. Purchase the product with the lowest unit price to maximize your savings.

Buy in bulk

It is almost always cheaper to buy foods in bulk. Smart choices are family packs of chicken, steak, or fish, and larger bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables.

Choose low-cost options

Some foods are low-cost all year round. Beans are inexpensive and high in protein. For vegetables, buy carrots, greens or potatoes. Apples and bananas are good fruit choices.

Meal prep!

Prepare a large batch of your favorite recipes on your day off or the weekend. Freeze in individual containers or use throughout the week.

Get creative with leftovers

Spice up your leftovers by using them in new ways. For example, try leftover chicken in a stir-fry or over a garden salad. You could even make chicken chili. Remember, throwing away food is throwing away your money!

If you’d like more help with planning an affordable nutritious diet, make an appointment with a dietitian by calling 814-863-0461 or by visiting the UHS website.

Eating in Season

Gardens and farmer’s markets are bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables this time of year.  Eating seasonal produce not only provides you the freshest fruits and vegetables but also contributes to sustainable practices.  Buying local produce means a decrease in transportation time and a corresponding decrease in CO2 production.  Eating seasonally often saves money as well because prices are lower when crops are in abundance.  Below is a seasonal chart showing the growing season for different produce in Pennsylvania.  The chart shows the months when the produce is available to purchase and eat.  The Downtown Farmer’s Market on Locust St. is Tuesday and Friday from 11:30 am – 5:30 pm. Check out the Healthy Eating tab for different ways to prepare many of these foods.

Eating Healthy: Dorm Edition

Claire Pomorski, a student in Nutrition 360 during spring 2017, created this awesome brochure full of valuable information to help students, living in the residence halls, make healthier food choices.  She highlights healthy food options in the Dining Commons, including getting Green 2 Go and healthy meal essentials found in the convenience stores.  She also includes meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that can easily be made in a residence hall room.  Check it out below.

Brain Food

“The brain represents about 2% of the body’s weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and calories consumed by the body.” (1) New research is being done to identify foods that power and protect the brain.  This research is limited, but there is evidence that omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, found in almonds, walnuts, fish, avocados, canola oil, etc. reduce inflammation and promote blood flow in the heart and brain.  Antioxidants, found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, are known to fight cancer causing free radicals and help protect the brain from oxidative stress. (2)  Oxidative stress is the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defenses. Consuming an overall healthy diet consisting of whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables is the best way to keep your brain sharp and energy levels up. (3)  Try cooking up this quick and delicious recipe that contains whole grains, lean protein and a variety of vegetables.

 

  1. Clark D. & Sokoloff, L. (1999) in Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, eds. Siegel, G. J., Agranoff, B. W., Albers, R. W., Fisher, S. K. & Uhler, M. D. (Lippincott, Philadelphia), pp. 637–670.
  2. Gomez-Pinilla, F. (2008) Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 568-578.
  3. http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-what-to-eat-for-brain-health/

Frozen Fruit Cups

If you enjoy frozen desserts, you’ll want to make room in your freezer for this recipe. With three types of fruits and non-fat yogurt, it not only tastes great but also helps you to get your recommended fruits and dairy for the day.

Not only is yogurt an excellent source of protein and other essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, it also contains bacteria that’s good for your health, according to the American Society for Nutrition.

Frozen Fruit Cups

Serves 18

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas, mashedsummer salad recipe
  • 24 oz. non-fat strawberry or plain yogurt
  • 12 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained

Preparation:

  1. Line muffin tin(s) with 18 paper baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix mashed bananas, yogurt, strawberries, and pineapple.
  3. Spoon into muffin tins and freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.
  4. Remove frozen cups and store in a plastic bag in the freezer.
  5. Before serving, remove paper cups.  These are also great to throw into a fast smoothie.  Just add water or milk and blend them in your blender for a fast smoothie.

Another great thing about this recipe is you can use whatever fruits you like! What ingredients did you use?

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How to Stay Healthy at Summer Picnics

Picnics and barbeques are a fun summer tradition. These events are a great opportunity to socialize with friends and family.  Picnics and barbeques also present challenges when it comes to healthy eating and drinking.

Here are some helpful tips to work your way around a picnic table:

  • Avoid dips that are cream cheese, mayonnaise or sour cream based. Try other fresh dips like guacamole and homemade salsa or use plain greek yogurt as the base for your veggie dip. Sub out regular potato chips for baked chips or homemade tortilla chips (1).
  • Instead of preparing the usual potato or pasta salad with mayo, try making a fresh green salad with fruit or a pasta salad full of fresh chopped vegetables with vinaigrette or Italian dressing. These types of salads are packed with nutrients and the ingredients don’t spoil as quickly in the hot sun.
  • Tired of hamburgers and hot dogs? Beef burgers can easily be replaced with turkey, chicken or even veggie burgers.  Tuna steaks are a great alternative to regular steaks and are full of healthy fats and proteins (2). Kebobs are great for grilling.  You can make them with almost anything and the size helps you be mindful of portion sizes.

Drinking:

  • Sodas and juices are always available at picnics. Both are tempting, but are loaded with sugar.  If you are looking for an alternative to sugar and caffeine, try seltzer water mixed with 100% fruit juice for a light fizzy drink. You can even opt for fruit-infused ice water for a refreshing drink.
  • If you do choose to drink at a picnic make sure you stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water for every standard drink. Alcohol and hot temperatures cause fluid loss and can lead to dehydration.  It is also important to have a plan for how you will get home safely if you are drinking.  Don’t drink and drive!  Keep in mind that if you are boating and/or swimming alcohol affects your judgement, balance, reaction time and increases risk taking.
  • Hydration seems to be key on a hot summer day! With plenty of activities going on at a picnic it can be easy to forget to drink water. The recommendations for how much water you should consume per day vary by sex and exercise level.  You should drink more on especially hot days or if you are really active outside.  Heat exhaustion is real, so be aware of your water intake.

As with everything, moderation is your best bet for a happy and healthy summer. Enjoy!

  1. EatingWell Magazine. (2012, May). Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/248363/tortilla-chips/
  2. Health Benefits of Tuna and Salmon. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2017, from https://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Protein/Article-Viewer/Article/89/Health-Benefits-of-Tuna-and-Salmon.aspx