Eating Healthy In College Is Not An Oxymoron

Healthy Eating In College From ZagLeft

Eating healthy in college is not an oxymoron.  It can be done.  It’s not difficult, it just requires a little thought and planning.

Last week I met with a family friend who is a college student heading back to college next week.  She wanted to meet with me to talk about ways to eat healthy, meal planning and to also get ideas to take back with her in the hope that she can solve the stomach issues she’s been facing lately.  I find it so interesting that so many people (myself included) discover later in life that their bodies react poorly to certain foods they eat.  By removing the foods that cause problems, often their stomach issues go away.  Fascinating.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos from Zagleft c
Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos

We spoke at length about how to eat healthier and how to put together easy meal plans for the week.  After she left, I thought that maybe a lot of my readers may also be interested in learning the same.  So, I put together just a couple of the notes we talked about.

One thing I find so important to do is to plan, plan, plan.  If we don’t have some idea of what we’re going to be eating in next few days, we tend to just grab something unhealthy.  I’m totally guilty of this!  When you’re planning your meals, focus on the protein.  Whether it’s fish, chicken, beef, tofu or beans, let it be the focus of your meal. Get creative with your side dishes.  Think about mixing things up with different vegetables. Think about what vegetables you like or which ones you’ve never tried before.  Along with your veggies, serve your protein with rice, pasta or potatoes, or create a wrap with a tortilla. Just be conscious of what foods you might be trying to avoid.  If going gluten-free, either find gluten-free pasta or bread or substitute large lettuce leaves to use as a wrap.

Baked Quinoa with Spinach, Red Peppers and Cheese from Zagleft a
Baked Quinoa with Spinach, Red Peppers and Cheese

Also, keep a nice selection of spices on hand.  Spices can dramatically alter the taste of food.  My favorites are basil, oregano,cumin, coriander, thyme, tarragon, smoked paprika, turmeric.  I love to buy my spices in the bulk aisle of my grocery.  Hopefully, you have a grocery that sells spices this way too.  I just buy what I need and pay pennies for the spices.  The other day, I bought eight different spices and paid under $2.00 for all of it.  If you aren’t able to purchase spices this way, buy them as you need them.  Don’t buy them all at once.  It can really get expensive.

Experiment and don’t be afraid to try new things in the kitchen.  Creating recipes can be fun.  What foods do you like when you eat out?  What flavor combinations do you love to see?

One ingredient Banana Ice Cream from Zagleft i
One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

As college students, your lives are busy and full but don’t neglect your health because of it.  Eat right and take the time to think about and prepare your meals. Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily cost more money.  Because in the end, eating right keeps you not only healthy, but clear headed and able to focus more clearly.

Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad from Zagleft c
Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad

You might like to try these gluten-free healthy dinner ideas…

Baked Quinoa With Spinach, Red Peppers and Cheese

Edamame and Tomato Salad

Grilled Portobello Pizzas 

Shrimp with Bok Choy, Sriracha and Shirataki Noodles (omit soy sauce to make it gluten-free)

Other healthy dinner ideas…

Black Bean Hummus

Lentil Salad With Roasted Red Pepper and Feta

Chicken and Quinoa Salad

One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos

Tomato and Chickpea Salad

Garlic and Smoked Paprika Ground Beef Lettuce Wrap

Do you have a tip that helps you stay healthy in college?  I’d love to hear it and I’m sure others will to.  Please leave your tip in the comment section below.

2 thoughts on “Eating Healthy In College Is Not An Oxymoron”

  1. My oldest is entering his senior year of high school, and we’re working on some easy recipes that he can master and then cook for himself.

    These look lovely!

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