5 healthy snacks to make in your dorm

5 Healthy Snacks For Your Dorm Room

Ditch the dining hall and opt for these instead.

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College is filled with fun--from sporting events to social events, to extracurriculars, there's an array of options when it comes to preoccupying yourself. However, there isn't always a wide array of options when it comes to food. As much as they try, it's extremely difficult (and expensive) for dining halls to mass produce healthy food. Thus, we college students are left with a decision: Do we succumb to the mass-produced, lackluster dining hall food, or do we ditch the dining hall and make our own food?

After a semester in college, I decided I'd had enough crinkle fries... something I never thought I'd say. I started hitting up Target and Trader Joe's like my life depended on it (which, it kind of did). Soon enough, I found some healthy and affordable food that have become dorm room staples. Here are five of my favorites.

Long gone are the days where I'd make bets on what exotic way chicken would be prepared for dinner. I have these snacks, as well as many more I can make with these same ingredients, to thank for that.

1. Fancy Oatmeal

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Even though I thought it was commonly called "porridge" until the third grade, oatmeal has always been one of my favorite breakfast foods. Once I got to college, I realized Quaker Oats apples and cinnamon wasn't the only type of spiced-up oatmeal out there. Soon, I was adding a sliced up banana, peanut butter, and chia seeds to my oatmeal every morning, helping me stay fuller longer. In this particular bowl, I sprinkled chopped almonds and blueberries just for fun.

2. Carrots and hummus

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Baby carrots are good for you, and they don't go bad as quickly as other veggies like lettuce and cucumbers. Popping a couple in a plastic bag along with an individual container of hummus and stuffing it in your purse or backpack make for a great on-the-go snack.

3. Turkey Roll Up

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This snack is so easy to make and yummy I'm surprised more people don't know about it. Take a stick of light string cheese, place it on a piece of deli-shaved turkey, and roll it right up like a burrito! Sometimes, I even add a little mustard to my turkey slice before rolling it. It's just like a sandwich without the bread!

4. Sustainable Salad

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Worried you might not get to all your lettuce before it starts to wilt? Here's a hack: Putting a paper towel inside the bag of lettuce will allow it to soak up the moisture that otherwise would turn the lettuce brown. Still don't trust yourself with eating it all before this? You can always snag some lettuce from your dining hall and add your own toppings to it later. My favorite include grape tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, string cheese, and turkey or frozen grilled chicken strips. Add light ranch or a vinaigrette dressing and wa-la! You have a filling, healthy meal.

5. Fruit Smoothie

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The most expensive part of this snack is all in the preparation: the blender. Trust me, though, this is worth it. I love mixing a little frozen fruit, almond milk, and honey together in my mini blender and enjoying a smoothie on the way to class. If I'm feeling really fancy, I'll add goji berries, chia seeds, or granola to the top for a little extra boost!

With snacks like these, I'm glad I left the french fries and mysterious chicken behind. As you can see, many of the ingredients overlap--it's pretty easy to turn a simple grocery list into a collection of yummy, healthy snacks!

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The Unspoken Dangers of 'Mukbang' Culture

Ever wondered why you can't stop clicking on these addictive, self-made eating shows?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you've probably heard of the internet trend commonly referred to as a mukbang, or "eating show." These self-produced video clips typically involve one hungry individual, their filming device, and an obscene amount of delicious foods.

Though these broadcasts originated all the way from South Korea (hence the foreign vocabulary), the growing popularity of eating videos has taken the internet by storm. Nowadays as you scroll through YouTube, you'll find an outrageous amount of uploads with titles like "10,000 CALORIE PASTA MUKBANG," "EATING EVERYTHING ON THE MCDONALD'S MENU," or "THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE."

Popular 'mukbangers' such as Peggie Neo, Megan McCullom, and Steven Sushi have made a sizable profit off of their viral eating shows, some collecting tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

So, what's the big deal you say? You order a large quantity of food, indulge in said food, film yourself completing this menial task, and upload to the internet for money and fame. On the outside, this may seem like a luxurious lifestyle, but behind the camera lens sits an individual battling their own demons and influencing the world of social media to partake in their harmful behaviors.

Mukbanger Livia Adams ("Alwayshungry" on YouTube) has opened up about her unhealthy relationship with food in the past, praising herself for fasting several hours in order to justify her over-indulgence on camera.

Similarly, internet sensation Trisha Paytas claims to diet and starve herself for weeks just to be able to satisfy her subscribers with epic mukbangs, which are essentially binges.

In all actuality, these social media celebrities are negatively impacting (and possibly triggering) vulnerable viewers.

Many fans only see the highlight reel of YouTubers shoveling bowls of cereal or boxes of doughnuts into their mouths, yet remain completely unaware of what truly goes on behind-the-scenes. Messages saying:

"I'm on a diet... watching this is giving me some sort of satisfaction, like as tho I ate, you know?"
"I watch these videos because I know I physically can't afford to eat like this because I gain weight too easily."
"When having an eating disorder, watching Trisha's mukbangs is sorta comforting in a way omg"

flood the comments sections of Paytas' videos. Quite obviously, fans young and old are heavily influenced by this content and continue to support these creators to fulfill a self-destructive need.

Additionally, famous mukbang accounts never seem to include the painful after-effects of their ginormous feasts in videos. Fitness model Stephanie Buttermore flaunts her slim physique just days after consuming over 10,000 calories for a challenge, giving the impression that her previous overindulgence had no repercussions on her health whatsoever. Because Buttermore is a trained, athletic young woman, she was able to quickly bounce back after a series of workouts and low-calorie meals.

On the contrary, if a sedentary woman of about the same age were to attempt this challenge, she would most likely feel sluggish, irritable, bloated, stomach discomfort, and even vomitous post challenge. Eating regularly like this could lead to bigger issues such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, because topics like these aren't glamorous and attractive to subscribers, mukbangers often edit them out.

Now don't get me wrong. Though not everyone who uploads a mukbang to the internet has an eating disorder or an evil agenda, they have to realize the kind of audience they're appealing to. This generation is more susceptible than ever to emulate the actions and words of their favorite celebrities. Young boys and girls look up to successful adults, and influencers should be remembered for the change they inspired, not the disease they encouraged.

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Thank You, Meal Ticket, For Pulling Me And My Family Through

Feed your belly!

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Dear, Meal Ticket

I thank you for feeding me school breakfast and lunch. I thank you for feeding all the children in the neighborhood. You were one the thing all of us kids from the hood remembered. Mama told us not to forget our meal ticket. No bagged lunches around here, no money for breakfast. Just the bus stop down the corner to get us to school early so we could fill our tummies while we bent over desks scribbling want-to-be cursive on the wide ruled paper.

Thank you, meal ticket, for making it easier for our families. You took two out of the three meals off our parents' plates five days a week. How could we repay you? I could make you some spam and white rice for dinner. That dinner might not be as good as you, meal ticket, but it will fill your belly. It sounds foolish I know, but there is no way I could reimburse you. So I will sit here and praise you in gratitude for saving me and my brothers and sisters from poverty. For teaching us about the service you do for us, meal ticket.

Look at where you got me, meal ticket. I am here writing to thank you for feeding me enough so that I could sit here before you today. We were hopeless, our brains stuck in the mud, not knowing what move we had to make next to fill our tables, but you saved us. You made us excited to go to school, knowing we would be fed a plate full of food and education to get us out of the hood. So that one day we could be just as great as you are and feed the whole neighborhood with integrity.

I want to remind all of you to hold on to your meal ticket even when you find the knowledge to be your own meal ticket one day. Never forget where you came from. This meal ticket saved not only you but so many others. So turn in your meal ticket with pride. And kiss your loved ones for teaching you about the service.

Thank you, meal ticket, for pulling me out of the mud with a full belly.

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