The Struggle to Diet in College When Food is Life: A Memoir

By Natalie Cioffari


Every morning when I wake up, I am thinking about food. Every night before I go to sleep, I am thinking about food.

Sound familiar? If you’re anything like me, food is life.

Food is something that can make or break your day. When was the last time you finished a pizza unhappy? The answer is never. When was the last time you felt sad after indulging in ice cream? The answer is, again, never.

Unfortunately, however, all those pizza and ice cream trips can start to add up. Even though you might try to ignore the fact that your diet mainly consists of carbs, and that your favorite pants are starting to feel tight, you realize that maybe something has to change.

I used to be a competitive athlete in high school where I exercised six days a week and the only carb I ate was the occasionally pasta before the game. If you do not believe me, I am sure my mom will be happy to pull out the photo album.

Well, all that stopped when I got to college. I wasn’t playing competitively anymore, and I got really used to watching Netflix and ordering food to be delivered to my dorm. I mean, I had Chinese, pizza and burgers all at my finger tips – I mean, who can resist?

At first, it seemed disgusting to eat fast and fried food every week, but hey, I guess people change their mind when they do not have mom and dad controlling what’s for dinner.

What’s worse is that during the summer before my senior year I discovered Merritt Canteen, Jerry’s Pizza and Golden Empire Chinese. Yes, I know I am late to the game, but seriously though, how did I survive without those three restaurants?

Of course, eating all those kinds of foods can take a tole on your body and mind. You start feeling sad because the “freshman 15” becomes the “every year 15.”

Yet, I do not think I could ever give up pizza or Chinese food. That is like giving up breathing: you simply cannot survive without it.

Dieting, or should I say watching what you eat, in college is quite difficult. If you’re twenty one, you have Red’s Pub with cheap beer and great bar food. If you have access to a computer, you can order food online to be delievered your dorm or house. If you have a car, you can drive to any fast food place you want at anytime of day.

Seriously though, shout out to McDonalds, Burger King and Merritt being on the same strip. Like, am I really going to deny my boyfriend when he suggests a trip to Merritt or McDonalds? Boyfriend plus burgers equals double the happiness.

Believe me, I tried the whole “diet” thing and it only made me even more upset because I stopped eating the things I loved all together. However, during the process of it all, I found ways to eat my favorite things without binging a whole days worth of calories in one Chinese food order.

Look, I am no expert at any of this stuff, I’ll admit to that. Yet, I do firmly believe that making small changes in your life, whatever that may be, is a step in the right direction.

No one said I ever had to give up pizza, I just can’t have it two to three days out of the week. If anything, I made it to be a specialty food that I only eat when I go out with friends or family.

That one small change led to another small change that led to me taking an oath to only go to the drive-thru once a month.

For those of you out there struggling, I feel you. It’s hard, but remember, baby steps. You got this. We got this.

Now, who wants to go get some ice cream?

Food Review: MILKCRAFT

A Pair Of Students Enjoying Their Date Together At The New Ice Cream Phenomena. Photo By Alexa Brisson/Spectrum

A Pair Of Students Enjoying Their Date Together At The New Ice Cream Phenomena. Photo By Alexa Brisson/Spectrum

By Tom Peticca

Asst. Features Editor

One of the biggest trends in the Fairfield area at the start of this school year has proved to be MILKCRAFT.

MILKCRAFT is an artisanal ice cream shop located on Post road in Fairfield. In other words it’s a fancy ice cream place with hand made ice cream.

They offer a variety of untraditional ice creams flavors, which infuse things like cereal, marshmallows and even bacon into the ice cream, couple that with their famous bubble cone and it’s an exciting look. This not only makes for a good ice cream cone, but a fantastic Instagram picture. If you haven’t seen an Instagram picture of MILKCRAFT ice cream posted with the quote wall behind it, then you have been living under a rock.

After about a 15 minute drive from campus, we arrived at MILKCRAFT. When you first walk into MILKCRAFT, it immediately has a much different vibe than your typical ice cream parlor. There is loud music playing and the menu is far from your normal ice cream menu.

The atmosphere is a chill one as it has low hanging light bulbs and their infamous quote wall that lies on the opposite side of the ordering line. The wall consists of funky, modern writing, as well as having some very cool drawings and pictures on it too. They also promote their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts on it. MILKCRAFT definitely achieves their goal of grabbing their customer’s attention with it.

They don’t have your standard vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors in a cone or a cup. Instead, the menu is full of fancy names with descriptions underneath each one. For example, one of the options is the S’mores Campfire. This particular ice cream flavor combination consists of dark chocolate ice cream with crushed up graham crackers, topped with a roasted marshmallow.

While you can get your ice cream in a cup, they are known for their famous bubble cones, which is essentially a thin waffle rolled up into a cone.

Once you have placed your order, be prepared to wait. The ice cream is made in front of you, which ends up taking a while. I waited 30 minutes just to get my ice cream. For me, personally, that is way too long. When I get ice cream I want it fast, which is not the case at MILKCRAFT. I could probably finish two standard ice cream cones in the time it took for me just to get my ice cream from MILKCRAFT.

The most appealing part of MILKCRAFT is that their ice cream is made from nitrogen. Do not ask me how that works, you’d have to ask a scientist. Maybe the ice cream takes longer to make because they use nitrogen, but you still have to pay the price of waiting 20 to 30 minutes for your ice cream cone. That 20-30 minutes was at a non-crowded point too, I think there were maybe two people in front of me.

In terms of pricing, the standard bubble cone costs just under $9. This is not including extra toppings. For $9 cone and upwards of a 30 minute wait, I was praying that the ice cream I got was some grade A ice cream. The hype from social media added to my high expectations as well.

I ended up ordering their milk and cereal ice cream in a bubble cone. It was basically vanilla ice cream with fruit loops on it. The actual ice cream was delicious, as it should be for the price I had to pay. The bubble cone, while making things messy, was especially tasty. For as good as the ice cream was, it was hard to finish. It is very messy, and despite the bubble cone being delicious, is not a very practical way to eat ice cream because of how floppy it is.

MILKCRAFT also has a great outdoor patio area with fun furniture that you can sit at with all your friends while you eat your fancy ice cream. They have egg shaped chairs and all the furniture is brightly colored making it a very warm and happy place to hang around.

Overall, I would say MILKCRAFT is a good, different paced ice cream place that should definitely be tried, but will never replace your regular go to ice cream parlor.

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