On Monday, November 30th Kobe Bryant, guard for the L.A. Lakers and West Philly native, visited Larry’s Steak on my school’s campus! Since the Lakers were to play the Sixers the next day, he grabbed a cheesesteak and sat with some old friends around 8pm. Almost as soon as one of my classmates recognized him, the word was out, and within minutes, hundreds of Saint Joseph’s students (including me) came to Larry’s to see the Black Mamba in the flesh. When I myself heard the news (I was laying down at the time), I hopped out of bed, put on my coat, and ran to Larrys. I got to Larry’s in a blazing 2 minutes, and it usually takes me 7-9 minutes to walk there from my dorm. I was not risking missing Kobe Bryant! I climbed on top of tables and almost got trampled by an eager mob just to get my pictures and videos (And it was SO worth it). It was an amazing experience seeing him up close, as I’ve always only been able to watch him play, take interviews, and interact with others behind a TV screen. My heart almost stopped when I got within an arms reach of him! The fact that Kobe was from Philly was simply the icing on the cake. At that moment, he showed how he will never forget where he came from and the cheesesteak shop that will always have his heart.
The next day after his game, during Kobe’s press conference, it was reported that the entire Lakers team ordered 60 cheesesteaks to go from Larry’s! Wow!!
Below is a short video I caught while I was at Larry’s steaks:
Here are some more pictures from the Kobe sighting:
This wouldn’t be my typical blog post, but I could not resist sharing the news!
You don’t always have to dramatically change your diet to eat healthier. This video will show you how you can eat healthy without even trying by making simple substitutes. Taste won’t be sacrificed, but calories and fat will!
The plain spaghetti can be substituted with wheat spaghetti, or any pasta of your choice, the Badia Sazón Tropical Seasoning can be substituted with your favorite seasoning, and the frozen broccoli can be substituted with any vegetable of your choice to make a delicious and filling meal.
An 8 quart Pasta Pot
To cook the spaghetti, boil four quarts of water on HIGH.
Add a dab or a spritz of olive oil to the water to taste.
Wait for the water to actually boil (you will see and hear a lot of bubbles), and then add the pasta.
Cook until “al dente” (firm to the bite), for approximately ten to twelve minutes.
Remove from the heat and drain in the colander.
To cook the chicken and broccoli, spray the skillet with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Spray and heat both frozen ingredients together in that skillet on MEDIUM HIGH heat until they are thoroughly cooked and browned to your preference.
Let the chicken and broccoli simmer for about ten minutes, and stir occasionally so that chicken and broccoli are browned evenly. Add the Badia Sazón Tropical Seasoning sparingly. If a generous amount of seasoning is added, it will make the chicken and broccoli too salty in addition with the Ragú® Cheesy Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sauce.
Add the Ragú® Cheesy Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sauce to the cooked pasta, and stir to get an even distribution of sauce.
Top with the cooked chicken and Broccoli. Stir well.
Sprinkle dry Parmesan Cheese on top of the pasta for added texture.
Select your portion of food and Enjoy!
*16 ounces of pasta feeds four to eight people.
This meal is relatively cheap to make, as one serving of this delicious entrée cost me about $1.79 to make. All of these items used in this recipe can be found in your local supermarket, and if not, you should be able to find very close substitutes. The chicken used in this recipe provides at least 12 grams of protein, which is great for storing amino acids in the muscles, which helps build muscle. The pasta has 42 grams of carbs, and carbs help give energy. The broccoli gives you atleast 50% all of your daily recommended vitamins and minerals.
This meal to me is the meal of a champion. It gives me everything I need, especially if I eat it the night before a big game or practice. The morning after, I wake up with tons of energy!! When I began cooking for myself in college, this was and still is my go-to dinner to eat because it is cheap, simple, healthy. It tastes and smells delicious, and it is one of the things that inspired me to cook more for myself and cut down on eating out often.
Everyone knows that water is important for the body. But for the athlete (or even the recreational exerciser), the constant and correct consumption of water is almost twice as important than it would be for someone who does not exercise. The normal daily intake for water is about half a gallon, or 64 ounces, but for someone who is working out, they have to consume 64 ounces on top of the water that needs to be consumed before, during, and after exercise. Generally, one should drink about 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before exercise, an additional 8 ounces during your warm-up, 10 ounces every 20 minutes during exercise, and 8 ounces immediately after finishing exercise. More or less is needed depending on you gender, height, and weight.
Not only do you feel better when you regularly drink water, you also perform better. When you are well hydrated, your joints are lubricated, making your movements more fluid, and you don’t get as tired as fast (as opposed to not drinking enough water) because water energizes you muscles The other benefits of drinking water include clearer skin, it helps maintain a normal bowel function (because your system is continually being flushed with a pure substance), and water is the cheapest beverage to consume because it is the easily accessible!
A great way to get water for cheap is to utilize the tap water/water fountain right in your home or dorm. Or if you prefer, you could go to the dining hall and fill up on their cold, filtered water (and any other drinks that you may like) too, as mentioned in my previous post “Top 5 Ways on How to Make the Most out of College Cafeteria Food“. The water is basically free! All you have to do is snag a reusable bottle and fill up. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you could invest in a Brita Filter Pitcher. They have reasonable prices, as their cheapest pitcher costs 20$. These filters are great! I grew up with a Brita filter and I loved it. Just fill it up with tap water, put it in the fridge, and you are good to go. Of course, you could always buy that 24 pack or 36 pack of water bottles, and those are fine, but they can get pricey and you have to buy them at least twice a month.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you could also get a fruit infuser. A fruit infuser is a water bottle that has a small chamber inside that can hold fruit and disperse the fruit juices in your water as you drink it. It will keep you hydrated, and because it tastes better, you will not feel the need to buy a fruity drink or soda as often. They sell fruit infusers like these in every grocery store, and you can also order them online. On amazon, there’s a great fruit infuser for only $2.50! Being healthy does not always have to come at a huge price.
Here some more tips on how you can make water work wonders for you:
Don’t wait until you are thirsty! If you are thirsty, chances are you are dehydrated.
Eat more fruits and veggies. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
Keep a bottle of water with you handy, whether it is in you car, your bag, your sports locker, or the fridge.
Ordering takeout can be your best friend and worst enemy. How easy can takeout get? You order the food you want, and it comes to YOU. Most times, plates/and or containers, plastic wear, napkins, and your occasional condiments are included. That can be a top luxury and convenience to the busy college student athlete. Sometimes, after a long day of class and practice, you don’t feel like going to go get or make something to eat, so ordering food is an easy answer. So what’s the big deal?
Ordering takeout is a surefire way to burn a hole through your wallet. All of the conveniences of ordering takeout come at a price. Your meal itself may only cost so much money, but after the additions of the delivery charge, the included taxes, and the gratuity, you are subject to paying almost double the price of your actual meal. In addition, once you find a place you really like, you are subject to ordering from them time and time again. In my freshman year, I wasn’t fond of the cafeteria food, so Dominos and Grape Leaves Grille (a local Mediterranean restaurant) was was my go-to. I ordered from Dominos and Grape Leaves Grille so much that every time I called to place an order, they greeted me by my first name and even knew what I want to order! Again, the meal you want is usually not that expensive, but after all of the extra charges added, your transaction is twice as big as originally projected. Also, the majority of companies that deliver food make you order at least ten dollars worth of food, so if what you want costs less than ten dollars before all of the extra charges, you have to order another item off the the menu, which is another unnecessary fee. I did not notice the heavy impact of ordering delivery had on my wallet until I began looking at my bank statements. Almost $20 various times a month began to add up! All of my money was quickly going down the drain.
The other downside of ordering delivery is that it sets you up for unhealthy eating. The food selections when ordering out will not always be the healthiest. For example, the food selection in the image above was and still is my favorite selection to order from Dominos. It’s delicious; it is Chicken Carbonara Pasta, filled with tender grilled chicken breast, onions, bacon, the most savory blend of seasonings, and an Alfredo-like cheese based sauce all put into an edible bread bowl that is evenly baked to perfection. Sounds fantastic right? Well it was. Extremely rich and tasty food like this will make it more and more easy to overeat. As a college athlete, you have to consume at least 500-2000 more calories a day than the average person, so you can afford to have a little extra on you plate, but it feels like it is twice as easy over do it by eating takeout, no matter what type of food it is.
So what is the solution? First, instead of ordering food for delivery, try to pick up the food yourself. Yes, that will make it a little less convenient on your end, but that will eliminate the delivery charge, gratuity, and you can order something that costs less than the delivery threshold because you are the one retrieving the food from the place. It is extra work, but your wallet will thank you in the end. Also, look into cutting down your consumption of fried foods, and look into more low sodium, whole wheat options, or options that include more fruits and/or vegetables. As more information is being given on nutrition facts, and the law that most food companies have to show the amount of calories in each entree, these food companies that you are ordering from are continually trying to integrate healthier options into their menus without compromising taste. Sometimes all you have to do to get a healthier version of what you want is ask!
The best solution would be cutting out delivery completely, unless you are having a party or having a special occasion. I have not ordered takeout since my freshman year, and I have seen the dramatic difference in my spending. I am able to save more, and by making my own meals, I cut my food costs more than 75%. Along with saving more money, I have gotten a little bit more slimmer since I have stopped ordering out. When I was ordering out all the time, I was about 5-8 pounds heavier than I am. I did not gain a crazy amount of weight because I was constantly working out, but I definitely feel the difference being a little bit lighter. My face also cleared up, because I am not consuming as much foods that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium. Overall, cutting out ordering takeout positively effected me.
Either it is a hit or miss with the quality of cafeteria food, and every student, not just student athletes can relate to that. My personal experience with the cafeteria food here was definitely a miss until I found ways for it to work in my favor. The cafeteria food when I use to have a meal plan was horrible; either the food tasted good and created a war on terror in my stomach, or the food looked and/or tasted nasty, or the food would cause breakouts on my face. In addition, almost none of the hot food there was even remotely healthy. I stopped eating in the cafeteria, and I found myself spending a lot of money on other food while still on meal plan. After a while, I got tired of wasting money, and went back to the cafeteria and made some changes in the way I approached the food. I had lemons, so I made lemonade. Here’s how you can too:
Cut down on fried food!!
Load half your plate with fruits and veggies first.
If your dining hall doesn’t have the greatest selection of healthy options (or if you have a food allergy), make a special request.
Let Tupperware become your best friend.
Bring your favorite water bottle and fill it up at that unlimited drink station!