There are many places to eat on and off campus, but choosing places that have healthy offerings is a different story. March is National Nutrition Month and this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week and therefore the perfect time to focus on what healthy and nutritious options are available right at CSUN.
Throughout campus there are fast food chains and non-brand name food vendors that all have options for students to create a healthy diet.
Ellen Bauersfeld, a registered dietitian at the Klotz Student Health Center, worked with Betsy Corrigan (the associate director of campus dining) and came up with healthy eating options on campus, even for the fast food chains like Panda Express. The complete listing is available online.
“There are a lot of healthy options if you know what you are looking for,” said Bauersfeld. “You could walk into a 7-Eleven and come away with a really healthy meal or you could walk away with a bunch of junk.”
Panda Express has many stir-fried meals available but if people look closer they could end up choosing a pretty healthy meal.
Instead of ordering chow mien or fried rice as a side along with the entrees, try ordering a bowl with steamed rice and just one entree such as beef and broccoli or mushroom chicken.
Another option on campus is Subway, a restaurant that is characterized by its healthy eating options. The key here is to stay away from the creamy dressings (this includes mayo!) and to stick to one of their six inch subs with ‘six grams of fat or less.’
“You can make a better choice,” said Bauersfeld. “Our portions have become so distorted that a normal portion size really does feed two.”
The Marketplace, located next to Jerome Richfield Hall, has five different places to choose from with some healthy food options scattered about.
The Salad Bar is one of The Marketplace’s newer options and allows people create their own salad with two fixed prices. A small portion salad is $3.79 and the large portion salad is $5.29. If salad is your choice just remember to stick to oil/vinegar based dressings and steer clear of Ranch or other creamy options.
Bamboo is another food offering within The Marketplace and has comparable options to Panda Express. Their healthier offerings consist of soups, salads, and sushi.
A wide variety of sandwiches are offered at Checkers Deli along with salad options. Some salads to try would be the Greek salad and their fruit salad.
There are convenient stores located all around CSUN where people can acquire healthy food too. The Edge, next to the Matador Bookstore, offers fruit and vegetable cups, sushi, various cereals, yogurt, and string cheese, just to name a few.
Most of these restaurants are open Monday through Friday, with a few open on Saturdays too. Restaurants on campus also tend to close pretty early in the evening so plan accordingly and grab some snacks for those late night classes.
Most of the shops that have been listed so far are all located within the south side of campus. There is some luck though for those who live in the dorms or have classes on the northern part of campus.
Geronimo’s, located in the Satellite Student Union, is similar to The Marketplace in that it has a few different restaurants within it with many choices.
Flakes, which serves breakfast all day, offers certain items such as Raisin Bran and Total cereals for a healthier diet and some wheat bread for toast.
Geronimo’s will also be having international Wednesday specials throughout the semester. People have the chance to sample Jamaican food on March 7 or try some Thai food on April 18.
Kevin Seegan, a junior studying speech pathology, is grateful for all the different food options at school, including the healthy choices.
“I think whatever sells the most should be promoted the most,” said Seegan. “I don’t think anybody should have to mandate that the school provide more of this or that.”
Not all students see eye to eye though.
Hanieh Nejad, a junior studying psychology, thinks CSUN offers more unhealthy food than healthy food and thinks there should be more healthy options throughout campus.
If there are not enough options on campus, people can always look off campus, too.
One healthy food place that stands out is California Chicken Cafe, located at Nordhoff and Reseda, just a short walk from campus. They have options ranging from a variety of salads to various wraps. Another benefit is they are open later then most of the places on campus, which helps for students and teachers that have late classes.
Celebrate National Nutrition Month and Eating Disorder Awareness week by checking out the healthier options available right next to your classroom!