Hoopfest: Eat Your Water

Headache? Drink water.

Stomach ache? Drink water.

Dry skin? Drink water.

Tired? Drink water.

Hot weather? Drink water.

Dehydration can cause a wide range of health problems, from minor discomfort to more serious issues.  With this weekend’s weather forecast in the triple digits, and exciting events like Hoopfest and Ironman on the calendar, it’s a good time to make a hydration plan to ensure consistent water intake.

But the recommended 8 glasses of water per day can be a hard number to achieve.  Getting your daily dose of water shouldn’t be a chore. We understand it’s hard to drink water when you’re not thirsty, so why not eat your water?

The phrase ‘eat your water’ initially paints an amusing picture.  But by eating foods with a high water content, you can tackle summer dehydration with ease.

So don’t let dehydration rear its ugly head during your Hoopfest weekend.  Pack some of these snacks below to keep your body happy and healthy!


By packing snacks filled with water, you can quench your thirst without having to lug around heavy water bottles.

The best part about these foods?  They contain high proportions of water to their weight, and provide essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals to keep you energized, so you can kill two birds with one healthy stone.

Beat the Hoopfest heat with these killer snacks! Happy Hydrating! 🙂


April 1st: Food for Fools

Warning: Today is April Fool’s Day. Take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt. Whether your salt was replaced with sugar or your roommate placed clear tape across your doorway, you are a victim of this holiday who wants revenge.

Practical jokes can cross the line, and we want to make sure you get revenge in the greatest (and safest) way possible. What better way to show your comedic prowess than with food! Here are 5 easy tricky treats that will have your friends applauding your cleverness.

Get your chef hat on and your camera ready, because these foods for fools will give everyone a good chuckle.

  1. Toothpaste Oreos

This one is a classic. All over the Internet there are videos of this hilarious prank. Simply remove the icing and squeeze on the toothpaste. Make sure the toothpaste is decently firm and pure white so it doesn’t raise eyebrows.


  1. Mayonnaise Filling

Whether you use the mayonnaise to fill a donut or cupcake, this trick is sure to cause some taste bud confusion. This trick can be more tedious to carry out, but provides one of the biggest laughs.


  1. Hard Boiled Eggs

Do you have a roommate who makes eggs every morning? Grab their cartoon of eggs and hard-boil every single egg. In the morning when they try to crack them, they will be extremely confused.


  1. Dye It

This one you can get creative with. Take a milk, orange juice or cream carton and squeeze a color dye into it. Make sure the liquid is in a solid container so they only see the color change when they first pour it out.


  1. Stapler in Jell-O

Are you a fan of The Office? Jim’s stapler trick can easily be recreated. Steal an office supply on their desk they are sure to use the next day. Once it is engulfed in Jell-O, put it back in its place and prepare to be the talk of the office!


Now that you have these food pranks under your belt, go out there and cook up some culinary confusion!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

March Madness: Female Chefs Spice Up the Month

Yes, March has been full of madness. Upsets and one-point differentials have made this month certainly live up to its name. Not to mention the stellar performances from both our men’s and women’s basketball teams… GO ZAGS!

But did you know March is also Women’s History Month? Zag Dining wants to share delicious dishes from inspirational female chefs around the culinary world. This Thursday the BARC will feature cuisine crafted by some exceptionally talented women.

To give you a little taste, we thought it appropriate to highlight 5 influential female chefs in America. From a White House Executive Chef to TV personalities, the women are making their mark on a profession previously dominated by men. These culinary masters are as diverse and unique as the cuisine they bring to the table.

  1. Cristeta Comerford


Born in the Phillipines, Cristeta was the first White House Executive Chef to be of Asian descent. She assumed office in 2005 due to her creativity and ability to perform under pressure. Having immigrated at the tender age of 23, she quickly climbed the ranks with her undeniable talent.

  1. Julia Child


Famous for bringing French cuisine to America, Julia was loved by the American public for her lively personality. A published author and TV personality, she immersed her culinary talent into a variety of medias.

  1. Lidia Bastianich


A published author, restaurateur and TV personality, Lidia made Italian cooking easy for the average American. Her talent was recognized when she received an Emmy in 2013 for Outstanding Culinary Host.

  1. Barbara Smith


Sweet southern style cooking is how “B” Smith became a household name. As the owner of three renowned restaurants in the northeastern United States, she prides herself on bringing the south to New York.

  1. Alice Waters


Known for being the pioneer of California cuisine, Alice uses organic and locally grown ingredients in most of her recipes. She is also an activist for school lunch reform and universal access to organic foods.

These pioneering women have cracked the glass ceiling of the culinary industry. With their distinct cultural passions, the women have mastered the art of cookery. So trust us… you don’t want to miss the delicious food prepared in honor of their talent. See you Thursday!

Exclusive Preview: 360 Mongolian Grill

An endless amount of curiosity surrounds the new COG. The grand opening is months away, but you’re eager to discover what it has to offer.


Well, you don’t have to wait for the grand opening. Over the next few months, you will have exclusive access to the new COG. Sneak peaks of our unique and flavorful culinary stations will be released monthly.

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Many of you loved our first preview! The featured culinary station was a 360-Degree Mongolian Grill. The Grill allows the chefs to create specialized dishes to satisfy your individual tastes. You may select your own fresh veggies, aromatics, meats, noodles and sauces. Then watch the chefs spin your fresh flavors into a masterpiece.

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As we feature these new stations in the BARC, we encourage you to tell us what you think! Your voice matters to us. By attending these previews, you can help us improve our concepts for the new COG.


For updates on the dates and times of our future previews, please follow our social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter at ZagDining). We can’t wait to see you at the next preview!

Fuel for Finals: Sleepy Snacks

Welcome back to our Fuel for Finals series! In our last article, we told you about 10 super foods that will keep you energized during those late-night study sessions. But what about when it’s time to finally go to sleep?  Most of us have trouble turning our brains off.  We’ve been wired with caffeine and studying all day, and the last thing our mind wants to do is relax.

Sleep is an essential part of keeping your brain in tip-top shape for finals week.  Sleep deprivation impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and even problem solving—All crucial skills you need to pass those finals!  However, catching those elusive Zzz’s can be harder than it seems.

So when you’ve turned off the lights but can’t seem to turn off your brain, look to these 5 snacks to lull your mind right to sleep…

  1. Fish

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Treat yourself to a fancy fish fillet—you deserve it! Fry up some salmon for dinner over brown rice and veggies. Salmon is filled with vitamin B6 which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone).

  1. Yogurt Topped w/ Granola

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Dairy products can fix a calcium deficiency you didn’t know you even had. This type of deficiency is known to significantly hinder your ability to fall asleep. Add some crunch and flavor to your yogurt with some granola!

  1. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

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Yes, your childhood favorite (made w/ whole-grain bread) is more than just a fun snack your mom made you! The magnesium in whole grain breads has been proven to help you stay asleep longer. Deep sleep prepares your brain to problem solve the next day.

  1. Banana Pops

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Warning: These are addicting day or night! Start by coating a sliced banana with yogurt, then sprinkle your favorite (sugar-free) cereal on top and freeze. Bananas are filled with the vitamin B6, and the carbs in cereal help sleep-inducing amino acids reach the brain quicker. Don’t forget the benefit of the yogurt too—This one’s a triple threat!

  1. Fruit & Nut Trail-mix

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The essential ingredients to add to your mix are almonds and walnuts. Walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, while almonds contain magnesium which will provide you quality sleep. Both form a powerful team that will help you fall asleep AND stay asleep. Remember: Use fruits instead of chocolate to add sweetness to your mix!

These snacks may help out your restless brain, but there is no cure-all. You have to develop a lifestyle which supports a good night’s rest. Eating the right foods is just the tip of the ice berg. Creating a routine before bed, putting your cellphone away, and breathing deeply are some great ways to fall asleep in no time.

So you’ve studied with our super foods and fallen asleep with our sleepy snacks.  Now it’s time for what we’ve all been preparing for—FINALS. Stay tuned for our top breakfast picks to help you ace those finals!

Fuel for Finals: Super Foods

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Everyone is over caffeinated, sleep-deprived, and ready for break.  Unfortunately break is still a week away and finals just around the corner. This is not the time to give up!

As studying replaces sleep and gulps of coffee replace water, you may notice some changes.  Your reading assignment takes longer, you start to get the sniffles, or the vocab you just studied for hours can’t be recalled.  These symptoms are a sure sign of your body shutting down. This is the last thing we want to happen during the most crucial weeks of the semester.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Through a three part blog series we will show you how to keep your body healthy, happy and ready for finals week.

First, let’s look at some super snacks that will get you through late night study sessions…

  1. Cucumber Sandwiches


A great way for you to get that cracker crunch without the carbs and crumbs- Put cheese, ham, or any number of protein packed foods in between.

  1. Spicy Popcorn


Wake up your taste buds and brain with some spicy Sriracha sauce on your popcorn.  It’s easy to make and portable!

  1. Toasted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin seeds are loaded with Zinc which helps with memory- lengthy vocab sheets will no longer be a problem!

  1. Hummus and Veggies

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Hummus is filled with protein to give you power while veggies keep your immune system happy- it’s easy to take with you as well!

  1. Yogurt Covered Blueberries

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When you’re craving sweets just coat blueberries with some Greek yogurt and freeze!

  1. Avocado Toast

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This a great starter snack- Mash up some avocados on whole wheat toast with olive oil drizzle for an immediate energy boost!

  1. Fish

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The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been proven to increase neural functions in the brain.  Fry up some salmon for dinner before tackling the rest of your studying.

  1. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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So you’re craving a dessert?  Glaze your favorite fruit with the darkest chocolate you can find.  The darker it is the more blood flow it allows to the brain.

  1. Chili


The best thing about chili is the short prep with a 2 hour simmer. Use the 2 hours to study while you wait for your delicious meal.

  1. Water

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Water is extremely important, but more often replaced. Take a water bottle with you at all times. You’ll notice yourself unconsciously drinking more.

The most important thing to remember these next few weeks is to eat.  Five to seven small meals a day will significantly increase your brain power. We all get busy, but remembering to eat healthy and filling foods could be the difference between an ‘A’ and a ‘C’.  So go on and eat your way to those awesome grades!

*Look out for Part 2: Snacks for Sleep in our Fuel for Finals series!

The Surfing Chef

Yesterday I was able to have a chat with our Global Chef from Australia, Jason McDuie.

With his splendid accent, big smile, and tall chef hat he is a hard sight to miss.  And these past few weeks have been a whirlwind for McDuie.  Leaving his family back in Australia for a month, traveling for two days just to get here, all while trying to keep his chef hat on!  Even with the chaos, he has managed to keep a grin on his face while preparing us delicious cuisine.

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However, Chef McDuie is more then what meets the eye.  Cooking is not his only passion. Surfing will always hold a big place in his heart.  And McDuie was no run of the mill surfer!  He held sponsorships with big names such as Quicksilver and Oakley for over 14 years.


Once he decided to hop off the board and dive into the kitchen, he never forgot what surfing had taught him.  Using local seafood and produce from Australia is what fuels the inspiration for many of his dishes.

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So dive into Chef McDuie’s unique Australian cuisine tonight at the BARC.  Come talk to him about life down under, the wild waves he surfed, or whatever peeks your interest!


Scary Sweet Treats

Can you believe Halloween is right around the corner?! Little kids will be pouring down the streets all dressed up, filling their bags with absurd amounts of candy.

But what about us ‘older kids’?  We dress up in costumes yet are not young enough to receive candy as a reward for our efforts.

Reward yourself this Halloween… With some Scary Sweet Treats!

1. Dracula’s Dentures


2. The Alcoholic Pumpkin


3. The Witch Broom


4. The Poison Apple


5. The Melon Monster


6. The Mummy Dog


These treats were discovered from our Pinterest—now it’s your turn. Post some of your favorites from Pinterest, Google, or even share some of your own creations. We would love to hear from you!

Happy Halloween & enjoy your savory treats 🙂


Did you know that 49 million Americans are food insecure? Or that 1 out of 5 kids in America struggle with hunger?

Well there’s good news—you can help change these statistics! This Thursday, September 25th, Zag Dining by Sodexo is putting on a Go Orange for No Kid Hungry lunch at the BARC. Come join us at our station where anyone can donate a few minutes of their time to help us assemble orange snack bags.  Our goal is to reach 1,000 snack bags by the end of the day and we need your help! You can take pride in knowing these orange bags you create will be helping children here in the Spokane community.

Many still believe food insecurity only exists in third world countries.  Here in the United States of America, 16 million kids live in households that struggle to put food on the table. That could fill up 845 basketball stadiums!

These figures are threatening America’s future. Every time a child goes hungry, they cannot reach their full potential. No Kid Hungry and the Sodexo Foundation want to make sure every child has the opportunity to reach for the stars without the fear of hunger getting in the way.  Let’s start by helping our own Spokane Community!

All of us here at Gonzaga University are fortunate enough to not struggle with hunger.  We are able to reach our full potential every day.  However, many children right here in our community do not get that chance.  All it takes is a small action to make a huge difference.

Childhood hunger is solvable.  So come on out and show us your orange-itude this Thursday at the BARC!

Zag Dining by Sodexo Donates $5,050 to Gonzaga University for a “Green” Project

Spokane, WA. July 2013–Zag Dining, a champion and leader for sustainability on Gonzaga’s campus, recently made a donation of $5,050 that is to be used towards advancing sustainability projects on Gonzaga University’s campus. The funds were procured through their “Go Green Meal Plan” program.  First available for purchase in the fall of 2011, this voluntary meal plan, commonly called “The Sinto”, pledges that with each purchase of the plan, Zag Dining will donate $50 towards a sustainability project on campus.

Chuck Faulkinberry, Zag Dining’s Resident District Manager, was instrumental in starting this innovative voluntary meal plan.  “We know that dining plays a significant role in the campuses sustainability efforts and we wanted to do something where our customer’s could feel they we were contributing to a greater cause,” stated Faulkinberry.

In the two years of its inception, Zag Dining has been able to donate a total of $10,250 just from this “Go Green Meal Plan” program alone.  In 2012, the funds were used to purchase bikes for Gonzaga Outdoor’s “Green Bike” program.

This year, Zag Dining is working closely with Gonzaga’s Advisory Council on Stewardship and Sustainability (ACSS). The funds will be used by the ACSS to help implement Gonzaga’s Climate Action Plan, which seeks to reduce the ecological impact of operations and to encourage the inclusion of sustainability themes in courses across the curriculum.


About Sodexo

Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 45 years of experience: from reception, safety, maintenance and cleaning, to foodservices and facilities and equipment management; from Meal Pass, Gift Pass and Mobility Pass benefits for employees to in-home assistance and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 420,000 employees throughout the world.


Sodexo in North America

Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Life services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $20 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.


Key Figures (as of August 31, 2012)


Sodexo in the World

18.2 billion euro consolidated revenue

420,000 employees

20th largest employer worldwide

80 countries

34,300 sites

75 million consumers served daily


Sodexo in North America

8.8 billion dollars revenue

125,000 employees

9,000 sites

700 facilities management sites

Over 15 million consumers served daily