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On Campus Resources

Jo-Ann’s Thoughts on Nutrition

Nutritionist Blog

Learn how to stay healthy on campus, at home, and everywhere in between in this helpful blog written by our own nutrition expert, Jo-Ann Jolly.

Welcome to American University Dining’s Blog! I’m Jo-Ann Jolly, Registered Dietitian for AU Dining. On this blog, I will cover various topics related to nutrition and dining at American University. AU Dining is the student’s program, therefore I’m open to all feedback on what you would like covered as well as any events you would like to see!

Healthy Tips to Get You on the Right Path 

1. Keep hydrated. You may not feel thirsty when it is cold out, however your body loses a great deal of water vapor through breathing in the cold air. We may not notice, but under heavy clothing our body is working harder and sweat can evaporate faster. Although the amount of fluid you should drink daily varies based on your age, gender, and activity level, the easiest rule to remember is “8 of 8” which means consume eight, eight ounce glasses of water daily. 

2. Increase your Vitamin D. Vitamin D is made by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight and research states that almost ¾ of American’s are deficient in the “sunshine vitamin”. During the winter, it’s much harder to get the recommended 15-20 minutes of sunlight daily since we’re bundled up inside staying warm! Lower Vitamin D levels can affect your mood, so it’s important to get your recommended dose. A few great natural sources of Vitamin D are salmon, tuna, milk, eggs, and some cereals. If you feel that you’re not getting enough still, consult a health professional about taking Vitamin D3 Supplements. 


3. Up Your Iron. Studies show that people who are deficient in iron have a harder time regulating their body temperature, which can make you feel much colder. Not only that, low iron levels can make you feel weak and tired more easily. Increasing your iron intake is simple, because it is found in several food sources such as dark green leafy vegetables, lean meats, iron fortified meats and poultry, and beans. Eating foods high in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits and will aid your body in absorbing iron. The recommended daily intake of iron for men ages 18-50 is 8mg/day(about two cups of beans) and 11mg/day for women (about 1 packet of instant oatmeal). Reading food labels will help you get a better understanding of how much iron you are consuming. 

4. Keep It Consistent. Having consistent meals every 3-4 hours helps you to avoid peaks and troughs in your body’s blood sugar which helps to regulate your metabolism. Cold weather may have you reaching for extra portions for comfort, but maintaining a proper and steady eating schedule will help to avoid this overeating at meal times to ensure you don’t pack on any winter weight. 

5. Balance Your Plate. A great way to ensure that you are getting balanced meals is to use the MyPlate Method (pictured below). MyPlate is simple, make sure half of your plate at meal times is fruits and vegetables, a little less than a quarter is protein, and a little more than a quarter is healthy starch such as brown rice, roasted potatoes, or whole wheat pasta. Following this simple method will help you to know that you are including the right food groups that you need. For more information, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.    

Today's Residential Menu & Nutritional Information

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Meet Your Dietitian

Our NutritionistAs the Registered Dietitian for AU Dining Services, Jo-Ann Jolly focuses on promoting healthy eating and wellness education in an academic setting. She oversees all aspects of nutrition for AU Dining, from food allergy labeling and preventing cross contamination to ensuring healthy options for students with special dietary needs. Jo-Ann is available for individual and group nutrition counseling for students.

Jo-Ann completed her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition at Florida State University, and her dietetic internship at Keene State College. During her internship, she worked with several schools and restaurants strengthening their farm to fork program, and helping to provide healthier menu options. Before joining AU Dining, Jo-Ann worked for the Women, Infants, and Children Program, giving nutrition education seminars and performing individual and group counseling to mothers of young children.

Jo-Ann hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and loves the sunshine. In her free time, she enjoys Bikram Yoga, gardening, and exploring the city. Jo-Ann grew up eating vegetables picked straight from her garden which sparked her passion for fresh, delicious, local food!

Contact Jo-Ann Jolly at: jjolly@american.edu



Wellness WalkCampus Wellness Walk

Our virtual ‘walk’ is filled with fresh, nutritious foods.  Visit some of the best places to eat and learn more about the healthier ways our Chef’s deliver to you every day.  Click here to get started! 







View Menus & Nutritional Information

Power your life on campus with good food and a dining program that makes it easy for you to eat right.  View location menus and nutrition information.  



Dietary Eat WellContact a Chef or Dietitian

Our chef and dietitians help take the mystery out of healthy eating and are available to accommodate dietary needs in a personalized, sensitive manner.  Contact your on-site Chef or Dietitian, or email askthedietitian@aramark.com for general information.