Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lunch 04/27/11

Today while I was working out in the gym, we were made to stop and seek shelter because of a tornado.  I was only in the beginning of my workout, so I was glad when after only 15 minutes or so we were allowed back in.  :)  I got in a really good workout today, although whenever it rains the gym becomes so humid, it's really awful.  Oh well, no pain, no gain, right? 

Here was today's lunch:

(Salad and Corn Muffin, Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli, Steamed Squash and Zucchini)
If this seems like a lot of food--it was!  But it was famished after working out today.  This was another day when I had to get creative.  My pasta was something I created using two of the lines today.  I took the shrimp from the line serving "Shrimp Po'Boys" which essentially looked like a lot of mayonnaise based dressing on top of shrimp on way too much bread, and added to the macaroni being served at the "Macaroni and Cheese Bar."  Yes, a macaroni and cheese bar.  You could have either neon-orange cheese or alfredo sauce.  I opted for neither of course, and instead placed about a teaspoon of margarine in the plain noodles.  The bar also offered a choice of broccoli and sauteed onions and peppers, as well as various (and in my opinion very greasy looking) ground meats, to add on top.  

One thing that I'd like to point out about this meal is this:

(Corn Muffin close up)

These are the magical corn muffins served at my school.  I believe these are the "low-fat" kind, although I didn't actually check the sign.  Still, they are one of my favorite food items served at my cafeteria.  Unfortunately, they are probably not the healthiest thing in the world, so I limit myself to one.  However, I know many people take at least two, if not three or four.  I actually see many strange food choices in my cafeteria, and I often wonder if students would eat better if the constant supply of pizza, cakes, burgers, and fries were gone.  Just the other day, I witnessed a boy take two cookies and sandwich a brownie between them for his dessert.  Ugh!  

On another note, and I don't think I've mentioned this before, but in my Junior year of college, I studied abroad for 10 months in Tokyo, Japan, and so I was able to note some interesting aspects of Japanese food culture.  So look for a couple entries about Japanese cuisine in the coming days!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back from Vacation!

My vacation was exceedingly nice, especially since my semester has been particularly rough.  I'm not certain if I mentioned this before, but I'm a senior in college, so this is my final semester.  This means thesis writing, papers, tests--all on top of preparing for graduation and entering the "real world."  It's overwhelming and exhausting, really.

Anyway, I will admit that my food choices were certainly not the healthiest over my vacation.  However, I did walk quite a few miles and swim over the holiday, so I won't say it was completely awful.  As I graduate in 2.5 weeks though, I need to really start hunkering down and focusing on my eating habits.  Earlier last year, I bought a white eyelet dress that is 1-2 sizes too small for me.  I did this for two reasons, one--it's really pretty, and was only around 10 dollars.  And two, if I want to wear it to graduation, I'll have to lose weight.  I call it my "wish dress,"  and over the year, as I've made healthier choices and exercised on a much more regular basis, I'm to the point where I'm actually quite close to fitting into it.  :)

Also--Happy Easter to all who are celebrating today!  :)  I really love Easter, it's such a happy holiday in my opinion.  My friend's mother who I stayed with over the break organized a little Easter egg hunt for my friend and I, which was so much fun and also gave us Easter baskets.  Which brings me to an issue--what to do with all this Easter candy?  I don't mind eating a couple pieces, it's a holiday after all, and I don't eat candy very often.  But I have a whole little container full of chocolate in all its various forms.  Throwing it away seems wasteful.  Any suggestions??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Food Updates

Here's what I ate for dinner the other day.  Actually, I ate exactly the same thing for lunch and dinner.  This happens a lot for me when the options that day don't appeal to me.  I'll generally just have soup and salad instead.  Anyway, here's the pic:

(Seafood Gumbo with Rice, Pesto Orzo, Salad)

The seafood gumbo is actually one of my favorite options served at my cafeteria.  It's flavorful, a little spicy, and quite filling.  There's rice underneath the gumbo, even though you can't really see it.  The gumbo itself has sausage, shrimp, tomato, and okra in it.  I confess that I really don't enjoy okra--that slimy texture has just never been something I could get over--so I picked the biggest pieces out.  The pesto orzo is also really good, and I wanted to eat it while it was still offered.  Such options are "special" offerings, and usually come and go fairly quickly.  Wouldn't you know it, there was none today?  The salad was nothing special, just lettuce with shredded carrots and purple cabbage.  Normally, I would put tomato on it as well, and maybe even have some tomato slices on the side, but because the tomato shortage has caused their prices to soar, my cafeteria hasn't been offering them much at all =(

After the meal, I decided to grab something sweet:

To be honest, I picked this up because I had no idea what it was.  There was no sign, but I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be chocolate angel food cake.  At least, it mainly had the texture of angel food cake and because of the brown bits, I imagine it was supposed to be chocolate flavored.  It mainly tasted of air and sugar.  Not worth it.

I'll be out of town starting tomorrow.  I'm going on a mini-vacation to visit a friend for Easter.  I probably won't be posting during that time, but look for some great pics when I get back :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cafeteria Break-down

I think it's necessary to explain how my cafeteria works.  First of all, I go to a private university, and the cafeteria is open from 7:00am until 9:00pm (although food is not served after 7:00).  Although there are various meal plans to choose from, I bought what is most common -- 225 meals for the semester.  Since I live in a dorm where no kitchens are provided for the students (in fact, any cooking device beyond a microwave specifically borrowed from the school is forbidden), I have to rely on the cafeteria for all of my food.  For this meal plan, I pay $1,899.

When you enter the cafeteria, it's an all-you-can eat type of thing, even though lunch ladies still serve you.  You can go back through the lines as many times as you want.  There are three main hot food stations--one is vegetarian, one is 'classic' American foods, and the other is usually something a little different, generally more 'international' cooking.  There is also a sandwich station, where a lunch lady will you make you either a sandwich or wrap to order.  In addition, during the week there are always two soups to select from (one on the weekends), a salad bar, bagels, a dessert station, a pizza station, and the grill, which serves burgers, chicken patties, fries and the like.

So really, my school has a lot of options available.  However, I feel that a lot of the food can be quite fattening.  They usually post the caloric content of each dish, and sometimes the dish with the highest calories come from the vegetarian station.  I think that this is because the vegetarian station offers some form of cream sauce of cheese-covered option quite often.

This brings me to another issue--as a lactose intolerant person, I sometimes find it difficult to eat the food in my cafeteria.  For example, when they offer lasagna, they usually offer it at both the classic station and the vegetarian station, which eliminates two of the hot food stations for me entirely.  Then if the international section is serving quesadillas, all of the hot food lines are gone for me.  Sure, I could have a sandwich or salad, but that gets old day after day, and sometimes you just want a hot meal.  Those that make the food will make it without a sauce or the cheese if you ask, but in the case of the lasagna of the quesadilla, that's simply impossible.  There are no cheese substitutes (such as daiya cheese) available, although soy milk can be had upon request.

All in all, I really don't think my cafeteria is that bad.  There are certainly plenty of unhealthy choices, but if you're careful, they're easy to avoid. 

I forgot my camera to take a picture of my lunch, so I plan on photographing my dinner instead :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today's Lunch

Here's what I ate for lunch today:

 (Salad, Pesto Orzo with artichokes and black olives, Eggplant Parmesan)

 After I ate this lunch, I was still a bit peckish, so I also ate small orange.  I was very excited for the salad, because our school hasn't been offering tomatoes for over a month now, but I was able to have some today :)  Tomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables/fruits, so I've sincerely missed them.  The Pesto Orzo is also new to the school, I've never seen it in the four years I've been here, and I really enjoy it.  It was really flavorful.  My only problem is that they mixed in some feta cheese, and as I'm lactose intolerant, I had to pick the little hunks out.  (I can eat parmesan cheese with no problem).  The eggplant parmesan is also another of my favorite entree options.  It's a bit small, but has a lot of flavor.

(close-up of the eggplant parmesan)

Overall, I really enjoyed this lunch, although I found myself really hungry by the time I could eat dinner.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I work out in the gym, consequently I feel a bit hungrier those days.

You may have noticed the lack of meat in my meal--no, I'm not vegetarian.  But I have decided to try and participate in the "No Meat Mondays" movement.  (Meatless Monday Website)  While I knew that most Americans were consuming far too much meat, I had no idea the percentage was as high as 45%.  So in an attempt to cut down, I'm going to attempt to refrain from eating meat on Mondays.  Luckily, my school always offers a vegetarian option, so I don't think I'll find this very hard to do.

For the next post, I'd like to further explain the specific options my university offers daily.

First Post!!

Hello!  My name is Miss W, and I'm a senior in college.  I've decided to blog about my attempt to change the way I eat.  I've been inspired by others, such as the Let's Move Campaign by Mrs. Obama, as well as other bloggers and friends who are doing much the same.

I've named this blog "No More Self-Control" because of something a friend said months ago as we were eating in our school's cafeteria.  She had finished her meal, and was simply waiting for the rest of the table to also finish, when she suddenly got up and announced, "Since I have no self-control, I'm going to visit the dessert table."  It was funny at the time, of course, but later I began thinking--it's true.  We have lost the ability to simply refuse to eat something if it's there.  We eat like it's a holiday, everyday.

As an overweight girl myself, I have long struggled with eating.  I began eating a lot when I was about 12 or so, because my parents were going through a nasty divorce and food was simply comforting.  I fully recognize that I still find it a comfort, but I also understand that I need to find other means of finding that feeling that don't including consuming hundreds of calories.

Thus, I am starting this blog, to help encourage me to keep up with what I'm about to undertake.  Which is, by the way, not a diet.  A diet is something people go on for a time with the eventual hope of eating "normally again."  No, I'm changing how I think about food and what I put in my body for my life, so that I can live longer and healthier.

I plan on updating with some pictures of my cafeteria food every now and then, so you can see what the type of food we're served at the college level.  Bon Appetit!