Letters to Freshmen: Tips Worth the Freshman Fifteen

It is inevitable, as an incoming freshman, to have fears concerning college—from making friends, to finding a major, to getting good grades, and finally, the dreaded “freshman fifteen.” The added stresses of college often results in less time working out and less time focusing on what you eat. Next thing you know, it's winter break, you haven’t been to the gym, and you've been stuffing your face with fresh baked Scripps cookies for the past four months. With the notorious reputation of the “freshman fifteen,” I am sure you have already begun making yourself hopeful promises to try to avoid it. But before you resign yourself to only the salad bar, there are some foods that are worth twenty more minutes on the treadmill, and I’ve got the inside scoop for you (and some scoop tips too!). Here are my five foods worth the fifteen minute walk to the village and maybe even fifteen odd pounds here and there.

1)      The Yale Avenue Breakfast Medley:

If you’re tired of having brunch at one of the 5C dining halls—or you get to Saturday morning, and you have no meals left on your meal plan—nothing is better than taking a walk to Yale Avenue and having what I like to call “the breakfast medley.” The medley consists of an egg slider from Some Crust Bakery and a smoothie from Podge’s Claremont Juice Company right across the street. (Try the McKenna Beach smoothie named after our very own CMC.)

2)      The Battle of the Burgers:

In the real world, it is McDonald's, in California it is In n’ Out, and in Claremont, the final verdict is yet to be reached. The Back Abbey and Eureka Burger: Though both have long waiting lines and don't allow reservations (I advise you try them on a weekday), their food is outstanding. Personally, I prefer Eureka’s burgers, but I would choose The Back Abbey’s fries made with duck fat over Eureka's truffle soaked ones any day of the week. Try both out, and choose your favorite for yourself.

3)      Group Get-togethers:

Good food is a great way to bring people together; whether it’s your friend’s birthday or a W.O.A! reunion, there’s nothing like having a meal with your closest friends. For such occasions, I recommend Aruffo’s for Italian food (Their bread is to die for!), Bua Thai for Thai food (some of the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had), or Pizza n’ Such for, well, pizza and such. My personal favorite is Bua Thai, but I would make my choice depending on how formal the occasion is; I’ve ordered the restaurants from most formal to most casual.

*Bonus addition: If you’re willing to wait in line and pay the price, go to Viva Madrid and have what is probably some of the best food in town. They’ve got amazing tapas, and, if you’re 21, great margaritas too.

4)      The Fro-Yo Feud:

Possibly the most epic battle in sleepy Claremont is between Yogurtland  and 21 Choices. Yogurtland has more yogurt choices, but 21 Choices has a wider variety of toppings. At Yogurtland you serve yourself, and so you control the amount of yogurt and the toppings, and you can mix and match. At 21 Choices they serve the yogurt for you, but they mix the toppings into the yogurt, so there's a delicious surprise in every bite. At Yogurtland the price you pay depends on the weight of your yogurt and toppings, while at 21 Choices it depends on how many toppings you want. The list of differences goes on and on, but the question remains, which one is better? I've heard arguments supporting both from my first days at CMC. Decide for yourself!

5)      Midnight Snack:

You’re not a true CMCer until you’ve procrastinated all week and partied all weekend, and you get down to Sunday night and are settling in for the long haul in Poppa. What better to get you through than some cheesy bread from Domino’s or some pad thai from Mix Bowl? Probably not the healthiest options, but those are pretty much all you have that late at night. That is, until you make a friend with a car and you can drive to In n’ Out for a not-any-healthier-but-delicious double double animal style burger with animal fries and a Neapolitan shake (really though, it's going to be a long night).

So here's to the foods whose "five moments on the lips" are completely worth the "lifetime on the hips."

Additional recommendations:

Dr. Grubb’s (healthy, fresh fare) Saca’s Mediterranean Cuisine Bert & Rocky’s Cream Company (Featured in SoCal tour guides!)