Eating Pasta Could Lower Your BMI, Research Suggests

A recent study conducted in Italy shows a correlation between consuming pasta and a lower BMI and hip circumference. The results showed that those with high amounts of pasta in their daily diet (remember, this is in Italy) actually proved to have a lower BMI and waist and hip circumference.

The study looked at approximately 15,000 adults >35 of the Molise region and 9,000 individuals over 18 across the nation. The participants were evaluated or asked about their weight, height, hip and waist circumference, and asked to fill out a questionnaire and a 24-hour diet recall. So does this mean we should all go on the pasta diet and eat noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Not so fast.

This study is really just further proving the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet. Have you ever visited Italy and wondered how every single Italian is beautiful and fit, yet their meals are long and there is a gelato shop on every corner? It’s all thanks to the make of their diet and quality of food.


Photo courtesy of Plated NYC

A typical Italian diet contains high amounts of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, beans, fish, and unsaturated fats, particularly EVOO. And if there is one thing the world knows for sure about Italians, it’s that they know how cook. So naturally, everybody wants to eat their vegetables when they are formed into a masterpiece of a dish.

They eat pasta and bread moderately, and balance it with courses of vegetables and fish. The huge portions of pasta you might have ordered at an Italian restaurant in the States will not be found. In fact, huge portions of anything might not really be found.

Italians still eat heartily, but they know when they are full and they don’t eat themselves sick. Many meals are served family style so everyone portions out the amount they want and no food is to be left on your plate, you take what you can handle.


GIF Courtesy of

Even beyond the creation of the meal, the execution is even more important. Italians live to eat and they live life to the complete fullest. Dinners are an event filled with conversation and many courses, not to mention a healthy serving of wine. Nobody’s face is blocked by a cell phone and everybody sits to truly enjoy the meal at a reasonable rate, instead of scarfing the food down in order to run off to another engagement.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Mediterranean diet if it wasn’t paired with a relaxing stroll through town. Walking is a huge part of the Italian lifestyle and part of the reason they are able to live a fit and balanced life. Here are some great exercises for staying active if you can’t make it to the gym.

Check out these pasta dishes to promote good health:

Original post by Kate Foody for Spoon University 

#foodbeast FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Recipes

9 Things You Can Make for Dinner When It’s Too Hot to Cook

Spring is here and summer is coming in hot – literally. At the end of a long hot day, the last thing you want to do is slave away in the kitchen over a hot stove. Luckily, it’s actually super easy to make a homemade and filling meal without so much as preheating your oven.

Butter Lettuce Tacos


Photo by Kristine Mahan

Switch up your Taco Tuesday with these butter lettuce tacos. Ditch the shells and instead opt for butter lettuce wraps. Not only are these gluten-free and vegan, but the lettuce is a light and refreshing option, perfect for a hot day. Bonus: these are great for a cheap group dinner, as everyone can customize their own dinner.

Cucumber Salad


Photo by Ellen Gibbs

This cucumber salad is a lot more fun than you’re typical Ceasar. The curly cucumbers will make you forget that you’re eating your fair share of veggies and the herbed yogurt dressing adds a Mediterranean flair. This salad can be eaten as a side or main, but either way, you won’t have to touch your stove or oven.

Poké Bowl


Photo by Angela Pizzimenti

This poké bowl is a perfect hot day dinner. From smoothie bowls to classic breakfast bowls to burrito bowls, bowls are having a major moment lately. This poké version is like a deconstructed sushi roll in a bowl. While little beats cucumber and raw fish for a light and refreshing meal on a hot day, the magic of the bowl is that you can also customize it to your pleasing by choosing your own toppings and portion sizes.

Tomato and Avocado Salad


Photo by Pippa Leigh

The ingredients in this salad scream summer. With corn, avocado, and tomatoes, this is the ultimate salad for those hot days when you just can’t bring yourself to cook. Bonus: use it as a chip dip for an unexpected appetizer, or eat it alone for a light and summery dinner.

Buddha Bowl


Photo by Lauren Arendt

This no-cook Buddha bowl is another great option for those hot spring and summer days. Not only is it super healthy, but you can also customize it to your own liking. From hummus to dressings to nuts or seeds, you can tailor the bowl to whatever you’re in the mood for. The only tool you really need is a microwave, so it’s perfect for all you dorm-dwellers.

Chopped Salad


Photo by Elizabeth Layman

When the most work you have to do is chop some veggies, consider that a dinner win. A chopped salad is an ideal option for those hot late summer afternoons. Although this recipe technically requires a stove to hard-boil the eggs, you can either omit those or buy them pre-hard-boiled. This salad will leave you feeling full of kale, avocado, lettuce, and carrots and feeling super healthy.

Summer Gazpacho


Photo by Piril Dobrucali

Soup is the last thing you’d want to eat in the middle of the summer, but this gazpacho is the answer to the summer soup dilemma. In 10 minutes with just a blender and minimal ingredients, you’ll have a delicious, healthy, and refreshing dinner that will cool you off on a hot summer’s day. This quick and cool dinner means less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the sunshine.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Date Salad


Photo by Madeline Wilson

Everyone loves a good copycat recipe. This Brussels sprout and date salad is based on one from the super-trendy Lemonade. The final step requires refrigeration, so the final product is sure to cool you off. With a couple not-so-typical ingredients (radishes, dates, sage), you can impress your friends with this healthy but easy and filling salad.

Mango Kale Salad


Photo by Nicole Laszlo

A kale salad by itself can be pretty boring and even gross if it’s done wrong. However, this kale salad adds mango to take things up a notch. This recipe also includes a critical and often overlooked step – massaging the kale. Yes, this sounds super weird, but trust us, it’s the magic step that makes all the difference. Plus, the mango will transport you to a tropical paradise, making you forget how dang hot it is in your kitchen.

Original post by Anna McMurray for Spoon University 


#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Recipes

15 Hybrid Foods For People Who Are Afraid Of Commitment

I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have stood in the kitchen, trying to decide on something to make for dinner and get nowhere because no one can agree on one thing. Well, that’s where hybrid foods come in for the win. Hybrid foods combine two or more dishes which makes everything easier because there’s bound to be something in there that everyone will like. Check out these life-saving savory combinations.

1. Pizza Pasta


Photo by Hui Lin

Pasta with herbs, pepperoni, and cheesy goodness… what more could you possibly need? Added bonus – it only takes 20 minutes to make. Recipe here. 

2. Guacamole Fries


Photo by Max Bartick

Yes I know, it’s literally your hybrid dream come true. Who wouldn’t want guac fries to dip in some fresh salsa? Make this amazing key lime salsa to go along with your new fav food. Try them now.

3. Totchos


Photo by Emma Lally

No need for tortilla chips, they have officially been replaced by tater tots. It’s like a loaded baked potato… but in tot form with meat and avocado. Yum. You know you want to.

4. Doritos-Crusted Mozzarella Sticks


Photo by Audrey Mirabito

Cheese on cheese on cheese. Warm oozy gooey cheese wrapped in a crunchy blanket of even more cheese, seriously, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Recipe here.

5. Pizza Hot Dog


Photo by Hui Lin

Yes this exists, and yes, I promise it’s amazing. Try it at your next cookout to impress your friends.

6. Sushirrito


Photo by Jane Yeo

This is honestly an adventure for your tastebuds. An awesome adventure that you’ll want to go on again. The sushi burrito is packed with flavors, textures, and mixed temperatures that work gloriously together. Learn how to make your own in just 15 minutes.

7. Mac ‘n Cheese Stuffed Ramen Sliders


Photo by Shalayne Pulia

All I have to say is wow. The crispy ramen acts like the bun and the meat is filled with creamy mac ‘n cheese. I could probably eat that everyday. Find out how to make it here, plus what else you can do with ramen.

8. Guacamole Hummus


Photo by Benj Shapiro

This hybrid combines the two most epic dips into one ultimate snack. It’s easy, healthy, and super customizable.

9.  Pizza Panini


Photo by Tarika Narain

Wowie that sounds good, and looks good too. Cheese, marinara sauce, mushrooms, spinach, peppers and onions all come together in perfect unison to create this majesty.Find the recipe here, and check out some other amazeball paninis, too.

10. Lasagna Cupcakes


Photo courtesy of @christinaongert on Instagram

Okay so it’s not actually a cross between lasagna and a sweet cupcake, but just lasagna in the shape of a cupcake, which is cute and delicious. But if you do want sweet lasagna, try this amazing cookie lasagna.

11. Caesar Salad Pizza


Photo courtesy of @nc_eats on Instagram

Since this hybrid has “salad” in the name, you can trick yourself into thinking you’re being healthy. Oh yes.

12. Soup Dumpling


Photo by Toedora Maftei

This really is a game changer. I mean, soup inside of the dumpling is genius. Find out where you can get the best soup dumplings in Boston.

13. Chicken and Waffles


Photo by Katie Elliot

So technically this hybrid can be sweet or savory, but it can still count since it’s undoubtedly one of the best. Step up your brunch game with these chicken and waffle cones.

14. Carne Asada Fries


Photo courtesy of @mexicalitaco

Fresh fries topped with heaps of nacho cheese, guac, salsa, sour cream, and meat. Yes plz.

15. Spaghetti Taco


Photo courtesy of @alliica on Instagram

These sound a little sus, but they are surprisingly delicious. Plus, they were on iCarly so they have to be good. If you’d rather just stick with normal tacos, check out these black bean and butternut squash tacos.

Original post by Cara Hutto for Spoon University 



From Alabama To Wyoming: The Local’s Guide To America’s Best Diners

I grew up in the Northeast, where diners are almost as common as pizzerias. The diner I grew up near was 24/7, serving breakfast all-day, and classically decorated, with booths and huge menus and a counter. While diners are less prevalent in the South, they still are definitely around and they always remind you of a slice of home. Whenever I was sick or stressed or just couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat, an order of chocolate chip pancakes and a vanilla milkshake from the diner always hit the spot.

Diners mean burgers, breakfast, and milkshakes to me (and the occasional gyro). While diners aren’t everywhere (or may have a different name), this list has establishments that serve those staples. Hopefully you’ve been to, or heard of, the diner from your home state on this list. As an American favorite, there are always so many to choose from. I asked residents from each of the 50 states (and DC) where their personal favorite diner was growing up (and even now). There is even a restaurant in Paris opened by expats that attempts to recreate the vibe of an American diner-the lines are consistently out the door!


1. Alabama – John’s City Diner, Birmingham


 Photo courtesy of @johnscitydiner on Instagram

While most Alabamans frequent Waffle House as their diner, John’s City Diner in Birmingham is an upscale diner/bar that has three creative takes on mac and cheese, three takes on chicken and waffles, and a cocktail menu that is sure to impress.

2. Alaska – Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant, Anchorage

Photo courtesy of @picsfromword on Instagram

An Alaskan staple, Gwennie’s has been on the Anchorage scene for over 30 years. Decorated with knick knacks collected over the years and native art, this place serves reindeer sausage and eggs and a crab sandwich on an English muffin. Only in Alaska.

3. Arizona – Welcome Diner, Phoenix

Photo courtesy of @welcomediner on Instagram

With an outdoor patio with mismatched chairs and a cocktail menu that isn’t present at most traditional diners, the Welcome Diner reinvents the casual diner into a dinner spot with a whole section of the menu devoted to biscuit sandwiches and inventive burgers topped with peanut butter.

4. Arkansas – Ozark Cafe, Jasper

Photo courtesy of @smallandnear on Instagram

This 100-year-old diner boasts live music every week and ginormous pancakes, as well as their famous Excaliburger – a burger between two grilled cheeses. They also serve biscuits and gravy, or biscuits and chocolate gravy as a dessert option.

5. California – Eddie’s Cafe, San Francisco


Photo courtesy of @florawis on Instagram

Eddie’s is so classic and vintage it doesn’t even have a website. They have an extensive collection of coffee mugs, which they attempt to match to your personality. Being described as the ultimate soul food, their homemade biscuits and grits might be unique in the health-conscious bay area, but can’t be missed.

6. Colorado – Sam’s No. 3 Diner, Denver

Photo courtesy of @ashymarie1025 on Instagram

Their skillet specialties are the stuff of what dreams are made (especially after a night of drinking). A mountain of homefries with toppings and eggs sounds like heaven in breakfast form. They also have a plethora of eggs benedict options, from avocado to corned beef hash.

7. Connecticut – Lucky’s Diner, Stamford


Photo courtesy of @yum4mytum on Instagram

What it lacks for in breakfast, it makes up for in burgers. Truly, Lucky’s is the classic malt shop you remember from old movies. When I first came here, I was much younger and all-too-fascinated with the straw dispensers. The vibe and food of Lucky’s cannot be missed.

8. Delaware – Hollywood Grill, Wilmington


Photo courtesy of @espressoandexercise on Instagram

This place truly has everything – mimosas, a brunch burger that comes with breakfast potatoes instead of French fries, and a plethora of meat options – the classics, plus scrapple and Taylor ham. Their famous dish is creamed chipped beef, which can’t be missed.

9. Florida – The Floridian, Fort Lauderdale

Photo courtesy of @feedmeusa on Instagram

If you’re looking to splurge, look no further than the ‘Fat Cat Breakfast for Two’ – a New York Strip steak, eggs, toast, grits, and a bottle of Dom Perignon. If you’re not, this extensive menu has plenty of other options, including the ‘Not So Fat Cat’ – same as above, but with cheaper bubbly.

10. Georgia – The White House, Atlanta

Photo courtesy of @mannyschulze on Instagram

A few hours away from the actual White House, the White House diner serves your simple staples – eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast. The difference between this and Northeast diners is instead of toast and potatoes, it’s biscuits and gravy with grits. Not that I would be complaining.

11. Hawaii – Hawaiian Style Cafe, Waimea

Photo courtesy of @vasqueztime on Instagram

This diner takes the meaning of Hawaiian comfort food to new level – omelettes topped with Spam, plentiful Loco Moco plates, and fresh fish poke bowls elevate this spot against your typical American diner. Their servings are so big they donate all of the leftovers to a local farm – extra points.

12. Idaho – New Moon’s Kitchen, Boise
Photo courtesy of @devandyv on Instagram

Moon’s has been around for over 60 years, serving over 20 homemade milkshake flavors and breakfasts with homemade jams. Plus, despite not being an early riser, you still have to love early bird specials at any diner. They make waking up worth it.

13. Illinois – Little Goat Diner, Chicago


Photo by Jessica Citronberg

The Little Goat Diner does the classics with a twist. Their dark chocolate chip crunch pancakes come with chocolate malt butter, and their different ethnic tastes on breakfast foods add a touch of whimsy – looking at you, kimchi bacon.

14. Indiana – Cindy’s Diner, Fort Wayne

Photo courtesy of @stboyer on Instagram

Classic red stools, a long counter to read the paper at, and checkerboard floors make this place feel like you’re back in time. The food is just as good as the decor, but come early – this place only has 15 spots and is a local favorite.

15. Iowa – The Bluebird Diner, Iowa City

Photo courtesy of The Bluebird Diner on Facebook

Aside from having an adorable name and blue decor to match, the Bluebird Diner is committed to serving homemade and local food, listing their purveyors as often as possible. Their scrambled eggs with truffle butter are calling my name – you can’t go wrong with truffles.

16. Kansas – The Roost, Lawrence


Photo courtesy of @brittiany_clark on Instagram

Serving pecan wood-smoked bacon as a side and chorizo and eggs, this place doesn’t stop at breakfast. They have four cheese grilled cheese and béchamel mac and cheese in addition to flavored coffees with homemade marshmallows.

17. Kentucky – Wagner’s Pharmacy, Louisville

Photo courtesy of @jestofthemidwest on Instagram

You know it’s old school when it’s not called a diner, but a pharmacy. Located right near the famed racing stables of Churchill Downs, Wagner’s has been serving the Louisville Area for nearly 100 years. If they’ve been around this long, they must be doing their diner food right.

18. Louisiana – Camellia Grill, New Orleans

Photo courtesy of @thechubbychild on Instagram

Such a local establishment it doesn’t even have a website, Camellia’s is open late night for weary Tulane students wandering around after Mardi Gras, as well as serving up its famous chocolate pecan pie to patrons for almost 70 years!

19. Maine – The Palace Diner, Biddeford


Photo by Colby Kingston

Set up in a former train car, The Palace Diner is a Maine institution. Despite having four sandwiches for lunch and twice as many breakfast plates, this main(e)stay is serving up fancy sides like caramelized grapefruit and brown butter banana bread. You have to love the counter seats too.

20. Maryland – Tastee Diner, Bethesda

Photo by Catherine Arnold

With three locations, all with the classic diner decor and architecture, what’s not to love about Tastee? Open all day with free wifi and jukeboxes, Tastee’s offers daily specials like meatloaf, fried chicken, and pot roast. Just like the movies, really.

21. Massachusetts – Mel’s Commonwealth Cafe, Wayland

Photo courtesy of @fabfoodfiesta on Instagram

A Boston suburbs favorite, Mel’s serves the breakfast favorites with a twist – eggs benny on potato pancakes, malted Belgian waffle, and instead of getting your eggs with toast, you can get 3 silver dollar pancakes on the side. A kid’s dream.

22. Michigan – Little Daddy’s, Bloomfield Hills


Photo courtesy of @little_daddys_chef_keith on Instagram

You know it’s an authentic diner when the logo is spelled out in Greek-style letters. Despite having an interesting name, they fulfill probably the most important of my diner criteria: breakfast all day. They also have their own assortment of the famous Michigan Coney Island hot dogs.

23. Minnesota – Tiny Diner, Minneapolis


Photo courtesy of @tinydiner on Instagram

This place is not only giving good food, it’s giving back. With solar panels, a commitment to improving the land in their backyard for animals, and promoting soil fertility, this place is not just about good eats (and tiny ones, like a single buttermilk pancake). It’s about good people too.

24. Mississippi – Brent’s Drugs, Jackson


Photo courtesy of @brentsdrugs on Instagram

Continuing with the old trend of diners being known as drugstores, Brent’s Drugs in Jackson is a hidden gem to tourists and a famous spot for movie scenes as well. The milkshakes cannot be missed, and their biscuits are GINORMOUS and made of buttery, flaky dreams.

25. Missouri – Hayes Hamburgers and Chili, Kansas City

Photo courtesy of @whistleraj on Instagram

More of a greasy spoon than a diner, Hayes is a classic for chili-topped anything, triple hamburgers, and late night breakfast specials. It competes with other local spots, but time and again locals say Hayes is the place to go, open late and serving up delicious shakes.

26. Montana – The Garage, Bozeman

Photo courtesy of @tatephoto on Instagram

With everything on their menu evoking an auto shop or type of car, it’s hard not to smile at the Garage. Their soups are famous, hearty, and the best thing to cure the chills on a cold mountain day. They also have bison burgers, an instant win.

27. Nebraska – Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Omaha

Photo courtesy of @maddieeepatrick on Instagram

Lisa’s is so popular they serve you free coffee while you wait in line on weekends. This place is simple, no-frills, and will remind you of your mom’s home cooking. The stuffed French toast special changes all of the time, but it is consistently a fan favorite, as are the biscuits and gravy.

28. Nevada – Katie’s Country Kitchen, Carson Valley

Photo courtesy of @mbabieee on Instagram

Recently renovated and right near the ski resorts by Lake Tahoe, Katie’s serves up a multitude of specials including $6 eggs benny Saturdays and loaded pancakes before 11 AM for $5. Every night of the week there’s a different special, from fried chicken to a Mexicali special.

29. New Hampshire – The Village Kitchen, Moultonborough

Photo courtesy of @dashafitness on Instagram

This village kitchen is as cheap as they come – a three cheese omelette with toast, potatoes and coffee all under $7. Being in New England, they also offer plenty of seafood specialties after breakfast, which is always an advantage in the summer months.

30. New Jersey – Prestige Diner, New Providence

Photo courtesy of @foood_for_you on Instagram

Not the famous Tops Diner of New Jersey, Prestige is lesser-known but arguably better. Serving disco fries (Jersey’s weird way of saying poutine) and a whole section on the menu devoted to challah French toast, the real plus is it serves Taylor Ham/Pork Roll, New Jersey’s best asset.

31. New Mexico – The Pantry, Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of @pv_bagel_authority on Instagram

This place describes itself as “Santa Fe’s Meeting Place” and it’s been around for almost 70 years. Being so close to the border, there are plenty of local and Mexican specials, including a chile relleno omelette and huevos rancheros that are to die for.

32. New York – Mamaroneck Diner and Pizza, Mamaroneck

Photo courtesy of @supafoood on Instagram

Granted, New York is a large state, with many diners, but it would be remiss not to mention my childhood diner (and still my favorite). Despite being slightly expensive, its pancakes are fluffy like clouds, their milkshakes are as thick as pudding, and the pizza is AMAZING for a diner. Truly the taste of home.

33. North Carolina – Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh


Photo courtesy of @mumphotos on Instagram

Way more upscale than any of the aforementioned diners, Poole’s deserved a mention for that very reason – Ashley Christensen’s new diner venture is attempting to show that diner comfort food can be upscale and classy, and not just greasy. Get the macaroni au gratin – a fancy mac and cheese.

34. North Dakota – The Shack, Fargo

Photo courtesy of @eatnorthdakota on Instagram

This place is simple, basic, and doing everything right. There’s nothing fancy here, and that’s how a diner should be. If you’re there for breakfast, try the chili omelette. Otherwise, you have to get the double bacon cheeseburger.

35. Ohio – Big Al’s Diner, Cleveland

Photo courtesy of @best_dishes_cle on Instagram

Though not diet-friendly, Big Al’s is serving up the staples like their famous corned beef hash and biscuits and gravy. If you like to sleep in, be mindful of the fact that this place closes at 2:30. Nonetheless, its food is still amazing and it is a must-visit if you’re a diner fanatic like me.

36. Oklahoma – Sid’s Diner, El Reno

Photo courtesy of @thatsallfowlks on Instagram

Another local haunt that is such a dive it doesn’t even have a website, this place is famous for its take on an Oklahoma classic, the onion burger. Despite being featured on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives, this place is still very much a small town diner and they do a great job keeping it that way.

37. Oregon – Skyline Restaurant, Portland

Photo courtesy of @meepygal on Instagram

This place is no restaurant. It is, in every definition of the word, a diner. Their menu is comprised of breakfast, burgers, and shakes (meeting all three of my criteria!). With fruity milkshakes like pineapple and lime and satisfying fried chicken, this place should definitely be on your list.

38. Pennsylvania – The Classic Diner, Malvern

Photo by Mallory Shaner

The Classic Diner of the Main Line is not classic at all. Its bacon is legendary-thick-cut slab bacon (there’s a reason it’s $4.00 for a side) that you can buy by the pound. On top of that, their French toast options are killer and the breakfast sandwich on Italian bread is served with a steak knife because it’s so decadent.

39. Rhode Island – Franklin Spa, Newport

Photo courtesy of @hat0r on Instagram

Though it is not a spa, if you are like us, food will relax you just as much as a massage. The Franklin Spa puts a New England twist on classic breakfast dishes with their lobster omelette with hollandaise, Portoguese sweet bread French toast, and smoked salmon eggs benny.

40. South Carolina – Early Bird Diner, Charleston

Photo courtesy of @wesleyverhoeve on Instagram

The Early Bird gets the worm, and this place deserves it. Serving up Southern classics like shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles, the Early Bird also offers many sandwiches, burgers, and another Southern staple – delicious country fried steak.

41. South Dakota – Phillips Avenue Diner, Sioux Falls

Photo courtesy of @tavniahk on Instagram

Two words: breakfast poutine. Who knew such a magical thing could exist? Fries with cheese curds and gravy (obviously), but the added bonus of fried eggs and bacon. This is the hybrid of so many good breakfasts – biscuits and gravy, fried eggs with cheese, and bacon of course.

42. Tennessee – Noshville, Nashville

Photo courtesy of @kreneef on Instagram

Although it moved further away from its faithful Vanderbilt patrons, Noshville continues to delight with its extensive menu, full-service deli options, and bagel platters. Looking through all the options may seem overwhelming, but most are sure to please the hungriest of humans.

43. Texas – Kerbey Lane Cafe, Austin

Photo courtesy of @dine_atx on Instagram

Any Austin native knows Kerbey Lane is the way to go. Their queso with guac is the stuff of dreams and everything else on their 24-hour menu (like bacon wrapped meatloaf) is a Texas staple. It has multiple locations over Austin, too, so there’s no excuse not to go.

44. Utah – Ruth’s Diner, Salt Lake City

Photo courtesy of @imaginegusgus71 on Instagram

A place that serves ‘Mile High Biscuits?’ Am I dreaming? Can someone pinch me? Anywhere that claims to serve such large biscuits has a special place in my heart. Also, it has an outdoor patio which many of the other diners cannot boast. What could be better?

45. Vermont – The Blue Benn, Bennington

Photo courtesy of @alizadanielle on Instagram

This place is complete with blue counter stools and a jukebox – what more could you need? The menu itself is huge, but that doesn’t include the specials plastered all over the walls of this classic haunt with homemade donuts.

46. Virginia – The Villa, Charlottesville

Photo courtesy of @richardpeevers on Instagram

The only other diner on this list that is also known for its pizza, the Villa is special beyond its breakfast food. Serving some other Italian staples like mozzarella sticks gives this place extra points in my book, but it also serves waffles and pancakes with ice cream. Definitely a winner.

47. Washington – Luna Park Cafe, West Seattle

Photo courtesy of @jennipherhan on Instagram

Serving piles – eggs on top of hash browns and toppings – and hobos – hash browns mixed in with eggs – the Luna Park Cafe is doing something right putting all of the breakfast foods together instead of side by side.

48. West Virginia – The Corner Shop, Bramwell

Photo courtesy of @katiepoff on Instagram

This place is like an old-fashioned malt shop: homemade ice cream, ice cream sodas, milkshakes, and reminds you of the movies. The food itself is delicious as well, with homemade baked beans and giant burgers (plus plenty of toppings). Their ice cream flavors are to die for.

49. Wisconsin – Frank’s Diner, Kenosha

Photo courtesy of @nickmurway on Instagram

Home of the garbage plate, a monster special of eggs mixed with hash browns, peppers, onions, and the potential to add in meats and cheese, Frank’s is the best hangover cure you could ask for. Add in a single buttermilk pancake (also known as ‘No Stack’) and you’re on your way to being a functioning human.

50. Wyoming – Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, Wilson

Photo courtesy of @wonderwomanjax on Instagram

Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Nora’s is a staple to the ski bums and boarders who come in hungry after the slopes of the Tetons. Their Banana bread French toast is all I need to get on a flight out west.

51. Washington, D.C. – The Diner, Adams-Morgan

Photo by Analiese Trimber of NOBREAD

The diner in Adams-Morgan is DC’s simple take on a classic. Shakes, burgers, and open all day, this place even serves mimosas as a way to lure in the highbrow brunch crowd. The Diner Royale, for those with a bottomless pit instead of a stomach like me, includes eggs, meat, toast, potatoes, and two pancakes. Heaven.
Original post by Mallory Shaner for Spoon University 



12 Starbucks Drinks You Can Order If You’re Vegan

One of the biggest challenges of sticking to a vegan diet is eating out. It is almost impossible to know exactly what you are getting in your order. Whether you’re on a study date, meeting up with friends or just looking for a drink to get you through the day, Starbucks is an unavoidable staple of college life.

By making a few minor adjustments to these orders, you can have vegan Starbucks anytime.

1. Caffè Americano

Photo by Alysha Anzik

You can’t go wrong with something as simple and classic as the Americano. Drink this coffee black or with soy milk.

2. Chocolate Smoothie


Photo courtesy of

Step 1: order with soy milk instead of dairy milk. Step 2: nix the protein powder. Step 3: enjoy this awesome vegan smoothie. No need to worry about the “chocolate” either because luckily the flavor comes from mocha sauce which is completely vegan.

3. Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino


Photo courtesy of Starbucks

While this drink wasn’t always vegan (the strawberry base’s pink color came from crushed beetles), it now gets its color from lycopene, the same pigment that makes tomatoes red. Remember, no whipped cream and substitute the dairy for soy or coconut milk.

4. Shaken Sweet Tea Lemonade


Photo courtesy of

No substitutions or omissions needed for this version of the classic Arnold Palmer (can I get a hallelujah?!). The perfect summer beverage awaits.

#SpoonTip: All of the Shaken Tea Lemonades are vegan, so treat yo’ self this summer.

5. Green Tea Crème Frappuccino


Photo courtesy of

Always gotta make sure to get those greens in… even if these particular greens come in the form of a sugary, dessert-like Starbucks drink. Just substitute the dairy milk for soy or coconut, omit the whipped cream and you’ve got yourself a delicious vegan treat.

6. Mocha Frappuccino


Photo courtesy of

Lucky for all you chocolate lovers, the mocha syrup is vegan. The excitement is all too real with this drink, but don’t forget the phrase of the day: leave off the whipped cream and substitute out the dairy.

7. Teavana Iced Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte


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Make sure that you order the Oprah Chai since the regular Chai Tea concentrate has honey in it. As an added bonus, with the purchase of each Oprah Chai product Starbucks makes a donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit youth education. Since this is a latte, you’ll have to substitute the dairy out for this drink to make it vegan.

8. Caffè Misto


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A simple, regular, yet delicious coffee is always a wise choice amongst the millions of creations Starbucks is famous for. A Caffè Misto is the answer; but as always, substitute that dairy milk outta there for soy or coconut milk.

9. Classic Hot Chocolate


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Since the hot chocolate is made with mocha syrup instead of real chocolate, it is a decadent vegan option. Ask for no whipped cream, swap out the dairy milk and you’re good to go.

10. Strawberry Smoothie


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Substitute the dairy milk for soy or coconut milk, omit the protein powder and you’ve got yourself a fruity fix totally soy-free. Plus, who doesn’t love a fresh smoothie to kickstart a summer’s day?

11. Latte Macchiato


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Minus the dairy, plus the caffeine. This Latte Macchiato can be ordered with soy milk so that you can still reap the benefits that espresso brings.

12. Caramel Frappuccino


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This popular order can be made vegan by (you guessed it) substituting out the dairy and omitting the whipped cream and caramel drizzle on top. Sorry, but the drizzle is made with 3 different dairy products… c’mon Starbucks.

Still dreaming of the day Starbucks uses vegan whipped cream but until then, remember to omit it and enjoy your drinks!

Original post by Lauren Melda on Spoon University


9 Things You Should Buy on Your First Trader Joe’s Run

I think of Trader Joe’s as a mini supermarket. It has everything you need to make a quick meal, while also selling a myriad of unique snacks and beers. I love going to Trader Joe’s because they always have free tasters, which has inspired me to purchase some of the items on this list. Here are some of the things you should buy on your first Trader Joe’s run.

1. Cookie Butter

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Cookie butter is amazing and it goes on pretty much anything. Waffles, toast, cookies – you name it. It can be addicting, though, so definitely keep track of how much you eat. This sweet spread will make all your meals a little sweeter.

2. Pirate’s Booty

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It looks like your typical bag of popcorn, but don’t be fooled. It’s pirate’s booty and it’s so much better than popcorn. This white cheddar goodness will have you back to Trader Joe’s in no time. If you don’t like cheddar flavored popcorn, there is also veggie-flavored pirate booty and fruity pirate booty.

3. Hummus

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Hummus is amazing. But you haven’t truly had hummus until you’ve tried the Tomato and Basil Hummus at Trader Joe’s. Hummus goes well with anything and serves as a good snack for watching a football game or just watching a movie with friends.

4. Ginger Snaps

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These ginger snaps go well with anything. Dip them in peanut butter, hummus, or even cookie butter. It serves as a great afternoon snack after a long day of work or school.

5. Wine

Photo by Andrea Leelike

Photo by Andrea Leelike


For those of you who are of age, why not grab a bottle of wine or a six pack of beers to enjoy with all your new snacks? Trader Joe’s lets you create your own six pack of beer, with any beers you want, so why not take advantage of that?

6. Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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This spinach and artichoke dip is a great addition for a great afternoon snack. Buy a bag of chips and dip them in this unique dip. This tasty, cheesy goodness will have you back at Trader Joe’s in no time.

7. Mini Beef Tacos

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These mini beef tacos can be a great appetizer if you’re having people over and want a little snack before the entree. They’re easy to make and don’t take that long to cook, so your guests will definitely be full by the time they leave.

8. Parmesan Pastry Pups


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This appetizer is like “pigs in a blanket,” but better. It’s essentially a small hot dog wrapped in dough, topped with parmesan cheese. This snack is perfect for a Super Bowl watch party or even if you’re just hanging out with friends.

9. Spiced Cider

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Sick of having water or milk every day? Well, this spiced cider is sure to spice things up. This unique drink is great for a fall day or even if you just want to have something different to drink. Also, it contains components of apples, so it can make you feel a little healthy.

Original post by Allie Olivieri


How to Get the Most Out of $5 at Every Fast Food Restaurant

Fast food is a quintessential part of society. Research has shown that children recognize a brand’s logo, such as the McDonald’s golden arches, before they recognize their own name. They know what we want: food that tastes good, can be in our mouth in less than five minutes after we order it, and is cheap. You can walk into a fast food restaurant with a $5 bill and walk out full, so here’s how to get the most out of it (in alphabetical order):

*Disclaimer: Exact prices may vary by state/city


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They have the meats, so why not go with a classic bacon cheddar roast beef sandwich and curly fries?

What to get: Jr. Bacon Cheddar Melt, Curly Fries (Snack Size), and a small drink

Price: $4.87

Calories: 530

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Honestly, I could spend all $5 on Bojangles’ biscuits and be perfectly happy. But if you’re #blessed enough to have a Bojangles’ nearby, this is what you should get with that Lincoln.

What to get: 2pc Chicken Supremes Kid’s Meal (comes with a biscuit, fries, and a drink) + 1 Cinnamon Pecan Twist

Price: $4.88

Calories: 590 in Kid’s Meal, 350 in CPT

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Photos by

Burger King

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There are many ways to save at BK. They always have limited time offers, such as the 5 for $4 deal and 10 nuggets for $1.49. They also have an app that gives you coupons. So have it your way, AKA, under $5.

What to get: 5 for $4 deal (bacon cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, small fries, a chocolate chip cookie, and a small drink)

#SpoonTip: After the deal ends, you can get a bacon cheeseburger, four nuggets, and a value fry from the Value Menu for $4.07

Price: $4 (or $4.07 for Value Menu)

Calories: 5 for $4 deal – 980 excluding drink (Value Menu – 670)

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Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s

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Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are unique because they bring your food to you. Also, the shakes are made with real ice cream and are absolutely delicious. So if you want to spend a little extra, I highly recommend getting one. But in the interest of staying under $5, this is what you should get (also highly recommended by me):

What to get: Value double cheeseburger and beer battered onion rings

Price: $4.68

Calories: 938 at Carl’s Jr and 830 at Hardee’s


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I love Chick-Fil-A. You could order literally anything off the menu and it will be delicious. Crispy chicken, grilled chicken, spicy chicken, salads, fries, shakes, lemonade… really, it’smy pleasure. If you want to splurge on a drink, definitely get a milkshake or a lemonade. Sauce-wise, Chick-Fil-A sauce is best with chicken and Honey Roasted BBQ sauce with fries is heaven on Earth.

What to get: Chicken Sandwich or 8pc Chicken Nuggets and Medium Fry

Price: $4.70

Calories: Sandwich and Fry – 840, Nuggets and Fry – 670

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Dairy Queen

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When you think of Dairy Queen, you think of Blizzards. But in the interest of getting themost out of $5, I have to recommend the $5 Buck Lunch (Note:  $6 in Canada). You get crispy chicken wraps, chicken strips, or a deluxe cheeseburger, plus fries, and drink, and a sundae. And, if you happen to have $6, you can upgrade that sundae to a blizzard. Although, if your local DQ is in Texas or is ice cream only, treat yo self to that Blizzard.

What to get: $5 Buck Lunch

Price: $5

Calories: Cheeseburger – 1,050, Chicken Strips – 950, Chicken Wraps – 1,240

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As an east-coaster, In-N-Out truly embodies the saying “you always want what you can’t have until you vacation to California and wait in a long tourist-filled line.” But when you live where you can have In-N-Out, do it right for under $5. And If you want to spend a little more for something secret, get your fries Animal-Style or sip on a Neopolitan shake.

What to get: Cheeseburger and French Fries

Price: $4.10

Calories: 875

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Kentucky Fried Chicken

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Like Bojangles, I could also spend all $5 on biscuits, and in fact, I have before. But the $5 Fill-Up is also a great option, and it actually fills you up. I recommend the extra crispy chicken tenders option, which comes with mashed potatoes, a biscuit, a medium drink, and a chocolate chip cookie. As they say, it’s finger lickin’ good.

What to get: Extra Crispy Chicken Tenders $5 Fill-Up

Price: $5

Calories: 880 excluding drink

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Photo courtesy of


McDonald’s is home to the famous Dollar Menu. So why not take advantage of it? You can get a full McDonald’s experience for less than $5 and you don’t even need to order aBig Mac. You can add Mac sauce to a McDouble for 30 cents, making it $1.69 instead of over $4.

What to get: McDouble with Mac Sauce, McChicken, Medium Fry

Price: $4.38

Calories: 1,190

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I get the same thing every time I go to Sonic, and it’s pretty darn tasty and it’s under $5, so that’s what I will recommend to you. According to the Sonic, 9 out of 10 potatoes want to become a Sonic Tot, so I think that gives you a good idea of just how crispy and delicious these tots are.

What to get: Chili Cheese Coney Combo (comes with medium tots or fries and a medium drink)

Price: $4.99

Calories: 780 excluding drink

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Photo courtesy of


Unfortunately, Subway is no longer the land of $5 footlongs, because they raised the price to $6. But you can still get a sub for less than $5, and a cookie too. I recommend the Spicy Italian, because it’s inexpensive, tasty, and you can pile on the veggies. But, if you have a favorite of your own, get it.

What to get: 6-inch Spicy Italian Sub and a chocolate chip cookie

Price: $4.50

Calories: ~680

Photos courtesy of @subway on Instagram

Taco Bell

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One of the great things about Taco Bell is that it’s cheap, satisfying, and has Mountain Dew Baja Blast. You can get several items and still stay under $5. So make sure you get a range of tastes and textures, like a spicy Doritos taco shell, crunchy nacho strips, hot queso, and savory ground beef. Did I just make Taco Bell sound mouthwatering or what?

What to get: Fiery Doritos Locos Taco, Beefy Nacho Griller, and a Mountain Dew Baja Blast

Price: $4.57 ($4.08 during Happier Hour, 2-5 pm)

Calories: 760

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Wendy’s 4 for $4 deal is the best bargain at Wendy’s. It comes with a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger or a Crispy Chicken BLT, four chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink. You even have enough left to get a Frosty for dipping your fries. And eating, of course.

What to get: 4 for $4 deal and a small Frosty

Price: $4.99

Calories: JBC deal – 880 excluding drink, CCBLT deal – 940 excluding drink, Frosty – 340

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This southern chain warms your heart and soul, and with a honey butter chicken biscuit meal coming in under $5, you’ll see why it’s been called “The Beyoncé of Whataburger items.” It comes with hashbrown sticks and your choice of coffee, a soft drink, or milk.

What to get: Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit Whatameal

Price: $4.24

Calories: 750 including coffee

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White Castle

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White Castle = sliders, so spend those dollars on cheesy, onion-y sliders and onion rings. Since the sliders are small, I recommend getting 3 or 4, but if you’re really hungry, they sell packs of 7, 8, and 9, a Sack of 10, a Crave Case of 30, and a Crave Crate of 100.

What to get: 3 Cheese Sliders and onion rings

Price: $4.43

Calories: 960

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So next time you’re at a fast food restaurant, you’ll know how to bring real value to the value menu.

Original post written by Jennifer Nigro on Spoon University


These 9 Things Helped People Live to Be Over 100 Years Old

We live in an age where there is a new health craze every other day. From quinoa to kale, some new superfood is constantly being touted around as the latest fad that promotes a healthy diet and lifestyle. So what foods and drinks should really be accredited for helping keep the oldest people on earth alive? Their answers may be shocking as they are not exactly what you may think.

Vegetarian Diet

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108-year-old Reg Dean said that his secret to longevity was his 30-year vegetarian diet as well as a mysterious elixir he drank while in India in the early 1900s.


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Jeanne Calment passed away at the age of 122 years olds and claimed to have smoked two cigarettes a day. She quit at age 117 only because she became too blind to see well enough to light her own cigarettes.


Photo by Christin Urso


Jeanne Calment also stated that she ate two pounds of chocolate every week, so the next time someone tells you that chocolate is unhealthy, you can tell them you’re eating for longevity.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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In addition to the cigarettes and chocolate, Calment consumed a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil. She claimed to put it on everything shy of milk, including religiously rubbing it on her skin.


Photo by Jocelyn Hsu


Susannah Mushatt Jones is the oldest living resident of New York at age 115. Jones says that she enjoys four strips of bacon every morning with her scrambled eggs and grits. So the next time your doctor tells you to lay off the bacon, show them who’s the real health expert.


Photo by Christin Urso


Jeanne Calment also claimed to drink a glass of Port wine every day in addition to her chocolate, cigarettes and olive oil.

Emma Morano, the oldest living person in Europe, mentioned that she too consumes alcohol daily, drinking a glass of homemade brandy every night.

Additionally, 101-year-old Nancy Lamperti drinks wine, Southern Comfort, and Budweiserevery single day.

Bottoms up!

Bee Pollen and Honey

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The 113-year-old retired beekeeper, Fred Hale Sr., said that he ate bee pollen and honeyfor a snack every day.

Ice Cream

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Yes, you read that right – ice cream. Paul Marcus, age 101 once said, “try not to eat anything that’s healthy. It’s true. I eat whatever I want. The secret to longevity is ice cream.”


Photo by Rachael Piorko


117-year-old Misao Okawa attributes her longevity to her diet of sushi as well as the eight hours of sleep she gets every night.

So next time you’re trying to eat “healthy,” make sure to load up on carbs, cigarettes, chocolate, olive oil, bacon, booze, bee pollen, ice cream, and sushi. Now that’s one diet I can definitely keep!

Original post by Samantha Cooper on Spoon University