For the past few weeks, we has been conducting a campus-wide dining survey to hear from you, our LVC students and faculty, on how our Dining Services can continue to improve your eating experience here at Lebanon Valley. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey, and we encourage anyone else who might have valuable feedback to contact us at any time at our website's contact page. Now, on to the survey.
A question that many students ask themselves in the morning is: “do I eat breakfast or get an extra half hour of sleep?” At least I know I do. Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast, know you’re not alone. According to the survey, 53.45% of LVC students interviewed usually skip breakfast. However, when LVC students do eat, 72.73% of those surveyed said that Mund is their go-to place, with Intermetzo Cafe & Dutchmen Den coming up second with 13% each. So what do you all think of Mund? Well, first things first: you love our staff! So do we! When ranking the friendliness of Metz employees, around 90% of respondents gave a positive score. However, they aren’t just nice, they’re good at their jobs too. Students gave our employees glowing scores for their speed & cleanliness, an important achievement and a testament to how seriously Metz takes COVID-19 protocols and keeping LVC students safe.
One major part of the survey that was especially exciting was the open suggestion form, in which you could reach out and tell us exactly what you wanted. My personal favorite suggestion was from a student who suggested a frozen yogurt machine in Mund. As much as I love double dunker ice cream, I agree that a frozen yogurt machine would offer a lighter, more refreshing alternative to the usual after-dinner dessert. Apart from that, LVC students also made it clear that they want more plant-based options in their daily dining choices. With VegFest ending last month, it is obvious that a growing portion of LVC students wants healthier, delicious plant-based meals. To those students, we hope to fulfill our promise to you and again encourage you to contact us with any recipe suggestions or dishes that you enjoyed from VegFest.
Finally, the last major piece of feedback that we received was for longer dining hours. We understand completely, it is a hectic time and it can be difficult to make sure you get to the dining hall within the window of time. However, did you know there is now a new way to eat at LVC? Recently, we launched our new Grubhub service. Easily accessible via your phone, you can now order ahead and pick up at your favorite places to eat on campus, payable in meal exchange, flex, or cash. We encourage everyone to give the app a try and see how convenient your dining experience at LVC can become!
We would again like to extend our thanks to all of you that took our dining survey. Feedback is incredibly important, and we plan on using your responses to help us create dishes that more students will not only enjoy; but that they can’t get enough of.
The leaves are turning orange, marking the start of October and with it the start of National Vegetarian Month. To celebrate, dining services is throwing VegFest once again to introduce LVC students to the leafy green lifestyle that 8% of the world follows. All month LVC students can stop by Mund, lunch or dinner, to try nutrient and protein-rich plant-based recipes that will satisfy even the hungriest carnivore.
Research shows that following a vegetarian lifestyle can be very beneficial. However, incorporating more plants into your diet doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing affair. Making a conscious effort to introduce more plant-based foods in your diet is always going to be more effective than trying to stick to a fully vegetarian diet and failing. This week, I talked with LVC’s Dietician Morgan Walker to see if she could offer some insight into what transitioning to a healthy plant-based diet looks like.
The most important lesson that Morgan taught me was that “plant-based can but does not necessarily have to mean vegan or vegetarian. Individuals can still eat eggs, poultry, fish, meat, and dairy products, and still obtain the benefits of eating a diet rich in plant-based foods.” I think in a world of diets, each with their own strict guidelines that must be obeyed like dogma, it can be easy to forget there is always a middle ground. By substituting plants into your current diet slowly, you can avoid the risk of burning out and having that late-night binge on oily cheeseburgers and fries (not that I have any experience in that). In a majority plant-based diet, you can think of meat and dairy similar to the way you might think about dessert now: not for every meal, but occasionally doesn’t hurt. So, how might you start introducing plants into your diet here at LVC?
“Eating primarily plant-based may take time for some individuals, especially if you currently consume a high in very processed foods. Start with small changes and goals for your intake, here are some tips for eating plant-based at LVC to get you started!
Need assistance with special dietary needs, achieving your individual wellness goals, or fueling an active lifestyle? Morgan Walker, MS, RD, LDN, our campus dietitian is here to help. Morgan is a Registered Dietitian who believes that a well-nourished body is fundamental to optimizing health, well-being, and academic success. She is available to help the Dutchmen community with nutrition needs and questions.