Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Better for You: Chocolate Chip Blondies

During the Holiday Season, you find yourself always surrounded by desserts. You bake them. They're at the parties and gatherings you attend. The leftovers from parties are at your house. You can't hide from them, and most of them look pretty delicious and tempting. Your brain and palate might be telling you to eat them while the buttons on your pants are indicating that you have had enough. The following is a recipe of a healthier dessert that tastes pretty delicious, but yet it is a much healthier (low in fat and calories) version of a holiday favorite. You might have even tried these Better for
You: Chocolate Chip Blondies. They were served at the Holiday Dinner this year in the Ballroom and were a hit!

Better for You: Chocolate Chip Blondies

Makes two - 9x13" pans = 60 pieces

6 cups (35oz by weight / 48 fl oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup honey (or to make this recipe vegan: use 1/4 cup agave nectar)
2 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup applesauce
2 large bananas
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
1/3 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 9x13" oblong pans with parchment.
  2. Blend all ingredients (except the chocolate) until very smooth in a food processor (you may have to blend two or more batches depending on the size of your food processor).
  3. Pulse in the chocolate chunks and chips.
  4. Spread the batter in the pans.
  5. Bake 45 minutes.
  6. Do not over bake. They will firm as they cool.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories: 76.8
Total Fat: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 97.0 mg
Total Carbs: 17.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 1.5 g
* In order to make this recipe healthier, the typical fat source was not used - butter, margarine, oil - instead the recipe used applesauce. The recipe did not call for eggs as its binder - instead it used pureed garbanzo beans. Since there were no eggs used in this recipe, if you use agave nectar instead of honey, this recipe becomes a vegan dessert as well. The usage of garbanzo beans provides both protein and fiber to this dessert. The fiber content is also increased by using the oats and whole wheat flour. I recommend you try these desserts at your next holiday party. Then you can choose these over the other high calorie, high fat desserts, and you can impress our friends with your healthy, tasty dessert option.
Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fueling for Finals with Food

The end of the semester is coming to a close and with that means final exams. I am sure that most of you will spend the majority of your time this next week studying. Some of you might even be planning on practically living in the library during finals week. We’ve all been there. However,
during finals week sometimes you tend to make poor food decisions because you're too busy with studying. Yes, studying will definitely help you do well on finals, but your health and diet play a role too! Living on extra-large iced mocha drinks and late-night junk food for days at a time is not good fuel for your brain. You should be choosing foods that can help increase your brain circulation, enhance your memory and improve your concentration. Here are some tips on how healthy eating during exams can be easily done:

When you're deciding what to eat, choose:

Grains - all whole grains: whole wheat bread, quinoa, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, brown rice

Fruits - most fruits like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, plums, apples, peaches, avocados, oranges, grapes, kiwi

Vegetables - richly colored vegetables especially dark leafy greens, spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, beets, red peppers

Lean Proteins - tuna, salmon, lentils, eggs, lean beef, low-fat yogurt, milk, lean chicken, pork,

Other Beneficial Brain Foods - walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax, canola and olive oil, green tea, water
(The dining halls have a wide variety of food so remember these foods when filling your plate at Griesedieck and Reinert)
If you're going to be in the library for a while, consider these options:
Take food with you like -
  • peanut butter on whole grain bread
  • salad
  • turkey sandwich on whole grain bread or as a wrap
  • fruit (with or without a little peanut butter)
  • yogurt parfait
  • veggies or whole wheat pita wedges with hummus
(many of these suggestions can be purchased at locations that sell Outtakes' items) 
Take a break to refuel with food -
  • Au Bon Pain has:
    • a variety of turkey and chicken sandwiches
    • salmon on their menu
    • salads
    • soups with vegetables, whole grains, and/or lean proteins
    • eggs
  • Argo Tea has:
    • green tea
    • a variety of healthy entrees, sides, or snacks (most of their food items are made with lean proteins and whole grains)
  • Ameren has:
    • a create your own salad, wrap, or sandwich option using lean proteins, richly colored vegetables, and a whole grain wrap/bread
  • The Bean has:
    • a wide variety of Outtakes' items (salads, wraps, sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, crudité bags)
  • MarketPlace has:
    • nutritious salads at Earth Table
    • create your own healthy salad, wrap, or sandwich at Grand Deli
    • richly colored vegetables, brown rice, and lean protein (grilled chicken or tofu) at Modern Asian Kitchen
    • whole grain pasta at Laclede Pizza Co
    • grilled chicken and salad options at Chick-fil-A
  • Salsarita's has:
    • create your own bowl that you can add lean proteins like beans, chicken, and pork too as well as grilled vegetables, rice, and salsa
  • Caffe CGC has:
    • salads and sandwich options that contain lean proteins and veggies
    • healthy entrees and sides in their unique menu
    • hummus
  • Subway has:
    • a variety of lean protein sandwiches that you can get on 9-grain wheat or 9-grain honey oat
    • salads with your choice of lean protein
  • DeMart has:
    • a wide arrange of healthy foods that you can eat upon purchase or keep in your dorm for when you get hungry studying
  • Fusz has:
    • healthy salads and wraps at Crisp
    • grilled chicken at Pollo
    • lean beef and chicken at Grill Nation but be careful with the toppings you select for your sandwich
A few other tips to keep in mind:
Stretch it out - After every hour of studying, try getting up and moving your muscles for a couple of minutes. Take the opportunity to refill your water bottle, walk to the bathroom, touch your toes, and/or reach for the sky.

Don’t let stress get the best of you - Many people might not work out during finals week because they are busy studying, but when determining your studying schedule include time to get some physical activity. Swap time that you spend on social media with time spent in the gym. Trust me the gym is a much better stress reliever.

Catch some Zzzz’s to get A’s - Make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It may feel more productive to keep studying rather than sleeping, but the truth is your study sessions will be much more effective after some shut-eye.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

It’s Thanksgiving break! Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for some it also becomes a time when you find yourself over-eating and possibly gaining weight. The holiday season doesn’t have to lead to weight gain. How can we avoid putting on extra weight while having a great time?  Focus on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun. By implementing a few simple tips you can stay healthy through the holiday season.

·         Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating.

·         Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals could tempt you to over-indulge.

·         Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.

·         Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.

·         Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating. Non-alcoholic beverages can also be full of calories plus sugar.

·         If you overeat at one meal, go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day above your normal caloric consumption to gain one pound (or 3,500 calories per week).

·         Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering so that you know there is at least one healthy option for you to choose from.

·         Take the focus off food. Enjoy being around your family and friends. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games, or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.

I hope you enjoy the holiday season and feel great while doing it!
Links to Helpful, Healthy Holiday Tips:
Simple Ways to Cut Sugar, Calories, Sodium, and Fat - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-holiday-eating/MY01046

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meeting with Students

I really enjoy meeting with students and hearing their feedback and suggestions regarding the food being served at Saint Louis University. Their insight gives Chartwells and myself new and different thoughts and ideas as well as reassures us on certain things that we are already doing that students are enjoying and/or appreciative of.

I have recently met with some students who are interested in making sure that students are being provided with healthy, sustainable, quality foods. I am very interested in providing students with the food, knowledge, and tools they need to make healthy choices in their lives now that I hope will help them to continue to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives. After meeting with them, I began to wonder if students were aware of some of the things Chartwells already does in order to provide healthy, sustainable, quality foods. So here is a list of some of the current things Chartwells is doing...

  • Local Produce - Chartwells uses local produce options over non-local produce whenever possible given geographic and seasonal restrictions

  • Sustainable Seafood - All seafood purchases are in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Any locally purchased seafood should also meet these guidelines.

  • Free Range Chicken and Pork - Chartwells' broadline purchases of chicken and pork are from free range farms. This means the chicken and pigs are born and raised with free access to the outdoors.

  • Cage Free Eggs - All of Chartwells' broadline egg purchases, both shell and liquid, are from cage free hens. This means the hens have the ability to walk around and spread their wings.
  • rBGH Free Milk & Yogurt - All of Chartwells' broadline supplied milk and yogurt is provided by dairies committed to raising dairy cows without additional growth hormones to boost milk production.
Chartwells and myself will continue to explore ways to provide you with healthy, sustainable, quality foods. If you have any ideas, questions, or comments, please share. You can contact me at nutrition@slu.edu. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hungry and Healthy After 7:00PM

Many of the eateries on the Saint Louis University campus close at 7:00PM; however, you might not have had the opportunity to eat yet. If you are someone looking for healthy options after 7:00... let me help you!
What eateries are open after 7:00PM?

Fusz: Crisp, Jamba Juice, Grill Nation, Pollo
Subway and DeMart
The Bean

What can I get that is healthy at these eateries?

Fusz: Crisp - At Crisp you can find many healthy options. Create your own salad or wrap and make good decisions. Here are some tips...
·       Choose spinach, spring mix, or romaine lettuce over iceberg lettuce because these are packed full of more nutrients than iceberg lettuce.
·        Pile on the colorful veggies! Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini are all great toppings that provide good-for-you antioxidants (thanks to their richly colored pigments) for very few calories.
·        Choose Italian or raspberry vinaigrette dressings over the creamy dressings. Italian and raspberry vinaigrette dressings practically contain half the calories and fat of creamy dressings.
·        Adding beans, tofu, or chicken can add more protein to your salad/wrap
·        Nuts offer healthy fats and some protein, but they’re high in calories, so pay close attention to how many you add.
Fusz: Grill Nation - If your craving something off the grill, get yourself something tasty while working with their healthy options. Here are some tips...
·       Select the “No Other Like This Veggie Burger.” Ask for it without provolone cheese and the sun-dried tomato relish to make it less than 350 calories and 13 grams of fat.
·       Try the “Taco Spiced Natural Chicken Sandwich” without the chipotle mayo and creamy guacamole to make it less than 425 calories and 12 grams of fat.
·       You can even make all the decisions for your sandwich by deciding to create your own. Choose the “Pick Me” (lean grilled marinated chicken breast) and top it with lettuce, tomato, and a dab of mustard all on a whole wheat bun.
·       If you’re wanting a side as well, choose the fruit or cilantro slaw for a lower calorie, higher nutrient option. 
Fusz: Pollo - Chicken can be a lean, healthy option if you make good decisions. Here are some tips...

      ·         Choose the grilled chicken options – grilled chicken tenders or grilled chicken sandwich.   
      ·      If you’re looking for a wing sauce or dip, choose wisely. Calories can be hidden in it.
                  o     The Southwest Chipotle is the best option with only 15 calories per 2 ounces.
                  o     The Lemon Pepper Yogurt and the Gold Yogurt Honey are the next best options with less than 60 calories per 2 ounces.
      ·         Looking for a side - choose the vinegar cole slaw over the creamy cole slaw and creamy blue  cheese cole slaw. In ½ cup it will save you over 70 calories.
Salsarita's - Get creative with the healthier options to make yourself a flavorful meal. Here are some tips...
·        Pick between 2 hard or soft shell tacos. Then choose one of the healthier protein options:
      chicken, shrimp, pork, or shredded beef. If you’re vegetarian or wanting to go meatless, choose black beans or grilled veggies instead. Two hard or soft shell tacos with any of these options are all 300 calories or less.
o       Top off your tacos with veggies, herbs, and salsa for more flavor and nutrients, and be sure to skip the creamy add-ons because they contain more calories and fat.
·        You can also create your own bowls. You can turn it into more of a salad bowl or more of a rice bowl. Select the healthier proteins – beans, chicken, shrimp, pork, or shredded beef. Be sure to add grilled and/or fresh veggies. Remember to top it off with a salsa rather than a creamy add-on.
·        If you want a side to go with your tacos or meal, choose the rice and beans side. It is provides you with fiber, minerals, and vitamins at only 105 calories, which is way less in calories and fat than most of the other side options.
Subway - Looking for a late evening, fresh, healthy sub or salad – come to Subway. Here are some tips…
·       Choose one of the 6 inch subs that are less than 6 grams of fat. These include: Black Forest Ham, Oven Roasted Chicken, Roast Beef, Subway Club, Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, Turkey Breast, Turkey and Ham, or Veggie Delite. All of these subs are 370 calories or less.
o   Watch out for sodium levels though. The best choices are the Oven Roasted Chicken, Turkey Breast, Roast Beef and Veggie Delite.
·        Be sure to choose a whole grain bread or high fiber bread that contains at least 2g of fiber, such as the 9-Grain Wheat Bread or Honey Oat.
·        Remember to put veggies on your sub. It makes the sub more flavorful and nutrient rich.
·        Keeping the cheese off of your sandwich will save you at least 40 calories and 3.5g of fat.
·        Be careful with your condiments. Choose Fat-free Italian Dressing, Fat-free Honey Mustard, Yellow/Dell Mustard, or Fat-free Sweet Onion Sauce over the Chipotle Southwest Sauce, Mayonnaise, and Ranch Dressing in order to save at least 60 calories and 10g of fat.
·        Choose healthier sides like apple slices or yogurt. If you’re wanting chips, choose the baked chips (less calories and fat).
·        Want a salad? Order your proteins off of the 6 grams of fat or less menu. Pile on the veggies, and choose the Fat-free Italian Dressing or Fat-free Honey Mustard as your low calorie and low fat dressing.
DeMart - If you’re someone who wants to keep food in their room for a late night meal or snack so that you do not have to worry about going somewhere after your meeting or class, you can purchase healthy items at DeMart. Here are some tips…
·        Good snack or meal options typically include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish, beans, and/or nuts.
·        If you are looking for frozen meal options, lean cuisines and lean pockets are decent. Their calorie and fat content are better than other frozen dinner choices, but watch out for high sodium contents (you shouldn’t consume more than 2400mg of sodium per day).
·        Star-Kist Tuna Chunk Light Lunch-To-Go packages are a good meal choice to pair with fruit and/or veggies. These packages are full of protein. 
·        Choose light popcorn as a healthy snack. You can eat 6.5 cups of popcorn for only 130 calories!
·        DeMart has fresh fruit that is always a good option for when you’re on the go.
·        There are pre-cut apple slices and veggie (crudité) bags that make eating these as a healthy snack or as a side, very easy on you. 
·        You can also find fat-free yogurt that will provide you with both calcium and protein.
The Bean - Interested in coffee and/or a meal – head to The Bean. Here are some tips…
·         You can choose from a variety of healthy Outtakes’ options
            o   Salads
o   Sandwiches
o   Crudite Bags
o   Fruit 
o   Yogurt
  •     Coffee can be a low calorie beverage or high depending on your selection.
    •  A zero calorie beverage option is the brewed coffee.
    •   Coffee add-ons like cream, sugar, and other flavorings can supply saturated fat and   empty calories, but many artificial sugar sweeteners have zero calories and fat
    •   Milk does contain calories but it is full of important nutrients.
There is another option if you are someone who eats later than 7:00PM.

You can make a one-time purchase of $5.00 for an "ecoClamshell." It is a sustainable to-go box that you can get at the Griesedieck and Reinert dining halls. With this purchase, you can fill your "ecoClamshell" with healthy foods from the dining hall while it is still open and then place it in your fridge to save it for later. These are microwavable so you can always re-heat the food in your dorm microwave. After you are finished with the "ecoClamshell," you can drop it off at the dining hall for it to be cleaned and you receive a token to present next time you want to use an "ecoClamshell" to take food to-go.

If you need more information or advice on healthy food options on Saint Louis University's campus, contact me at nutrition@slu.edu. If you would like more information on the "ecoClamshell," you can contact mary.dunn2@compass-usa.com, myself, or ask at the cash register.



Monday, November 4, 2013

Meatless Monday


What is Meatless Monday?

Meatless Monday is a global movement with a simple message: once a week, cut the meat. Meatless Monday is part of the Healthy Monday campaign. The Healthy Monday campaign encourages Americans to make healthier decisions at the start of every week. The goal of the Meatless Monday initiative is to reduce meat consumption by 15% for our personal health and the health of the planet.

Meatless Monday is now active in 29 countries and growing because every nation can bring its unique culture, customs and cuisine to the table in meat free and vegetarian dishes.

Why should I participate in Meatless Monday?

Going meatless one day a week can reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It will also help limit people’s carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

Are you still not sold on Meatless Monday?

We all know that meat comes from animals; however, this means that meat contains cholesterol and saturated fat.
  • Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. This description might bother you, but your body does need cholesterol to function properly. Cholesterol is normally present in your blood, but it is also in the foods we eat, like meat. When your body produces too much or when cholesterol levels are too high, your risk of coronary heart disease increases. High cholesterol levels contribute to the development of atherosclerosis - which is plaque building up on the inside of your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. This process starts as early as childhood or adolescence.
  • Saturated Fat are solid fats at room temperature. Eating foods that contain saturated fats also raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Be aware that many foods high in saturated fats are also high in cholesterol – which raises your blood cholesterol even higher.
More Evidenced-based Health Benefits:
  • LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
  • REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
  • FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
  • LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
  • IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
(After that being said, I want to explain that meat isn't unhealthy. When eating meat, you just need to remember to select leaner meats and don't over consume it - just like with any other food.)

Looking Deeper into Environmental Benefits:
  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide... far more than transportation. Annual worldwide demand for meat also continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef; while soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
Where can I get meatless meals on Meatless Monday?

There are many vegetarian options on Saint Louis University's campus.
  • In all of the retail units you can find meatless options, whether it is a Mexican dish with beans from Salsaritas to an entree with tofu in the Modern Asian Kitchen.
  • TerraVe only serves vegetarian meals so you can always pop in there on a Monday to get satisfying meatless meals.
  • Griesedieck dining hall has a vegetarian station full of meatless options. There are typically many vegetarian options at different stations in the dining halls so keep an eye out for those selections as well. Of course you can always create your own meatless meal at the salad bar.

If you have more questions about the Meatless Monday campaign or would like more information on eating meatless on Saint Louis University's campus, you can email me at nutrition@slu.edu.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Food for Thought: Brain Boosters are November's Focus

Eating well is as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs, or muscles do.

Brain boosting foods contain nutrients that help support optimal brain activity and provide protection for the brain from free radicals. It is important to note that while specific nutrients are necessary for optimal brain function, no food can claim to increase concentration or build memory. Keeping the brain healthy and optimally functioning is the goal to enhance learning and provide an environment conducive to concentration and focus.

Here are some tips:

Feed your brain to think clearly - Brains use a lot of energy and if we don’t fuel it, or give it the wrong type of fuel, we tend to think a little slower and recall less information. A healthy diet supports our brain and keeps it healthy just as well as the rest of our bodies.

Stay hydrated - Our brains are mostly water, and even a little dehydration can make our thoughts cloudy. Water is the best antidote to combat dehydration. While all fluids count, drinking lots of beverages with sugar and caffeine can actually cause dehydration. Sip on water (plain or flavored) for most of the day and use the caffeinated and sugary beverages sparingly.

Get your essential fatty acid fix – Omega-3s found in salmon and walnuts are good for your heart, but those same fats are great for your brain too. They provide protection for the sensitive and critical nerve endings that help us connect thoughts.

Opt for whole grains - Whole grains are not only good to keep us energized all day because of their steady source of fuel, but they keep our brains jazzed all day too because our brains need that steady source of energy. Whole grains keep your energy up both in your muscles and in your brain--so skip the chips and load up on some oatmeal for powerful study sessions.

Remember breakfast and you’ll remember everything else - Breakfast is critical! After a long night of fasting, your brain needs a jump start as much as your body. Even if you aren’t hungry, get everything moving in the right direction with a small powerful breakfast. As little as one egg and a slice of whole wheat toast can get everything cranking. And never go into an exam on an empty stomach! Your brain will be starving even if your body isn’t!

The Following are Foods that have Brain Boosting Effects:

Grains: all whole grains: whole wheat bread, quinoa, oatmeal, whole grain pasta

Fruits: darkly colored fruits: like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, plums, avocados, oranges, grapes, kiwi

Vegetables: richly colored vegetables: like dark leafy greens, spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, beets, red peppers

Proteins:  tuna, salmon, sardines, trout, herring, mackerel, lentils, eggs, lean beef, low fat yogurt, cheese, milk, lean chicken, pork

Other: walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax, canola oil, olive oil, green tea, water

BREADY - Bringing you Made Without Gluten Bread

Chartwells serves 'made without gluten' breads! Chartwells uses the Bready machine to bake 'made without gluten' breads and cakes. The Bready machine is the first bread machine to address the challenges of making great tasting, soft, evenly textured, contamination-free breads or cakes. Students can find Bready products in the Griesedieck and Reinert dining halls. If you need 'made without gluten' foods and would like more information or options, please contact me by email at nutrition@slu.edu.

Why do people need 'made without gluten' foods?

A 'made without gluten' diet is a diet in which foods that contain gluten are not eaten. Gluten is a protein complex found in the grains: wheat, barley, and rye.

A 'made without gluten' diet is the only medically accepted treatment for Celiac disease or gluten allergies. Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that is triggered by gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye). Celiac disease affects at least 1 in 133 Americans. When gluten is ingested by a person with Celiac disease, it damages the villi of the small intestine which then interferes with the absorption of important nutrients. Although there are hundreds of symptoms associated with Celiac disease, the most common symptoms include bloating and gas, diarrhea, constipation, rash, fatigue, and poor weight gain.

What is up with the 'gluten-free' trend?

Despite the gluten-free trend and health claims for gluten-free eating, there is no published experimental evidence to support such claims for the general population. In fact some food manufacturers may actually add more sugar and fat to improve the tastes of the 'made without gluten' foods.  

For anyone trying to eat a healthier diet, it is important to incorporate all of the food groups including grains. People with Celiac disease can still have a variety grains but need to avoid wheat, barley, and rye. People should opt for whole grains over refined grains in order to get more nutrients and fiber. Choosing whole grains provides you with more health benefits including: a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
For people with celiac disease or a gluten allergy,

Monday, October 21, 2013

'Balanced U' Breakdown

Many of you probably know that there are Balanced U stations at the Griesedieck and Reinert dining halls. However... Do you know anything about the Balanced U program?

Balanced U is a holistic approach to food and nutrition. It’s based on one concept - we eat food. To help our customers understand how food plays into health, Balanced U consists of three components: Icons, Monthly Subjects and Stealth Health.

Icons: are used to easily identify better options: balanced options (limited in nutrients that can be detrimental to health), vegetarian options, vegan options, made without gluten options, and sustainable food choices. Paying attention to these icons will help you eat healthy. Eating healthy should not focus on what a food doesn’t have, instead it should focus on what it does have.
*In order for food to be labeled with the 'Balanced' icon
or to be served at the Balanced U station, foods must fit this criterion:
Per Serving: Entrée Appetizer, Side, Or Dessert Dressings & Sauces
Calories 500 300 100
Fat 15g 10g 5g
Saturated Fat 5g 5g 1g
Cholesterol 100mg 50mg 20mg
Sodium 800mg 400mg 200mg

This makes it easy to find healthy food options - just look for the 'Balanced' icon or simply eat at the Balanced U stations!

Monthly Subjects: are focused on providing an opportunity to highlight and educate on the functional foods that fit the specific monthly subject.
Energy and Power - August and September

Healing and Immunity: October

Brain Boosters: November
Reduce Stress and Feel Good: December and January
Proud to Look Good: February
Metabolism Booster: March
Earth Friendly Foods: April and May

Stealth Health: A back of the house kitchen responsibilities to increase the nutritional value of foods served to students. Goals include reducing calories, sodium, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, increasing fruit and vegetable intake and increasing fiber intake.

In general Balanced U is a concept that promotes food that benefits your health and wellness! We want to provide you with foods that will positively impact your life. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact me at nutrition@slu.edu.


Resident Registered Dietitian


My name is Lisa Abbott and I will be serving as your resident dietitian with Chartwells at Saint Louis University.

I am looking forward to helping SLU students gain the knowledge and skills they need in order to make healthy choices and  develop healthy behaviors!

One of the most important parts of my job as a registered dietitian here on campus is to help guide students, faculty, and staff towards healthier choices. I
 will continuously work to make sure that a variety of healthy options are available at the dining halls and all retail locations. I will strive to provide you with the information and tools you need to make healthy choices as well as encourage you to make those healthy choices.

By serving as a liaison between campus food and SLU students, I am able to communicate with students about allergens, intolerances, and any specific dietary needs. I hope to help students understand that eating on campus can be healthy and can fit all lifestyles!

I am excited to start blogging so that I can share all of the fun things that we are doing to incorporate nutrition into a college lifestyle! You can follow me through my blog and twitter (@SLUdiningRD)!