With looming deadlines, work, commuting and a limited budget, choosing cheap and healthy food seems like a last resort. But a healthy meal leads to a lighter state of mind to tackle the rest of the day. Here are a few tips on finding hearty and easy-on-the-wallet eats on campus:
1. Shake Smart: Located in front of the Student Resource Center, this purple pop-up provides açaí bowls, egg wraps, smoothies and other protein wraps such as spicy tuna, turkey pesto, BBQ chicken, etc. Priced $7-$8, the protein wraps come with banana chips to fill up anyone’s stomach through light, healthy ingredients.
2. Arbor Grill & Sierra Center: Stationed behind the Oviatt Library and the Sierra clock tower respectively, these two cafeterias provide salad bars for students to make their own. The Arbor Grill provides original sets such as Caesar Salad or Southwest Chicken Salad for $5-$6 and custom salads for $5.19 with four 25 cent toppings to keep things new.
At the Sierra Center Marketplace small salad boxes begin at $4.59 ($7.39 with soup), while large ones begin at $5.89. An array of toppings provide fresh variety, from boiled eggs to quinoa and canned tangerines.
“There’s something for everybody, whether they want it light or heavy, but sans the guilt,” said third-year student Danielle Leon.
Shelves near the salad bar are also stocked with packaged salads, fruit cups and gluten-free sandwiches to get on-the-go.
3. Subway: For this spot, “It’s all about the meats and sauces!” said third-year student Caroline Kim.
According to six-inch measurements, plain meats such as black forest ham, roast beef, turkey breast and chicken (oven-roasted or rotisserie-style) range from 290 to 350 calories. Meanwhile, saucy meats such as Chipotle Cheesesteak, Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt and Ultimate Meatball Marinara range from 450 to 730 calories.
Sauces further reflect their numerical power in salads, with sweet onion sauce at a low 80 and chipotle southwest or oil and vinegar at 190. While occasional treats may be welcome, switching just one sauce or meat can make a huge difference in any sandwich’s overall stats.
4. Freudian Sip: Though not everybody may be in the know, all food in the Sips are half-off in the evening. In addition to occasional happy hours from 4 – 5:30 p.m., the hour between 6 and 7 p.m. provides 50 percent discounts for the same quality of food as in the afternoon.
5. Fresh Potato Factory: Though a bit of a ways off, this local restaurant two blocks from the Transit Center provides a variety of burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads and wraps with potatoes as the epicenter. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available for those who want to indulge in a steaming potato as a nice alternative to meat.
Burgers can rise up to $10, though goodies such as fries, soups, paninis and baked potatoes range from $6 to $8 for healthy and affordable eating.
“Potatoes can do just as good of a job at feeding you for lunch as meat or poke if you’re willing to try,” said second-year student Dylan Kent.
School and student life may run crazy, but consuming healthier food will enable students to tackle each deadline a little easier. As finals approach, make sure to take care of the daily three meals as another way to succeed!