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Eating Primal in the Dining Hall

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  • Eating Primal in the Dining Hall

    I'm in college and trying to eat primal despite being on a university dining plan and eating all my meals at the dining hall. It's usually possible to find a good variety of meats and veggies, especially with our salad bar, but I do have a couple questions. First, all the salad dressings are manufactured and contain vegetable oil or other questionable oils and preservatives. I'm not sure I can make myself eat a salad without dressing every day... what should I do?
    Also, the oil used to cook a lot of the meat and veggies is a combination of sunflower and corn oils, so I'm a little hesitant to be eating a lot of their bacon, sausage, etc.
    Since the dining hall tends to reduce saturated fat as much as possible, I'm also finding it hard to get enough healthy fats in my diet.
    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Olive oil and vinegar don't need to be refrigerated, so could you mix up a little shaker bottle of that and bring it with you? (Or ask them to supply it -- tons of commercial and dining-hall salad bars do.)

    You could also buy some avocados as a snack or to add to your salad -- they, too, don't need to be refrigerated. Or keep some coconut oil in your room.


    • #3
      I'm going to university next year, where a dining plan is req'd of anyone living on campus (currently at community college, so not a problem!)
      I plan on telling them I have allergies.. I technically have intolerances, but I don't care - all of this stuff makes me so sick! I considered at least trying it, but yeah, the oil thing is impossible to avoid. That can even be a starting point.. like "Well even the salad dressings use canola oil, even the meat is cooked in canola...".
      Hopefully they will let me cancel my dining plan, or at least go on the minimum so I can cook for myself. I know I can't do college if I'm constantly tired/nauseous.
      Also, considering they completely respect vegans and vegetarians & go out of their way for celiacs, they SHOULD respect primal eating they way they respect vegetarians as a personal choice. I would talk to whoever heads the dining hall (for allergies, there is usually a nutritionist on hand!)

      Good luck!


      • #4
        It's kind of like worrying about hidden ingredients when you go to a restaurant, except that you do it everyday.
        Even eating primally in a restaurant or dining hall is worlds better than eating SAD. So, enjoy the foods that are the most primal and don't make yourself crazy by picking them apart....that is just way too much stress, which is not healthy.
        To counteract, get yourself a jar of VCO and consume some daily.
        If you're not ready to completely give up commercial dressings on your salad, start cutting w some olive oil. That is exactly what I do and now it is hard for me to eat salad dressing straight up because it tastes too salty.
        If you eat dairy, keep some good quality cheese and greek yogurt in your fridge(?).....
        You'll stay in great health....enjoy, don't stressssss!!


        • #5
          What if you tried to make the best choices you can for what's available and consider the inevitable crud as part of your 20%? I mean, maybe you would stick to the 90/10 rule instead of 80/20, since you're already getting some non-primal stuff in the form of conventional meat and refined seed oils. I definitely agree with buying a jar of coconut oil and eating it like a supplement -- that alone has helped my husband's IBS, even though he refuses to try giving up wheat or make any other changes to his diet.

          Also, bacon tends not to be fried in any other fat because it exudes its own. So could you put bacon on your salad and let the oozing fat act as a dressing? If you do dairy, some nice cheese will have fats to help you absorb the nutrients from the veggies, and try to find pats of real butter if they serve them. If you don't have any other option, salted butter on a hard boiled egg is actually kind of tasty. That plus some fruit would make a decent dining-hall breakfast.