There’s a variety of reasons to want to eat healthy. Whether it be for health concerns, a desire to get in shape or just feeling a need for a change, eating healthy can have a variety of positive effects on one’s life.
Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, but the easiest meal to make healthy decisions with to kickstart your metabolism. It’s super important to avoid starting the day with sugars, but rather with proteins and other nutrients. This is essential as you rely on your first meal to keep you energized throughout the day. Sugars provide short term energy with a quick downturn,whereas, proteins allow a long steady day of energy.
One of the most delicious, and most easily accessible, meals in the morning is an omelet. Try substituting egg whites instead of normal eggs to get more protein and less calories, plus they cook faster for a rushed morning. When making the omelet, don’t forget to throw in veggies and proteins. A healthy favorite is an egg white omelet with spinach and ham.
If you’re eating on a meal plan, the Terrace Dining Room has an omelet station which is a great place to grab something healthy on campus in the morning.
For off campus options, one popular great breakfast spot that has healthy meals is Tryst in Adams Morgan. Try the house made granola or the spinach turn over. Locally, feel free to stop at Wagshals or Robeks, which offers a ton of smoothies and acai bowls.
Since we are in Washington D.C., it is essential to talk about brunch. Brunch may sound like an inevitable sin when it comes to eating healthy, but that isn’t always the case. Omelets are still an option, but many brunch menus feature salads, which can seem like safe bets. These options can be your friend, but be sure to avoid salads drowning in dressing that are creamy or high in fat. Instead, try a low fat vinaigrette.
Not into salads? We all love pancakes!. If you want to add syrup to your pancakes you may want to substitute it with a jam, or even protein packed peanut butter. If syrup is a must, just try to avoid large helpings or opt for sugar free. As a rule of thumb, dip your fork in syrup, sauces or dressings instead of drizzling it on your food, which will reduce adding too much sugar to your meal.
One off-campus brunch spot is La Tomate in DuPont Circle. Their brunch menu is a little on the pricy side, but the food is phenomenal. They have a wide variety of salads and a smaller portion size so that you’re not left feeling groggy.
When eating lunch, sandwiches are your friend, so feel free to throw a ton of veggies on them and add lean meats like turkey and chicken.
If eating with meal swipes, try to go to either with Freshii or Subway. When at Subway, try whole wheat breads like the honey wheat, flatbread or multigrain, and be sure to top your sandwich off with tons of veggies. At Freshii, nearly everything on the menu is great, although you may not want to get sauces on the side
When venturing off-campus, try Chopt or Sweet Green for a healthy salad. Both of these restaurants can be found on the red line in Dupont Circle and Bethesda. You can also try the “build your own” style restaurant Shophouse,the closest one being in Dupont Circle. Its menu is delicious and usually a safe bet when eating healthy, my favorite is the rice noodle bowl with grilled chicken and peanut sauce.
If you’re looking for something healthy and closer to campus, Beefsteak in Tenleytown is a delicious, healthy option. Beefsteak is very vegan friendly with a menu that allows you to build a variety of different meals with a base of steamed vegetables of your choice. For those looking to try something at Beefsteak, the Eden Bowl or Frida Kale.
Dinner is the big meal of the day, and with that comes big flavor. When in Tenleytown, any places like Chipotle, Crisp & Juicy and Nandos. All of these restaurants have a plethora of healthy food options. At Chipotle, try to opt for a salad or brown rice burrito bowl, and avoid heavy cheese and sour cream. Crisp and Juicy has a variety of grilled chicken options, my guilty pleasure which is surprisingly low calorie (around 700) is the chicken quesadilla. At Nando's, try the Chicken Burger, which features grilled chicken and pineapple, and a side of brussel sprouts.
Cut out unnecessary sugars at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts by swapping out sweet tea for unsweetened tea, and try to avoid frappucinos as they’re pure sugar. Focus on drinking water which allows one to enjoy more of a calorie budget on meals rather than what you drink.