Feelin’ Fit Friday: 5 Tips For Setting Smart Goals

Happy Friday! Today is our last Feelin’ Fit Friday post, and we’re feeling more prepared than ever to live a healthy lifestyle. We thought that today’s topic was perfect for our last edition. We’re talking about how to set smart goals and achieve them. The semester is about to start and goal setting is definitely in full bloom!

So…you’re about to start classes and your mind is racing. You’re thinking about setting academic goals, fitness goals, financial goals…whatever it may be, they’re all one in the same. Goals are an end point, but it’s how you get there that brings great success. Here’s our tips on how to set yourself up for success and achieve your goals!

  1. Evaluate your goal and reflect on the reason behind it. If you’re aiming to receive an A in all of your classes, ask yourself why. The answer may be obvious, but knowing the exact reason can help put you on the right path.
  2. Make sure your goals are SMART. You want your goal to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. You goal should be eager enough to motivate you, but it’s good to make sure your goal isn’t on too much of a time crunch. For example, if your goal is to gain 5 pounds of muscle, it’s better to give yourself a few months rather than 2 weeks so you have time to focus.
  3. Determine the steps that you need to take to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to learn how to cook, it would be best to start off by watching cooking TV shows and videos, then maybe sign up for a cooking class, and finally try cooking one meal a day.
  4. Be accountable. Tell the people that are closest to you about your goals. When the people around you know that you’re working at something, they will ask you about it and it will help motivate you and keep you on track.
  5. Reevaluate your success. Once you’ve reached your goal, look back at the progress that you’ve made. Was your goal to learn a new language? If so, what was the best learning technique and what did it teach you? Reevaluating can help you move towards bigger goals when you’re ready for a new challenge!

We hope that you’re ready to crush your goals this semester! If one of your goals is health, fitness or nutrition related, check out the Bite App by Sodexo in the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve downloaded it, enter the code “F2X42” to see our full menus and nutritional information for Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe.

Good luck and we’ll see you soon!



Meet The Team: Kim Olivier

Hi there, we’re back again to introduce a new CCSU Dining team member! Today we get to learn more about Kim Olivier, our Food Service Manager.

Kim just joined our team less than two weeks ago, but she has been with Sodexo for three years! Kim’s favorite part about her day is interacting with students and she being involved in an academic community. She loves to be a mentor and share her food service knowledge with them.

When we asked Kim what her favorite meal of the day was, she said dinner. She has so many favorite types of cuisine, she couldn’t pick just one! I mean, how could you when there’s so many delicious types of food in this world?! Her top three favorite are Tex Mex, Asian Fusion and Italian. We’re with ya Kim, we LOVE them all too!

If you’re inviting Kim to enjoy some cultural cuisine over dinner, Bono better be on the invitee list! Kim admires all of his valuable skills, such as being a musician, songwriter and philanthropist. What’s one thing that Kim would say to Bono you ask? Well, she would thank him for using his celebrity status to fight for social justice, end hunger and poverty, as well as fight disease. She admires his nonprofit, ONE, that raises awareness through media to help families become sustainable. He sounds like an all around great man, we wan’t a recap of the dinner conversations!

When Kim isn’t at work, she loves being outside, and one of her favorite hobbies is swimming. Let me tell you, it’s definitely been a great summer for that, Kim. 🌞 When Kim isn’t swimming, she likes to go horseback riding…..you must be so brave! If you spot her out on the town, she’s probably enjoying music at a concert or visiting a vineyard. Hey, Kim, you left us hanging…we want to know what your favorite type of concert is…is it rock or jazz, maybe country?

If there’s anything else you should know about Kim, it’s that she loves to travel….I mean, who doesn’t? 🌍 She has a good friend that lives in Kailua, Hawaii and she’s lucky enough to have visited her six times! She’s even planning another trip soon. Can you squeeze us in your suitcase?! 🏝️✈️

Well, now you’re definitely an expert on Kim! We were lucky enough to introduce TWO of our CCSU Dining team members today, and we’ll be back next Wednesday with two more. Be sure to check back next week!

Meet The Team: Dave Jensen

We’re back again this week to introduce another CCSU Dining team member, but we also have surprise! This week and next week you’ll get to meet TWO new members of our dining team instead of one! Today you get to learn more about Dave Jensen, our Chef Manager.

Dave has worked with Sodexo and CCSU Dining for five years now. His favorite part about working here is the students, and he loves working alongside our student workers. He also likes to help our diners with their needs and special requests. I bet you’ve seen Dave walking around in Hilltop Cafe and Memorial Hall before!

When we asked Dave what his favorite meal of the day was, he said lunch. If you plan on taking Dave out for lunch, make sure you’re bringing him to a restaurant that has French cuisine on the menu, it’s his all-time favorite! So Dave, what type of French food is your favorite…..is it quiche, or maybe macarons? Whatever the dish is, we know you’ll say “Bon Appetit!” 👨🏼‍🍳

When you take Dave out to a French restaurant, Bob Cane better be at the table to surprise him! Dave would love to have dinner with Bob since he is the creator of Batman. Dave calls himself a “comic geek,” so we’re predicting that dinner will go past dessert and end with a few empty coffee cups. ☕

Speaking of comic books, that is one of Dave’s favorite hobbies. Do you just collect them, or do you read them too? You left us hangin’, Dave! When a comic book turns into a movie, we can promise that you’ll see Dave at the movie theater! He’s a big movie guy, too. When Dave isn’t reading comic books or watching movies, you can find him outside playing softball. Do you have a Batman helmet for when you’re playing, Dave?! When he isn’t assisting his team with a grand slam, he’s cheffin’ it up in the kitchen. Psst….Dave, it’s almost lunch time, what’s on your menu today?!?! 🥘🍝

Before we leave, Dave wants to share a few fun facts. Before working with CCSU Dining, he worked at ESPN and handled diets for the talent. He said that The Rock would eat two baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and grilled chicken. Interesting. 🥔🥦 Lastly, Dave wants you to know that his grandfather had 250 lobster traps off the coast of Maine! I bet you had a lot of lobster rolls when you were growing up.

Well, that’s all about Dave! We’ll be back in a few hours to meet another CCSU Dining team member! Talk soon.

Mindful Monday

Hey there, knowing that classes start in a few short weeks, we’re here to deliver some exciting news about the upcoming semester! Do you remember our satisfaction surveys that we ran in the Fall and Spring semester of last year? Well, we’re about to spill the beans on something so exciting!

We received a lot of great feedback from the surveys and were able to make smaller changes and adjustments during the Spring semester, such as the fresh coat in paint in Memorial Hall. Although 72% of our diners were satisfied with our healthy offerings in the 2017-2018 academic year, one of our most popular comments that we received was that you want to see more healthy and balanced meals in Memorial Hall. Well, you’re in luck!

We’ve been busy planning and prepping for the upcoming semester during the summer months and we want to let you know that we are listening! We’re introducing a completely new station on the south side of Memorial Hall called Mindful this Fall semester!

Mindful is a station that is dedicated to maximizing nutrients and flavor with health and wellness in mind. Mindful delivers satisfying portions all under 600 calories that are not only delicious, but also meet a wide array of specific nutritional guidelines that control the levels of calories, fat, saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium, while maximizing the amount of flavor, fiber and other essential nutrients.

We have so many delicious and healthy meals planned for you, and we even invited our Registered Dietitian to visit campus on Thursday, September 6th so you can ask her any questions that you may have about healthy dining or Mindful!

Click here for more information on Mindful by Sodexo.

Feelin’ Fit Friday: 5 Foods For Brain Function

Can you believe that Friday is here already?! There’s only a few short weeks until classes start again, so we figured today’s Feelin’ Fit Friday blog topic fit perfectly! Today we’re talking about five of the best foods for increased brain function. 🥦🧠

  1. Eggs– By starting your morning with eggs of any kind, you’re helping to maintain your memory and brain cell communication. Eggs are also filled with protein, which can keep you full and give you energy throughout the day. They’re also very versatile, meaning you can add in veggies, meats or cheeses for extra flavor!
  2. Blueberries– Aside from being filled with antioxidants, blueberries help protect your brain from aging-related conditions. They can also improve memory and increase cognitive performance.
  3. Salmon– Including salmon in your diet can help improve brain cell retention and strengthen brain power in young adults.
  4. Nuts– Snacking on nuts such as almonds can help improve your memory. Walnuts are also a great snack for brain function since they’re filled with antioxidants that can fight cognitive decline. Walnuts are also filled with DHA, which help fight inflammation!
  5. Dark Chocolate– Dark chocolate is an obvious winner in our eyes! It tastes great and it’s filled with healthy antioxidants and caffeine. By snacking on dark chocolate, you can improve blood flow to your brain and increase your memory.

By incorporating these few foods into your diet, you can help support healthy brain function. Maybe you’ll even see some improved test scores and study sessions by snacking on these foods! Be sure to check back with us next Friday for the last edition of Feelin’ Fit Friday!


Meet the Team: Sandy McNamara

We’re back again this Wednesday to introduce another CCSU Dining team member! Today you get to learn more about Sandy McNamara, our Catering Administrative Assistant.

Sandy has been with CCSU Dining for four years now, and we’re so lucky to have her bubbly personality on our team! Her favorite part about working here is working with the students. She really enjoys helping them with their food orders for club meetings and events.

When we asked Sandy what her favorite meal of the day was, she said breakfast, especially when she’s traveling! She loves coming across quaint cafes that serve up local specialties. A nice little road trip with a stop for delicious pancakes and fresh OJ? Sandy, you can definitely count us in….wait, are we there yet…how much longer?!?!

If you’re taking Sandy out dinner, there better be some Italian dishes on the menu! If she could have dinner with anyone in the world, it would be her dad. He passed away over twenty years ago and she would love to sit and catch up and tell him all about her children and all of the milestones that have happened in their lives. I’m sure so many memories have been made over the last few years that you’d really like to share with him, maybe even that delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe of yours. 😉 🍪

When Sandy isn’t at work or traveling to find cute breakfast places, she loves to let her creativity flow. She’s able to use her creativity to make fun marketing pieces for the muffin shop that she works at on the weekends. She loves the opportunity and the freedom that creativity gives her, the muffin shop even post them on their social media! Sometimes, Sandy surprises the office with muffins in the mornings, and let me just tell you….they’re delicious and we’re thankful. 😊

Well, we’re going to go snack on a chocolate chip muffin now (shout out to Sandy), so check back with us next Wednesday to meet another CCSU Dining team member!


Our 5 Favorite Seasonal Foods in August

What a summer this has been, can you believe that it’s already August?! Between the rain and excessive heat, it’s been a tough time for produce to grow, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying it. Today we’re sharing our five favorite seasonal ingredients in Connecticut this month!

  1. Nectarines– There are so many things you can make with nectarines, such as jams, cobblers, tarts, or just enjoy them on their own. Our absolute summertime favorite is homemade Nectarine Popsicles….they make for a great treat on a hot day!
  2. Broccoli– The most delicious vegetable is broccoli, don’t you agree?! It’s such a versatile ingredient, you can eat as a side dish, have it on pizza, and even enjoy it with pasta! We love veggie pizza with broccoli on top!
  3. Mint– Mint is a great add in when your dish needs a little flavor. You can add it into anything, from drinks to salsas, to smoothies…it’s definitely a creative ingredient. Our favorite mint recipe is Mango Mint Salsa, it has such an array of tastes and textures in each bite!
  4. Potatoes– Roasted, fried, baked, sauteed…..the possibilities are endless when it comes to potatoes. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Our favorite way to eat potatoes is hash-browns or garlic-roasted…we still haven’t decided! Sweet potatoes are also in season in August in Connecticut. They make for a healthy side dish, or even sweet potato french fries!
  5. Watermelon– Ahh, the last slice of summer. Watermelon is truly natures candy, it’s so sweet, yet so refreshing. We love to make watermelon sorbet for an after dinner treat!

We’re ready to enjoy August’s best produce and we hope that you are too!

See more of August’s best produce here!

Feelin’ Fit Friday: 5 Healthy Summer Smoothies

This summer heat sure is getting to us, but we’ve been cooling down with delicious and healthy smoothies! For this edition of Feelin’ Fit Friday, we’re talking about summer smoothies. Want to know our five favorite recipes?! Keep reading, and try not to drool while you’re at it. 😜

Smoothies are a refreshing, healthy snack and pack in tons of nutrients and antioxidants. There are so many different kinds of smoothies you can make….the possibilities are truly endless! That being said, you can curb any craving with a healthy ingredient! For example, if you’re dreaming about a chocolate milkshake, you can add a touch of cocoa powder to a banana and almond milk smoothie.

So what are our favorite smoothies? We’re about to pour them out to you!

  1. Tropical Chia Fruit– This smoothie is so simple and so healthy. All you need to do is gather and blend almond milk, mango and pineapple. If you need a little sweetness, raw honey does the trick!
  2. Green Power- If you’re looking for more of a green based smoothie, then this one is for you! The ingredients that you’ll need are almond milk, baby spinach, banana, pear and almond butter. Mix your ingredients together in a blender and there you have it….a nutrient packed snack!
  3. Chocolate Banana Nut– This one’s good for when you’re really craving something sweet. As for the ingredients needed….the name says it all. You’ll need bananas, peanut butter or peanut powder, a milk of your choice and a dash of cocoa powder. If you’re in need of some extra fiber or carbs, oatmeal is a great add in. Top it with whipped cream if you’re really feelin’ it!
  4. Paradise– Sometimes, you just really need to pretend that you’re at the beach, right? This smoothie is perfect for that! All you need is a peach, 1/4 of an avocado, strawberries, pomegranate juice, and plain yogurt. Blend that all together and sip on it while you’re soaking up the sun.
  5. Very Berry– If you’re a berry addict, this smoothie is definitely for you. We’re just going to share the recipe with you, so check it out! This is a Mindful recipe, and just a secret between you and me….there’s a great possibility that you’ll be able to try this in Memorial Hall in just a few short weeks! 😉

We only have a few editions left of Feelin’ Fit Friday….can you believe how fast summer is going?! Be sure to check back with us next week for another edition of Feelin’ Fit Friday!

Check out more smoothie tips here!



Meet the Team: Joan Leeper

Another Wednesday has arrived, which means it’s time to meet a new CCSU Dining team member! Today we get to learn more about Joan Leeper, our Catering Director.

Joan has been with Sodexo at CCSU for four years now. Being in catering, there’s always different groups and organizations that we work with and tons of fun events to plan. The thing that Joan loves most about her job is the diversity of people on campus. She also loves working with the students and seeing how happy they are once the event happens!

Joan must be a morning person because her favorite meal of the day is breakfast! I wonder if she’s ever had a breakfast burrito being that her favorite type of cuisine is Southwestern. If Joan’s going out to dinner, Julia Child and Gary Larson better be on the invitee list! Hmm…do you want Julia to cook the meal for you?! Wouldn’t that be a treat. 😜

When Joan isn’t at work, you can find her out in the garden. We want to know what she likes to plant the most….veggies, fruit, or flowers?!?! Joan, you left us hangin’! If it’s a rainy day and she can’t go out in the garden, you can find her lost in a good book. (no pun intended 🤷🏼‍♀️) I’m sure you’ve read a ton of Julia Child books, right?!

Be sure to check back with us next Wednesday to meet another CCSU Dining team member! The summer is slowly coming to an end, so we only have a few more editions of our Meet the Team series. ☹️


5 Benefits of a Meal Plan

Back to school shopping, meeting roommates, class schedule planning….sound familiar? The school year is approaching faster than we know it, and we’re so excited to see your friendly faces and serve you delicious food in a few short weeks! We’re getting ready and planning all of our fun events and menus for the start of the year. We know you’re getting excited about living the college life, so we’re here to get you excited about dining with us!

Whether or not you’ve thought about your meal plan yet, there are so many benefits to having one, even if you commute to campus. So, keep reading to see the exciting benefits!

  1. No Cooking = No Dishes. This campus is home to you, even if you don’t live in a dorm…it’s still a community where you see your peers, go to class, and even work. When you dine with us, you’re our guest, which means NO COOKING and NO DISHES! That also means that you don’t have to go grocery shopping, your next meal is just a few steps away.
  2. Community. Speaking of community, we embrace the fact that you come to our dining halls to hangout with your friends in between classes, do homework, or just come to relax with a good meal. There’s always an opportunity to make friends when you visit us, and we love hosting events that bring CCSU together, such as our Thanksgiving Dinner.
  3. Convenience. With five locations on campus, you’ll never go hungry! We have two main dining halls, Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe, which have so many stations to choose from. Devil’s Den is another location that offers a wide variety. It has five different stations, as well as grab & go options, so when you’re looking for a change of pace or a snack….visit us here! If you’re looking for a caffeine boost or a delicious baked good, Starbucks is the place to go. When you’re on your way to class in the Social Sciences building, stop by the Social Sciences Grab & Go for a cup of coffee, bottled beverage or a snack. With all of these locations, there’s no need to dine off campus and lose your parking spot!
  4. Variety. As mentioned above, we have five different locations to choose from, so there’s always something new to try! We’ve planned so many fun events and menus for the fall semester, so you’ll definitely see more ethnic cuisine on the menu…leaving you with more variety to try. We accommodate an array of dietary needs, from gluten allergies to vegan diets, you’ll be tempted to try it all! If you’re ever curious what we’re serving in Memorial Hall or Hilltop Cafe, download the Bite App in the App Store or Google Play and enter the code “F2X42” to see our daily menus. Sounds like it’s time for you to try a Poke Bowl, right?!
  5. Value. Our meal plans help save you the time and money of grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up after. Since Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe are unlimited, all-you-care-to-eat dining for those on a resident plan, you’ll never go hungry. On the other hand, if you’re on a commuter, faculty or staff dining plan, you’re a step ahead of the game. The average savings can reach up to $2.63 per meal, (which are all-you-care-to-eat as well) depending on the plan you have, so you’re saving money, time and your parking spot!

We can’t wait to see you in a few short weeks!

Interested in learning more about our meal plans? Visit us here!

Interested in being a student worker? Apply here for Memorial, Hilltop and Starbucks, or here for Devil’s Den!