The Bear Necessities: Good Eats?


Hi there Brunonians! My name is Michelle Zabat, a friendly first-year from marvelous Michigan. From fitness to food to fun ways to feel your best, The Bear Necessities is here to give you the inside scoop on staying healthy and happy here at Brown. 

It’s no secret that Brown University prides itself on its dining services (affectionately termed “BUDS”). In fact, our kitchens have been heralded for their selections of good, healthy food and variety of options for students with special dietary needs or restrictions. These claims are all well and good, but as you might now, things that are written on paper can transfer very differently to real life. How well does Brown’s dining plan really shape up? I’m on a mission to find out.

As you might know, this past Wednesday marked the start of the Catholic church’s 40-day holy period called Lent. It’s a common practice for people to give something up during this time as a “sacrifice.” Although this isn’t really related to the religious holiday itself in any way, I’ve decided to use the time period construct and take things one step further. For the next 40 days, this Brunonian is going to try her hand at going vegan and refined grain-free.

That’s right. No delicious chicken in the Naked Burrito bowls from the Blue Room. No beautifully thin slices of beef in the bowls of pho from Andrews Commons. No steaming hot cups of hot chocolate to warm me up during this chilly winter. Gulp. It’s not really for moral reasons or any other specific motivations–although I guess health is probably part of it. I just think it would be something cool to do and to see how easy it really is to eat happily and healthily with dietary restrictions at college. I’m on a full meal plan (as all freshmen are) so I’ll be relying (mostly) solely on dining hall fare. Bring it on, BUDS!

I’ll check back in at the end of the 40 days and let you guys know how it goes. For now, wish me good luck, and if you’re currently on a similar diet, what are some tips that you have for still eating well? Feel free to email me and let me know!


Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Just want to chat? Send me an email at


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