Welcome to the Live Well Furman blog!  This blog is designed to help support healthy behaviors in the Furman community and beyond.  Be sure to sign up for our email subscription to have the latest campus wellness offerings, wellness news briefs, healthy meal ideas, and exercise tips delivered straight to your inbox each week!

Eat More, Not Less

I tend to cringe when I hear nutritional advice to eat less– “reduce your portion size”, “track your calories”, “restrict, restrict, restrict.”

No thanks.

I am not a bird.  And I refuse to eat like one.

Obviously, we need to exert a little bit of self-control over some foods.  For example, we can enjoy one or two little cookies instead of the entire box.  Or make one trip to the buffet instead of five trips.

But the good news is that we can manage  weight and promote good health by eating ample amounts of healthful foods.

Our ongoing FUEL intervention has been promoting a plate-based, low energy density diet for years.  The participants find this method easy to use, satisfying throughout the day and guess what?  They lose about 0.5 to 1 pound of body fat per week without ever counting a single calorie or feeling hungry.  Most importantly, this method makes them feel happy because it promotes a healthy relationship with food.  Just honor your hunger cues and conform your plate to the FUEL guidelines as often as possible.

Still not convinced?  Check out these two photos below.  Both show 1575 calories worth of food.  The example on the left contains many high-energy density foods–cheeseburger, fries, chips, a cinnamon roll, and creamy sauces.  Small portions of these foods contain a lot of calories.  Notice that foods that are high in fat are also high-energy density.

The example on the right contains many low-energy density foods–ample amounts of vegetables and fruits with some whole grains and lean protein sources.  Large portions of these foods do not contain many calories.  So fill your plate high and dig in.  You will most likely feel full before you have the opportunity to overeat calories.  Low-energy density foods tend to be self-limiting.

Photo Source:  American Institute for Cancer Research


Would you like to learn more about using a plate-based eating guide?  Check out some of our resources below:

The Foundations of FUEL:  Building a Healthy Plate

Meals in Minutes:  Perfect when you are short on time or energy.

Example FUEL Plates:  See what some of our participants were actually eating.

Easy Vegetable Sides:  You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. Check out these easy vegetable sides with little to no chopping required.

Finding Whole Grains:  Learn about the benefits of whole grains and easy ideas to incorporate them in intact form.

FUEL Meal Ideas When Eating Out

FUEL Meal Ideas in the Furman University Charles E. Daniel Dining Hall

Stocking a Healthy Pantry:  This easy strategy will make meal time a breeze.

Recipe Corner:  Over 50 printable meal ideas that fit the FUEL plate.  Each has a nutrition analysis, shopping list, and tips.

Pinterest:  Search over 1,000 healthy recipes with photos

Live Well Furman Blog on Pinterest:  Search all of our blog recipes and meal ideas with photos


A Taste of Greece Culinary Club Workshop

Please join us for our next Culinary Club Workshop:  A Taste of Greece.  Health Science major Avery Hudson will share some of her favorite Mediterranean recipes from a recent trip to Greece.

Students will work at stations to prepare a dish and then we will share a meal together.

Date:  Sunday, October 19

Time:  4-6 p.m.

Location:  Biology Department Classroom Kitchen, Plyler Hall

Cost:  FREE for Furman students

Click on the graphic above to see some of the featured dishes.

Participants must RSVP through OrgSync to reserve a space.  Click on the link below to access OrgSync.


Can’t make it?  Be sure to check back on our blog for the recipes and photos of the event.

Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp

Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp

Shrimp is sauteed with olive oil, garlic,  lemon, spinach, tomatoes, fresh basil,and black olives.  Then it is tossed with whole grain pasta and topped with a little bit of feta cheese.  This dish is light and flavorful!  Serve it with a fruit and yogurt parfait for dessert.

Click here for the printable recipe.

New hybrid bikes available to check out at the PAC

Beginning Monday, September 22, the Furman Fitness Center will offer five new hybrid (mountain / road) bicycles at the Fitness Center desk that can be checked out by faculty, staff, and students at no charge.  Helmets and bike locks will also be provided.

Users will need to bring a valid Furman ID and complete a consent form at the Fitness Center desk to check out a bike.

For more information, please contact the Furman Fitness Center at 294-3581.

Whole Grain Chicken Fajitas with Zucchini, Corn, and Black Beans

Whole Grain Chicken Fajitas with Zucchini, Corn, and Black Beans

Need a crowd pleaser?  Try these delicious chicken fajitas.  Saute chicken with sliced mushrooms, onions, red, yellow, and green bell pepper slices, cumin, and chili powder.  Wrap them up with whole grain tortillas and top with a little bit of shredded cheddar and light sour cream. Serve with a simple zucchini, corn, black bean, and tomato saute.

Click here for the printable recipe.

Salmon Cakes with Brown Rice Pilaf, Broccoli, and Pineapple

Salmon Cakes with Brown Rice Pilaf, Broccoli, and Pineapple

I was raised in Maryland, well known for blue crabs and crab cakes.  This recipe is reminiscent of my beloved crab cakes but much more affordable.  It uses boneless, skinless canned salmon which is readily available in most supermarkets.

The moistness comes from fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs.  Just toast some whole wheat bread slices and pulse them in a clean coffee grinder or food processor so they look like this:

I would imagine that dry whole wheat breadcrumbs would work well also but you will need to scale down to use significantly less than the recipe calls for.  I prefer the fresh breadcrumbs because they keep the salmon cakes exceptionally moist.

Combine the breadcrumbs with egg, scallion, Old Bay seasoning, and canned salmon.  I found this brand of canned salmon at Publix (pictured below) for $1.25 per can.  Trader Joe’s carries a no-salt added variety.

Serve over a simple brown rice pilaf with steamed broccoli and pineapple.  A taste of the tropics.  You can almost smell the ocean breeze….

Click here for the printable recipe.

Shrimp Scampi with Whole Grain Linguine

Shrimp Scampi with Whole Grain Linguine

This colorful dish is one of my daughter’s favorite dinners.  Begin by sauteing red and yellow peppers with mushrooms, onions, and garlic.  Add lemon juice, chicken broth, and shrimp and simmer until it is cooked through.  The flavorful sauce is thickened with a little bit of cornstarch and tossed with whole grain pasta.

Serve with peaches and raspberries with fresh mint for dessert.

Click here for the printable recipe.

Roasted Vegetable Whole Grain Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Whole Grain Lasagna

Lasagna is the perfect meal to make ahead and then reheat for lunch or quick weeknight dinners.  This whole grain version begins with roasted eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and onions.  Then creamy low-fat ricotta cheese, spinach, and grated Parmesan are layered on top.  Serve with a large side salad and dark chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert.

Click on the printable recipe here.

Fish Tacos with Mango Cucumber Salsa


Fish Tacos with Mango Cucumber Salsa 

Looking for an easy recipe packed with fresh flavors?  Try these delicious Fish Tacos with Mango Cucumber Salsa.  Saute white fish (such as tilapia, cod, catfish, or flounder) with cumin, chili powder, and a dash of salt.  Layer the fish in whole grain tortillas and top with shredded lettuce.  Then spoon over a simple salsa with diced mango, cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, and lime juice.  If fresh mango isn’t available, use thawed frozen mango.

Click here for the printable recipe.

Whole Grain French Toast with Tropical Fruit Salsa


Whole Grain French Toast with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Instead of butter and syrup, try this tasty topping for whole grain French toast.  Chop mango, pineapple, and kiwi. You can use fresh mango and pineapple or thawed frozen varieties.  Spoon the fruit salsa over the French toast and sprinkle with a little bit of shredded coconut.  Serve with a side of your favorite fruit such as chopped honeydew.

Click here for the printable recipe and other varieties such as Mixed Berry French Toast and Orange Pecan French Toast.