The start of the new school year has brought a lot of great things, but one of them is impossible to miss: The Commons. After years of suffering from the cockroach and mold-infested Bruff, we finally have access to a dining hall that knows how to serve. Not only is the new dining hall cleaner and more pleasing to the eye, The Commons has a wide assortment of food that will never leave you unsatisfied. With that being said, having all these options can  tempt you to try every single thing and leave you walking out feeling sick from overeating. With a couple months of eating at our new dining hall under my belt, I’ve found the perfect tips and tricks for learning to eat well at The Commons, and avoid gaining the Freshman 15 that you never did from Bruff.

Breakfast. My personal favorite option is scrambled or hard boiled eggs. The issue with dining halls is that you often can’t see how they make their eggs, so sometimes I prefer them hard boiled. I get them from the Hearth Station downstairs and then head to the Garden Station to get avocado and other toppings from the avocado toast bar. I know that a lot of people are big fans of the omelette station and I can see why. However, keep a watch out; while omelettes are a great breakfast, the grills can be covered with oil. Another healthy option for breakfast is to grab yogurt from the Garden Station or oatmeal from the Simmered Station (both downstairs) and top them with berries and honey.

Lunch. My go-to healthy lunch is making my own salad. The Garden Station has a great salad bar with an assortment of lettuces, fresh veggies, and other salad toppings. I usually stay away from the heavy dressings at the salad bar and opt for some olive oil and vinegar. Adding a little bit of hummus is also a great option! I then head over to the Grill Station and ask for grilled chicken or a veggie burger to put on top of my salad. The grilled chicken is surprisingly amazing and adds great protein to your veggie-filled salad.

Dinner. For dinner, I usually end up picking and choosing different things from a variety of stations. It is important to find a healthy protein, vegetable, and carb for a balanced meal. For protein, I will either get grilled chicken from the Grilled Station or fish, which is usually at the Carved Station or upstairs at the Chef’s Table Station. As a vegetarian option, you can also ask for a veggie burger or black bean burger at the Grilled Station. To get my veggie intake, I will either walk around to different stations to find grilled veggies, or just take from the salad bar. Another great option is to go to the Pasta Station and ask them to sauté some vegetables, but to leave out the pasta… unless they happen to have zucchini noodles that day! And for a healthy carb, I will grab a steamed sweet potato from the Simmered Station or some quinoa from the Garden Station.

Additional Quick Tips

  • Check the menu online before you go to plan.
  • There is always grilled chicken prepared at the Simplified Station upstairs, you just have to ask them for it!
  • Always drink water with your meals. There’s even sparkling water!
  • Stick to fruit if you have a sweet tooth after your meal.
  • Don’t forget that it won’t kill you to indulge every once in a while! The amazing thing about our new dining hall is that some of the options are truly just as good as getting a meal from a restaurant in downtown New Orleans. Don’t restrict yourself from something you really want to try!

Cover Photo: Tulane Dining Instagram

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