A college student on a healthy, balanced diet sounds like a contradiction. If going to college is going to become next chapter of your life, you need to know one thing: it doesn’t have to be like that! You just need to adhere to several simple rules and form some new habits to make healthy eating there easy and enjoyable.
How to eat healthy in college and why bother?
Being in college is without any doubt the first exciting step to adult life, full of new inspirations and possibilities. The things you’ll encounter as a part of your experience there and the people you’ll meet will propably have more influence on your future than you can imagine. But with all these wonderful, new options come also many pitfalls you’ll need to avoid.
If you’re going to live in a dorm, you’ll need to deal with feelings of home sickness and displacement, while in the same time learning how to study effectively under the pressure and get on the same page with your roommates. You’ll encounter innumerable parties, overflowing with alcohol and drugs, but losing yourself to their charm will mean undermining your academing achievements. How is it possible to concentrate on healthy eating in this situation?
There’s no need to sugarcoat it – it’ll probably be hard. It’ll be easier to reach for a quick fix, like a bag of crispies or a bowl of ramen from the pack, than to prepare your own wholesome meals. But remember: the way you eat now will have tremendous impact on your health in the next decade and beyond. If you decide to learn how to avoid cravings or deal with temptations and stress without using unhealthy food as an emotional band-aid, it’ll be easier to do it later in life.
Meal planning and preparation – a key to healthy diet without a fuss
To eat healthy and at the same time not ruin your finances you’ll be needing some proficiency in the area of cooking. But don’t worry – try to look at it as a big adventure with bonuses such as the possibility of impressing your significant other with your culinary mastery! First, let’s start with meal planning.
This method of organising and cooking your meals is far from the boring chore for busy housewifes with kids. On the contrary, it’s designed to assure you you’ll always have your favourite, flavorful foods ready, which will give you an instant boost of energy for studying, working out or spending active time with friends. Start by buying one or two cookbooks for fast and efficient cookings, containing the recipes you’re most curious of.
Alternatively, you can use a meal planning app or gather your recipes from the Web and organize them. If your college has a kitchenette for student use or doesn’t impose the restrictions on electrical devices in dorms, you’ll need just one pan, one pot and some utensils – and you’re ready!. If there’s no possibility for you to prepare your food in campus, make an arrangement with one of your friends or relatives to do it once a week in their home.
Lose the meat – your body and wallet will thank you!
There’s no surprise in saying that living in college can be expensive, while at the same time the possibilities for earning meaningful money are limited during this period. You’ll need a lot of mental energy and time to concentrate on your studies, so even if you have a part-time job, it won’t probably bring you a paycheck so big that you won’t need to pinch a little.
Does it mean that you should resign yourself to eating the cheapest processed food you’ll find at the supermarket? How to eat healthy in college when money can be tight? There’s one solution, and it’s considered to be good not only for your wallet, but also for your body and the enviroment. Go vegetarian – or, even better, vegan!
Most of the meat you can buy without spending some considerable amounts of money isn’t healthy anyway, coming from the industrial farming process. You can get all the protein you need from legumes, nuts and leafy vegetables, which have the the additional benefit of being much cheaper. If you’re not inclined to believe in it, believe in the testimonies of countless athletes, maraton runners or competitive swimmer, who swear that vegan diet increased their performance.