One of the most popular phenomenons in college dining halls occurs after the main part of the meal is over. “Sooo… I’m gonna go get dessert”, one person says, and then slowly but surely the rest of the group follows them back into Usdan.

But sometimes, you don’t want dessert! You’re trying to eat healthy or feeling a little under the weather or super full. You PROMISED yourself no ice cream tonight!! But when everyone else is digging in to their Ronnybrook softserve of Congo bars (with walnuts, obviously), it’s so hard to resist.

I have spent hours at Usdan trying to find a solution for this dilemma. If you have trouble waiting in front of your empty plate as your dining mates munch away at desserts, what do you do? Sometimes I grab some vegetables or fruit. Other times I’ll get yogurt or cereal, but my favorite is a glass of skim milk. If you didn’t get enough protein at dinner, skim milk is a perfect addition to your meal, and it does a good job of cleansing my palate and fulfilling my need for something creamy and (slightly) indulgent.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been sick with pretty bad congestion and a sore throat, so I decided to take a couple days off dairy. This elimination in my diet has lead me to a couple magnificient discoveries.

  1. This is a very effective method of getting rid of congestion!
  2. I can go more than a meal (and a day) without eating cheese! (huge revelation)
  3. Putting soy milk, especially the vanilla soy milk that they have upstairs in Usdan in iced coffee is DELICIOUS!
  4. DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND MILK IS AMAZING!

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The other day, when my friends went up to get dessert, I was left feeling utterly dissapointed. What I really wanted wasa glass of milk, but I was dairy free. I had already eaten a ton of veggies, and the fruit selection was looking dismal.

Then I found it.

It was in the refridgerator near the coffee at Usdan, where they typically keep apples and pears. “Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk”, read the label. I was pretty impressed by the nutrition facts. In addition to having 50% more calcium than dairy milk, this drink only has 120 calories per 1 cup serving. It’s also a source of Vitamin E, and doesn’t contain any artificial colors, cholesterol, saturated fat, soy, dairy, lactose, or gluten.

Almond milk can have the tendency of being a little funky texture wise, but this drink poured out of the carton fluidly, and looked just as smooth and creamy as regular chocolate milk. I was highly impressed by the flavor. It wasn’t as sweet as the Ronnybrook chocolate milk, probably because

  1. It’s made with almonds instead of whole cow’s milk
  2. Dark instead of milk chocolate

But it had a wonderful, rich flavor with deep nutty overtones. Like drinking a chocolate covered almond.

Needless to say, you should try it. And let me know what you think.

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-Ari