By Anja Trenkwalder
Elm Staff Writer
Keeping up a balanced diet while running on a packed schedule can be challenging. When under normal college-level stress, making wise food-choices may easily slip down on your list of priorities. It can be easier to just confine yourself to the abundant offers of Dining Hall pizza, pasta, burgers, and fries drowned in nacho cheese. When you are rushing from class, to social activity to study group to class, to practice, and back to class on a daily basis, your body needs balanced nutrition to keep going. Let’s face it, the dining hall salad bar, as nutritious as it is, will eventually get boring. Time to change things up. Step out of the campus-confined comfort zone, and let your taste buds explore the boundless culinary adventures of lovely Chestertown. There are so many healthy food options that are just waiting for you to discover them.
My personal favorite is Tracy’s Smoothie Place. Entrepreneur Tracy Davenport and her crew are on top of their game with a large variety of fruity, chocolaty, and coffee chilled delicacies. With only a fraction of the calories of chain-coffee shops, those nutrient-loaded treats come packed with flavor. Every smoothie is custom made just for you, and the best part is that you get a small size (10 oz.) for the amazing price of only $2.50. Next to their 12 exciting, all-time favorite flavors, Tracy’s Smoothie Place creates variety by offering a limited edition smoothie that switches every week. Also on the menu are frozen yogurt, different nutrition bars (for only $1 each), cookies, and other treats that are definitely worth a visit.
Feeling Far Eastern? Treat yourself to some yummy Chinese food at the China House that is guaranteed not to expand your waistline. This neighborhood gem offers a nice selection of healthy choices that are low in fat and sodium under a specially indicated section of their menu. Why not go for the steamed shrimp with vegetables? You will receive a generous portion that is cooked to perfection and served with sauce of your choice and rice on the side. You could leave off the sauce, and your meal will be nearly fat-free, or go super low-carb by going light on the rice.
Visit the Lemon Leaf Café for a lunch that is both yummy and healthy. Choose a delicious salad for a safe bet. The Malibu Salad provides a lovely mix of sweet and savory with craisins, apples, and raspberry-vinaigrette topped with fresh bleu cheese while Mamma Mia sends your taste buds on a wonderful journey to Italy (each is $12).
Get your grains the healthy way at the Evergrain. Carb up with a yummy whole-grain breakfast that will keep you going all day, pick up a kale caesar salad for lunch (priced at $8.50) that is packed with an extra dose of vitamins and fiber, or treat yourself to some refreshing home-brewed iced tea. You can even get a loaf of bread to go so you will have a stockpile of fresh whole-grain goodness right in your dorm-room. One of many excellent choices is their organic seven-grain bread. This rich loaf is packed with whole grains, seeds, and sweetened with just the right dose of all-natural honey and it is only $7.
These insider treats will give you a delicious variety of healthy meals to choose from. In addition, you can find healthy options on almost any menu. The key is to pick meals that feature fresh vegetables, and lean proteins, and come with whole grain carbs. Go light on (or better yet, go without) sugary and fatty condiments or sauces, and make sure that if you pick a fatty carb (like French fries) you keep your serving small.
When considering these tips, you will be able to experience a restaurant visit that is good for your taste buds, as well as your waistline. So, dig in and enjoy.