The Daily Gamecock

How to stay healthy on a campus meal plan

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Custard. (
Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Custard. (

As much as we all love a good buffalo chicken pizza from Pandini's, sometimes it’s time to kick those habits leading up to the "Freshman 15." While yes, you do walk to your classes, and campus is pretty hilly, unfortunately you will still have to eat healthy occasionally. But, let’s face it: You’re not a giraffe, so you’re not going to feel like eating a salad every day, so here are some on-campus options you may not have considered.


We all know and love Einstein’s glorious bagels. Sadly, our diets do not share this same amorous feeling. While bagel thins are a great way to cut back, you can minimize those pesky carbs even further (though you never want to go completely carb-free in your nutritional efforts). Next time you hop out of Humanities and head for a bite, try ordering an egg white with avocado and tomato slices. It’s not on the menu, but it will fit on your meal swipe and help you fit into your jeans.

Oatmeal is another great option. Instead of loading your five-item swipe with bacon and grits, how about doubling up on oatmeal with a piece of fruit that can go in your oatmeal? Plus, the cinnamon, which is an easy way to improve your metabolism, is conveniently located next to the oatmeal.


Okay, so salads are decent options on occasion. But if you’re tired of Garden Toss, The Global Cafe in the Darla Moore School of Business has an extensive selection of toppings and dressings to upgrade your usual salad components and make it taste a little more like that decadent meal you’ve been craving.

Mein Bowl has also upgraded its menu this year to include more low-calorie items for students. This is not to say that lo mein has suddenly become the new miracle metabolism-booster, but a scoop of brown rice with grilled chicken or tofu and vegetables provides a fun way to mix up your meal plan while staying fairly on track with your diet.


If you haven't made it out to USC’s newest dining facility, The Community Table, now is certainly the time to give it a try. While the restaurant features many not-so-healthy options, for a meal swipe and a little extra, you can order the glazed salmon entree, which additionally comes with a side of fruit. For a healthier twist, ask for the dish to-go without the glaze and scoop out a dollop of fresh avocado from home to use as a topping (because avocado makes the world go round).

So while it can seem difficult to prep for that summer body or just feel fresher all around, there are always ways to change up your meals from the Chick fil A you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner while still making use of that handy CarolinaCard.