What you put in, is what you get out. So when it comes to food, the better quality ingredients you put into your body the better you are going to feel. With fresh produce, leans meats and protein as a main part of your diet, you will feel better, have more energy, and be able to pay attention longer in class. However, this is hard to do as a college student. Most students are either restricted to a small budget or confined to the dining hall. So what should you do?
The budget grocery shopper
Being healthy can be done on a budget. To give yourself the fuel you need and the best ingredients for you body, shop the perimeters of the store. Everything you need for balanced diet is located on the perimeter of the grocery store. Fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, eggs, and dairy.
Remember that fruits and vegetables in season are cheaper and farmers markets are a great option for fresh, in season, and local produce.
Plan ahead before heading to the store. Plan meals for the week and make a list accordingly--think of it as making a personalized, yet flexible menu. Try to have most of your meals throughout the week include fruits and veggies. Keyword here is TRY. As a college student, the perfect balance of vegetables and protein won't happen every day. As long as you are trying, doing your best, and feeling healthy than that's great!
Navigating the dining hall
My first two years of college I lived and ate on campus. So I know how boring and unhealthy the meals can get. It's so easy to fall into the habit of eating pasta, pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs on a regular basis. Don't do that to your body or your brain. Remember, fresh fruits, veggies, and lean meats and protein will fuel your body for school.
Healthier choices you can make in your dining hall:
- Grilled chicken
- Hard boiled eggs
- Cooked vegetables
- Salad bar
- Stir frys
In the dining hall think about what is FRESH. For the most part, stay away from grains and processed foods. I guarantee you will have more energy throughout the day and feel all around healthier if you stick to healthy options at your dining hall or cooking at home.
Best of luck,