While it’s OK to enjoy the occasional splurge, she advises students to be mindful of maintaining a steady level of energy. Choose healthy proteins like lean chicken or tofu, complex carbs like sweet potatoes or pinto beans, and whole grains in good cereals and bread.
Students clock lots of miles walking to and from classes every week and college-aged students’ calorie and protein needs are fairly high because their metabolisms are strong, making good nutrition all the more important.
UVA’s Dining Services offers dozens of eating options across Grounds, including The Castle, a plant-forward restaurant offering salads, grain bowls and paninis.
UVA Today decided to look beyond Grounds and surveyed several nearby restaurants to help students find ways to eat healthy and tasty foods, while fueling their bodies for success.
Basil Mediterranean Bistro & Wine Bar
This Mediterranean restaurant, located at 109 14th St. NW, offers cuisines from France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Turkey. Gut-nourishing tzatziki, a yogurt-based dip blending cucumbers, garlic salt and olive oil, greets diners in the mezza, or shared plates, section of the menu.
That menu offers no fewer than 21 salads from which to choose. For instance, “Plato’s Republic” features mixed greens, pepperoncini, Kalamata olives, fried pita chips for crunch and house-made lemon sumac vinaigrette. Diners can top their salads with chicken, shrimp, lamb, salmon, falafel or other options. The salads are so large, you’ll have leftovers for your next meal. Skewers, pastas, Lebanese pita roll-ups, Italian submarine sandwiches and paninis round out the healthfully oil-infused Mediterranean menu.
Box’d Kitchen, at 909 W. Main St., says its aim is simple: serve healthy and delicious food.
Its brightly colored salads feature locally grown produce like arugula, kale and other crunchy options like cucumbers and bell peppers. You can also mix in rice. Customers can top their salad with the protein of their choice; options include richly spiced lamb, chicken, beef, pork or tofu.
Finish the salad with a swirl of Box’d Kitchen’s homemade hot sauce, made from boiled habanero, jalapeno, green and red peppers. For a tangy alternative, opt for the house-made white sauce, prepared with organic Greek yogurt and finished with a secret blend of herbs and spices. Or live a little and indulge in both finishes for a mouth-watering sensation.
At the counter, you can also order steak or lamb wraps, veggies over rice and salad, or any combination of Box’d’s offerings.
Spice levels range from “none” to “extra,” with everything in between. The folks at Box’d also toss in a couple of pieces of pita bread so you can sop up the juices. Diners can enjoy their meal at one of several tables in the warmly lit rectangular space or take their food to go.
The Juice Laundry
Smoothies, soups, salads, juices and nut milks are the headliners at The Juice Laundry, which uses 100 percent organic fruits, veggies, spices, herbs, sprouts and nuts to make their foods. Vegan and gluten-free, you can start your day with a breakfast bowl featuring oats or quinoa with your choice of three toppings, like slivers of coconut, bananas and dates.
Located on The Corner at 1411 University Ave., the business was founded by UVA alumni Sarah and Mike Keenan. There are savory, rotating soups of the day and the vegan Caesar, a blend of kale and cabbage with dressing and parmesan. Or you can opt for one of six signature acai bowls, like the “Monster,” which is packed with cacao cashew butter, bananas, dates and house-made almond milk; or “Tropical Energy,” a swirl of mango, dragon fruit, bananas, dates and brewed guayusa, a highly caffeinated drink with twice the antioxidants of green tea.