Nearly all the offerings at the CVC cafe meet the U-M's MHealthy dietary guidelines, meaning they're low in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugar, yet high in dietary fiber. (Peanut-butter sandwiches are a rare exception). You can also find MHealthy-labeled "Good Choices" at dozens of venues around town--even the fast-food counters in the Michigan Union. But it's the CVC cafe (officially the Atrium Healthy Heart Cafe, although no one calls it that) that is the high temple of the MHealthy faith. Makes sense in a place where heart patients are being treated just above where you're eating. I consider quick light meals from the CVC cafe a way to pay forward credits for indulgent feasts to come.
The setting is lush--the atrium is a glass-walled, five-story, rain-forest theme park--but the cafe is a relatively inexpensive and surprisingly satisfying place to eat. If you're already a convert, perhaps it's because one cold morning you happened upon the steaming cauldron of oatmeal and self-serve toppings of brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and blanched almonds. (No one will complain if you add enough crunchy almonds to bust the low-fat guidelines.)