Loyola University Maryland

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Healthy Hound Wellness Blog

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Meet Alicia—Our Corporate Dietitian

Alicia, Loyola Dining's corporate dieticianAlicia is Parkhurst Dining's Corporate Dietitian. She is originally from West Virginia and completed her master's degree and dietetic internship at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., but travels to all of Parkhurst's corporate and college sites to promote wellness and nutrition. She loves working with the Parkhurst chefs to create healthy, but delicious, foods. She promotes a plant-based diet with a focus on whole foods for the best approach to living well. She enjoys teaching about the health and environmental benefits of eating plant-based as well as how delicious and versatile it can be. She loves sharing new recipes and sampling foods that get people to think outside the box.

Alicia visits Loyola once a month for Wellness Wednesday to hand out wellness samples and nutrition information, and answer student's questions. You can find her in Boulder from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates for the Fall 2021 semester:

  • Sept. 15: National Whole Grains Month: Guess the Grains
  • Oct. 13: Vegetarian Awareness Month
  • Nov. 10: Health & Sustainability
  • Dec. 8: Smart Study Snacks

Recreation and Wellness Partnership

We’ve partnered with Recreational Wellness to bring you a monthly wellness topic and theme meal!

December Wellness Topic: Comfort Foods

When we talk about healthy meals, it’s easy to picture lighter meals like green salads, or grilled chicken and vegetables. But, as the weather gets cooler, we often want warmer, comforting meals. The good news is that there are plenty of comfort foods that are full of nutrients. This month, we’re featuring one meal each week that are both comforting and nutritious.

Week One: Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

  • Pasta can sometimes be viewed as an “unhealthy” option, but there’s plenty of room for pasta in a healthy diet. A great way to boost a pasta dish’s health benefits is by adding roasted vegetables, giving your meal some additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • You can find Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti on Loyola Diner for Dinner in Boulder on Friday, December 3rd.

Week 2: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

  • A burritos health benefits all depend on what you put in them! Thankfully, black beans and sweet potatoes are low in calories and fat and contain a significant amount of fiber. Sweet potatoes also give this meal a nutritional boost as they are high in several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Manganese. 
  • You can find Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos on Iggy’s Dish for lunch on Friday, December 10th.

Week 3: Turkey Meatball Sub

  • Who doesn’t love a meatball sub? You can make this sandwich a little lighter by swapping beef meatballs for turkey, which is lower in calories and saturated fat, while still providing plenty of protein. If you’d like to add some additional nutrients, you can also swap your sub roll with a whole wheat option for added protein and fiber.
  • You can get a Turkey Meatball Sub for lunch on the Toasted Hot Deli on Friday, Dec. 17th.

November Wellness Topic: Post-Work Out Meals

What Makes a Good Post-Work Out Meal?

  •  When considering a post-workout meal, you’ll want to find something that is rich in protein and carbohydrates.
    • Protein: Exercising causes the breakdown of muscle protein, protein after a workout helps rebuild those proteins and lays the foundation for building new muscle tissue.
    • Carbs: Exercising uses glycogen (what your body uses for fuel!).  Eating some carbs after a workout helps replenish your body’s glycogen.

November Theme Meal: Tuna Salad on Whole Wheat

Why is this a good post-workout meal?

  • Tuna is a high-protein food, packing nearly 25 grams per serving, giving your body the protein it needs to help replenish your muscle protein and build muscle tissue.
  • Whole Wheat bread is an excellent source of carbs, with 12 grams per slice. One sandwich can provide you with 24 grams on carbs to help replenish your body’s glycogen.
  • Tuna is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can help decrease inflammation after a workout.

Visit the Recreational and Wellness website to learn more about the department and its programs!

Brain Fuel Foods

As you power through the semester or prepare for finals, eating the right foods can give your brain the nutritional support it needs to perform at the highest level. Brain fuel foods such as fatty fish like salmon, green vegetables like Kale, berries, cherries, nuts, and seeds are crafted to fuel your brain with the nutrients it needs to help you function at your best.

Chickpea Energy Bites are a quick and easy snack that provides some brain super foods to help you perform your best during finals. Chickpeas are a complete package of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Combined with peanut butter, a source of Vitamin E, zinc, unsaturated fatty acids, and additional plant-based protein; and oatmeal, a source of whole-grain carbohydrates, fiber, and B vitamins, you get a delicious, brain nourishing snack. Your brain uses carbohydrates (specifically glucose) as its main source of fuel. By eating foods that are balanced with carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fats you provide a steady supply of fuel to your brain. We use semi-sweet chocolate, but you can substitute some chopped 70% or higher dark chocolate to give your brain some extra anti-oxidants. Check out our video (below) for a great brain fuel recipe.

Good luck on your semester from Loyola Dining!

Fall Superfoods

Fall is the perfect time to eat seasonably and locally. Enjoy some of these superfoods while they are at the peak of flavor and nutrition this fall.

Cranberries: These often overlooked berries are one of the highest sources of the phytochemical group, proanthocyanins and linked to cardiovascular and urinary tract health benefits. One cup of cranberries only has 45 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate and 4.5 grams of fiber along with vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. Because these berries are so low in sugar and the nutrients are most available in the raw berry add them to smoothies with other fruits or in a cranberry relish or salsa.

Pumpkin and Winter Squash: Pumpkin most often gets all of the fall attention, but often the “pumpkin” we consume is in fact a variety of winter squash. When it comes to nutrition pumpkin and winter squash are equally fall superfoods. Pumpkin and Winter Squash are both excellent sources of Beta Carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A and other carotenoids as well as a good source of Vitamin C, Potassium and fiber. 1 cup of cooked squash has about 75 calories, 18 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of fiber. So look for different varieties of winter squash to roast up and enjoy such as delicata or sweet dumpling and don’t forget to roast up the seeds to get bonus protein and nutrients.

Kale: There is no doubt kale and other greens are superfoods anytime of the year, however, they are at their peak during cool weather. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, manganese and copper. It is full of fiber, potassium, folate and loads of other vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals. One of the benefits to getting kale from local farms or farmers markets is to enjoy the unique varieties beyond traditional curly kale. Varieties such as Red Russian, Dinosaur or Dwarf Blue are all fun ways to eat this superfood. Enjoy it raw in salads or slaws or wilted in soups.

Apples: Let’s be honest the main reason to eat apples this fall is for the flavor. Nothing bets the crisp, juicy crunch of biting into an apple at its peak ripeness. Nutrition benefits are an added bonus and apples are a good source of soluble fiber, vitamin C and the anti-oxidant group, phenols. Eating the skin of the apple is a must for all of the nutrition benefits so be sure to wash all your fruit and if you can buy from orchards that use low pesticides or buy organic.

Beets: Beets are unique in that they get their red color from a group of phytochemicals called Betalains so offer a different layer of nutritional protection for our bodies. 1 cup of cooked beets has about 75 calories, 3 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrate and 3.5 grams of fiber. The are an excellent source of folate and a good source of potassium, iron and vitamin C. An easy way to cook beets is to wash and place in foil and roast in 425 degree oven for about an hour. Allow to cool and skins will easily slide off beet. Beet hummus is a another fun way to enjoy. Download and try Alicia's Beet Hummus recipe.

Check out these fall superfood recipes as well:

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