Nosh for Nutrition: Yogurt Parfait

I was running late this morning so I decided to have a late breakfast, early lunch. I love the yogurt bar in the dining hall. There are so many ways to customize your yogurt parfait. Today I chose plain yogurt with mandarin oranges and half a pear. I sprinkled on some dried cranberries and classic granola. Our organic yogurt comes from Stonyfield Farm based out of Londonderry, NH (70 miles from PSU) and our organic granola is sourced from GrandyOats in Brownfield, ME (64 miles from PSU)

Voila! You have a balanced breakfast.

What do you put in your parfait?

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Earth Day 2013

The first ever Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 and has been celebrated every year for the past 43 years. In 1970, the care-free sixties were over and people were starting to realize that the choices we make have a long lasting impact on the environment. This year will be no different as people from all over the country join together to participate in special celebrations of this planet we call home.
One of the biggest impacts we can make on the environment are the foods we choose to purchase and consume. It takes more fossil fuels to raise animals to eat than it takes to grow plant foods.
If all Americans were to go vegetarian for JUST ONE DAY it could save:
  • 100 billion gallons of water
  • 1.5 billion pounds of crops fed to livestock
  • 70 million gallons of gas
  • 3 million acres of land
  • 33 tons of antibiotics
If every American changed just ONE meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.
It’s as simple as starting out with one vegetarian meal per week. Here are some ideas:
Oatmeal with almond milk and blueberries
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana
Vegetable Soup with piece of house made bread
Hummus with pita, carrots and cucumber slices
Vegetable stir-fry with tofu and rice
Veggie quesadilla with black beans, salsa and avocado

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

*NEW SERIES* Nosh for Nutrition

This is the first installment of a series of posts looking at the different foods I eat at Prospect Dining Hall at Plymouth State University and other dining halls throughout New England.

As a Sodexo employee, one of the perks of my job is getting to eat so many meals that have been carefully prepared for me (I do sometimes like to cook on my own ;)). Through these weekly posts, I hope to inspire people to try something new while thinking outside of the box in a space that sometimes feels all too familiar.

Breakfast: Two poached eggs on two slices of asiago cheese toast with a side of tabouleh and fresh fruit. This was a breakfast special created and served by Dana Perkins, one of our Prospect cooks. Stop by the grill and say hi!

Another great thing about Sodexo is that they realize the impact of their business on the environment. The use of local foods is a huge initiative within Sodexo and is important to us here at PSU. Buying local foods keeps money within the local economy, helps the environment by lessening our carbon footprint and are often more nutritious because the foods are fresher and closer to the source.

This meal was made of eggs from Pete & Gerry’s cage free eggs in Monroe, NH ( and bread from Mountain View Manna Bread in Ashland, NH (

Try the local flavor!

What did you eat for breakfast?



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Why Can’t I Stop Eating at Night?

By: Lindsey Bandoian, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living Fall 2012

The article, Ask Healthy Living: Why Can’t I Stop Eating At Night? is a common question wondered by a majority of people. At one point or another, we are all guilty of raiding the fridge in the wee hours of the night, but what happens when it starts becoming a recurring theme in the night? There are endless possibilities as to why people cannot refuse the temptation of a midnight snack. In today’s hectic lifestyle people are often stressed and anxious, which are two symptoms that tend to disrupt sleep cycles. When sleep cycles are disrupted, people become cranky and have a tendency to resort to food for emotional comfort.

            This article further enhances a logical explanation to why people crave food at night as it could be night eating syndrome. Night eating syndrome is also known as “midnight hunger”, as it is an ongoing, persistent pattern of late-night binge eating. The article states that night-eating syndrome has not yet been formally defined as an eating disorder, but a recent study suggests that more than a quarter of people who are overweight by at least a hundred pounds suffer from night eating syndrome. In America alone, there are twelve million people considered to be severely obese, which is defined as more than one hundred pounds overweight, this means that statistically, night eating syndrome is a diagnoses for millions of Americans.

Night eating syndrome is when the body’s clock is on one schedule for being awake and asleep and a different schedule for feeling hungry. The article, Night eating syndrome: effects of brief relaxation training on stress, mood, hunger, and eating patterns authored by, Pawlow, O’Neil, and Malcolm conjure similar reasoning’s to the article, that most people who suffer from night eating syndrome have little or no appetite for breakfast, so the first meal is not even consumed until several hours after waking up due to not feeling hungry or being upset about how much was eaten the night before. These patterns are what cause a discrepancy between the body’s clock schedule of being awake and asleep and a different schedule for feeling hungry. It is essential for the body to eat continuously throughout the day to stay energized rather than obtaining an overload of calories in one meal. Skipping meals and restricting calories are proven to create bodily cravings. Therefore, if one does not receive enough sleep at night, the hormones that control hunger and satiety increase and decrease which create an unnatural imbalance in the body. This unnatural balance will create a desire for a person to reach for high fat, salty, sugary foods for an instant rush of energy that the body is lacking from quality sleep.

            Night Eating Syndrome is an important issue to be aware of because the obesity rate is steadily increasing which will undoubtedly increase the diagnosis of night eating syndrome. Night eating syndrome may be an unconscious attempt to self-medicate mood problems but treatment such as stress reduction programs are proven to decrease the symptoms and help people on the right track to a healthier happier lifestyle. If the diagnosis of night eating syndrome was made more aware to people, maybe people would stop ignoring the issue and focus on their health by seeking the treatment that is needed.

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The Legend that is Whole Foods Market

By: Parker Spear, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living Fall 2012

People have been searching for alternatives in order to deem themselves as “healthy eaters.” As you see more and more, people are turning to grocers such as Whole Food Markets and other organic food stores, offering the finest in natural and organic foods. Reasons for doing so include being healthy, tagged closely along with being environmentally friendly. However, these whole food sellers aren’t always what they seem, and questions arise as to the commitments that they promise.
At what point do these Whole Food Sellers give in? There seems to be a double edged sword when it comes to getting the things people want for the payoff that they expect. In an article explaining why one should buy organic, the author is first to point out the obvious, that organic products are more beneficial to the environment. This can be true, however, not in all instances. Next time you find yourself visiting a Whole Foods Market, notice two things. Many of their products are organic, satisfying the need of being healthy. However, this leads to a misconception that your tomato and other products are healthier and more sustainable for the environment, another tangible you expect from your organic foods. Look at the label and see where that product was made.
“Organic agriculture has been growing rapidly in recent years—by a factor of 10 from 1992 to 2005—but still accounts for a tiny 0.5 percent of total farmland in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).”(Haddad). This highlights the fact that organic farms are hard to come by. Many products are being shipped and transported from far away, disbursing dangerous fossil fuels into the air polluting our earth. So, next time you demand organic foods for the need of being conscious for a greener environment recognize the impact you’re now placing on the planet in order to eat a food that’s supposedly “greener.”


  1. Haddad, Abigail. “AMERICAN.COM.” The Problem With Organic Food — The American Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <>.
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Make Your Own Sushi!

Join us Wednesday, March 27th at dinner in Prospect Hall for:

Make Your Own Sushi Night!

This will be a hands-on event. We provide the ingredients, you provide the creativity.

See you there!

For more information contact Sara Patterson at 5-3186 or

Organics: Are They Worth All the Hype?

By: Neisha Hernandez, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living Fall 2012

In recent years, it seems that a new wave has come into great popularity; organic foods. The appeal of organic foods is the supposed lack of chemical additives, the small-scale family-owned production, the environmental benefits, and the nutritional value which is perceived as greater than conventionally grown foods. The truth is, most people are unaware whether organic foods truly accomplish the task of being a healthier alternative to conventional foods.

Although organic may sound excellent in theory, consumers must become aware of several disadvantages that aren’t generally publicized. First, organic foods do not actually provide less pollution than conventionally grown foods; greenhouse gases emitted during transport of foods and the added methane produced by organic cow farms (organic cows produce considerably more than conventional cows) completely mitigates any benefits that organics may have in terms of emissions. Environmental downfalls also include the fact that organic farming is less sustainable than conventional farming. Organic fields must be given time to naturally regenerate nutrients whereas conventional fields can be chemically enriched. Since organic fields must be plowed more often and organic greenhouses require more energy (up to 100 times more than conventional methods), more resources are spent growing the organic foods than the conventional foods.
Lastly, organic food is said to be “healthier” for you. Promoters of organic foods argue that the pesticides in conventional foods are unhealthy; no reputable study has shown any health disadvantages from pesticide use, nor has any study shown that organic food carries more nutritional value than conventional food. Although research may provide us with some benefits of organic use, none have proved it any “healthier”. In conclusion, organic food certainly is on the rise in today’s culture, and while it is said to have many benefits, it may not be the way this country can afford to go – it costs more to grow and to buy, it is environmentally ineffective, and it really isn’t any healthier for you than conventional food. No reasonable expectation can be made about eradicating the  use of organic foods but consumers must question whether it is a cost-effective and necessary part of their diet.

Johnston, Rob, P.h.D. . “The Great Organic Myth: Why Organic Foods are an Indulgence the World Can’t Afford.” The Indepentent. The Independent, 1 2008. Web. 19 Nov 2012. <>.
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