Fork Yum Presents Healthy Eating in the Dining Hall

Eating healthy in the dining hall is not always easy to do. Students with heavy workloads and busy lives often go for the foods that seem the most convenient- even if those foods are not the healthiest.

Danika Worthington, a 19-year-old journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, has been trying out a new pescetarian lifestyle in a goal to be healthier. 

“I know a lot of diseases like heart disease comes from eating red meat,” Worthington said.

Worthington wants to be a pescetarian for at least one year, she said.

“I’ve started to eat like a pescetarian about a week ago, but I am easing into it,” Worthington said. “It’s hard to quit meat cold turkey- I had some chicken nuggets over the weekend.”

Although she’s been thinking of beginning her new diet for a few months, Worthington wanted to make sure she didn’t miss out of Thanksgiving. She said she officially began her pescetarian goal the day after the holiday.

“I’m taking it slow and not getting to upset if I cheat, but I am going to really kick it into gear come New Years Day,” Worthington said.

Fork Yum joined Worthington for three meals on Monday, Dec. 2, as she finds new dishes to eat in a college dining hall.

For breakfast, Worthington had a veggie omelette and vanilla yogurt topped with granola.

At lunch time, she created herself a spinach salad with tomatoes and cucumbers with an apple on the side.

And to end the day, she had a portobello mushroom sandwich with rice, green beans and fried zucchini.

The dining hall has proposed some challenges for a student looking for meatless meals. There are “Meatless Mondays” that ASU dining offers where tofu is served as the hot dinner, but not every student who is trying to rid of meat wants to eat tofu.

“I’ve tried tofu and I just don’t like it,” Worthington said. “Maybe that will change in the future, but for now I’m going to go without it.”

There are even challenges for students who aren’t necessarily trying to eat vegetarian but want to eat healthier.

“There’s always the grill and there’s always greasy pizza offered in the dining hall,” Worthington said adding that those types of food are tempting.

The dining hall also offers a salad bar every day at lunch and dinner hours.

But Worthington may represent a number of students when she said,  “I mean, I’m not going to eat a salad every day.”