GUC and Towers offer healthy alternatives

If you are one of the many students who spent the summer bingeing on entire seasons on Netflix, moving only when another chip bowl emptied, you might be looking for a healthy start this semester. The GUC and Towers Cafeteria have a plethora of old and new healthy options for students looking to live a cleaner lifestyle.

“Over at Towers we are piloting a menu cycle for Sodexo called ‘Fresh Square’,” said Paul Teran, executive chef of Towers Cafeteria. “It is a concept that’s been out for about a year. Out of the 2,000 colleges and universities that Sodexo has here in the U.S., we’re probably about one of 10 or 12 accounts that are actually piloting this menu cycle.”

The main idea behind Fresh Square is offering students healthier foods.

“Sixty percent of our menu is featured around mindful items,” Teran said. “It means that they’re healthy, wellness items that we have on our menu cycle.”

Towers first featured the Fresh Square menu last fall.

“We presented it in the beginning part of August this past year to President Cale and some of the senior vice presidents when we were hosting a training camp for Sodexo accounts in the state of Alabama,” Teran said. “President Cale loved it and I believe the other vice presidents did as well.”

The GUC will also be implementing new healthy alternatives this semester.

“We’re doing a lot of healthier options on potato chips,” said Denise Seagraves, retail and catering manager for the GUC. “We’ve got new baked chips out and some that are 40 percent less fat — they’re kettle cooked.”

But healthy changes in the GUC do not stop at potato chips.

“This year we are actually posting all the calories on everything,” Seagraves said. “Hopefully within the next two weeks all the new menu boards will be here and will have the calorie counts on them.”

The GUC staff has also been working to accommodate the dietary needs of all students.

“(Accommodating dietary needs) to me is the big thing,” Seagraves said. “If we have students that have some special needs, come talk to me or one of our ladies and say, ‘I can’t have this, but I can have this.’ We’ll be more than happy to work with any of them.”

Freshman Stephanie Waybright said she goes to Towers when she is looking for a healthy lunch.

“To me, Towers has a wide variety of healthier options,” Waybright said. “I really like the salad bar and the new hummus they put with it is really good.”

Towers Cafeteria continues to dish out new innovative ideas like their Hydration Station that kickstarted last fall.

“I don’t usually drink from the Hydration Station.” Waybright said. “They make a decent effort with the flavors, but most of the time they just don’t turn out to taste good.”