Victoria Cirilli photo
Lucas Sanabria, an exercise science major from Atlanta who was a junior in the spring, loads his plate with fresh greens from the salad bar in the Trojan Dining Hall.
For first-year Trojans, maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge, but advice from fellow students can ease the transition from home cooking to college eating.
Troy University has eight fast-food restaurant options in the Trojan Center, and the Trojan Dining Hall building contains two additional quick-dining restaurants, as well as cafeteria-style dining.
2 convenience stores
There are also two convenience stores: Herb’s Place in Trojan Village 400 and Quick Zone in McCall Hall (the Math and Science Complex).
Where you eat may depend on when you can find time.
“The dining hall obviously has more healthy options like the salad bar and soup,” said Lucas Sanabria, an exercise science major from Atlanta who was a junior in the spring. He has lived on campus since his freshman year and is also a trainer for American Muscle Fitness Club, an exercise group for students.
“As far as somebody on a diet, you shouldn’t even be in TC unless you’re getting water, or maybe a salad, but you might as well just come (to the dining hall),” Sanabria said.
Elizabeth Eaise, Troy Dining Services’ marketing coordinator, said: “You’ll have to decide (on a meal plan) when you do housing, but once you get your schedule, if you have a lot of evening classes, you’ll need a meal plan with more flex points because of our dining hall hours.”
Sanabria said the dining hall is where he finds most of his meals because of the selection of fruits and vegetables, which give him nutrients for his workouts.
Troy Dining Services emphasizes the importance of obtaining a meal plan suited to your schedule so that you can take full advantage of what is offered during free time and class breaks, but those may not always be the healthiest options.
“If you want to eat healthy without going to TC but spend your flex points, go to Herb’s because even though it’s not an actual grocery store, they do have healthy options like protein bars and different types of nuts and trail mixes,” Sanabria said.
“Really look at your schedule, and look at the operation hours that can be found on our website,” Eaise said, “because classes determine a lot of what’s convenient for (students).”
“I chose (to get a meal plan) because I wanted to make sure I could eat lunch, dinner or brunch with my friends,” said Bo Gaston, a hospitality management major from Camden who was a senior in the spring. “Then it’s convenient to eat on campus when I don’t want to cook myself ramen or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“I have been seeing more healthy options at the dining hall, and that entails helping keep the freshman 15 off.” (The “freshman 15” are the pounds that students sometimes gain during freshman year.)
“Even if you don’t live on campus, you can still purchase (an on-campus) meal plan,” said Delta Christiansen, Troy Dining Services’ marketing assistant and a hospitality major from Enterprise who was a senior in the spring. “That’s useful if you’re not a cook or if you’re on campus most of your day.”
Students who are maintaining healthier diets like Sanabria or manage food allergies and dietary restrictions may also need to choose a meal plan that allows more swipes in the Trojan Dining Hall.
“If you have food allergies, the dining hall is going to be a very safe area for you because we have trained staff,” Eaise said.
Try new tastes
The dining hall has two specific stations that provide food that is allergy-friendly and vegan/vegetarian-friendly, and trained staff serve you to avoid cross-contamination.
“Although we do have a lot of options, they can be monotonous but try your best to mix it up … because the vegetarian section — in the (dining hall) specifically — always caters dishes from different countries, so expand your palette and try new things,” said Derek Cunningham, a vegetarian and an exercise science major from Birmingham who was a senior in the spring. “Be willing to open your mouth up to new tastes.”
Eaise encourages both on- and off-campus students to contact Troy Dining Services with any questions or comments through the Troy website, or through direct messages on social media pages.
For more information on specific restaurant locations and meal plan options, visit troy.edu/about-us/offices-departments/dining-services/.