Optimizing cafeteria food

by Christina on September 2, 2011

Oh how I love sneaking a run to the cafeteria in the middle of a busy day.

But lately, our caf has been suffering from some unfortunate budget cuts. No more coconut water, smoothies, odwalla protein/fiber bars, or sushi… our options are getting limited.

I’m trying to maximize my home food prep: nut/date bag, apples/pears, and my fruit/avocado/bean medley:

And for my desperate and therapeutic runs to our cafeteria, my new challenge is to create an appetizing cafeteria-food super salad:

Veggie burger from the grill and 2 prepackaged plain spinach salads.

It’s still a work in progress, but better than grabbing the french fries and ice cream and coke.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily Douglas September 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

YUM. Your “work in progress” looks absolutely delicious…even better if it were topped off with the avocados and beans from above (and lizano!)
I just inhaled a chocolate-chip scone from our cafeteria because I “didn’t have time” to pack a healthy breakfast this morning…this post is inspiring me to take the extra three minutes to pack something healthy!


Chris Palmer September 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I’m sad your cafeteria is trying to save money by cutting back the healthy options it offers. Perhaps you can write to the person who runs the caf and ask them to tweak their offerings to put more emphasis on “food as medicine.” An empty bag cannot stand!


Satkirin September 3, 2011 at 12:30 am

And bring this reference with you, just to be super academic and economical about it!! (sometimes common sense is overlooked…)
McDermott AJ, et al. “Cost Of Eating:Whole Foods Versus Convenience Foods In A Low-Income Model.” Fam Med 2010;42(4):280-4.


Christina September 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

YES! Thank you for that article, Satkirin! We need to offer low-cost health food, ESPECIALLY in hospital cafeterias. As places of healing, that is where we need to be modeling this.

Here’s a link to the full pdf (for our future reference!): http://www.stfm.org/fmhub/fm2010/April/Andrew280.pdf


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