Being a freshman in college brings many challenges, and the freshman 15 is one of them. However, you know you’re not gonna give up pizza and burgers entirely… let’s be honest.
How do you balance trying to eat as healthy as possible without access to a kitchen when you’re tired of the regular delivery options? You #TreatYoSelf mindfully. You can do that with Grubhub. Use the promo code “SpoonU2” to get $7 off of your first Grubhub order of $15 or more. Offer expires 6/30/16 at 11:59pm CT.
Here’s how to order better options without sacrificing taste:
Pizza is the classic delivery food, and why shouldn’t it be when it’s actually the best food on the planet. (That’s a fact, not an opinion.) But unfortunately for all of us, cheese and sauce covered bread isn’t the healthiest thing you could eat.
Order this: Always opt for thin as opposed to thick crust pizza, whole wheat if it’s available, and veggies as a topping.
Not this: Meat lovers supreme. The thicker crust simply adds more calories, while the meat packs on fat and sodium. If you absolutely must have a meat topping on your pizza, stick to one kind.
Yeah, so what we consider Chinese food, is pretty wrong, but that probably will never stop me from going in on a cute little container of pork fried rice. What’s more likely to make me curb that habit is finding a reasonable alternative, or some real stuff.
Next time, try: Shrimp with garlic sauce, and a side of steamed veggies. The high protein shrimp will fill you up, and the sauce isn’t filled with sketchy ingredients like so many other menu items. Steamed veggies are a great side because you can literally eat an entire plate of them, and still not be super full.
Avoid: Sweet and sour chicken, and the side of pork fried rice ): Ugh I know it sucks because those are probably your favorites, right? But trust me, no batter-loaded, deep fried chicken drowned in a sauce made of mostly sugar is worth that many calories. And the rice isn’t helping. No one really limits themselves to a small portion, which makes it really easy to consume 10x as many calories as expected.
Thai food: for when you want noodles but don’t wanna be basic. Don’t deny it.
Expand your horizons to: Cashew chicken and tom yum gai soup. The cashew has a lot of good things going on. Between the chicken’s protein, healthy fat filled cashews, and lack of coconut milk in the sauce, this is a really solid entree option. Similar to the sauce, the soup is broth based, thus eliminating the coconut milk, and has chillies, which are known to be very healthy.
Close the door on: Musaman curry and pad thai. The curry is typically served with less than ideal protein choices, and the sauce is made with cream and coconut milk, resulting in hella calories and sugar. On the other hand – pad thai has hope – it can be prepared healthily. The issue is that so many restaurants don’t prepare it that way, so you never know what you’re getting. Play it safe, order the soup.
I have been known to watch football just as an excuse to eat wings, and I’m not ashamed of it. I definitely didn’t know all of these facts, but I didn’t need to.
Shoot for: Unbreaded and grilled wings. That’s not an option at a lot of restaurants, so instead just order grilled chicken and indulge in the buffalo sauce sparingly. The sauce the best part anyways.
Try to stay away from: Regular wings. A 10-piece order – without sides or sauce – has around 700 calories and nearly 7000 mg of sodium. For reference, the American Heart Association recommends that you don’t exceed 1,500 mg a day. Additionally, bleu cheese dressing has around 150 calories in 2 tbsp, which is not bad at all. I’m just 82% sure it’s impossible to limit yourself to 2 tbsp.
You’ve decoded the menu and verified that it’s an authentic Mexican restaurant, but think before you order those extra cheesy, loaded nachos.
Stick to: The simplest options: beef, grilled shrimp, or grilled chicken tacos. As long as you go easy with the cheese, and stick to pico de gallo on top, you’re doing great. If you’re guac obsessed like me, have it on your taco, instead of filling up on it with chips as an appetizer.
Blacklist: Chimichangas. Like, they’re probably the worst option on the menu from a health standpoint. They’re deep fried, stuffed with cheese, and covered in more cheese. Pair them with the typical rice and beans side, and your calorie count is skyrocketing.
Try: Starting with a salad, and then ordering a simple roll with either tuna, salmon, or veggies, with brown rice, and if you’re still hungry, possibly some sashimi. Opt for low-sodium soy sauce, and don’t be afraid to eat the entire pile of ginger. Bonus points if you eat the whole meal with chopsticks. Not only is it nearly impossible, but by doing so, it slows down your entire meal and allows your body to realize it’s full.
Don’t bother with: Anything that sounds complicated. No, really, if it’s fried, has crunchy flakes, mayo based sauce, or anything like that, it’s most likely not healthy.
There’s nothing like a good burger when you’re feeling American. Or hungover. Whatever. Yeah, you could grill your own, or you could sit on your couch and have it delivered… The choice is yours.
A few good options are: Turkey burgers, sliders, lettuce wraps, and switching up your toppings. Turkey is a lean meat and is high in protein, making it an all around good choice. If you really want a normal hamburger, go for a slider with a side salad. You’ll still get your burger fix, but with 1/2 the calories. I love some cheddar or bleu cheese as much as the next person, but try avocado for some added creamy texture and healthy fats. Lettuce wraps are about 6 calories whereas normal buns are 506 so…
Just don’t get: anything with “double”, “loaded”, “extra”… you know where I’m going with this. If it sounds unhealthy, it probably is. Toppings like bacon and cheese add even more calories to an already loaded meal.
Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to skip the pasta, continue reading…
Order: My absolute favorite, penne puttanesca. I say my absolute favorite about a lot of pastas but this one is actually unreal. The sauce has olives, capers, apparently anchovies (I just learned that so you can’t actually taste them), and tomatoes. Did I mention it’s amazing?? If all of those ingredients scare you go for the simple yet unreal linguine aglio e olio. That means linguine with garlic and oil. Yes it’s only three things but its three times better than hating yourself after alfredo sauce. #truth
Just skip: Manicotti. It’s not even Italian Italian, it’s Italian American so you’ll get over it. Did you even expect this one to be okay? It’s pasta stuffed with half a pound of cheese and a whole day’s fill of saturated fat.
There is more to Indian cuisine than curry! Really, I swear.
Stick to: lighter protein options like chicken or shrimp tandoori, or vegetarian options like chickpeas or lentils are the way to go when it comes to Indian. If you’re unsure what exactly a dish is don’t be afraid to ask! Also look out for dishes with turmeric for an added bonus.
Avoid: high fat dishes (anything with paneer or ghee), deep fried appetizers (samosas), and dishes you know will be too spicy. It is a fact that spicy food is good for you, but to some degree. If your food is so spicy that you’re either going to cry or stuff your face with basmati rice or naan, we have some options for you. You can order something that won’t make you consider cursing, or try roti, a whole wheat bread, or a low-fat yogurt sauce.
Don’t eat your whole day’s worth of calories within two hours of waking up. I apologize if the breakfast food you’d be is chicken & waffles like me.
Go for: Eggs and fruit. In the end, it can be as simple as ordering foods that will give you energy to power you through your day. Eggs are a great source of protein and fruit is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Stellar brunch inspo here that’ll actually encourage you to wake up in time.
Don’t do: Waffles, pancakes, and fruit juice. I know I’m the worst. Let’s be honest here, though. After like, a pancake and maybe a quarter your food baby is nearing third trimester. Within two hours, your food baby will still be there but you’ll probably be hungry again. Those were empty calories that gave you a nice boost, and now you’re crashing. Fruit juice is a slippery slope because it obviously has vitamins, but also a lot of sugar. Stick with water and real fruit.
You probably don’t order this on the reg, but then again, that’s why we have Grubhub.
Some good options are: a Greek salad with grilled chicken, or a whole grilled or roast fish. Similar to Japanese food, Greek can be healthy without losing taste, as so many of the best traditional dishes are incredibly simple. The only caution with these choices is to watch the feta. It’s legit delicious, so going a little overboard and consuming more calories than you intended is no challenge.
A not so great option is: a Gyro platter or sandwich. It’s probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you hear “Greek food” but just no. It is by no means the worst thing for you, but because it is so easy to maintain a healthy diet while eating Greek, save your calories while you can.
Wander even more off the beaten path courtesy of your homies at Grubhub. Middle Eastern food incorporates some flavors and spices that are seriously worth trying, if you haven’t already.
Try: Kabobs, either chicken or veggie, with a side of hummus and tabouli. This is super simple meal that’s also nutritious (so long as you watch your portions). The kabobs are usually loaded with awesome seasoning and the hummus is made of chickpeas, which could honestly be considered a superfood. Tabouli is legit delicious and also loaded with nutritious ingredients.
Try to avoid: Moussaka. You hear eggplant and think healthy, but you should really think sponge. That sounded weird but I’ll explain – the eggplant literally soaks up all the oil from that rich, creamy (& delicious) topping sending the saturated fat soaring. It’s not low calorie either, so add a few side dishes and you’ve consumed your day’s worth of calories.
Don’t forget to use our Grubhub code to save big. Use the promo code “SpoonU2” to get $7 off of your first Grubhub order of $15 or more. Offer expires 6/30/16 at 11:59pm CT.