I’m Glad I Eat at the Dining Hall…?

March 20, 2017 in Balance / College / Recovery

HAPPY MONDAY LOVE BUGS! I hope you all had the best St. Patty’s day weekend and did something fun! 🙂

Today’s post is directly for my college friends out there, but I feel like a lot of people can relate to the gist of this message regardless of if you’re a college student or not. 🙂

I’m glad I eat at the dining hall. Yep, you heard it. Yeah, I’ll complain about the food there sometimes, but I’m glad I have a meal plan at the end of the day. And I’m glad I have access to my college’s dining hall.

I’m glad I eat at the dining hall because…

  1. I don’t have time for meal prep while I’m at school. I don’t have time to make chicken & rice & broccoli on a Sunday night when I’m scrambling to finish assignments or just want to sit on my bum and drink Kombucha/read blogs. It’s not a priority for me. And for me, Netflix/blog time > meal prepping during my free time.
  2. Everyone at my school has a meal plan. It normalizes me and my eating habits. I’m not just going to sit in my room and eat my perfectly little prepped meal or bring tupperware to the dining hall while everyone else is eating food from there. Yeah, nope. That just doesn’t sound appealing to me at all.
  3. Food dates are fun. Same with coffee dates. And when your a college student, half the time those are at the dining hall. And with a meal plan, I am easily able to do that.
  4. Eating at the dining hall = relinquishing control. You don’t know how the food is prepped. You don’t know how many calories is in it. You aren’t making it yourself. You are just going to get some nourishment and fuel, and the rest doesn’t matter. Going to the dining hall is a good way to challenge a disordered mindset around food. It is a good way to just go with the flow and realize that all food really is fuel.
  5. Eating at the dining hall= giving less power to food. You don’t need your perfectly prepped overnight chia seed oats with matcha powder + coconut oil + some other nutrient straight from the earth every morning. Sometimes a bagel does the trick. Or an egg sandwich. Or a muffin. The chia see matcha coconut oil almond butter flax whatever you want to make oats just don’t happen every morning. And that is fine.
  6. It helps me keep my priorities in line. Because sometimes when I’m running in 500 directions all I can manage is a pb&j and some yogurt for lunch while on the go, and that is fine. Other things come first. Food isn’t the #1 most important thing in the entire universe. Sometimes a pb&j gets gobbled down while running late to class instead of a quinoa salad with 10 pounds of vegetables. And that is 1000% okay in my world.

So yeah. I am glad I eat at the dining hall. No, the food isn’t gourmet. But yes, I am thankful to have the privilege of eating there anyways.

No questions for today. Any thoughts are welcome!! Always appreciate them so incredibly much. 🙂 Happy Monday friends, sending tons of love!

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  • Reply steph March 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Wow, again I love the topic. How something so simple can really cover so much!
    When you dig deep inside yourself you can find so much! It really is freeing. How we hold so tight to control! To be free, free to go to the dining hall!!

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It March 20, 2017 at 11:21 am

    YES, I totally agree!! There’s no such thing as eating “perfectly” anyway, and college is NOT the time for that! I’ve had a meal plan all 4 years and it’s super helpful so don’t have to grocery shop as much either. Love you babe!! <3

  • Reply Emily March 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    And I’m thankful you eat at the dining hall too, because it sounds SO good for recovery. It is always good for me not to know how the food was prepped or how many calories are in it; it’s just food. It’s fuel, a gift to help my body move and live and my brain function! And I have seen you do some really delicious looking meals from the dining hall!
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:35 am

      It is so good for that!! couldn’t agree more

  • Reply Julia @ Drops of Jules March 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    #2 is precisely why I love still being on the meal plan as an RA. I’m constantly around people who have healthy eating habits and can model after them when I’m struggling. It has given me such insight into what a normal dietary life looks like! So so so so happy about this aspect of college.
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Exactly! seeing how other “normal eaters” eat is a big help!

  • Reply Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar March 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I totally hear what you’re saying. When I was an undergrad, I lived in a very unusual style of hall where we all had to prepare our own food, and it was one of the biggest factors that initially led me to undereat. It’s nice to be able to relinquish that control. They’re serving chicken? Okay, I’ll eat chicken. They’re serving bagels? Okay, I’ll have a bagel.
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:38 am

      It is nice to not have that tight grasp of control and just go with the flow!

  • Reply Ellie Pell March 21, 2017 at 12:00 am

    The only reason I thought I liked the dining hall was because I didn’t have to take time to cook and if I was hungry, there was food immediately available. I actually didn’t like all the people, or the way that all the food tasted the same. I also enjoy cooking now, so my glasses are tainted against dining halls. Also, it’s more a treat to go out to eat or have someone make me something. I appreciate it more 🙂
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:40 am

      It is so easy when there’s just food there and already ready. Saves a lot of time too!

  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot March 21, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Great thoughts! I definitely miss not having to cook and prep every last meal that I eat! Enjoy it as long as possible!
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:40 am

      Thanks Heather!

  • Reply Melanie March 21, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I don’t and have never lived in the dorms, but I totally understand why eating in the dining hall is such a positive thing for you. I equate it to eating out with friends, going on spontaneous coffee dates, etc. My recovery benefits SO much from doing those kinds of things. When I went through treatment and had no say in my meals/how to prepare them, it made a world of difference in my relationship with food. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:40 am

      Thank you for reading them! going out to eat and such was so helpful in my recovery as well!

  • Reply Sarah March 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I think its so cool that most everyone at your school has a meal plan or eats in the dining halls. At my school not a lot of my friends eat on campus, maybe lunch if they are on campus all day, but a lot of people live in apartments right off campus. I tend to pack food a lot since I commute, but this post was a good reminder to maybe branch out and try eating a meal on campus in one of the dining halls. We have 3 main ones, 2 have a not so good reputation lol, but another one that I used to go to living on campus is usually pretty good 🙂
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:41 am

      Yeah you should try to one day girl!! Less time during your meal prep too!

  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law March 22, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Sometimes I wish I had a dining hall to eat at – or a personal chef ? it would be a blessing when you’re busy! And not cooking gives you more time for fun!
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:41 am

      It is such a blessing when I have tons to do!

  • Reply Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves March 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    YES YES YES. The dining hall is one of the most daunting places for someone who has/had an ED entering college, but it is one of the best tools to help with recovery if you let it be. So proud of you for allowing it to be that!
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    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Same here- it has shown me freedom with food as well!

  • Reply Claire B. March 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I love to hear this perspective! I cringe when I hear people around me talk about how they wish they could be off of the meal plan because then “they could have more control over what they eat.” Ugh ugh ugh. I wish I could have eaten in the dining hall for convenience’s sake. I opted out of my school’s meal plan for my last year of college, but only because they couldn’t cater to my food intolerances and I was getting sick all of the time.

    • Reply Alyssa March 31, 2017 at 2:42 am

      oh my gosh same here!! That drives me crazy when I hear that. It is a nice tool so might as well use it if you can!

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