Staying healthy in college is an art that many strive to master. The difficulty comes in staying committed and not falling into a trap of boring food repetition. The salad bar sounds like a great place to start, right? Healthy, fresh, delicious. After all, when you think of health, you cannot help but picture a dreamy and leafy salad.

However, every day that I walk into the dining hall, I am faced with the exact same salad bar options: how do I stay committed when it is so easy to get bored and repetitive? I realized that I needed to find a way to "hack" the salad bar and allow for a variety of options daily that I do not dread eating. All kind of eaters, too, can look forward to the salad bar!

Healthy can be fun and can mold to your preexisting eating habits! It doesn't have to be restrictive or dreadful. No matter what kind of eater you are, the Syracuse Dining Hall salad bar can be a go-to for you.

If you're a....

Fruit Lover:

salad, vegetable, tomato, cheese, spinach
Amy Schwartz

According to the USDA's MyPlate, we should fill our plates halfway with fruits and vegetables. What better way to make sure you accomplish this than to fill your plate completely with fruits and vegetables? Even if you prefer the former over the latter, it is easy to hide the dreaded vegetables with yummy fruit. Try lining your plate with spinach, throwing on a few sliced cucumbers, sprinkling a little feta, and going to town with fresh and dried berries. Drizzle some poppyseed dressing on top to complete the berry delicious and healthy meal.

Health Queen:

Amy Schwartz

When you came from home where you were the leader of the health pack, eating from the dining hall can shock your system and challenge your reputation. With freshly-baked pizza and warm mac and cheese available every day, it is easy to be taken down from your health throne. However, the Syracuse salad bar has options that will reconnect you to your roots (and the roots of the earth). Start with kale, add some brown rice for a healthy grain, seeds for a healthy fat, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar to avoid extra calories and questionable ingredients from the dressings. Don't worry, ladies and gentlemen, the health queen has returned.

College Vegan:

salad, lettuce, tomato, vegetable
Amy Schwartz

Just because many of the dining hall options are made with animal products, doesn't mean you can't find vegan options too. In fact, being vegan in college is easy when you have the help of Syracuse dining hall's salad bar. Load up your plate with mixed greens, top with tofu cubes for protein, add some cucumbers, and sprinkle with black beans, tomatoes, and salsa for a little vegan Mexican fiesta. Of course, you can finish your meal off with whatever that night's vegan dessert is (hopefully the crumbly vegan brownies).

Protein-Loving Princess:

salad, vegetable, legume, corn, tomato, lettuce
Amy Schwartz

If you were to look in a thesaurus, "weekends in college" would likely be an antonym for the term "healthy." Weekends are an unfortunate, yet enjoyable, cycle of too much alcohol, unbearable drunchies, ungodly amounts of Insomnia cookies and late night pizza, and equal amounts of regret the next day. To help counteract the influx of carbs and fat, Syracuse dining hall salad bar has plenty of high-protein options. Start with lettuce, add tomatoes, cucumber, egg, chicken, and garbanzo beans for major protein and then garnish with a little lite Italian dressing.

Salad Hater:

vegetable, salad, pasta, tomato, spaghetti, sauce
Amy Schwartz

Yes, you read that right. There is a Syracuse dining hall salad bar option for people who equate salads to just leaves. Don't just jump to ordering Calio's when the dining hall's entrees look unappetizing. Give the salad bar a chance! Keep it simple with a tiny bit of lettuce, a solid amount of cheese (yes this what is on your pizza also), carrots, and a little tomatoes if you're feeling adventurous. I won't confine you to a certain dressing, or any dressing at all. Have some fun with it! If you like meat, you can throw on a little grilled chicken! It is simple and healthy, without even realizing you're eating "leaves."

No matter what kind of food you enjoy, the Syracuse salad bar can meet your needs. From the student who prefers kale over cookies to the student who doesn't go a day without a piece of dining hall Sbarro pizza, there is something for you. So, this weekend, try something new: pregame with some subpar Ernie's dining hall sushi appetizers, and "go out" with your friends to the bar. The salad bar, that is.