Tag Archives: food

The Other Side of Last Minute Food Orders

It is late and you just finished that last minute homework assignment or that essay that’s due tomorrow. You check the time and realize there is just enough time to either order from your favorite pizza place or Chinese place or run up to the nearest fast food restaurant and grab a late night meal. You pick up the phone and place your order or you fast walk to your car and hurry to that fast food place, thinking how lucky you are to get your order in just before the restaurant closes for the night. Meanwhile, the employees there are wondering what they did to deserve this. That is because those last minute orders can ruin a lot of hard work and force the employees to stay much longer than they want to.

Photo from The Sun

All places that serve food have to clean up and prepare their place of business for the next day each and every night. This takes a lot of time and effort and usually has to be done in between food orders and/or deliveries that the employees have to make. Because the big, not so secret, secret of working in the food industry is that the employees there do not get any time set aside for them to clean the store up. They are expected to have the store clean or mostly clean by the time the store closes. If they have any time allotted afterward, it is usually only about thirty minutes. Anyone who has worked in food service can tell you that is not nearly enough time.

The way to get around that is to clean during operating hours. And while they know not to completely shut everything down until the store is closed, those last minute orders can create a big mess and cause the employees to reuse already cleaned equipment that they were not expecting or planning on using again that evening. No one wants to have to stay an extra hour because you decided to come in at the last minute or order food two minutes before close. This is not to say you cannot order from them or order late. Just do not do it five or ten minutes before the store closes down and undo a lot of work of the employees.

High School Lunches Need Improvement

Many of us remember what our high school lunches were like, and they are probably not fond memories. Many school lunches were rather lackluster and little more than a small sandwich, a carton of milk, and a sub-par side. With the recent budget proposal by Donald Trump that would cut funding to many food programs quite a few rely on, a drastic improvement to school lunch programs is needed.

school lunch
“The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch.” Photo from: http://mybrownbaby.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/school-lunch.jpg

There needs to be a good balance between lunches that are healthy and lunches that have plenty of food. Often times, the food available to high school students is clearly not fresh; buns are stale, fruits have those tell-tale soft spots, and milk is expired. The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch. Many high schools are known to reuse leftover food for the sake of cutting costs, which leads to the bigger issue that schools face: lack of funding.

It is not uncommon to hear about a high school having trouble with getting sufficient funding for all sections of the school. Since public schools receive their funding from the government, they often have to spend a specific amount of the funding on a specific department within their school. For example, the athletic department is often known for getting the lion’s share of the funding for a variety of reasons. Sports teams are a big crowd pleaser and they draw good publicity for the school and the school systems, ergo they receive more funding than most. While the athletic department of a school shouldn’t be underfunded, a portion of the excessive amount of money it receives could go to the school lunch program to help provide fresh food for the entire student body. Students deserve fresh fruit, fresh meat, and larger portions. This is a program that benefits all of the students, not just a specific subset of them. Thus, it deserves more funding, especially given that soon many students will be receiving less food thanks to federal budget cuts.

Dorm Life vs. Apartment Life

The vast majority of people in college either live in a dorm or in an apartment. Few people actually come from the town or city that their university or college resides in, so we need alternate lodgings while we’re away. Most college students tend to live in the dorms because most universities require that you live in a dorm for at least one year of your college career. But plenty of people also live in apartments near the college campus, and many people often wonder which is better.

apartment listings
“Many who do live in an apartment have to work within a budget, and utility bills can add up very quickly.” Photo from: http://suffolkjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/listings.jpg

One of the upsides to living in a dorm is there are no bills to pay. Once you’ve paid your tuition, you’re set; you can use as much heat, water, and electricity as you want without worry. The same cannot be said for those who live in an apartment. Many who do live in an apartment have to work within a budget, and utility bills can add up very quickly. This leads into the issue of roommates as well. Practically everyone in a dorm has at least one roommate, and some even have three or four. The same can be said of most people who live in an apartment. While there is the option to live by yourself, most people cannot afford to do so and have to get at least one other person to live with them. However, the main difference between having a roommate in a dorm and a roommate in an apartment is that in an apartment, utility bills can be very high/expensive with multiple people. A single person can increase the bill significantly for the other roommate(s).

The flip side, however, is that in an apartment there is almost always more space and everyone has their own room. One of the worst parts about living in a dorm is the lack of space and the fact that you have to share a small room with another person. While you still have to share space inside of an apartment, you have your own room at least. This extra space can help ease a lot of the tension that one usually finds inside of a dorm room. There is also the benefit of having your own personal kitchen and not being subjected to a limited meal plan. With your own kitchen, you can make whatever meals you want whenever you want them and store whatever food you want without any real hassle or fear of it going bad. At the end of the day, it comes down to your own personal preference as to where you want to live and what you want to sacrifice.

Students’ Say On: Campus Food Options

All Radford students have a love/hate relationship with the food choices here on campus. Our lack of diversity in the food department (Is it too much to ask for a good burger or Mexican place?) compared to other colleges’ wide range of food options gets on a lot of people’s nerves. You probably won’t go more than a day or two without hearing someone complain about the food at Radford, whether it be because they’re sick of eating Chick-Fil-A or the roast beef they had in Dalton was still bleeding and the carrots were hard as rocks.

fast food
“Dalton is too much like “cafeteria food” and the food they serve is bad more often than not.” Photo from: http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/12/19/635861050792876342131872045_fast-food-banner.png

Earlier this week, we interviewed students walking by and asked them some questions about food places on campus. Most had eaten on campus at least once that day. Most of the ones who hadn’t said they lived off campus and don’t eat on campus very often since they don’t have a meal plan. When asked about their favorite place to eat, Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, and Wild Greens were the top choices. Students said they enjoyed Wild Greens because it was one of the only healthy places to eat on campus. They liked Chick-Fil-A because the chicken is good and it is an easy and quick place to grab food.

Students said some of their least favorite places to eat on campus were Dalton, the sushi place, and also Chick-Fil-A. Dalton is too much like “cafeteria food” and the food they serve is bad more often than not. People felt iffy about the freshness and cleanliness of the sushi place and some were upset that it had replaced the arguably better Austin’s Burgers. As for Chick-Fil-A, some students thought it was too unhealthy, or they were just tired of eating it.

Oh, How I Love You Broccoli Man

Dark earth piles up in neat rows–

Vegetables grow

In tall palatial columns–

A tantalizing treat

For the hungry young boy alone.

 

Over the fence and up the path,

Until he stealthily grips his prize–

A verdant head of broccoli.

Starved from days unfed,

He scarfs it down, collapsing

To hardened earth below.

 

Frost chills him to the bone

And an ominous wind moans

A witch’s curses from afar:

Ye dared partake o’ me produce

And ye shall be cursed to poison broccoli

Forevermore!

Whoever loves ye shall partake of the broccoli

Purged from your stomach

And will not die.

 

The lonely boy searches

For fifty years to find his love.

Youth is his until

A day when the sky is grey

And the sun is hidden

And the wind blows fierce–

He sees her!

A quiet girl with golden hair

And eyes of sea waves.

mirror
“We will meet again In the other dream.” ‘And she fell through The rippling mirror.” Photo from: www.vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

He vomits and retches out

A head of verdant broccoli.

He fears the maiden

Will not accept his bouquet.

 

He catches her by her shirt tail

Pulling her into

An antique dwelling and in

A dark cavern hallway

Asks her,

“Do you care for broccoli?”

 

She replies to his timid inquiry,

“Of course I do! Why shouldn’t I?”

And gobbles it down in haste.

The boy watches in anticipation–

Lo and behold

She does not die!

 

A soft breeze whispers past

As he solemnly attests,

“You are my destined one!”

He pulls her close to him

And as he kisses her

A foul taste fills her mouth

As he falls apart like brittle clay.

 

“We will meet again

In the other dream.”

And she fell through

The rippling mirror.

 

Food vs. Exercise: Who will win?

Food and exercise go hand and hand. Graphic from twitter.com
Food and exercise go hand and hand. Graphic from twitter.com

Food can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Sometimes, food is there for you when you need it. It’s a shoulder to cry on and to pick you up when you’re feeling down. Other times, food is a real bitch, talking about you behind your back and smelling up your kitchen when it leaves itself  out on the counter. When it comes to exercise, food can either play nice and be civil, or start an all-out war like rowdy relatives on Thanksgiving. There’s no happy medium when it comes to food and exercise…or is there?

Food and exercise can get along as long as you choose the right foods and exercises for you and your body. If you’re a morning person, God bless you. Breakfast, as they say, is the most important meal of the day. Depending on the workout you do and when you decide to do it, breakfast can either hurt you or help you. If you eat McDonald’s and then go for a run, then I hope you run into a bathroom, because you’re surely going to need it. When working out in the morning, it’s best to eat very lightly such as oatmeal, a breakfast bar, or some fruit. That way, you won’t feel dragged down by a big meal and have the energy to complete your workout.

If you prefer to exercise in the afternoon, I would try and eat a bigger breakfast, but not too big. Two eggs and some toast would suffice as well as some cereal or even an omelette if you want to get fancy. A bigger meal in the morning is better if you exercise in the afternoon because by the time you get the gym, you won’t feel bloated or starved. You’ll have the energy without the feeling of being weighted down by too much food. With a bigger breakfast, a light lunch is ideal. Don’t over do it. With food or exercise for that matter.

If you exercise at night, these previous steps can still be followed. It really all depends on what time of day, exactly, that you exercise. If you plan your meals and exercise so that they complement each other, you shouldn’t have a problem with the two getting along.

With all this in mind, don’t forget that you’re a human being who loves food. Everyone is allowed a cheat day. Mine just happen to be everyday, but I’m working on it. These types of habits don’t happen overnight, so don’t get discouraged. Practice makes perfect.

5 ways to lose all your money

When it comes to money, I’m the worst at knowing what’s best. I want to spend every cent I have on things that I know I don’t need, or things that I need to survive but could potentially purchase cheaper alternatives. Even though I don’t make a lot of money, the money I do make never stays in my bank account long enough to gain interest or to gain more than 50 dollars at one time. Here are the 5 reasons I never have any money:

Don't waste your money on daily McDonald's trips. Graphic from JP Koning
Don’t waste your money on daily McDonald’s trips. Graphic from JP Koning

1. Food

Food is my worst enemy when it comes to spending all of my money. When I’m hungry, I have to eat as soon as possible, or I might explode with rage. I become the definition of “hangry” and, as you know, there is only one cure. My go-to when I’m dying of hunger is McDonald’s. I began eating McDonald’s when I was probably 4 or 5, and I’ve never looked back. However, McDonald’s can be pretty expensive when you’re not eating from the dollar menu, which of course, I usually don’t, unless I’m scrounging for change in my car. For some reason, I think eating at home is the worst idea ever and refuse to do it, until I’m out of money and crying on my couch eating Ramen. What I should be doing is only eating out once or twice a week, while eating at home the other 5 days, but that will never happen. My addiction to McDonald’s is too far gone. Save yourselves.

2. Gas

Gas is so expensive. I will never get over having to spend 25 to 30 dollars on gas every four days. My car literally eats my money and then poops it out over the course of a few days, then has the audacity to ask for more. Stupid car. Being a commuter and having to drive to and from Radford, from Blacksburg, multiple times a day, obviously doesn’t save any gas. In the long run, I’m sure it’s cheaper than living on campus, but my debit card sure feels sad and lonely at the end of the day.

3. Cigarettes

You don’t need to tell me how to save money with this one. I get it.

4. Significant Other

Relationships can be expensive, especially when expensive to me means more than 15 dollars. But your significant other deserves to have money spent on them, to have new things, but only every now and then. If you’re struggling with money like I am, then things like food, rent, gas, and other essentials tend to have a higher priority on the list. Just don’t forget about them. Nice things every once in awhile are good, but keep it to a minimum.

5. Clothes

Buying clothes can be a tricky situation. When you actually need clothes, it makes sense that you would go to a store, and buy your clothes. However, when you convince yourself that you need clothes, that you genuinely need new jeans or shirts, even though you really don’t, that’s when money and spending choices need to be questioned.

The bottom line here is spend your money wisely. If you can, save as much as possible so you can have it when you really need it. Try not to buy things you don’t need or spend money when you could eat or use things you already have.
Okay, time to get McDonald’s.

The cause of junk food cravings

A new study suggests that if you crave junk food after a manic day, it might be because you’re lacking sleep. The study found that sleep deprivation may lead to increased appetite and a love of unhealthy foods.

More than a third of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep (7 or more hours per day) regularly and approximately the same amount are obese (having a BMI of more than 30.0), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Erin Hanlon, a University of Chicago research associate and study author, intended to link these two widespread issues.

Sleep deprivation increases hunger, which can be dangerous because of the fragile stability separating the expenses in energy of remaining awake and the nourishment ingested — these normally do not change if you’ve had or haven’t had enough sleep.

Hanlon’s study which was published in the journal Sleep, measured data between 14 generally healthy young adults with four normal nights of sleep (8.5 hours) against data of those who had four restricted nights of sleep (4.5 hours). Every day, the two groups of participants were given healthy meals. On the last day, study subjects were provided with a carefully prepared meal, accompanied by unrestricted freedom at a snack bar that contained plenty of junk food. The young adults who had four nights of restricted sleep gravitated to snacks with almost double the fat and protein and added carbohydrates.

chips
“Sleep deprivation increases hunger.’

Previous research by the University of Chicago team indicated that sleep deprivation influenced endocannabinoid levels, chemicals in the brain that are associated with managing and regulating appetite.

The researchers calculated the concentration of 2AG, a particular endocannabinoid, in the young adults’ blood. The team then correlated the young adults’ 2AG concentration levels with their hunger and food intake.

The young adults who had four nights of normal sleep, had a 2AG concentration that progressively rose in their blood throughout the day. The concentration of 2AG peaked in the early afternoon that was accompanied by the emergence of a craving for food.

Hanlon’s team recorded a higher concentration of 2AG that continued later on into the evening in the participants who slept less. Subjects were also more hungry and had a higher probability of eating junk food.

According to Hanlon, the study is a single step in comprehending how sustaining sufficient sleep can boost our health.

The Best Places to Buy Food on Sunday

Whether you’re hungover or just craving a good meal for a great price, there are certain places to keep in mind on Sundays. I always go straight for sushi but my roommates tend to lean toward pizza deals or 39 cent wings. These types of deals are always great but especially when you’re reaching the end of the week and you’re trying not to spend anymore money on  your budget. Whatever you preference is, here are the four best places to buy food from on a Sunday.

IMG_0978
“Whatever you preference here are the 4 best places to buy food from on a Sunday.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson
  1. Nagoya

Nagoya is a Japanese/Chinese restaurant located on Main Street. They have a deal where if you buy two of their sushi rolls you also get a California sushi roll, a drink, and a miso soup all for free! It’s a great way to spend a little bit of money and get a lot for it.

  1. Macado’s

Every Sunday Macado’s has 39 cent boneless wings and lets you pick different sauces and amounts. It’s another way to get your money’s worth at the end of the week when you’re almost hitting your budget.

  1. Sharkey’s

Sharkey’s, also located on Main Street, has a buffet on Sunday nights with wings, make your own tacos, and other finger foods for you. All you do is pay a flat fee and you can eat as much as you can or want.

  1. Domino’s A very common choice for pizza, Domino’s has great deals for students on Sundays such as a large pizza with two toppings for $7.99 and other options for a smaller portion or even larger portion.

Super Bowl Snacks, Commercials, and The Half Time Show

Everyone gets excited about Super Bowl Sunday. People have parties at their house even though it’s a Sunday and everyone gets to cheer on their favorite or preferred team.  However, the game isn’t the only part of Superbowl Sunday that people get excited or anxious about. The Super Bowl food, commercials, and halftime show are a tradition when it comes to most Super Bowl parties.

Food is a big deal when watching the Super Bowl. GRaphic from Stylepinners
Food is a big deal when watching the Super Bowl. Graphic from StylePinners

My favorite football team has never made it to the Super Bowl in my lifetime so I’m always just picking a team at random to support for the Super Bowl game. That being said, I still get excited and look forward to all of the food that will be made or ordered for Super Bowl Sunday. Wings, dips, chili, chips, cupcakes, and whatever other savory foods will be at Super Bowl parties around the country. I look forward to not only eating the food but making it as well.  It’s nice to make a bunch of food with your good friends and sit around on a Sunday night relaxing and stuffing your face. The football game is pretty entertaining too, I suppose.

Another part of the Super Bowl Sunday besides the actual game and the snacks is the commercials. Everyone knows that new and iconic commercials are premiered at the Super Bowl. This has always been mine and my mom’s favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday.  We mainly pay attention to this part the most because we like to judge the best from the worst and make fun of the cheesy commercials. The commercials play a huge role in the Super Bowl and it wouldn’t be as entertaining without them.

The halftime show is something that everyone gets pumped up for as well.  People want to judge the singers and performers and see an amazing and hype halftime show.  Most people, like the food enthusiasts and commercial watchers, only like to see the halftime show and don’t pay much attention to the game.  That’s not a big problem though, because they are still contributing to ratings and watching the game somewhat.  The food, commercials, and halftime show help make the Super Bowl a fun time for everyone and not just football fanatics.

Nagoya Necessity

In Radford, there aren’t many great sushi restaurants around. We aren’t near a body of water where those types of fish are found to make ideal sushi, so you would think there wouldn’t be a Japanese restaurant. However, my friends and I have discovered a small restaurant on Main Street known as Nagoya. It is a Japanese/Chinese place where they sell everything from general tso’s chicken combination with egg-fried rice, to some of the best sushi I have ever had.

 

“For how much food you get it’s a cheap price and you will also most likely have leftovers.”

 

sushi
“For how much food you get it’s a cheap price and you will also most likely have leftovers.”

The workers at Nagoya are very friendly and welcoming. They’re willing to assist you with whatever you need and explain anything on the menu. The deals at Nagoya are great too. For how much food you get it’s a cheap price and you will also most likely have leftovers. There are plenty of options and types of sushi to order, some raw, some cooked, and some smothered in eel sauce which is a sweet, thick sauce similar to soy sauce. They will put avocado slices on top or drizzle spicy mayonnaise on your sushi roll, however you like to eat your sushi they will cater to your needs and wants.

In a small town that definitely isn’t known for seafood, Nagoya is a great find. It’s a great place to buy food and it’s always good to support a local business. They do take out or dine in and either way you will be satisfied spending your money there. The food is delicious, the people are refreshing, and the environment is open and inviting. If you haven’t discovered the goodness that Nagoya has to offer, you should definitely try to check it out before your four years at Radford are up! It’s worth your money, time, and taste buds!

 

Thanksgiving: Love it or hate it?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for some people it’s an exciting holiday, one of nice family get togethers and the sharing of love and great food. For others, it’s a holiday to be dreaded, dealing with racist and homophobic extended relatives and having to answer the same damn questions over and over again. No matter what your circumstance is, Thanksgiving is happening and you’re going to have to deal with people that you don’t like. However, here are some tips to deal with awkward and uncomfortable family encounters.

  1. Force your way through small talk

Dealing with relatives can be easy or hard. It all depends on how you approach the situation. Small talk is something that I, personally, can’t stand. It’s superficial and boring. I don’t really care how your job has been or how your snot-nosed child is doing. I know that they really don’t care about the classes I’m taking in college or what I hope to do in the future, but for some reason, society says it’s what people do to be polite, to be conversational.

To get through introductions and small talk with your family, answer one of their questions as quickly as you can and then excuse yourself to the bathroom. Trust me, it works every time. If they attempt to approach you again, excuse yourself once more by saying, “I have to help my mom in the kitchen.” Not only do you get away from their stupid questions, you also are perceived as helpful and kind to your mother. What more could you ask for?

  1. Ignore or call out you bigot relatives

Depending on your relatives and your personality, these two options are up to you. If you’re shy, don’t feel like starting a fight, or you know your relatives would react badly to any sort of argument to their dumb comments, simply ignore them. Depending on how old they are, trying to change the mind of your 92-year-old grandma on why you dating a black person is okay is a pointless argument. She’s old and was brought up in a certain way of thinking, just like you were. At this point, it doesn’t really matter.

On the other hand, if you are sick and tired of hearing the same bigotry that you do every year, stand up to them. Make them understand why they are wrong and why it needs to stop. Even if you simply say that their comments make you uncomfortable, without saying why or how it affects you directly, it should be enough to shut them up. Do whatever feels right to you.

Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest
Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest

Thanksgiving is a holiday you either love or hate. You can choose to love it if you pick your battles and know when enough is enough. The point of Thanksgiving is to be love and give love, be thankful for what you have and who you have it with. Stupid relatives with dumb views shouldn’t affect the meaning of the holiday. Have fun and tell those bigots where to stick it.

The pros to having a swipe all 4 years of college

When you’re a freshman in college one of your requirements is to have a meal plan.  You live in the dorms and you can’t really cook anything besides popcorn and ramen noodles. So, your swipe is your gold key to all the food places on campus.

As a freshman, you’ll probably have the biggest meal plan that has a lot of money so you can have enough to get you through both semesters.

image2
Photo By: Danielle Byrd

However, when you get to be older, some people just stop buying a meal plan because they live in an apartment or house where they can make dinner every night. Sophomores might have a less expensive meal plan, but often still have one because they are not sure what it’ll be like in their apartment or house.  They don’t know whether or not they will or can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  When you get to be a junior or senior, though, it seems as if having a meal plan isn’t worth the money anymore. I, however, think that it’s worth it and is beneficial to anyone who wants to purchase one.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive plan, there are pretty cheap ones and then there are the more expensive ones most commonly used by freshman. I am a junior and I have a block meal plan so I get 65 swipes per semester. I use my swipe constantly throughout the week. Whether I use it to get coffee after my early classes or get lunch on the way home from the gym, I get a lot of use out of it. It’s convenient for when I am in a rush or just want food from on campus.  If I don’t have time to make dinner I can just grab something from on campus, already made. Having a meal plan throughout college has helped me survive until my next home cooked meal with my family.

 

Four Foods You Need To Make This Fall

Pumpkin Croissants

All you need for this tasty and easy treat is 3 ingredients. You will need croissants, pumpkin in a can, and marshmallows. First open the croissants, pull them apart and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Next, open your can of pumpkin and scoop one spoonful on each croissant. Then, open your marshmallows and place one in each croissant on top of the pumpkin. Finally, roll the croissant up and place them in the oven for 10 minutes on 375 degrees. You will have a delicious, and quick, batch of pumpkin croissants.

Get your bake-on this fall! Graphic from Sugar Pie Farm House
Get your bake-on this fall! Graphic from Sugar Pie Farm House

S’mores Dip

For s’mores dip you will only need 3 ingredients as well! Chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham crackers. Empty the bag of chocolate chips into a skillet and spread them evenly on the bottom. Next, place marshmallows on top of the chocolate chips and make sure they are all covering the chocolate. Place the skillet in the oven for 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Take it out after the time is up and use your graham crackers to dip into the dish! You will have indoor smores in no time!

Pillsbury Ready To Bake Ghost Shape Sugar Cookies

Not everything has to be homemade! These cookies can be found at any local grocery store and are very cheap. They are delicious and will taste homemade, even though you just pulled them apart and put them in the oven to bake! They are festive and taste great!

White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts

Again, all you will need is 3 ingredients! You will need white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and strawberries. You will also need wax paper to set your ghosts on. First, heat your white chocolate chips in the microwave and melt them all down to liquid chocolate. Next, set strawberries out spread apart on wax paper. Take your melted white chocolate and pour it over each strawberry. Finally, take the mini chocolate chips and place 2 as eyes for the ghost. Place the strawberry ghosts in the fridge for an hour to let the chocolate set. Take them out and enjoy your cute and yummy white chocolate strawberry ghosts!

The threat of the freshman fifteen

There’s one thing we all worry about when coming to college for the first time, and that’s the dreaded freshman fifteen. But what really changes after freshman year? Certainly not our eating habits– we’re stuck with pretty much the same old places to eat, on campus and off. So that leads me to believe that not only is the Freshman Fifteen a thing, but so is the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Fifteen, despite those being not near as fun to say.

Many of us know that the weight gain is coming, and we want to avoid it, but we’re stuck in a rut when it comes to figuring out a routine to keep the pounds away. Whether it be eating less or exercising more, we set goals that rarely become the reality unless you have absurd amounts of self-discipline and restraint.

Ever since I moved into Radford, I’ve been trying my best to keep a healthy diet, even though this often meant only one of two meals. A salad from Wild Greens or sushi from Hissho. Always more of a protein girl, I mostly traded the salads for a crunchy roll.

The other day, after weeks of sushi lunches and dinners, a good friend of mine posed a question. He said, “is sushi actually healthy for you? I feel like since it’s mostly rice, it’s not very good.” The more I thought about it, the more I figured he must be right. So naturally, as soon as I got home I looked up the answer.

As it so turns out, there are many different answers to the question, “is sushi good for you?” because there are many different elements that go into it. Fish is incredibly healthy, as it’s rich in omega-3’s, as well as other acids, and has plenty of different kinds of vitamins. Rice can help with energy and blood sugar levels as well as slowing down the aging process. Put them together and you get a healthy dish, right? Especially if you’re looking for a low-calorie meal. Seven pieces of salmon nigiri (sticky rice with a piece of raw salmon filet on top) is equivalent to about 478 calories, about ¼ of your average daily intake.

It’s when you start adding more ingredients, however, like the fried bits of crunchy rolls or the incessant amounts of soy sauce that you run into a problem.

While both can be delicious and even fairly good in moderation, when you continue to pour them on, they become quite unhealthy and even cancel out the benefits of the salmon and rice.

In the end, the lesson always comes down to: know what’s being put in your food. If you don’t trust it, don’t eat it. Find something else that you know is a healthy alternative. Or, if all else fails, you can always head to the gym and work your butt off.

I eat what I want

Sometimes, I feel like I have a secret identity, because I’m a vegetarian and most people don’t know. This is due to me not broadcasting it. Sure, I chose not to eat meat, but that doesn’t mean I feel the need to share that. There are many people out there that push a huge stereotype onto me every time they find out this little fact about me and it couldn’t be more irritating. You’d think that I would be the one with a judgmental attitude towards others simply because of my choice, but that couldn’t be more wrong.

Ron Swanson eats what he wants, so should you. Graphic from Very Funny Pics
Ron Swanson eats what he wants, so should you. Graphic from Very Funny Pics

When I’m offered a food that contains meat, I’ll politely refuse. Here is where I quickly state that I’m a vegetarian and no thank you, I can’t eat that without puking my guts out. Right off the bat, people assume that I’m self-righteous and think I’m better than everyone because I haven’t eaten meat in close to a decade. Usually the instant response I get is “I had no idea! So, what can you even eat?”

Well, I eat what I want, folks. I eat just about anything that never had a face. Being a vegetarian is a tricky affair. Here at RU, there aren’t many dining options for us. If you catch Chick-fil-A before 10:30, there’s a breakfast biscuit with egg and cheese. It’s a decent breakfast, especially with the small addition of a box of hash browns.

Also, in the Bonnie, is Hisho. There you can eat some edamame, seaweed salad, avocado sushi, or some tofu stir-fry. Moving to Dalton, the options get slimmer. There’s the Dalton Dining to Go option or some french fries at Wendy’s right across from it. Other than that, there are some soggy sandwiches and expensive fruit for purchase from ABP and-of course-there’s always the Papa John’s pizza option.

Vegetarianism is a huge change to your diet. After a while, eating any meat could make you physically ill if you haven’t had it for long enough. If it’s hard for you to grasp why people chose to diet in a certain way, then treat it like an allergy. I can eat meat if I want to, but the consequences will be grave. Be kind to vegetarians, they’re people too.

The 24th annual international banquet

The 24th International Banquet was held in Muse on April 18. The doors opened at 5:30 p.m. The event was put on by the Radford community: both students, faculty, and locals. It was sponsored by the International Student Affairs Council of SCA and The International Education Center. The Beans and Rice charity was selected this year for the banquet. A donation box was located in the main entrance. Also, there was a place for donations of nonperishable food items by the ticket table.

The beginning of the event was just for people to find a table and socialize with their preset salads and beverages. Each table was also set with bouquets of fake flowers in glass vases, surrounded by picture frames. The frames displayed a world disaster-like a wild fire or flood-along with a picture and a table number.

The columns in the dining room were decorated with colored paper and famously influential people from around the world, like Malala Yousafzai and some information or a quote about them. There were also colored balloons bobbing around the room and tied to chairs. Half of the attendees were dressed business casual, while some chose to be very formal with a suit and tie or dressed down with a t-shirt and jeans.

The MCs of the night: Sarah Rainey, Suliaman James, Kieran Robert spoke on a small stage centered in the room. They announced all of the performances and called each table, three at a time, to serve themselves at the international-themed buffet. The menu featured foods from Japan, Cameroon, Scotland, Haiti, and more.

There were also many vegetarian options and all food had it’s ingredients labeled specifically. Whether those labels decided to stay on or fall off was another story.

The buffet also included several different types of bread in all manners of shapes and sizes. The desserts included taro coconut, cranahan, chocolate trifle, and baklava.

The performances began with a Colombian and Venezuelan dance by three young women in the appropriate more traditional dancing skirts. The next performance was Catriona Scott, a foreign exchange student from Scotland. The night also featured RU HYPE, clogging, and singing. It was very much like an international talent show.

Let us have cake

While I completely understand, agree with, and support the current trends of healthy living and eating habits that have become so entrenched in our society, I can’t help but wonder why some people take it too far.

I’m fairly healthy. I eat well, I work out every single day unless I just don’t feel like it. (Everybody has those days, even if you try to deny it.)

What I don’t understand are the people who are so obsessed with healthy habits that they judge others for eating a slice of pizza or chocolate cake every once in a while–or worse, the ones who judge people who are  “overweight.”How I hate that word. it’s just so judgmental.cake

Consider the lovely Valentine’s posterboard that was set up in the entrance of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center for a solid few weeks. Itcondemned the consumption of anything “bad” for one’s health during Valentine’s Day, which  made no sense to me. “Calories don’t take a vacation?” Well, maybe calories don’t, but I surely do. If someone wants to buy me chocolate for Valentine’s Day, my birthday, or a Tuesday, I will happily consume said calories — and I refuse to feel bad about that.

There’s a difference between having sweets and fatty foods every once in a while (I indulge on special occasions, i.e. Valentine’s Day) and consuming a plethora of saturated fats every day.

But honestly, even if someone WANTS to consume saturated fats in excess every day, who are we to judge them or say something about it? Why are people so invested in what others decide to do? If someone is happy, why do we care to burst their bubble with our opinion? I’ve never understood why people judge other people based on what they eat, who they love, what they wear, ANYTHING. There have been so many rising incidents with eating disorders in college-agemales and females alike. I know this because I did a research paper on it. Eating disorders are caused by many things, including the eating habits of one’s peers and a lack of self-confidence or self-worth.

It’s very upsetting to me when people judge what other people eat because quite frankly, it’s none of their business. Let them have cake, cookies, muffins, a Whopper, whatever they please. You might be happier with yourself as soon as you stop being so critical of others.