One of my suitemates is a theater major and just finished up an awesome run of Anton in Show Business (did you see it? I hope so, or you were missing out). While she was rehearsing for the show, though, she’d stay up really late because of the rehearsals and never know what to eat late at night so she could stick with her plan of eating healthy. She has a point. There aren’t too many options available on campus after 11. Going out to eat can waste your time and money, especially when you’re already tired.
Let’s break it down. The most logical solution is to have a plan. Do you know what nights you’re going to be busy until after regular dinner hours? Is there anything you can do to get around that yourself? Perhaps an early dinner or packing your dinner (packing your lunch is totally not just a high school thing—I do it all the time here). You can go a long way with some sandwich-making materials and some Tupperware.
If your late night happens to be unplanned (let’s face it, much of life is unplanned), here’s a quick look at your options on-campus:
Open until midnight, the C-store is probably your best bet when it comes to healthy choices at night. The fresh section—the sushi, sandwiches, and salads are filling but don’t leave you bloated right before you go to bed. Some of the food has been there all day, so keep in mind that not everything’s available. You can throw together a meal out of pretzels and hummus and either a fruit or vegetable salad. They also sell water and vitamin water—don’t forget those drinks! Try to steer away from caffeine right before bed. Your sleep cycle has probably taken enough hits. Unless you’re pulling a really late night, try to drink hydrating water instead.
Probably the second-best choice for late night eating. Also open until midnight, La Divina’s panini’s may be a little heavy. The soup and sandwich combo works really well here for some variety that isn’t huge on your stomach right before bed. They also have awesome salads that are big enough to fill you up.
Open until 2am, it’s officially the latest-open food place on campus. Those poboys can be very unhealthy, especially so late at night, but there are a few ways you can make smart choices. Pay attention to what’s inside the sandwich. Are you getting fried chicken or mushrooms? Also, pay attention to your sides. Are you getting the mozzarella sticks or the soup? Common sense can go a long way in a pinch.
World of Wings (WoW)
Otherwise known as the Rathskeller at Tulane, this is an off-campus option that’s frequented by Loyola students a lot. Why? It’s open until 4, and you’d be surprised at the difference those two hours make. Wow is located in the bottom floor of the LBC and offers a great deal of sports bar-type foods. Most of these are definitely on the unhealthy side, though they tend to taste great when you’re that hungry that late. Again, use a little common sense. Is the food fried and breaded? Maybe shy away from there. Try to split your meal with someone (it helps with the cost too!). As far as salads and such, you’ll be hard-pressed to find them here.
Now, if you’re looking for a late-night snack, stay away from vending machines and late night college food, which tends to be on the unhealthy side. Keep a snack in your room or on your person. An apple or some carrot or celery sticks can help fill you up and keep you from feeling light. A bowl of cereal late at night hits around 200-300 calories and can also help. Your late night snack can maybe even be a reward instead of a punishment.
Good luck and happy eating!