Dining on a Dime

Many college students wonder how to eat healthy on a budget. It’s not easy to do. But, it CAN be done! Read on for some wallet friendly shopping tips.

Before grocery shopping:

•Plan ahead
•Make a list
•Don’t go hungry
•Look for sales
•Use coupons

While grocery shopping:

•Stick to the perimeter. You’ll find the fresh, perishable items on the perimeter of the store.
•Be wise to marketing. Supermarkets pull out all the tricks to get you to buy that impulse item. Stick to your list!
•Try store brands. Many times the store brands are made by the same companies that manufacture the name brands, with a different label
•Buy seasonal produce. If an item is in season, it’s most likely going to be less expensive.
•Buy smaller amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables and more non-perishable items. Canned and frozen goods will keep longer than fresh fruits and vegetables. You may have to make more trips to the store or your local farmer’s market, but it’s worth it for fresh produce.

Try this tasty recipe which rings in at only $1.01 per serving (serves 4)

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts & Feta Cheese


–½ lb whole wheat pasta
–½ c walnuts chopped
–½ c crumbled reduced fat feta cheese  red = already have
–½ c diced red onion  green = will have for next time
–1 ½ c chopped baby spinach  blue = have to buy
–2 ½ tsp olive oil
–2 T red wine vinegar
–1 clove garlic, minced
–½ tsp Dijon mustard
–Salt and pepper to taste


1.Cook pasta according to package. Put in refrigerator to chill.
2.In dry pan, toast walnuts over medium high until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3.In a large bowl, toss pasta, walnuts, feta cheese, onion and spinach.
4.In a small bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard. Pour dressing over pasta and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.
What’s your favorite budget-friendly meal to cook?

Friday Nutrition Tip

Eat some avocado!

Avocados are tasty and portable.  They are also full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol.

To keep an avocado from turning brown after cutting…

Leave the pit in when you store it!

Ripeness Chart:

Enjoy this recipe from my new favorite healthy eating blog Snack-Girl


Avocado Toast Recipe

(serves 1)

1/4 ripe avocado
1 slice 100% whole grain toast
salt to taste

Spread avocado on toast. Salt to taste and enjoy!

150 calories, 8.3 g fat, 15.9 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g protein, 6.3 g fiber, 136 mg sodium

What’s your favorite way to eat an avocado?



To yesterday’s pop quiz!

That glass of OJ provides almost 100% of the RDA of Vitamin C, an



Tea is rich in polyphenols.  Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamin C,

A, lycopene and beta carotene.


We are exposed to free radicals when our bodies break down food,

as well as from the environment.  Antioxidants may help protect

your cells from the effects of these free radicals.


  1. Fruits and vegetables. 

Antioxidant supplementation is not recommended at this time.

Consume a well-balanced diet that contains lots of fruits and

vegetables to ensure intake of a sufficient amount of antioxidants.


In addition to eating well, it is important to get enough sleep, wash your hands frequently, and keep stress levels low.


Created by: Kimberly Pierce, RD, LDN

Sodexo Dietitian – Stonehill College


Pop Quiz!

Eating to Stay Healthy

Created by: Kimberly Pierce, RD, LDN

Sodexo Dietitian – Stonehill College

Achoo!  Feeling okay?  What you eat can influence how healthy you stay, and how quickly you can bounce back from an illness.  Take this quiz to see how much you know about staying healthy:


  1.  Which of the following breakfast choices  would provide the most immune-enhancing nutrients: 

A:  A bowl of cheerios with 1% milk, banana, and glass of OJ

B:  A bagel with cream cheese with a cup of coffee

C:  Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast with a glass of apple juice


  1.  Which snack choice would provide the most immune-enhancing nutrients:

A:  Cup of green tea with a bowl of fresh fruit

B:  Granola bar

C:  Chocolate bar


  1. Which nutrient(s) are considered antioxidants:

A:  carbohydrates

B:  Vitamin C, A, E, lycopene, beta carotene

C:  fat


4.  What 2 food groups contain the best sources of antioxidants?


  1.  Which of the following are other ways to stay healthy:

A:  Get enough sleep

B:  Lower your stress level with meditation and yoga

C:  Wash your hands frequently

D:  All of the above


 Check back tomorrow for the answers!

Carbohydrates: Good guy or bad guy?

It depends on the type of carbohydrate you are choosing.

According to Alexia Eljade-Ruiz:

“All-or-nothing diets are missing the mark. The body needs carbohydrates, and choosing the best forms they come in can benefit your long-term health.”

Read on to find out more:


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Friday Nutrition Tip

Get Enough Calcium!

Men and women between the ages of 19-50 should get 1000mg of calcium per day. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. So is exercise. If we don’t participate in weight bearing exercise such as running, playing tennis, rowing or lifting weights, over time, our bones become brittle and weak.  Combine exercise with a diet rich in calcium and Vit D for healthy bones!

The chart below portrays how many milligrams of calcium each food provides:

Different ways to get calcium:

  • Use milk to make oatmeal.

  • Make whole-wheat pancakes and waffles using milk or yogurt.

  • Use plain yogurt to make a dressing or a dip, or try it on potatoes in place of fattier sour cream.

  • Add milk or yogurt to a fruit smoothie. You can even freeze blended smoothies for popsicles.

  • Enjoy a small piece of cheese for dessert or as a snack. Try cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda, jack, Parmesan, or a type of cheese you’ve never had before.

Ways to get calcium WITHOUT milk products:

  • Eat dark green, leafy salads.

  • Add extra servings of veggies to your meals (asparagus, fresh green peas, broccoli, cabbage, okra, bok choy).

  • Top salads or make a sandwich with canned fish such as pink salmon.

  • Try tofu, tempeh, black-eyed peas, black beans, and other dried beans as part of your meals.

  • Eat your oats (oatmeal, whole grain oatmeal bread).

  • Snack on nuts and seeds such as almonds or sesame seeds, but watch portion sizes!

Source: http://helpguide.org/life/healthy_diet_osteoporosis.htm


Males and females between the ages of 19-30 years old should aim for 600 IU of Vitamin D per day (sidenote: amount of recommended Vit D has been increased since the chart below was created so the %DV is not correct)

Dietary Sources of Vitamin D, according to http://www.algaecal.com/vitamin-d/vitamin-d-sources.html

International Units(IU)
per serving
Percent DV
Pure Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon (Note: most refined cod liver oils today have the vitamin D removed! Check your label to be certain.)
Salmon, cooked, 3½ ounces
Mackerel, cooked, 3½ ounces
Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1¾ ounces
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified, 1 cup
Margarine, fortified, 1 Tablespoon
Pudding, prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk, ½ cup
Ready-to-eat cereals fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, ¾ cup to 1 cup servings (servings vary according to the brand)
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in egg yolk)
Liver, beef, cooked, 3½ ounces
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce


Oatmeal…love it or hate it?

The following recipe came from Nutrition to Kitchen which was voted one of 2011’s Top 75 Nutrition Blogs.

The photo alone sold me.

Spiced Fruit & Nut Oatmeal
serves 1-2

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup water
3 oz blackberries
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, serve.


If you decide to make it, let me know how it tastes!

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Sodexo Cupcakes

 Try this Sodexo recipe for a light treat



1 box ‘Moist’ white cake mix (Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, etc)

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half

½ cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)

3 egg whites

½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped finely


1 cup plain, fat free greek yogurt

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional garnishes

Thin slices of fresh strawberry

Dark chocolate shavings (use a vegetable peeler on the chocolate bar)



1. In a blender or food processor, combine 1st listed strawberry halves and applesauce. Puree until smooth.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pureed fruit & egg whites. With a hand mixer, beat at low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 30 additional seconds (or, mix by hand until well combined.)

3. Fold in chopped strawberries.

4. Portion into regular muffin tins, lined with muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 – 15 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted into the center of a muffin in the center of the pan, comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

5. To prepare icing, combine yogurt, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Stir gently to completely combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, minimum, to allow icing to thicken.

6. Dip cooled cupcakes, top facing down, into icing, to glaze the tops.

7. Optional garnishes: Place thin slices of strawberry on top of iced cupcakes, and a sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings.


Comparison: (comparing this recipe to cupcakes made with oil & water, and with ready-to-use frosting) 50% less calories — ¾ g. less fat (as opposed to 14 g.) — 40% less sodium

© 2011 Sodexo, Inc.

Resource: http://blogs.sodexousa.com/files/2011/02/Strawberry-Cloud-Cupcake-Recipe.pdf