SLU Dining: Pay Attention to What You Eat

Picture this: a broke college student stepping into Grand Dining Hall and eating the most accessible and tasty thing there is–cereal. Cereal for breakfast, sometimes lunch and even as a late night snack. I’m not going to name names, but that was actually me for a day. I know, unhealthy, right? 

Before you say anything, remember, I’m a college student. A student that has no time or money and has to get to class. A General Chemistry lecture in 15 minutes, a studying session for midterms tonight and even an internship/job probably fill up the entirety of our minds. Food finishes last on that priority list. Not much time is taken in a day to think about what goes into our bodies. 

And let’s be honest, that is not a good thing. We should be paying more attention to what we eat and drink; the foods and beverages that maintain our bodies are of utmost importance. It is just as important as getting an A in General Chemistry or maintaining that stellar 4.0 GPA. Why? Well, nutrition and grades are significantly related.

Evie Nguyen

In a published study about the effects of nutrition on mood and school performance on college students, Tracy L. Burrows at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan found that “Studies reported small to moderate significant positive associations between diet and academic achievement, including regular meal consumption, and meeting national recommendations for fruit intake.” Meeting these nutritional standards is essential for any student. Your body is a machine and it needs a set amount of nutrients to function adequately. So, it is reasonable that eating right correlates positively with


For me, it is difficult to find healthy, diverse choices here at SLU.  I am a vegetarian, so more than half my provided food options are thrown out the window. For example, the only thing I can get at Billiken Grill is the black bean burger. The only thing I can get at Mein Bowl is the Thai tofu. The only thing I can get at Garbanzo is the falafel wrap. It’s not an overstatement when I say that it is difficult to find diverse, vegetarian options at SLU, especially ones that are nutritious and keep my taste buds interested for more than a week.

Despite that, I am trying my best to eat healthily. Usually, for breakfast at Grand, I eat yogurt with granola. For lunch, it could be a tofu wrap from Reinert. For dinner, Qdoba’s veggie bowl is a satiating option. I stopped drinking sodas too, but it’s difficult given there is a soda dispenser available at every dining place. I also try increasing the ratio of protein to carbohydrates in my diet to avoid the infamous “food coma,” so you might see me snacking on a protein bar before my 10 a.m. chemistry lecture.

Eating healthy is important, and I’m not trying to convince you to become a vegetarian, nor am I advocating for more vegetarian options at SLU (though that would be nice). I’m writing to encourage SLU students, including myself, to take a moment and think before you eat something. Ask yourself: is this the most nutritiously beneficial and fulfilling thing I can eat right now? If not, what is?

Obviously, this change happens over time. No one changes overnight. But if you do change to a healthier option just once, for example, eating oatmeal instead of cereal for breakfast, even if it’s just for a day, know this: it’s one step in the right direction.