How to eat healthy while busy

By Siani Nunez
December 1, 2021

A healthy salad with romaine lettuce. Photo from Pexel.

It’s hard to eat healthy when you’re a college student. Either you’re a commuter trying to find a good meal on the go or you’re a resident student living in a dorm and don’t have much space to cook.

Here at Cabrini, there are three options for food: Cav’s Corner, The Grill or Cav’s Shack. The most popular dining area is Cav’s Corner for sit-down meals and The Grill for quick meals.

Customizable, to-go salads are available in Cav’s Corner. Photo by Siani Nunez.

“We offer a Mindfulness station in the Dining Hall with vegan options Monday through Friday,” Tracy Eells, manager of dining services, said. “We also have a salad bar which offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains and we always make sure to serve fresh vegetables [in the Hometown section].”

However, senior digital communications and social media student, Layal Srour, disagrees.

“I used to eat in the dining hall but because of COVID, I stick to The Grill because it’s a quick grab-and-go kind of food- you don’t always know the food they’re serving [in Cav’s Corner],” Srour said.

Another student had similar thoughts. Emily Neiman is a senior criminology, psychology sociology major and also the Vice President of student government. “I’m a huge grab and go kind of person and it’s hard to do that when most of it is not the healthiest option,” Neiman said.

A student interested in better options on campus, Emily Neiman. Photo by Siani Nunez.

Students on campus, like Srour and Neiman, don’t think Cabrini’s doing enough.

“Since they made The Grill, there’s been a lot more unhealthy options,” Srour said. She says that the food is also more expensive than years past. “The salads [now] are almost eight dollars and back then [when it was called Jazzman’s cafe] it was four dollars for a small one.”

Students with food allergies and special diets are also disgruntled with the lack of options. “Students can find options on campus,” Eells said.

“If someone has a medically documented allergy, then they should register with the Accessibility Resource Center on campus so that they can be referred [to Eells] and I can go over a dining plan with them,” Eells said. 

Still, Cabrini’s menus across the board are not in tune with current eating habits in our country, given that the biggest food trends have been fresh foods, plant-based and keto products.

“Having a variety of [vegan, gluten-free, kosher, etc.] options is what Cabrini lacks,” Srour said, who is also passionate about food justice. 

Here are tips for eating healthy as a busy student:

  1. Make protein smoothies or healthy granola bars for breakfast for a quick snack before class. 
  2. Bring your own food for lunch on campus like a sandwich loaded with tomatoes, deli meat, cheese or mashed chickpeas and delicious spices.
  3. If you want to buy food, order the food that is unhealthy and add cheap fruits and veggies on the side to balance it out.
  4. Check Cabrini’s app with Sodexo for healthy foods available on campus.
  5. Write a grocery list if you have cooking space and make meals in advance if you know you’re going to have a busy week (hello finals?!). 
  6. Carry nutritious snacks like nuts, protein bars and seeded crackers in your backpack to be prepared if you get hungry.
  7. Honor your cravings and eat food that is unhealthy if that is what you are craving.
  8. Follow Eell’s advice: The more colorful your plate is, the better your chances are that it will be healthier.
Mozzarella sticks are an option for food that is unhealthy at The Grill. Photo by Siani Nunez.

Still, you should always prioritize eating anything over something healthy if it’s not sustainable for your schedule.

“Please eat, even if it’s not that you want to eat,” Neiman said. “We’re college students- our minds are hungry. We need fuel and we can’t be successful if we don’t have it.”

Have suggestions for dining services? Talk to the student government.

“We know there’s a lot of complaints about dining,” Neiman said. “We would love to get specific ideas on what they want to see so that way we can make their dining experience so much better.”

To speak with the Student Government Association, contact them at or message them on social media at @cabrinisga.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Siani Nunez

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap