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