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Staying Healthy in College: Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks

Before I get into this, I want you to visualize your good ol’ college days and that fabulous dining hall with all that scrumptious food. Not. If you’re in college, your memory is pretty fresh on what that hall has to offer. While I never did the whole “college experience” where I stayed in a dorm and ate in the dining hall on a daily basis, I have made my fair number of trips when necessary and, as you know, it’s slim pickings when it comes to healthy options. With a wide array of unhealthy options smacking your nostrils everywhere you go, I can honestly say college has been the toughest point in my life to stay healthy.

So, when offered the chance to review the book Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks, I really wished I had this book about three years ago. With that being said, I am still in college (last year until grad school, woot woot!) and as school is starting back up, I saw this as an opportunity to see what we can do with these not-so-healthy-or-appetizing options.


Priya Krishna, author of this book, tackled the challenge head on by turning boring dining hall offerings into something healthy and appealing. Krishna is a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, where she was a weekly food writer for the college’s paper. In Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks, Krishna outlines fairly simple recipes that can be created in most dining halls. She teaches students how to turn tortillas and chicken into enchiladas and bread, eggs and milk into French toast using a panini press. She takes plain ingredients and turns them into gourmet meals.

When I was reading many of these recipes, I was thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” They are so simple and can easily be converted into home use — whether you’re in college or not. They can easily translate into recipes for a busy mom, someone who eats in a work cafeteria, or just in general, anyone who’s looking for a quick, easy meal. So in other words, this is for everybody!

This should be in every college-goers care package, and as I just mentioned, it extends well beyond that. I’m really glad I was given the opportunity to review this book. It will stay in my go-to recipe stash for sure with a few of my favorites noted!

How was your college experience? Did you have trouble staying healthy? —Erika

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